Re: [OldBits] Benford's Law

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From: Dave Long (
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 16:22:23 PDT

OldBits indeed:

> any such law must work regardless of what units are used. Even the
> inhabitants of the Planet Zob, who measure area in grondekis, must
> find exactly the same distribution of digits in drainage areas as we
> do, using hectares. But how is this possible, if there are 87.331
> hectares to the grondeki?

There's a simpler solution than scale invariance. Try changing
bases instead of units (perhaps easier for those who had the New
Math instead of suffering through the 3R's), and one easily sees
that binary numbers generically start with a '1':
    1, 10, 11, 100, 101, 110, 111 etc.


See my earlier message to kragen-discuss quoting Koerner's comments
on Haldane's "The Faking of Genetical Results" for a few paragraphs
on how to generate reasonable looking distributions, and a decent
perspective on computational fraud from 1941.

Message-id: <199904280237.TAA02046@maltesecat>

> ... He may have run into one of those theoretically
> possible miracles, like the monkey typing out the text of Hamlet by mere
> luck. But I shouldn't have a miracle like that in your fellowship
> dissertation.

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