From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>

Date: Sun May 17 2009 - 07:42:00 EDT

Date: Sun May 17 2009 - 07:42:00 EDT

"Each individual will adopt a course of action that will involve the

expenditure of the probably least average of his work (by definition, least

effort)."

- George Kingsley Zipf , "Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort:

An Introduction to Human Ecology", p. 18, Addison-Wesley, 1949.

"A compilation of some 20,000 first digits taken from widely divergent

sources shows that there is a logarithmic distribution of first digits when

the numbers are composed of four or more digits. An analysis of the numbers

from different sources shows that the numbers taken from unrelated subjects,

such as a group of newspaper items, show a much better agreement with a

logarithmic distribution than do numbers from mathematical tabulations or

other formal data. There is here the peculiar fact that numbers that

individually are without relationship are, when considered in large groups,

in good agreement with a distribution law - hence the name "Anomalous

Numbers." A further analysis of the data shows a strong tendency for bodies

of numerical data to fall into geometric series. If the series is made up of

numbers containing three or more digits the first digits form a logarithmic

series. If the numbers contain only single digits the geometric relation

still holds but the simple logarithmic relation no longer applies. (...)

The Law of Anomalous Numbers is thus a general probability law of widespread

application."

- Frank Benford, "The law of anomalous numbers". Proceedings of the American

Philosophical Society 78 (4), March 1938, pp. 551.

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Received on Sun May 17 07:44:25 2009

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