Behind Benford’s Law is Inherent Scarcity

Benford's Law Sep 26, 2020

Benford’s Law is the phenomenon of a predictable distribution of the first digit of the numbers of any dataset. The number 1 is more noticeably occurrent than 9 in a predictable way.

Because all things in all datasets are things within a universe with finite resources, we can expect to see Benford’s Law arising from them, when they arise without explicit cognizance of their being measured and collected into a dataset, that is, a volitious human element.

When real things are indicated by the numbers, it makes sense that 1 appears most, because resources are limited, so that things are weighted down towards the lower numbers, and that the 1 would show up more as the first numeral because it naturally shows up most counting up in a decimal system.

Because of our decimal system, the 1’s will naturally occur most as the first digit, followed by a logarithmic degradation as the values increase.

One could imagine that in any conceivable number system in the universe, a similar phenomenon would be followed no matter the first digits used, or the intervals between them for sake of number position (in our case, this is for the changing from the 9 to the 1 for sake of expressing a larger number), because counting systems are in one sense just a tool.

Any numerical or counting system should experience the same effectual distribution of digits (or whatever else may be used), as long as a prosthetic method for the shorthand accounting for large quantities is used.

The nature of numbers in the real world is that they go up, because we use them to count the things in our lives.

Interestingly enough, these numbers that we use to account the quantity of things that we have are the same things that actually can show evidence for the limit to the number of things in the universe, and the discovery of this can be thought of as Benford’s Law.

Any real naturally perceivable thing (and possibly every non-perceivable thing or not-yet-perceivable thing) in the universe is always limited. Real in this case is stably dynamic, in that can refer to real, raw, material like the amount of an element on earth, but also the idea of real or genuine in terms of human matters.

The universe is one single system, and any extraction thereof in any natural field, or of things that depend on naturally occurring resources, should show a trace influence of the finite mass in the universe.

Even number and datasets regarding things that we regard as fundamentally social and human (and therefore arbitrary), have been influenced in some degree by the finity of things that occur in a natural way.

There will always be a combination of the forces of the environment arising from the scarcity in the world around us, and that of our own volition acting in it relatively — in matters regarding human life.

One example is population in cities, which in some sense will always be influenced by the natural resources available in it, whether it is by the more easily apparent direct way of the locational availability of things like water, or the more political and socio-economic degree of separation from the raw natural resources — all things and processes involved being influenced in some degree by the scarcity of the resources related to what is needed (in the human case, for instance, the availability of water).

There are different layers of single systems in our perceived reality, that are not totally exclusive or inclusive, in that they are not totally stratospherically cross-influenced by each other, but are to some degree.

The universe is a system, our solar system is, indeed, a system, our planet is a system, a nation is a system, our families are systems, our bodies are systems, and our cells are systems.

Whether it is the crustal material for volcano heights, or real, live Twitter followers, all real things are in fact following or have their own wavelength or fingerprint of their access to resources, set in motion by the beginning or creation of the natural universe which we perceive as an instantaneous and continuing explosion.

The universe itself can be thought of not only as a single system, but a single wave, set in motion by something or Someone fundamentally separate from the natural universe, and things that seem inescapable can be traces or expressions of the unique waveform of that single wave that is the universe, having the timbre of the Divine Voice that spoke it from non-existence to existence, and from which the distribution of matter had been set into motion.

Regardless of whether Benford’s Law is a physical law — I tend to believe it is not in that it is debatable whether the inherent scarcity of the universe can be considered an intrinsic quality of the physical universe, correlated to things like thermodynamic energy — these physical laws can be influenced by or be reflections of the relative shape and size of the universe and its unique frequency or waveform, if we consider it again a single unit (not necessarily moving in a linearly directional way).

Let us take the example of the ability to spot Russian bot accounts on Twitter utilizing the concept of Benford’s Law. A factor that makes this possible is the fact that there are limited people in the world to have as true, living, followers, and there are limited opportunities to make connections or to be known by different people (think opportunities to have people to follow or to have people to follow you).

These opportunities themselves are influenced by the distribution of resources that have affected each life and connection in question, from the worldwide to the molecular level.

One question for further exploration would be whether we can expect data arising from a quantum state to necessarily follow Benford’s Law.

Photo by Arnaud Mariat on Unsplash

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Eric Sanchez

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