Benford’s Law

In the learn something new every day department, here is something I’d never heard about in all my life until yesterday: Benford’s Law. I was watching a show called Connected, a science thing, and they were talking about it, and I’m kind of weirded out. First, it seems mathematically ridiculous.
The apple falling from the tree moment came when Newcomb (who was about a half century for Benford, but Benford elaborated on the theory a bit and so it’s named after him) noticed that the first pages of a book are almost always worn more than the later pages. I’ve noticed that, too. It’s just obvious that more people have read the beginning of the book than have read the whole book because it’s an included set. All the people who finished the book started the book, but not all the people who started the book finished it.
But Newcomb took it a bit further, and Benford took it a bit further, and now it’s used for all sorts of stuff like finding bots on the internet and tax fraud and stuff, but, like I said, it just makes no sense that the number one appears as the first digit something like 25% more than the number nine. In Poker, a pair of threes is exactly as probable as a pair of fours.
Yet there’s a lot of math, and science, that says it’s a real law. So, I tried keeping it in mind today as I did a couple of Sudoku puzzles. Didn’t make them easier. Didn’t make them harder.
Second, I’m wondering how many other people know about this law? Is it common knowledge that I just never knew about, or is this something nobody knows about. Let me know.

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