4 thoughts on “The math doesn’t lie—Benford’s Law

  1. A mere technicality!
    This reminds me that Alfred Kinsey, Ph.D’s great books about male and female sexuality in America have never had their underlying datasets released, leading many to say they are fraudulent and do not support his results, let alone his conclusions. (like a certain temperature dataset in Britain, I understand). People were able to refute his results from first publication, even without the underlying data. I expected the same thing to apply here, today, and Benford’s Law is just one of a myriad of reasons why.
    I can only imagine the expert on statistics trying to explain this to a judge. once I saw a judge’s eyes glaze over within two sentences when I tried to explain our property tax system to him. I doubt Federal Judges are any more numerate than the judge I encountered.

    • That is why the left is attacking the Benford’s Law approach so vigorously. It is easy to explain, using pictures and simple words, even to a child of average IQ. “Which of these things is not like the other?” The underlying theory is straightforward (“You have to count to 1 before you get to 2, and you have to pass 3 before you hit 4, etc and zero is never the leading digit”). You can show dozens of graphs from different datasets, then show Trump’s and Biden’s from the fraud-heavy cities compared to where there are no significant claims of fraud, and the pics stand out like a sore thumb. It’s the graphs that make it an easy sell.

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