February 13, 2012

Power Law News

1. I'd like to say that you have no idea how long I have waited to read something like this piece by Michael Stumpf and Mason Porter in one of the glossy journals. But that would be a lie, because if you've been reading this for any length of time, you know that the answer is, long enough to be very tiresome about it. If the referees, and still more the editors, at those journals can be persuaded to pay attention, we will be on track for my mid-2007 hope that "in five to ten years even science journalists and editors of Wired will begin to get the message." (I never really had any hopes for Wired.)

2. You can imagine how my heart sank to see that Krugman had a post titled "The Power (Law) of Twitter" — and my relief to see that he's not actually saying that the distribution of followers is a power law. It is however interesting that the distribution is so close to a log-normal.

3. My ex-boss and mentor Melanie Mitchell has a blog, and promises a substantive series of posts on power laws and scaling. In the meanwhile, go read her book.

Update, 15 February: see later post.

Manual trackback: Brendan O'Connor

(Nos. 1 and 2 via too many to list.)

Power Laws

Posted at February 13, 2012 20:40 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth