Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Introducing "The Power Law Shop"

My snarky power law memorabilia is spreading (maybe even virally eventually?), and thanks to a discussion this morning with Aaron Clauset and Michelle Girvan, I have now set up The Power Law Shop on CafePress.

For some reason, the graphics are way too small right now, but I'll fix that later. I will also add some appropriate 'log-log' plots later as well.

But anyway, at least I now have the website up as a placeholder. I'll improve the products later. (I really ought to pay attention to the talk now...)

Update: Cosma Shalizi expressed things particularly well in his blog entry about my new shop. His blog doesn't allow comments (as far as I can tell), but I have to say that this isn't the only funny thing to come out of the SAMSI workshop---my collaborator Peter Mucha had an awesome joke slide about the Zachary Karate Club network, which people had already been making fun of ever since the first day of the workshop. (We'll see if it shows up in any of today's talks.) It's also worth mentioning that things are working pretty fast with the store, as a few of us have had a parallel e-mail conversation---continuing the live conversation just before today's talks started---during the last couple of talks. I really love the internet sometimes. :)

Update 2: Our motto is: All "power laws", all the time! (Also, thanks to Aaron Clauset for providing some of the graphics that I have used for the shop.) If you're interested in community detection, you can also order t-shirts with a Zachary Karate Club network theme.

Update 3: Here is Aaron's Clauset's link to The Power Law Shop.


Anonymous said...

Sorry Mason, but if I see anyone wearing that Zachary Karate club T-shirt I will shoot him.

Mason said...

That seems a bit extreme.

It sounds like you might get an opportunity...

Unknown said...

I love the inter-event time distribution "fit". Well-played, indeed!

Mason said...

Dean: Thanks! That picture was courtesy of Aaron Clauset, who was a major help for several of the pictures. This is what happens when several snarky network scientists get together at the same place in space-time. Many of us have been having fits about this stuff (pun intended) and making fun of it for years, so The Power Law Shop was the next logical evolutionary step. How much do you want to bet that I end up becoming better known for this than I am for my science?

Zifnab said...

I think you should do a power law graph like one of the ones shown there, but change the axes to something like "Number of Graphs in Presentation" and "Probability of observing a power law" [which naturally goes way above 1.0] - I'm sure the ones you've got there make sense, but I have no clue why they're funny other than being 'power laws' of data that's not particularly... powerful?. I think there's a lot of room for snark in the axes / legend of a power law graph. :)

Mason said...

One of the power laws that is a bad power law was claimed as a power law in a paper by an extremely well-known person in network science. In fact, another very well-known person in network science wrote a comment on that paper about that particular "power law" pointing out that it isn't one. I don't remember whether the other one was claimed to be a power law in a paper---I'd have to check.

There is a plot in an old paper in Physical Review Letters (maybe from 2001?) that calculated the mean number of decades of reported power laws in Physical Review journals from the previous N years (I don't remember the N). The number was 1.xx, where xx was something low.

I definitely agree that there is plenty of room for snark in the axes, and at some point I'll probably add something like that to the shop. Of course, this wasn't created for the purpose of actually selling anything, though I think there will be a little bit of traffic in that direction. (Hell, I am going to buy a Karate Club shirt, despite the apparent health risks involved.)