Talk:Long tail

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Sense please?[edit]

This from the introduction:

Intuitively, a distribution is (right) long-tailed if, for any fixed amount, 
when a quantity exceeds a high level, it almost certainly exceeds it by at 
least that amount: big quantities are probably even bigger.

That reads like nested nonsense.

  • Nothing should be claimed as being intuitive if it is not obvious, and the sentence is anything but that.
  • The word "right" in parenthesis presumably refers not to something that is correct but to a righ-handed as opposed to a left handed tail. But if so then this should be stated and shown as different to whatever "intuitive" knowledge may be claimed for a left-handed tail.
  • I presume that a "fixed amount" meants a "given amount" but as you understand I am bemused by what is being said
  • The graph needs a better explanation and labeled axis for the lay audience a wiki article is intended to address. It is not a power graph in the sense of 'power dressing' or of 'control', but I assume of arithmetic powers and geometric relationships.

From this point on the sentence implodes: "..when a quantity exceeds a high level" (??!!) it almost certainly exceeds it by at least that amount (??!!!)..." Then the finale: big quantities are probably even bigger.


Even bigger than what? And just how is the word "probably" in that helping anything?

I don't intend to be harsh, only to describe the issues I find (in the opening of the intro). Perhaps to others it is somehow clear. If you are one of these people then please would you edit it accordingly.

I have added a cleanup tag. It's not really that a true 'expert' is needed, just someone who understands this enough to be able to precis it comprehensibly in a wiki introduction.

LookingGlass (talk) 11:29, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

You're experiencing technical concepts as filtered through marketable presentations. Ultra-abbreviated mnemonics such as "big quantities are probably even bigger" allow outgoing guru types to develop an excited following, including some educated people. (talk) 14:23, 1 January 2018 (UTC)


My stress level got reduced when I realized that this article is not supposed to be a mathematics or statistics article. (talk) 14:19, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

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"short neck"[edit]

Could the term "short neck" be defined/described on this page? Bjornte (talk) 09:53, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Mention of successful implementation of Long tail in Bitcoin[edit]

Bitcoin uses Long Tail theory in its prevention against double-spend attacks, assuming that a malicious power user can't outweigh the much larger amount of honest users in total hash rate. If a power user did manage to do so, the attacker would be able to perform a double spend attack, in which a product is paid for in block X and sent, after which the attacker reverts the payment by remining all blocks from X upwards, including a new transaction to him- or herself.

Bobwansink (talk) 10:54, 31 October 2018 (UTC)