Zipf's law of kitchen utensils

written by Jan Likar on 2022-02-06

Did you ever notice how as time passes more and more of your cups, plates and glasses from your kitchen cupboard become the last surviving utensil from a set - a one of a kind?

There is simple mathematical explanation.

Let's say we have 1 brown cup and a set of 4 blue cups.

If no family member prefers either cup color, grabbing the first one he finds, when he decides to have a warm, tasty cup of tea, it means a blue cup will be used 4x more often than the brown one.

Because cups only very rarely break on their own volition this means a blue cup is also 4x more likely to break.

Unsurprisingly, this leads to colorful cupboard contents.