This excerpt from a Slate article on cell phone usage is another example:

*...the cell-phone growth projections are based on premises that are more redolent of 1990s-era techno-enthusiasm than the current decade's putative realism. Some savvy observers of the telecom world detect the beginnings of a bubble. "At some point, we're going to run into the law of large numbers and it's going to be a nasty setup," said Cody Willard, general partner at CL Willard Capital and a columnist for TheStreet.com. "I just don't think we're quite there yet."*

I have to ask: exactly what law is Mr. Willard scared of running into ? Let's consider the options:

The Weak Law of Large numbers:

*The probability that the sum of i.i.d variables over the same distribution differs from the mean is arbitrarily small.*

or even:

*Not only is the probability of deviation small, the actual deviation of the sum from the mean is arbitrarily small.*

Somehow I don't see how either of these fit into an analysis of the global cell phone market. But

**wait!**, there are some more intriguing possibilities.

*Almost all natural numbers are really large*

Possible, but Mr. Willard did after all quote a law of large numbers. We should grant him at least some degree of precision in his statements.

*There aren't enough small numbers to meet the many demands made of them.*.

This seems somewhat more plausible: after all, soon we might run out of small numbers to describe cell phone usage, at which point the market might collapse.

But I think the real answer lies in a deeper analysis of his prognostication. Note if you will the use of the phrase

**'nasty setup'**. This clearly indicates his invocation of:

*With a large enough sample, any outrageous thing is likely to happen*

This indeed settles it. As cell phone usage increases, something bad is going to happen. Now we know why they get paid the big bucks in Wall Street.