Power-law distributions, like the one seen in names, seem to arise from preferential attachment. For example parents tend to name their children with names that are already popular. I think we can assume that parents prefer to give names to thier children that will serve them well; I certainly did. A thought provoking example of this can be seen reflected in this report in the New York Times on this study. Resumes submitted with ‘black’ names were significantly less likely to be invited in for an interview than resumes with ‘white’ names.