magistrate: The arc of the Earth in dark space. (Default)
Yesterday's xkcd had an interesting challenge in its mouseover-text.


Wikipedia trivia: if you take any article, click on the first link in the article text not in parentheses or italics, and then repeat, you will eventually end up at "Philosophy".


So far, I've tried it with Spark Plugs, Banana Slugs, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Chuck Palahniuk, Infantry, Carnarvon (Western Australia), and Fatal Hilarity. It all works. Usually inside of twenty-thirty clicks. After doing this long enough, you begin to see certain patterns and get a feel for when you're getting close to the Philosophy goal. For example, once you hit Natural Science or Social Science, you know there's no escape.

I think it has everything to do with the format of defining everything in more-general terms. So you can start with something that seems entirely unrelated to anything philosophical like Vilii, a "type of yoghurt (a mesophilic fermented milk) that originated in the Nordic countries," with a "ropey, gelatinous consistency and a sour taste resulting from lactic acid," but Viili is a kind of yoghurt, which sends you on through dairy product » food » plant » living (and here you start thinking, uh-oh, we're on the track for philosophy) » objects » physics (and here, the physics link is marked as already visited; you end up at physics in a lot of the paths) » natural science (remember how I said there was no escape?) » science » knowledge » facts » information, sequence, mathematics (admittedly, once you get onto the "information" leg, it does circle around a little), quantity, property, modern philosophy (uh-oh), and finally, philosophy.

There's already a significant amount of talk on the phenomenon on the Philosophy "Talk" page. People have found articles that put you into an infinite loop (as of this writing "understatement" was the first qualifying link in the Ernest Hemmingway article, and the first qualifying link in the understatement article was "Ernest Hemmingway"), but it seems to hold true for the majority of articles people have tested.

So, there's your random minor mindblow for the day.

Date: 2011-05-27 02:02 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] rubyprism
rubyprism: A girl in a fancy white dress has a cat sitting next to her. (Default)
Whoa, cool!

Date: 2011-05-27 04:35 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] analoguechild
analoguechild: Image of young Jarod peering into one way glass (anyone on the interweb?)
I did the mouse over text challenge too! Though I only did one, very random starting point: The name of squeemu and baco's new province in Canada. It was the last wikipedia article I had read and it did indeed lead me to Philosophy. Weirdly cool.

Anyway... pointless comment is pointless. *waves HI*
Edited Date: 2011-05-27 04:36 am (UTC)

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