Friday, May 27, 2011

fun (?) with Wikipedia

My buddy Pat posted this item to his Google Buzz feed:

Today on XKCD the alt text says that if you click the first hyperlink on any page in wikipedia that is not in parentheses or in italics, and repeat that process, you will eventually end up at Philosophy.

I checked Lake Trout. 13 clicks later I was at philosophy.

From Tauroctony, 24 clicks.

From Nachos, 19 clicks.

From Magick, 19 clicks.

Head For the Red: Wiki-Philosophy Trivia
 
I decided to test this hypothesis by using the Wikipedia random button, which is one of my favorite buttons on the entire internet. Here are my results, wikipedia page names in bold.

Random article doodad led to Kenneth N. Beers

who worked for NASA

which is part of the executive branch

which is part of a national government

which is a form of central government

which is a form of sovereign state

which is a type of state

which is a concept in the social sciences

which is a field of study

which is part of academia

which is a community

which involves interaction

which is more complicated than simple causality

which involves events

which are generally observable

which is an important trait to physics

which is a natural science

which is a science

the goal of which is the accumulation of knowledge

which involves gaining facts

which are a form of information

which comes in a sequence

a concept important to mathematics

which studies, among other things, quantity

which is a property

in modern philosophy

a subset of philosophy

From random button to philosophy, 26 clicks.  I assume the next step, if someone hasn't already written it, is a little program like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing-a-ma-bob.