Family to philosophy

From here to philosophy.

The xkcd cartoon today¬†features a fascinating Wikipedia trivia challenge: “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.”

Here’s the route from some of my favorite family terms to philosophy. None of them took more than 19 clicks.

Is this something about the deep structure of knowledge, or just a revealed tick or meme among Wikipedia authors?

My friend Ben Haller, who has been looking at this today as well, says:

Upon reflection, this is sort of the Wikipedia version of the children’s game of asking “but why?” in response to every answer their parents give. This of course bottoms out at “because I said so”. I.e. philosophy. :->

(OK, I admit it’s a lightweight entry, and it’s been five days since my last post. The good news is finished drafting a book chapter in that time.)

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Family to philosophy

  1. It’s apparently a function of graphs (that wikipedia ends up at philosophy, except for Greek mythology figures, which end up somewhere else, I think). My husband programmed it the other day, but I keep nagging him to put up a webpage demonstrating it. Will follow up if he does… :)

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  2. As promised above. I still want a bit more explanation, but I’ll have to bug him about it later:

    http://oracleofbacon.org/philosophy/why.html

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