Wikipedia, first link loops

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Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Dark Avorian » Sun May 22, 2011 12:47 am UTC

So, I was screwing around on wikipedia for a few hours recently, and I decided to try a little experiment.

1) Hit random article
2) Click the first link, not including any italicized comments above, or any links in parentheses to the language it is in (so if it has parenthetical info about what language, what form...right after the first occurence of a bolded word)
3)repeat 2 until you get a loop

And I noticed that every time I did it it collapsed down to Philosophy -> Reason -> Rationality -> Philosophy

I'm confused...any reason this could happen? Random chance? the ubiquity of philosophical concepts as the basic way of speaking about sciences which build upon each other to eventually describe anything?

Thoughts?
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby LucasBrown » Sun May 22, 2011 1:24 am UTC

Some actress got me into Physical property --> Measurement --> Units of Measurement --> Physical quantity --> ...
Tessennano: joins the chain into that cycle at Human.
Li Ying College: enters that cycle at Measurement.
James John Hogan: joins the chain into that cycle at Human.
Jim Donini: joins a chain into that cycle at Language.

Why does everything seem to end up in one of these cycles? Probably because the general structure of a proper Wikipedia article begins with a general introduction, which tends to use vagueish wording*, and there's only so much vaguery to go around--hence the small number of cycles that seem to catch everything.

*Not that I'm calling physical quantities/measurement/etc vague--I just lack a better word at the moment.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby BurningLed » Sun May 22, 2011 3:13 am UTC

I get stuck in two-page loops at disambiguation pages sometimes.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby RebeccaRGB » Sun May 22, 2011 6:47 am UTC

Cool, it's like the Wikipedia version of the Collatz Conjecture.

Collatz conjecture -> Conjecture -> Proposition (philosophy) -> Logic -> Inference -> Deductive reasoning -> Reasoning -> Rationality -> Academic discipline -> Academia -> Community -> Group (disambiguation page) -> Group (mathematics) -> Mathematics -> Quantity -> Property (philosophy) -> Modern philosophy -> Philosophy -> Reason -> Rationality
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby phlip » Sun May 22, 2011 6:57 am UTC

There was a memetic image going around a little while back that claimed you'd always end at Philosophy when you did this... when I saw that I tried one and got to Mathematics, but from there after a few links you'd end at "Property (philosophy)", which started "In [[mathematics]], [[modern_philosophy]], and [[logic]], [...]". There was actually an edit war going on at the time about which order those first two links should go in... one side presumably trying to game it so that the meme works. One of the more pointless edit wars I'd seen.

[edit] It looks like that edit war is still going on what the hell.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby jestingrabbit » Sun May 22, 2011 7:53 am UTC

phlip wrote:[edit] It looks like that edit war is still going on what the hell.


I wonder if pointing out to them that there are other link loops would end the edit war or create others.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Kolko » Sun May 22, 2011 3:51 pm UTC

My first attempt got me to Indo-European languages, language family, language, communication, meaningful, Aristotle, Greek language, Indo-European language. I got there starting with the Chromodoris quadricolor.

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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sun May 22, 2011 8:03 pm UTC

Armand Russell -> Quebec -> Quebec City -> French language -> Romance languages -> List of Romance languages -> SIL International -> United States -> Federalism -> Covenant theology -> Covenantal Theology (Roman Catholic) -> Covenant theology etc
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sun May 22, 2011 8:27 pm UTC

I didn't write them all down, but I got a lot (at least 6/10) that led me to Human. Now, I wasn't sure whether to click Taxonomy (as this is between bolded words) or Living (which actually leads to Extant Taxon).

If you click Taxonomy, it will eventually lead to Object (philosophy), which I'll get to later.

If you go to Extant Taxon, it eventually leads to Observation. Human, again, is in parantheses. If you don't choose that, the other choice is Knowledge. Knowledge also leads to Object (philosophy).

Here, I didn't know whether to click Reference or Objectivism. Reference loops back to Object (philosophy). Objectivism is a disambiguation page, and if you click the first choice (Metaphysical Objectivism), it shortly leads to the actual page Philosophy, then to Reason (the link text says "rational argument). Here there are again two choices, one looping back on itself, the other leading to an alternation between Planet and Orbit.




This is madness. I don't think this shows a biased attitude in Wikipedia itself as much as it does in educated people in general. Especially the ones who like to edit Wikipedia (i.e. talk about their opinions to anyone who will listen, which turns out to be not many people, so they go to Wikipedia).
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby AvatarIII » Sun May 22, 2011 8:43 pm UTC

i got into the philosophy loop after about 40 clicks (started with random article at the bottom

21:31
Philosophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:31
Rationality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:31
Reason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:31
Modern philosophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:31
Property (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:31
Quantity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:31
Mathematics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:31
Sequence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Information - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Fact - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Knowledge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Taxonomy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Human - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
World - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Scholarly method - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Social sciences - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
State (polity) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Sovereign state - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Nation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Greeks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Aristotle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Meaning (philosophy of language) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:30
Communication - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Language family - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Indo-European languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Italic languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Latin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Narrative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Fiction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Literature - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Genre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:29
Music genre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:28
Popular music - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:28
Rock music - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:28
Alternative rock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:28
Swervedriver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
21:28
99th Dream - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


interestingly it went from music > genres > books > language > (then it kind of skirted philosophy with meaning and aristotle) > countries > social sciences > science > mathmatics > philosophy
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Dark Avorian » Sun May 22, 2011 9:57 pm UTC

Okay, I guess I wasn't clear about my rules: As I've been doing it, Taxonomically is what i hit for humans. As I've been doing it, I wouldn't hit Greek Language after Aristotle.

Basically, to clarify my rule: I don't hit italicized comments, and I don't hit anything in parentheses that are describing the etymology of a bolded word. I've now realized that the loop I was originally talking about doesn't exist and instead is the loop

human -> taxonomy -> science -> knowledge -> fact -> information -> sequence -> mathematics ->quantity -> property (philosophy) -> modern philosophy -> philosophy -> reason -> faculty -> faculty (division) -> university ->higher education ->academy -> Plato -> Classical Greece -> culture -> Alfred L. Kroeber -> United States -> federalism -> politics -> group decision making ->individual ->person -> human

which is less exciting, but does reveal that since such a large and wide ranging loop exists most thins will go down into it very fast.

oh and to clarify, plante doesn't loop with orbits because physics is the first link in orbits. I do click links before the bolded terms. just not the etymology parentheses
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby OBrien » Mon May 23, 2011 1:01 am UTC

M&B - May & Baker - Wandsworth - London Borough of Wandsworth - London Borough - Greater London - London (disabiguation) - London - Capital City - [Seat of Local Government - City Hall (disambiguation)]

Kimmel Arena - Basketball - Basketball (ball) - [Ball - Ball (disambigution)]

1659 Bohrmann - Asteroid belt - Asteroid Belt (album) - Velvet Chain - [Los Angeles - La]

Volvera - Comune - Administrative division - Political division - [Technical terminology - Scientific terminology]

I've only found two-page chains so far :(
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Adacore » Mon May 23, 2011 1:27 am UTC

Dark Avorian wrote:human -> taxonomy -> science -> knowledge -> fact -> information -> sequence -> mathematics ->quantity -> property (philosophy) -> modern philosophy -> philosophy -> reason -> faculty -> faculty (division) -> university ->higher education ->academy -> Plato -> Classical Greece -> culture -> Alfred L. Kroeber -> United States -> federalism -> politics -> group decision making ->individual ->person -> human

which is less exciting, but does reveal that since such a large and wide ranging loop exists most thins will go down into it very fast.

At least (as phlip said), approximately 5% of the time you get into the mathematics -> quantity -> property (philosophy) -> mathematics loop. I actually prefer the property (philosophy) page phrasing when it has mathematics first, purely from a copyediting perspective - it gives the sentence a better flow, but I'm not going to get involved in the edit war.

OBrien wrote:Kimmel Arena - Basketball - Basketball (ball) - [Ball - Ball (disambigution)]

I've only found two-page chains so far :(

That's because the original 'rules' were to ignore any links in the italicised 'comments' before the article begins, so, for example, you don't follow the link on the Ball page to the disambiguation article; you would follow the link to Sphere instead. From there it's sphere -> geometry -> earth -> planet -> orbit -> physics -> natural science -> science, which gets you into the loop above.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby katethegreat » Mon May 23, 2011 6:07 am UTC

Kolko wrote:My first attempt got me to Indo-European languages, language family, language, communication, meaningful, Aristotle, Greek language, Indo-European language. I got there starting with the Chromodoris quadricolor.

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I got to the same loop, starting with the Striped Pipet.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Dark Avorian » Mon May 23, 2011 10:44 am UTC

that's because you clicked the link for "Greek language" in the parenthetical etymology thing about Aristotles name.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby SlyReaper » Mon May 23, 2011 11:34 am UTC

Why are you stopping at Indo-European languages?

Indo-European Languages -> Language Family -> Language -> Communication -> Meaning (philosophy of language) -> Aristotle -> Greek -> Nation -> Sovereign State -> State (polity) -> Social Sciences -> Umbrella Term -> Superset -> Mathematics -> Quantity -> Property (philosophy) -> Modern Philosophy -> Philosopy -> [previously established loop].
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Felstaff » Mon May 23, 2011 12:16 pm UTC

Miquel Barceló studied in Palma, a city in Majorca, which itself is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea. The sea is a large body of water, and--interestingly enough--is a significant accumulation of water, which, as we all know, is a chemical substance; something referred to in the field of chemistry; a fundamental science, which is Latin for "knowledge". If you didn't know, knowledge is an accumulation of facts; verifiable objects of information, which in itself is a cognitive sequence of signals and symbols. Sequence, obviously, being a mathematical term, itself studying the structure of quantities (which, technically speaking, is a "property"-- a common term used to help the human mind create definition in modern philosophy, which, as its name implies, is the modern European interpretation of this little thing call philosophy).

Anyway! Miquel Barceló was not actually from Palma, but Felanitx, which is a Spanish municipality; an administrative geographical division assigned to local government. This bite-sized ruling administration exists because the area it covers is smaller than a state; a political institution referred to in the social sciences. This, naturally, is an umbrella term, which means a grouping of terms, or "superset" if you want to get all mathematical on us. Mathematics is the study of the structure of quantities (which, technically speaking, is a "property"-- a common term used to help the human mind create definition in modern philosophy, which, as its name implies, is the modern European interpretation of this little thing call philosophy).

Anyway, did you Miquel Barceló was a HUGE fan of Diego Velázquez, a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. For those of you not up to speed with what a royal court is; it's basically an extended household, which is a residential unit that is the social hub for most human lives, where such activities are carried out, including economic production; a system where human labour is inputted with the goal of creating a desired output. This established economic system has been studied intensely, and forms a fundamental concern for, sociologists. Sociology is the study of society at large, which is loosely defined upon the cumulative and complex fundamentals of interpersonal relationships, where human associations are formed, one of which is "limerance", an involuntary state of mind coined by Dorothy Tennov, a psychologist. A psychologist can be defined as a clinical professional who deals, amongst other things, with dysfunction, a term heavily used in psychology, which is in itself a recognised science (which is literally Latin for "knowledge") If you didn't know, knowledge is an accumulation of facts; verifiable objects of information, which in itself is a cognitive sequence of signals and symbols. Sequence, obviously, being a mathematical term, itself studying the structure of quantities (which, technically speaking, is a "property"-- a common term used to help the human mind create definition in modern philosophy, which, as its name implies, is the modern European interpretation of this little thing call philosophy).

Not only was Miquel Barceló a big follower of Velázquez, he also couldn't get enough Tintoretto - an Italian painter and a notable exponent of the Venetian Renaissance school; an academy that embraced the great social change of the Renaissance, a cultural movement that embraces a shift in approaches to all art forms...

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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Dark Avorian » Mon May 23, 2011 11:47 pm UTC

Ah, the infamous "reddit already knows, ya dumbshit!" shutdown...

Well anyway.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby diabolo » Tue May 24, 2011 10:10 am UTC

I believe the Sri Lanka article is creating an unresolved tension.
Wikipedia wrote:Sri Lanka (officially, The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka) (/ʃriː ˈlɑːŋkə/), /sriːˈlɑːŋkə/, or /sriːˈlæŋkə/; Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Tamil: இலங்கை) is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent.

broken parentheses!
Should we follow the link on "Indian subcontinent" and go Indian_Continent -> Indian_subcontinent -> ... -> Earth_sciences -> Science -> ... and end in the Philosophy loop ?
Or follow the link on "Sinhala" (it isn't preceded by any unmatched left parentheses so it isn't parenthesized, right?) and end up in a Sri_Lanka -> Sinhalese_people -> Sinhala_language -> Sri_Lanka loop?
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby phlip » Tue May 24, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

Or you could, y'know, fix them. It is a wiki, after all.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Vaskafdt » Wed May 25, 2011 4:11 am UTC

Check the latest (903) xkcd comic title text.. it speaks exactly about this. :)
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby SlyReaper » Wed May 25, 2011 5:49 am UTC

I came here to post that, but was beaten to it. *shakes angry fist*
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Manial » Wed May 25, 2011 9:34 am UTC

I stumbled across Patient -> Therapy -> Medical diagnosis -> Disease -> Symptom -> Patient the other day.

But someone broke it by linking 'abnormal' on the Disease page, which of course sucks you back into the Philosophy loop. :cry:
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby phlip » Wed May 25, 2011 11:47 am UTC

I made a graph from 50 different random pages (picked by Special:Random):
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The starting pages are in green. Disambig pages are dark grey and dashed, redirects are lighter grey and dotted. Nonexistent pages are in red. More popular nodes are bigger.

So of the 50 pages: 46 ended in the Philosophy loop (and of those, 45 entered it via Philosophy, one via Reason), 1 ended in a different loop via "Common law", 2 ended on (the same) redlink, and 1 didn't have any links on it all.

I'm still running the script, to make an even bigger graph. And looking into how to control graphviz more indepth-ly... I'd like to generate a graph with "Philosophy" in the centre, and having it expand outwards, like the xkcd Collatz graph. (If someone knows how to do that, let me know!)
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Felstaff » Wed May 25, 2011 11:52 am UTC

I love how Todd Nicholson is sat there, orphaned, all on his Todd.

Take that, you Paralympian sledge ice-hockey player!
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Bisquick99 » Wed May 25, 2011 12:12 pm UTC

I think this one works. I found a random page.

Osnağaküçə -> Ambu, Azerbaijan -> Lerik Rayon (click on town) -> Lerik -> Lerik Rayon
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Vaskafdt » Wed May 25, 2011 12:47 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:I love how Todd Nicholson is sat there, orphaned, all on his Todd.

Take that, you Paralympian sledge ice-hockey player!



I fixed him. :)
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby phlip » Wed May 25, 2011 2:25 pm UTC

Much bigger graph from 200 starting pages:
200pages.png

There's a not-insignificant component in the corner of pages that feed into [[System]], which has (or, at least, had, when it was downloaded) a redlink as its first link. Though I'm sure that if [[relational regime]] existed, it would lead to [[Philosophy]] pretty quickly.

Note that all my fetches from Wikipedia are cached, to avoid hitting their servers too much, so I haven't picked up any changes to pages that appeared on the previous graph (like [[Todd Nicholson]] having outgoing links now).
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Ouch.jars » Wed May 25, 2011 2:34 pm UTC

Has anyone tried this in other languages?

All the random articles on the Russian Wikipedia I tried fall into this loop:
Наука (science)
Познание (cognition)
Метод (method)
Систематизация (systematisation (according to Google Translate))
Теория множеств (set theory)
Математика (mathematics)

EDIT: So this is my 100th post, eh? ... Yay?
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby phlip » Wed May 25, 2011 3:56 pm UTC

I've made a writeup of the graph, if anyone's curious.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Evadman » Wed May 25, 2011 3:58 pm UTC

phlip wrote:Much bigger graph from 200 starting pages

That is a cool graph, what software did you use to create it?
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Wed May 25, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

RebeccaRGB wrote:Cool, it's like the Wikipedia version of the Collatz Conjecture.

Collatz conjecture -> Conjecture -> Proposition (philosophy) -> Logic -> Inference -> Deductive reasoning -> Reasoning -> Rationality -> Academic discipline -> Academia -> Community -> Group (disambiguation page) -> Group (mathematics) -> Mathematics -> Quantity -> Property (philosophy) -> Modern philosophy -> Philosophy -> Reason -> Rationality

The loop is in the form Philosophy -> Reason -> Rationality -> (repeat), thus Rationality should lead to Philosophy. Why did Rationality lead to Academic discipline when you did it?
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby RebeccaRGB » Wed May 25, 2011 5:10 pm UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:Why did Rationality lead to Academic discipline when you did it?

At the time I did it, the Rationality article started thusly:
The term "rationality" is used differently in different disciplines.

In philosophy...
Stephen Hawking: Great. The entire universe was destroyed.
Fry: Destroyed? Then where are we now?
Al Gore: I don't know. But I can darn well tell you where we're not—the universe!
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby egor83 » Wed May 25, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

phlip wrote:I've made a writeup of the graph, if anyone's curious.
Awesome job, thanks! :)
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Phylore » Wed May 25, 2011 8:11 pm UTC

So is it ironic that out of all the pages Computer software and Computer program don't follow this rule and instead get stuck in a simple loop?
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby teelo » Wed May 25, 2011 10:37 pm UTC

I'm stuck in an infinite loop! QUICK, someone sabotage the Philosophy article to break me out of this loop! QUICK! My circuits are about to implode!!!!!
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby mmark9094 » Thu May 26, 2011 1:32 am UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livestock_ ... ch_Network

Originally had no links other than a footnote, and I showed it to my friend. Then he added livestock. :x
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Dark567 » Thu May 26, 2011 3:00 am UTC

phlip wrote:I've made a writeup of the graph, if anyone's curious.

Somebody has definitely been following your write up and altering it to make sure the philosophy loop ends for everything.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby Spoom » Thu May 26, 2011 3:06 am UTC

Bonus points for anyone who can make this end in the article Recursion, and have the first link in that be a link to itself.
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Re: Wikipedia, first link loops

Postby animeHrmIne » Thu May 26, 2011 3:56 am UTC

Ouch.jars wrote:Has anyone tried this in other languages?

All the random articles on the Russian Wikipedia I tried fall into this loop:
Наука (science)
Познание (cognition)
Метод (method)
Систематизация (systematisation (according to Google Translate))
Теория множеств (set theory)
Математика (mathematics)


Before I tried it in Spanish, I wanted to see if a Philosophy loop even existed. It does, but it's really long. It's Filosofía => Existencia => Mundo => Planeta => Redefinición de planeta de 2006 => 2006 => Anexo:Año común comenzado en domingo => Domingo => Semana => Tiempo => Magnitud física => Objeto (filosofía) => Filosofía

I got a bit worried around Planet and Time that it would shoot off and never return, but it did.

Also, when I do "biologist" I get Biologist => Scientist => System => Elements => Mathematics which does eventually get to Philosophy. The link says "Systematic", but it links to system.
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