0903: "Extended Mind"

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Clayh » Thu May 26, 2011 12:52 am UTC


And 'puppet' is not a loop, nor is computer science, unless someone fixed them. It seem like once you get to 'Information", "Science", or "Mathematics", it takes you to "Philosophy".

EDIT: Did i seriously just use the word 'nor'?

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Duban » Thu May 26, 2011 1:00 am UTC

Not true. The first link from Starcraft 2 will eventually bring you into an infinite loop.

Ironically, this loop includes Aristotle with the starting statement "... is a Greek Philosopher" with greek being the first link and philosophy being the second.

Edit: Nevermind -_-, they "fixed" it since the last time I checked. It seems someone altered Language so now the first option that isn't in parenthesis is "human" instead of Communication.
Last edited by Duban on Thu May 26, 2011 1:07 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby PakstraX » Thu May 26, 2011 1:04 am UTC

I started from "Human papillomavirus" and ended up in a Greek language>Greeks>Greek language loop. Though the trivia should be logical and true if you don't follow the links in brackets. The first sentence of almost every article leads to a more general term and Philosophy is the most general of all so it should be the final destination.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Eternal Density » Thu May 26, 2011 1:06 am UTC

Looks like Randall has prompted a new kind of wikipedia vandalism!
Here's another sequence I just ran:

Tron: Legacy (soundtrack) -> Daft Punk -> Electronic music -> Electronic musical instrument -> Musical instrument -> Sound -> Mechanical wave -> Transmission medium -> Solid -> State of matter -> Phase (matter) -> Outline of physical science -> Life sciences -> Fields of science -> Terminology -> Word -> Language -> Human -> Taxonomy -> Science -> Knowledge -> Fact -> Information -> Finite set -> Mathematics -> Quantity -> Property -> philosophy) -> Modern philosophy -> Philosophy

Actually I started with Daft Punk, then I edited Tron: Legacy (soundtrack) so the link to French is now second :P
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Clayh » Thu May 26, 2011 1:23 am UTC

Just saw that Wikipedia's official Facebook page posted this comic!

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Re: #903: Extended MInd

Postby harryjohnston » Thu May 26, 2011 1:24 am UTC

Draco18s wrote:You're half right. Oral History leads to a loop

Not any more. Oral History -> historical -> history -> Greek -> Greeks -> nation -> sovereign state -> state -> social sciences -> etc.

Looks like someone recently eliminated the loop by making the word "historical" a link. I suspect this is not a coincidence. :D

History of the world also loops.

This is also no longer true!

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Re: #903: Extended MInd

Postby harryjohnston » Thu May 26, 2011 1:27 am UTC

Draco18s wrote:...I have just wasted 20 minutes trying to find a counterexample which is not a loop.

Do you mean, which does not loop back to the original article? Clearly you always have to end in a loop eventually (as there are only a finite number of articles) so the only question is whether you reach Philosophy first or not.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby mtz » Thu May 26, 2011 1:27 am UTC

Randall loves trolling with his alt-text.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Crayshack » Thu May 26, 2011 1:27 am UTC

The "Road" loop seems to have been fixed. But path leads to a disambiguation so I think it might be cheating.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

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

SirMustapha wrote:
Samik wrote:I'm not sure just continuing to include further examples is really bringing anything to this thread at this point.

But... but... look at all the people that don't have anything worthwhile to do! What are they going to do now??

Right. But take a look at the difference between the way I said it and the way you said it.

That probably doesn't bother you one bit, but I just didn't want there to be the appearance that we're on the same side on... anything, really.

I'm sorry but clearly you're not very popular around here and if I'm going to make any progres at all I can't be directly assosiated with you...I'm sure you'll understand.

Clayh wrote:EDIT: Did i seriously just use the word 'nor'?

What's wrong with 'nor'? I thought it was still pretty much in common usage. I use it whenever appropriate, and have never once been called out on it.

I think you're safe in this case!

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Teseract » Thu May 26, 2011 1:35 am UTC

.... etc.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Mego » Thu May 26, 2011 1:48 am UTC

I'm not going to lie, I made an account mainly to reply to this thread.

I've been trying out the trivia in the alt-text, and clicking Random Article actually gave me Philosophy as the first article. I wasn't sure if this counted, so I went through with it, and ended up in the reason-rationality loop (which does not lead back to philosophy, despite what the before-linked article says - I'm tempted to remove the hyperlink to reason on the rationality page just to fix this). Quite disappointing.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby woddfellow2 » Thu May 26, 2011 1:50 am UTC

Another one:
  • Sneak Prevue
  • Pay-per-view
  • Television
  • Telecommunication
  • Transmission (telecommunications)
  • List of academic disciplines (Redirected from Field of study)
  • Academia
  • Community
  • Interaction (Redirected from Interacting)
  • Action theory (philosophy) (Redirected from Action (philosophy))
  • Philosophy
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Re: #903: Extended MInd

Postby MisterCheif » Thu May 26, 2011 2:10 am UTC

sargeras0000 wrote:The alt text is incorrect. There are several articles ("computer software" and "oral history" for instance) that will trap you in loops.

It's rather funny - I'd talked about this with a friend of mine a couple days ago, and I've spent the last few looking for those loops and planning to write some code to find all of them.

"Social Sciences," "Scholarly Method," "Principle," "Law," "Institution," and "Social Structures" are part of another loop, that I got to starting from "Abatai, Rennel Island," and going through "Sovereign State" and "State (polity)."

Wikipedia is...interesting...
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Fire Tock » Thu May 26, 2011 2:15 am UTC

Philosophy -> Philopsophy

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Streamheat » Thu May 26, 2011 2:19 am UTC

I started with "Spice Girls" and made it to Philosophy through Mathematics


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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Pyrophile » Thu May 26, 2011 2:31 am UTC

The philosophy thing is pretty nice, but starting at Google - picked at random - I only came within three links of it, at 'scholarship'. Then I got stuck in a loop when I forgot that the etymological brief is in parentheses and started clicking on those absent-mindedly; needless to say, I quickly got stuck in a loop between "greeks" and "greek language".

Oh, never mind, I backtracked and did it properly, and I'm there. What do you wanna bet this strip is going to cause some rather notable pageview bumps?

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby cogitoergocogito » Thu May 26, 2011 3:03 am UTC

Doesn't work for TVTropes :(

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Atma21 » Thu May 26, 2011 3:13 am UTC

You won't get there from sphincter. Your asshole will not lead to philosophy.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Agrajag619 » Thu May 26, 2011 3:24 am UTC

Apologies if someone has posted this already, but there is a page at Wikipedia:Get to philosophy which has been around since May 2008. Their record for longest chain is 36 articles. Has this thread surpassed that already?

EDIT: It seems it was even featured on the Wikipedia Weekly podcast. Cool!

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Randomizer » Thu May 26, 2011 3:39 am UTC

kensey wrote:(Why am I getting an error about jsMath TeX fonts at the top of the page?)
You have javascript turned off. It does that to me too when I don't have javascript enabled.

To read what's in spoiler tags you need javascript turned on. It also allows things like

Code: Select all

 [imath]\displaystyle\sum\limits_{n=1}^\infty \frac{3}{4^n}=1[/imath]
to be converted into pretty mathematical symbols. Like this: [imath]\displaystyle\sum\limits_{n=1}^\infty \frac{3}{4^n}=1[/imath]

Not sure if there's anything else that javascript does on this forum.
Last edited by Randomizer on Thu May 26, 2011 3:44 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Draco18s » Thu May 26, 2011 3:41 am UTC

BlandSauce wrote:
Draco18s wrote:...I have just wasted 20 minutes trying to find a counterexample which is not a loop.
I don't think that's possible.

EDIT: Dead ends are another possibility.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner. A dead end is an example of a non-loop end condition of the Wikipedia Link Game!

Eternal Density wrote:We should totally make an application which scrapes all the first links in all wikipedia articles and finds all the loops and then determines what percentage of articles are directed to each loop. For science. And so we know how correct/incorrect Randall is.

And that is also an end condition of the Wikipedia Link Game: write an application to lose twenty dollars and my self respect <-- that is not what I want here. "Lose this particular game which I am referencing" (without ever playing). Also, someone already did.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Ducky0 » Thu May 26, 2011 3:44 am UTC

"skeletal muscle" loops

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby otis fulano » Thu May 26, 2011 3:53 am UTC

"Leonard Nimoy" does not lead to "philosophy".

Also, did you notice that most of the time you arrive at "mathematics" before coming to "philosophy"?

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby synaemnid » Thu May 26, 2011 4:03 am UTC

I found this today by pure coincidence, following article links (Michael Spivak -> Spivak pronoun -> Nomic -> Mornington Crescent -> Wikington Crescent):


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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby linuxamoeba » Thu May 26, 2011 4:04 am UTC

I reach Science first in 70% (+/- 10% stat) of "Random Article" trials.

Number of clicks for Philosophy (Science):
- Constitution of El Salvador: 13 (17)
- Sasson Khakshouri: 19 (10)
- Frank R. Bowerman Landfill: 20 (11)
- Peace Park (disambiguation): 12 (3)
- Talant Dyshebaev: 21 (12)
- Rafting: 32 (36)
- Theis: 18 (9)
- Gasoline price website: 22 (13)
- Melon Kinenbi: 20 (11)
- Keene Springs Hotel: 12 (16)

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby gos » Thu May 26, 2011 4:24 am UTC

Hit a random article, and the link worked correctly in 19 steps:

Asko Cylinda
Sweden (Swedish redirect)
Property (Philosophy)
Modern Philosophy

Neat trick, I'm sure someone has a Bacon graph of the entire site somewhere, but the first link restriction makes it interesting.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Adavistic Puma » Thu May 26, 2011 4:50 am UTC

Made me lol, when i tested the alt text using the 'Server Name Indication' article, and got to Philosophy in just 12 steps
But that one does go through Mathematics, which seems to have been "fixed" recently.

This is probably the most gentle xkcd-inspired mass vandalism to strike Wikipedia so far...

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby BitRoyal » Thu May 26, 2011 4:56 am UTC

When you pick a random article, and journey through Wikipedia given the instructions (click the first link in the article that is neither italicized nor enclosed in parentheses), there are two possible outcomes:

-- Dead end. An article containing no links.
-- A loop.

I'm guessing this specific claim seems to work so well because the [Philosophy -> Existence -> Senses -> Physiology -> Science -> Knowledge -> Fact -> Information -> Finite set -> Mathematics -> Quantity -> Property (philosophy) -> Modern philosophy -> Philosophy] loop is probably the easiest loop to enter. Most of the articles in this loop are very broad and non-specific (e.g. Knowledge, Mathematics, Science), and many articles give a broad overview in the initial paragraph, so it make sense a decent number of articles would contain one of these as the first link.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby ritvax » Thu May 26, 2011 5:00 am UTC

BrianB wrote:
ritvax wrote:Wondering how long it will take the Spark Plugs article to get a new "In Popular Culture" section with an entry, ""Spark plugs were the central theme of the May 25, 2011 edition of the popular webcomic XKCD."



Looks like it was redacted already.
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby ritvax » Thu May 26, 2011 5:01 am UTC

philip1201 wrote:"Spark plugs" were central to the 25th of may xkcd wikipedia shutdown incident, where the highest number of pages had to be locked in a single day?

You'd think an alarm goes off at WikiQuarters whenever a new xkcd comes out that references Wikipedia or a specific article... "This article has been locked due to xkcd."
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Gaschowin » Thu May 26, 2011 5:12 am UTC

I am pleased to announce that this is, in fact, compatible with Wikipedia's article on 'boobs'. It did redirect to 'breasts', unfortunately... The word 'breasts' just doesn't have that perky, youthful feel to them that 'boobs' do! Breasts don't roll off the tongue quite nearly as nicely as boobs.

That's enough, I should probably change my pants...

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby LSN » Thu May 26, 2011 5:17 am UTC

I wonder what a map of Wikipedia links would look like.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Eternal Density » Thu May 26, 2011 5:18 am UTC

cogitoergocogito wrote:Doesn't work for TVTropes :(
I figured I'd give it a try, again ignoring italic and parenthetical links. Also I'm skipping self-links after acknowledging them.
Wikipedia -> Star Trek -> Long Runners -> Network To The Rescue -> Cancellation -> Screwed By The Network -> Network Executives -> Screwed By The Network
Hmm, I guess Screwed By The Network would be a poetic end for everything :P

Let's try some more then.
XKCD -> Stick Figure Comic -> Stick Figure Comic -> ok let's take the next link... Webcomics -> Exactly What It Says on the Tin -> Word Salad Title -> Gratuitous English -> Anime Tropes -> Anime -> Manga -> Anime :(

Let's see where the Home Page takes us:
Home Page -> Trope -> Trope -> ok let's try the second link... Trope -> how about the third link... Trope -> fourth link... Trope -> fifth link... Bad Writing -> Pot Hole -> Text Formatting Rules -> Wiki Sandbox -> Green Rocks -> Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors -> Elemental Powers -> Elemental Baggage -> Elemental Powers.
Hmm, interesting.

Stargate Verse -> Stargate Verse -> Plausible Deniability -> Science Fiction -> Science Fiction -> Steam Punk -> Speculative Fiction -> Science Fiction Versus Fantasy -> Suspended Animation -> Human Popsicle -> Time Travel -> Adventure Towns -> The Drifter -> The Drifter -> Adventure Towns
Given that I expect a lot of things will point at Science Fiction, Speculative Ficition, or Time Travel, Adventure Towns is probably a pretty popular destination. Well, not for Star Trek. Let's see...

Farscape -> Space Opera -> Tropes In Space -> Alien Tropes -> Film: Alien -> Body Horror -> Baleful Polymorph -> Curse -> Forbidden Fruit -> Schmuck Bait - > Big Red Button -> molly-guard... oh wait that's on wiktionary... Big Red Button -> Context Sensitive Button -> The Future -> The Future -> Twenty Minutes Into The Future -> The Future.

Star Wars -> Heroes [the trope, not the show] -> The Hero -> The Captain -> The Squad -> The Squad -> Command Roster -> Cool Ship -> The Captain
There's something funny about Star Wars going to The Captain but Star Trek to Screwed By The Network

Doctor Who -> The BBC -> CNN -> Twenty Four Hour News Networks -> Networks -> YMMV -> Complete Monster -> Moral Event Horizon -> Event horizon -> General relativity -> Geometry -> Earth -> Planet -> Orbit -> Physics -> Natural Science -> Science -> Knowledge -> Fact -> Information -> Finite set -> Matchematics -> Quantity -> Property (philosophy) -> Modern philosophy -> Philosophy!
But if we don't take the link to Wikipedia :P then
Doctor Who -> The BBC -> CNN -> Twenty Four Hour News Networks -> Networks -> YMMV -> Complete Monster -> Moral Event Horizon -> Moral Event Horizon -> Kick The Dog -> Karmic Protection -> Card-Carrying Villain -> My Card -> Card-Carrying Villain

Firefly -> redirects to Series: Firefly -> Firefly -> redirects to Series: Firefly -> let's get on with this... Science Fiction -> ok finally something that links to science fiction as for Stargate Verse

Stargate SG-1 -> Stargate SG-1 -> Science Fiction... -> Adventure Towns
Stargate Atlantis -> Stargate SG-1 ...
Stargate Universe -> Stargate Verse ...

Star Trek: The Original Series -> Star Trek ... -> Screwed By The Network
Star Trek: The Next Generation -> Star Trek: The Next Generation -> Gene Roddenberry -> Star Trek ...
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -> Star Trek ...
Star Trek: Voyager -> Star Trek ...
Star Trek: Enterprise -> Spin Off -> More Popular Spinoff -> Adaptation Displacement -> Adaptation Displacement -> Ret Canon -> Lost In Imitation -> Adaptation Decay -> In Name Only -> Sequelitis -> Sturgeon's Law -> Home Page (seriously, the link is way down the page too) ... -> Elemental Powers.

Battlestar Galactica -> Star Wars ... -> The Captain
Caprica -> Battlestar Galactica (duh) ... -> The Captain
Red Dwarf -> Brit Com -> Brit Com -> Sit Com -> Sit Com -> Sit Com (seriously!) -> Three Cameras -> Desilu Studios -> Gene Roddenberry -> Star Trek... -> Screwed By The Network
Sanctuary -> Web Original -> Shaped Like Itself -> Buffy Speak -> Shaped Like Itself
Eureka -> SyFy -> (redirects to) Sci Fi Channel -> NBC -> ABC -> Walt Disney -> Oswald The Lucky Rabbit -> Walt Disney
Warehouse 13 -> Manchurian Agent -> Memory Gambit -> Laser-Guided Amnesia -> Easy Amnesia -> Laser-Guided Amnesia
Chuck -> Hollywood Nerd -> Real Life -> Real Is Brown -> The Nineties -> Grunge -> Alternative Rock -> Pavement -> Trope Makers -> Trope Makers -> Ur Example -> Sugar Wiki: Most Triumphant Example -> Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure -> Excellent Adventure -> All Just a Dream -> Or Was It A Dream? -> Dream Sequence -> All Just a Dream (triple loop)
Fringe -> J. J. Abrams -> Showrunner -> Jumping The Shark -> Put on a Bus -> Prime Time Soap -> Soap Opera -> Melodrama -> World Of Ham -> Dark World -> Cosmic Horror Story -> Nietzsche Wannabe -> Hannibal Lecture -> Perp Sweating -> Perp Sweating -> Good Cop/Bad Cop -> Perp Sweating

Definitely proves cogitoergocogito's point that you can't do this with TVTropes.
[edit] made initial pages bold for clarity
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby hazelorb » Thu May 26, 2011 5:24 am UTC

For those of you writing scripts, you know about the wikipedia api right?
Also, you should make sure it follows all of Wikipedia:Get_to_Philosophy#Rules
Do their rules imply italics are okay, just not in disambiguation headers??

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby doggitydogs » Thu May 26, 2011 5:26 am UTC

:shock: Just switched to one of my Wikipedia tabs, clicked "random article," followed the instructions in the alt-text exactly, and ended up at "Philosophy" after seventeen clicks. (The article the random button gave me was John C. Sheehan.)

Without looking through eleven pages of thread :lol: , has anyone written a program yet to categorize every Wikipedia article by the number of clicks it takes for this to work?

Interestingly, it takes fourteen clicks to make this work for the "Philosophy" article itself. :|

It also takes nineteen clicks from "xkcd," :D twelve clicks from "narwhal," and fifteen clicks from "Windows Server 2003." :wink:

Philosophy numbers are the new Erdős numbers. :roll:

You don't need a Wikipedia article on yourself for that, either. Just use your hometown. For example, my hometown's philosophy number is nine. I have a friend whose hometown's philosophy number is twenty-four.

Geeks could use their favorite operating system (if it's not thirteen, you need a new OS), Web browser (many are 15, but all the really awesome ones are 20), or webcomic (that would be 19, as I've mentioned already :D ).

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby scottmsul » Thu May 26, 2011 5:53 am UTC

Guys, do you really think it is just a coincidence that everything happens to lead back to philosophy? Maybe it's something about the nature of philosophy itself, the ultimate field of generalization. Surely, it's no coincidence that every article leads back to the all-encompassing field that is Philosophy, right?

WRONG. I'm afraid we're dealing with a much deeper conspiracy than that. If only it were that simple.


Apparently this game has been going on for a while now. Unfortunately, the players of this game have gone so far as to change articles to lead to philosophy instead of looping. Articles used to loop much more than you'd expect. Makes you wonder if philosophy is really all that deep, or philosophers just do everything they can to make it seem like so :D .

Unfortunately this game has changed articles for the worse, in the name of philosophy. In the posted link you'll see a bunch of links connected by arrows, with some crossed off and marked "changed," meaning "mission accomplished, it now links to philosophy instead!" Look at one such crossed off chain:

Loop: Natural science → Science → System → Entities → Entity → Existence → Sense → Organism → Biology → Natural science. Changed.

Apparently "Natural science" looped back to "Natural Science" without ever encountering the dreaded P article. Let's see what they changed by starting at natural science, and see where it breaks off from the older chain. Natural Science still leads to Science. But what's this? Science leads to "Knowledge," not "System." Let's see how how they might have edited the article.

The current opening paragraph for "science" is: "Science (from Latin: scientia meaning "knowledge") is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world." The first link here is "knowledge" not "system." Let's look at an older article to see where they may have changed it. From April 2010:
"The word Science can also refer to any systematic knowledge or prescriptive practice that is capable of resulting in a correct prediction." They removed the word "systematic!"

Original, older Science: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Science&oldid=353969905

This is not the only instance of a page edited in the name of philosophy. Every set of arrows at the bottom of the first link represents an older loop that has been changed. Many of the pages are locked now, so good luck changing them back. Just thought I'd let you guys know.

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Re: #903: Extended MInd

Postby ConMan » Thu May 26, 2011 6:01 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Schadenfreude wrote:Damnit, it's pointless edits like this that are bad for wikipedia's credibility. Please stop. Wikipedia is not TV tropes. You're just making random edits so it'll comply with a throwaway joke from a friggin' comic.

That's a phenomenon people with actual lives call "Randallism". It can range from adding a link to xkcd on the article for "Telephone" because the latest strip has a telephone in it, to downright spoiling the article for the sake of stupid jokes that that.

Though the alt-text today isn't a joke, because there's no humour. And it's not a fact, because it's wrong. So what is it? A way to manipulate the mass of xkcd fanboys? A way to distract from the absolutely tired and lame joke in the comic itself?

That's funny, because I know several people with actual lives and none of them have ever referred to Randallism. In fact, the only person I've ever heard use it is you, and your life appears to involve accusing the people who like xkcd of not having an actual life, and personally I would consider the people who read xkcd to have more "actual life" than someone who does that (obligatory tangentially-related xkcd link: http://www.xkcd.com/359/).

Also, just like the people who want to name this game after Randall or xkcd are missing the fact that it appeared on Reddit some time ago, your name for the effect misses the fact that the same is true of any comedian who makes fun of Wikipedia - hence why I personally call it "The Colbert Effect" since the biggest examples I know of (which happen to predate most similar xkcd examples) relate to Stephen Colbert, particularly his discussions on Wikiality, truthiness and elephants.
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby darkspork » Thu May 26, 2011 6:28 am UTC

No matter what I click on, I always seem to end up in a loop including Ancient Greek
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby BlitzGirl » Thu May 26, 2011 6:38 am UTC

darkspork wrote:No matter what I click on, I always seem to end up in a loop including Ancient Greek

You shouldn't, at least not at time of this post. Right now:
Ancient Greek - Greek language - Greeks - Nation
...and so forth to philosophy

The traffic map for the philosophy article is interesting:
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