hisham hm

Philosophy, the root of knowledge (in Wikipedia, at least!)

Just read this on XKCD 903:

“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”.

Tried it with a random article, the first one that came up in my Firefox autocompletion:

Brian Stowell → Isle of Man → Crown Dependencies → The Crown → Corporation sole → Legal personality → Entity (almost there! “philosophy” was the second link) → Existence → Sense → Physiology → Science → Knowledge → Fact → Information → Sequence → Mathematics → Quantity
Property (philosophy) → Modern philosophy → Philosophy

Beyond that it’s a loop Philosophy → Reason → Rationality → Philosophy.

Then I tried to pick something as far from philosophy as I could quickly think of:

Neymar → Association football → Team sport → Sport → Organization → Social group → Social sciences → List of academic disciplines → Academia → Community → Extant taxon → Biology → Natural science → Science → … → Philosophy

Turns out Wikipedians have already studied this phenomenon. Apparently, 94.5% of all English Wikipedia articles lead to “Philosophy”. Cool, huh? There is even a fun web app so you can play around with this.


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