0903: "Extended Mind"

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scottmsul
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby scottmsul » Fri May 27, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

Wikipedia has been edited on purpose to lead all articles back to philosophy. This is a "game" inside wikipedia that has been going on for a while now.

If you really want to see how articles naturally lead, do it in French. You'll still get to philosophy occasionally but not nearly as much.

Stargazer712
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Stargazer712 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:11 pm UTC

Ok, there is really nothing magical about the word "Philosophy". In fact, the same thing is true for Mortgage Loan (I'm not kidding--try it). The key is that you have to quit being star-struck by the idea and think about how it works.

Just follow me on this:

First, you have to think about the nature of Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia has a finite number of articles, so it is not possible to have an infinite sequence of article links--in other words, every sequence of articles must come to an end. The question is: in what way can any sequence of articles come to an end?

There are only two ways: You either enter a loop or find a dead-end (articles that contain no links). We can mostly exclude dead-end articles as they are rare. Wikipedia usually discourages the existence of articles that do not contain links, so you are unlikely to end up at one. With that said, the most common way that article trails end is by ending up in a loop (for example A -> B, B -> C, and C -> A ).

Now one of the unique things about loops is that any article that links to an article in a loop will eventually end up in the loop. for example, if article D links to E and E links to B, then we enter the loop of D -> E -> B -> C -> A -> B -> C -> A ... This is useful, because if we find a large loop that encompasses common concepts, then we we will find a large number of articles trails that will eventually enter the loop.

Now the question is, what happens when you start at Philosophy? Only two things can happen, so lets see:

Philosophy
Existence
Sense
Perception
Process
Mortgage Loan
Loan
Debt
Asset
Financial Accountancy
Accountancy
Business
Organization
Social Group
Social Cohesion
Social Policy
Human Welfare
International Development
Concept
Cognative
Science
Knowledge
Fact
Information
Sequence
Mathematics
Quantity
Property
Modern Philosophy
Philosophy

Philosophy is in the middle of a very large loop. That means that any article that links to any one of these articles will eventually end up at philosophy. (Not only that, but any article that ends up in this loop will eventually end up at every element, including Mortgage Loan, thus my statement earlier).

Now look at that list and look at some of the words. Mathematics, Science, Fact, Concept, Business ... its nothing but a huge loop full of general words. Any Wikipedia article that has anything to do with Math, Science, Facts, Concepts, or Business is likely to end up in the loop (and as a result is likely to end up hitting Philosophy).

Its nothing special (and it is definitely not a "game"), its just a result of the nature in which Wikipedia works--the larger and more generic the concepts in a loop, the more likely that you are going to end up at an article contained in the loop.

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SpringLoaded12
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:15 pm UTC

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anonexistentuser
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby anonexistentuser » Fri May 27, 2011 6:20 pm UTC

I started from "Garbage Pail Kids (TV Series), and wound up in a loop between "sense" and "perception".

sparrowhawk_
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby sparrowhawk_ » Fri May 27, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

hacked my way through 3 pages of other people`s paths to philosophy, but then gave up, so forgive me if some insightful soul has already said this but:

it`s not just random chance.

you can thank the language structure of encyclopedia entries for that. the first statements of articles are always reductive, because they`re trying to describe an unknown in broader terms. since we explain the world through reason, it stands that by making successively broader statements you`ll arrive at math and philosophy. the route you take to get there is a product of how obscure and specific your initial article was, in combination with the `noise`of which word exactly is the first link in each beginning sentence. sometimes this `noise`(or, as someone pointed out, bad editing) will produce a loop, but those will be the exception.

as pointed out by acatalepsy here: http://forums.spacebattles.com/showthread.php?t=191251

If the claim is true (that you always end up at philosophy) then everything after philosophy is the same for all articles. Note that the philosophy rule holds for philosophy.

It goes philosophy -> existence -> sense -> physiology -> knowledge -> facts -> information -> finite -> math -> quantity -> property -> modern philosophy -> philosophy.

So if you run into anything in that loop, you've terminated. But this also means that the statement (you can reach X by clicking the first link) is true for all of the above as well. But the point stands that you will not reach any destination by clicking the first link.

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby DragonHawk » Fri May 27, 2011 8:46 pm UTC

Hey, wow, I just discovered something: If you pick a random Wikipedia article, and click the first link in it, and keep doing that, you'll eventually get to "Philosophy"!
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teoryn
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby teoryn » Fri May 27, 2011 8:52 pm UTC

I downloaded wikipedia and did some analysis on this, it turns out 93.4% of articles lead to Philosophy following the rule, although ~2 months ago (4/5/11, the previous dump) only 55% did.

http://www.kevinstock.org/2011/05/following-the-first-link-on-wikipedia/

anwyn
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby anwyn » Fri May 27, 2011 9:12 pm UTC

I actually found a loop that breaks this. Try it with Large Hadron Collider. This was done with the first link on each page. Not first link seen from page position.

Spoiler:
LHC -> list of accelerators in particle physics -> particle accelerators -> electromagnetic field -> field -> physics -> Ancient Greek -> Greek language -> Greek -> Greeks -> nation -> sovereign state -> state -> social sciences [spoiler](this is where the trap begins!!!)
->fields -> academic -> community -> interacting -> causal -> events -> observable -> physics. [/spoiler]

minetruly
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby minetruly » Fri May 27, 2011 10:20 pm UTC

I tried what the ALT text suggested. I started at "poison ivy" and, after dozens of clicks, did indeed wind up at philosophy!

It's possible this technique will fail if you get stuck in a loop, such as finding "logic" as the first word in an article and then, a few clicks later, arriving at another article where "logic" must be clicked.

Another fun fact: You can get to any Wikipedia article by intelligently clicking the linked words in other articles. For example, you want to look up "corn syrup," but the article currently displaying is "Urdu." Chrome has a weird little recurring bug that makes this technique the only way I can surf the web sometimes.

meerta
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby meerta » Fri May 27, 2011 11:08 pm UTC

Seriously Wikipedia could be edited within two months to give an 55% to 95% change on articles leading to philosophy?!

And I justg tried it in German wiki, leaping over loops (which seems fair), it worked for three random articles.

Stargazer712

Ok, there is really nothing magical about the word "Philosophy". In fact, the same thing is true for Mortgage Loan (I'm not kidding--try it). The key is that you have to quit being star-struck by the idea and think about how it works.


But as far as I can see no one has said how this might be significant or if they think it is. You're offering a counter-hypothesis but there is no hypothesis to counter as yet. What are the criteria for it's being "nothing special" here, especially when it's to do with this partly arbitratry fact of the first hyperlink in an article?

Bobson
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Bobson » Fri May 27, 2011 11:34 pm UTC

anwyn wrote:I actually found a loop that breaks this. Try it with Large Hadron Collider. This was done with the first link on each page. Not first link seen from page position.

Spoiler:
LHC -> list of accelerators in particle physics -> particle accelerators -> electromagnetic field -> field -> physics -> Ancient Greek -> Greek language -> Greek -> Greeks -> nation -> sovereign state -> state -> social sciences [spoiler](this is where the trap begins!!!)
->fields -> academic -> community -> interacting -> causal -> events -> observable -> physics. [/spoiler]

You made a mistake from physics. Ancient Greek is in ()'s, so it's not valid. The correct path is to natural science.

zen massage
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby zen massage » Sat May 28, 2011 4:39 am UTC

heh, I started with tequila and made it there eventually...I did get to mathematics first though. Coincidence?

atrahasis
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby atrahasis » Sat May 28, 2011 11:04 am UTC

Hey, wow, I just discovered something: If you pick a random Wikipedia article, and click the first link in it, and keep doing that, you'll eventually get to "Philosophy"!

JiminP
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby JiminP » Sat May 28, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

I was curious, so I made this web application: http://ko-xkcd.host22.com/philwiki/

I know that there's many web application doing same thing, but anyway I made this :P

(warning : I made this for using privately, and overuse may add a line of ip-ban list of Wikipedia. :|)

I added another rule: don't consider links in templates. And, sequences from Physics or Biology to Philosophy are automated, to reduce traffic of Wikipedia server.

Anyway, at this time, Sense leads to Physiological.
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bibliophilea
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby bibliophilea » Sat May 28, 2011 6:47 pm UTC

As of this moment, this is the loop that contains "Philosophy":

Philosophy
Existence
Sense
Physiology
Science
Knowledge
Fact
Information
Sequence
Mathematics
Quantity
Property (philosophy)
Modern philosophy
Philosophy

This is not including boxes, which would eventually lead you to this loop:
Help:Category
MediaWiki
Wikipedia:Article size
Category:Wikipedia editing guidelines
Help:Category

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courierknew
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby courierknew » Sat May 28, 2011 9:50 pm UTC

Cheesecake > Dessert > Western Culture > Culture > Latin > Latium > Rome > Capital City > Seat of Local Government > Local Government > State (Polity) > Social Sciences > List of Academic Disciplines > Academia > Community >Interaction > Causality > Event > Observable > Physics > Natural Science > Science > Knowledge > Fact > Information > Sequence > Mathematics > Quantity > Property (Philosophy) > Modern Philosophy > Philosophy

LtNOWIS
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby LtNOWIS » Sat May 28, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

scottmsul wrote:Wikipedia has been edited on purpose to lead all articles back to philosophy. This is a "game" inside wikipedia that has been going on for a while now.

If you really want to see how articles naturally lead, do it in French. You'll still get to philosophy occasionally but not nearly as much.


Let's see:
In French, 8 random articles lead into large and small loops, while two lead to philosophy.

In German, 8 random articles lead to philosophy, with 2 ending in loops. Although it's tight a "philosophy-science-knowledge-truth-Wirklichkeit" loop, not just "philosophy." Wirklichkeit being a concept that Wikipedia can apparently only describe in German, Ukraninan, Russian, and old Belarusian,

In Spanish, I got 9 that lead to philosophy, and 1 that has no links.

In Italian, I get 10 loops.

In Polish, I get 7 "Culture-Science" loops, 2 "philosophy-essence" loops, and 1 "religion-faith-religious studies" loop.

In Japanese, I get 10 loops, mostly geographical.

So yeah, just different websites with different styles of linking.

atrahasis
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby atrahasis » Sun May 29, 2011 12:35 am UTC

Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Nodes are articles, edges are first links. 10,000 articles parsed, philosophy is down at the bottom left. Red edges are start points (fetched from Special:Random).

The huge vertical path is a link into the calendar of the Eastern Orthodox church, where each day's first link is a link to the previous day.

gojiraneko
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby gojiraneko » Sun May 29, 2011 4:51 am UTC

Telecommunication/Telecommunications loops with Transmission

mfb
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby mfb » Sun May 29, 2011 1:01 pm UTC

meerta wrote:Seriously Wikipedia could be edited within two months to give an 55% to 95% change on articles leading to philosophy?!

Just modify the philosophy-loop to exclude philosophy, and the fraction will drop to less than 55%.
"Quantity is a [[Mathematics|mathematical]] concept and a kind of property that can exist as magnitude or multitude."

And nearly 95% of all articles will end in a quantity <-> mathematics-loop (not going via philosophy) until someone reverts the edit.
Apart from some small loops, most articles go to some broad field like "mathematics", "europe", "language" and so on. So the fraction which actually leads to specific loops just depends on the link structure in these few, very important articles.

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Arancaytar
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Arancaytar » Sun May 29, 2011 1:06 pm UTC

Huh. Philosophy, Existence, Sense, Physiology, Science, Knowledge, Fact, Information, Sequence, Mathematics, Quantity, Property, Modern philosophy, and back to Philosophy.

So the conjecture is

1.) equally valid (or invalid) for any of the above articles as it is for philosophy, and
2.) definitely invalid for any other articles as the above don't lead to them.

Edit:

Transmissions (telecommunication) <-> Telecommunication.

Television leads into this loop, so that affects a lot of articles.
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boblehest
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby boblehest » Sun May 29, 2011 2:13 pm UTC

I've tested several articles that have earlier been claimed to go in a loop, though when I tested today the go to philosophy in VERY few clicks, seems like people are editing articles to conform to this rule.

atrahasis
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby atrahasis » Sun May 29, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Hey, wow, I just discovered something: If you pick a random Wikipedia article, and click the first link in it, and keep doing that, you'll eventually get to "Philosophy"!

Hawker Hedin
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Hawker Hedin » Sun May 29, 2011 8:14 pm UTC

Found one case of a two article loop, clicking the random article button. Go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanjit_Biswas

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Eternal Density » Mon May 30, 2011 1:25 am UTC

When I started, Philosophy was in a 3-article loop. So, yeah.
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Nnelg
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Nnelg » Mon May 30, 2011 5:02 am UTC

Hm, I believe I know why this works: the majority of articles pass through science and then (eventually) mathematics, from which it goes on soon to philosophy.

With a single well-placed edit, anyone could make it so that very few articles will make it to philiosophy; I know the perfect place for it...

I'm afraid I might have already said too much though, for if this knowledge fell into the wrong hands it might cause an edit armeggedon on a scale never before seen.....

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby ConMan » Mon May 30, 2011 6:02 am UTC

Hey, wow, I just discovered something: If you pick a random forum thread, and click the next page link in it, and keep doing that, you'll notice that lots of people don't bother reading the whole thread and post functionally identical things!

[Meta-note: Going to try turning my sarcasm/be-a-dick meters down a few notches now.]
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rabidwolf0817
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby rabidwolf0817 » Mon May 30, 2011 7:12 am UTC

Hey, not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but I found a page that (at the time of my adding this link) didn't ever make it to philosophy by the described method.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_Munyoki_Mutunga

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PureFerret
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby PureFerret » Mon May 30, 2011 11:06 am UTC

@Rabid: That article is what I would call 'badly formatted' it has several possible links you could add. The ones that I find defy the rule are those that are subsets or link to one of their subsets of a larger entity. E.g., Olympic weightlifting and Tsunamis, and Soviet Union.

I would be interesting to plot a list/graph of articles by loops size and commonality (how may articles feed into it's loop) and arrange them in a sort-of mandelbrot set.

You could rephrase the rules also: Any article that does not link to a more general topic, is poorly formatted. For instance, Tsunami should link to geology, Olympic weightlifting should go to Olympic etc.

Thoughts?

happyjoyjoy98
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby happyjoyjoy98 » Mon May 30, 2011 4:10 pm UTC

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


Really? Well, I checked those two and it worked for me.

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Eternal Density
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Eternal Density » Tue May 31, 2011 2:29 am UTC

Wait, there's a wikipedia page titled Olympic weightlifting and Tsunamis?
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grayvsgrey
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby grayvsgrey » Tue May 31, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

The wiki on xkcd goes through webcomic -> comics -> Greek language -> Greeks -> Nation -> Sovereign state -> Federated state -> State (polity) -> Social sciences -> List of academic disciplines -> Academia -> Community -> Interaction -> Causality -> Event (philosophy) -> Philosophy. As others have noted, the link path goes through science/math (with "Community"). Interestingly, "Paul Bernardo" takes most of the same path. Finally, after 15 links, "Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (my favorite enzyme) gets to "Greek language" -> -> Philosophy.
I'd imagine by now, xkcd users have "fixed" any non-compliant wikis posted on the forums.

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jjane
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby jjane » Tue May 31, 2011 7:26 pm UTC

Philosophy - Existence - Philosophy - Existence - Philosophy - Existence - Philosophy - Existence - Philosophy - Existence - Philosophy - Existence - Philosophy - Existence - Philosophy - Existence - Philosophy - Existence -

etc etc etc

webgrunt
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby webgrunt » Tue May 31, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

Stargazer712 wrote:Philosophy is in the middle of a...loop.


So are the comments for this thread, apparently.

Sien
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Sien » Tue May 31, 2011 8:56 pm UTC

I must say that this really reminds me of the Collatz Conjecture. Mostly the idea of a "web" of numbers/articles that once you reach, it ultimately leads you to 1/philosophy.

So, yeah... keep bringing the loops!

Phthisis
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Phthisis » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:33 am UTC

I found an exception to the Philosophy rule:

Typing in "Creature" or "Organism" will get you in a loop between the two.

Also, the reason this works most of the time is that Wikipedia articles always start out with the abstract. So, for most articles you will always link to a page of an equal or higher level of abstraction until you come to terms defined only in philosophy.

An easy way to know if you are on the doomed path to Philosophy when playing this little game is if you ever come to a page that has to do with Humans (or humanities), science, academia, life, or mathematics. All of these are doomed to be described by philosophy at their most abstracted level. Anything is, really, its just a matter of whether or not you can find a loop that exists where a higher level of abstraction could have been!

grayvsgrey
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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby grayvsgrey » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:44 am UTC

zen massage wrote:heh, I started with tequila and made it there eventually...I did get to mathematics first though. Coincidence?

Don't you get to philosophy through some pathway anytime you start with tequila, whether you're on wikipedia or not?

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby KayDat » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:02 pm UTC

WD-40 -> Trademark -> Sign (semiotics) -> Semiotics -> Sign (semiotics) -> Semiotics etc etc

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Re: #903: Extended MInd

Postby Algrokoz » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:36 pm UTC

doogly wrote:It is actually true if you start at "Spark Plug." It is not necessary to check any other page.

Necessary maybe not, but I tried Marquis de Sade, Rubber duck, and Chernobyl. All ended up there. The weirdest part is that after philosophy it forms an endless loop with the page metaphysics. O_o

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Re: 0903: "Extended Mind"

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:00 pm UTC

... oh my god, I just remembered that on xkcd, it is impossible to make observations about Wikipedia without affecting Wikipedia.

New theory: Randy just successfully trolled Wikipedia again. Remember Malamanteau. :lol:
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