The mother of science.

According to the mouse-over text  in http://xkcd.com/903/, “if you take any article (in Wikipedia), click on the first link in the article text not in parentheses or italics, and repeat, you will eventually end up in ‘Philosophy‘.” I just tried it. Here’s the sequence, which the phrases that create the first link, almost producing a series of Backus–Naur Form expressions.


I started with the old pen-and-paper role-playing game Gamma World, which I was looking up while writing about games, rules and authorship:

  • Gamma World is a science fantasy role-playing game . . .
  • Science fantasy is a mixed genre within speculative fiction . . .
  • cross-genre (or hybrid genre) is a genre in fiction . . . [1]
  • literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique . . . [2]
  • literary technique, literary method, literary devices, or literary motif is an identifiable rule of thumb . . .
  • rule of thumb is a principle . . .
  • principle is a law or rule . . .
  • Law is a system . . . 
  • System . . . is a set of elements . . . [3]
  • In mathematics, an element or member of a set . . .
  • Mathematics is the study of quantity . . .
  • Quantity is a kind of property . . .
  • In modern philosophy, mathematics and logic, a property is an attribute of an object . . .
  • Modern philosophy is a type of philosophy . . .
Wow. This should be automated.
  1. Mixed genre redirects to cross genre.
  2. Genre redirects to literary genre.
  3. If you violate the rule to ignore links in parentheses or italics, you wind up going to Latin, then Italic Language, Indo-European languages, Language family, language, human,  taxonomy, science . . . and eventually back to philosophy. It is possible to hit a loop at some point, depending on where you decide to adhere to the “no parentheses/italics” rule.


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s