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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » XKCD: So beautiful it deserves a new thread (Page 5)

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Author Topic: XKCD: So beautiful it deserves a new thread
Raymond Arnold
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I read it as "they were on the tail end of the estimates given 10 years ago, and 70% isn't actually all that certain." But I could read it as either way.

Regardless, it was very sad. I didn't quite cry but came close.

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rivka
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I'm guessing you have been fortunate enough not to have a close friend or relative with cancer. 5- and 10-year survival rates are frequently bandied about.
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Raymond Arnold
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I've been unfortunate enough to have a relative who was given an initial prognosis of "treatable", and then about 10 years later it wasn't treatable any more. (I can't recall if a specific time frame was given the first time around).
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Xavier
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The alt text for XKCD claims that if you click on the first link on a Wikipedia page (not in parenthesis or italics) you eventually will end up on Philosophy.

I chose a hockey player as my first try, and sure enough...

Sidney Crosby
Order of Nova Scotia
Civilian
International humanitarian law
Laws of war
Law
System
Cybernetics
Interdisciplinarity
List of academic disciplines
Knowledge
Fact
Information
Sequence
Mathematics
Quantity
Property (philosophy)
Modern philosophy
Philosophy

Second try, with everyone's favorite mammal:

Platypus
Aquatic mammal
Mammal
Class (biology)
Biological classification
Biologist
Scientist
System
Cybernetics
Interdisciplinarity
List of academic disciplines
Knowledge
Fact
Information
Sequence
Mathematics
Quantity
Property (philosophy)
Modern philosophy
Philosophy

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Xavier
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New game: try and find the longest chain [Smile] .
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kwsni
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Ok, this is going to be a tricky one:
Edit: I just chose a random article.

Gare de Saint-Germain-en-Laye Grande-Ceinture
Railway
Conveyance of passengers and goods
Goods
Commercial
Business
Goods(economics)
Economics
Social science
Umbrella term
Superset
Set theory
Mathematics
Quantity
Property (philosophy)
Modern philosophy
Philosophy

another random one:
The Vampire Who Admires Me
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
Administrative divisions of China
China
Civilization
Culture
Alfred L. Kroeber
United States
Federalism
Politics
Group decision making
Individual
Person
Human
Taxonomy
Science
Knowledge
Fact
Information
Sequence
Mathematics
Quantity
Property (philosophy)
Modern philosophy
Philosophy

[ May 25, 2011, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: kwsni ]

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Raymond Arnold
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I started with Hitchhiker's guide and it was a surprisingly long chain. (Like the previous three, it actually converges on "Mathematics," which I think should be considered the actual page for this rule).

Then I discovered that "Rationality" and "Reason" actually don't work. They just lead to each other, back and forth.

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Jake
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Also with a random starting point:

Lorca Castle
Lorca
Region of Mercuria
Valencian
Catalan Language
Romance Languages
Indo-European Languages
Language Family
Language
Communication
Meaning (Philosophy of Language)
Philosophy


And try number 2:
Powhatan
Native American tribes in Virginia
The concept of Indian tribes in the United States
United States
Federalism
Politics
Group decision making
Individual
Person
Human
Taxonomy
Science
Knowledge
Fact
Information
Sequence
Mathematics
Quantity
Property (philosophy)
Modern philosophy
Philosophy

[ May 25, 2011, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: Jake ]

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The White Whale
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This is way too much fun.

Looking at the xkcd forums, it seems like a lot converge to mathematics before going to philosophy, and there are many examples of loops.

I'm just waiting for some sort of awesome infographic to emerge.

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scifibum
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I also reached the "Meaning (Philosophy of Language)" article from a random starting point, but the first link goes to "Definition" and then:
Meaning (linguistics)
Linguistics
Human
Taxonomy
Science
Knowledge
Fact
Information
Sequence
Mathematics
Quantity
Property
Modern Philosophy
Philosophy


My starting point: The Centre for Corporate Public Affairs

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SenojRetep
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Here's a paper from 2007 on the emergent graph topology of Wikipedia.

In the paper, all links are treated equally, but the "click on the first hyperlink" exercise demonstrates that that's not true. For example, if I click on the last link on each page, you get a very different sort of chain, jumping from pragmatic to pragmatic, rather than ascending a ladder of abstractions.

Philosophy
Rosalind Hursthouse
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Jerusalem
Givat Ram
Byzantine Empire
Roman Kingdom
Consul
Aeropagus of Eastern Continental Greece
First National Assembly at Epidaurus
Filiki Eteria
Ali Pasha
Topkapi Palace
Antalya
Sabiha Gokcen International Airport
Silk Way Airlines
Ilyushin Il-76
Hardpoint
Workbench
Cast Iron
Foundry
Welding
Residual Stress
Neutron Diffraction
Bragg's Law
Hexagonal Lattice
Translational Symmetry
Measure
Signed Measure
Riesz Representation Theorem
Uniform Norm
C*-algebra
Local Quantum Field Theory
Light Cone
Weyl Tensor
Cotton tensor
<loop>

<edit>It's also not robust to taking the second, rather than the first, non-italicized, not-parenthetical link.</edit>

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katharina
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(in reverse order)

Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
Property
Quantity
Mathematics
Sequence
Informaton
Fact
Knowledge
Science
Taxonomy
Human
Person
Individual
Group
Politics
Federalism
The United States
Kevin Williamson
The Vampire Diaries


If you keep going and click the first link on the Philosophy page and so on, it looks back on to taxonomy. And repeat.

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Carrie
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On the "Quantity" page, I am no longer getting a link to "Property" - instead, I'm in an endless loop of Mathematics -> Quantity -> Magnitude -> Order Theory -> Mathematics.

Viewing the history of the page is actually pretty amusing. "Edited for XKCD," indeed. [Smile]

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Jeorge
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If only the page for "Circular Definition" looped back on itself...
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Strider
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xkcd fans have set up recursive loops all over the place!
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Xavier
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That's lame.

Though it seems editing the rule to be "the first link that wasn't already clicked" would still work for most every page.

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katharina
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It's back to what it was. Game still works.
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Raymond Arnold
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Wikipedia must really hate Randal.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
If only the page for "Circular Definition" looped back on itself...

I used to work at a company that converted textbooks and reference books into e-text for a searchable and hypertexted (if that's a word) engine. At one point I was working on the New Oxford Dictionary of English, and I noticed that the definition of "recursive" didn't say "see recursive". So I added it.
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The Rabbit
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Quantum Botany


I love the mouse over text. "coherent amber waves" and "devastating but majestic grain laser). [ROFL]

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Raymond Arnold
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Is the devastating but majestic grain laser funny for reasons other than sheer ridiculousness?
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Vasslia Cora
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Its in reference to "America - the beautiful"
http://www.explainxkcd.com

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Raymond Arnold
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No I got that, I was wondering if "majestic grain" was a particular line I had forgotten or something.
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manji
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I am shocked, SHOCKED, that today's XKCD has no alt text. What's up with that?
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Itsame
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It encapsulates me.
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rivka
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Weird.
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Itsame
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The comic, not the lack of alt text.
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rivka
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I was responding to manji, not you.
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manji
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Looks like he put it in just now. All is right in the world.
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rivka
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[Big Grin]
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Mr. Y
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Can't explain exactly why, but I really like this one.
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The White Whale
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Whoa thread reincarnation! How are you all?
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