The Root of Knowledge
May 25, 2011

Check out the alt text on today’s XKCD comic:

For those who couldn’t be bothered to mouse over, the alt text reads: “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.'”

I gave it a shot with the article featured in the comic (spark plug) and, sure enough, it took me 27 clicks to get to the page for philosophy. Once I was there I kept playing the game by clicking on “rational argument,” which led to the page for reason. Reason leads to rationality, which leads to — yup — philosophy.

I’m not sure there’s any lesson that can be honestly derived from this exercise, but I’m gonna derive one anyway. That lesson being: Everything comes back to philosophy. Randall Munroe and Jimmy Wales just proved it.

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