Wikipedia talk:Getting to Philosophy

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I didn't edit the main page, because I'm not sure how you post original research on 'non article' pages. The article states that "Language leads to a loop." As of 7FEB2012, it leads into philosophy just like the other major branches. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Obsolete discussions: This is now a project article, not a game.


Nice little mention of this on today's XKCD hover text: Maszanchi (talk) 09:44, 25 May 2011 (UTC)


So, Wikipedia's lead image for the article XCKD is currently from Strip 220, as captioned, which was titled... "Philosophy", although it is not a reference to this essay's phenomenon.

Amazing coincidence, confusing coincidence, or not-a-coincidence? Samois98 15:48, 23 March 2017 (UTC) Samois98 15:48, 23 March 2017 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Samois98 (talkcontribs)


What does this have to do with Wikipedia's goal of being an encyclopedia? Should this really be hosted by Wikipedia? Chillum 02:00, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

It's part of WP:DoF, I think. Kayau Don't be too CNN I'LL DO MY JOB uprising! uprising! 14:20, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Has anyone notice that this is absurd? Let's try "Get to Salad" theory. Any article of Wikipedia, following the rules as stated here, a) leads to "Salad" or b) gets stuck in a loop. Why? Because, using Logics (a part of Philosphy), there are only two possibilities on where an article can lead: I) to any other article or II) to a loop. Well, the articles "Philosophy" and "Salad" are within the category I, as well as any other article whatsoever. [ Sorry for my English, I am not a native speaker ] (talk) 22:49, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Excellent point. Maybe a more interesting hypothesis to investigate is whether the Philosophy page is 'closer' to all pages than any other page is? framed0000 01:06, 26 May 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Framed0000 (talkcontribs)
The interesting thing is that so many articles get to Philosophy and so few get to Salad. Guy Macon (talk) 16:58, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

How come there are seven in the "top five"? Shouldn't there only be five in the top five? (Unless there's a tie for fifth, of course, or three-way for fourth, for four-way for third, etc.) What we really have, then, is 1st, tie for 2nd, tie for 4th, 6th, 7th. OneWeirdDude (talk) 22:44, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia weekly discussion

Wikipedia weekly discussion[edit]

Just thought I'd let you know that I raised this essay/game in the most recent recording of Wikipedia Weekly podcast. It will be at the end of episode 50. The others on the panel hadn't seen it before and we spend some time testing it on air. Good times, good times.... Witty Lama 08:28, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I just listened to that - thanks for the awesome publicity. Being 16, it's probably the most publicised thing I've ever done!
The funny thing is you managed to get quite a few chains wrong! The rule about non-trivial links seems to have led to a few problems, as evidenced by the different threads you went to after Manga! If you ignore the non-trivial links, as far as I can see the chances of getting to Philosophy are quite a bit lower; so I reckon we should keep them in. Anyway, the important thing is not whether the chains you tried were actually right... hopefully it will inspire some people to make chains of their own and have fun putting them here

Cheers again Mark J (talk) 13:17, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

That's sorta' the fun of it really - ignoring the trivial links. I think it loses a lot of interest if ever single person or event goes directly to Latin via Calendar because of the birthdate. Yes, we did get it a bit confused in the show, but it proved it was possible to get there by two ways. The point of the game is that it doesn't really matter which article you go to, you'll still end up at the right place! :-)
Relatedly, I reckon that when indeed there are loops (such as with transport) then this doesn't mean there's a flaw in the "philosophy game" but rather that means there's a flaw with the article in question not following proper WP:MoS for the lead paragraph. Therefore, this game is actually a good way of testing out the adherence of articles to that particular MoS requirement! Witty Lama 16:36, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
The strategy section is an attempt at that PhD analysis you mentioned! (please expand it.) Mark J (talk) 17:35, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I see some of my tips listed in there :). Only #2 now, I should have checked SMB3 myself, one of my favorite games :). Chris M. (talk) 05:58, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I do wonder what will happen when these flaws are corrected, though... We'll end up with chain decay. :-) Any ideas for updates, or at least an encouragement to people to give dates with their chains? Waltham, The Duke of 09:52, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I guess just occasionally testing out the "Top 5" ones to make sure they are still legit. Having people sign them is always nice though. What a fun time-waster. Chris M. (talk) 21:11, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I tried this with "pong" and it appeared to take 30 steps. Could someone else give this a try to make sure I followed the rules correctly? If I did, then it's a tie for the longest chain. Cancilla (talk) 18:38, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I only got 16 for long this time 20 Jan 2017 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:49, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Wiki has a length of 27, by my count. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:50, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Comments improperly posted to main page

Comments improperly posted to main page[edit]

The following comments were improperly posted to the main page, so O moved them here. Guy Macon (talk) 12:18, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Stricter variant: skip Latin. It's nice to think that the articles tend to proceed up to higher and higher levels of generality and abstraction. Unfortunately, a lot of it is simply seems to be going through the Latin article via that little bracketed etymology blurb at the start of many articles. Kindof takes some of the magic out of it if it's just an artifact of the particular way we structure ledes. Either way though, I'd like to see a vector-ish visualization of the lede link structure. I don't doubt it would funnel somewhat, and philosophy does seem like an apt attractor. Nonplus (talk) 02:40, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

If you do that, the top 5 get stuck in a loop at Sociology (if not before).--HereToHelp (talk to me) 02:43, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Right. Sociology > Social contact > Social actions > Sociology.Nonplus (talk) 02:52, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Links to sections

Links to sections[edit]

Christianity links to Monotheistic_religion#Christian_view a section in another article. Do we take the first link in the section Special revelation or the article Theology. Zginder 2008-09-10T18:13Z (UTC)

Shamrock links to # ireland

  1. geographic_coordinate_system
  2.  %ce%a6
  3. modern_greek_language
  4. cappadocian_greek_language
  5. hellenic_languages
  6. indo-european_language_family
  7. language_family
  8. language
  9. human
  10. precambrian
  11. history_of_earth
  12. planet
  13. ancient_greek
  14. greek_language
  15. albania
  16. balkans
  17. europe
  18. list_of_continents_by_population
  19. landmass
  20. landform
  21. earth_sciences
  22. science
  23. mathematics
  24. quantity
  25. property_(philosophy)
  26. modern_philosophy
  27. philosophy# ireland
  28. geographic_coordinate_system
  29.  %ce%a6
  30. modern_greek_language
  31. cappadocian_greek_language
  32. hellenic_languages
  33. indo-european_language_family
  34. language_family
  35. language
  36. human
  37. precambrian
  38. history_of_earth
  39. planet
  40. ancient_greek
  41. greek_language
  42. albania
  43. balkans
  44. europe
  45. list_of_continents_by_population
  46. landmass
  47. landform
  48. earth_sciences
  49. science
  50. mathematics
  51. quantity
  52. property_(philosophy)
  53. modern_philosophy
  54. philosophy

29 links — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:29, 27 May 2011 (UTC)



I always get the loops. Kayau Don't be too CNN I'LL DO MY JOB uprising! uprising! 14:19, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm guessing 93% is a 'fun' statistic, since I don't see a claim here that it was ever actually researched. When I first heard about this in 2008 from Wikipedia Weekly, getting to 'philosophy' usually worked, but now I always get loops too. Why has this changed? I suspect some crucial first links have been changed to articles that don't lead to philosophy. I have tried many random articles (using the Wikipedia Weekly method of skipping 'trivial' links) and they never go to philosophy, but they always end up in this loop:
Minimizing Harm to Wikipedia

Minimizing Harm to Wikipedia[edit]

While this is an interesting effect and a fun game, it is also a source of a lot of editing activity that is for reasons other than improving Wikipedia. In particular, listing "Articles likely to loop instead of going to Philosophy" tends to lead to those articles being edited so that they do lead to Philosophy, often using links that would otherwise not be included. This sort of gaming the system harms Wikipedia. For this reason, it could be argued that this article should not list such loops.

An alternative argument is that eliminating such loops is itself good for Wikipedia, in that many such loops are caused by using two words to define each other. If this is a valid argument, we should encourage listing loops, but also encourage making them non-loops using high quality links that to more general topics that follow Wikipedia policies, and discourage links that are only added to remove loops.

Comments? Guy Macon (talk) 12:49, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

OK, let me put it this way. Does anyone have any objections to the section being deleted? Object to deleting and replacing with a section explaining about not adding links unless they improve the page? Object to just adding the explanation? As is is now something gets listed and a few minutes later someone "fixes" it. Guy Macon (talk) 00:39, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I am deleting the section for the reasons listed above, Please discuss before putting it back in. Guy Macon (talk) 10:38, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
XXXX in Film

XXXX in Film[edit]

I haven't found a single film article that follows the alleged pattern of looping back to itself. Does this trick really work? If not, it should be stricken from the list of articles likely to end in a loop. At the very least, an example that works should be provided. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:07, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

All such specific examples get changed shortly after someone lists them. Because of this, listing specific articles is a waste of effort. I have removed the specific examples and left in more general strategy advice. Guy Macon (talk) 13:01, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Delete Strategy Section?

Delete Strategy Section?[edit]

The Strategy section lists a bunch of specific cases that temps those who want to game the system to edit those specific pages and make the listed strategy obsolete. Please discuss whether we want to make the strategy section more generic instead of listing particular loops / chains. We can still discuss specific loops and chains here on the talk page. Guy Macon (talk) 12:22, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I decided to just go ahead and do it. Please discuss if you think I should undo that change. Guy Macon (talk) 13:03, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
The rest get stuck in two-article loops?

The rest get stuck in two-article loops?[edit]

The lead of this article says "About 93%[citation needed] of all articles seem to lead eventually to the article Philosophy. The rest get stuck in two-article loops.[citation needed]". So nowhere on Wikipedia is there a three article loop that does not include Philosophy? I doubt that. Guy Macon (talk) 12:59, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Mathematics, as of this post, is an example of a three-article loop. Even if "study" was to be hyperlinked to Research, the loop would persist. (talk) 05:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
special cases

Special cases[edit] Well... This. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:03, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Except that I think it does lead to Philosophy? At least the first link in the Religions Leaders 2011 is to 2010. It looks like this goes all the way back to 1810 at which point the first link (leaders in 1809) is red so the first link is to Events in 1810. Which rapidly goes to Calendar and thus I understand to Philosophy in the same way that articles about famous people having their date of birth at the start also do. You may however have found a new long chain though, although we'll need someone with time or a bot to go through the articles on religions leaders 2011 back to 1810 to confirm ...-- (talk) 11:45, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the link to the previous years religious leaders should be a see also link, which should not be listed first, just as the "1708 in piracy" link got moved from the "1709 in piracy" page to lower down. (Although the link is still first in all of the other piracy year pages...) (talk) 20:44, 13 June 2011 (UTC)


Please read the section titled "Gaming The System" for tips on strategies that do not involve cheating or harming Wikipedia.

That is really clever! And it just goes to show that deep down all pursuits of human thought can be brought to a philosophical basis. There's a PhD in this... Witty Lama 01:53, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

This makes me laugh. Shalom (HelloPeace) 03:38, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
ScienceKnowledgePlatoClassical GreeceCultureAlfred L. KroeberUnited StatesFederalismPoliticsGroup decision makingSynergyRelationshipInterpersonal relationshipLimerenceCognitionScience
Most articles probably relate to science, culture, or politics. Maybe 'philosophy' used to be in this loop (or a similar one). While 'Get to Philosophy' seems dead, the appealing idea behind it remains: human concepts are all derived from a foundation of common assumptions and logical constructs. ——Rich jj (talk) 19:52, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

You can start at List of state leaders in 2009, continue to previous year upon previous year until List of state leaders in 110 BC, then go to 110 BC, Jugurtha, Ancient Libya, Nile Valley, Nile, Arabic language, and then sail down the language route. Does this qualify for a chain above 50 links, or as worst abuse of the rules? AGrimm (talk) 00:03, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually, Science does lead to philosophy, knowledge leads to [facts] and not [plato] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:13, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Matter -> atoms -> Matter —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

That doesn't work - Matter -> physical objects -> ... -> Philosophy — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

If entries in boxouts at the top of the page count then I got number 0 to loop after 12 steps - Soviet films of 1958 - 1958 in film - In the Money - Comedy film - Film - Wikipedia:Citing sources - Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources - Category:Wikipedia content guidelines - Help:Category - MediaWiki - Wikipedia:Article size - Category:Wikipedia editing guidelines - Help:Category

Sazzer (talk) 17:57, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Wow, even this one works: Avril Lavigne -> September 27 -> Leap year -> Lunisolar calendar -> Calendar -> Time -> Religion -> Reality -> Being -> Ontology -> philosophy! Think outside the box 11:25, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Does this sort of thing work on other websites? I tried it a few times on Everything2, and one of the places I ended up on was good/ethical. — DanielLC 15:45, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Do Wikipedia links count (eg WP:BOLD) ? Think outside the box 17:24, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Nah, in the unlikely event that that's the first link in an article (in which case you are looking at a weird article). Mark J (talk) 18:07, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
The first link in most language articles is Help:IPA. Think outside the box 09:48, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, good thinking, yes, I was discounting those. Mark J (talk) 12:03, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
It looks like one main reason why many articles end up linking to Philosophy is because they start with etymologies that link to a language, probably all of which link to language eventually (at least Latin and Greek do), which links to philosophy. (talk) 20:21, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Almost all biographies link to dates which link to leap year and then quickly to philosophy. Most places get to Social Contract quickly, which goes right to philosophy. So if you start or get to a place or a person, or language, it'll end soon. Chris M. (talk) 06:40, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I think you can discount "non significant" links such as birth dates and latin pronunciations etc. Rather, what should be clicked on is the first link of the first descriptive sentence. The sentence that would generally say "X is a Y" where X = the subject in question and Y = the descriptive category it falls into. This test should be clicking on those "Y" links. Witty Lama

Yeah, I think links to Latin should be skipped. Too easy. (talk) 14:36, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe you should delete all the links then! But the proposal is one worth considering. Thanks for all the input and talk guys. Mark J (talk) 18:06, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I tried it about 15 times from Random Article and didn't get to philosophy once. However I did get into a loop with Indo-European Languages about 80% of the time. --Anonymaus (talk) 20:37, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

How's that? Indo-European is part of this chain: Indo-European languages

Language family Language Symbol Object Object (philosophy) Philosophy Ethics Philosophy

The reason for Anonymaus's confusion is valid; someone changed the first link in the Symbol article. I hope this doesn't cause problems! Mark J (talk) 12:03, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I only found a handful of loops (vehicles, and some computer related articles go towards loops usually. Chris M. (talk) 07:34, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Other loops involve landforms, and any film article. Mark J (talk) 12:03, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Top 10 List

Top 10 List[edit]

I think I found a new #1, but I'm new to Wikipedia editing, so I wasn't sure what to do. The page is "1709 in Piracy" and has 36 pages in the chain. I used to find it, but I also found numerous others that are more than the 23 link chain that is currently in #1. The program I used includes "See Also:" links, and I wasn't sure if those are legitimate or not, such as in the case of "1709 in Piracy" the first link is "1708 in Piracy". Should mention of be put in the article, and should I replace all of the top 10? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Welcome to editing Wikipedia! If you need specific help with figuring something out, feel free to post a question on my talk page. (it may take several day for me to reply, so be patient).
Be aware that listing a page here tends to attract attention by editors who quickly fix anything that is obviously wrong with it (1709 in Piracy has the see also section in the wrong place and had two empty sections, which is now fixed). As you gain experience, you will learn how to correct such obvious flaws yourself as you run into them, thus making Wikipedia better. This may change the number of links, but improving Wikipedia comes first, playing this game second.
In general, it is good to check any top net candidates with the tools at and at but you really need to verify everything yourself. For example, incorrectly lists the first link at Geographic ass Geography while correctly lists it as Earth. (It can be wrong as well, though). Only when you have personally confirmed the links should you add it to the top ten. You should also double check the bottom page that you are bumping off the list to make sure that it currently has fewer links that your new entry.
If in doubt, this is the place to ask. Guy Macon (talk) 17:45, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Exhaustive list of cycles

Exhaustive list of cycles[edit]

Being interested in how many articles actually lead to Philosophy, I downloaded a database dump and played with it. The results are here. Oh, and the actual number, as of May 26, is 94.5%, not 93%. Pretty close, though. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:41, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Other Languages

Other Languages[edit]

Anyone done a quick survey of the other big Wikipedias? I've only tried a couple, and it's interesting! the game works very well in German (though it's sometimes TOO organized and has useful links to other parts of the same page, which scuppers the game of course). Spanish has worked every time so far, following some of the same patterns as English Wikipedia. French Wikipedia keeps bringing me SO close, then veering off when some article departs from the classic "X is a kind of Y" structure. Chinese didn't work well at all - got stuck in a loop between 'Sun' and 'Solar System', and on another attempt got all the way to "Classical German Philosophy" but it looped with Kant. So far my theory is: the smaller the Wikipedia, the less the game works. Scots, for instance, is a no-hoper! Longboat Girl (talk) 08:16, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Check the latest version of the rules. Links to other parts of the same page no longer count. Guy Macon (talk) 15:58, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
We never really thought out the rules

We never really thought out the rules[edit]

I don't think anyone ever really thought out the rules for what links to skip. In particular, following the "latin" and "greek" links found on so many pages really seems to go against the spirit of the Get to Philosophy effect, which is that the first non-trivial link tends to be to a more general topic, and that Philosophy seems to be the most general topic of all.

I would liken to propose a simpler set of rules. Let's start with the XKCD Version: "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." What is the simplest set of rules that skips links that aren't really about the topic. Is the XKCD version good enough? Maybe we need to add "or in a box"? Ideas? Comments? Guy Macon (talk) 15:40, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Munroe's a darn smart guy, and I think his description is spot on. I think the "in the article text" bit implies you need to look at the article body, and not an infobox or picture caption, though it wouldn't hurt to make that explicit. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 15:55, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that we should start with the XKCD rules, but we need something a bit better than "in the article text" to exclude infoboxes. Ultraviolet Has an infobox in the middle of the article (see "Skin" section). Monty Hall problem has one at the top but still within the article text. The XKCD rule alone would have Wikipedia:Neutral point of view be the first link in Monty Hall problem instead of the more-correct Probability.
I have two motivations for wanting to re-think the rules. My secondary purpose is to make the game more fun (having half the top ten chains go through Latin or Greek is boring) and to make it easy to write computer programs that follow the rules. My primary purpose is explained in the article (See "Gaming the System" section): it is trivially easy to add an infobox at the top, and not much harder to add a Greek or Latin definition. I want any changes made while playing the GtP game to be real improvements to Wikipedia. Right now the GtP game is a bit of a vandalism magnet. Guy Macon (talk) 21:19, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
OK, I am going to be WP:BOLD and make the rules a slightly expanded form of the XKCD rules. Feel free to discuss if you think more changes are needed. Guy Macon (talk) 16:08, 10 June 2011 (UTC)


OK, I just checked and corrected the entire top ten list according top the new rules. Interestingly, everything got to philosophy much quicker. Please feel free to check my work and correct as needed. It would be interesting to repeat the experiment that gave us the percentages Guy Macon (talk) 22:06, 10 June 2011 (UTC)


If you click on the first link in Philosophy you reach Reason. It follows that links to Reason exceed links to Philosophy by one, which is only reasonable.— Philogos (talk) 00:58, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

A plea to the authors of the tools at and

A plea to the authors of the tools at and[edit]


Please review your programs and make sure they follow the current rules at

If you find a rule difficult to program for, please suggest a better rule here., if your program encounters an error, please display the chain up to the link where the error occurred, and please gives us a helpful error message ("404 page not found error when following link from Foo to Bar" is good). It would also be useful to display the title displayed on the page instead of the lower-case-with-underscores version grabbed from the URL., it would be useful to enable right-click functionality such as drawing a box and copying the contents to the clipboard and the right click menu that has options such as "open link in a new tab."

But the important thing is that your programs follow the current rules. Thanks! Guy Macon (talk) 18:03, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Red links are not demarcated as such in the text returned by the Wikipedia API which is what is used by — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xefer (talkcontribs) 18:49, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
I just looked over the Wikipedia:Red link page, and thought about it for a while, and my conclusion is that red links should count. Doing so encourages thos who are playing this game to improve Wikipedia. If the redlink is to a topic that is unlikely ever to have an article, they can remove the link per WP:REDLINK. If it is to an article that doesn't exist but should be created, they can create it or not use that chain. TYes, this will make fewer aricles go to philosophy, but improving Wikipedia comes firs.
I am going to be WP:BOLD and put the above in the rules, which of course means no change needed at If anyone disagrees, please discuss. Guy Macon (talk) 20:28, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Another issue is redirects. County Seat goes to County seat then to Administrative center then to Administrative centre - from my understanding of the API that is technicality correct (there are hidden redirect pages that the user does not see) but it gives the wrong count when compared to a human clicking links. Got any suggestions for fixing this? Guy Macon (talk) 20:45, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Links in the Top 10

Links in the Top 10[edit]

There seems to be a complication to the top 10 list. Whenever a new #1 chain is found, it must be longer than the others. If it is several links more than the others, the first several links of the chain are longer than the previous items on the top 10 list. Should they too be placed on the list? For example, the current highest item, Beaupre (surname) is 4 higher than the 2nd item. Should "Catholic", "Late Latin", and "Western Christianity" also be placed on the list? The problem with this is that every time someone finds a long chain, it will replace most of the list, and it will make most of the places besides #1 meaningless. However, on the other hand if they are not on the list, what are the rules for which can and cannot be on the list? Can another item which leads to the second item on a chain also be on the list? (talk) 18:51, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

If every item on a shorter chain is contained in a longer chain, delete the shorter chain. If even one item differs, keep both. Guy Macon (talk) 22:06, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
The 'Latest top 2' (Halo: Reach and World War 2 online) don't check out

The 'Latest top 2' (Halo: Reach and World War 2 online) don't check out[edit]

It seems someone hasn't actually done their checking before adding their own chains... I ended up checking both; Halo: Reach being 24 pages and World War 2 online being 25, most likely due to not checking after using some form of script to find it (which sounds pretty unlikely in my mind, as it must be a pretty dodgy script in the severity of the errors) - so, not being too 'up with Wikipedia editing', what would be the standard procedure to remove invalid entries? (talk) 22:27, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

The Wikipedia Way is to just fix it. Do your own count and move it down or take it off the list as appropriate. The basic philosophy behind "The encyclopedia that anyone can edit" is to Be Bold and fix things. If the fix isn't perfect, someone will come along soon and improve it. Even if it is completely screwed up, a single click brings the page back to where it was before you made the error, so go ahead, Be Bold. and fix any errors you see. Also see WP:SOFIXIT. Guy Macon (talk) 11:21, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
New Articles in the Top Ten List

New Articles in the Top Ten List[edit]

I added Monrovia, Alabama as tied for ninth. It looks like a whole lot of places would tie for this number of links. Could cause a mess. I must credit my daughter Kelly Goode with finding this one. She actually found it for Huntsville, Alabama. I used Monrovia, Alabama instead because it was an article I started (years ago). Wayne Goode (talk) 03:22, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I added NBC 23, also found by Kelly Goode. This means that a lot (most?) TV stations are 25 and their disambiguation pages are 26. Could cause another mess. Wayne Goode (talk) 03:44, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

David Beckham

David Beckham[edit]

Im not sure how to correctly add this to the top 10 list myself but according to the counter site in at the bottom of the page the 'David Beckham' article has 33 links until philosophy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:09, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Black Swan Class Sloops

Black Swan Class Sloops[edit]

HMS Ibis (U99), HMS Wild Goose (U45), HMIS Jumna (U21), HMIS Godaveri (U53), HMS Kite (U87), HMS Pheasant (U49), HMS Starling (U66) and a few others from the Black Swan Class Sloops all have 33 Clicks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrjeremister (talkcontribs) 01:40, 27 July 2011 (UTC)



If not for this dictat, science -> latin leading to a really fun chain with a long loop including Assyria, and finally looping back to Language. I guess the story "All pages lead to Extinct language" is rather more dismal, than the choosen one. Rich Farmbrough, 09:55, 15 August 2011 (UTC).

Things change

Things change[edit]

Bulbophyllum beccarii is currently 31, by my (Xefer's) count and most of the other 1800+ bulbophylum articles, Bulbophyllum abbreviatum, for example, are probably 30, while the sloops mentioned above are down to about 9. Rich Farmbrough, 12:05, 15 August 2011 (UTC).

And Natural science now looks like it loops. Natural science,Branch,Academic,Community,Living,Life,Objects,Physics. Rich Farmbrough, 12:15, 15 August 2011 (UTC).
Over 2000 links before hitting a dead end?

Over 2000 links before hitting a dead end?[edit]

List of state leaders in 2011

List of state leaders in 2010

(Over 2000 links - No, I did not check them all but I did check several dozen chosen randomly and clicked on the next ten links each time)

List of state leaders in 109 BC

List of state leaders in 110 BC

End of chain: a page that does not exist was reached. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:40, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

"... or you get stuck in a loop."

"... or you get stuck in a loop."[edit]

Chains are defined as ending either when Philosophy is reached, you reach a page with no links, a page that does not exist, or you get stuck in a loop.
Since "philosophy" is not a linkless page, it too is a case of being stuck in a loop — currently, PhilosophyReasonRationality → Philosophy. Admittedly it's a (very) special case. Should that be rephrased to, e.g., "...stuck in a different loop."? What are the next few most popular attractors?
—WWoods (talk) 15:54, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I would really like to see what the next few attractors are. I am really surprised that nobody has written a program to find the top ten. If somebody does write such a program, please have it list the top ten attractors, whether any attractors have longer chains that Philosophy, etc. Alas, you can't just use the API, because it lists redirects as the hidden pages that they are. Guy Macon (talk) 11:41, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
You can see a version of that from the work User:Ilmari Karonen mentions above. He does mention his method did have some troubles with InfoBoxes etc. Mark Hurd (talk) 10:09, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

"Truth" and "Facts" now put a whole bunch of pages into a loop. This needs to be fixed! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

This isn't like to change since the source used in the Truth article lists Facts first, forever putting the two articles in a loop. Every time this is changed, people change it back. I would argue it does no damage to the article to correct this though.DavetheAvatar (talk) 12:39, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
If you want to argue this, I suggest you be prepared to do it at AN/I. The slow-motion edit-war that has been going on at the Truth article over this is harmful to the Wikipedia project. Your own rules state that edits should only be made "If you believe the edit will improve the article", which is clearly not the case here. Personally, I don't think this so-called 'project' should be part of Wikipedia in the first place, and if I see further evidence of unjustified edits to suit this game, I will report them at the appropriate noticeboard. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:22, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
AndyTheGrump is 100% correct. A while back I added the "Gaming The System" section to address this very issue. To all concerned, I stongly suggest reading that section again and taking it to heart. If you make changes to Wikipedia that do not improve Wikipedia, that is not just a Bad Thing, but it is also cheating at the game, and is a good reason to delete the Get to Philosophy page, or at least to no longer list the longest chains. Play nice, or someone will take away your toys. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:14, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


Every single top 10 chain passes through quantity and mathematics... Has anyone found a chain that doesn't pass through mathematics? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:36, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Playing the "Get to Philosophy" game to the detriment of Wikipedia

Playing the "Get to Philosophy" game to the detriment of Wikipedia[edit]

There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard regarding an issue with with the "Get to Philosophy" game. The thread is "Users playing "Get to Philosophy" game to the detriment of Wikipedia". Comments are welcome. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:13, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

The vandalism is increasing, most recently in the Fact article. Alas, I think we need to change this page to simply be an informational encyclopedia article with no game. I thought the game was a fun idea, but we have dozens of people who are cheating and vandalizing other pages in order to "win." Comments? Guy Macon (talk) 22:56, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
That people are resorting to using IPs to do this suggests to me that they have no intention of contributing usefully to the project. I think that a minimum, we should do as you suggest - but also make it absolutely clear that editing to 'play this game' is vandalism plain and simple. I cannot think of any good reason why such vandalism shouldn't result in a substantial block for the person concerned. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:06, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
It appears that the consensus is to make this into an encyclopedia article instead of a game in order to minimize the vandalism. Guy Macon (talk) 13:20, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

This is now an encyclopedia article, not a game.[edit]

Because of ongoing vandalism of other pages by those trying to cheat at the game, ths game has been deleted, and this is now a purely informational encyclopedia article, not a game. Guy Macon (talk) 01:46, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it is not an encyclopedia article, it is a "project" page. Or, in Wiki-speak, it is in the Wikipedia namespace, not the main namespace. It definitely would not be an appropriate article. I am not sure it belongs anywhere. If it said something interesting or noteworthy about Wikipedia, it could stay where it is (and maybe be labeled an essay?) I don't think it really does. I would probably support deletion if someone proposed it. In the meantime, I think the title "Get to Philosophy" needs to be changed. It fit when this was a "game" page, as the title sort of "told" people to play the game, and/or it was the name of the game. Now that there's no more game (which is a good thing), maybe "Getting to Philosophy" would be better. Any comments? Neutron (talk) 03:30, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I have gone ahead and done the renaming. I also have tagged this as an essay and have eliminated the last vestiges of the "game" from the page. If anyone still wants to do an XfD on this, I would support it as I don't think it adds anything to the project, but if it remains in its current state, I think that is ok too. Through the succession of edits by others and then by me, the page has been rendered "mostly harmless." Neutron (talk) 20:17, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry I was late commenting on the above. Your renaming is a definite improvement. Good work! --Guy Macon (talk) 00:34, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Why? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:18, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Getting to Old Norse[edit]

If one uses these rules:

1. Find the first link (excluding those in brackets) of the first section (other than the 'introduction') of the page and click on it. 2. If such a link does not exist, find the very first link on the page. 3. Repeat.

a lot of articles lead to the article Old Norse (which leads to Old Norwegian and back).

e.g. Philosophy to Metaphysics to Greek language to Balkans to Adriatic Sea to Latin to Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum to Roman Empire to Roman Senate to Roman Kingdom to Roman Republic to Senate of the Roman Republic to Mos maiorum to Pater familias to Social unit to Human to Middle English to Ormulum to... Old Norse — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:28, 15 October 2011 (UTC)


I found out about a website that tests a similar phenomenon (seeing how many articles before you hit a loop). It's at - the biggest list of articles I could get it to come up with was for The Glitch in Sleep, which also takes 36 links to get to philosophy. Alphius (talk) 15:04, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Shortest Loop[edit]

The shortest loop appears to be Great Britain to Britain (placename) to Great Britain, etc. Though others two article loops may exist. MorbidAnatomy (talk) 13:11, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I got Household and Dwelling — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:55, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

I got Economic_sector to create a two article loop with Primary_sector_of_the_economy — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

I got Structure and Building (talk) 18:58, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

I got Billy Joel and Piano Man (song) Killorf (talk) 20:01, 24 April 2017 (UTC) I got Malware and Computer Virus — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:21, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

This no longer works[edit]

Most pages now go to fact, which then loops from fact->proof (truth)->evidence->truth->fact. (talk) 22:08, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Or between fact and reason. Alphius (talk) 15:39, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
It appears perhaps editors are trying to 'break' this phenomenon (game?). I find it curious that in logical terms, a 'fact' isn't supposed to prove itself in a self fulfilling loop. Thus, the article 'fact' is being explained via a logical fallacy. (talk) 09:03, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Fact now leads to Philosophy, just the loop is a bit longer now: fact -> proof (truth) -> necessity and sufficiency -> logic -> reason -> consciousness -> subjectivity -> subject (philosophy) -> philosophy BlueRoll18 (talk) 02:35, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Logic and Reason now loop between one another. (talk) 22:13, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

And now there is a loop between knowledge, fact, and experience, which cuts off many chains. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Looking for Source of Behavior[edit]

I'm just wondering if anyone has researched the source of this phenomenon. It occurs to me that if either the guidelines or an extension suggest which words to link to in Wikipedia, then the same words are getting suggested over and over again and thus, the same articles are getting linked. Is that possible? Is anyone else even curious about codifying this phenomenon? --Tedmasterwebify (talk) 13:17, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

See MOS:CONTEXTLINK. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 22:55, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

It should be mentioned it's not actually Philosophy but Knowledge[edit]

All (or most) of the articles that leads to philosophy actually leads first to Knowledge.

People are just talking about philosophy because it shines better. but just as much, one may go further to get into reality.

itay (talk) 15:39, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

If this is the case, then at the moment it's broken, and instead there's the loop Linguistics - Science - Knowledge - Fact - Proof (truth) - Necessity and sufficiency - Logic - Reason - Consciousness - Sentience - Feeling - Nominalization - Linguistics. This loop seems likely to capture a lot of articles. (talk) 03:48, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Actually, knowlege never leads to philosphy. It goes Knowledge, fact, evidence, logical assertion, mathmatical logic, mathematics, space, physical body, physics, natural science, scinece, and back to knowledge. Knowledge is a closed loop. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:29, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Disputing statement[edit]

"As of 9/28/2013, this very article reaches philosophy, following this 27 links path: "Link", "Chain", "Hoist (device)", "Pneumatically", "Pressurized gas", "Fluid", "Physics", "Natural science", "Science", "Knowledge", "Fact", "Proof (truth)", "Necessity and sufficiency", "Logic", and finally: "Philosophy"."

Trying it on 30/09/2013, I get into a loop Physics -> Greek language -> Indo-European Languages -> Language -> Human -> Primate -> Mammal -> Clade -> Ancient Greek -> Greek language

A site that graphs a user-chosen article to Philosophy.[edit]

Pretty cool site.

--Kabahaly (talk) 15:41, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Already there at the first external link Theemathas (talk) 06:43, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

A mere observation.[edit]

I think the people who first saw this had it wrong. As pointed out most articles link first to knowledge then to philosophy. Take for example the philosophy page itself. If you follow the links on philosophy you get a loop back to philosophy. I think the phenomena here is not that all pages link to philosophy but indeed that all pages link to this ring of pages, this loop that you get in which philosophy and knowledge are just two nodes. A path taken from an article outside this ring eventually ends up inside the ring and hence will eventually end up at philosophy.

I could be wrong though, I haven't tested this hypothesis. I imagine that there might be multiple such rings and perhaps philosophy is the common node. At the time of writing this the ring, starting from philosophy was: philosophy > reality > existence > world > human > Hominini > Tribe (biology) > biology > Natural science > science > Knowledge > Fact > Proof (truth) > Necessity and sufficiency > Logic > Mathematics > Quantity > Property > Modern Philosophy > Philosophy. It's clear that if you started at any point in this loop you would just end up back at the same point.

The current loop (7 May 2014) is Philosophy>>Reality>>Existence>>World>>Human>>Hominini>>Tribe (biology)>>Biology>>Natural Science>>Science>>Knowledge>>Fact>>Proof (truth)>>Necessity and sufficiency>>Logic>>Philosophy
Any page either is an outlying chain to a loop, part of a loop or a dead end leading to a redlink/non existant page or with no links. This loop is the central loop in that most pages are outliers to this loop (something like 94% at last count. It appeals to the quirky nature of humans that the loop contains Logic, Reality, Existence, Philosophy, World, Human, Fact, Knowledge, Natural science. Many people see these as the centre of things. SPACKlickI (talk) 11:41, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
The Loop has now become Philosophy --> Reality --> Existence --> Awareness --> Consciousness --> Quality (philosophy) --> Philosophy -->....
The vast majority of outliers to this loop attach at Consciousness and the majority of them come down the following branch
Set (mathematics) --> Mathematics --> Quantity --> Property (philosophy) --> Logic --> Reason --> Consciousness -->....
In fact, by firing off random articles, other than 1 or 2 going straight to Maths without Set, I found no other branches on the primary loop. It would be interesting to see the major nodes on this tree. SPACKlick (talk) 14:07, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Philosopher links directly to philosophy, and is another branch on the main loop. Plato is the only article I found linking to philosopher, but I would guess there exist extensive branches in that direction. Non-user, 22.08.14.

It's broken now[edit]

Since this edit, the rule no longer holds for a large number of pages. πr2 (tc) 04:32, 6 December 2015 (UTC) [P.S. I just noticed it is still a loop without that link. I guess it's been broken for a while.]

Contradiction in description of method.[edit]

(As the article stands today) the opening sentence describes "Clicking on the first lowercase link...", but the Method Summarized section describes "Clicking on the first non-parenthesized, non-italicized link." Which is it? Since Clicking is capitalized in this case, it is excluded by the first method but included by the second method. --Theodore Kloba (talk) 16:40, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

I've always known it as clicking on the first non-parenthesised link. I think the introduction should be a summary of the full method. I'll delete “lowercase”. —ajf (talk) 16:29, 30 November 2016 (UTC)


I have tried this on about 8 pages, and they all lead me to knowledge, not philosophyNixinovaT|C❱ 01:43, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

I even tried it with this one. In order:
Point and click, User (computing), Computer, Computer programming, Computing, Mathematics, Ancient Greek, Greek language, Modern Green, Collogualism, Word, Linguistics, Science, Knowledge. Knowledge then loops through fact, experience, and then knowledge again. – NixinovaT|C❱ 02:01, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Also on the main page it says that Quantity goes to property but that link has since been removed – NixinovaT|C❱ 02:03, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
There seems to be an edit war going on removing the link to awareness in the first sentence of the knowledge page, which was a route many pages took to philosophy. I won't name names, don't want to be accused of harassment. (talk) 18:43, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Broken description[edit]

The "getting to philosophy" example leads to Mathematics -> Quantity -> Counting -> Finite set -> Mathematics -> etc. DmitryKsWikis (Dmitry K.) (talk) 08:52, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

Under attack[edit]

I just wanted to make aware the users interested in this kind of project that WP:GTP is under heavy attack either by IDs and users. I found many page links repetitively deleted or changed so that more loops are created and the link chain won't make it to Philosophy. I restored something like three links today but I think more effective action should be taken, maybe protecting the pages from edits by non-autoconfirmed users.  ᚪᛋᚦᚩᚾᛏ (Asþont)  📯 23:32, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

Adding or removing links to articles should be based upon WP:LINK. They should not be based upon whether of not link chains "make it to Philosophy". Paul August 00:23, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
@Paul August Actually, we ARE NOT adding NEW links to make a path to Philosophy, trolling dickheads like YOU are purposely REMOVING links (I'm talking about you, "awareness" on the "knowledge" page.) for the sole purpose of ruining this phenomenon. All we are doing is reverting the attempts to sabotage the whole thing. The links we are adding were already there previously, but trolls like you decide to remove them just because you want the world to burn. NUTT Daddy OwO (talk) 00:15, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

What is the percentage now?[edit]

I just made [1] this edit. Lots or articles link to knowledge which eventually leads to verification. I then tried that and then... it looped back to itself. That means I unintentionally mass broke lots of chains. KNOCKXX 11:39, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Loop and length[edit]

Out of curiosity, by running Xefer on idle for a while, I found out that as of today Sand fence loops with Snow fence, and Athletic supporter is 62 steps away from Philosphy, the furthest distance I found. Does anyone know of any articles further away? it would be interesting to find the maximum boundary of this effect. Caelus5 (talk) 02:29, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Mathematics Loop[edit]

This page takes you to Mathematics, which is currently a loop, so, ironically, you cannot "get to philosophy" from here... Kitoba (talk) 19:37, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

All pages lead to Mathematics. Philosophy->Education->Learning->Knowledge->Fact->Evidence->Logical Assertion->Mathematical logic->Mathematics->Quantity->Counting->Element (mathematics)->Mathematics Nerd368 (talk) 22:45, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Who else is getting stuck on the Mathematics/Quantity loop?[edit]

It seems like any biography or country doesn't work now because it leads to country --> ... --> mathematics

Runninggeek (talk) 21:47, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

@Runninggeek: Why does this matter? Paul August 21:59, 5 February 2018 (UTC)


I just fixed a loop that didnt end in philosophy. and here is the key. whether consciously, as i just did, or unconsciously, the links lead to Philosophy because we WANT them to. we want people to see links to terms in the lede that help wiht comprehension of the topic, and we tend to link complex terms rather than "it" or "person" or "thing" so much. its an art, what possibly common terms you choose to link. we could link every word to another article or wiktionary. we dont. and our choices, as editors, tend towards philosophy, which makes sense for US, because we ARE philosophers, lovers of knowledge. if we were primarily engineers, we would have a different slant. if we were mathematicians, again, a different slant. if we were mostly poets, again, very different. the hyperlinks are to a certain degree a map of the brains and consciousnesses of the editors, us. nice to know we love knowledge so much.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 20:17, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

Loops aren't something that need "fixing". Paul August 20:24, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

This needs updating[edit]

Getting to Philosophy is basically Getting to Mathematics now. I just told somebody about this phenomenon, and it turned out to be wrong. Almost nothing leads to philosophy anymore, because the main loop seems to have turned into a loop that ends up at Mathematics — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:03, 12 February 2018 (UTC)