All Wikipedia Ends In Philosophy, Literally

Nov 14, 2011

Everything is about philosophy, in the end -- at least on Wikipedia.

If you click the first (non-italicized) term of nearly any Wikipedia entry, eventually you end up at their "Philosophy" page. True to form, Wikipedia already has an entry called "Getting to Philosophy," which describes the phenomenon. According to Wikipedia, the effect is true for 94.5% of all entries, and was first discovered in 2008.

Earlier this year, the web community was reminded of the trick by web comic "xkcd," which revealed the info when users hovered over the image with their cursors. At the website Xefer, you can go a step further by mapping out the actual links between various terms on a radial graph, with "Philosophy" as an endpoint, like so:


Wikipedia provides the following instructional list to help people experience this little morsel of accidental meta-Internet humor:

Following the chain consists of:
Clicking on the first non-parenthesized, non-italicized link
Ignoring external links, links to the current page, or red links
Stopping when reaching "Philosophy," a page with no links is reached, or a page that does not exist, or a loop occurs

Getting from "Pusha T" to philosophy will make you a believer -- all information is in the end, about information.