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Apr 26 2009

As if Wikipedia wasn’t addictive enough…

Micek’s Tumblelog points out the fun and addictive nature of playing 6 degrees of separation using Wikipedia. The object of the game is to pick two random articles and see who can connect them using the fewest links. The game makes sense, since the nature of Wikipedia is to start looking up avacados and ending up reading about the bubonic plague. My friend and I have been playing against each other. For example:

Robert Hawkins > Pennsylvania > Lehigh University > Anthropology > Paleoanthropology > GHR von koenigswald > NG 6

For shits and giggles, let’s see who can get from Avacado to Bubonic Plague in the shortest amount of steps.

EDIT: Holy crap you guys are too good. That’s what happens when I don’t pick truly random articles. Ok, have a challenge:

Battle of Montreal to Barangay Health Volunteers, Phillippines

16 comments

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  1. 1
    Michael

    A friend and I played a similar game but it died due to being too time-consuming!

    Avocado to Bubonic Plague? Too easy :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avocadohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spainhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_Sevillehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague

  2. 2
    Paul Gowder

    Trivial! Avocado –> Bacteria –> Bubonic Plague.

  3. 3
    Michael

    Damn — beaten by a whole order of magnitude!

  4. 4
    Jen

    You guys are way too good. Try the harder one!

  5. 5
    Paul Gowder

    That’s a hard one. Not too hard for my wikipedia ninja skills, mind, but it requires a long route running through wikipedia system pages and other near-cheating techniques. :-)

    Battle of Montreal War of 1812 Category:Wars involving the United StatesPhilippine-American WarTalk:Philippine-American WarWikipedia:Tambayan Philippines Wikipedia:Tambayan Philippines/Cleanup listingBarangay Health Volunteers, Philippines

    Rahr!

  6. 6
    Jeremiah

    Isn't efficiently hacking through relational data systems a form of intelligence?

    Paul > All

  7. 7
    mynabyrd

    This is unfair!! This is /exactly/ the kind of thing you don’t blog about as a courtesy to other bloggers. I’m never gonna be able to post on a regular basis now… damn, I was just getting into a good habit there.

    lol, jk. I love your blog, keep it up. :)

  8. 8
    Paul Gowder

    The true victory in this game would be to edit the origin page in some plausible fashion to include a direct reference to the destination page.

  9. 9
    Josh

    I think going through the talk pages is slightly cheating, personally.

    Also, I agree with Paul totally that the best win is to edit in a plausible direct link. :)

  10. 10
    Stephen

    Ha – beat this:

    Battle of MontrealRandom articleBarangay Health Volunteers, Phillippines

    Doesn’t seem to work very often though…

  11. 11
    alitheiapsis

    Haha, my friend told me that you can connect every article on Wikipedia to Jesus’ in six steps or fewer. I blogged some examples here: http://alitheiapsis.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/six-degrees-of-wikipedia/

    I like to think his was more profound because it shows the pervasiveness of religion in our culture…or something.

    I think the best way to play this version is to click random article twice and try to connect the dots.

  12. 12
    locksmyth

    Battle_of_MontrealUnited_StatesWorld_Health_OrganizationCategory:Medical_and_health_organizationsBarangay_Health_Volunteers,_Philippines

    Less the 6, booya!

  13. 13
    Anonymous

    another funny one is translating into a script you can’t understand (farsi, chinese, hebrew, etc) clicking on several links… then translating back to see where you are.

  14. 14
    locksmyth

    I just noticed wikipedia pages have a toolbox that contains a “what links here”. I feel very very silly searching for my 6 degrees the hard way now.

  15. 15
    bunny

    There’s actually a website that finds shortest wiki paths for you x.x This was on slashdot a while back, even: http://www.netsoc.tcd.ie/~mu/wiki/

  16. 16
    Paul Gowder

    Locksmyth, what’s annoying is that the “what links here” page for Barangay Health Volunteers does not list that category page. Grrr!

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