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Approximately exactly that

Like it or loathe it, Wikipedia is here to stay.  Sure, there are inaccuracies, but it’s a rich source of mostly-correct information on almost anything you could possibly think of.  Scrap that.  It’s probably a rich source of mostly-correct information on anything you could think of.  More than that, though, it’s probably a rich source of mostly-correct information on a whole bunch of things you couldn’t think of either.

However, every so often I find something on Wikipedia amusing, like this article, for example*.  It’s this part that makes me chortle:

Being first in a sequence of four consecutive Geri Halliwell singles reaching number one in the United Kingdom, the single went on to sell almost 375,967 copies in Britain and was certified Gold.

Almost 375,967 copies?  What, does that mean the single actually sold 375,966 copies?  Why use the word “almost” with such a specific number?  Bizarre.

Here’s another interesting little “fact” about Wikipedia.  According to xkcd, “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’.”  But here’s the real kicker: there’s one article (published before today, before people go cheating and creating their own new ones) which doesn’t follow this “rule.”  Can you tell me which one it is?

* Don’t ask how I got onto that page in the first place.  No really…don’t.

June 18th, 2011 at 12:15 am

It certainly (and disturbingly) works for Mi Chica Latina. And sausages. And Cro-Magnon. And Wikipedia. And xkcd. And even Philospophy eventually brings you back round to philosophy.

June 18th, 2011 at 12:17 am

Indeed. It’s none of those.

June 18th, 2011 at 12:23 am

Note the misspelling that makes it subtly clear that (in contrast to some bloggers) I am fundamentally unfamiliar with the oeuvre of Ms Halliwell.

June 18th, 2011 at 12:26 am

What’re you trying to say? 😉

June 18th, 2011 at 12:27 am

Logically, there would have to be more than one unless the article in question doesn’t link to anything. So either you are an illogical programmer and I claim my £5 or there is a Wikipedia article that doesn’t link to any others. And I think that all Wikipedia articles are supposed to link to others, so that would imply that it deliberately and self-consciously didn’t link to any others, perhaps as some kind of wikijoke. But that’s as far as I can get.

June 18th, 2011 at 12:30 am

Oh that’s not fair. I was hoping to string the lie out for much longer than that! Bah. 🙂


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