Wikipedia and the interconnectedness of all knowledge

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Aedes
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 04:31 pm
I had to do the ultimate experiment on Wikipedia:


It took 3 clicks to get from Chocolate Brownies to Hitler.

It took 6 clicks to get from Cheetos to Attila the Hun.

It took 3 clicks to get from to Louis Baraguey de Hilliers, a Napoleonic general, to the Smurfs, a cheesy cartoon from my childhood.


Is everything we know in this world THAT immediately related? What does that mean for our cognitive need to categorize things?
 
boagie
 
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 01:44 am
@Aedes,
Is everything we know in this world THAT immediately related? What does that mean for our cognitive need to categorize things?[/quote]


Aedes,Smile

:)It would seem to be self-evident would it not, when working with wood it is best to follow the grain of that wood, in order to do so, you need to know the grain of the wood. I remember when I was younger realizing that there were methods for memorizing, a mechanical approach which could give one incrediable memory. There was no place to take such training, it was not taught in the schools, and I believe still is not taught in the public school system. Indeed I have heard teachers speak about this topic, stating that memory is not so very important. So, what should we know of the process of categorizations and associations, is there some elemental understanding we all should be made aware of.:confused:
 
Doobah47
 
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 05:00 pm
@boagie,
It seems as if language as a tool is hindered by the existence of parts such as pun, surreal connection or tangent. If I were to say "Hi, look yonder! Thar she blows, a ship" it could be inferred that I meant "hello, listen to me east-ender, there's a hooker over there or maybe you want a shipment of narcotics" - in fact that's just one of infinite inferences one could make.

If we are to use language in order to expand our knowledge in a categorical sense then I suppose that one needs many more words in order to describe the different categories which we encounter.

Of course this is impossible, we could not have a word for every atom (supposing that every part of matter is unique), nor could we countenance a name for everything we know (for example each equation in maths having a name unrelated to it's inventor, ie a 'word' not a 'name').

Having studied some Buddhist script and a summary of Judeo-Christian/Islamic relations in the past month or so, I'd say that philosophy is dumbfounded in the presence of groundbreaking (personal or "for all persons as a whole"*) proof of knowledge; our language cannot explain for example the differences between social interaction and "flirting", sometimes an occurances drifts between boundaries and categorizations.

I suppose that "tota-personal" could be a word to describe such a thing.

Getting back to the point, there are some who say that an individual is simply 7 steps through societal interaction to any person on earth, so why could knowledge and the melange of language not develop the same? A simple point, I know it seems rash and unprovable.

If we regard language is a fundamental provision for knowledge then surely it is the language at fault for such discrepencies in the possible relativity of categories.

I do not believe that a new language must be founded, but that languages be developed in order for the individual to express deep emotions - that is a start, and one which would be greatly beneficial - instead of messing around making words that fit into common linguistic usage, why not make new words that present possiblity for the expression of said individual?
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 09:45 pm
@Doobah47,
A little bit off topic but why is it that teachers despise wikipedia. They don't count it as a formal reference!! It's loaded with useful and credible information.

Also, for memory, I find it easier to while studying and right before the exam to eat the same food, best to be something that triggers the dendrites probably.

It is probably because the food triggers a new sort of file labelled "lemon", for example, that all qualia during study are easily accessible for mental projection. Makes sense to me.

And Aedes, I have done that trick on wikipedia many times. Its fun to do it with opposites and find that they are much easier actually. :a-ok:
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 10:16 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
A little bit off topic but why is it that teachers despise wikipedia. They don't count it as a formal reference!! It's loaded with useful and credible information.
A real reference comes from primary material, not from topic reviews like encyclopedia articles (Wikipedia or otherwise). The utility of something like Wikipedia for academics is not the information it contains, but rather the references it lists. So you can look up an article there and be given the references of primary material that you can look into as an actual reference. That still may not be good enough, because who's to say that a given Wikipedia article is unbiased enough to give a comprehensive list of references?

That's referring to research at a higher level. But even at the level of elementary school, I do have a real problem with Wikipedia being used as a reference. That is, specifically, that it makes it extremely easy to be lazy about research, and what's important to cultivate in kids is the wherewithal to look at different sources and know how to find them.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 10:28 pm
@Aedes,
Yeah, but do you know how hard it is sometimes to go through databases to find an article that fits one's abstract well enough? I guess I'm just not god at researching but I've spent a long time browsing database articles, doing advanced searchs on Britannica, Gale, proquest, etc. (proquest is the best for science so far for me).

I personally believe that wikipedia advocates for highschool better than using databases, because the ones that the library subscribes to are too advanced for the average student (including me, I don't need the major, MAJOR details).

I remember using google and wikipedia for a research assignment in civics class on whether Harper should help in the invasion of Iraq or to maintain the peacekeeping (that was the mandatory topic) and I aced it.
But when I have to do a research assignment on the H5N1 influenza virus in biology and I actually use databases I got a low B. And when marking the bibliography portion the teachers tend to exclude googled data. Oh well. lol.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 10:37 pm
@Holiday20310401,
The other aspect of Wikipedia to be aware of is like any other review you may find yourself inadvertently rephrasing it or at least repeating the order, organization, and prioritization of its content.

I'm currently writing two book chapters for a medical textbook, and I've written chapters and review articles on a few different subjects. And it's REALLY hard to make it seem original when I'm writing a review article on a subject that I've written about before. So I'll generally look at other people's reviews of the same topic to get a sense of content, emphasis, organization, then independently search for references. So in the end I'll inform myself using reviews, but I'll never use them so stringently that I'd need to cite them.

Be happy, when I was in high school we had to do all of this by hand using reference indices, because there wasn't any meaningful internet at the time. Life would have been a lot easier if we had electronic databases. But I still wrote a lot of papers by reading historic newspaper articles and even some scientific publications.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2008 10:44 pm
@Aedes,
Yeah, I never really got the concept of 'writing in your own words'. What if they happen to be (as videcorspoon would put it) at the intellectual level of normative framework as the references are. I mean sure don't write word for word, but there should be no problem with using some of the big words that are used in the reference.

And without the internet, lol, I'd have to rely on magazine subscriptions or something. Old articles, would seem hard to get a hold of, unless the library would have some.

And whats your medical textbook about, or is it a reference book.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 03:08 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
And whats your medical textbook about, or is it a reference book.
It's sort of both. I'm writing a chapter on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and one on Tularemia.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 04:08 am
@Aedes,
You stumbled upon the Wikipedia effect.

Wikipedia is gathering as much (correct) information as possible and thereby create links to all sorts of information. The problem is that almost every word is linked to another article, some are there with a purpose most are not.

Getting from Chocolate Brownie to Hitler is one of those links without a purpose. If you can give the exact way of getting there we might see if I'm right on this one.

This video also explains it graphically. The first example starts with "game board" and links to other game boards, but as it grows i noticed things like nuclear power (probably linked from a modern board game which featured something like that). But nuclear power will link to A-Bombs, will link to Hiroshima, will link to WOII, will link to Hitler and so on...
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 10:32 am
@Vasska,
Smile
Perhaps the study of relationalism here might help also something called field being--google it, which in fact is relational, the associations most of which are not local, yet go to make up the object or subjects identity. Just a thought, the question is, is it not, just how relational is reality and how much do we in fact have access to.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 12:31 pm
@boagie,
Wikipedia is a fine example of anarchy in action. While it is easy to post inaccurate information, other users have the ability to correct or improve the wiki. Overall there are more users correcting things, thus as the Wikipedia evolves the credibility of the information improves.

The Wikipedia makes a terrible source though for writing. Awesome tool that allows for quick research and finding connections, but using it for research demonstrate laziness. All the info in the Wikipedia came from somewhere else. Track down those sources and then base the research off of that.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 07:10 pm
@Vasska,
Vasska wrote:
Getting from Chocolate Brownie to Hitler is one of those links without a purpose. If you can give the exact way of getting there we might see if I'm right on this one.
It's not a direct link. It's a result of the fact that you can create a whole page out of so many things.

Start from the Chocolate Brownie page.

Chocolate brownie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The second sentence under "Origins" is:
Quote:
Brownies are also mentioned in the 1897 Sears catalog.


Click on 1897. Under February 27, click on Ferdinand Heim, a WWII German general.

Adolf Hitler's page is linked near the beginning of Ferdinand Heim's.

The key to this whole thing is 1897, because it's such a broad category that you can link in a couple clicks to probably any subject you want.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 07:38 pm
@Aedes,
Knowledge is as interconnected as we make it. My psychology is weak, but what I do recall is that humans retain information, at least in part, by connecting new information to existing information in memory.

Quote:
The key to this whole thing is 1897, because it's such a broad category that you can link in a couple clicks to probably any subject you want.
A particular year, the name of a country or continent, a major city, a world religion , ect.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 07:53 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
A particular year, the name of a country or continent, a major city, a world religion , ect.
Yes, that's exactly right. Any broad category with a lot of links. All it takes to get to, say, Alaric I of the Visigoths, is either Rome or Italy -- sufficiently broad subjects that it's easy to get there.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 08:22 pm
@Aedes,
Quote:
Is everything we know in this world THAT immediately related? What does that mean for our cognitive need to categorize things?
It seems to me that the close relation of knowledge, in the mind of man, shows that we have a need to make information relevant to everything else we know. This ability and tendency to relate knowledge is part of our evolutionary a-r-s-enal for survival - the ability to relate the danger of a wolf apparent at some earlier time in life to the potential danger of a wolf that this time we are wise enough to avoid.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 08:34 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
When all is stripped away, down to a nihilistic understanding of the fact that the physical world is deviod of meaning in the absence of a subject, there is still, in this desolation one thing left standing, and that is, the nature of all reality is relational. Relations and reality, one and the same thing.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 08:49 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
When all is stripped away, down to a nihilistic understanding of the fact that the physical world is deviod of meaning in the absence of a subject, there is still, in this desolation one thing left standing, and that is, the nature of all reality is relational. Relations and reality, one and the same thing.
Perhaps, but for various reasons most people never come to understand the world like that. But they probably still see all of reality as relational, just with reference to something other than their own mental filing cabinet -- and this other thing could be the whole gamut from scientifically derived "laws" of nature all the way to an omnipotent god.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2008 07:37 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Aedes wrote:
It's not a direct link. It's a result of the fact that you can create a whole page out of so many things.

Start from the Chocolate Brownie page.

Chocolate brownie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The second sentence under "Origins" is:


Click on 1897. Under February 27, click on Ferdinand Heim, a WWII German general.

Adolf Hitler's page is linked near the beginning of Ferdinand Heim's.

The key to this whole thing is 1897, because it's such a broad category that you can link in a couple clicks to probably any subject you want.


As you say 1897 is the link to Hitler from chocolate brownies. It is so easy to interconnect browies to Hitler if you have common words, dates, cities, names etc.

I feel that this interconnection does count as the interconnectedness of all knowledge, but it is in no way valuable. As far as i can see now, no interconnected knowledge like to above is useful, or only to a Hollywood scriptwriter which is making a movie about Hitler and his secret chocolate brownie army, which is unlikely.

We store our entire lives in our brain according to science. For example we store the information that we have learned as a kid that we have 2 kind of apples; red and green.

We link red to being sweet and green to being sour. This is done by either or experience (which also gets saved, and next to that defines our liking) or someone telling us not to do. It can be expanded to which other delicious things we can do with apples; apple juice, apple pie, applesauce, apple this apple that. This is I think is interconnected knowledge that is valuable and counts. If we were to jump from apples to our experience with eating apples, to something other that happened that day we still have interconnected knowledge, but it is in no way valuable.

I know that this does not your initial question of "is everything that interconnected with each other" but i feel like i at least could show you why you should not care to much about these things, for they are in some case valuable, but in many, many cases are not.
 
boagie
 
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2008 11:29 am
@Vasska,
Aedes.Smile

Yes Aedes, just what is it about this gadget that is exciting you, what do you think it means?
 
 

 
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