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14 May 2007

MeCha Wikipedia Challenge #1 This week's topic is "Treaty of Canandaigua." Rules inside.[More:]
1. From the English Wikipedia main page, click on Random Article.
2. Try to reach the target article without hitting your browser's back button

If you have absolutely no idea what the topic is about, you may look it up.

There's really no fair way to select a winner, nor is there a prize. But, what the hell.. the winner will be the person who can reach the target article in the least number of links!

Disclaimer: I stole these rules from some Reed kids.
My results:
Random starting page was Versa, which linked to As of 2006, which linked to Feb. 22, which is George Washington's birthday, which led me to the page on the Iroquois, which links to our destination.

A total of six pages, including the random and the destination. But I feel like using the date solution should be cheating, though it's not specified in the rules.
posted by brina 14 May | 00:42
I tried it again without the dates. Harder, but here we go:

Start at Versa, which links to knowledge management, which leads to intellectual capital, which links to John Stuart Mill, which takes us to natural rights, which of course links to Thomas Paine -- which, annoyingly, mentions George Washington but does not link to him but does link to Thomas Jefferson which leads, finally, to the path of George Washington, the Iroquois, and ... finally! the Treaty of Canandaigua.

That brings it up to ten in all, including the starting and final pages. Gah.
posted by brina 14 May | 00:59
I wasn't so sure about using the date-based pages either. Some articles are damn near impossible without it, so I suppose it depends on the subject. I'll let the consensus decide this one.

Also, bonus points for suggestions for next week's challenge, should this turn out to be fun.
posted by spiderskull 14 May | 01:12
The hard part, I think, will be declaring the winner -- this is because all Wikipedia pages are not created equal. For instance, I tried it again with a different random starting page. Like so:

Femi Olufowose, a Nigerian musician, attended the University of Hull, which is in England, which boasts the great philosopher John Locke, who influenced the Founding Fathers, one of which was George Washington, who was called the Great Destroyer by the Iroquois, who were involved in the Treaty of Canandaigua.

What I mean is, I think it will be easier to get to the end point with certain articles. If your random starting page is George Washington, you're in luck. You know?

I'll stop obsessing now. But this is fun.
posted by brina 14 May | 01:19
brina -- Definitely. You can't really choose a winner, because you have no control over which article you get. Although the odds are small, you could technically end up with the target article just by hitting the "Random Article" link.

My winner comment was largely to select an entirely arbitrary winner for the sake of competition (and involvement!).

I have to say that I'm impressed with what people have found. My knowledge in history pales in comparison.
posted by spiderskull 14 May | 01:43
I like Brina's style better, so I did another one:

My random page was Stardog Champion, which is a compilation of songs from Mother Love Bone, a band from Seattle. Among significant Seattle events are numerous Native American powwows. Among Native Americans divided about which side to support during the American Revolution was the Iroquois Confederacy, which later entered into the Treaty of Canandaigua with the United States.
posted by taz 14 May | 02:06
1) random article: fígols i alinyà
2) "population"
3) "united states"
4) "new york"
5) "list of cities in new york"
6) "canandaigua (city), new york"
7) "treaty of canandaigua"

this is fun!
posted by syntax 14 May | 08:07
Here's mine: No linkage.

5 links from a stub. I call not bad.
posted by seanyboy 14 May | 09:18
Patal Bhubaneshwar
United States
New York
Treaty of Canandaigua

Only 5 from Patal Bhubaneshwar. Fun.
posted by arse_hat 14 May | 13:02
I just realised that anyone with a wikipedia editing account could easily rock this competition.
*changes Tverrelvdalen to include link to Treaty of Canandaigua*
posted by seanyboy 14 May | 13:12
procrastination || I can haz chestburster?