Every time I logon to Facebook, I’m overwhelmed by a deluge of links and shares. Most of which is sheer hogwash!! I’m amazed by how gullible people can be and how it’s so easy to trick people into believing absolute crap. This is, of course, the backbone of Narendra Modi’s election campaign. But I’ll leave that for another time. Anyway, let’s get back on topic. There’s this persistent claim that keeps popping up in my newsfeed: that the Indian national anthem has been declared the best in the world by the UNESCO. Now, stop and think for a moment. Why would the UNESCO go through all that trouble? On what basis would national anthems be judged? On the ability to invoke patriotism, antiquity, lyrical quality or their musical appeal? I hope the absurdity of the whole thing is obvious to you at this point. That’s why I treat all such claims with a great deal of skepticism. As Abraham Lincoln once wisely said, ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet just because there’s a picture with a quote next to it.‘ Man, he was spot on!!
I recently read online that clicking on the first link in the main body of any Wikipedia article, and then repeating the process for subsequent articles, will eventually lead you to the article on Philosophy. I found the claim to be plausible because the first sentence in every article usually categorizes that particular article. All the same, I wanted to try it out to see for myself. Call it the spirit of scientific enquiry, if you must.
So I decided to start off with the article on The Beatles. Here’s how the link flowchart worked out:
The Beatles, Rock Music, Popular Music, Musical Genre, Music, Art, Human Activities, Organisms, Biology, Natural Science, Science, Knowledge, Fact, Proof, Necessity and Sufficiency, Logic, Mathematics, Quantity, Property, Logic.
As you can see, I got stuck in a recursive loop once I got to Logic.
So the hypothesis doesn’t hold in this case, at any rate. Let’s consider this as an anomaly and start over, this time with Chelsea FC. Here’s how it breaks down:
Chelsea FC, Association Football, Names for Association Football, Association Football.
Damn. Recursive loop again!! I’m seriously starting to doubt the validity of this theory now. Further googling has revealed that the theory holds true for 94.52% of all articles (as of May 26, 2011). I find it highly improbable that I picked two articles that belonged to the remaining 5.48%. Either that or I must be really unlucky. No wonder I don’t have a girlfriend yet…
As they say, perseverance is the key to success, so I tried again. This time with Salvador Dali:
Salvador Dali, Spanish people, Nation, Culture, Classical Antiquity, History, Umbrella term, Term, Word, Linguistics, Science, Knowledge, Fact, Proof, Necessity and Sufficiency, Logic, Mathematics, Quantity, Property, Logic.
Oops!! We’re back on the yellow brick road that leads to recursive loop of Logic that we encountered earlier. Mission Failure!
One final try. This time, starting off with the article on India.
India, South Asia, South, Noun, Part of Speech, Grammar, Linguistics, Science, Knowledge, Fact, Proof, Necessity and Sufficiency, Logic, Mathematics, Quantity, Property, Logic.
D’oh! On the yellow brick road to the recursive loop of Logic again. Yet again, no success…
Screw it! I hate this theory.