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Posts tagged ‘Wikipedia’

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How Prometheus Died

From Wikipedia

Benardete’s paradox

While not strictly a supertask, this idea has inspired many papers about supertasks. A man called Prometheus angers Zeus, so Zeus gathers an infinite number of demons and issues them with the following commands. Demon 1: if Prometheus is not dead in one hour kill him, Demon 2: if Prometheus is not dead in half an hour kill him, Demon 3: if Prometheus is not dead in quarter of an hour kill him, and so on. As it turns out Prometheus was dead within the hour (as he didn’t really have much chance). The council of gods was not happy about this and pressed Zeus on the point. But none of his demons could be found guilty, as, for each positive integer n, it was not possible for the nth demon to have killed Prometheus because the (n + 1) th demon should already have done so. Similar paradoxes involving a man trying to walk a mile from A to B but the demons building a wall in front of him if he reaches 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, … of a mile past A, so he hits some sort of invisible barrier when he reaches A even though no wall has been built.


Another example of how weird we are:

Look at the image to the left in this hebrew wikipedia article, and read the text.

BTW, surprisingly, I didn’t find this exact image at the English wikipedia as well, and too bad for it. I don’t have the time to put it in now though.

Update – added a short description of the experiment:

It’s an experiment that demonstrates Synesthesia. I hope this experiments work in English as well.

Look at this picture, and decide which shape to name “Booba” and which “Kiki”.

Once you’ve made your choice, scroll down.

95% to 98% of people choose Kiki for the orange angular shape and Booba for the purple rounded shape.

More Recommenders

A couple of cool things from the guys that run MovieLens:

* SuggestBot – A bot responsible for assigning users of Wikipedia articles to edit that would be interesting to them.
* WikiLens – A general “recommendation wiki”. A wiki with ratings, which aspires to be the one place to get recommendations for stuff. I don’t think it has that much users, which weakens it, but the concept is cool. I want an import/synch with MovieLens, but this feature does not exist as of now.

Read the publication list for more.

World Funniest Joke

Is it just me, or are these top jokes hardly funny at all?

Lemmings and Other Lies

My entire childhood is based on a lie. From A List of Common Misconceptions, “Lemmings do not engage in suicidal dives off cliffs when migrating”.

… Just read the next sentence – “Photographers later pushed the lemmings off a cliff using a broom”. Horrible.


I wonder how common this phenomenon is.

Wikipedia Infiltrated by spies

It appears one of Wikipedia’s admins may have been a secret agent.
I’m not clear on what anybody would accomplish by that, as Wikipedia is transparent – anyone could see the false information that was allegedly planted into Wikipedia, anyone could edit it.

On slashdot.