446: In Popular Culture

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In Popular Culture
Someday, the 'in popular culture' section will have its own article with an 'in popular culture' section. It will reference this title-text referencing it, and the blogosphere will implode.
Title text: Someday, the 'in popular culture' section will have its own article with an 'in popular culture' section. It will reference this title-text referencing it, and the blogosphere will implode.

[edit] Explanation

Wikipedia is a popular online encyclopedia with articles that are created and edited by the general public [citation required] . Wikipedia entries have many sections, with the first few explaining the general concept and details behind the subject.

When this comic was written many Wikipedia articles had a section at the end entitled "in popular culture", listing TV shows, movies, songs and so on which made reference to the subject at hand. In many cases, this list was extensive, possibly because the people editing the articles were such fans of the subject or the pop culture in which it is referenced, they couldn't help but go into great detail, listing many esoteric and seemingly irrelevant elements of pop culture which were peripherally related to the subject of the article. As an example, see the old article Apollo in popular culture which as of August 2007 redirects to Apollo.

The joke in this case is that even such a mundane article such as one on wood could have an "in popular culture" section and obviously, wooden items are common enough that there are any number of instances of popular culture which could be considered to "reference it", even if that's something as basic as a wooden item being used as a prop in a TV show. Such information would be of little or no use to anybody and only somebody obsessed with wood, a particular element of pop culture in which wood makes an appearance or the concept of placing pop culture references in encyclopedia articles would bother to create or maintain such a section.

Also, wood being such a popular material, the list of references could be virtually endless. This is a reference to the fact that the "in popular culture" sections of many Wikipedia articles contained dozens of items, even for articles on fairly arcane subjects. Note that the end of this particular "in popular culture" section is not visible so we don't know how long it is.

The title text states that in the future there will even have to be a wiki page with the subject "In popular culture". This article will also need an "in popular culture" section and it will be obvious to make a reference directly to this title text, as xkcd is part of popular culture and because this title text predicted the creation of and need for such a page. However this would then create a circular reference. This could be considered a form of infinite loop which is one way to cause a computer to crash (lock up). The joke is that the blogosphere could follow this endless train of circular links and itself crash, causing an "implosion".

This comic was mentioned in Wikipedia:"In popular culture" content. However, on April 23, 2014, the reference was edited out. It has since been added under the external links section of Wikipedia:xkcd in popular culture.

[edit] Transcript

[A fictional screen capture of the Wikipedia article for "wood" is shown.]
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many plants. It has been used for centuries for both fuel and as a construction material for... [cut in page.]
In popular culture:
In episode 6 of Firefly, "Our Mrs. Reynolds," Jayne is given a wooden rain stick by a villager.
In the Buffyverse, Buffy often slays Vampires using stakes made of wood.
The wand used by Harry Potter is made of wood from a holly tree.
The fence around the back yard of the house in The Simpsons is wooden.
In the 2004 TV series Battlestar Galactica [rest of page is cut.]

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Copied directly from Wikipedia's "'In Popular Culture' content" page:

An example of a source which provides both good and bad pop culture references is xkcd, a webcomic that deals with subjects from obscure mathematics to ball pits. Some appropriate times that Wikipedia references xkcd are as follows:

  • xkcd author Randall Munroe loves the Python programming language. He wrote a strip that implies using Python is so easy that if there were a module called antigravity, then you could just import antigravity and be flying in five minutes.[2] So for Python 3, they actually added this module, which humorously acknowledges the notion by opening a web browser and navigating to the strip in question.[3]
  • Sean Tevis decided to promote his tech credentials by running an ad in an xkcd style during his 2008 State House race.[4] It attracted attention from sources who wouldn't ordinarily be interested in such a race,[5] and the campaign received over $100,000 from online donations.[6]

On the other hand, xkcd routinely mentions dozens of other subjects without the reference impacting popular perception of the subject. Examples here would, sadly, basically be nose-beans, but at any given time there will usually be a few on special:WhatLinksHere/xkcd.

Thought this was worth sharing. 18:05, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an "in popular culture" article with an "in popular culture" section that references this comic's title text.

BRACE YOURSELVES FOR BLOGOSPHERICAL IMPLOSION Just some random derp 19:57, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

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