Larry Sanger

Online knowledge organizer. Co-founder of Wikipedia, Ph.D. Philosophy.

The New York Times comes out against free speech

According to a front page New York Times news (not opinion) article by Adam Liptak ("Weaponizing the First Amendment: How Free Speech Became a Conservative Cudgel"), we must adopt a stance of skepticism toward all this talk of free speech, if we wish to be sophisticated and sensitive, as all good…

Positivity and motivation

One thing that almost nobody knows about me is how much time I've spent on self-analysis of one sort or another. I'm deeply impressed by people who are more motivated and self-disciplined than I am, and I frequently try to get to the bottom of the many issues surrounding self-discipline. Recently…

Why do I get so much work done on airplanes?

Riding in planes ain't so bad. I wholeheartedly believe they're safer than cars--and this is the one actual advantage of having short legs. So I don't mind riding in planes. Maybe, I admit, I even look forward to it a little. But more important than that, I usually get quite a bit of work done on…

Is it time to move from social media to blogs?

This began as a Twitter thread. I've finally put my finger on a thing that annoys me—probably, all of us—about social media. When we check in on our friends and colleagues and what they're sharing, we are constantly bombarded with simplistic attacks on our core beliefs, especially political…

EU copyright reform could threaten wiki encyclopedias

If we are to believe its critics, under the pending EU copyright reform legislation, the EU would implement a "link tax" across all of Europe. So if you link to a news article, for example, including a text snippet, then you'd have to pay a fee. When Spain tried this, Google News simply…

The Well-Ordered Life

The well-ordered life may be defined as that set of sound beliefs and good practices which are most conducive to productivity and therefore happiness, at least insofar as as happiness depends on productivity. The well-ordered life has several types of component: goals; projects, which naturally…

How to crowdsource videos via a shared video channel

I got to talking to one of my colleagues here at Everipedia, the encyclopedia of everything, where I am now CIO, about future plans. I had the following idea. We could create an Everipedia channel--basically, just a YouTube account, but owned by Everipedia and devoted to regularly posting new…

Could God have evolved?

1. How a common argument for the existence of God failed—or did it? As a philosophy instructor, I often taught the topic of arguments for the existence of God. One of the most common arguments, called the argument from design or teleological argument, in one formulation compares God to a…

On intellectual honesty and accepting the humiliation of error

I. The virtue of intellectual honesty. Honesty is a greatly underrated epistemic virtue. There is a sound reason for thinking so. It turns out that probably the single greatest source of error is not ignorance but arrogance, not lack of facts but dogmatism. We leap to conclusions that fit with…

Modern education and culture, or, what did you think would happen?

I. Modern education and culture Look at where we are in education and culture today. Let's catalog the main issues, shall we? School children are often not taught to read properly, and too many fall behind and grow up functionally illiterate. Yet students are kept in schools practically all day and…