Larry Sanger

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

Independent study, a replacement for college

There are many things wrong with higher education today, as I've argued on this blog. It's way too expensive.  The amount of bureaucratic overhead is simply ridiculous. The focus on education as vocational training has deeply undercut appreciation and practice of the liberal arts. It…

On the Purposes of the Internet

SISCTI 34 February 28, 2009 Monterrey, Mexico Introduction I am going to begin by asking a philosophical question about the Internet. But I can hear some of you saying, “Philosophy? What does that have to do with the Internet? Maybe I will have a siesta.” Well, before you close your eyes, let me…

Why study higher mathematics and other stuff most people don’t use in everyday life?

This video was posted in a Facebook group of mine here: I find it ironic that some of the most listened-to speakers about education explain that the cure to our educational ills is to point out that education is unnecessary. I call this educational anti-intellectualism. Here's another…

How the government can monitor U.S. citizens

Just what tools do American governments—federal, state, and local—have to monitor U.S. citizens? There are other such lists online, but I couldn't find one that struck me as being quite complete. This list omits strictly criminal tracking, because while criminals are citizens, actual crime…

Why do smart people say such stupid things about politics?

Hey to all my friends who are smart people. (And if you wonder whether this "who" is restrictive or nonrestrictive, you may be one of my smart friends.) When Thoreau said, "Simplify," he was not talking about your political positions. The truth is complex. You know this. You are capable of doing…

Top 10 hidden gems of central Ohio

Today my family discovered yet another hidden gem, a spot we had never been to before, in central Ohio where we live. This inspired me to catalog our favorite "hidden gems." Central Ohio has some excellent landmarks that a visitor would enjoy. The Columbus Zoo is world class; the…

Teaching reading — two suggestions

America’s literacy problems could be solved if parents, preschool teachers, and daycare workers did just two simple things. One is obvious. One is not. First, we should read a lot more to our babies, toddlers, and preschoolers — say, at least an hour per day. That means picking up a good…

Against language arts and social studies textbooks

Here's a little argument against language arts and social studies (e.g., history and geography) textbooks. We need to get rid of them. Period. Prima facie, we don't need textbooks to teach a subject. Other pedagogical methods include chapter (trade, library) books, short…

The notorious co-founder of Wikipedia interviews the notorious co-founder of Genius

I am spending a few days with the energetic and charming young crew of Everipedia at their offices in sunny L.A. I got to know Everipedia through Mahbod Moghadam, the 30-something but youthful and “thug” (this, apparently, is a good thing) co-founder of Genius.com, whom I got to know last…

All my presentations zipped together

I finally took a few hours and prepped all my educational preK-4 presentations for easy download. Here they are in one ginormous 862MB zip file. If you want to download them individually, here's the link.