Larry Sanger

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

How to end Western civilization

[A video version of this post is at the bottom of the page.] I was reading Climbing Parnassus, a book-length defense of learning Greek and Latin, and it goes into historical depth about the role of education as a preserver of the best of culture. This resonated strongly with me, because I think it…

Reasons We Do Not Have for Homeschooling, and a Reason We Do

Here are several reasons we do not have for homeschooling: •  We are religious "nuts" who want to shield our children from the theory of evolution, etc.? Nope. I'm a nonbelieving rationalist. •  We are social climbers? Nope. I don't especially care if my boys go to the best colleges. I am not…

The opportunity costs of progressive education

    I have created a video version of this post! There is a surfeit of great ideas in education. They are "great ideas" for various reasons: children will learn a lot; they'll be really happy or enthusiastic; they'll have vivid memories of what they are taught; or they'll learn very…

Report on the boys (March 2014)

It's been a long time since I updated blog readers about H. & E. Once again I start this with a resolution to keep this short. Ha ha. First, H., is now 7 years old (8th birthday rapidly approaching). Many things to report. He's officially in the 2nd grade and after slightly lighter…

Why There Is Free Will

1. Some quick preliminaries I believe there is free will. I am a compatibilist. In this essay I will defend this view. I’ve taken this line ever since college, but have never taken the time to elaborate it since then. Especially with neuroscientists and other scientists asserting that free will…

Please read: my challenge to kindergarten and first grade teachers

Dear Teachers(and those who support teachers, please listen in), I will buy your class $100 worth of books, and donate whatever anyone else pledges below (more on that in a bit), if you successfully execute the following. (I can do this for only one teacher. But if more people pledge money for…

Why Edward Snowden deserves a pardon, explained in 10 easy steps

Let me put this briefly and simply. The government should not be snooping on us. But they started anyway. That was wrong and unconstitutional. When they did, they made their snooping program secret. That was wrong twice over, a cover-up of a wrong. Then they actually lied about the existence of the…

Update about the boys, April 2013

In the past I've given mammoth updates about the boys, because I do enjoy writing such updates; but I really can't afford the time now. Still, I will take a little time and share the highlights. First, H., age 6, almost 7. UPDATE: he has continued to do Supermemo every day, usually twice a…

Ask DadDude: spawning analytical thinkers

Someone emailed me this question. Since it was asked so nicely, I thought I'd answer. I have a question for you and I hope you have time to reply to it. I admire your essays and the indepth analysis of topics. You put a lot of critical and analytical thinking in your writing. Even when you argue,…

How I set up my standing desk

And now for something completely different. After my wife told me I sat too much, and reading various scary things about the evils of sitting too much and the benefits of standing desks, I decided to try out a standing desk. At first I was going to order one or buy one locally, and then I…