Larry Sanger

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

Is Western civilization collapsing?

A perennial topic for me (and many of us) is the notion that there is a deep malaise in Western civilization. There are, it seems to me, three main camps on this question. 1. The conservative position. "Yes. And it's a horrible thing. For one thing, elites have basically stopped reproducing.…

How I replaced Dropbox

My main beef with Dropbox is that it's not secure, not adequately encrypted, and there's been a little too much indication that Dropbox is spying on user data. Ever since I decided to lock down my cyber-life, I had Dropbox in my sights. It was going to be a pain to replace it, I thought, so it…

How and why I got a VPN

As part of my ongoing efforts to lock down my cyber-life, I finally decided to investigate VPNs (virtual private networks) and subscribe to one, if it seemed to be a good idea. Well, it is a good idea. So I got one, and it was pretty cheap. What is a VPN, anyway? A virtual private network,…

A reply to Mark Zuckerberg’s “Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking”

Yesterday (March 7), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined Facebook's new "vision and principles around building a privacy-focused messaging and social networking platform." The essential problem isn't that they need a new app; rather, they need to reform their existing one. Rather than…

Should we be satisfied with mediocre schools?

Michael J. Petrilli is president of the conservative educational thinktank, the Thomas J. Fordham Institute--whose tagline is "Advancing Educational Excellence." Petrilli argues that it's totally okay if his children study at a school that is "often mediocre." This a breath of fresh air in regards…

Further on my Linux journey: Ubuntu on a laptop

First, I decided to switch to Linux. I have to tell you: I'm so glad I did. It's not just the sheer relief from the knowledge that I'm not being monitored by Microsoft or carefully controlled by Apple. I'll admit, that's probably the biggest advantage to Linux for me. But I really, truly find…

The meeting of the Larrys

Today I was on Larry King Now (his Hulu/YouTube/RT program, similar to the old CNN "Larry King Live"). I was on a half-hour panel about blockchain with XYO's Markus Levin and Eric Tippetts of NASGO. It's due out March 1. Here are some pictures: Larry and the panelists The two Larrys…

How to decentralize social media—a brief sketch

The problem about social media is that it is centralized. Centralization empowers massive corporations and governments to steal our privacy and restrict our speech and autonomy. What should exist are neutral, technical standards and protocols, like the standards and protocols for blogs, email,…

18 things about Apple that suck

Apple, why dost thou suck? Let me count the ways: iTunes, the worst software in the world. The App Store is a centrally managed walled garden. I can't run apps Apple hasn't approved of on my phone, and on my own computer, I have to give special permission to run programs Apple doesn't like.…

My Facebook #DeletionDay goodbye message

Here's what I posted as my last long message to Facebook. Folks, as previously announced, tomorrow will be my #DeletionDay for Facebook. It'll be the last day I'll post here, and I'll begin the process for the permanent removal of my account. (Among other things, I'll make a copy of my…