Larry Sanger

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

Vendors must start adding physical on/off switches to devices that can spy on us

Where's my webcam's off switch? Have you ever noticed that your webcam doesn't have an "off" switch? I looked on Amazon, and I couldn't find any webcams for sale that had a simple on/off switch. When I thought I found one, but it turned out just to have a light that turns on when the camera is…

How I chose a NAS

A network-attached storage (NAS) device is your own Internet server device. It's your very own cloud! I decided to get one for my own reasons. But which, and configured how, exactly? Here's what I came up with for myself. A NAS server (credit to Bin im Garten on Wikimedia Commons, CC by-sa…

I’m not sure my career illustrates the value of a humanities degree, but the BBC thought so anyway

I was quoted by the BBC explaining the purpose of the liberal arts: BBC graphic The BBC article quotes this 5-year-old post from the very blog you are now reading. A few days earlier, I was on the BBC's list of "star performers" with humanities degrees, a sidebar of their article explaining…

There are no NPCs

International travel drives home that insight that, contrary to a put-down used by immature people, and consistent with Jordan Peterson's frequent observation that our biographies are all fascinating, there are no NPCs in the world: the variety of human experience is stunning. Yesterday I was…

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Cloud smackdown: NAS vs. Resilio Sync vs. Zero-Knowledge Cloud!

In my ongoing effort to lock down my cyber-life, I jettisoned Dropbox three weeks ago, and I'm quite happy I did. But I'm not done with the reconfiguration. So, if you have the patience and credulity, you may listen in while an amateur deliberates about the choices... People more expert about…

The Meaning of Life

...just in case you haven't figured it out yet. In this old answer, which I still believe and endorse wholeheartedly, I integrate many of popular answers—happiness or flourishing, meaningful work, benefiting mankind, love and family, and integrity—into a single narrative. Three parts below:…

Gay activists and Hollywood liberals vs. traditional Muslims vs. free speech liberals

Here's a richly ironic slice of our strange, sad old world in 2019. Ellen Degeneres is (quite rightly) protesting the Sultan of Brunei for introducing the death penalty (stoning to death) for gay sex. He's also executing people for adultery, but Ellen doesn't mention that:…

Zuckerberg Is Wrong: Don’t Regulate Our Content

Last Sunday, Mark Zuckerberg made another Facebook strategy post. (This is his second major policy post in as many months. I responded to his March 6 missive as well.) Unsurprisingly, it was a disaster. I want to shake him by his lapels and say, "Mark! Mark! Wrong way! Stop going that way! We…

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 the question, "Is Western civilization collapsing?" 1. The conservative position. "Yes. And it's a horrible thing. For one thing, elites…