Larry Sanger

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

The Antivitist Trend in the West

Recent events have suggested that there is a trend afoot in the West: that life is overrated and that death is not so bad. Call it, for lack of a better term, antivitism (from Latin vita, life). I'm not saying there's a "death cult." But there is evidence of a rather odd trend that seems to…

Is letting a 17-year-old die morally equivalent to killing her?

A spate of news articles appeared yesterday, reporting that Dutch 17-year-old mental patient Noa Pothoven was euthanized. This formulation—she was euthanized—caused outrage in certain circles. This is factually incorrect, they say. She was not euthanized. She took her own life. What are the…

Some thoughts on the new Voice.com project

This evening we finally learned what the #B1June hype was all about: among other things, a new social media system called Voice.com, built by Block.one, the company behind the outrageously well-performing EOS token. (Full disclosure: Everipedia, where I am CIO, is built on EOS and is the recipient…

How to write an app (that respects privacy and supports security)

Some difficult-to-meet requirements Be open source. Don't make users have to trust your black box. I don't want to have to trust you. I don't know you. Don't just release your in-house source code. Develop in public; practice outreach to OSS developers to loop in others; make distributed code…

Why your company should consider getting a NAS

What's a NAS again? "NAS" means "network-attached storage," but this buzzphrase has come to mean more than just a backup drive for your local network. It's also, and maybe more importantly, an easy-to-set-up personal cloud server. You use it for document storage and sync a la Dropbox; to sync…

Talk back: Why should we have more restrictions on “harmful” speech on social media?

Dear all, This is a different sort of blog post. Rather than me writing yet another essay to you, I want to open the floor to you. I want you to answer something for me. It's like the subreddit "Change My View." This is aimed specifically at my liberal and progressive friends who are very…

How I got rid of Google calendar

It was about 2013 that my friend Terrence Yang told me I should be using Google Calendar, because everybody was using Google Calendar. So I did. And he was right: almost everyone else was using it, as far as I could tell. There was a period between approximately 2015 and 2017 when I was getting…

If you want government censorship through the back door, advocate for social media regulation

Last week, Facebook permanently blocked the accounts of a motley assortment of conservatives, libertarians, and anti-Semites. This set the Internet, especially the free speech loving parts of the Internet, in an uproar. (That would include me.) Conservatives, who normally cheer for…

A Free Speech Credo

I. Free speech is nothing if not offensive. Free speech just is the right to say offensive things. Popular, safe speech needs no protection; only unpopular, unsafe speech does. Free speech needs protection precisely because and to the extent that it bothers, annoys, dismays, infuriates,…

An opinionated FAQ about Facebook’s censorship of the alleged “far right”

A lot of people understand neither free speech nor what the far right is. Here's a beginner's guide. Yesterday, Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by the same company, announced a purge—a fair description—of accounts by a roster of famous right-wing figures as well as Louis Farrakhan.…