larry sanger

larry sanger.png

noted earlier because of wikipedia.. adding page because of this


“There never was neutrality, and there never will be.” My thoughts last week on Facebook’s power:


@zephoria Well, you’re wrong:…

One common error is that neutrality aims at “objectivity.” This is often treated as if it were a synonym of neutrality, but as concepts and as aims, objectivity and neutrality are at odds. Objective thinking and writing involves setting aside our personal feelings, assimilating and presenting the evidence rationally, and drawing only those conclusions warranted by the evidence. This is a fine thing, but an objective process of thinking is still a highly personal and fallible process. In fact, it is the process of rational deliberation itself. Writers should not be doing this for their readers. If writers practice objectivity on their readers’ behalf, they are drawing conclusions and hence their writing is necessarily biased.

To be precise, writers should practice neutrality so that readers can practice objectivity for themselves. Neutrality is what we need if we’re to be free people, responsible for our decisions.

Another mistake is the claim that bias is a trivial problem. “It happens, sure,” I’ve heard repeatedly, “but everybody can read between the lines. Maybe if journalists would simply admit their bias, readers would stop being so bothered by it.”

I disagree. Admitted or not, bias is a surprisingly serious problem. Here’s why.


Bias interferes with this process, and neutral writing can help. When readers cannot tell what view is favored by the author, they must deliberate for themselves. Neutral writing helps this process of deliberation by presenting all the different views with their strongest arguments and representatives.


It’s hard to imagine that the secret police informants and death camp operators could have served their totalitarian dictators if they had not been thoroughly indoctrinated with exactly one point of view — one they did not own.

Journalists, textbook writers, and encyclopedists, take note: neutrality trains people to be self-governing. It is the best policy for free people.


In short, neutrality is best viewed as a discipline like copyediting and fact-checking, and just as difficult, time-consuming, and necessary. News services ought to adopt detailed neutrality guidelines and checklists, hire neutrality editors, do neutrality audits, and prove to the public that they’re neutral — because they haven’t been.

News publishers rarely if ever take editing for neutrality so seriously. So no newspaper and no news service has ever been neutral. Again, they articulate the fine-sounding goal of “objectivity,” but that is actually at odds with neutrality. And again, this is a serious failure.


Neutrality is for free people. Bias is for drones


2013 – Wikipedia’s forgotten founder (starting at 3:30)

6 min – ben kovitz

10 min – (interviewer) – for Jimmy to take the tool you created to delete you.. from founding page

15 min – on book about creation of oxford dictionary..

16 min – on bios of living people

20 min – you have to engage w community on their own terms… so definitely a learning curve..

22 min – when wikipedia decided to go non profit

26 min – (interviewer) they (jimmy) would have made billions by now… i believe he displaced that anger on you

30 min – on infobit

31 min – what is wrong w news today – online communities are incredibly powerful.. but no one has done that for front page news… unless .. perhaps reddit..  but they don’t specialize in newspaper news.. hasn’t really been the purpose of crowdsourcing….  i’ve been aware of organizing the world’s smartest people and best writers… people who make it their business to know things.. there’s billions of those people but they’re not organized…

34 min – you have to take bad w good… to keep community open.. ie: w wikipedia.. makes community thrive.. won’t work if completely open.. and doesn’t allow everyone a chance on front page.. that’s a hard nut to crack

35 min – on citizen journalism – amplifies what’s already available out there.. allows people to interact w news.. aren’t many regular people that break important stories.. looks like main role of crowd is to comment/react to it.. but i don’t think it has to be that way.. i think they can be the curators et al..

37 min – there’s an ongoing need for people who specially trained to write up stories quickly/accurately

38 min – journalists are the only ones that the newsmakers are going to sit down and talk with … has to be a level of trust.. a pr function of prof journalism that the crowd is never going to be able to satisfy..

39 min – there’s a base level of demand that i don’t think is going to go away..

40 min – one of problems w local news.. becoming more tabloidy.. being driven to drive page views…

41 min – i think it’s going to be fixed.. i have a great deal of faith in the internet and the power of innovation.. it’s amazing what people can come up with..

yes.. so let’s listen to graeber min/max law.. and do this first..

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake


find/follow Larry:

link twitter

Online knowledge organizer. Starting . A founder of Wikipedia, more. Ph.D. Philosophy.

wikipedia small

Lawrence MarkLarrySanger (/sæŋɜːr/; born July 16, 1968) is an American Internet project developer, co-founder of Wikipedia, and the founder of Citizendium. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. From an early age he has been interested in philosophy. Sanger received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Reed College in 1991 and a Doctor of Philosophy in philosophy from Ohio State University in 2000. Most of his philosophical work has focused on epistemology, the theory of knowledge.

He has been involved with various online encyclopedia projects. He is the former editor-in-chief of Nupedia, chief organizer (2001–02) of its successor, Wikipedia,[ and founding editor-in-chief of Citizendium. From his position at Nupedia, he assembled the process for article development. Sanger proposed implementing a wiki, which led directly to the creation of Wikipedia. Initially Wikipedia was a complementary project for Nupedia. He was Wikipedia’s early community leader and established many of its original policies.

Sanger left Wikipedia in 2002, and has since been critical of the project. He states that, despite its merits, Wikipedia lacks credibility due to, among other things, a lack of respect for expertise. In October 2006, Sanger started a somewhat similar encyclopedia to Wikipedia, Citizendium.

Sanger has taught philosophy at Ohio State University and was an early strategist for the expert-authoredEncyclopedia of Earth. He has worked on developing educational projects for individuals behind WatchKnowLearn. He has designed a web-based reading program named Reading Bear which aims to teach children how to read. In February 2013, he attempted to start a news crowdsourcing project named Infobitt; it ran out of money in mid-2015 without the code being ready to handle a full scale launch.


In December 2010, commenting in regard to WikiLeaks, Sanger said: “I consider you enemies of the U.S.—not just the government, but the people.


In February 2013, Sanger announced a project he named Infobitt – a crowdsourced news portal. On Twitter, he wrote: “My new project will show the world how to crowdsource high-quality content—a problem I’ve long wanted to solve. Not a wiki”. The site, which aims to develop a crowdsourced news aggregator, went online in December 2014. In July 2015, Sanger announced that the Infobitt project had run out of money, he had let the programmers go, and he was himself looking for a job. He further noted that it was impossible to do a full launch of the project as the code behind it was still only capable of working “at a small scale”


Wired covers our announcement (I’m joining Everipedia and we’re putting the world’s encyclopedic knowledge on the blockchain):

Original Tweet: