Talk:Larry Sanger/Archive 4

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Sanger's Message to the FBI

Sanger's Message to the FBI should be covered here. -- samj inout 01:36, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Is that a reliable source? QuackGuru (talk) 01:40, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
There's an extensive article in The Register -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:15, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone have a sense of how reliable and widely read the register is? (i read it occasionally, but being a goober who spends too much time reading wikipedia, etc im too close to it). i think this letter deserves at least a brief mention, but to what degree? i would prefer to wait until the letter is picked up for reporting by agencies outside this somewhat narrow world of tech/web talk, before expanding any mention significantly. NPOV and undue weight are big concerns here. i know its discussed at slashdot, and was in googles news aggregate, but i dont think thats enough at all right now.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:16, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, it has just hit the front page of the BBC News site. (see: As that is very much mainstream news, I suggest we need to add a section regarding the issue.-- (talk) 22:57, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, now i totally support mentioning it here. i probably wont add the editions myself, and i will watch them to see if they are NPOV and of due weight, but please, anyone, go ahead.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 01:39, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
The article is mostly about Wales not Sanger. Do you support mentioning it in the Jimmy Wales page. QuackGuru (talk) 01:42, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
This information is about criticism and is in the criticism article. QuackGuru (talk) 18:34, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Good observation. I also agree that we should have a minimal mention across WP, having it in the criticism article is probably enough, in addition to here, until we have more sources. I would be open to limiting it to criticism of WP if other people feel strongly that this violates undue weight, esp. until we have more refs.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 06:57, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
A good observation is that you did not answer my question. QuackGuru (talk) 07:12, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Reference format

This edit changed the reference format. This is an odd way to format refrences. Most articles on Wikipedia are not formatted this way. I prefer reference formatting in the body. QuackGuru (talk) 19:04, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

See WP:LDR. Most articles aren't formatted the new way because it was only introduced six months ago, but it's the Next Big Thing and will probably be made the only way at some point. (Personally, I loathe LDR and think it's a pointless overcomplication, but that's just me.) – iridescent 19:15, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't see where it says references must be formatted this more difficult way. QuackGuru (talk) 19:24, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
There's no "must", and I'll fight tooth-and-nail against anyone who tries to make them so (see my thoughts on the matter here—I think it's arguably the stupidest idea ever implemented on this site). But they are, sadly, a legitimate format, and if there's a consensus in favour of them on the article (note the "if") they probably ought to be changed. – iridescent 19:38, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
I am having problems with the new formatting. Trying to find the reference is difficult. Trying to find a specific reference by clicking on the reference section is very difficult. If a reference needs to be updated it will be very difficult to make minor changes to the reference becuase you will have to locate it first. I don't see consensus for this article for the changes. QuackGuru (talk) 01:26, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

"Deconstructing Wikipedia" - profile

Good potential source - "Deconstructing Wikipedia" - Feature Story Reed magazine June 2010 "Larry Sanger ’91 launched a revolution. Why does he want to start over?" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 12:51, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

For several months, Seigenthaler’s biographical entry on Wikipedia had made the outrageous claim that he was complicit in the assassination of both John F. and Robert F. Kennedy, a particularly spiteful defamation because he had in fact been one of Robert Kennedy’s pallbearers. Because Wikipedia contributors are anonymous, Seigenthaler had no way of tracing the author—but he was able to track down the original architects of the system, which is why he was calling Sanger.
The criticism stung, but Sanger hoped that the incident would push Wikipedia to confront its problems—problems he had been warning about for years. Instead, the Wikipedia community responded with a collective shrug. “What no one would admit was that the episode suggested something wrong with the basic model that Wikipedia operates under,” he says.
Sanger had always been proud of his creation. Now, however, he was beginning to fear that it suffered from a fundamental flaw.
Here are the main points from the Reed source. QuackGuru (talk) 18:07, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Speedy keep

This was correct, Sanger should probably be blocked if he hasn't already been so if its true re his legal threats but that is no reason to delete the article. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 13:57, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Failed verification

I removed text that failed V. QuackGuru (talk) 18:36, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Could you point out which words of that fairly short sentence you thought were unsupported by the multiple sources offered? The content is certainly worth inclusion. Rvcx (talk) 21:19, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
What I removed was unsourced. You could not provide verification. QuackGuru (talk) 04:29, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Child porn report section

QuackGuru (talk removed this referenced item which had four references and has received massive publicity. This was just a two sentence item buried in the article and hardly undue weight (and I actually thought it was written in a sympathetic tone telling his side and none of the fall out). I'm not sure why it would draw the ire of Quack or even Sanger. Americasroof (talk) 19:51, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Restored that sentence. The sentence is a neutral report of a well-sourced and notable incident; I certainly think think content meets WP:BLP standards. And the notion that a single sentence on an incident that's drawn so much attention is WP:UNDUE borders on the absurd. Rvcx (talk) 21:16, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
The sentence is misleading without the clarification and it is criticism that is in the Criticism article. See WP:WEIGHT. The is an unreliable source. This is libel. See WP:BLP. QuackGuru (talk) 04:31, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Link seems broken, but i agree, we need to be very strict here about reliable sources, and how we summarize in the article from these sources. this source is out. If the foxnews and the tech articles are in conflict, we may have very little to source from reliably. I like how the article content is extremely limited, not getting into the back and forth. I like that for now, until we have truly reliable sources reporting on this in detail.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 06:56, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
You do not agree that misleading text without the clarification is a BLP violation? QuackGuru (talk) 07:11, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
What misleading text are you referring to, your only edit was to remove any reference to the incident, using the excuse that you didn't like one of the 4 references used. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 07:19, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Is QuackGuru actually Sanders? The pattern of editing is what one would expect from him. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 07:17, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Slate interview

There's a lengthy, if somewhat predictable, interview with Sanger here from that might be of use in developing this article. Skomorokh 17:02, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Vandalism on Citizendum

I have removed this statement for the following reasons:

  1. It seems to be original research since none of the sources compare vandalism in Wikipedia and Citizendum.
  2. I'm not convinced this is a valid comparison. From what I understand, there's no vandalism on Citizendum partly because there's almost no editors, and partly because there's no anonymous editors. If we were to keep this statement, we need to explain why Citizendum is so effective at "preventing" vandalism. Laurent (talk) 10:56, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
McCarthy, Caroline (January 23, 2007). "Citizendium: Wikipedia co-founder Sanger's Wikipedia rival". CNET News. Retrieved 2007-04-05. There will also be "gentle expert oversight" to provide some guidance, and presumably to prevent future wiki-vandalism in the manner of Stephen Colbert. 
One of the references does compare both. I provided the reference with one of the quotes to verify the comparison. Vandalism is arguably the most notable subject. For now I have included only one sentence. QuackGuru (talk) 18:55, 17 December 2010 (UTC)


This article is now substantially out of date. I gained a title on CZ and no longer have any position there, and am no longer executive director at, but am starting new projects for the people behind WatchKnow. Also, on Monday I posted a 140-page essay, How and Why I Taught My Toddler to Read ( I have also, as part of my work, started blogging on various topics, but especially baby reading. And, I have two children, 4 years and 2 months. --Larry Sanger (talk) 16:30, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

So, somebody updated the article, I see. But I do not blog for a living now. I am designing a new project & app to teach children how to read.

Also, "QuackGuru," if that quotation is not notable, no quotation from me is notable. Nothing I have said has been more widely quoted in the media, to my recollection. --Larry Sanger (talk) 19:03, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Two other items I would change. First, with the possible exceptions of "Why Wikipedia must jettison its anti-elitism" and "Who Says We Know," my recent essay "Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age" is probably my most-cited, most-discussed, most-read work. Also, I believe "How and Why I Tuaght My Toddler to Read" deserves to be included because I've spent a couple of years working on it (off and on, of course), and represents a new direction in my career. --Larry Sanger (talk) 16:52, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Also of relevance: --Larry Sanger (talk) 19:59, 24 December 2010 (UTC)


This edit added a minor comment by Sanger. This is not notable to the subject of the article. QuackGuru (talk) 18:55, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Vandalism à la Colbert

The article states, “Citizendium attempts to prevent future wiki-vandalism in the tradition of Stephen Colbert.” This may be based on a statement by the subject of the article, but it is opaque: what is meant by "the tradition of Stephen Colbert"? Does he often vandalize Wikipedia? Does he satirize Wikipedia or Wikivandals? Allusions (passing references; oblique or obscure mentions) should not be made to popular television unless absolutely necessary; never presume that the reader is familiar with it. Actually, wouldn't be just as good to delete the phrase "in the tradition of Stephen Colbert"? — Solo Owl (talk) 03:08, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I made a slight change to the sentence. The reader can click on the wikilink to become familiar with it. QuackGuru (talk) 18:04, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
A few years ago, I have written my opinion on wiki-vandalism and an easy way to solve the credibility problem. See [1] and add comment to my talk page. Kowloonese (talk) 20:01, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
This still doesn't make any sense if you are not familiar with the underlying incident. "Tradition like" is not even good usage. Jonathanwallace (talk) 11:49, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I fixed this by adding a reference to a CNET article about Colbert's pointy editing of Wikipedia (which is not discussed in our article on Colbert). I am concerned this gives undue weight to this particular side issue which is not really necessary to an understanding of Citizendium, and invite anyone who agrees to delete the Colbert reference entirely. I personally think a statement such as "Citizendium aims to prevent vandalism" is sufficient. Jonathanwallace (talk) 12:07, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Another source of info about moi


Apparently, this site is on your "blacklist," which doesn't make any sense to me. Dan Schneider has interviewed quite a few prominent people and, whatever else you think of him, his set of interviews is a valid source of information on people covered by Wikipedia. --Larry Sanger (talk) 15:13, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


I'm pretty sure having a PhD in Philosophy, having written a journal article and taught a couple of classes doesn't make one a philosopher, I don't think this should be in the article on the basis of the flimsy rationales in the archives (somebody said 'once a philosopher, always a philosopher' and another gave the impression that basically we needed something to fill the space because 'American Co-founder of Wikipedia' didn't work).

'Philosopher' is a pretty exclusive and reserved term, probably because it implies an expertise in.. well..thinking. In my view it encourages a reader to give extra weight to one's ideas and in the context of an article that is essentially just a list of Sanger's ideas that introduces a risk of compromising NPOV. I think we should be more careful about introducing this term (at least in the opening sentence), it has no bearing at all on his notability. He is (at a stretch) an academic and (more accurately) a lecturer.

Don't get me started on actually linking to his BA thesis, thats just bizarre. Bob House 884 (talk) 01:48, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I've removed the word philosopher from the opening sentence only, replacing it with lecturer. I've also removed the category tag 'epistemologists' since that category doesn't have clear entry criteria but does appear to be generally quite exclusive. I'd like to think I've been quite generous here and that there are a lot of other things which should have been removed, but I'd still suggest that the onus is on whoever wants to revert this to give a good reason why Mr Sanger is notable as a philosopher Bob House 884 (talk) 18:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Most of his philosophical work has focused on epistemology, the theory of knowledge. He was trained as an analytical philosopher too. The lead must be an accurate summary of the body. QuackGuru (talk) 18:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
With respect WP:BS. Style considerations do not trump the desire to provide factual information, avoid providing undue coverage etc. Having a doctorate in an having taught occassionally in philosophy does not make one a philosopher. For future reference I would appreciate it if you actually tried to address my concerns or direct me to some consensus rather than just reverting my edits within ten minutes with some naff reasoning like that. Bob House 884 (talk) 19:15, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The opening is a summary of the body per WP:LEAD. One of the sources said "Among Wikipedia's many unusual aspects is that its cocreator, Larry Sanger, is a professional epistemologist -- a philosopher who explores the very nature and sources of knowledge and who, like many before him, once questioned the possibility of knowing anything with certainty."[2] QuackGuru (talk) 04:08, 30 March 2011 (UTC)