User talk:Larry Sanger

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Contents of old User page[edit]

My name is Larry Sanger and I was (with Jimbo Wales) instigator of Wikipedia, and the first (and so far only) editor-in-chief of Nupedia. I'm responsible for the original concept and the name "Wikipedia" and a lot of the original formulations of Wikipedia's most basic policy. Since funding for my salary ran out, leading to my departure in March 2002, I can take no credit and no blame for changes that have occurred since then. Ph.D. 2000, M.A. 1995, Philosophy, Ohio State University. B.A. 1991 Philosophy, Reed College. Home town is Anchorage, Alaska.

Please have a look at (and spread around links to) this Personal Statement about Wikipedia's Reliability. (Link no longer working.)

I can be reached at sanger (a t) citizendium (d o t) org.

All the best to Wikipedia and Wikipedians. May you continue

  • to be open and warmly welcoming, not insular,
  • to be focused singlemindedly on writing an encyclopedia, not on Usenet-style debate,
  • to recognize and praise the best work, work that is detailed, factual, well-informed, and well-referenced,
  • to work to understand what neutrality requires and why it is so essential to and good for this project,
  • to treat your fellow productive, well-meaning members of Wikipedia with respect and good will,
  • to attract and honor good people who know a lot and can write about it well, and
  • to show the door to trolls, vandals, and wiki-anarchists, who if permitted would waste your time and create a poisonous atmosphere here.

I set up an encyclopedia meta-search engine (this link no longer works). I hope you'll find it useful when researching Wikipedia articles.

If you are spending too much time on Wikipedia, you could always use my Human Activity Logger (dead link ?)to help you toward more self-discipline!  ;-)

Historical note:

Until December 2001, I was a full-time paid employee of Bomis, spending most of my work time (especially in the latter part of 2001) on Wikipedia. As of February 1, 2002, I was no longer paid at all; I made an announcement explaining that I'd continue on as a part-time volunteer. On March 1, 2002, I resigned responsibility for leading Wikipedia and as editor-in-chief of Nupedia; my reasons are given in my letter of resignation to the community. To reiterate, primarily I needed this extra time to find a job, and I felt that I could not work effectively as a leader when I am working only as a part-time volunteer. I participated in mailing list discussions and on the wiki to a small extent in the fall of 2002, but since December 2002 have drifted away.

Text from the old talk:Larry_Sanger page[edit]

Larry - I think there is a partial consensus (oxymoron?) that when disputes arise you are the nearest thing to an arbitrator there is. I don't know if we have (or need) a formal system of arbitration.

I don't see a very large consensus yet, and I don't see a need to make it official in any case. --LMS

I am not opposed to establishing a voluntary system of arbitration/mediation at Wikipedia, but there is a very real danger that establishing any formal system of arbitration/mediation will lay the groundwork for establishing a hierarchical power structure here. At the same time, the best argument for establishing a formal policy regarding arbitration/mediation is to make certain that procedural safeguards are put into place to prevent anyone from establishing a hierarchical power structure.

Beyond the naked fact that Bomis hosts Wikipedia and that certain people who have made it past a probationary period are allowed to request Wikipedia administrator privileges from Bomis, there seems to be very little formal structure here. People make changes to articles as they see fit, and when a conflict arises, people are forced to work it out amongst themselves.

I am reminded of how ODP first established "voluntary editor mediation" to resolve disputes between editors. Very quickly, this voluntary mediation process evolved into a de facto process for enforcement of the ODP Guidelines by ODP's meta editors. Meanwhile, the ODP Guidelines themselves went from being a recapitulation of the consensus of the volunteer editors to a strict code of conduct which was determined by ODP staff, and ODP devolved into a Lord of the Flies subculture.

The question remains as to whether it is necessary to establish a formal system of arbitration/mediation at Wikipedia. I think it is, but not to resolve disputes. Rather, it should be established with appropriate procedural safeguards to protect the rights of individuals to ignore all rules.--NetEsq

If you want a list of "24"'s contributions, you might do worse than take a look at User: -- Anon.

Oh boy--time to get out the shovels. --Larry Sanger

Hello Mr. Sanger. I'm pretty new to Wikipedia and have only now put together the history behind the project. I'm saddened by the way you were compelled to resign. Really it's just one of thousands of saddening stories accompanying the bursting of the Internet bubble, but it's just a shame that excellent work like this really can't find decent remuneration and I guess it won't change soon. I'd like to personally thank you, though, for your crucial role in creating Wikipedia and sustaining it in its infancy. It's a real achievement that can never be deleted from your past... I have a vague hope that the project will be transferred from Bomis (which, judging from its rather laughable website is not long for this world) to a company that can support it while understanding there's no chance of its making money for years. I think such a company would be very keen to try to get you back.

Anyway, I was hoping that if you have the time and inclination you might go to talk:Race and give your input on a dispute I'm having with another writer. It started out being slightly ad-hominem but we've got that under control now. I think the balance I'm trying to bring to the article is important and hope you'll agree and maybe put in a few words to that effect. The other guy has threatened to blow away some very carefully crafted stuff I added and I hope a word from you will give him pause. I know it's not your job anymore and I ask mostly because I think you'll find it interesting. Thanks -- JDG 17:35 Oct 17, 2002 (UTC)

Thanks for your kind words.

I can tell you that Bomis (Jimbo Wales) would never, as long as they can afford it, want to give up sponsoring Wikipedia. Whatever you might think of, they put well over a hundred thousand dollars (various salaries, mainly) into the project of building a free encyclopedia, and lack of funds for my salary notwithstanding, continue to support it very well. It's a feather in Jimbo's cap and by golly, he can and ought to wear it proudly.

I would not want to come back to lead Wikipedia. It is unleadable. Certain characters, who would be delighted if I named them by name so I won't, made my job quite unpleasant due to their constant attacks on my (very modest) attempts to exert some authority or influence (and thus do my job).

I would like to come back and lead a different Nupedia, though. It was rather sad that it worked out precisely as it did, but here's the story--in January 2001, I started Wikipedia when Nupedia had just gone live with its new system. Even by then I knew that Nupedia's editorial mechanism had become too cumbersome, and indeed Wikipedia was one of the ideas to supplement it. Over the next months, through the spring and summer of 2001, I started spending more and more time on Wikipedia, at first just because it really needed the guidance, and later because Jimmy specifically asked me to spend as much time on Wikipedia as possible, because it seemed to be the project that really had a going chance of succeeding.

In the fall and early winter of 2001 on Nupedia-L and Advisory-L (Nupedia's advisory board mailing list) we had a discussion and vote on a new editorial system for Nupedia. By then my time allotted to Nupedia was practically zilch; so, before January 2002, when I was on half pay and half time, and February 2002 when money ran out entirely, I didn't have enough time to get Nupedia going again under the new plan.

I have run the idea by Jimmy that I simply completely take over the Nupedia project (I would actually buy the thing from him) but he doesn't like the idea. He has assured me that he will get it running again, soon, but I'm not holding my breath. Don't get me wrong--I think Jimbo's heart is in the right place, he just doesn't have enough time to manage the projects he's started. It's a good thing that Wikipedia is more or less self-managing.

I'm sorry, but I'd rather not step into the race debate...

--Larry Sanger

I'd agree that Wikipedia is unleadable under current rules. I don't think any community can survive when there's no mechanism to shut down those who disrupt it at the foundations. Pure unpoliced egalitarianism runs up against one enduring fact of human nature: there will always be those who dedicate themselves to undermining the careful labor and cooperative spirit of others. It's just in their bones. If the finance situation were to turn around somehow and you could come back, there would need to be some new and startling by-laws. Heading the list would be a provision allowing you to propose a ban of anyone (perhaps for something like 2 months the first time, permanently the second time) who you feel is sytematically hindering your work. This proposal would be put to a vote by Wikipedians in which your vote alone counts for 10% of the vote total (if 300 people voted, your vote would be 30 votes)... It's sad there are people like Cunctator who are sly enough not to commit outright vandalism but who can make the leader's life miserable. In the Old West they had a phrase: "That man needs killin'", applied to people who gummed up the whole works by setting people and families against each other. Usually the offender was run out on a rail rather than actually killed. Online collaboration is settling a frontier and no frontier was ever settled without a supply of tar and feathers.-- JDG

I think the community--and this includes me, by the way--has made it clear enough that money for Wikipedia would not go first and foremost to the salary of anything like an editor.

You might not know this, but I am as responsible as anyone for the current extremely liberal banning policy. While I was managing Wikipedia, while I did pretty much immediately ban anyone who was obviously just a vandal (often, though, I'd wait for at least two infractions), and while I often threatened miscreants with banning and told certain individuals privately that they should just leave (e.g., that was the case with Helga, many months before things came to a head for her), in fact the first person who was actually banned from the project was "24," by Jimbo. Generally, I support the current policy of having public discussion of outright bans (not just recommendations and threats) and then doing it only after really serious consideration--and only in the most egregious cases.

Your proposal, to give me the power to ban people who are thorns in my side, would receive virtually no support from anyone now in the project. I would oppose it myself, or rather, if given such a power and I had my old job back, I wouldn't use it. That just isn't the way forward.

Please have a look at the Wikipedia-L archives from last August or September, in which I brought up the issue of mediocre quality and how to deal with it. You'll find that I have a different sort of solution: we need to revive a different Nupedia. Wikipedians, in their hubris, think they have all the answers to making a great encyclopedia. In fact, they really need a Nupedia. --Larry Sanger

I take your points, but it was you who said Wikipedia is "unleadable". Maybe you meant it can grow into a solid resource without any leadership, but I don't know about that. Anyway, I realize I'm asking you to restate stuff you're probably tired of stating. It's just that I'm new to Wikipedia and in the first blush of fascination with the idea. At least you're still around in some form -- JDG

Well, what you're saying makes total sense, from a certain point of view, and I didn't mean to say it didn't. Some of the stuff I said above in fact I said for the first time, actually, and you're the first person in a long time to suggest that we need more centralized control.

Wikipedia does have the leadership of a shifting group of people who happen to be most active and well-respected in the project. They're not elected, though. They just take responsibility and work a lot.

I do have some apprehension that, if we keep losing many of our best people, the overall quality of the project will decline. For one thing, I think people don't realize how important experts and academics are and have been for Wikipedia. Without them, I still maintain (as I maintained on Wikipedia-L), Wikipedia will probably never rise above a certain level of mediocrity, just as Everything2 never will. The question is whether some manner of leadership--whether from within Wikipedia or from some project independent of Wikipedia--is required to attract and retain such people. I suspect the answer is yes, so on that point I actually agree with you. --Larry Sanger

As resident philosopher, can you look at my description of the use of counterxamples in philosophy on Counterexample and make sure that it's reasonable? Thanks! — Toby 12:19 Nov 3, 2002 (UTC)

It's reasonable! --Larry Sanger

Would you have a moment to check what is said about Analogy of being at the entry on Apophatic theology? I'm not sure that I've got it right. — Mkmcconn

I really don't know anything about that--sorry. --Larry Sanger

Thank you anyway. I hope that doesn't mean that I've distorted beyond recognition, a topic you are in fact familiar with! — Mkmcconn 23:39 Nov 7, 2002 (UTC)


I've been reading about the "Problem of Induction" lately, and I'm now left with the impression that philosophers have put a lot more effort into figuring out the circumstances under which inductive reasoning is justified than those under which deductive reasoning is. In particular, while it seems very popular to be skeptical of the soundness of induction, deduction seems, for the most part, unquestionably acceptable in almost every case. (Provided fallacies are avoided, of course.) I'm wondering if, to help even the score, you could suggest any philosophers who either try to problematize deductive reasoning, or others who make a serious attempt to justify it. Surely this must keep someone up late at night.

The most interesting things I've found along these lines are:

  1. Lewis Carroll's "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles" (in Godel, Escher, Bach)
  2. Hofstadter's justification of the rules of first order logic (also somewhere in Godel, Escher, Bach). It's something along the lines of, "Don't these rules sound like what a sane person must believe? If you are sane, and you intuitively believe them, do you really need to question them?"

Obviously I could find someone willing to argue about deduction if I go far enough afield, say, into postmodern literary theory. But that stuff doesn't strike me as terribly serious or compelling.

--Ryguasu 04:33 Nov 7, 2002 (UTC)

One of the best things on that question is my dissertation.  ;-) Seriously, what my dissertation was about was the problem that the justification of induction and of deduction have in common.

The leading view on the question you mention is that there's nothing wrong with the circularity involved in deductive justifications of deduction. The modern locus classicus of this view is Nelson Goodman's Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Also, Susan Haack wrote an article called "The Justification of Deduction" in Mind. For the underlying issues, you could always go here and use your browser's search function to find "deduction" on the Chapter 3 page. --Larry Sanger


Thanks for the philosophy references. I've copied them to my user page now, in case you want to delete the above.

On another note, you were right about the Lakoff page being a bunch of crap. I'm starting to fix it up.

--Ryguasu 23:23 Nov 22, 2002 (UTC)

In curious as to whether or not you had been following the Irish potato famine article and its related talk, and the issues of domineering bias permeating it... I feel Ive been compromising too much on the issue of British imperialism, and have some inkling that this has being done with the threat of my removal, for making my voice known. -Sv

Larry, what was that page I just edited that I thought was this page? Anyway, to answer your question that by now you've probably forgotten asking: No, "Anglican Church" is not the same as "Church of England". All churches belonging to the Anglican Communion, and some that do not belong are Anglican churches. That includes the Episcopal Church in the USA, which is obviously not part of the Church of England. Michael Hardy 20:27 12 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hey Larry, if from time to time people have edited the article on identity and change, is it still the same article? (Do you still read this page? If not, then ignore this posting.) Michael Hardy 21:58, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Regarding the article on Noumenon: I've barely read Kant, so maybe its my fault, but can someone please explain to me what the text in the article means when it says Max Born solves the enigma of Kant's Ding an Sich with the statement One person cannot convey the concept of the color red, but two people can agree (on the color). Is this really what Kant meant by Noumenon? It doesn't seem right to me. Its also strange to say that he "solved" the enigma--I did read Hegel, and I know that both Hegel and Gottlieb Fichte, as well as other German Idealists, made arguments refuting the notion of the thing-in-itself. Hegel says there is no thing-in-itself that is beyond understanding. Does this article need to be changed and corrected? Brianshapiro

on the talk page for the United Kingdom you say that the UK includes Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the channel islands and the isle of man. Just wanted to point out that this is very wrong, the UK is in fact just great britain plus northern ireland, the channel islands and Man are crown dependencies. Grunners 03:25, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Article Licensing[edit]

Hi, I've started a drive to get users to multi-license all of their contributions that they've made to either (1) all U.S. state, county, and city articles or (2) all articles, using the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (CC-by-sa) v1.0 and v2.0 Licenses or into the public domain if they prefer. The CC-by-sa license is a true free documentation license that is similar to Wikipedia's license, the GFDL, but it allows other projects, such as WikiTravel, to use our articles. Since you are among the top 1000 Wikipedians by edits, I was wondering if you would be willing to multi-license all of your contributions or at minimum those on the geographic articles. Over 90% of people asked have agreed. For More Information:

To allow us to track those users who muli-license their contributions, many users copy and paste the "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}" template into their user page, but there are other options at Template messages/User namespace. The following examples could also copied and pasted into your user page:

Option 1
I agree to [[Wikipedia:Multi-licensing|multi-license]] all my contributions, with the exception of my user pages, as described below:


Option 2
I agree to [[Wikipedia:Multi-licensing|multi-license]] all my contributions to any [[U.S. state]], county, or city article as described below:

Or if you wanted to place your work into the public domain, you could replace "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}" with "{{MultiLicensePD}}". If you only prefer using the GFDL, I would like to know that too. Please let me know what you think at my talk page. It's important to know either way so no one keeps asking. -- Ram-Man (comment| talk)

LarrySanger moved to User:Larry Sanger/old[edit]

Heya, In an effort to clean up the main namespace, the redirect at LarrySanger has been moved to User:Larry Sanger/old, as there's some edit history of yours there, should you want to keep it. --fvw* 03:17, 2004 Dec 13 (UTC)

Ditto for User:Larry Sanger/old-LarrysText. --fvw* 20:15, 2004 Dec 14 (UTC)

purpose and objectivity[edit]

Any opinions on my comments at Talk:List of philosophical topics (A-C) discussion page on the articles with these two titles? Michael Hardy 22:41, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

conspiracy theories[edit]

I am having trouble finding a neutral lead definition. There is the legal definition which combines the concepts of a "theory" and "people conspiring together" in a criminal act context. Then there is the colloquial defn which talks about unfounded theories defying common understanding. These definitions are in some ways at polar opposites.

In my googling, I've found that dictionary definitions tend to agree with the legal version. However the previous lead wikipedia definition

A conspiracy theory is a theory that defies common historical or current understanding of events, under the claim that those events are the result of manipulations by two or more individuals or various secretive powers or conspiracies.

seems to match up more with the colloquial definition and is hard to grasp. I changed the lead wiki definition to be more consistent with the legal/dictionary definitions, and easy for me to read/understand. Since you are the creator of this article, I thought it would be best if you resolved this issue and merged my thoughts with yours to be more NPOV and accurate. Bogusstory 22:17, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Talk:Bayesian probability[edit]

I definitely agree with Larry (i.e. "LMS") on this one. The fact that different probabilities may be assigned given different information certainly is not enough to mean they're subjective. Michael Hardy 30 June 2005 23:52 (UTC)


Hi, Larry. I posted some comments at Wikipedia talk:Categorization, saying I agreed with you (but whether you will think my comments agree with your position or disagree with it may be another matter). But after posting, I noticed your comments were no longer there. Did you recant? Michael Hardy 19:45, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Hi Mike,

I don't remember whether I recanted or not. I might or might not have removed my remarks. I now take the position that a certain kind of category hierarchy might be useful, but I'd rather not go into detail.

But feel free to reinstate my comments if you want to put yours into context.

(As you can see, I don't check this page very often!)


Michael Hardy, this is a link to Larry's comments in the archive. 19:52, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Rfd de:Larry Sanger[edit]

Hi, Larry. I just noticed that the German article de:Larry Sanger is suggested for deletion ... --Roland2 12:07, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


Please provide a source and license for your small squirrel so we can keep him around. (Otherwise, we will have to delete it after 7 days.) Thanks! -SCEhardT 05:39, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


OK, there does seem to be a dispute about the founding of Wikipedia (I've never really bothered to document Jimbo's life history, nor your own). However, I'd like to give things a shot. I'll try to updated the Jimbo Wales page soon, including your recollection that you helped found the site, but that Jimbo doesn't agree. I know it's not really what you want, but it's probably the best I can do under the circumstances. - Ta bu shi da yu 12:50, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Welcome back - hope you decide to hang around occasionally. Trödel•talk 13:40, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, just back to deal with the aftermath of recent announcements.  ;-) "Ta bu shi da yu," you are absolutely right that it isn't what I want, because there are actually facts here that are not in dispute, even by Jimmy. You say Jimmy doesn't agree; with what, exactly, does he not agree? By reporting certain undisputed facts, which are important enough if an article about me is warranted at all, one puts the lie to any notion that I was not co-founder, chief architect, chief organizer, or whatever you want to call me. There are people who were there, moreover, such as User:AstroNomer, whom you might interview, since you were not there yourself. --Larry Sanger 17:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Even if you are only here for that now - imho - missing Wikipedians should always be welcomed back warmly. And I hope you find a reason to stay around and make occasional edits, I'm sure the history of wikipedia articles will be adjusted towards NPOV overtime, like all the articles, instant perfection we don't have. Trödel•talk 19:42, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! Well, this is kind of funny, because I actually started the practice (as far as I recall) of welcoming people on their user pages.  ;-) --Larry Sanger 00:46, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
You're welcome, that is humorously ironic. I missed your welcome though - my first username edit was in Jul 2004 under User:Trodel Trödel•talk 02:16, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Image copyright[edit]

Hi, I've been cleaning up image copyrights, and came across Image:20ency1.1.jpg, which says in good passive voice "was taken". But the question of copyright hinges upon who did the taking - was it you, or an NYT staff photographer, or somebody else? Stan 19:46, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi Larry Sanger, I know you aren't officially an editor here but perhaps you can help... [1] "NPOV was drafted originally for Nupedia by a philosopher". -- Who was this philosopher? Is the earliest version available somewhere?.Bensaccount 20:32, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

The philosopher would be me. See this page for Nupedia's "nonbias policy." I drafted it well before Wikipedia was conceived of, in spring or summer of 2000. Also, while we're at it, I started the longer version of Wikipedia's neutrality policy; see this page for an early draft. --Larry Sanger 03:10, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Barnstar of Diligence.png

You deserve it! εγκυκλοπαίδεια* 02:49, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

NPOV misleadingly jumbles language and selective bias[edit]

For your information, severe problems with NPOV have been discussed on its talk page during the last weeks. The root of the problem is that the name "neutral point of view", means:

neutral (adjective) - not engaged on either side
point of view (or viewpoint) - (noun) - a position from which something is considered or evaluated

Thus the policy should deal with describing views without engaging in them, or asserting each one's validity, ie avoiding language bias or alternatively narrative bias. Fair enough.

The problem is that the policy also trys to do much more than that, it also advocates a completely different thing which is balancing views ie. avoiding selective bias - bias that naturally stems from the selection of facts. This has led to an enormous amount of confusion and misunderstanding, when both of these aspects are collectively referred to as "NPOV".

The problem is further increased in practice, when wikipedia editors mistakenly identify their prose as "neutral" when in is written in the "uninvolved" aspect of the "neutral viewpoint". This false sense of "neutrality", unfortunately, encourages wishful thinking and strengthens their sense of cognitive bias. Hostility and distrust may even arise when their work is criticised as (selectively) "biased" or in the wikipedia (IMO horrible) jargon "POV".

My efforts at pointing out this critical distinction are generally not positively accepted. Editors seem to treat the NPOV policy as a sort of "taboo issue" (may I add "scripture", "dogma", "ideology") and tend to deny or ignore any criticisms of it.

The policy itself is extremely vague and ambiguous, overly verbose, and self-contradicting. Discussion also shows that various unrelated interpretations of it have been created by editors. I have also personally accused it for deliberately distorting the notions of neutrality, fairness, knowledge, minority, majority and morality. And for being more a platform of propaganda and advocacy rather than an actual (useful or citeable) policy. For your information. --Anon84.x 15:18, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I would like to add that this request for a clear explanation of both narrative bias and selective bias, and their relationship, is not an attempt to add new rules to determine what can be included in Wikipedia. Instead, we advocate that the current neutral point of view policy should simply refer as much as needed to known selection rules in the no original research and the verifiability policies. As pointed out above by Anon84.x the problem is that the current formulation jumbles narrative and selection bias, and thus can be used to suggest that eliminating narrative bias is sufficient to remove all bias. This is in contradiction with the other policies, which state that they are an integral part of what is needed to achieve neutrality. The basic idea is that if selection is based upon reputable publications, it is more neutral than if it is based upon the personal opinion of the editors. --Lumiere 20:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Here's another way to look at what I'm trying to point out: NPOV suggests that a journalist who does not make any interpretations or judgments about the facts (or views, for this matter) he presents, is unbiased. However, I mean that NPOV only superficially suggests that, but does not claim that, as it also talks about balancing (selecting) views and representing various opinions.

But please agree with me that if the average user of the policy is not able to make and understand this important distinction, then this is simply returning to the same old game of the objectivity of the press. In this time wikipedians (rather than journalists) backed by their incorrect interpretation of the (provably vague) NPOV policy, feel they are writing in the name of truth (call it neutrality, whatever) as they believe themselves to be "neutral" (aka by wikisynonym "objective").

I do not mean to insult you, but please understand, even for the benefit of your new projects, that sufficiently critical participants will not accept this kind of vague and simplistic guidelines. I am surprised that NPOV was not demanded to be clarified or brought to the community scrunity. I think this is one of the critical decisions that had brought this project to its current miserable state.

NPOV does not make much sense, period. And the wikipedians like it that way. Haven't you heard? wikipedia has turned into a gathering point for flocks of irrational mediocrities, unintersted or capable of critical or original thought, obssessed by the status-quo and their "consensus" which is their nice little euphemism for "groupthink". The NPOV dogma suites that well, here's a testimony from one of the discussions of my proposals:

Ok. Looking again over what comments you asked for, "What I'm asking is whether this formulation is helpful for a better (more accurate) understanding of the policy." By "this formulation", I going to assume you mean one that "reflects a precise distinction between "narrative bias" and "selective bias"". In that case, I don't think that such a formulation is helpful for a better, or more accurate understanding of this policy. I think the policy is vague on this point, but I think intentionally so, and clarifying it goes against the spirit, as well as the letter, of the policy, and also goes against the general practice of Wikipedians and Wikipedia. I wish you luck, but I do not feel that such a formulation would be of benefit to the NPOV policy, or to Wikipedia as a whole. Thanks for clarifing your intentions! JesseW, the juggling janitor 13:31, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Even in my wildest dreams, I never imagined an "encyclopedia" that would be run by "janitors"! --Anon84.x 23:12, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

My advice to you is to direct your criticisms to the actual statement of the policy. Based on these criticisms I have doubts that you really have bothered very carefully reading it. But you're not alone--most people who think there is something deeply wrong with it have never really tried to understand it, I think; their attacks are almost always attacks on straw men. But anyway, I am long since finished debating it on Wikipedia. We might continue the debate, on a higher and more productive level, in the context of the Digital Universe. --Larry Sanger

Dear Larry, I understand what you are saying. It makes sense that you decided to move along with a different approach. I also think that the problem with Wikipedia is not mainly with the policy, though it could be improved, but with the understanding of the policy. I sincerely think that this policy was well thought. I know that I will not be the first wikipedian editor to ask you not to abandon entirely your role withing Wikipedia. You might not be able to change the whole thing, which is out of control, but with a little investment of time you could make a difference.

I had a look at Digital Universe in the hope to find some specific technology, some rules to guide the collaboration, but did not find anything. Can you tell me where I can find this? --Lumière 14:19, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Oh no, not another encyclopedia with that psuedohumanistic rationalist propoganda. The NPOV is always biased to the consensus theory of truth, Mr Sanger. You are imposing a petty view of the world on the naive internet mobs, masquerading as "Neutrality". I would love to engage in a contextual discussion on this. And if you find my writing inflammatory, it is only because I was myself indoctrinated by NPOV. I feel no need to apologize as I was insulted just as well. (perhaps even more) --Anon84.x 14:34, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Since you mentioned it. I think there is a basic and simple problem with NPOV that makes it "inherently wrong". The problem is that it simply does not aim to any truth, other than that is reflected by the writers' common bias. It does not aim for some consistency or coherence in what it presents. I.e: it is process oriented: it is good at minimizing social conflict and disagreement. It might be nice to reflect some ideal of humanism, but what does that has to do with capturing some version of truth? (in that sense my criticism is similar to that of 24, if you remember this)
The common response here is that "writing an encyclopedia isn't about truth, it is about informing about facts". Yes, but denying that the naive reader will naturally evolve conclusions from the facts the writers chose to present, is telling a big, big lie to yourself. --Anon84.x 16:17, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
To remind you of 24's criticism:
Let me see if I understand you. If we all choose to work together co-operatively, in an effort to encompass the widest possible points of view, in a spirit of helpfulness, thoughtfulness, and compassion, then we will "harm everything alive that we touch"? I must beg to differ. [--Jimbo]
beg all you want - the philosophy you outline is called w:humanism and it is destructive to all non-human life forms. Your "work", "effort", "spirit", etc,. are guided by a w:cognitive bias and w:culture bias, but not sense of w:notation bias or limits to your wisdom. There was a terrific statement by w:Buffy Ste. Marie about this at a conference of w:indigenous peoples. She recounted a white man saying "how come you all say different things but you all agree about us?" - and the huge laugh that this got among natives with no further discussion. The white man thinks his words are real, and that they describe his actions. That is simply not true, and he does vast harm by believing such nonsense. [--24] --Anon84.x 16:53, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Another way to put it is that I see NPOV only "unbiased" as an "annotated bibliography", and not more. Anything it says beyond pointing to different viewpoints reflects a common bias, that is genuinely dangerous as it tends to reinforce itself by the agreement of all editors, and consequently imposing itself on the reader. That's what I meant by "a petty view on truth".
However, "common bias" isn't nessecerily bad. Well performed synthesis of views and facts can get interesting results. However, that's the sort of things experts are supposed to do so..
NPOV is not really special or novel. It may converge to an "expert viewpoint" (a viewpoint, that is, not "neutral" in any sense), or it may just be "stuck" at reinforcing the view of the majority, producing a mediocre result. (see wikipedia for more on that) --Anon84.x 20:03, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

More of my criticisms (My "test case" was the article on transcendental meditation) here --Anon84.x 10:37, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Larry Sanger/Origins of Wikipedia[edit]

I just wanted to let you know that User:SushiGeek has put User:Larry Sanger/Origins of Wikipedia on WP:MFD. --Phroziac . o º O (♥♥♥♥ chocolate!) 02:09, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

In case you missed it the decision was speedy keep. Trödel•talk 00:02, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Jeremy Roselfeld[edit]

Hey, are you sure you don't remember a Jeremy Rosenfeld? At all? Are you suggesting that he is fiction? --Candide, or Optimism 23:28, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


Hi. Your request for protection at /Origins of Wikipedia is obviously either being overlooked or ignored by administrators. I've listed it at WP:RPP. An admin should reply shortly. --TantalumTelluride 05:41, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Update: I don't think anyone's going to protect it because of the rule against pre-emptive protection. I would make an exception in this case, and I actually don't think it would be a bad idea to lower the protection criteria in general. Whoever came up with the concept of a wiki encyclopedia that anyone can edit, anyway? ... Oh, yeah. That was you. No offense. --TantalumTelluride 22:04, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, we all make mistakes from time to time . . . nobody's perfect (except of course certain members of the US Congress). GreenReaper 23:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
If there's a rule against pre-emptive protection, why are images always protected when they go on the Main Page? NeonMerlin 11:33, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Woe, Woe is Wikipedia[edit]

Hi, I see you just dropped by to comment in Talk:Bernard Haisch, so I just wanted to let you know that I am actively seeking feedback pro/con on my own evolving analysis, documented at my user page where you can find a summary of my views. Supporting evidence will eventually go to User:Hillman/Wikipedia_quality_control which is currently rather disorganized, but in User:Hillman/Media_commentary_on_Wikipedia I gave pride of place to your own essays. I seem to largely agree with Wikipedia's most cogent outside critics and have even called for a coup which would replace Jimbo with Robert McHenry and/or yourself if either of you were willing! :-/ (Not that I see any hope of this actually happening; my call for revolt was partly tongue-in-cheek.)

I'd also be very interested in your feedback on my comments about Digital Universe.---CH 21:53, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


Can you either activate the "E-mail this user" feature for your Wikipedia user account or send me an email through my account? Thanks. --JWSchmidt 05:03, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

I haven't had a need to authenticate any e-mail address in the system yet--why not just use blarneypilgrim [at] yahoo [dot] com? --Larry Sanger 05:46, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Guideline proposal could use your comments[edit]


What do you think of Wikipedia:Intentionally permanent red link? I am trying to build consensus on the talk page so that this guideline, or an alternative, can be put in place ASAP, and one of Wikipedia's lamest edit wars will end once and for all. Comments from someone as influential as yourself would be a big help. NeonMerlin 11:32, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Wow, that really is a lame edit war. My suggestion would be for Wikipedia to adopt a fairer, more sensible decisionmaking process, and then make whatever is decided actually enforceable. Clearly, the edit war is much more of a problem than either the presence or the absence of "intentionally permanent red links." --Larry Sanger 18:19, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Is this language POV?[edit]

In response to a 1999 controversy covered by the press concerning a group of Wiccans in the United States military who were holding religious rituals and services on the grounds of the bases they were assigned to, Weyrich sought to exempt Wiccans from the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment[9] and bar them from serving the military altogether. Weyrich, as president of the Free Congress Foundation, led a coalition of ten religious right organizations that attempted a Christian boycott on joining the military until all Wiccans were removed from the services, saying:

"Until the Army withdraws all official support and approval from witchcraft, no Christian should enlist or re-enlist in the Army, and Christian parents should not allow their children to join the Army" ... "An Army that sponsors satanic rituals is unworthy of representing the United States of America" ... "The official approval of satanism and witchcraft by the Army is a direct assault on the Christian faith that generations of American soldiers have fought and died for" ... "If the Army wants witches and satanists in its ranks, then it can do it without Christians in those ranks. It's time for the Christians in this country to put a stop to this kind of nonsense. A Christian recruiting strike will compel the Army to think seriously about what it is doing." -- Paul Weyrich "'Satanic' Army Unworthy of Representing United States," Free Congress Foundation press release, June 9, 1999.[9]

I would appreaciate your input because I am concerned this passage regarding Paul Weyrich represents the editor's interpretation of Mr. Weyrich's statement, not actually what he said. My take is the sentence "If the Army wants witches and satanists in its ranks, then it can do it without Christians in those ranks." is acrostic sarcasm. Sort of a if Army wants to promote "witchcraft" then Christians should have nothing to do with it.

I'd appreciate your input.-- 04:10, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is Imortal[edit]

Does Wikipedia have any ads for attracting people to the site or is it just spoken word or magic? And when will you change the design interface or are you already doing it in small steps and when will we see this new interface if there is one? I love this site it is the best for people who need to be in the know.


Posted:10/17/06, 10:16 PM (GMT-5:00) Eastern Time(United States and Canada)

Great work[edit]

Netizens will always be indebted to founders of Wikipedia. Great show!--Darrendeng 05:29, 30 November 2006 (UTC)


In your FAQ, you wrote "Bomis' many other". I assume you are familiar with the book "The Elements of Style" in in it, it explains that it should be "Bomis's". Anomo 06:21, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Hello, I noticed your post on Jimbo's page today - didn't know you still participated here at all. So I'd like to offer a couple of comments. I came to Wikipedia in October 2005, raised one article and two lists to featured status, and helped craft the Wikipedia:Disruptive editing guideline. I've been an administrator since October 2006 and specialize in difficult investigations.

Some of the editors I respect have given Citizendium a try and invited me to join them. The main reason I've turned down the offers is because I prefer not to reveal my real world name. I'm not ashamed of my background - I have an Ivy League education - but due to the kinds of administrative work I perform I'd rather not give troublemakers a way to find me. Every now and then I block an editor who's made a death threat and last week I reported a suicide threat to the Pennsylvania state police. Most of these threats are baseless, but it would only take one serious threat to change my life. I have no intention of making that easy (and due to my rather unusual name it would be easy).

I wish you well with Citizendium. I don't know whether you get this type of comment very often, but I have a hunch this limits your userbase. DurovaCharge! 04:37, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

We have over 400 people who are willing to use their real names, and that's before we've gone public and before any serious recruitment efforts. So I'm not worried. --Larry Sanger 09:04, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Well then I'll be over here helping Wikipedia produce GNU content for your site to improve. Happy holidays. DurovaCharge! 19:47, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Larry - I've been having a wander down memory lane by reading your memoirs about the early days... and was particularly entertained to read many of the judgemental comments made by people who know nothing about those days. As a result I'm having Wiki'nam flashbacks... ("You weren't there, man - you'll never know!".)

I even managed to find the Wedding Card we all wrote for you back in December 01. JHK, AstroNomer, and even a civil addition from Cunc. Those are days I will always look back on fondly. Anyway, I'm really glad to see you are doing interesting things and I am keenly observing the Citizendium. Dunno if you need blanket generalists like myself or not, but I'll be happy to dive in if there's room. Warm regards, Manning 03:03, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Manning, CZ was set up for people like you. Please do join us! --Larry Sanger 06:28, 9 January 2007 (UTC)


Hi Larry, Your biology article looks ok, though I havn't read it in detail yet. Will be iteresting to compare it with Wikipedia's. One thing, strange you would use a generalist continental species to illustrate a specialist island bird. But then, I'm not an expert.... Cheers, --Michael Johnson 10:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

You can improve the article, if you think it needs improvement--just go to

Oops, there I go sounding like a Wikipedian defending Wikipedia: "Change it if you don't like it!"  ;-)

Also, it's in no way my article. Credit goes to many people, but I'm not among them. --Larry Sanger 20:02, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Oldest wikipedia edit[edit]

Hi Larry. I'm trying to find the oldest wikipedia article. So far, the oldest I have found is Talk:Smallpox, for which you edited on 20th June 2001, however, when I click on your name, to view your edit history, it goes only as far back as 30th January 2002! Any idea how I can view your (or anyone else's) edit history for 2001 please? Many thanks, --Rebroad 13:33, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Remove the space from the username. That will return the older results. — Aluvus t/c 20:00, 4 February 2007 (UTC)


Have you been to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Essjay yet? I'm sure you're input would be appreciated. --Hojimachongtalk 01:40, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Нi Larry[edit]

Its nice to see you back on Wikipedia. Certainly you represent an important critical voice with some good ideas which are still appreciated by many of us. But I dont think picking on Essjay is one of them. -Ste|vertigo 07:08, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Enjoy, Larry![edit]

Trampton 03:37, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Email for you[edit]

I sent you an email yesterday. Just letting you know in case it got eaten by spam filters. Andjam 23:40, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

As far as I'm concerned[edit]

You are not the co-founder of wikipedia, the term is a loaded one; you assisted with wikipedia's founding.--Trulexicon 01:35, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Right! So did Jimmy, by paying my salary.  ;-) --Larry Sanger 02:39, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Well than all references which refer to you "as the founder of wikipedia" should be removed and reverted on sight.--Trulexicon 01:11, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Only if the same applies to Jimmy.  ;-) --Larry Sanger 14:40, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not exactly known for being the greatest fan of Jimmy, but if you were his employee, then how could you possibly be counted as a co-founder? You would then need to have been his partner. You can get credit for doing all the work and for coming up with the idea, but I think that only those who own the project can be counted as founders of the thing they develop. To be a co-founder is a legal issue and not a moral one. This is how I see it. --Thus Spake Anittas 21:14, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not going to discuss this any further. None of you know anything about this. See --Larry Sanger 13:11, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Larry I'm sorry but I'm going to revert and remove your name from being called "the founder of wikipedia," I think you helped facilitate growth of wikipedia. Also what's the big the issue with the link with your profile on it?
I know a lot about the founding of wikipedia Mr. Sanger. --Trulexicon 04:33, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
That's definitely not "NPOV". Michael Hardy 21:12, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Well I've talked Jimbo on the IRC channel in the past about it and I believe his account of the founding of Wikipedia. I'm willing to look at your side Professor Sanger and I hope this issue is resolved.--Trulexicon 04:24, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the best thing to do right now is not to take an official position on this, but rather say that Larry disputes Jimbo's claim of being the sole founder of the Wikipedia and claims himself to be the co-founder of Wikipedia based on [fill-in his arguments]. It would be good if Larry and Jimbo would keep a constructive dialogue between themselves and come to an agreement. I think you should give it a shot, Larry. It's your move. --Thus Spake Anittas 18:05, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
What makes you think we haven't given it a shot several times? I would prefer that you say not that I dispute Jimbo's claim, but that Jimmy has changed the official position of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, as the first three project press releases, all of which I believe were posted and approved by Jimmy himself, credited both of us as founders. This and other embarrassing facts can be found on . Anyway, that really is the last I'll have to say on this subject here. --Larry Sanger 00:16, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
If there is an inconsistency in the press releases, then that should perhaps be investigated for itself, but I don't see why it bothers you to discuss this subject on Wiki. --Thus Spake Anittas 08:24, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
For the next several years, I and dozens of other people will periodically question the significance of your contributions to a large project you worked on. Virtually none of us will have been present during that stage of the project, few of us will really be well-acquainted with what happened. No amount of re-explaining the same points over and over will settle the issue. I expect you to be willing to discuss this any time any of us bring it up, even when we are just rehashing things that have been said many times before and even when there is no indication that any of us are actually listening to you. If you refuse, I will express disbelief. — Aluvus t/c 21:36, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Aluvus, that's an incredibly foolish thing to say, and a perfect example of the presumption and arrogance I absolutely hate about some Wikipedians--a feature happily lacking among most Citizens, who are a little more mature. --Larry Sanger 00:54, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that your seeking to claim the high ground on maturity is itself a particularly mature act (though of course, that kind of statement invites a recursive counter-statement). And some of the conduct of people associated with the Citizendium project (including, it must be said, yourself) does make me question some of the virtues that you tout. But this is really not the ideal forum to discuss such matters. — Aluvus t/c 09:22, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I see that Wikipedia still hasn't changed. Sad. --Larry Sanger 17:47, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I disagree with the proposition that "To be a co-founder is a legal issue and not a moral one." For that reason, I don't think the question of who paid who's salary has much relevance to this particular question. The question is who came up with ideas and pursued them. Michael Hardy 22:03, 21 September 2007 (UTC) an example, last time I checked, the article on Seymour Geisser stated that he founded the School of Statistics at the University of Minnesota. Obviously he didn't pay for it out of his own pocket; it's a state university that was paying him a salary. This sort of thing is pretty standard within universities. Michael Hardy 22:05, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. A week ago I emailed both Larry and Jimbo and encouraged them to start a dialogue over the issue and discuss the moral aspect of Larry's claim. Jimbo replied, but Larry didn't. Larry must realize that his only chance of finding a compromise to this disagreement is by communicating with Jimbo. I don't think it would help him much by advertising his position on Wikipedia. As for your analogy, I don't think it fits this case too well because those who are credited for founding universities or any other kind of institutions--or in the past, even settlements--were assigned to do so and their mission was clearly described to them. In the case of Larry, he seems to be at the mercy of Jimbo, whom the latter holds a monopoly in representing Wikipedia to the media. His word weights heavier than Larry's word. Larry's only concrete argument is the pressreleases which are said to mention Larry as a co-founder. I don't think I've heard Jimbo explaining the meaning of those pressreleases, but from what I understood from Jimbo, he is willing to credit Larry for every contribution that he has made to Wikipedia and Larry's legacy. I also suggested that Larry could be credited for designing Wikipedia and to be given the title of "designer." My analogies included two examples where I compared Wikipedia to a videogame where Jimbo is the publisher and Larry the gamedeveloper; and where Wikipedia is a newly discovered science where Jimbo is the paying company and Larry the scientist making the discovery. --Thus Spake Anittas 10:36, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Huh? People who found universities have their mission handed to them by some other person? What makes you think that's true? Michael Hardy 00:12, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Mike--excellent argument by analogy, a sort which simply never had occurred to me. --Larry Sanger 00:54, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
A userbox for you all
L Sanger.jpg Don't forget about Larry!
Hey, people! In the box shown on the right there is something to keep in mind :) . --Antonielly (talk) 00:59, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

article history[edit]

Larry, I see that the edit history for planning statistical research identifies you as the initial author, and labels that initial edit as "minor". For you to write the initial article on such a subject seems out of character (I could be wrong, though), and labeling the initial edit "minor" seems odd, and I seem to recall that you have been erroneously identified in such histories as the initial author of several other articles. Do you know if there's some reason for that? Michael Hardy 21:09, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

This is almost certainly due to the fact that the early months of WP article histories were deleted. We didn't start saving all edit histories until, I don't know, summer or fall of 2001 I think. --Larry Sanger 04:15, 22 September 2007 (UTC) (who should be spending this time on [2] :-) )

Reliable history only dates back to December of 2001. In the early days history often got purged to free up space in the database. Manning 16:31, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Mr Sanger[edit]

Mr. Sanger, I have a question for you think that the link I put in your article is a BLP violation? Be honest with me...

If you do think it is (and if you feel strongly about it) I will remove it. I added it to your article, because I wanted to show people you are a full fledged professor Mr. Sanger.--Trulexicon 04:21, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

No big deal. It will be removed anyways per relevance and whatsthepointanyways?? Thanks, --Tom 14:04, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I was kindly asking Professor Sanger, it has a lot of relevance to the article as it is a discusses Sanger's teaching style, etc. It also humanizes Professor Sanger in my humble opinon.--Trulexicon 05:53, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Stop provoking the man. What's your problem, anyway? Did he give you a bad grade? --Thus Spake Anittas 06:22, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Please don't assume this editor has any higher education. Thanks you. --Tom 14:05, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Philosophy vs. the Protocols of the Elders of Zion[edit]

  • Greatings! I'm the alleged disruptive editor at Philosophy about whom you've had discussions some time ago.
  • It turns out that it's relatively easier writing articles for the second - controversial - topic than it is for abstract Philosophy - where I was considered "disruptive."
  • Anyway, I thought I'd drop you a line to see if you remember discussing my alleged disruptive "conduct" regarding Philosophy.
  • By the way, the main issue there and then was whether "rational" was a useful adjective to modify Philosophy. I subscribed to the negative position.
  • Cheers. --Ludvikus 02:55, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

The link that no longer works[edit]

I think this is the link that no longer works. It seems that the article was removed as early as August 2005. --Thus Spake Anittas 13:28, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

That's the one. Sort of an early version of "Why Wikipedia Must Jettison its Anti-Elitism." --Larry Sanger 00:01, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

A question about Citizendium[edit]

I have spent a little time on Citizendium, and some of its articles are already at a higher level of quality than Wikipedia's articles on the same subject. Can we use content from Citizendium on Wikipedia, providing we attribute it to the original source? Or does Citizendium's license forbid this? Thanks in advance. Terraxos 02:24, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

The Citizendium's lack of a set license currently forbids the use of articles that we ourselves have originated. Articles that are marked as being sourced from Wikipedia--which have the notice "Some content on this page may previously have appeared on Wikipedia" at the bottom of the page--may of course be transferred back to Wikipedia, since we have released our versions under the GFDL (as we are required to do). We will be announcing a decision about the license for our original articles very soon--by the end of the week, should be. I'm sorry to say that it is unlikely to be the GFDL, but there is still a chance of that. There is a better chance of CC-by-sa or CC-by-nc-sa. --Larry Sanger 17:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

please sign[edit]

Dear Larry Sanger,

Please sign my autograph page  —Preceding comment was added at 03:09, 18 December 2007 (UTC) 

Barnstar from another user[edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
for many great contributions to wikipedia 1bookfan 03:10, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


Nuvola apps important yellow.svg

A proposed deletion template has been added to the article GeekSpeak, suggesting that it be deleted according to the proposed deletion process. All contributions are appreciated, but this article may not satisfy Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion, and the deletion notice should explain why (see also "What Wikipedia is not" and Wikipedia's deletion policy). You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{dated prod}} notice, but please explain why you disagree with the proposed deletion in your edit summary or on its talk page. Also, please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Even though removing the deletion notice will prevent deletion through the proposed deletion process, the article may still be deleted if it matches any of the speedy deletion criteria or it can be sent to Articles for Deletion, where it may be deleted if consensus to delete is reached. If you agree with the deletion of the article, and you are the only person who has made substantial edits to the page, please add {{db-author}} to the top of GeekSpeak. Jfire (talk) 21:52, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

AfD nomination of GeekSpeak[edit]

I have nominated GeekSpeak, an article you created, for deletion. I do not feel that this article satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion, and have explained why at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/GeekSpeak. Your opinions on the matter are welcome at that same discussion page; also, you are welcome to edit the article to address these concerns. Thank you for your time. Jfire (talk) 16:07, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I didn't create that article. You (and the whole AfD system) are confused. --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:10, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I know this is WAYYYYYYYyyy old but the edit history shows you did create the article July 25, 2001 unless User:Larry_Sanger was a different person but when I click on that user from the edit history, it brings me here to your talk page. - ALLST☆R echo 03:47, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

About Citizendium[edit]

Hello, I have a few questions about Citizendium. I have been looking around it lately and the whole site seems to have messages trying to assert how they are better than Wikipedia. And have you ever thought about something like core articles, articles which are essential to any encyclopedia? I am currently living in Mongolia, and when I type Mongolia, or Genghis Khan into the searchbox, the only thing that turns up is "Inner Mongolia" --TheNamer (talk) 12:46, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure we have ever claimed that we are "better than Wikipedia." Such a claim would be very vague; that's why I wouldn't say it, unless I were being very careless. What we have said, and what I certainly defend, is that we have a better model, and that in time we have potential to be better than Wikipedia. This is why you should get involved!

As to Core Articles, see CZ:Core Articles. There is a proposal to simplify that initiative. You are more than welcome to join us and help improve our offerings about Mongolia. --Larry Sanger (talk) 22:43, 7 August 2008 (UTC)


Is it that Jimbo Wales writes that he founded Wikipedia, and that you write co-founded. In the edit box, he even writes, "Please do not change this to co-founded...." Why is that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doctor Foci Whom (talkcontribs) 00:23, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I do not know why Jimmy Wales says what he says. You will have to ask him. I usually use "co-founder" or "a founder" because I am not the only founder of Wikipedia, and I have never claimed to be. I did have much more of a hand than the other founder, in the actual policies and operations of Wikipedia in its early, formative months. But that does not make me "founder." --Larry Sanger (talk) 22:46, 7 August 2008 (UTC)


my name is hi5dn 11:14, 24 July 2008 (UTC)


tell me these questions on my talk page!

its for a school report.

1. What things have you done that involve leadership.

2. What struggles did you fight to acolmplish a goal.

Thanks! AgentSpy101 (talk) 13:30, 22 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AgentSpy101 (talkcontribs)

"Decline to participate, sorry"[edit]


I reverted it. Larry Sanger must be heard (talk) 16:57, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales does not wish to be confronted on his own user talk page; that only makes it more likely that he'll be confronted elsewhere. --Larry Sanger (talk) 17:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Mr. Sanger, if I can offer a word of advice, I really don't see why you insist so much on this. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, takes Jimmy's position seriously anymore. Every single news article that has covered the subject has described you as co-founder, and so does every Wikipedia page related to the subject. At this point I dont think you need to prove anything anymore... (talk) 17:26, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, if you'll read the letter, you'll see that it's not just about the "co-founder" description. Jimmy Wales has said many other provably false things about me and my role in starting Wikipedia, and I finally have decided to hold him publicly accountable--so that he will stop, and so the various details in the record, which he has distorted, are corrected. --Larry Sanger (talk) 17:29, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
It too bad more folks don't share my view that this "co-founder" business is the most important "fact" to get correct in this project. If this fact can't be properly sourced and reported and is "bastardized" over time, what other facts out there are getting the same treatment? I personally think Mr. Wales would do the project a world of good by taking the high road and saying "you know what, Sanger is right, we both founded this project back in the day". I stll feel that if you were still involved in the project and were buddy buddy with Jimbo, this wouldn't even be an issue. Anyways, good luck, --Tom (talk) 17:40, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, I doubt many Wikipedians take Mr Wales's claims at all seriously nowadays. DuncanHill (talk) 17:43, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Larry, edit warring on a user's talk page isn't allowed. Please stop. Thanks. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:56, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

  • This WP:TALK page is for discussion about changes and improvements to the article to which it is attached. It is not a personal message board, sounding-off spot or discussion group about anything except the article itself, and in this thread there are no proposed changes of comments about the Larry Sanger article. --David Shankbone 17:58, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
    • It's a USER talk page, which is for communication with a User. DuncanHill (talk) 18:00, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
      • David, this is Larry's talkpage, not "attached to an article". Where precisely would you suggest would be a better place to hold a discussion with him? – iridescent 18:01, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Gwen, are you and other Wikipedia admins sure you want to treat this as an ordinary bit of "edit warring" that you can cause to end with a polite "please stop, thanks"? Careful--the world is watching--well, it soon will be, I guarantee. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:02, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Larry, I understand what you're trying to do, but you can't edit war on this website. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:03, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I won't be restoring the letter again. It will always be available here and, I suspect, in other places online. But I never was "edit warring," Gwen; "edit war" refers to deletion and reversion of articles. It obviously does not cover an attempt by one co-founder of a project to confront the other co-founder about the latter's abuses publicly. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:13, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for stopping. Edit warring policy does indeed cover any kind of confrontation in the project space. I'm not going to get into a WP:Wikilawyering back and forth about this, though I can say, edit warring on a user's talk page could also be called harassment along with soapboxing. You know about all this stuff, I've no looming worries that you've tried to snare his heed this way, but it's not the way. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Gwen, take a seat. No one needs you stoking the flames. If you think Jimmy can't handle this himself, the project has bigger problems than we already realized. لennavecia 18:24, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

An Administrators' Noticeboard thread concerning you[edit]

Just out of courtesy, an AN thread has been started relating to your (and other editors') recent edits. See Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Jimbo's talk page. DuncanHill (talk) 18:17, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Talk Page items[edit]

Hi Larry. I know that you've probably not followed a lot at Wikipedia since you started Citizendium, so I thought I'd mention something for thought. It's been my observation that users are allowed to remove pretty much what they want from their own talk pages at Wikipedia these days; even official warnings. I doubt however that anyone could fault your posting to either your user page or your talk page. Just a thought. You're welcome to reply either here, my WP talk page, or my Citizendium talk page (same name). — Ched :  ?  18:37, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


The issue is basically resolved as far as any actual Wikipedia articles go, thanks to official Wikipedia and WMF literature. History can't be changed on that point now. GoneAwayNowAndRetired (C)(T) 05:10, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Articles for deletion nomination of Revising opinions in statistics[edit]

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Revising opinions in statistics, an article that you created, has been nominated for deletion. The nominator does not think that this article satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion, and has explained why at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Revising opinions in statistics. Your opinions on the matter are welcome at that same discussion page; also, you are welcome to edit the article to address these concerns. Thank you for your time.

Fences&Windows 23:37, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

AfD nomination of Nude celebrities on the Internet[edit]

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An article that you have been involved in editing, Nude celebrities on the Internet, has been listed for deletion. If you are interested in the deletion discussion, please participate by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Nude celebrities on the Internet (2nd nomination). Thank you.

Please contact me if you're unsure why you received this message.  – iridescent 16:43, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Your user page history[edit]

Hi Larry,

I've just history merged your userpage with the very old edits at Larry Sanger, so all the history of your user page is now in one place. Hope you don't mind. Graham87 03:32, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I do mind. That's history you're messing with, Graham87. --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:11, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

What are your specific objections, Larry? I'm not trying to mess with history, just moving it to more logical locations. I think that, as far as possible, article history should be in articles and user page history should be in user pages. I only moved the user page history at Larry Sanger to the title User:Larry Sanger, to fix this cut and paste move.
Cut and paste moves may not have been a big deal in 2002, because AFAIK they were the only reliable way to move pages for most users. However they are now, as shown by the existence of the cut and paste move repair holding pen. Therefore the history merge of your user page was quite appropriate and I will not reverse it without a very good reason. Graham87 12:21, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't care, Graham. You asked if I minded; I do mind. If you're going to act all high-handed and reject my opinion, then don't ask for my opinion. Just do whatever you are going to do regardless. You'll go far here in Wikipedia-land. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:17, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

That's a bit uncivil. Graham was informing you of something that might not be entirely clear from the logs, and offering the opportunity for discussion about the issue. "No" isn't assisting in that discussion. I'm genuinely interested in what the objections might be to ensuring that the editing history of some content is in fact tied to the content, and not just to some completely unrelated area of the wiki where that content used to live. Are you against all history merging, or just this instance? Is there a better mechanism for managing editing histories that you'd prefer or that you've suggested in the past? (This is a well-known problem in revision control systems and most have addressed it with something similar to history merging.) Rvcx (talk) 18:38, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Er, I think I was perfectly clear: I'm not interested in having a discussion about this. Graham asked my opinion; I offered it. If he doesn't care about my opinion, that's too bad. Bye now. And, Wikipedians--get over yourselves. "That's a bit uncivil"--where, other than in Wikipedia-land, would some complete (and anonymous) stranger say such a thing to another person? I find that to be both silly and uncivil. Anyway, I have said my piece. --Larry Sanger (talk) 22:46, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Here in reality saying "that's rude" to strangers who are unintentionally behaving obnoxiously is a completely normal thing to do. It seems clear, however, that your aggression towards anyone remotely involved with Wikipedia (even those who also happen to also be editors of Citizendium, and who have worked hard to maintain the accuracy of Wikipedia's information about you and the founding of the project) is entirely intentional. Expectations for productive contributions from you successfully lowered. Rvcx (talk) 00:42, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Programming help desk[edit]

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The article Programming help desk has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

A search for references failed to find significant coverage in reliable sources to comply with notability requirements. This included web searches for news coverage, books, and journals, which can be seen from the following links:
Programming help desknews, books, scholar
Consequently, this article is about a subject that appears to lack sufficient notability.

While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{dated prod}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{dated prod}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. The speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Abductive (reasoning) 15:57, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Prod has been removed, rationale given in edit on page... RP459 (talk) 18:50, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

What idiocy. The bureaucracy has run rampant. --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:12, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Ultimately the PROD was justified (lack of sources). RP459's solution didn't work because he cited economicexpert, which is a Wikipedia mirror. The article became a redirect to "help desk" WhisperToMe (talk) 13:07, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Articles for deletion nomination of Wikipedia[edit]

Ambox warning pn.svg

I have nominated Wikipedia, an article that you created, for deletion. I do not think that this article satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion, and have explained why at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Wikipedia (4th nomination). Your opinions on the matter are welcome at that same discussion page; also, you are welcome to edit the article to address these concerns. Thank you for your time.

Please contact me if you're unsure why you received this message. NERDYSCIENCEDUDE (✉ messagechanges) 12:50, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

ROTFL! --Larry Sanger (talk) 20:44, 1 April 2010 (UTC)


Perhaps you would like to clarify your positions to these comments? Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-04-12/Sanger_allegations (talk) 11:21, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

You mean you're seeking redemption? That's nice. Anyway, sorry, I don't really have time or energy to feed myself to that pack of hyenas. I've stated my positions in several places, linked from [4] and also at [5] --Larry Sanger (talk) 20:36, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

And what do you think of the Fox News story reporting your allegations? (talk) 00:09, 28 April 2010 (UTC)


hello!!! Indigochild 23:05, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


While I might be burning bridges with the and WatchKnow movements, I feel obligated to point out a certain element of irony in recent events. You mischaracterized an individual as "well known for his views in defense of pedophilia", either maliciously or through gross negligence, and then had the gall to be offended at "grossly misleading" characterizations of your written report and associated comments. It's unfathomable to me how you could viciously defame someone, and then limply complain that you've been quoted out of context by your critics. If you'd simply taken an unpopular but principled stand on a controversial issue, I imagine all your bridges would still be intact. Instead your assertions have left you bereft of credibility in the virtual communities that know you best, and this lack will be the source of any reputational damage you experience. Nathan T 21:47, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

account on Commons?[edit]

Hi Mr. Sanger,
did you open this account User:Erjkcbfdsicbu on Wikimedia-Commons or is this an imposter (more likely)? This is a honestly meant question from an Comons' admin. --Túrelio (talk) 08:32, 6 May 2010 (UTC)


Larry, you've had ample scope to express your differences between Jimbo Wales, what Wikpedia has become, and your own personal position. It's not up to me to evaluate the merits of your disruption on Wikipedia, beyond that that it is not directed to our principal purpose, which is the construction of a body of freely-available knowledge, and my personal view is that any edit editor who is unpreprared to subscribe to that principle does not belong here. And from the lowest vandal to the most committed disruptive editor, I don't regard that as being relevant. Rodhullandemu 02:06, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

What a maroon. --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:07, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I suppose you mean "moron", a maroon is a mixed African-Amerindian from Jamaica. You cannot call people morons or idiots or imbeciles. You know that. Don't do it. If someone is wrong, please explain why without engaging in offensive personality. Fred Talk 11:44, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I was, of course, employing the term in its bugsian sense: --Larry Sanger (talk) 14:00, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
'A term of derision often uttered by Bugs Bunny when referring to an interaction with a dopey adversary. It is a mispronunciation of the word "Moron"' [6], a distinction without a difference. Fred Talk 17:34, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
No. You're either with us or against us. But you have made it quite plain, and that is why you are blocked. Rodhullandemu 02:11, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Please, please, continue. Tell me what you really think. --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:19, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I've unblocked this account. There was no warning, no discussion, and the block appears to be punitive. I understand that Rodhullandemu wants to reduce disruption, but this is not the way to do it. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:25, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is. The block was based on persistent abusive edits to this project; any other editor making such edits would have been kicked into touch long ago. Larry Sanger is no longer anything special here, and is clearly showing an animus towards this project. If you can't see that, I suggest you've missed the point, or are not in touch with external sources.Rodhullandemu 02:48, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Can you please point out the abusive edits, Rodhullmandu? Also, I am in touch with external sources. Best, Firsfron of Ronchester 02:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Next person to wheel-war etc. about this will face heavy sanctions. I suggest that people use common sense and clear judgement. —Dark 02:27, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I would also suggest people discuss before engaging in blocks/unblocks of this nature. —Dark 02:28, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Firsfron, you mention 'disruption'. Could you explain how Larry was being disruptive? I honestly don't see it. Rodhullandemu either has a wicked sense of humor or he is an incompetent nincompoop. --TungstenCarbide XXI (talk) 02:34, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Please don't unblock me. I'm finding being blocked so much fun. --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You too? :)--Mbz1 (talk) 03:20, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I believe "disruption" was used in, err, an extended sense of the word. Quite obviously, note Rodhullandemu's extremely clear sentiments - "You're either with us or against us." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:40, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't really see it, either; I was responding to the blocking reason. Wikipedia should be open to criticism, even on the site itself. Considering who this editor is, he should be treated with some measure of respect. This was an indefinite block without warning. Even vandals (usually) get better treatment. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:41, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's all irrelevant because I wasn't even criticizing Wikipedia in the edits for which I was blocked. I merely pointed out that there was no mention of Certain Recent Events on Wikipedia and History of Wikipedia, which is, at the very worst, an implied criticism of the behavior of the people who work on those articles.
Also, I'm puzzled--it says here that User:Firsfron has unblocked me, yet I still can't edit any page other than my user talk page. I'm afraid I'm ignorant of how these things work, because I've never blocked anyone on Wikipedia, or been blocked (tee hee!). --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:46, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Probably an autoblock. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:47, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
So...what does that mean? Do I need to do something somehow to remove the block? --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:04, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Autoblock cleared NW (Talk) 03:08, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Let me be perfectly clear here. As an admin here, my duty, and my responsibilty, is to protect this encyclopedia from damage, from wherever it may originate, and that includes pointed edits from those who no longer subscribe to our collective values. I've kicked enough unconstructive accounts into touch in my time, and to be honest, I don't see why Larry Sanger should be any different. Call me naive, but please tell me why on earth he should receive special treatment here? Rodhullandemu 03:09, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
      • He is entitled to special treatment, he played a vital role in the early days of Wikipedia, but you did not give him even the courteous treatment any editor is entitled to. Fred Talk 11:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
    • And let me be perfectly clear as well. I demand that I be treated exactly as everyone else. It seems that anyone else who forthrightly, honestly, and publicly criticized Wikipedia's problems, and who would suggest that my report to the FBI and Jimmy Wales' deletion of porn from Commons be added to the relevant articles, should be banned. Or so says Rodhullandemu. I defer to him, since he is an Admin and I am not. So you should probably do your duty and ban me. --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
      • Please consult our conflict of interest guidelines, Wikipedia:Conflict of interest and conduct yourself in accordance with them in the future. You will always be welcome here, but you do need to conduct yourself appropriately. Fred Talk 11:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I treated you as I would any other editor whose avowed or obvious purpose is not that of improving the content of this encyclopedia, which is what we should be doing here. Vandalism is broadly construed, and in my view extends outside merely Article space. However, that is somewhat irrelevant given your continued anti-campaign against Wikipedia. It's perhaps obvious that such a campaign isn't going to work on Wikipedia itself, and Wikipedia Review is largely populated by disaffected and banned users. In short, you have yet to achieve a credible outlet for your anti-Wikipedia bile. Rodhullandemu 04:24, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
    • It appears that editors are blocked at Citizendium just for criticizing that project.[7] It's callled "unprofessionalism" there. I guess Sanger doesn't want Wikipedia to follow the standards he's set in that other project he founded.   Will Beback  talk  06:33, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
      • Nothing to do with how Larry is treated here. Fred Talk 11:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
        • No, but it does undercut any argument that there's something outrageous about blocking people who are actively working against a project. If he were doing the same thing on Citizendium as he's doing here, it looks like he'd be blocked there (if he were a regular editor, that is). Over there, such behavior is called "unprofessional". I wonder if he thinks its professional behavior here, or if unprofessional behavior is unnecessary here.   Will Beback  talk  03:00, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
          • Will Beback obviously hasn't got the first clue about how CZ operates. We encourage criticism of the project. We are very open in how we talk about it and how to improve it. I started a very long thread suggesting that an exception be made to CZ:Professionalism for the Editor-in-Chief, essentially inviting people to berate me, which they did. As for "maroon," well, let's put it this way. CZ has higher standards than WP. CZ is like a good-natured academic lounge. WP is like a corner bar. --Larry Sanger (talk) 21:04, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  • At its root this is but a widely noted and long-running project dispute. Editors may have their own good faith outlooks as to whether Larry has been disruptive in this web space but taken altogether, I don't think this account should have been blocked without talking about it at length first. Meanwhile the notion that Larry would have asked for an unblock himself is so far-fetched, I see the unblock as helpful. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:19, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
We have all had ample opportunity to express our views on this issue, including Larry Sanger. The "child porn" issue is mentioned in Criticism of Wikipedia, but future edits in this area should be left to users who do not have a conflict of interest. Free speech is not the issue here, because anyone can say whatever they like on their personal website.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:37, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
It looks to me as though he groks that as an editor: Unless I'm missing something, Larry hasn't edited the article in almost three weeks. I'd think he's welcome to edit the talk page but I'd hope he would help other editors in an encyclopedic way, by sticking mostly to citing sources which have published his outlook. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:51, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
To be more exact, it seems to have been this edit at Talk:Wikipedia and this edit at Talk:History of Wikipedia that led to the block. In conjunction with the edits at Talk:Criticism of Wikipedia there could be an element of WP:SPA, but probably not enough to justify an indefinite block. The section Criticism_of_Wikipedia#Sexual_content says as much about this as is necessary for the time being, so it has not been swept under the carpet.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes and it's Larry. Background has some sway. Gwen Gale (talk) 13:18, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I absolutely demand to be treated just as you would treat anyone else! --Larry Sanger (talk) 13:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
As anyone else with your editing background? It's happening so far as I can see. Gwen Gale (talk) 13:59, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Lemme get this straight: it is a conflict of interest if I suggest on the talk page that all of the recent events--from my report to the FBI, to the Register and story about that, to Jimmy Wales' sudden decision to remove porn from Commons, to the story about that and hubbub that resulted--should be covered in the articles? These events are among the most significant in the history of the project, especially the porn deletion efforts. So, go ahead. Explain how pointing out that the relevant articles need to be updated with this information represents a "conflict of interest." This should be entertaining. --Larry Sanger (talk) 13:51, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Larry, you founded a competing online encyclopedia, which means your take on this could be somewhat selfish. Gwen Gale (talk) 13:57, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, Gwen, I also founded this encyclopedia, and so you might consider that I want to do what I can to keep it from doing grossly inappropriate things, like violating federal statutes and encouraging its educational use for school children when it hosts incredible amounts of smut that no sane parent would want his child to see. In other words, don't presume to judge my motives. My motives are just as I said they were: --Larry Sanger (talk) 14:04, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You had the way insightful notion of having a go at opening up input to Nupedia with wiki software, for which you'll be long recalled. Cool. Wales paid for it and had the snap to drop Nupedia and let things carry forth as Wikipedia. Cheers to that, so far as I can tell. We both know there's a way boring back and forth about what "founding" means in all this. As to conflict of interest, I've already said I think you grok that as an editor here. As to smut, I think we both know that's a marketing term, both fuzzy and polemic. I say let parents and schools do as they please, websites aren't that hard to block. As to illegal content on en.WP, which is a privately owned website, editor consensus aside, that's up to its owner, WmF. Your input is welcome, please cite it to what are taken as reliable sources here. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:37, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I think it was Bomis that paid for it, at least primarily, with Wales as a key figure at Bomis being instrumental in approving / leading that. (talk) 06:19, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to make an intelligent guess that Rodhullandemu is a maroon. (Chunbum Park (talk) 18:30, 3 June 2010 (UTC))

How I started Wikipedia (video presentation from a few days ago)[edit]

part 1 - part 2

Next installment: how I was banned from Wikipedia ;-) --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Mr. Sanger, we don't know each other, and this is about to irreversibly into the stupids, but if you would please, just stop. This is beneath you, not to mention unlikely to be effective. Of all the outlets for you to say what you want to say, the talk pages of Wikipedia articles is the last place that's going to work. I'm sure you not only know better, but that you are better than this.--Tznkai (talk) 03:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Stop...what? --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:36, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Mr. Sanger, you just stated you are "trying to bring Wikipedia to its senses." To that capacity you have called someone a maroon, advertised a pair of youtube video presentations you made about "[h]ow [you] started Wikipedia", supported your own ban, alluded to "Certain Recent Events" with the passive aggressive descriptor "Very interesting."
So, all of it.--Tznkai (talk) 03:41, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but the person who banned me was a maroon, because he tried to ban me merely after I suggested that Wikipedia and History of Wikipedia include information about Certain Recent Events. For that, surely he richly deserves to be ridiculed. Also, I did start Wikipedia. It began as an idea in my head. I proposed it, I named it, I made the original policy pages, I got everybody together, and I led the project in the seminal first year. That was my job. If you did not know this, then you were mis-propagandized. You can research the facts in archived pages; see if this is all news to you. Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with alluding to "Certain Recent Events" with a passive aggressive descriptor. Maybe there's something wrong with it in Wikipedialand, but to virtually anyone else, it is fine, even if it is annoying because you wish I hadn't pointed it out. --Larry Sanger (talk) 04:34, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I have no opinion as to whether you "founded" Wikipedia (and what, if anything, that implies), and I have been long aware of I am pointing out, that in "trying to bring Wikipedia to its senses" you have advertised a presentation and asserted your and Jimbo's conflicting positions on the matter. Last I checked, passive aggressive behavior is generally looked down upon, and its the kind of behavior that irritates me when it comes from Wikipedians, grown men, professors, teenagers, bosses, or schoolchildren. My issue is not with your opinion on Certain Recent Events and whether or not they're important, its with how you have gone about sharing your opinion.
Perhaps more to the point, I don't see how continuing to proclaim you were the founder, however true that claim, will "bring Wikipedia to its senses" or how anything else you have done could be calculated to do so. I continue to believe that you're smart enough to know everything I've said here, and have better things to do with your time on a Saturday night.--Tznkai (talk) 04:44, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Go preach your silly notions about Wikipedia ethics to somebody who cares, "Tznkai." And I didn't say "found." I said "start." --Larry Sanger (talk) 04:46, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment If an editor, any editor, could be blocked indefinitely because of those two edits, not even on the articles, but on an articles talk pages [8] and [9] there ought to be something wrong with Wikipedia IMO. BTW, Rodhullandemu, it might be a good idea, if you are to block somebody, provide the differences for what an editor was blocked in the block's explanation.--Mbz1 (talk) 04:48, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, same point as to "start" then, what does that have to do with "bringing Wikipedia to its senses?" What are "Wikipedia ethics" and when did they become part of our conversation? I've been talking about common sense and common decency, if not in those exact words. Describe what I'm doing as preaching if you will, that is probably fair, but I remind you that I am asking, and plead with you to stop, calling on your own sense of sense and decency. Disagree with me if you will, but telling someone to "preach ... to somebody who cares" is unduly similar to a teenager's tantrum.--Tznkai (talk) 04:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You call this a "conversation"? You don't seem to realize that I am toying with you. You should have picked up, immediately, on the fact that I have no patience or respect for someone who pretends to give me advice in the way that you are attempting to do, especially some random, anonymous, self-important Wikipedian I have never met before. Bye now. Go ahead, say something face-saving now. --Larry Sanger (talk) 04:58, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it advice, I'd call it begging followed by criticism. If however, toying with a random, anonymous, self-important Wikipedian you have never met before is what makes you happy, I'm glad to have been of service.--Tznkai (talk) 05:02, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

AN thread[edit]

A community ban proposal concerning you is being discussed hereDark 02:48, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Please ban me. Please. --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:03, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
On offense Mr. Sanger but what the heck do you have against us all. Your little dispute with jimbo cause you to have this "My goal is to bring down Wikipedia" attitude. Stop acting like a kid and start acting like the 41 year old man you really are. If you're not going to help edit and instead critisize and try to bring this place down, I suggest you leave.--White Shadows you're breaking up 03:09, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
By the way, as a courtesy (and possibly because of policy mandates) I renamed the thread so it doesn't have your real name all over it.--Tznkai (talk) 03:18, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Wow. this just goes to show you that adults can keep child like grudges. Way to go Mr. Sanger, way to go....--White Shadows you're breaking up 03:25, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not trying to bring down Wikipedia. I'm trying to bring Wikipedia to its senses. The fact that people say I have have it in for Wikipedia does not make it true. I am merely trying to use whatever position of prominence I have with respect to Wikipedia to hold Wikipedia's feet to the flames on certain issues which, I feel, it is acting truly irresponsibly. I can do so without wanting to shut you down.
Maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I don't see how having a little joke, by saying that I support my own ban, demonstrates that I hold a grudge. --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:35, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You should not be so confident; tolerance is wearing a little thin here. WP:DENY sets it out. Rodhullandemu 03:40, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

"tolerance is wearing a little thin here" -- no...really?
And do you really think that I actually care that much about having the right to edit Wikipedia? --Larry Sanger (talk) 04:05, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You're also not an idiot. You know that If you were to be indef blocked or banned, then every news station (besides the liberal ones considering that Wikipedia does have a liberal bias) would be crying foul and saying that Jimbo supports child porn on this site. That is afterall why you reported us to the FBI a few weeks ago, am I correct? If you never disagreed with Jimbo (or vice versa), then you'd more than likely never be doing the things that you now do. When people think of you, they think of the guy who hates this place. Now ask yourself, why is that?--White Shadows you're breaking up 03:41, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll bite: because there are a lot more Wikipedians than there are of me, or of people who care about stating my views correctly. Then simply couple that with the fact that Wikipedians have as a group been dominated by an insular, intolerant attitude toward criticism; since criticism from Wikipedia's co-founder carries more weight than from most people, Wikipedians generally hate me and regard me as the enemy (someone has recently taken to calling me Wikipedia's Emmanuel Goldstein). And people marching and hating in lock-step favor simplistic narratives, in order to demonize the enemy. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." --Larry Sanger (talk) 04:05, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
C'mon. that was funny, in a laugh-or-cry sort of way. Some Wikipedians are very full of themselves, and taking a humorous reaction to it instead of getting huffy strikes me as a healthy reaction all around. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 04:00, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
My two cents on all of this: it is regrettable that Larry Sanger has received an indefinite ban. There is a risk that the media could use this as further ammunition in the "child porn" saga, but Mr. Sanger should have considered the likely disruption before contacting the FBI and speaking to the media.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:04, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
FBI was contacted on April 19 or even before that, or I am missing something? Why to block for that on May 9?--Mbz1 (talk) 07:16, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
The cynics are going to say that it was the decision of FOX News to cover the story in the last few days that led to the ban, which is why I would have opposed it had I been awake at the time that it was being discussed at ANI.[10] As I understand it, the ban is now reversed.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:24, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity--is it now against Wikipedia policy to make well-intentioned, sincere criticisms of Wikipedia (made with the intention to improve it, of course) in the media? If this is not the policy, then what would justify the ban, if anything? Or is ianmacm merely warning, "Watch out! The crazy Wikipediabeast will eat you if you turn on it!"
In any case, I get a chuckle when people say things like "Mr. Sanger should have considered the likely disruption before contacting the FBI and speaking to the media." As if the thought of being banned from Wikipedia would give me the slightest pause. Why on Earth should I care whether or not I have the permission to write in Wikipedia? The arrogance of the comments in response to this whole incident are a source of endless amusement to me. Again, please do ban me! Demonstrate just how clueless you really are! --Larry Sanger (talk) 13:42, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I think it's unlikely you'll be able to bait your way into a lasting block, Larry, but I guess you can try. Gwen Gale (talk) 13:47, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Mr. (sorry Dr.) Sanger should indeed have been aware of the likely disruption and media coverage that would be caused by contacting the FBI, bearing in mind what happened with Virgin Killer. The option to contact Wikipedia first was missed, just as the Internet Watch Foundation did before it climbed down over the claim that the image was "potentially illegal". And no, I don't want Larry Sanger to be banned, since it would prolong a simple editing dispute.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Editors can contact law enforcement orgs as they please. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:03, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This Larry person should always be allowed to edit articles on Wikipedia, because over here (as opposed to the fiefdom Citizendium) Larry is nothing, just another random face in the mob, with no power and no control. Any "damage" this Larry account would attempt to do to Wikipedia or the Commons will likely be undone within seconds by countless other anonymous editors, working in good faith to protect and maintain this project. His/her editorial significance on Wikipedia is equivalent or less than any not-logged-in editor. (I don't mean to disparage the not-logged-in editors by making this comparison.)

Meanwhile Wikipedians can help Larry's personal project to grow, by joining Citizendium and helping it to become the most meticulously cited and documented repository of vulgar and offensive material known to mankind. If it's well cited, and peer reviewed, with historical references and citations to scholarly sources, there should be no problem with that sort of thing existing over there. Let's help Citizendium become the best it can be, the first hit on Google's search results. DMahalko (talk) 14:05, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

DMahalo: *yawn*. Gwen: I'm not trying to bait anybody. I'm merely forthrightly stating my opinion with the aim of improving Wikipedia. If I am banned for my trouble, you merely help me demonstrate my points more effectively. Ian: you'd have to think I was a maroon not to be able to anticipate that doing what I've done would cause quite a bit of noise. Whether this causes a problem that should always be avoided--"disruption"--is another question entirely. Sometimes, causing an uproar, while it greatly resembles "disruption," is a profoundly good thing, not a bad thing. I think it is wonderful that Jimmy Wales wants to remove as much smut as possible from Commons. If my actions have led to that, I'm glad. If it was accompanied by noise and infighting among the Wikipedians, well, I would say that the attitudes that led to that "disruption" was part of the problem I'm trying to solve.
In other words, people, get a clue. If you are going to have a just online polity, you have to be open to criticism, and you cannot, as so many totalitarian regimes have, dismiss and attack high-level and well-meaning criticism as merely disruption of the regime. If you resist "disruption" regardless of the merits of the source of the disruption, you set yourselves up as humorless, self-important, intolerant, and repressive. For alleged libertines, who support the right to unfettered porn on an educational website much used by school children, who defend explicit and disgusting depictions of sexually children being molested as "historical" and "educational," this is a rather strange attitude to take. --Larry Sanger (talk) 14:24, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
That's one heck of a two paragraph yawn, Larry. DMahalko (talk) 14:32, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You're not going to be banned for speaking your mind, Larry. Gwen Gale (talk) 15:04, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You are more than welcome to return and participate in policy discussions. Just be reasonably courteous and follow our conflict of interest guidelines. Fred Talk 17:40, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Larry, i do agree you have the right of having and voicing your own opinion, even if that opinion may sometimes seem to border on the idea that your opinion is a truth rather then an opinion. Above everything i applaud your statement that "you have to be open to criticism, and you cannot, as so many totalitarian regimes have, dismiss and attack high-level and well-meaning criticism as merely disruption of the regime", since being open to criticism is the only way to improve oneself, while "Turning a deaf ear" to it will only lead to intolerance among different groups. However, such statements do go both ways, which means that if we expect such behavior from others, you should be equally open and responsive to criticism as well.
Therefor, i have two statements of criticism regarding you. As often with criticism, these statements may seem entirely unfair or unjust, and may even be considered offensive. This means they may be easily dismissed as being overly aggressive or baseless. However, both of them are not intended to be either. I would equally point out that i believe that criticism should be handled responsibly even if man feels it is unjust, due to the risk that man may become deaf towards things they rather not hear (It is all to easy to categorize unpleasant responses as mere attacks, therefor ignoring a chance at self improvement or reflection). I am interested in your ability to handle these two statements, and of course i do wonder how reasonable and trough-thought your responses are when faced with these kind of attacks.
  1. You stated above that you are proud that the uproar caused a response which removed many sexually explicit images (Unfortunately it caused some collateral damage regarding some historical paintings, but that was not exactly your doing). Often such an uproar is required to achieve something positive - see the French Revolution where great strides towards equality and democracy were made. However, i would point out that over the course of history minority groups have often masked as their minority by screaming loudly which drew a lot of attention, therefor creating the illusion of public support and public revolution. I do explicitly not ask if this would apply here, but i would ask if you believe that it is possible (Again, possible, not true) that your opinion may actually be a minority among wikipedia editors? And would you deem creating a minority uproar to be unethical? (The second part applies both ways; I equally ask you if it would be unethical for the "uncensored" group to feign majority by outshouting the larger group that finds censorship required.)
  2. When the original "child porn" acquisition hit the news papers this generated a lot of response. During this time some editors pointed out that the one of your responses contained the following sentence, which was widely picked up: "I have also since founded a more responsible project,, and a teacher-edited non-profit directory of preK-12 educational videos, Given my position of influence on matters related to Wikipedia, though I'm no longer associated with it, I feel I have a moral obligation to make the following report." Now, based upon this statement, i would give you a line riddled of criticism, which would appear to be libelous, outrageously impolite and heavily affected with unconfirmed judgments: "Larry Sanger was smart. Fox news is a right-wing news organization and he knew that an allegation such as child porn would gladly be picked up by them, if only for the fact that it would generate a lot of views. During this time, Sanger could take another low-jab at his arch nemesis the Wikimedia Foundation. An added advantage was that he could portray himself as a knight standing guard at the moral high ground, while he could equally promote his own encyclopedia in one long breath. Thus his action was merely a cover-up that allowed him to stand on another mans shoulders wearing claw boots, damaging his opponent, proving himself pious and revitalizing his own near-death project".
I am very interested in your response and again i would point out that these are not intended to be attacks. i do understand that you are in no way obliged to answer, but seeing your criticism statement i am hopeful that you will consider doing so, if only to demonstrate that that you are capable of judging yourself objectively when faced with criticism, and that you can remain calm, reasonable and polite when faced with a libelous and outrageously impolite claim such as in question number two. If so i would set an example for others. Your own Wikipedia criticism would be more reasonable if you demonstrate the your ability to handle such accusations with grace. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 22:31, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Excirial, both of your self-righteous questions and your overall posturing tone are laughable, and don't deserve a reply. No, of course I'm not obligated to reply. I'm glad you admit that. I'm also glad that I'm long gone from Wikipedia-land, where this sort of adolescent game-playing is de rigeur. --Larry Sanger (talk) 05:10, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I must admit I too was curious as to the reply, and it's disappointing. Anyway, Excirial, the "stock answers" are pretty obvious to anyone who has done the civil-liberties topic at any length. They're: 1) "minority among wikipedia editors" is not a relevant criteria, either for the free-speech side or the opposite, and 2) What's the point to poking someone to see if they react well or badly, except if you're making a personal observation regarding them? (thin-skinned hotheads can be right, slick smooth talkers can be wrong). And ability to handle accusations with grace really doesn't seem to make a difference. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:39, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I find the answer saddening Larry, truly saddening to be honest - but still very enlightening. No, i wasn't playing some game where i framed veiled criticism into a polite question, i was actually genuinely interested in your own ability to deal with criticism, and in your responses to these accusations. Your latest comment regarding the topic gave me the impression that you were open to these kind of difficult and entirely unfair claims, and i truly hoped that you would show yourself capable of both giving and accepting harsh criticism; Even in the face of being treated unfairly. A reply stating "What utter nonsense claims, i have always worked to be constructive" was enough to satisfy me but alas, you retracted in bias, judgments and a sense of personal superiority while, in your own words, dismissing any "well-meaning criticism as merely disruption of the regime".
I therefor conclude that the meaning of your magnificent words regarding criticism depends upon the person speaking them, and in your case i am afraid to say they sound hollow and bland. Though basing myself upon these links that were forwarded to me, i should have predicted this response myself. For the time being i can only pity you Larry Sanger, but i cannot and will not attempt to change this. Inability to accept criticism means that you cannot improve yourself as a person, something that we should all strive for. Days before this event i was contacted on my talk page, with this question. There was nothing constructive whatsoever, and still i managed to write a polite reply. Why are you unable to do the same? Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 10:06, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Grow up. I don't see any need to write polite, thoughtful replies to total strangers who write deeply insulting, personal, and confrontational questions: I call them on it, and with no compunctions about doing so, as you can see. It is, as I said, childish to pretend that your charade were not far more insulting than merely using names. This is the problem with so many Wikipedians; you use and demand the outward forms of politeness, respect, and neutrality and other virtues, while flouting them whenever convenient to you. Basically, you have given yourself a platform for narcissistic preening, by baiting me. I seem to have taken the bait, and you have concluded, laughably, that you have "proven your point." But no, you haven't; you've simply shown yourself to be a plain old jerk. I'm not going to help you figure this out; you'll have to do that yourself. --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:16, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Let me add this, for those who may not have seen it yet: --Larry Sanger (talk) 02:23, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Mr. Sanger, my thanks for the above link, which entirely answers my above question number two. And my apologies for my second response, which seems to have been premature at the very best. Before continuing I would again assure you that my original post was not intended to be malicious; The original questions were actually based upon comments made on various forums (With the second question being a direct compilation of these). Since i had not seen them answered i wondered what your point of view might be - and i equally wondered if you were able to deal with such criticism. The post itself was intentionally written using some extremely... well, perhaps "posturing" is indeed the best description... wording to offset the impression the actual questions might make (Ergo: I hoped it would relay that it was not intended to be malicious). When you flat-out refused to even consider responding, using some less-then friendly words my conclusion was that A) You couldn't handle criticism, and B) That your "criticism" statement was nothing but mere words; All in all it resulted in the second reply which would in retrospect have benefited from some more thought and analysis before it was posted.
What i don't understand is this: The link's contents were originally created back in April 14, long before this discussion even started. If you had included it in your initial response it would have answered my question while also allowing me to see your point of view on this issue - hence, it would have allowed me to form a more balanced opinion. Even the usage of an identically worded refute to my question would be explainable, as some of those quoted slashdot responses seem to be very good reasons to question everyone who questions your intent; Some of them indeed classify as "Chilling" in my eyes. I am still not thrilled about the way this entire issue child porn issue was handled, but at the very least your reply shows that the insinuation made in question 2 is questionable (your past criticism of Wikipedia and status as the founder of Citizendium makes it easy to jump to such a conclusion though) Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 19:30, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Protection of your userpage[edit]

Because every edit in the last two years to your userpage has been vandalism or vandalism reverting, I've fully protected your userpage. If you want to edit it, just leave me a note and I'll unprotect it. Nyttend (talk) 22:56, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar[edit]

WikiDefender Barnstar.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
I laud Mr Sanger's efforts and doing what he felt was the right thing in drawing attn to a ugly part of our encyclopedia. Not everything on here is encyclopedic and some image removal was definitely nec. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 16:42, 11 June 2010 (UTC)


Some maroon seems to have removed the two videos I placed on this page, above. Now why on Earth would anyone want to do that? Because they disagree, and so feel emboldened to remove what they disagree with from a user's talk page? And this sort of behavior is then tolerated--no one restores copies of the videos? Do you all see what I mean? This is why I'm no longer with Wikipedia.

Could some kind soul please place and on my user page (i.e., User:Larry Sanger, or else unblock my user page so I can do so myself? Thanks. --Larry Sanger (talk) 19:13, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Some confusion here. Wikipedia pages cannot have YouTube videos embedded in them, but can give links to YouTube videos. Wikipedia pages can display videos in Theora format, but since YouTube videos use Flash Video they are not supported by MediaWiki software.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:41, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Had another look through the history of this talk page. It seems that the two YouTube videos were added as links on 9 May 2010 at User_talk:Larry_Sanger#How_I_started_Wikipedia_.28video_presentation_from_a_few_days_ago.29 and are still on this page, they have not been removed.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 20:53, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry about that, I was actually under the false impression that I had embedded the videos here on the page. I could be misremembering.

Well, anyway, I'd still like to add the links to User:Larry Sanger. Please unblock it or add them yourself, please. You could copy this:

P.P.S. I have recently made a couple of short videos about how I helped get Wikipedia started here: Part 1 and Part 2. --Larry Sanger (talk) 23:20, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
The page was fully protected on 28 May 2010 [11] due to vandalism, currently only administrators can edit the page.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:46, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Done. Gwen Gale (talk) 07:14, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Looking over the edit history, I see that most of the v woes were stirred up by IPs. I've dropped the protection down to semi, let's see how that goes. Meanwhile you can now edit your user page as you please, Larry. Gwen Gale (talk) 09:00, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

contacting people[edit]

Do you know who I can contact about facts of Cooruption in Russian Wikipedia? (I wrote to Jim Wales, but had no answer, so I thinh that I should contact someone else) Idot (talk) 16:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

No idea, but I am sure would be interested. --Larry Sanger (talk) 01:47, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

MfD nomination of Portal:Contents/Outlines[edit]

Portal:Contents/Outlines, a page you substantially contributed to, has been nominated for deletion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Contents/Outlines and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). You are free to edit the content of Portal:Contents/Outlines during the discussion but should not remove the miscellany for deletion template from the top of the page; such a removal will not end the deletion discussion. Thank you. jps (talk) 04:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

de:Wikipedia Diskussion:10 Jahre Wikipedia/Wikipedia-Buch[edit]

Hi, some German wikipedians are preparing a book about the first 10 Years. I have made a proposal, that it might be more interesting, that not always Jimbo, but you - as the real founder of wikipedia - should be invited to write some lines for it. Are you interested? Regards, Mutter Erde (banned by Jimbo Wales, see my user page and your article there (talk) 21:31, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Danke sehr, aber...I wish I had some time for this, but I probably can't justify it. Entschuldigung. --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:16, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi , the last phrase by Marcus Cyron on the bottom ".... aber von uns aus gerne" means: "...we would be glad". Only for the record :-). Regards and greetings from Berlin. Mutter Erde (talk) 19:09, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Expression of Sympathy[edit]

To Dr. Sanger: I am so sorry about the way Mr. Jimbo Wales and company on this wiki have mistreated, libeled and otherwise abused a good and honorable scholor like you are. I just earned my Human Development AS degree and I'm on my way to a BA in Psychology. I hope to eventually pass on to get at least a Master's level degree. I see very clearly you were part of Wikipedia at the start and got ran out by a power hungry Jimbo Wales who rewrote history to favor himself with all power and glory. I'll be joining your Citizendium project, if I have your approval sir. Let me know what you decide. Email me at spendrick at Can I eventually rise up to be a editor guide to approve contributions? Let me know. BushidoStudentAdept (talk) 20:04, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

You don't need my permission to join Citizendium. You'd be very welcome, I'm sure; I am no longer Editor-in-Chief there, but instead am hard at work on other projects. Editors on Citizendium do not "approve contributions." CZ is an open wiki, meaning that all edits, made by anyone to any page, are immediately posted. --Larry Sanger (talk) 15:23, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Library management[edit]

Ambox warning yellow.svg

The article Library management has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Completely uncited, conflates management tasks, collection services tasks, and collection development tasks, and could probably be summed up in a paragraph or two in a generic management or nonprofit management article.

While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{proposed deletion/dated}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{proposed deletion/dated}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. In particular, the speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. eldamorie (talk) 15:18, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Citizendium quality?[edit]

While checking out some of the articles on Citizendium, I came across the following in the Abraham article:

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was unable to bear children, so he took a second wife; Hagar, an Arab maidservant. Hagar bore Abraham a son, Ishmael. Thirteen years thence, Sarah bore Abraham another son, Isaac. After Abraham’s death, Sarah banished Hagar and Ishmael, and it is at this point that the Semitic race was split into Arab and Jew.

Even a little child in Sunday School knows that Sarah died before Abraham, when Abraham was ~137 years old. He lived to the age of 175. If such a gross error appeared on Wikipedia, as an IP user, I could click [edit] and correct it. Citizendium does not have such a "quality" control feature. Oh well... (talk) 16:44, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Genesis 23:1 confirms this.[12]--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:27, 13 October 2011 (UTC)–

A beer for you![edit]

Export hell seidel steiner.png All hail to Sanger! Arsaces (talk) 08:26, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Amadigi di Gaula[edit]

Could I ask you a favor? Could you take a look at Amadigi di Gaula and tell me your opinion. Someone who seems to follow me and behaves as a troll added flags there. This person thinks I did something wrong, by adding a few lines from two articles which I found on internet. I contacted one of the authors, and he does not seem to be annoyed, on the contrary he is willing to help. But I really think I did not do something wrong. In fact I made references which is usually enough in academic circles. I contacted an experienced scientist and he told me if this person is not the author, I should not worry. But this wikipedian has different ideas, probably because he does not like me for some time. Nobody else seems to bother. The article is very poorly visited.

This person earlier hijacked George Frideric Handel's art collection which I started. He removed all the links to the Dutch and Italian painters and thinks he did a good job. I don't think he is a good pedagog. The link to this article from the main article Georg Frederick Handel is poor too, so nobody is going there to investigate. Taksen (talk) 16:36, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
Thank you for the reading! Aprobe (talk) 01:55, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Nomination of Zen for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Zen is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Zen until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on good quality evidence, and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion template from the top of the article. Dennis The Tiger (Rawr and stuff) 01:35, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

I have added you to missing Wikipedians[edit]

Just to let you know (I am supposed to - this is what it says). Ottawahitech (talk) 22:58, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Peace Barnstar Hires.png The Barnstar of Diplomacy
Dear Larry,

I would like to thank you for all your contribution to this amazing encyclopedia called Wikipedia!

I would just like to bring your attention to what is happening on the page that I have created called Tony Samara. It would be wonderful to know your point of view in the matter and be able to address the situation in the most appropriate way. Here are the links to the referred article and its discussion page: and

Thank you for your consideration and I wish you a wonderful day!

Kindest regards,

Pedro Bestler Pedro Bestler (talk) 09:02, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Hello, I'm KoshVorlon. I wanted to let you know that I undid one or more of your recent contributions to Tobago because it didn't appear constructive. If you think I made a mistake, or if you have any questions, you can leave me a message on my talk page. Thanks!  KoshVorlon. We are all Kosh ...  18:27, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I already undid it, before you did. BTW, I find your bot to be very annoying. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:29, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

It's not a bot. That would be a violation of Wikipedia policy. I run Lupins Anti-Vandal script. It points to the vandalism, but a human needs to remove it and then place a note on the offender's page. It's a script at best :)  KoshVorlon. We are all Kosh ...  21:00, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Considering that I removed the offending text immediately, your script (or your use of it) remains annoying. --Larry Sanger (talk) 22:02, 16 November 2012 (UTC)



For making a a test edit in an article rather then in a sandbox. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 21:03, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

God. What is Wikipedia coming to. Idiots. --Larry Sanger (talk) 21:11, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Throwing around words like "Idiots" because I made a minor objection to you making a test edit in an article isn't very civil or professional. I think you're overreacting. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 02:50, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
You're right. It's not very civil or professional. But it's sadly correct. --Larry Sanger (talk) 04:24, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
If anyone needs a trout here, it is Emmette Hernandez Coleman. Why drag it up a month later?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:28, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Didn't realize that the edit was a month ago (or notice the above section), that was rather silly of me. Larry, you of all people should know that you can't call someone an idiot like that and that saying "but it's sadly correct" is no excuse. You don't acknowledge that you were wrong to call someone an idiot by saying that your description of that person as an idiot was "sadly correct". Your right that there are severe problems with incivility/unprofessionalism (and for that matter lack of expert guidance) on Wikipedia that should have been addressed a long time ago, and I applaud you for founding Citizendium considering that it doesn't look like those problems will be addressed, but getting uncivil yourself isn't going to help.
I'm not upset at you over the test edit, it's not like you deleted the Main page. I think your taking the trout far too seriously, like it says "Don't take this too seriously. Someone just wants to let you know you did something silly". Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 17:15, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
You're missing the point, Emmette. I'm telling you that the use of the trout is idiotic, in my opinion. Expecting someone to take this the way you require them to take it--or to react well--is idiotic. (People are different. If you had any sense, you'd realize that you can't require them to react the way you want.) Acting all upset because you are called idiotic because you gave them this stupid fish is itself idiotic. Expecting me to engage in a conversation about this as if it were serious and not, yet again, another example of idiotic Wikipedia game-playing is, well, idiotic. I hope I've made myself clear.
But if not: "idiots" and "idiotic" are merely ways of evincing contempt; they are not meant literally or even to impugn your intelligence. They are meant to impugn your sense and judgment in this and similar cases. If you don't like how I react, you can have me banned. Don't expect me to play your game, though.
I could go on and on. Suffice it to say that I originally codified the rules you're trying to enforce, and the fact that you're going on and on about my test/demonstration edit shows that you care far more about winning points in the Wikipedia game--which involves jockeying for position (status) by pretending to be "enforce rules" as if you were some good-natured bureaucrat, a game which means nothing to anyone other than Wikipedians--than you do about creating a sane, grown-up, tolerant atmosphere which is welcoming to fellow editors. The existence of that sort of atmosphere is required for expectations of professionalism to be credible, come to think of it. --Larry Sanger (talk) 19:16, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
If you would prefer not to receive trouts that is of course your prerogative. If you think trouts have no place on Wikipedia you can nominate the the trout template for deletion. Your opinion that the trout is idiotic is not a excuse to call someone an idiot for using one no matter what you meant by "idiot", and saying that calling someone an idiot is somehow OK because you meant it as "evincing contempt" is idiotic game-playing. Wikipedia's atmosphere does have severe problems but using that as an excuse to call someone an idiot is just using bad behavior to justify bad behavior. It's not appropriate to call someone an idiot like that (you of all people ought to know that), and if I didn't care about creating a sane, grown-up, tolerant atmosphere I wouldn't have tried to point that out to you. I could understand something like your initial response once in a great while, we're all human and we all make mistakes, and I thought that was the case here, but to defend calling someone an idiot like that by saying that your description of that person was "sadly correct", and that by using the word "idiot" you meant to be "evincing contempt" and then to accuse the "idiot" of "jockeying for position", that's as you put it "pretty nasty". To have that nastiness coming from you, I'm shocked and saddened. I had allot of respect for you and I still do, but it's lowered significantly. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 21:46, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Wait a second. The editor undid his change one minute later,[13] and they're given a trout a whole month later? Are you serious? A trout is deserved, but it went to the wrong editor. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:55, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Like I said, I didn't notice that the edit was a month ago (or notice the above section), that was rather silly of me. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 22:09, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Can you remove the trout in your original post or modify it somehow? I'd consider the matter resolved at that point. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:19, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
OK. I used {{tl}} on it. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 02:55, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Emmette's minor mistake aside, I'm a bit bothered, Larry, by the fact that you're calling him an idiot for his reaction to en edit that (unless I, too, am overlooking something) you still have not explained. I acknowledge that your near-unique status somewhat exempts you from accusations of policy ownership, but do you mean to imply that the rule of law, so to speak, does not extend to yourself? — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 01:49, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Anecdotal observation[edit]

@Larry Sanger: I took your comment

as 'food-for-thought'. I was chewing it over and digesting as I read the comment by another editor which followed it ... and noticed that that editor seemed to somehow be responding to your words without giving indication of having really parsed the contextual meaning within them ... and suddenly I had a memory flash from 8th or 9th grade of a text terminal on a TRS-80 ... displaying a session with ELIZA. :  } --Kevjonesin (talk) 21:34, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

p.s.— Learned earlier today about your OSU/Columbus connections—I started with some random pages on meatball and c2 and somehow ended up here. Anyway, curious if you're still in Cbus. I'm from Reynoldsburg and lived near OSU campus at various points over the years. --Kevjonesin (talk) 22:02, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

You might be interested in these[edit]

Wikipedia:Files_for_deletion/2012_October_31#File:Denno.ogg and User_talk:Ryan_Postlethwaite/archive22#Tyciol. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 02:33, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

A cup of tea for you![edit]

Meissen-teacup pinkrose01.jpg Thank you for co-founding an online encyclopedia to better expand the knowledge of the literate human, to make possible an internationally public collection of knowledge. Though you may never read this, I am thankful for your efforts making Wikipedia such a successful site.
 MgWd (talk) 00:20, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Purple Star[edit]

The Purple Star The Purple Star
For co-founding Wikipedia and having it turn into this. Not that Wikipedia isn't great, but it could have been so much greater. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 22:46, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for that. --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:16, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Academic peer review committees[edit]

At Jimmy Wales#Nupedia and the origins of Wikipedia (version of 22:13, 5 January 2013), there is this quotation.

The idea was to have thousands of volunteers writing articles for an online encyclopedia in all languages. Initially we found ourselves organizing the work in a very top-down, structured, academic, old-fashioned way. It was no fun for the volunteer writers because we had a lot of academic peer review committees who would criticize articles and give feedback. It was like handing in an essay at grad school, and basically intimidating to participate in.

I am interested in seeing archived copies of discussions where "academic peer review committees ... would criticize articles and give feedback".
Wavelength (talk) 01:31, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Individual articles were assigned specific reviewers; but there were groups of reviewers, led by a subject editor, and those groups had an email list, and I'm pretty sure there was a general/public review step. Still, the suggestion that a whole committee would routinely convene to discuss articles somehow is false. It was all much more distributed than that. Good luck with your search; I'm afraid I am too busy to do it for you. The mailing lists are long gone, I think, with the server that crashed around 2003. --Larry Sanger (talk) 19:48, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank for your reply and your wishes. I posted the same message earlier at User talk:Jimbo Wales, and User:Graham87 said that the mailing list archives "can be downloaded from Joseph Reagle's blog or read on the Wayback Machine." That discussion is now archived at User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 123#Academic peer review committees (version of 13:34, 13 January 2013).
From the Wayback Machine link, I found the main page (Nupedia, the free encyclopedia on the Wayback Machine) and some other archived Nupedia pages. However, I still have not found archives of discussions between article writers and peer reviewers. Perhaps I will find them after occasional intermittent searches.
Wavelength (talk) 21:39, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Some very early discussions about individual articles took place via individuals in email. When Nupedia launched its system in late 2000, discussions started taking place via that system. It was behind a login (we were babes in the woods at the time!). So it's unlikely you'll find anything. --Larry Sanger (talk) 12:25, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for alerting me to that limitation.
Wavelength (talk) 20:52, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for founding Wikipedia![edit]

Dear Larry, Thanks a lot for founding (along with Jimmy Wales) one of the greatest online project's ever in the History of Mankind, our beloved Wikipedia. In a span of just 12 years, Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects have become one of the largest and best websites in the world for accessing free human knowledge made by the people and for the people! Although I know you are not involved and associated with Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation anymore for the past many years, but still thank you! :) ~TheGeneralUser (talk) 13:57, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Nomination of Wikipedia for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Wikipedia is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Wikipedia (5th nomination) until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. -- Aunva6talk - contribs 03:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)


With the current situation, do you believe CZ can really succeed? I mean, RationalWiki has more editors than CZ.--Seonookim (What I've done so far) (I'm busy here) (Tell me your requests) 06:25, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Oldtimer ramblings[edit]

I had no idea your Talk page was still so entertaining! You getting banned, the piles of meaningless awards, that stupid trout, modern Wikipedians having no idea how to react to someone who doesn't play the game (you're so not "nice"!). And trying to delete Nude celebrities on the Internet? One could argue that this article was the foundation of Wikipedia's popularity. :)

Well, I'll just amble back to my porch now. There are some kids I need to kick off my lawn. -- Stephen Gilbert (talk) 01:45, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Ha ha! Great to see you here, Stephen! As more entertainment, you might notice that you left this notice in July 2013, and I didn't get around to checking this page until September 2014... --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:14, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of Wikipedia[edit]

A tag has been placed on Wikipedia, requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done for the following reason:

Obvious, major COI here, as the "editors" of this "encyclopedia" are, without exception, the people who wrote this article! The fact that an obvious hoax with such a blatant COI at its very core could survive for so long on this encyclopedia depresses me.

Under the criteria for speedy deletion, articles that do not meet basic Wikipedia criteria may be deleted at any time.

If you think this page should not be deleted for this reason, you may contest the nomination by visiting the page and clicking the button labelled "Click here to contest this speedy deletion". This will give you the opportunity to explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. However, be aware that once a page is tagged for speedy deletion, it may be removed without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag from the page yourself, but do not hesitate to add information in line with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. If the page is deleted, and you wish to retrieve the deleted material for future reference or improvement, you can place a request here. CogitoErgoSock14 (talk) 02:51, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's that time of year again.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:10, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of Libertarian (disambiguation)[edit]

A tag has been placed on Libertarian (disambiguation) requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done under section G6 of the criteria for speedy deletion, because it is an orphaned disambiguation page which either

  • disambiguates two or fewer extant Wikipedia pages and whose title ends in "(disambiguation)" (i.e., there is a primary topic); or
  • disambiguates no (zero) extant Wikipedia pages, regardless of its title.

Under the criteria for speedy deletion, such pages may be deleted at any time. Please see the disambiguation page guidelines for more information.

If you think this page should not be deleted for this reason, you may contest the nomination by visiting the page and clicking the button labelled "Click here to contest this speedy deletion". This will give you the opportunity to explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. However, be aware that once a page is tagged for speedy deletion, it may be removed without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag from the page yourself, but do not hesitate to add information in line with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. LK (talk) 04:05, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Entertaining talk page[edit]

Well I gotta say Larry, your talk page is the most interesting one I've ever came across. Peace and happy holidays to all! (talk) 04:01, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

p.s. Just noticed this page is in the Wikipedia humour category (talk) 04:03, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

College logic listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect College logic. Since you had some involvement with the College logic redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion if you have not already done so. Mr. Guye (talk) 22:11, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Nomination of Ordinary language for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Ordinary language is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ordinary language until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. Geodon93 (talk) 22:36, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 08:51, 23 November 2015 (UTC)