Larry Sanger

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Larry Sanger is editor-in-chief of Nupedia and (with Jimbo Wales) instigator of Wikipedia. Ph.D. 2000, M.A. 1995, Philosophy, Ohio State University. B.A. 1991 Philosophy, Reed College. Home town is Anchorage, Alaska. I'd prefer if you gave your messages to me below, but if e-mail would be more appropriate (e.g., if I have written something that offends you), you can feel free to add to my persistent backlog at lsanger at

Here is my to do list--mainly for my own use, but also to let people know where my priorities are right now.

What I've written here

I've worked on many hundreds of articles. I originated quite a few. I've inflicted a series of philosophy lectures first on Ohio State students, and now on Wikipedia.

I've written a few 'pedia-related columns, which I've moved to Wikipedia's meta-discussion wiki.

I am trying to promote Wikipedia. I want your help! Go to building Wikipedia membership.

I co-founded Wikipedia, and I am one of a few people who are paid to help organize this project.

Random discussion

Yes, I agree, he is he, nobody would argue with me! :-P

He is he, but this is twee, we'd all agree.

Larry's favorite philosopher is Thomas Reid, isn't he? Maybe!

I'm not envious because I live here, in Russia!

Can we rename Basque to Basque language, please? I expect we'll want articles on the Basque people and culture. --Vicki Rosenzweig

Go ahead! No need to ask me. --LMS

Hi Larry -- I can't get links to Amazon and Pricescan to go away -- help! JHK

Just don't put in the ISBN numbers... --LMS

You can leave 'em for now, I'll fix them all at once in the PHP script (soon...) --Magnus Manske
Yes, please leave them. ISBNs are useful and important information (in fact, I think in this medium, it's more important to have ISBNs than all the other information traditionally in a bibliography--CMS is simply out of step on that one. Let the software decide what to do with them. --LDC

Larry, can you look at my wikification of your article on Argument from common consent - as well as wikiing I've added a couple more points that I made up, and contradicted one of your examples :) - Verloren

I'll try to get to it sometime soon. I've just driven to Longmont, Colorado and the plans for the next week are up in the air, but I'll be at work.

Larry, I've sent you a 'favicon.ico' icon by E-mail, which should complement the new logo graphic in modern browsers -- The Anome

This is something for the sysadmins to deal with...I forwarded it to Jimbo. --LMS

Thanks for the welcome. Interesting project; heard about it in the NYT Magazine piece. Forgot to put in my blurb that I have a philosophy BA. I see you graduated Reed in '91... know Jeff Hungerford (now Brideges)? We were in grad school together in Seattle. --Brian Hopkins

Can't say that name rings a bell. I'm very glad to hear that the NYT Magazine piece brought in some good hands! --LMS

Trying to redirect ABM Treaty to Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems results in page name is too long.

I see. Are those the only two names used? My main concern is that "ABM Treaty" might be (or might soon be) ambiguous. --LMS

Dear Larry,

I'm brand new to Wikipedia, but I've jumped in with both feet. Right into a fire! My special interests include fantasy literature, which led me to start a page on Christian mythology. Well, since then it's been madness. I've tried to be neutral, compromising, and respectful, but I'm now seeing wholesale redirection of pages, loss of content I wrote, and ideas that disturb me -- for example, should we really have an encyclopedia with no "Greek mythology" page? (It got redirected to "The stories of the Greek religion.") My question for you -- have I breached etiquette in some way? Am I contributing badly? I feel discouraged -- what can/should I do about it? Should I just let it all drop, forget about these pages, and focus on Tolkien and D&D posts?

Thanks for any comment you have. Sorry to be a pest. -- Cayzle

Cayzle: I think you've made a great contribution, and I don't think you've done anything wrong. Just don't let other people get to you. -- SJK

I agree completely with Simon: you've made a great, important contribution, and you've essentially done nothing wrong. And don't let me get to you.  :-) If anything--since you ask--I would recommend that you (and all of us, of course!) try to be more sensitive to how others' beliefs are characterized. On those grounds--and this is not to say anything damning at all about you personally, bear in mind--I really do think there's something wrong with Wikipedia's listing old Bible stories as "Christian mythology," without further ado, etc. If there were a big Bible stories or traditional Christian stories article, and then, in addition, a Christian mythology article that explained the very notion of referring to those stories (and perhaps other stories) as a "mythology," that would be good. In any case, this is one issue (unlike other issues) that would be better treated sensitively by an expert. I think the right way to go about finding out how to do this is to solicit the advice of a few different religious studies professors, after having presented the issue clearly and in full.

I hope it's clear that this has nothing to do with you in particular; it has everything to do with the issue that you happened to have raised. Realize that you do not have direct control over what you've contributed. Neither do I (!), and neither does anyone else. We're working on it together, and the only thing that holds us together, I think, is the neutral point of view policy: the only thing that keeps us from all-out constant edit wars is that we are jointly committed to making each other, and future participants and readers, happy with how our many different views are characterized. This gives us a reasonably clear goal that nearly all of us, at least in practice, are willing to pursue. But it requires tolerance and intelligence, and probably a good sense of humor.

Just since you asked!  :-) Cheers, Larry

Under Buffalo, in the State of New York, page my link goes to a description of the water buffalo, bubalus bubalus, instead of the city! Help! Werner Moeller

Fixed! Buffalo, New York is in the standard U.S. city format. --LMS

You wrote on Wikipedia Religion and Mythology standards

"Well, we certainly don't need a "Wikipedia Religion and Mythology standards" page to discuss this tiny issue. I'm insisting on the point mainly because I think it's very important what our joint understanding of what the neutral point of view policy entails--"

LMS, I have often criticized you for (IMO) not being NPOV, and you have often apparently found me offensive about this. In the interest of fairness, I'd like to say that the above strikes me as a great example of how NPOV issues on Wikipedia should be handled. (So am I getting mellow, or are you? :-) Have a good one.)

Excellent. By the way, people aren't NPOV; what they write is or isn't NPOV. You can be as biased as you want, and I don't care at all. What I care about is whether texts are unbiased. --LMS

I wanted to contribute a new article on post-structuralism. I mistakenly added it through a link to post-structuralists. I changed the link to make the article "post-structuralism" but the older article (post structuralists) remains and it is the same -- would you mind deleting it? Thanks, SR

Just redirect it to the new article title! Misspellings, alternative spellings, etc., I don't think there's any point in deleting--just redirect 'em.

Very busy here in Colorado, and sorry I haven't been able to participate more, folks. --LMS

Larry, Ive managed to work on New_Age some more without anyone over-writing, removing, or revamping. Your opinions are welcome, as always on my graffiti page. If you think the article is close to a done state, maybe Vicki could do some editing to polish it.~BF