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Wikipedia Editor Larry Sanger Resigns

By Eloquence in Internet
Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 08:43:37 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

Wikipedia Editor Larry Sanger has announced his resignation. In a message to the Wikipedia mailing list, he cited the lack of funding for a full-time position as the main reason. Wikipedia is a wiki-based encyclopedia. Articles can be edited by anyone and are under the GNU Free Documentation License. It is a commercial project funded by Bomis.com.


Sanger writes that he was offered to edit Wikipedia as a full time job, but that funding for such full time participation was no longer available:

As a job, this has been the best I've ever had. But this project is not something I would have chosen as a hobby, frankly; with my spare time, even after having started it and having grown to care a lot about it, I must admit I'd rather be spending time with my wife, reading and writing philosophy, and playing fiddle.

Sanger, who has a Ph.D. in philosophy, has led Wikipedia and its sister-project, Nupedia, since their creation. On Wikipedia, he tried to help create effective policies for writing encyclopedia-quality material, such as the Neutral Point of View policy. Even these documents can be edited by anyone, and Sanger often emphasized that he saw himself as "just another user", although his frequent engagement in disputes was criticized by many other "Wikipedians" as too aggressive. Sanger also wrote two articles about Wikipedia for Kuro5hin.

Wikipedia is a commercial project for which several funding models have been discussed. The site's creators seem to favor a model where a designated "fixed" section of Wikipedia articles is used for advertisements -- the FDL allows such document sections. However, none of these plans have come to fruition yet, and donations are not currently visibly requested. Wikipedia has recently reached a milestone of 25,000 articles (this number does not include article "stubs" or meta content). The transition to a new PHP-based Wiki engine has put the project temporarily in peril, with massive slowdowns for common operations.

Commentary

Larry Sanger played a crucial role in the first year of Wikipedia and has helped establish a shared philosophy for its users. At the same time, many felt that his authoritative tone was unnecessary and in contradiction to Wikipedia's goals. This may well be the right time to abandon the concept of "editorship" altogether and let the project grow into a "meritocracy", a site dominated by those who have contributed the most and only controlled in a technical sense.

It is also high time for Wikipedia to explore actual business models, or other people will simply download the Wikipedia tarballs and fork a new project. Given the fact that Wikipedia is actually read by many different people (it is well-indexed by most search engines), it seems like a donation link (and statistics) on every page would be a good start. Naysayers should look at projects like DynDNS, which has received substantial donations from nearly 10,000 of its users, which amounts to roughly 5% of its user base.

Given its short time in existence, Wikipedia has been a tremendous success already, especially regarding article quantity -- quality is often somewhat disappointing, with many writer-readers spending more time fleshing out "Middle Earth" mythology than working on articles about history or politics. Still, it is much higher than on other projects such as Everything, whose name well describes its content. The poor quality of some articles is not so much a problem of the system itself, but rather of the limited amount of users participating -- Wikipedia seems to scale well socially, and articles show the overall tendency to represent all relevant sides to a dispute. It's easier to get a certain viewpoint into an article than to get it out. Disagreements often center on what is or is not "mainstream" opinion and what is or isn't a fact that does not need further explanation.

A real problem is that there is absolutely no guarantee that an article you view at any given time is not totally biased or screwed up, because it may well have been edited by someone just a minute ago. But usually, such edits are quickly fixed. More rigid security models may help the project, but this is commonly seen as a bad thing by wiki advocates.

In Wikipedia's second year, the community will have to be strengthened, and sustained funding must be secured. The inactive Nupedia project (a more traditional, edited free encyclopedia) should be revived or abandoned. Now that Larry Sanger is gone, Wikipedia's owners will have to watch whether the project manages the transition to effective self-regulation and step in if necessary. Overall, the future of Wikipedia still looks promising -- even if its content is eventually hosted by someone else, or on a peer-to-peer network.

Disclosure

I have written a few articles for Wikipedia and intend to write more. I personally support the project but have no business relationship with it.

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Poll
What do you think about Wikipedia?
o Unprofessional content by unprofessional writers 12%
o It will not scale, quite simply. Think Slashdot effect 10%
o I write for Wikipedia. It's fun! 29%
o I only read Wikipedia. It's sometimes informative, sometimes bad 19%
o It will soon be out of business and then slowly disappear 4%
o Now that Larry's gone, it will quickly be overrun and ruled by barbarians! 4%
o Wiki-what? I couldn't care less. 10%
o You suck. I will post a more detailed ad hominem attack as a comment. 8%

Votes: 47
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
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o Wikipedia mailing list
o Wikipedia
o GNU Free Documentation License
o Neutral Point of View
o two articles
o Wikipedia tarballs
o DynDNS
o Everything
o Also by Eloquence


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Wikipedia Editor Larry Sanger Resigns | 33 comments (22 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Scope of resignation (3.60 / 5) (#1)
by Delirium on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 04:40:55 PM EST

Is he also resigning as editor of Nupedia, or just of Wikipedia? Because frankly it seems Wikipedia can probably survive without him, but I doubt Nupedia could.

Both (3.75 / 4) (#4)
by Eloquence on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 04:44:41 PM EST

As he writes in his message, he has resigned from both projects. I should have mentioned that in the intro, but I must admit that I inserted all references to Nupedia mostly as an afterthought, as I consider the project doomed.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
Nupedia (4.75 / 4) (#5)
by Delirium on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 04:59:06 PM EST

I had been involved somewhat with Nupedia, but never got into Wikipedia, which is why I was interested. I like the idea of Nupedia - people write articles, and they're peer-reviewed to avoid the quality problem of Wikipedia. But there weren't enough articles submitted, and those that were went through the review process far too slowly. I still would like to see a free online encyclopedia with reliable information. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is exactly the right idea, only take that and expand it beyond just philosophy...

[ Parent ]
Poll Answer. (4.40 / 5) (#8)
by priestess on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:10:30 PM EST

I didn't vote because the closest option was the one about not scaling, but I think that with the right adjustments it probably could. Eventually I think they'll have to add in some peer-review before a change can be accepted but for now, until they get the inevitable crap-flood, they seem to be doing very well.

Their response when the crap-flood comes will be the key moment. If they can insert some peer review properly they could compete with the traditonal encyclopedia, if they try and do it the way slashdot does they're doomed.

Pre..........
(who isn't really sure what they'd have to do, maybe pass the changes to just a few random people to approve before they are accepted or something. They have plenty of time to work it out)
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
More peer review than you can shake a stick at (3.75 / 4) (#17)
by Sunir on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 10:22:53 PM EST

The entire system is built around continuous peer review. Indeed, some of that ethic has migrated into kuro5hin, the system you are using right now.

Bear in mind that I don't know much about the new PHP script. I work on the software they used originally (UseModWiki).

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

Good News (3.33 / 3) (#13)
by yooden on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:30:32 PM EST

As I said before, Wikipedia is a great idea tainted by its creator. Now I can waste colossal amounts of time on Wikipedia again!



A few corrections (5.00 / 7) (#18)
by Larry Sanger on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 03:18:53 AM EST

A few corrections:

(1) "It is a commercial project funded by Bomis.com." This is now false. Wikipedia and Nupedia could have, at one time, been rather misleadingly described as commercial projects. But Jimbo Wales, president and CEO of Bomis (a very small company), has made it clear repeatedly in recent months, and especially in the last few weeks, that he intends to transfer management of Wikipedia and Nupedia to a nonprofit organization. Calling the projects "commercial" is and would have been misleading in any case because they are and always has been ''open content'' projects--probably the most successful open content project to date. To call such project "commercial" makes it sound as if the primary motives of those involved in the project (even the contributors?!) is to earn a profit, which is (and, I dare say, always has been) ludicrous.

(2) "Sanger writes that he was offered to edit Wikipedia as a full time job..." I was offered the job of editing Nupedia as a full-time job in February 2000--not Wikipedia. I got the idea for and started Wikipedia as a fun side-project in January of last year.

(3) "...his frequent engagement in disputes was criticized by many other 'Wikipedians' as too aggressive." This is strictly inaccurate. I was very rarely criticized by other people (as far as I know) for being "too aggressive." I like to think that I strongly discouraged bullshit by calling spades spades; the purveyors of said bullshit were usually nonplussed, and then sometimes hostile. If I was treated politely, I responded politely and often in a quite friendly manner. I did not stand for impolite and disrespectful treatment, however, and I believe the people I respected the most on the project understood this and supported it. In fact, the general atmosphere for Wikipedia has been healthy: brook no nonsense, but treat people with dignity and respect.

(4) "Wikipedia is a commercial project for which several funding models have been discussed. The site's creators seem to favor a model where a designated 'fixed' section of Wikipedia articles is used for advertisements -- the FDL allows such document sections." This is just completely wrong--and borders on libelous. We never, and I mean never, considered asking people who used Wikipedia or Nupedia articles to run advertisements for us as part of invariant sections. I vaguely recall that someone once, no doubt from an overheated imagination, suggested we might do such a thing; as I recall, the suggestion was immediately rejected.

As for "funding models," Jimmy Wales has recently stated clearly that there are now no plans to run advertisements on Wikipedia, and that if the (to-be-created) nonprofit Nupedia Foundation is to fund any future employees and other necessary expenses, it'll be doing so via donations and grants. If you have any questions about this, I encourage you to go to the website and subscribe to Wikipedia-L and ask the questions you'd like answered. That would be rather better than reporting your speculations as fact, wouldn't it?

(5) "The transition to a new PHP-based Wiki engine has put the project temporarily in peril, with massive slowdowns for common operations." Yet another completely misleading statement. Yes, there were slowdowns for about two weeks. Now no one is complaining of them; the problem has been fixed. The project never was "in peril" in any case--this is merely Eloquence's fertile imagination at work. Now, I have the impression that most users like the new software. More people are contributing than ever, for your information (now nearing 200 unique editor IPs per day). We have a bunch of really motivated programmers debugging and improving the software. (Join them by subscribing to wikitech-l.) You do them a huge disservice with this statement, "Eloquence."

(6) "This may well be the right time to abandon the concept of 'editorship' altogether and let the project grow into a 'meritocracy', a site dominated by those who have contributed the most and only controlled in a technical sense." I very much doubt this. Wikipedia will probably suffer as a result of my lack of involvement and guidance, though I think it's reasonable to say it will survive and generally make good progress. It simply won't be as good as it could have been. Those familiar with the project will not, I hope, think that I am being arrogant in saying this: I did, after all, start and guide the project from the beginning and there was no point, I think, at which anyone could say, "OK, such guidance is no longer needed." As I explained in depth on, I think, either Wikipedia-L or Intlwiki-L, there are very many things I did day in and day out that I asked others to do, but I had very few takers. Some stuff just went undone for a long time, or never did get done, on both Wikipedia and Nupedia, for lack of the volunteers. There is a lot of stuff I did that was just work, not the sexy sort of stuff that volunteers seem to be interested in.

As for Nupedia, obviously your comment cannot be applied to that; it simply requires an editor-in-chief. If it gets one and gets other support, it might very well thrive under the new editing procedure that was adopted late last year.

Larry Sanger

Response (4.33 / 3) (#19)
by Eloquence on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 09:42:12 AM EST

"(1) This is now false. [..] But Jimbo Wales, president and CEO of Bomis (a very small company), has made it clear repeatedly in recent months, and especially in the last few weeks, that he intends to transfer management of Wikipedia and Nupedia to a nonprofit organization."

(Emphasis mine.) Sorry, Larry, I don't care about intents. For the time being, Wikipedia is commercial -- there's a reason for that .COM TLD, you know. Whether it is a small company doesn't matter either, nor does it matter whether you believe that a free content encyclopedia can legitimately be described as commercial -- open source companies like Mandrake and Red Hat are commonly seen as multi-million dollar commercial entitities, in spite of their free content focus. This "correction" is really more PR than anything else. Please stick to the facts.

The distinction is relevant, as numerous commercial open content projects that eventually turned against their contributors (such as CDDB) demonstrated. I think the FDL offers adequate protection against this, as I explicitly write in my article commentary, but that does not make the commercial/non-profit distinction irrelevant.

(2) You are correct, I misread that sentence. But the difference is not all that big, since you state on your user page that "I was a full-time paid employee of Bomis, spending most of my work time on Wikipedia." Apparently the initial expectations for Nupedia were higher than for Wikipedia.

(3) Well, that's just your opinion. yooden, TheCunctator and others would probably disagree, but I'll let your own words in this comment alone ("ludicrous", "discouraged bullshit", "borders on libelous" etc.) speak for themselves as to whether or not your style of communication is aggressive. Ironically, I personally agree with you in most cases, but your social skills are in desperate need for improvement.

(4) This is the only really relevant factual correction. There is a page on Wikipedia that talks about the new table that was supposed to be put at the end of articles as an invariant section. On this page, someone asks, referring to the invariant section:

"It somehow breaks the contract with the contributors so far and it makes feel uneasy about what will come next in this direction. Will it be the inclusion of an topic specific advertisment link?"

To which Jimbo Wales replies: "And, by the way, the inclusion of a topic specific advertising link is certainly well within the realm of possibility in the future."

Of course, I can't be sure that he referred to including this in the invariant section of documents -- but that was the implicit meaning I gathered from the context. Nevertheless, if that was not the intent, I apologize.

(5) Well, in the first weeks after the transition, loading individual pages could take from 5 to 30 seconds, with my personal average being around 10 (sometimes they came up quicker, probably when they were cached). This slowdown had deterred any but the most loyal followers and in spite of hardware upgrades, the slowdown still was quite noticable for a while. But I agree that the problems are now solved, that's why I wrote "temporarily". Had they not been, Wikipedia surely would have died.

I also agree that the new software has great features and that its developers have been doing a great job. But you seem to want to deny all criticism of the transition process, no matter how accurate.

(6) This is not a correction but a personal opinion as reply to my own (explicitly labeled as commentary). Larry, again, your tone confirms me in my view that the project will probably thrive without you, in spite of your otherwise great contributions.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Reply (4.00 / 3) (#20)
by Larry Sanger on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 02:09:47 PM EST

It looks like more corrections--of both facts and opinions--are necessary.

"(1) This is now false. [..] But Jimbo Wales, president and CEO of Bomis (a very small company), has made it clear repeatedly in recent months, and especially in the last few weeks, that he intends to transfer management of Wikipedia and Nupedia to a nonprofit organization."

(Emphasis mine.) Sorry, Larry, I don't care about intents.

OK, while we're registering our lack of interest, I don't particularly care about whether you care about intentions. But, interest or lack thereof aside, let's make sure all the relevant facts are on the table. Jimbo's stated this intention publicly to an audience filled with people who are not exactly sympathetic to for-profit businesses; he would be instantly forked into oblivion if he went back on his word. And he knows this--he's not stupid. Give him a little credit and a little sympathy. He deserves both. He poured a few hundred thousand dollars, the boon of the Internet bubble days, into the project, and now expects no return. He's said as much, too.

For the time being, Wikipedia is commercial --

Repeating this isn't going to make it true.

...nor does it matter whether you believe that a free content encyclopedia can legitimately be described as commercial...

Your suggestion here was that the content development project is properly described as "commercial." That would be like calling Linux "commercial" because there are versions of Linux for sale by for-profit businesses; yes, the businesses are commercial, but the project ain't. It is true that the company that has started the project, that hosts it, and that has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on it remains for profit. It's also true, as I said and as you find uninteresting, that the head of this company has publicly stated on several occasions that--when the time and pro bono help to do so can be found (for reasons I won't go into, Jimbo's time has been very limited lately)--said company plans to give the domain names, the "Nupedia" and "Wikipedia" names, and whatever else there is to give that's associated with the projects, to a nonprofit Nupedia Foundation.

If, knowing all this, you continue to insist that Wikipedia is a "commercial project," that's your prerogative. At least, I hope, the readers understand exactly what little you mean by this. It would have been better reportage to include all of the relevant facts, in any case.

This "correction" is really more PR than anything else. Please stick to the facts.

I am just sticking to the facts; I'm simply adding a few that you, puzzlingly, left out.

(3) Well, that's just your opinion. yooden, TheCunctator and others would probably disagree, ...

Well of course they would disagree. Yooden left in a huff after one incident that primarily consisted of a misunderstanding, and The Cunctator is, well, The Cunctator.

...but I'll let your own words in this comment alone ("ludicrous", "discouraged bullshit", "borders on libelous" etc.) speak for themselves as to whether or not your style of communication is aggressive.

You missed my point, or rather, you're changing yours. You said: "his frequent engagement in disputes was criticized by many other 'Wikipedians' as too aggressive." I denied this; to my knowledge, it was not criticized for being too aggressive by many Wikipedians. I never denied that I aggressively replied to criticism such as yours right now. Because, after all, very many of the (indeed, silly) disputes I found myself engaged in regarded my involvement in the project. So this aggressiveness was very often, as it is now, in self-defense, often self-defense against relative newcomers such as yourself, Yooden, and others. (Most people, once they've finally grokked what Wikipedia was all about, were very happy to have me around.) I was all too keenly aware that my ability to lead a volunteer project depended directly on the amount of respect I had among my fellow contributors; if I did not directly and forcefully reply to unwarranted, false, misleading, etc., attacks on myself and the project, my ability to lead would be undermined. I think that's reasonable, although I admit I could be wrong (!).

I also do not deny that occasionally I was harsh--"aggressive" isn't a word I'd use, but we needn't quibble about that--in response to what I regarded as abuse or misuse of the system I was managing. I would continue to do this, if I could. In doing this, I think I had the broad support of most Wikipedians.

Ironically, I personally agree with you in most cases, but your social skills are in desperate need for improvement.

Oh, the irony.

(5) Well, in the first weeks after the transition, loading individual pages could take from 5 to 30 seconds, with my personal average being around 10 (sometimes they came up quicker, probably when they were cached). This slowdown had deterred any but the most loyal followers and in spite of hardware upgrades, the slowdown still was quite noticable for a while. But I agree that the problems are now solved, that's why I wrote "temporarily". Had they not been, Wikipedia surely would have died.

Read again what you wrote: "The transition to a new PHP-based Wiki engine has put the project temporarily in peril, with massive slowdowns for common operations." This is ambiguous: are the "temporary" massive slowdowns continuing or not? If the project has been put in peril, it sounds like the slowdowns are continuing; otherwise, why say the project was in peril? (If they're over, the project wasn't in peril, in fact.) So, I think for most English readers, the natural way of understanding your sentence is that the "massive slowdowns" are continuing into the present. That's how I understood your sentence. Anyway, it's nice to know you aren't trying to claim otherwise, now.

I also agree that the new software has great features and that its developers have been doing a great job.

This would have been a good thing to trumpet that loudly and happily in the original post. Or do you make a habit of pointing out only the bad news in the worst possible light?

But you seem to want to deny all criticism of the transition process, no matter how accurate.

No. I don't see the point it "criticizing the transition process." If you support the project, you might (in the mere interests of reportage) simply state that we had a few rough weeks but that we've come out the other side very nicely and things are looking up, as far as the software and hosting are concerned. We've been surprised that a whole bunch of good programmers have jumped on board and are hard at work on the free software that runs the project. This is a new side of the Wikipedia project that up until now we've only hoped for. It's great.

(6) This is not a correction but a personal opinion as reply to my own (explicitly labeled as commentary).

I suppose that's right: I was explaining why I think your opinion is wrong. Putting "some corrections" at the top of my list of replies might indeed lead some to think that I intended to be giving only factual corrections.

Larry, again, your tone confirms me in my view that the project will probably thrive without you, in spite of your otherwise great contributions.

That's very curious, "Eloquence." You seem to think that my mere tone, in response to hostile criticisms of me , is somehow indicative of the chances of the success or failure of the project. That doesn't follow. It is, at best, only one very small element in the whole explanation of why Wikipedia is working as well as it is.

To the disinterested readers following this charming exchange, I'd just like to say this: golly, I sure am sorry you had to read this. I have had to deal with this sort of attack more often than I care to remember, for the past, say, nine months. So I've gotten into a certain defensive mode in dealing with the likes of Eloquence. But Wikipedia generally isn't like this. Eloquence definitely isn't a representative Wikipedian, and for that matter, neither am I. Most people who contribute to Wikipedia are unquestionably polite most of the time, and they have a lot of fun working together on encyclopedia articles. I really do hope you'll join them and make sure high standards of quality and neutrality are maintained.

Larry Sanger

[ Parent ]

Have fun, whatever you do (3.66 / 3) (#21)
by Eloquence on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 03:42:25 PM EST

"The transition to a new PHP-based Wiki engine has put the project temporarily in peril, with massive slowdowns for common operations." This is ambiguous

I agree. I should have written "had put" or just "put".

Or do you make a habit of pointing out only the bad news in the worst possible light?

No.

"Larry Sanger played a crucial role in the first year of Wikipedia and has helped establish a shared philosophy for its users"

"Given its short time in existence, Wikipedia has been a tremendous success already, especially regarding article quantity"

"Still, [quality] is much higher than on other projects"

"Wikipedia seems to scale rather well socially"

"Overall, the future of Wikipedia still looks promising"

I'm getting tired of you, Larry. You are clearly only interested in personal attacks.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Maybe you're right about one thing (1.00 / 1) (#24)
by Larry Sanger on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 05:09:01 PM EST

>I'm getting tired of you, Larry. You are clearly only interested in personal attacks.

Maybe you're right. You know, personal attacks like, "You are clearly only interested in personal attacks." :-) But defending myself is permissible, I hope.

Larry

[ Parent ]

Bully (none / 0) (#25)
by yooden on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 07:28:11 PM EST

Your aggressiveness was not aimed at someone who wanted to criticize you or your work. You stepped into an ongoing discussion and ended it by Sanger Fiat like a schoolyard bully. You should at least be honest about it.

[ Parent ]
Trucking along... (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by The Cunctator on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 03:50:42 PM EST

Since my name has been invoked a few times, I'll just say that in response to Sanger's resignation, I wrote
I know that we've hardly been on the best of terms, but I want you to know that I'll always consider you one of the the most important Wikipedians, and I hope that you'll always think of yourself as a Wikipedian, even if you don't have much time to contribute.

Herding cats ain't easy; you did a good job, all things considered.

Sanger wrote to me calling me "a friggin' piece of work" and "a LIABILITY". I responded, in toto:
I'm sorry you feel that way. Well, I do hope you have a successful life in whatever you decide to do.
In his reply, he called me "such an asshole".

ROTFL (1.00 / 1) (#23)
by Larry Sanger on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 04:56:11 PM EST

That's very funny, Cunctator.

[ Parent ]
YMMV (1.00 / 1) (#26)
by The Cunctator on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 10:57:42 PM EST

I must admit it doesn't seem that funny to me. Incongruous, maybe.

[ Parent ]
farewell, Larry (4.00 / 2) (#27)
by tbc on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 09:40:23 AM EST

I have read from Larry's detractors, but so far there are no comments from Wikipedians rising to his defense. Here's one.

I have followed his writing on the 'pedia and on the mailing list. I'm one of the "many Wikipedians" he describes who didn't find him to be aggressive. (And I like the new PHP-based system). The record at the Wikipedia-l archives speaks very clearly for itself. Larry was respected by all (even Cunctator, in his own strange way). And Larry's conflicts with 'pedians, as the public record shows, were rare.

Overall, he was a model for moderators of open source communities to follow.

I'll miss you, Larry. I hope you have time now to read up on Michael Polanyi's work in the field of the philosophy of science.

:-)

Respect (none / 0) (#29)
by The Cunctator on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 04:49:10 AM EST

I just want to clarify my "strange" way--I respected his commitment and intelligence, but I did not respect his methods of handling people.

I disagreed with a lot more of what he did, but I did not disrespect those actions or him for those actions. I'm not sure he ever understood the difference between disagreement and disrespect. At least with me. Or maybe I don't understand the difference.

But I certainly make the attempt to understand.

[ Parent ]
Thanks! (none / 0) (#30)
by Larry Sanger on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 12:19:55 PM EST

Thanks a lot, Tim. I'll miss you and a lot of other Wikipedians, too.

--Larry

[ Parent ]

Nupedia Foundation (5.00 / 3) (#28)
by jwales on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 01:11:56 PM EST

At the present time, I'm making a full public commitment to making Wikipedia and Nupedia part of a nonprofit foundation, the Nupedia Foundation, which will work to further the big-picture goals of the creation and distribution of a fully free (in the GNU sense of free) encyclopedia.

Our goal is, and always has been since I first dreamed up the idea of a free encyclopedia, a grandiose goal of an effort to generate the greatest encyclopedia on the planet, for free. My primary interest in doing this is ultimately in seeing it distributed at very low cost to every person on the planet, even in poverty-stricken countries with little or no access to the Internet or traditional forms of education.

Knowledge is power. And we want to put the power of knowledge into the hands of every person in the world.

The only thing standing in the way of creating a nonprofit organization is time and money. I'm seeking pro-bono legal help in getting it set up, and yes, one of the "business models" is to seek donations that will help us to further our mission.

In the past, I funded Nupedia and Wikipedia out of my own pocket. With the dot-com slowdown, it's become harder and harder to justify massive corporate charity. :-(

But the beauty of Wikipedia, especially, and Nupedia, to a lesser degree, is that they can and will continue, with me providing only the slimmest amount of funding.

I will continue to provide free hosting, free machinery, and free programming assistance (but the software is GPL'd and there's an active development effort, so please come help out) for the foreseeable future.

And I'm taking the main leadership role in the day-to-day affairs.

We're going to miss Larry.
http://www.wikipedia.com/

Please Do Not Feed The Troll (none / 0) (#31)
by Larry Sanger on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 12:42:21 PM EST

--that's a message I should taken more seriously a long time ago (see the Wikipedia-L archives).

Goodbye, Cunctator. If you mean all the very nice things you've said in the past few days, and you have all the apparent desire for reconciliation and reasonableness that you would like your readers to think you have--you sure have a funny way of showing it. You could begin with an apology for your appalling behavior over the past nine months or so. But I no longer expect that from you, because you really don't think you've done anything wrong. You've merely had honest disgreements, of course! :-)

Larry Sanger

This should have been posted as a reply to... (none / 0) (#32)
by Larry Sanger on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 12:45:59 PM EST

...this comment. Sorry for making this a new topic (it doesn't deserve to be made one).

Sorry about airing our dirty linen, folks.

Larry

[ Parent ]

Feeding the troll (none / 0) (#33)
by The Cunctator on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 01:07:38 PM EST

I don't particularly desire reconciliation, as I have no reason to expect it would happen in any reasonable manner.

It's not true that I "really don't think [I've] done anything wrong". I've apologized for what I believe I've done wrong. And I do believe you know that.

And it is that kind of incorrect and sarcastic comment that makes me wonder why you request apologies without offering one in return.

But I suppose you feel justified in being sarcastic, dismissive, and rude to me because you believe that my actions indicate an extreme disrespect for you, notwithstanding my protestations and willingness to discuss your grievances.

[ Parent ]

Wikipedia Editor Larry Sanger Resigns | 33 comments (22 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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