[Wikipedia-l] Re: Sanger's memoirs

The Cunctator cunctator at kband.com
Thu Apr 21 02:53:49 UTC 2005

On 4/20/05 9:01 PM, "lmsanger at sbcglobal.net" <lmsanger at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Yes, it sounds very reasonable--for someone who wasn't there.
> Unfortunately, it is still very misleading.
> Since I was there and I know precisely how it started, apparently unlike
> *ANYBODY* writing about this subject here, let me rewrite your conclusion:
> "Jimbo Wales had a vision for a free online encyclopedia; he hired Larry
> Sanger to be the project's editor-in-chief, and he, with a voluntary
> advisory board, worked up Nupedia as a first stab at this vision.  There
> were problems with Nupedia's system, which Larry was tasked to solve.  Larry
> heard about wikis one evening over dinner and the very next day, or the day
> after, as a direct and sole result, laid down the first strokes of what
> would become Wikipedia.  Jimmy said later, in 2005, as an interesting bit of
> historical trivia, that someone else first suggested a wiki encyclopedia to
> him.  This suggestion, however, had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with
> the origination of Wikipedia, nor did Jimmy mean to suggest that it did."
Gotta love Larry. 

One bit of historical footnoting--while Larry may have had reservations
about the term NPOV, he did work to codify it, writing a (in my opinion)
hard-to-parse, discursive formulation of the "neutral point of view" policy,
which I tried to help clarify, but which he took umbrage at.

He was getting a bit personal by the end. This is the type of dialogue which
Larry and I engaged in soon before he left the project:

Me: "LMS: I'm not trying to act as a check on your rampant authority."
LMS: "Like hell you aren't. It's your purpose in life on Wikipedia. It's
what you live for."

One thing he didn't note in his history is that "Is Wikipedia an experiment
in anarchy?" was written as a direct response to what he perceived as my
destructive behavior (to wit: "But I'm going to write an essay that goes to
what I see as being the heart of the matter behind Cunctator's repeated
disruptions of Wikipedia.").

For some reason (and I think we see this again now) LMS perceived arguments
against his actions as attacks on his person. He strongly believed I had a
vendetta against him, even though I repeatedly said I didn't. And I don't.

Some useful history on the personality/decision-tree conflicts can be found
at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:The_Cunctator/Bias_Talk

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