[Wikipedia-l] Re: Sanger's memoirs

The Cunctator cunctator at kband.com
Fri Apr 22 10:21:40 UTC 2005

On 4/22/05 1:54 AM, "wiki pedista" <wikipedista at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I want to start by saying that I have not read
> Sanger's memories yet, just the thread on this list.
> So, what I say here comes only from this list and my
> (hopefully not so failing) memory.
> I came to Wikipedia sometime on January 2001, and that
> would make me the only non-founder wikipedian still
> around. While I don't know  anything of Larry and Jimbo's
> interaction outside the wiki, in Wikipedia itself Larry seemed
> to run the show, and either created or developed many (maybe
> most) of the conventions that we still follow. The direct
> work of Jimbo (again, just from what I remember I saw in
> the wiki) was much smaller, which makes sense
> considering he had somebody hired to do the job of running an
> encyclopedia, and the job was being
> well done. Larry  wrote at least once a week what I
> remember as "encyclicals" for wikipedia, documents
> that delved in detail in some aspect of policy, and that
> then sparked discussion about that policy or proposed
> policy in particular.

I want to say that AstroNomer did a great job of retelling the Wikipedia
early history here. I came in only in July 2001 and it was clear that Larry
had done a lot of grunt work and great thinking about the project. He and I
were originally on fine terms, but we started getting into conflict over
policy discussions and decisions; you can more or less follow the
highlights/lowlights of the conflict at my "negative talk" page.

It's a mistake to think that "the fact that there was a main authority in
Wikipedia" was offensive to me. That's what Larry thought, but it wasn't the
case. What was offensive to me was his hypocrisy when he would claim not to
have or use any special authority but then would. I also did consistently
argue in favor of soft-security principles instead of hard-security
principles, again something that people often mistake as arguments against

It's really too bad that "How to Destroy Wikipedia" seems to have gone down
the Memory Hole, because it's a fine example of me pouring gasoline on a
fire (in short, it was the inflammatory, negative version of "How to Build
Wikipedia" but you'd have to read it to understand) out of frustration and
an unfortunate tendency toward sarcastic fatalism.

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