Larry Sanger is one of the Co-Founders of Wikipedia He came up with the idea. He named it. And it was his concept to turn wikis into an online encyclopedia that blossomed into what Wikipedia is today.
But how do you make Wikipedia better? How about joining the guys who are already doing it!
Now Larry works as the Chief Information Officer for Everipedia — the world’s largest encyclopedia on a blockchain where you get paid to contribute. Some have called it the Fork of Wikipedia or Wikipedia 2.0.Larry has a PhD in Philosophy from Ohio State University and I was fortunate to meet up with him in person in Clevleand at the Blockland Solutions conference in December (see episode 31 https://speakingofcrypto.com/031-bernie-moreno/with Bernie Moreno)
Larry values the accumulation of knowledge as something that helps us make decisions and process events and understandings from the past so we can do things better as we move forward. And he believes that putting information on a blockchain is a step forward.
“The great thing about blockchain is that it makes the network credibly decentralized and credibly neutral which is to say that that you can trust that it isn’t going to be taken control of by some with someone with a particular ideological axe to grind.”
He talks about where we are in terms of blockchain’s growth.
“Most people still don’t understand what blockchain is, and if you really want to get into it, you do have to understand it. I like to compare it as many people do to the evolution of the internet, right? So from 2009 until last year or so is is analogous to the pre web days of the internet. It’s like only a specialist kind of thing. It’s very important for certain people, maybe even some people could make money from it.But now it’s entering the public consciousness there are actually consumer Dapp’s being written and it’s so it’s like the web has beenhas come online, so to speak, right?“
He also believes that free speech is a basic human right.
And he is working on enabling Everipedia, in its design, to allow the most valuable, well-written, verifiable and correct information to rise to the top. We talk about articles on the internet that have been short and flimsy as opposed to referenced and weighty. And he explains that one of the implementations he’d like for Everipedia is a ranking system where the authors are transparent about their background in order to disclose any potential bias to their writing.
He uses the example of an artilcle about God. There would be several articles written by different scholars from different religious or non-religious backgrounds so that the user can search for the best articles on God written by a Christian for instance or by an atheist.
So how can I get an article approved on Everipedia? Larry says, “We want to keep the bar low. We want to exclude, of course,violations of copyright, for example, and actual garbage and various other abuses of that sort. But beyond the really bare minimum, you let a thousand flowers bloom. The actual editorial decisions, the important ones, should not be made at the blockchain level.”
One of his strengths is that he is a good knowledge organizer. He is good at understanding why is something important and what should be highlighted or considered. So one of the ideas he leaves us with is another project he’s considering for the future.
“The Top of the Text Outline Project. What needs to exist is basically an outline of chunks of text taken from the literature, nonfiction literature of history, and philosophy and law, other fields, I think that there could exist a kind of Book of the World where you can compare people saying similar things about similar topics organized into an outline.”
“If this sort of thing we’re built, it would truly revolutionize our education and research and I’m really looking forward to showing the world how to do that.”