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Meta:Historical/How to Destroy Wikipedia

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Meta:Historical How to destroy Wikipedia
The Cunctator with comments by other users
This is part of a discussion on leadership in Wikipedia's early history. The original essay was removed from this page, as the author notes below. It can now be found on the Nostalgia wiki. The Cunctator reminisced on the lost essay on wikipedia-l in April 2005, David Gerard replied that it can still be found.


I'm sick and tired of being attacked by Larry, both verbally and by the deletion and erasure of my work. I'll probably leave Wikipedia soon.

And even though I tried really hard to demonstrate that this page was a semi-parodic act of hyperbolic dissent, the message hasn't seemed to sink through. I hope that the other people mentioned in the essay, namely the "cabalists" and Magnus Manske, understand that I wasn't trying to attack them personally, but simply raise what I still feel are important issues.

In particular, my respect for w:Jimbo Wales has only increased, from his response to this essay and his respectful (without being indulgent) handling of my concerns (though the w:GFDL sloppiness is really bad!).

I've removed the essay because, based on Larry's actions, and the emails he has sent to me, this seems to be the main justification for his continued animosity towards my person and my actions. This essay was, I believe, the only source of what a reasonable person could infer (though incorrectly) as being a hostile (or arrogantly destructive) attitude on my part towards Wikipedia.

Please look in the revision history (well, you can't, since the history was destroyed by the switchover to the PHP script) if you want to read the essay or copy it elsewhere. You can also look at How to build Wikipedia for the rah-rah version of the essay.

I at least think that the discussion on this page is useful, and wouldn't presume to even partially delete the work of others by removing these links:


Responses to How to Destroy Wikipedia, Screw with the GFDL
Responses to How to Destroy Wikipedia

-- The Cunctator


I agree with your assessment. Jimbo Wales has been constructive recently in the Systemic Bias of Wikipedia debate. He has apparently some inability to perceive the way he leaps directly to Governing Ontological distinction from personal impression, but he knows that he shares such an ignorance with everyone else. He may believe that the wiki has no duty to anyone else due to claims to be an "encyclopedia" but that belief is based on his other belief that the NPOV is in fact some kind of special route to GOD - that things will become useful on their own through the contributions of all knowledge-holders in the world. Whereas, Larry Sanger appears prepared to leap directly from personal impressions, barely bothering to note his primary Governing Ontological distinction, and threaten immediately some Governing Operational distinction, i.e. IP bans, page reverts, witch burnings, etc.. My general impression is that Jimbo is an adult, Larry is a child, and the pathetic inability of Larry to comprehend the difference between ethics (the science of morality) and morality itself (one's inner core unshakeable aesthetic) renders him unsuitable to run a project of this kind.

Good riddance, I think, and I expect we'll get better from Jimbo Wales. [comment by 24]


The best way to deal with trolls in a free Internet environment (like Usenet--or wiki) is to ignore them. Please -- do -- not -- respond -- to -- trolls -- just undo his changes, if necessary. But don't respond. I apologize for not having kept that in mind myself. --Larry Sanger