Wednesday, May 20, 2009


This is mildly distressing:
One of the many fascinating details to emerge from Andrew Lih’s The Wikipedia Revolution is that both Jimmy Wales and one of his first collaborators, Larry Sanger, are self-confessed and totally earnest ‘objectivists’, meaning followers of the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Sanger wrote his doctoral thesis at Ohio State University under the title ‘Epistemic Circularity: An Essay on the Problem of Meta-Justification’. He and Wales first encountered each other on an internet forum Wales had established in 1992, which offered a ‘Moderated Discussion of Objectivist Philosophy’ and described itself as ‘the most scholarly of all Objectivist discussions available on the networks’. Other early contributors to Wikipedia learned about its existence through the community of online objectivists, and it was this bond as much as anything that drove the project forward in its initial stages.


Grobstein said...

Objectivists can be saved.

a said...

And not at all surprising, really. Lots of internet entrepreneurs have pretty awful personal beliefs. Peter Thiel (Paypal) is an extreme libertarian. I can't think of any off the top of my head but there are more.