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Essays on Free Knowledge: The Origins of Wikipedia and the New Politics of Knowledge

Knowledge is dying—centralization is throttling it. Can we rescue it?

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger has revised some of his best and most popular essays on Wikipedia, intellectual autonomy, knowledge in the digital age, and how to fight back against the centralization of the Internet. This is his long-awaited first book, launched on Gumroad before Amazon.

"A fundamental player in the history of the modern Internet" Salon

"A philosopher who explores the very nature and sources of knowledge" Technology Review

The digital revolution has been corrupted. What began as a celebration of freedom has become a machine for monitoring and control. What began as history’s greatest dream of enlightenment has been twisted into an anti-intellectual nightmare of indoctrination.

In twelve essays, several already well-known but newly revised in this volume, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger stakes out a hard-headed position in favor of the ideals of the digital revolution. At the same time he firmly rejects the disastrous naïveté that would have us abandon wisdom and autonomy, ignore subversion by bad actors, and blindly trust unaccountable, giant corporations.

Sanger concludes with a new essay on the problems facing the free Internet, available only in this book.

The essays:

  • The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir
  • Two Early Articles about Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia’s Original Neutrality Policy
  • Why Neutrality?
  • Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism
  • How the Internet Is Changing What (We Think) We Know
  • Who Says We Know: On the New Politics of Knowledge
  • Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age
  • Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?
  • Introducing the Encyclosphere
  • Declaration of Digital Independence
  • The Future of the Free Internet


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  • eBook. PDF, ePub, and Mobi included. Index in PDF. 270 pgs.
  • ePub size1.3 MB
  • Mobi size3.7 MB
  • PDF size1.5 MB
  • Publ. dateSept. 7, 2020

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Essays on Free Knowledge: The Origins of Wikipedia and the New Politics of Knowledge

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    Thanks for buying my book! Follow me on Twitter at @lsanger, read my blog at larrysanger.org, and if you want to help build/support a future decentralized network of encyclopedias, please sign up at encyclosphere.org. --Larry

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