August 10, 2022

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Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, on Homeschooling, Atheism, Understanding Financial Markets, Ayn Rand, Favorite Books, and More (#528)

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“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.”

— Jimmy Wales

Internet and know-how entrepreneur Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) is founding father of the web nonprofit encyclopedia Wikipedia and cofounder of the privately owned Wikia, Inc., together with its leisure media model Fandom, powered by Wikia. Jimmy serves on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit charitable group he established to function Wikipedia.

In 2019, Jimmy launched WT Social—a news-focused social community. In 2006, Jimmy was named to Time journal’s checklist of the 100 most influential folks on this planet for his function in creating Wikipedia.

In 2021, impressed by his household quiz nights throughout COVID-19 lockdown, Jimmy created Quiz Night Beyond—a web site the place folks can create and play quizzes on-line with household and buddies wherever they could be.

Please take pleasure in!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or in your favourite podcast platform.

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The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

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What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to listen to an episode with somebody who may be as optimistic as Jimmy Wales? Listen in on my dialog with enterprise capitalist Mike Maples, Jr., the person who taught me to take a position. We mentioned anti-authoritarian disruption know-how, parenting recommendation, appearing easy, funding recommendation, how cryptocurrency helps separate politics from economics, a 60-second thought for altering the world, classes for aspiring entrepreneurs, the pointlessness of holding grudges, and much more.


  • Connect with Jimmy Wales:

Website | Twitter | Facebook |


  • Where did Jimmy develop up, and what did his household life and training appear to be within the early days? [05:22]
  • How did Jimmy’s free-range education inform how he thinks about training for his personal youngsters? [09:12]
  • How may a mum or dad put together to homeschool a curious child who may be too far forward of the curve for a conventional training? [10:41]
  • Why Jimmy would label himself extra as a non-believer than an atheist, and the way he got here to some extent of spiritual disbelief after being raised Methodist and finishing up a flawed experiment involving Santa Claus and G.I. Joe. [12:13]
  • What did Jimmy aspire to be when he was rising up? [17:08]
  • What was it that compelled Jimmy to check finance and markets? [18:37]
  • Were there any traders who Jimmy regarded as much as right now? What influenced the way in which he constructed his portfolio in these early years?
  • What knowledge about constructing a portfolio does Jimmy want he understood when he was youthful, and what investor may have imparted such knowledge? [20:01]
  • When and the way did Jimmy’s curiosity in Objectivism enter into the image, what does he see as the commonest myths and misconceptions about its creator, Ayn Rand? [22:18]
  • Whether or not you agree with the factors Ayn Rand (or anybody) is attempting to make, Jimmy considers critically considering them via — relatively than simply selecting a aspect based mostly on a knee-jerk impression — to be the necessary factor. [24:46]
  • How Usenet was hijacked by its personal design, why Twitter succumbs to most of the similar issues, and the way Jimmy hoped Wikipedia might be designed as a automobile for more healthy human discourse. [26:42]
  • Recommended studying. [32:30]
  • How did Jimmy go from finance and markets to founding firms? [36:14]
  • When was Jimmy capable of go away his finance job behind and dive totally into entrepreneurial endeavors? What made this potential? [42:04]
  • How was Jimmy’s firm found by a significant tv community, and the way was their symbiotic deal established? [47:24]
  • With a number of nice concepts however solely a restricted variety of assets, how did Jimmy select what pictures to take when setting out on this planet of tech startups in the course of the dotcom growth? [50:35]
  • When the deal fell via, was Jimmy’s firm ready to make use of the momentum it had constructed, or did it have to begin from scratch in altering course? What sacrifices needed to be made as a way to climate the storm, and the way did these hardships have an effect on the route taken by the nascent Wikipedia? [54:06]
  • Why did Wikipedia thrive whereas Nupedia turned an web footnote? [1:00:30]
  • How did Jimmy first come throughout the wiki software program that would supply the constructing blocks for Wikipedia? [1:05:22]
  • What had been a number of the early choices that made Wikipedia catch in its first few months? [1:07:37]
  • Were there any important errors made within the early days of Wikipedia that both ended up needing to be mounted or that, like a vestigial tail, have remained within the system? [1:11:42]
  • The Steak Knives Analogy: why it’s higher to design for the good thing about good folks relatively than for the deterrence of dangerous folks. [1:16:57]
  • What motivates nice Wikipedia contributors, and the way are they stored blissful? [1:20:25]
  • What organizational choices purpose to domesticate a optimistic contributor tradition? [1:22:19]
  • Has Jimmy at all times been a self-described “pathological optimist,” or was it one thing he needed to work at? [1:00:00]
  • Does Jimmy have any practices to assist him keep the course of optimism if he loses his approach? [1:28:23]
  • Aside from Wikipedia, what different tasks occupy Jimmy’s time at current? What’s the inspiration and objective behind his new Quiz Night Beyond web site?[1:30:25]
  • What would Jimmy’s billboard say? [1:40:35]
  • Parting ideas. [1:42:06]


“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.” — Jimmy Wales

“You wouldn’t know it from watching TV debates or going on Twitter, but most people are pretty reasonable and will say, ‘Look, I disagree with this, but it should be presented in a fair way that the defenders of it would identify.’” — Jimmy Wales

“I’m a pathological optimist, so I always think everything’s going to be great. That’s not correct, by the way; everything is not always going to be great. But that’s the way I feel and approach things.” — Jimmy Wales

“If you design for the worst people, then you’re failing design for good people.” — Jimmy Wales

“A great Wikipedian, in my view, is someone who really takes seriously the values and ideas of Wikipedia, like neutrality for example, quality for example, reliable sources. And they take all those things as more important than any particular, say, political opinion they might have.” — Jimmy Wales

“We’ve got a lot of problems on this planet. We need as many smart, educated people to figure them out as we possibly can.” — Jimmy Wales

“Try not to be a troll on the internet.” — Jimmy Wales

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or in your favourite podcast platform.


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