Pseudonyms and the Overton window

September 25, 2013 § 39 Comments

In a comment thread at the blog Anarcho Papist, commenter Samson J. asks the following question about using pseudonyms versus real names on the Internet:

Can a pseudonymous movement shift the Overton window?

I suspect that this experiment has already been run.   The great majority of the Internet was pseudonymous before a twenty-something narcissist convinced a billion people to post all of the minute details of their lives and opinions on the public Internet under their real names.  YouTube used to explicitly advise people not to use their real names on line; now they are pushing toward it becoming a requirement under the Google+ initiative.  Heck, the Federalist Papers were written under a pseudonym, pushing the Overton window with musket-and-tricorne style.

So all you have to do to answer the question is ask yourself whether the Overton window is wider inside of Facebook or out in the blogosphere, where pseudonyms remain common, if not as pervasive as they once were.

§ 39 Responses to Pseudonyms and the Overton window

  • Dalrock says:

    Great point Zippy. Ben Franklin was also known to write under pseudonyms as well. In fact, by internet standards I would say he at times was probably guilty of sock puppeting/trolling.

  • sunshinemary says:

    So all you have to do to answer the question is ask yourself whether the Overton window is wider inside of Facebook or out in the blogosphere, where pseudonyms remain common, if not as pervasive as they once were.

    In the blogosphere, the choir is often preaching to itself though, which gives the illusion that any given idea is more common and accepted than it really is, so what is acceptable to us might be radical or even unthinkable to the population at large.

    A question: do you think the surrounding culture had any influence on why the Federalist Papers could be written pseudonymously and still be influential? There simply wasn’t as much writing then; we’re drowning in it now. You can type nearly any combination of words in the English language into google and find that someone has written something about it. We’re floating in a sea of words and ideas now, which makes each word and idea less influential in and of itself.

    By being open about one’s identity, I wonder if that gives more of a face to a movement and makes it seem more serious and legitimate? That’s not a call for everyone to decloak by any means, but I think at least some people in the traditionalist and reactionary spheres will have to do so if the ideas are to gain any wider acceptance. That is probably part of the reason why Laura Wood is and Lawrence Auster was so influential.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:
    I actually think it is a fundamental mistake to compare the Internet to any preceding reality. The Internet is qualitatively different. Never, ever, has so much minutiae been so ruthlessly and comprehensively recorded and so permanently stored in such a way that not merely access but meta-analysis akin to magic is at the fingertips of so many, especially those in power (Moldbug’s Cathedral). Facebook can tell who is and isn’t a closeted homosexual (for example) to a high degree of probability just from their friends list, even if the person never posts anything at all himself. Ditto who is a reactionary or a red piller, etc etc.

    So while it is true that there is a venerable tradition in America of using pseudonyms for political speech, that might not be especially relevant to our current circumstances. Our circumstances are unprecedented.

    Modern people always make the mistake of thinking only in the now, and find any real, serious change unthinkable. (This is more than a little ironic for a culture that deifies change as something good in itself independent of content).

    One brief thought of a future Josef Stalin in possession of the entire Facebook database and the rest of the Big Data treasure trove ought to send chills into any sane, reasonably informed human being. But gosh, things will never change enough for anything like that to happen, will they? We’ve reached the End of History, haven’t we?

    Anyway, all that said I think it is pretty clear that in the Internet world the Overton window is vastly wider with rampant pseudonyms than with rigidly enforced real names. That doesn’t mean that there is no value in some people using their real names. I am sure that there is, though I doubt that they fully appreciate the risk they expose themselves and their children to long term. Some of the younger guys are saying “hey, we are young and don’t have families yet, so we should use our real names while arguing for HBD, red Pill, etc.” They aren’t really thinking in terms of decades of time horizon with the possibility of a wildly different political regime than we have now, armed with Big Data. Being young cuts against using real names, because there is more time ahead for things to become very divergent from expectations. But either way it is a bigger decision, I think, than most anyone appreciates.

    But hey, That’s Just Me [tm].

    I’d summarize by suggesting that anyone who lives outside the Overton window right now and would like to see it expanded is shooting himself in several different appendages at once by supporting the Real Names initiatives that the entire Cathedral, as Moldbug’s webspawn call it, is ruthlessly pushing.

  • Elspeth says:

    In the blogosphere, the choir is often preaching to itself though, which gives the illusion that any given idea is more common and accepted than it really is, so what is acceptable to us might be radical or even unthinkable to the population at large.

    This is very true. It’s especially pronounced when you spend a significant amount of time around “normal” people.

    By being open about one’s identity, I wonder if that gives more of a face to a movement and makes it seem more serious and legitimate?

    Yes, and that would make it seem more of a danger and more of a target to be attacked. That’s the price of freedom though, and I don’t know how many feel strongly enough to pay it.

  • sunshinemary says:

    That doesn’t mean that there is no value in some people using their real names. I am sure that there is, though I doubt that they fully appreciate the risk they expose themselves and their children to long term.

    Yes, that’s true, Zippy. Had I been fully cognizant of that, I would have been far more careful about my own identity. I tried to be sort of pseudonymous but wasn’t careful because I figured no one cares about me. Unfortunately, I figured wrong, as is testified to by several feminist-created websites listing everything you could ever want to know about me, including my husband’s employer.

    I will say this to anonymous bloggers – if it’s really important to you to protect your identity you should:

    a) realize that you can’t really protect your online identity much, and
    b) at the very least use an anonymous proxy when visiting websites.

  • Samson J. says:

    Thank you all for the thoughtful perspectives on the question.

    Ben Franklin was also known to write under pseudonyms as well. In fact, by internet standards I would say he at times was probably guilty of sock puppeting/trolling.

    Haha, yeah. And I agree with the OP that the Federalist Papers is an inspiring example.

    the risk they expose themselves and their children to long term

    You think we’ll get to a point where the sins of the fathers will be held against the children? I actually was thinking that, for example, stay-at-home spouses who can’t be “fired” from anything might have an important role to play here. Laura Wood, e.g.

    Let’s re-word the question: can a pseudonymous movement prevent the Overton Window from shifting left? The problem is if nobody stands by their opinions, the Overton Window shrinks. You’re talking about being careful if you’ve got kids, but children are exactly the point: I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where they aren’t allowed to disagree with homosexuality, for example.

    shooting himself in several different appendages at once by supporting the Real Names initiatives that the entire Cathedral, as Moldbug’s webspawn call it, is ruthlessly pushing.

    Great point. It’s pretty clear that they don’t like pseudonymity.

    I figured wrong, as is testified to by several feminist-created websites listing everything you could ever want to know about me, including my husband’s employer.

    I guess that answers that idea I had, kind of.

    It looks like, from Googling around, that this discussion has been had many times before on various alt-Right sites. I’m not suggesting that anybody do anything I’m not doing. It’s just that we live in times when Something Has to Be Done, people have to Stand Up for What’s Right, you know what I mean. I know everyone on this page feels the same way, and is already doing what they feel they can, in their own way.

  • Zippy says:

    Samson J:
    You think we’ll get to a point where the sins of the fathers will be held against the children?

    They already are. Homeschooled children already de facto fall under special scrutiny, for example.

    And not to try to scare anyone, but Sunshine’s experience happened in the current state of things. (I had a similar experience decades ago — yes, I’ve used the Internet since well before the existence of the Web). I’m not sure it is possible to predict what things will be like in 30 or 40 years, but we have to assume that the “Cathedral” will have percolated into some new abomination by then — probably something beyond my capacity to predict, and I can imagine some pretty bad things that most people seem to blissfully think are not possible.

  • sunshinemary says:

    They aren’t really thinking in terms of decades of time horizon with the possibility of a wildly different political regime than we have now, armed with Big Data. Being young cuts against using real names, because there is more time ahead for things to become very divergent from expectations. But either way it is a bigger decision, I think, than most anyone appreciates.

    I am going to disagree with you slightly. The reason to remain anonymous isn’t to avoid letting an evil political regime know what you’ve said online. The reason to remain anonymous is to avoid the fate I’ve suffered, which is essentially being pestered endlessly by a bunch of pissants. That is the only real benefit to writing anonymously.

    The feminists who harangue me and amuse themselves by posting my telephone number online are basically nobodies, just like me. What you are talking about, Z., is something more serious, a scenario in which a repressive regime would perhaps imprison us or our families for our past writings. But Big Data, as you call it, isn’t impressed by your handle and lack of a Facebook account. Heck, with my free tracking software, I can see what city you post from on my site; if the government wants to know who you are, they will be able to find out easily enough, I should think. Even Moldbug himself seems to think this is nothing to worry about:

    Thus, while I am not really one for purges, I’d be dismayed to see anyone who calls himself a real reactionary worrying at all that Obama is reading his email. Or whatever.

    First of all, a reactionary is a gentleman (or a lady). A gentleman (or a lady) doesn’t whine. If he finds himself whining, it will be because his leg has been crushed by a truck and he’s in enormous fucking pain. It won’t be because some meanie is denying him his universal human right to rule the country, or his 1/10^8 share in that right, or whatever.

    My son actually thinks he has human rights. It’s because he’s 2. This morning he asserted his right not to take his amoxicillin – with some success, but not much. I expect the critics of the NSA to have about the same luck. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.

    In other words, you can’t hide from them, so it is pointless to worry much about that. Your real protection is in being not worth bothering about. It is kind of like a conversation some of the womenfolk were having on my old blog about whether or not it is moral to text erotic pictures of oneself to one’s husband. It was pointed out that it isn’t immoral but it is a bad idea because someone might hack into your husband’s phone and steal the pictures, to which I replied that this was highly unlikely. With an entire internet chock full of images of 19-year-old girls doing unspeakable things to one another, who is going to go to the effort of hacking into someone’s phone to get pictures of some middle-aged housewife in her knickers? It’s not worth the effort.

    So, the government could easily find out our identities, but it is unlikely they will bother to do so. None of us advocates violence or anarchy, so our writings are essentially on par with photos of some guy’s 40-something wife in her underwear – easily identified but not worth the effort of doing so.

  • Samson J. says:

    Pretty good discussion about the same sort of thing from just a few months ago: http://therationalmale.com/2013/04/02/its-their-game/comment-page-2/

    Lots of cool heads making good comments there.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:
    There may well be no way to avoid it, and security by obscurity is certainly part of any good strategy. I agree that anyone who actually becomes important isn’t going to be protected by a pseudonym; but the threat implied in being important isn’t what I am talking about. You don’t need Big Data to control important public people.

    And time will tell on your other points.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Samson J

    You live!

    @Zippy

    I’m not sure it is possible to predict what things will be like in 30 or 40 years, but we have to assume that the “Cathedral” will have percolated into some new abomination by then — probably something beyond my capacity to predict, and I can imagine some pretty bad things that most people seem to blissfully think are not possible.

    Ha. When I read your last property tax post I thought, “If some bureaucrat with misguided ethics takes Zippy’s argument seriously, he’s going to suggest killing 39th-year owners.”

  • Samson J. says:

    You live!

    Or am I the undead?

  • I’ve often joked with my millennial contemporaries that if they think presidential campaigns are farcical now, just wait until our generation is old enough to start running for office:

    “Welcome back to Battleground 2042. Our top story: Governor Brown tweeted in 2013 that ‘Democrats r dum, lolz.’ Will this end his campaign before it even begins? Stay tuned.”

  • Zippy says:

    Samson J:
    I realized that I never gave my answer to your rephrased question:

    Let’s re-word the question: can a pseudonymous movement prevent the Overton Window from shifting left?

    I very much doubt that anything in Heaven and Earth, other than direct Divine intervention, can prevent that, at least in our lifetimes. The “Dark Enlightenment” thing the kids are involved in these days will get reabsorbed into the main host, because even as non-PC as it is it still shares too much in common with modernity. The DE will become part of the new synthesis, and the form of the new synthesis will be surprising, probably not in a good way from my perspective, to most everyone. But the one thing I project with a reasonable degree of certainty is that the new synthesis will never ever voluntarily repent of its modernity, its liberalism.

    This is Rome 100 AD not Rome 300 AD. The task is preserving a way of life, remembering, and tending to what gardens we may have, prayer and fasting. “Use real names to head up the counter-revolution” is a conceit reserved to people who live in different times from ours. We will pass into history without mention, other than by the few loved ones who carry on.

    Apocalypse porn is just comfort food mythology for the modern reactionary, who is unwilling to fully face the extent of liberalism’s totalizing triumph.

    Or at least that is what I think most of the time. But life is full of surprises, and the Holy Spirit has quite a sense of humor.

  • Samson J. says:

    I very much doubt that anything in Heaven and Earth, other than direct Divine intervention, can prevent that, at least in our lifetimes.

    Yes, that’s what I decided as well. And as for the rest of your comment, it’s likewise more or less what I’ve concluded, but better-written. Bruce Charlton remarked the other week that we need never to stop being Frodo and Sam, in terms of our attitude, and that’s good advice so far as it goes – but the truth is we aren’t Frodo and Sam. We’re those guys you read about in the Appendices. Like Aragorn’s fathers, our task is to pass on the legacy.

  • Samson J. says:

    Although:

    is a conceit reserved to people who live in different times from ours. We will pass into history without mention, other than by the few loved ones who carry on.

    Well, you know, I was thinking about this sort of thing too: consider the course of 20th-century Russia. Entire generations of people lived their whole youths under communism – but at the same time, it was perfectly possible for someone born the year of the Revolution to outlive the Soviet Union. Just food for thought.

  • Zippy says:

    Samson J:
    That’s true; but my inner cynic can’t help but retort that Communism and National Socialism were just fragile, ultra-ideological offshoots of modernity.

  • I am supremely relaxed about what things will look like in 30 or 40 years, and not just because I’ll be in the twilight of my years then. At least in America, things are very fragile and already falling apart. My husband and I have been internetting for nigh upon twenty years now and sometimes saying very crimethinky things, all traceable to our real names and work histories.

    We know the risks, but we’ve chosen to be free in Christ.

    Do we make ridiculously easy to find out exactly who we are? No, but we also don’t sit around frantically worried about losing our livelihoods or children or lives. If I thought the current regulatory class had it that together, I would not even be on the internet. I would be calling in all my favors, pleading with my husband to do the same and hoping to decamp somewhere other than the USA to grow gardens and wait out the madness.

    Instead we stay here and pay our taxes (including property) and grow our vegetables and etc and try to build a more functional alternative to what’s currently on offer. As do many of the people we spend our time in the world with.

    I have a push/pull thing with internet traditionalism/reaction because they seem so afraid of losing temporal things but seem very reluctant to make arrangements that might protect those things if the authorities are truly so unjust and so ready to throw practicing Christians in jail/etc.

    I think about this a lot. But I also keep up with a lot of regulatory stuff various ways and these tigers are mostly paper, and not trending towards a more solid form in the next 15-20 years, where I dwell. But there could be regional differences, certainly.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    That’s true; but my inner cynic can’t help but retort that Communism and National Socialism were just fragile, ultra-ideological offshoots of modernity.

    If you haven’t already checked it out, you might be interested in the discussion of modernity as the root of our problems in the recent two part series of posts over at Novaseeker’s Veritas Lounge.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    I keep forgetting to watch Logan’s Run.

  • Samson J. says:

    I want to thank you again, Zippy, for your perspective. It’s given me great peace, as it reflects the same things I have been thinking.

    Some further thoughts:

    Although sound, the advice to “lay low and tend one’s own garden” still sticks in one’s craw and grates on one’s conscience. You can tell that from the fact that my initial question is a recurrent, popular one, and I think there are two reasons why. The first is a righteous indignation. We feel that it’s not right that we should have to hide; we feel it’s not right that we aren’t allowed to express important truths. The second reason has to do with a sort of pride. “Are you man enough to stand up for what you say you believe?” Anyone tempted by this sort of feeling needs to be very careful that he is acting from proper motivations, and not from pride.

    I have been struck, while gathering perspectives on this question, by the difference between Christian and non-Christian respondents. As Bruce Charlton is fond of saying, true reaction is Christian, and I find that on the secular reactionary blogs, a lot of commenters seem to participate in the discussion as a sort of enjoyable mental exercise, a fun “thought experiment”. By contrast, it’s Christians who are serious about changing society. This is a generality, and of course not true in all cases, but I mention it so that Christians can be reminded to be very careful about taking advice from non-believers. Their motivations are not the same, and they aren’t guided by the Holy Spirit.

    I’m also struck by the way that Christian faith makes all of this easier, in a sense. Do you believe that God appoints certain people, and generations, to certain tasks? I do, and if you do, it should make it MUCH easier for you to be at peace with your own appointed role.

    @Goody:

    Great blog you’ve got so far, and great comment. I think there is a level of paranoia on display by people who work in large, urban, white-collar sectors that is just not reflective of reality for everyone.

    At least in America, things are very fragile and already falling apart.

    Yes, this is the only place where I disagree with Zippy. There’s a difference between “apocalypse porn” (which I’m not into either), and a frank assessment of current social tension. But please let’s not continue that discussion right here.

  • Zippy says:

    Samson:
    Yes, there is a lot of self-important chest-beating, and there are plenty of Man Up messages about Changing the Big Things and Taking it To the Man (or Woman, as the case may be).

    But most of us aren’t put in charge of Big Things (and those of us who are can know it by the title on our business cards). We are put in charge of small things, the things and people we can actually see and touch, and that is where our responsibilities lie. Things beyond that are in the hands of Providence. But fallen Man is ever tempted to try to be like God.

  • “If you post anonymously or blog under a pseudonym you don’t deserve freedom of speech.”

    This is a c&p quote from the Huffington Post, and regurgitated endlessly by Aunt Giggles, in explaining why the HuffPo no longer allows anon commenting.

    SSM and a few others may believe that the secret is to be considered so unimportant that no one considers you a threat, but that is only commensurate with how offensive your ideas are to a specific group.

    I had no idea who Pax Dickson was until he lost his bread to the Feminine Imperative:
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/09/business-insider-tech-bro-fired.html

    Yeah, I think the guy is kind of an offensive neo-con tool, but I would die for his right to speak his mind. You might then say, “he has the right to say whatever, but he’ll be held in account for it”, which is true, but his living is forfeit by those who want to silence his ideas. It’s not the right to free speech that’s in contention, it’s the ability to contain ‘dangerous ideas’ under the context of free speech that it.

    What you are talking about, Z., is something more serious, a scenario in which a repressive regime would perhaps imprison us or our families for our past writings.

    There’s no need for a repressive regime to ever do so with such a zealous army of supporters ready to cut off the supply of you and your family’s bread:
    http://www.rooshv.com/the-most-insidious-method-of-control-never-devised

    In this fictional world, the most brilliant men open through mouths, ready to fire off ideas that weigh heavier than stones, ideas that will improve society for both men and women, but then he thinks of the guillotine and how his bread will be taken away if he dare says what he wants to say. His mouth opens and his larynx prepares to vibrate and make the sounds of his ideas, but then he remembers the network and he remembers his need for bread and so he shuts his mouth so fast that those around him can only hear the sound of his teeth snapping back into place. Sometimes a couple of words escape from his throat, but thankfully not enough to arouse the suspicions of those who have their hand on the rope that controls the blade that is waiting to be released onto the necks of men whose self-control is not as strong. Gradually and surely, after many years of censoring himself, the thoughts stop coming in. Ideas that once burned so hotly in his head, ready to escape onto the public forum to be discussed and analyzed, to survive on their own accord, become covered in a blanket of thick snow, smoldering the fire that was fueled by his mind. His thoughts are now controlled. His mind now tamed as he accepts the jail that his mind has been sentenced to.

  • sunshinemary says:

    SSM and a few others may believe that the secret is to be considered so unimportant that no one considers you a threat, but that is only commensurate with how offensive your ideas are to a specific group.

    Rollo, I hope you don’t think I am saying that people should not post anonymously. I certainly understand why people wish to do so and have no problem with them making that choice. I thought it was despicable that Susan Walsh revealed personal details about you that may not have been widely known, and I said so. I don’t agree with you on many issues, but I support your right to say it under a nom de plume, however much I may disagree with what you say.

  • Samson J. says:

    After thinking about it, I believe there’s an argument to be made that *only* a pseudonymous movement can shift the Overton window.

  • Zippy says:

    I actually have no problem with stigmatization, repression of speech, etc in theory and in general. I’m an unapologetically authoritarian anti-liberal, turtles all the way down.

    The problem with authoritative discrimination is that, even though it is unavoidable (that it is avoidable is just a pretty lie of modernity), authority is frequently wielded as a weapon by enemies of the truth.

    The supreme irony of the modern condition is that by building a political regime as reaction against putative abuse of authority, modernity by the very nature of politics and authority has to authoritatively discriminate while pretending that authoritative discrimination is wrong. The supposed moral basis for liberalism’s discriminating authority is the supposed illegitimacy of discriminating authority; so any actually legitimate discriminating authority must be destroyed. And since discriminating isn’t allowed, the persons and things over which liberalism exercises its discriminating authority must be framed as subhuman disease and disorder, rather than free and equal persons.

    The end result of trying to rig things such that legitimate authority cannot be abused is the dehumanization and abuse of everyone.

    And that is how you end up in Western modernity circa 2013.

  • Zippy says:

    Samson J:
    After thinking about it, I believe there’s an argument to be made that *only* a pseudonymous movement can shift the Overton window.

    I don’t think that is quite right, because you are looking at it from the perspective of an antiliberal. You are already outside of the Overton window personally.

    Leftists shift the Overton window further to the left from the inside all the time.

    The Overton window is always moving; and if you are one of the people who finds himself suddenly outside of it, you become the new oppressor untermensch, a less-than-human impediment standing in the way of the emergence of the free and equal new man; a new man emancipated from the hierarchical chains of history, God, and tradition.

  • Zippy says:

    (You can see this “constructing the untermensch” in action by reading the comment thread to the GOMI article reacting to SSM’s stigma post. I won’t link to it. But it is clear that many in the mindless liberal herd think that she is less than human because of her illiberal views.)

  • Samson J. says:

    Well, I guess I meant “shift it to the right”, but anyway it doesn’t matter, it was just a thought.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Nota bene: If you are going to visit GOMI, I strongly advise using an anonymous proxy to do so. There are people there who will doxx you if they can suss your identity. Also, don’t believe much of what you read there, about me or anything else. The GIF hysteria pretty much sums up their mental state.

    But it is clear that many in the mindless liberal herd think that she is less than human because of her illiberal views.)

    I have commented on that very thing before. It’s quite common for liberals/feminists to suggest actual violence against me simply because they dislike what I have written. One woman, in response to an essay I had written asserting that it is abnormal for women not to want children, wrote that she wanted to come over to my house and hit me in the face with a metal pan. On my campus sexual assault essay, a feminist wrote that she hoped I was r@p*d with a rusty pipe. If you refuse liberal values, you are subhuman and therefore it is apparently okay to suggest violence against you.

    I actually have no problem with stigmatization, repression of speech, etc in theory and in general. I’m an unapologetically authoritarian anti-liberal, turtles all the way down

    I’m in a weird in between state on that issue. I’m oscillating between my previously held libertarianism and..something else. Whatever it’s called where you are okay with someone being in charge and telling everyone what they have to do, provided that person is actually operating from Truth. Um, a theocracy maybe? I have no word for it.

  • SSM, not at all. What I am saying is that you’re only ‘safe’ in your anonymity in direct proportion to who you piss off. Use ‘unapproved language’ or ‘thought crime’ in a public forum and it’s far more effective to silence dissent by destroying your livelihood, career, family and future than imprisoning you indefinitely.

    And you agree with me more than you disagree, you’re just uncomfortable with being reminded of it.

  • Zippy says:

    Samson J:
    Well, I guess I meant “shift it to the right”, but anyway it doesn’t matter, it was just a thought.

    Hah, well, it gave me the chance to shoot off my mouth and bang on one of my hobby horses, so I appreciate it anyway.

  • Zippy says:

    Rollo Tomassi:
    What I am saying is that you’re only ‘safe’ in your anonymity in direct proportion to who you piss off.

    That’s a good point. My own brush with real names on the Internet and attacks on my livelihood happened before the Web even existed, and it isn’t like I’ve ever been or even aspired to be Somebody.

  • Samson J. says:

    The GIF hysteria pretty much sums up their mental state.

    That is actually what I noticed when I just went over there. It was even worse than I expected, which is surprising.

  • Samson J. says:

    attacks on my livelihood happened before the Web even existed

    Really? I just have such a hard time believing people could be so vindictive.

  • Zippy says:

    Samson J:
    Really? I just have such a hard time believing people could be so vindictive.

    Oh yes, really. My personal livelihood is pretty impregnable at this point, and I am probably far more dangerous in the counter-strike than most would-be attackers would expect. But I still use a pseudonym on line, I won’t be cajoled into lighting incense to the Cathedral’s Big Data call for Real Names by being told to man up or whatever, and I think that people who do – even most of those who think they understand the risks and technical/moral issues involved or can dismiss them by saying that they apply equally to the pseudonymous – don’t fully understand what they are dealing with.

  • sunshinemary says:

    @ Rollo

    What I am saying is that you’re only ‘safe’ in your anonymity in direct proportion to who you piss off. Use ‘unapproved language’ or ‘thought crime’ in a public forum and it’s far more effective to silence dissent by destroying your livelihood, career, family and future than imprisoning you indefinitely.

    OK, thank you for clarifying. I understand and agree with that.

    And you agree with me more than you disagree, you’re just uncomfortable with being reminded of it.

    Ah, well, I don’t know about that. But please allow me to use the relative neutrality of Zippy’s site to extend a most heartfelt apology to you. I think you know what it is for. Please believe me that that one comment was not meant the way it read at all, which is why I removed it. I don’t mind conflict, but the way I had worded that comment did not convey my intended meaning, and I could not stand how it was going to be interpreted. Some things are off limits. I humbly beg your forgiveness.

    Which is not to say that I admit to agreeing with you about anything. Then again, I’m a slut and you’re a retard, so maybe we have an inch or two of common ground. But not more.

  • […] the discussion below two of the things we talked about were (1) that the Overton window is right now moving in a more […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Pseudonyms and the Overton window at Zippy Catholic.

meta

%d bloggers like this: