Friday 25 November 2016

Stop being Ano/ Pseudo-nymous

I feel that the (pseudo-) anonymity of the web is a pracise and a pretense that ought now to be dropped - people that use pseudonyms and write anonymously ought to begin publishing under their own names.

The fake anonymity of the web (fake because it is so easily broken by those who have power, when they wish to break it) was never a very good thing, on balance; but now I think it has become actively dangerous - it is encouraging a counter-productive frame of mind, it is playing-into the evil plans of the Establishment.

'They' want us to have the mind-set of fear that is induced by cowering in a shallow foxhole of trivially-easily un-masked denied or fake identity; invisibly lobbing out the occasional random grenade, or peeping-out briefly to take a quick pot-shot before ducking down and cowering again.

The fact is that - as I know from personal experience - when the Politically Correct Left, the Social Justice Warriors, want to 'get' somebody - then they do. Anonymity is no defence at all. They will instantly and without hestitation invent assertions and make-up 'quotes' which will be swiftly and irresistably propagated by the mass media - and their lies will be believed by the vast herds of docile addicts that consume the mass media.

This just is the situation - we need to know it, and refuse to fear it.

In the strategy to engineer the world ino a state of self-induced, self-desired, voluntary damnation and ruin: Fear Is The Key. Our prime directive is therefore to overcome fear.

Ano-/ Pseudo-nymity is a delusion; but one which encourages and enforces a state of deep existential dread.

The only viable strategy in a world of omni-surveillance is to find the courage to operate under your own name; and aim always to be honest about all things at all times.

That is not 'safe'; but then nothing is safe -- the point is not to crave an illusory safety but to live with what integrity, courage and love you can muster -- and eagerly repent your inevitable multiple failures to do so.

If/ When the firestorms come, refuse to engage the enemy on their level; maintain your high ideals and honest, loving integrity; trust in God --  and ride out the conflagration as best you can.

Afterwards, lick your wounds, brush yourself down - and start again.

NOTE ADDED: Part of this is that my feeling, at this time, is that we each of us need to be ready to speak the truth as we perceive it... Not mainly in the sense of shouting it from the rooftops or in the public forum; but in the sense of face-to-face, in small rooms and among small groups, a time may well come to each of us when it is absolutely essential that we do the right thing (perhaps speak a single word) - and upon this a great deal may hinge that we (at that time) are unaware of (but which will later become apparent). 

This means we must get into the habit of truth - otherwise it is very unlikely whether we will do the right thing, when it comes to it. Part of this seems to be getting-used to 'speaking' under our own names, and without the psychological crutch of a veil (however flimsy, in reality).   


lgude said...

I think that's correct and this post makes me more aware of it. Just watching a long Edward Snowdon YouTube and a younger me could have gotten exercised over the Panopticon our rulers are building. But this has little to do with my relationship to God or living in what the Buddhists refer to as Present Moment Awareness. I'm not saying that because I am doing nothing wrong i have nothing to lose. I'm saying that my focus is balancing what transpires inside with what happens on the outside which includes the certainty of death. Finding ones way in the Kingdom of God while rendering unto Caesar on the outside. So I have come to a policy much like yours. Just do the best I can and take what comes. Thanks

Karl said...

Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. Luke 12:3

Bruce Charlton said...

Anonymous Dualist said...


I hear what you’re saying. It’s so tempting. We truly ARE doing exactly what ‘they’ would like us to do: living in fear. I must admit, I have gone to extreme lengths to make it difficult to PROVE anything I have written was indeed by my hand. As you will have noticed, every time I email you it is from a different, false-named account, that were all setup on computers completely unrelated to myself. For the few Alt-Right sites I visit, I use multiple computers in different properties, all of which are using ISP’s not registered in my name (the owners fully know what I write). Mentioning I was a Cambridge man was stupid, though I’ve never mentioned what college.


But I’d say that your idea IS the solution – if only we could all just agree to do it at the same time (or a large proportion did). That seems difficult, but not impossible. Maybe it’s something we could start trying to arrange throughout the Alt-Right, maybe get an agreed date in mind and then all ‘come out’ en masse, so to speak.


And there are also other things to take into consideration. The main one of these is: has one said anything not merely illiberal, but actually illegal?


The question I ask is: is the example of ONE MAN losing his tenure a greater Good than all the potential Goods you could do only in your role as professor (and including the evils that could be inflicted on your family etc., even if only materially)? I’m not sure the example alone is worth it, but there’s more that could be said on this matter. Though if enough people do it, they surely couldn’t sack all of us.




Dualist said...

To respond to each one of your caps paragraphs, Bruce:

Yes, sorry, I never meant I'd mentioned Cambridge here on this blog. I wasn’t very clear. I just meant in general on the alt-right, it is the only personally-identifiable info I have given out. I never for one minute thought you were out to get me, mate, not one second. I meant it's just what I do every time I send messages that could be linked to certain comments I've made on I trust the guys over there, too, but I still take the same precautions. None of them know my real name, and I've been in contact with Brett for years. I do this because if an individual gets 'offended',- so what, they can't link anything to me. But if the POLICE saw something illegal, they could use their greater resources to get me, as you wrote.

As for the support that you received from colleagues, no, I actually thought the whole board of the journal resigned (though I don't know much about it), but I totally agree, we should automatically presume we would receive NO support. I've never seen support given in any other cases eg. tasteless Hawaiian-shirt 'incident' on our 'space program'. That's why I was saying it was 'awesome' that you did receive some support.

As for the illegal part, I thought it was relevant because of the bottom paragraph I wrote (you’ve actually missed that paragraph off when you’ve wrote your reply, Bruce). I was saying that somebody going to jail would probably scare people much more than somebody just losing a tenure. But in the sense of whether the offence was illegal or merely just of the type I mentioned (in a previous paragraph you also seem to have left out - is this an accident or editorial? If that's what you do, fine, but in future would you please at least make a reference to what you've cut out if it makes my comment read quite differently, because that's surely a bit unfair otherwise, is it not? I do hope you know I'm not here to undermine you, or anything of that nature. I wouldn't come here if I didn't agree with almost everything you write. I only visit about 3 such blogs. And while I'm on the subject, please ALWAYS read my capitalised words as a mild, italicised emphasis; I'm not sure whether I've mentioned this here before, but I should have done. I don’t know how to do italics, if one can do so), then, yes, the offence would be irrelevant as to whether one would lose one's job.

As for the final 3 paragraphs, of that, I'm not totally decided. That was what I meant by 'but there's more that could be said on the matter'. I agree you must do what is right, because it's right. I was questioning what that right actually WAS (in this situation), in the sense of bringing the most possible good into the world, now AND in the future'. Because something is often ONLY right BECAUSE of the effects it may have, is my assumption here. Is it this notion you are disagreeing with, Bruce?

Bonald said...

I've had several people tell me how easy it is to determine my real identity, so I understand what you're saying about pseudonymity in itself being a largely illusory protection. When I decided to start blogging, my belief was that pseudonymity and obscurity are together a pretty good defense. That is, if I ever fell under "their" radar, they could track me down without much effort, but that was not likely to happen. If it did happen, it might indicate that my writings were really having an effect. The correlation between risk and influence itself recommended pseudonymity to me. If I could really affect people's beliefs and the public conversation, I might be willing to take more personal risk. If blogging turned out to be a failed hobby that didn't go anywhere, then I would certainly not want to risk my livelihood or social friction over it. Assuming I was going to have no effect on fellow Rightists, I had what seemed like good reasons to want a google search on my true name not to lead to anything having to do with my blog, as this would color the perception of students, colleagues, and funding agencies in distracting ways. That is, even if the consequences of exposure were small, none of them seemed desirable.

It's possible that not writing under my true name has eroded my habit of truthfulness. I don't think it has done so more than complete silence (the genuinely safe option) would have.

Bruce Charlton said...

@B - It has to be a personal decision.

One risk factor is probably having influence - the core reason that I got sacked from Medical Hypotheses when I did was that I had built up the journal to the point it became 'a threat' - on the other hand Elsevier would have made it peer reviewed and docile sooner or later, simply because it was an anomoly.

In the UK - utterly obscure teenagers, Tweeting 'offensive' comments from their bedrooms have been tracked down and ended-up nationally vilified in the media, fined and even in jail.

Maybe complete silence used to be safe, but nowadays we are in the Stalinist situation that anything less than enthusiastic support for PC comes under sanction (eg creating a hostile work environment by failing to join in celebrating... whatever).

Bruce Charlton said...

@Dualist - I apologise for not indicating the cuts in your comment - the reason was a mixture of impatience and hurry because I had written and lost a most extenive conventional reply to your comment (Blogger seems to have a glitch, which catches me by surprise still) that previewing a comment sometimes loses it with no trace when you try to post it - that is what happened).

wrt support - I did receive some support at MeHy, especially from authors, and for that I was grateful indeed.

I summarised what happened in the most recent entries on this blog:

maybe this is probably the best summary - .

I learned a lot during and from the MeHy Affair - which led to my book Not Even Trying (2012); but if I had fully recognised the depth and extent of corruption in science, I would not have followed the strategy I did.

My hopes depended on their being a decent proportion of people involved in science who were competent, honest and courageous. I discovered that now there simply aren't enough of these (a small fraction of a percent; and most of them are retired/ older and marginal to power structures).

Jail would obviously be a severe deterrent. But I lost a well paid job and became a figure of mockery - which is more than enough deterrence for the docile, timid careerists who inhabit modern science!

BTW - I have had an email claiming to identify Dualist as someone whose work is known to me. If you would like to clarify this, then e-mail me direct.

David Balfour said...

I am a Christian and I shall not fear the world. We must not hide, we must be brave and support what is right and good including personal honesty. Yes we will fail repeatedly and have to start again many times but the principles are eternal and guide our way towards being better men and women. The principles guide our way to salvation and the habit of honesty is a cornerstone. I know its not easy but I can testify that the feeling of strength and satisfaction that one is serving a higher power in moments of difficult or "tested" honesty are character forming and rewarding in ways that are hard to articulate. Conversely the acts of hiding, concealing ones faults and sins and manipulating others perceptions falsely is a path towards creating a weaselly tragic little man who can only regard his own reflection with a sense of shame and defeat and the fading possibility of spiritual wholesomeness. I dont know about you but I do not wish to become that reflection in the mirror before I leave this world (which could be sooner or later according to the unpredictable visscitudes of mortal life - a fatal hand can be dealt - Just like that!). Far better to walk as boldly as possible in honesty and fair-dealing and then at least we can feel we have tried our best to be the best we can be as individual characters of integrity; inevitably flawed but still acknowledging always our true path is to cultivate virtue and shun the devils games of hiding, lies and falsehood. This is something I aspire towards every day. Please join me and we must support each other. I know I could certainly use the help wherever I can find it in this often lonely world and the hope and love and strengh that we will transmit whenever we are able to muster the strengh to do this will have remarkable and unseen consequences in the world that we can barely understand or predict but which are good.

Illiamway Ychonievichtay said...

"Easily broken"? I don't know what you're talking about. Anyway, I'm sticking with my pseudonym for safety's sake.

Bruce Charlton said...

"I'm sticking with my pseudonym for safety's sake. " said Anonymous Illiamway Ychonievichtay

That is THE funniest comment I have ever had - it made me *roar* with laughter!

Dualist said...

.....The next paper I read didn’t try to control for other drugs – but only because this one was dealing with lab-rats. The only slight problem being this time they accidentally gave the rats that well-known neurotoxin methamphetamine rather than MDMA! Blimey, as they say. (To be fair to him, he said the mail-order supplies company sent a bottle wrongly labelled, though I personally believe the real reason for the error is much more sinister, (I won’t go into my theory here) though not the fault of the researcher. I read a review article, and the majority of about 20 papers I looked at all had at least one error I could spot, and I’m not even a biologist.

Finally, no, it wouldn't be prudent for me to confirm or deny. For if I deny, that only reduces the number of possible likely candidates. Please, please do not pass on this 'identity' to anybody. I am almost certain that whatever poor soul somebody thinks is me, it is not. But seriously, this also means that the person in question could potentially get linked to things I'VE written, so I'd say it's most prudent we should not mention it further. When the time is right, I'll defo let you know. All I can ask is that you trust my judgement that this is for the best.

Dualist said...

@David Balfour

While I don’t disagree with any sentence you have written, I feel there are a couple of extra points that should be made if we are to apply them to the question of pseudonymity.

Firstly, you have made the issue one of honesty. You make reference to ‘concealing one’s faults and sins and manipulating others perceptions falsely’. Now, if one was using a pseudonym so that one could make FALSE statements about oneself, then what you say is fair enough. But if one is only ever being truthful (though, admittedly, sometimes holding some private info back, as we all do - except perhaps those who have been unduly influenced by Kant, lol - in everyday conversation when speaking with strangers) then surely this does not apply. As nobody believes I’m genuinely saying my real name is Dualist, I personally have never said anything untrue from behind a moniker.

For me personally, the issue is merely one of strategy. I have very specific plans that I may unleash on society, but only when the time is right. I will likewise reveal my identity only when the time is right. My identity being revealed BEFORE that time would not help these plans, but there is a great chance of it hindering them. It is the same reason why I don’t reveal the whole plan online beforehand, and why the Allies never gave the Germans prior-warning of all their plans before they attacked! Could we not make reference to Christ’s exhortation to be ‘gentle as doves and wise as serpents’? Though I also see how such a passage could so very easily be twisted to justify many an evil, so if don’t like that one, I understand.

Now, and perhaps I should have checked this first, are you by any chance referring only to the type of thing discussed on this site ie. Christianity? Because I would certainly agree there is NEVER any excuse to deny knowing Christ. Indeed, in my face-to-face dealings with people, I am always completely upfront about THOSE beliefs. If this was the only internet site I used, I would have revealed my identity from day one. But the plans I refer to are of quite a different kind. Whether they are Christian at all I need to work out in private, just me and Him. Though because I’ve already used the same screen-name here as on quite different sites, I feel it’s just best not to risk it. But if does turn out these plans are truly what I OUGHT TO do, not just what *I* want to do, then I am simply saying that the small good of revealing my identity is not worth trading for the much greater good of the outcome of what I am planning, that’s all.

I understand that you are trying your best to place all your trust in the Lord – as we all should - but if the things you would write are the same whether one is hidden or not, is not revealing your identity similar to OFFERING yourself up for martyrdom? Because the arguments against such a thing go as far back as Polycarp (though I recall Tertullian seemed to be all for it, on the other hand).

David Balfour said...

@Dualist - I think perhaps you are looking too deeply into what I have said. Perhaps the difference is that I do not have any of the long term strategic plans that you refer to. I am just living my life simply from day to day and have no expectation to change the world or society on any strategic way. I just aim to love and be happy and raise a family and try and be faithful as much as possible to principles such as honesty and integrity. I might add I do fail to do that regularly. But yes if I were an intelligence officer fighing WW2 I might need to be more strategic and withhold some information. Everyones situation is different but to be honest it never even occurred to me to hide my identity on this site because I know (have met) the author as a student and feel no need for any kind of pretence. As Bruce said if I met him in the street I wouldnt hide my face with a mask or use a voice altering device or similar and what do I have to hide anyway? I am certainly not a martyr?! Not sure where you get that idea from. Im just someone who likes to contributes to discussions on this website as spiritual matters interest me and feel profoundly important in these modern times when such matters are usually excluded from the public discourse. Everyones situation is different though and whatever yours is is no doubt specific to you.

Bruce Charlton said...

@D - Points noted - thanks for the kid words about TP.

I regard the Medical Hypotheses Affair as a simple no-brainer for anyone informed of the basic facts - And that so many (nearly all) senior scientists/ editors etc did not perceive this issue correctly or clearly means that they are fakes qua scientist.