Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
As I said, I will take my ribbing for posting anonymously. I deserve it. But I will never deny the virtue of those who present themselved openly. They are our role models.
I’m glad you find my reasons for posting anonymously to be uproariously funny. But if you feel that even my reasons are "lame" as you say, then you strengthen the argument for you to be the better man.
[quote=krogoth] As for me, when we have a constitutional abiding government, you can call me a patriot and I will celebrate by posting my picture as well as my full name, but don’t hold your breath. [/quote]
Translation: "When the battle is done, and the war has been won, I will saunter to the battlefield where men braver than I have shed their blood, and I will share in the enjoyment of the spoils of their victory. I am the sunshine patriot and the summer soldier."
By the way, as Chris Martenson points out, if it is really Big Brother that you are afraid of, then you certainly ought to understand that your screen name is no real protection to you. I am not attempting to hide my name from the NSA. If you are going to remain anonymous, then at least have your reasons for doing so make sense.
But again, I will critisize nobody too harshly for protecting their own self-interest. It is a legitimate course of action, as I have said. But you won’t catch me throwing stones at those who do not hide behind a veil of assumed anonymity. As I have said, they are our role models.
jrf29 said: "Anonymity as a concept is despicable. I dislike anonymity in all of its forms…. I will take my ribbing for posting anonymously. But I will never deny the virtue of those who present themselved [sic] openly. They are our role models."
Yes, jrf29, you surely will take a "ribbing" for posting anonymously. I think Krogoth, as do I, chooses to post according to a combination of closely held beliefs and practicality; i.e., we (I’m presuming to speak for others here) say what we believe, but choose to do so without giving the enemy a blank check to attack us, without recourse, out of some naive but non-binding belief in congruence of mind and matter.
Please don’t take this personally, as it is purely a point of logic. Your post, screen name included, is oxymoronic.
Your assumptions about other’s willingness (or failure) to act (courageously) falsely presumes a single template for tactical and strategic approaches to war–yes, war, as that is essentially what we are involved in here, however innocuous fingertips on a keyboard may seem at this juncture…. When your government attempts to destroy your family, your future, and everything you have spent your life believing in, it’s time to change that government. "Change" is open to interpretation and is largely dependent upon the President-elect’s willingness to prosecute the criminal population of the current administration and Wall Street. If he won’t, there are people who will; many of them from other countries which, as the American economy collapses, are going to have quite a bit of leverage.
What we are doing here is being proactive in the sense of mentally preparing ourselves for what we believe will happen; those who have spent months/years contemplating the potential outcomes (of societal collapse) and pondering negotiable routes through the chaos are going to be much more capable of supporting those (friends and neighbors) who haven’t mentally prepared, when the time comes.
Don’t mistake differentials in day-to-day actions (yours and ours) as implying We are not ready for the inevitable next step.
This post in no way implies I would do anything illegal, but I would surely respond to a violation of my constitutional rights (as delineated in the pre-Bush document) with whatever means necessary.
[quote=Nonzeroone] Your assumptions about other’s willingness (or failure) to act (courageously) falsely presumes a single template for tactical and strategic approaches to war–yes, war, as that is essentially what we are involved in here, however innocuous fingertips on a keyboard may seem at this juncture…. When your government attempts to destroy your family, your future, and everything you have spent your life believing in, it’s time to change that government. [/quote]
Now that is an argument. I had assumed that a person who would not speak also would do nothing else. I had also assumed that speech is the first resort when attempting to make change. I had not considered that the time for speaking to be completely done with and the time for…other…actions to be close at hand.
I stand by those assumptions, but I must nevertheless concede that you are correct: my way of thinkning does assume a single temple for tactical and strategic approaches….but not for war, only for peace. If you are preparing yourself for another kind of struggle, and your decision to remain anonymous is a calculated part of that decision, than I will not criticize your decsion on those grounds.
I might disagree with you about whether or not now is a time for talking, but that is beside the point. I suppose that a country needs people who are ready for a variety of outcomes, and if you are preparing yourself for some sort of a different outcome than what I envision, then your ‘strategic approach’ is as logical as any.
"I stand by those assumptions, but I must nevertheless concede that you are correct: my way of thinkning does assume a single temple for tactical and strategic approaches….but not for war, only for peace. If you are preparing yourself for another kind of struggle, and your decision to remain anonymous is a calculated part of that decision, than I will not criticize your decsion on those grounds."
As both Chris and I–and others?–have pointed out above, there is No Anonymity, there is only a forcing of "discovery"; if the IRS contacts Chris to find out who I am, there is a trail of inquiry that might be of some use later. Why not avail yourself of such inexpensive insurance?
Chris: Thank you for challenging all of us. Like NonZeroOne, I will take a closer look at my personal reasons for "anonymity."
I do agree with Chris and NZO, though, there is no privacy at all, it is simply a matter of how difficult it would be to obtain information. But, any information that you volunteer, requires no effort at all, whereas any "forced discovery" might require warrants, etc. Who knows how the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act play into this.
Krogoth did make a good point above, and that is that the more direct and honest (and perhaps damning) you are in your opinions of the government, the more you stand to lose by relinquishing any semblance of anonymity. I think that some of the intense debate and strong opinions expressed on these forums might become much less interesting if everyone used their actual identities. At least the way things play out now, perhaps it is a mere psychological comfort, but anonymity allows some of the users to speak a little more freely.
Krogoth does raise a good point in stating that Chris and the staff generally do not express the strong opinions that other members do. This might not be because their real names are used, but either way, the "easy for them to say" argument does hold here…
And I agree with a few others that lament Krogoth’s departure. Some of his comments here were well out of line, I believe. But, I’ve always been a strong listener to dissenting, divergent opinions, and it is important that we maintain that atmosphere here – so long as it is done in a respectful manner.
Just a few thoughts
I am opening this hoping that the discussion on anonymity versus openness of identity of posters has its own forum and doesn’t distract from the intended purpose of of the forum that honors Michael’s special contributions to PeakProsperity.com.
Wow.. I’m offline for 36 hours, and this site goes into meltdown….? and over what…?
[quote=cmartenson]I was hoping this thread would be about honoring Michael and be a place for others to consider the ways in which they contribute to this overall cause and to tell us about what they’ve done.
I was too…. but not ONE post on topic…
I operate under my real name and with my real picture because I want
this site to be more than what I’ve found through several long years in
the internet. Anonymous discussions are good to a point, and that’s
I think we need to go beyond that point. I believe we both need and deserve the very strongest and best on-line community we can forge.
have a local community and I have an online community and both are
important to me. A few of my very best friends were met on the web and
I think it’s critical that we leverage the web to be our extended
family and community while we build critical mass in our towns and
I have too. This is actually the only forum I don’t use my real name, even though I have posted it, and posted links to my blog and website where my true identity is easily garnered. I use the name Damnthematrix because I feel it truly embodies how I feel about the reasons behind the crash. Whether someone posts his name and photo is hardly relevant. Do any of us actually know anyone on this forum as a real person? Naturally I am not an American, and wouldn’t know any of you if you fell on me (I guess I’d recognise Chris!) so it doesn’t matter to me. An extraordinary number of people (I feel) have emailed me in person to discuss certain things, and of course things get personal then… but I still feel like I’m part of THIS online community as much as I feel about the Australian ones I belong to also… some of the things I post here are really controversial and anti establishment, but ASIO (our version of the FBI) haven’t knocked on my door, even though they now have the exact geographical position of our house and could easily lob an appropriately programmed Tomahawk Cruise Missile through my office door and wipe me off the planet…
So would I prefer everybody use their real name and picture? Yes.[/quote]
You OWN this site Chris. It’s helpful for US to know who YOU are, but it’s not really helpful for us to know each other that well… You’re our guru! All gurus have pictures!
Anyway, let it be known that I truly admire Chris for the enormous amount of work he has done, and if I had a few spare grand I’d let him have some… and Michael’s generosity is outstanding, no doubt about it, but I’d be also surprised if most of the posters on this site didn’t spend a lot of time and effort getting the message out, or doing something about the looming events. I think the fact we’re all here discussing this makes us all heroes of sorts…. so let’s pick up the batton again and fight the good fight.
[quote=Nonzeroone] ….there is No Anonymity, there is only a forcing of "discovery"; if the IRS contacts Chris to find out who I am, there is a trail of inquiry that be of some use later. Why not avail yourself of such inexpensive insurance? [/quote]
I suppose that nothing is wrong with it, if it does not signify a deeper timidity, and unwillingness to stand up for one’s rights. If, however, a person will not use their real name due to a deep fear of what "the government" will do, and this timidity extends to speech and everything beyond it, then it is a shirking of their responsibilities as a citizen.
Of course, one could also argue that such "cheap insurance" is like being in a boat that is taking on water, and retreating to the next higher deck before commencing to bail water again. The water level will always rise to meet you. If the people are timid, then the elements in society which would take away their liberties will simply grow stronger and more bold. If they are not confronted in the bilge, then they will be confronted on the bridge.
One could also ask, why fall back to the next line of defense until the front line has been breached? By starting off from the backup trench, you can be of no help to those on the front lines of free speech. So, by "keeping your powder dry," one might only be helping to assure that the battle will be fought after it has advanced further into the territory of liberty. If people are afraid even to speak publicly, then how many would be willing to join any other kind of battle for their liberty?
That’s all I worry about. Anonymity per se I do not think is necessarily bad. I merely think that openness is better than anonymity. Those who use their real names deserve to be applauded. Those of us who do not, we deserve to be chided. We have our various reasons for remaining anonymous. Many of these reasons may be perfectly legitimate. I obviously flatter myself by believing that I have a good reason. But I do not flatter myself into thinking that my anonymity is as strong of a contribution to the community as, say, Michael’s contributiion. I regret that I cannot make the stronger contribution, and I respect those who do.
P.S. In any case, I don’t think we even need to think in terms of malevolent government agents when talking about screen names. I think that might be carrying the discussion a bit too far. The simple fact is that in a community, people behave better, form closer bonds, and the community works better without anonymity and secrecy. I’m not saying that community can’t work with anonymity (we’re doing reasonably well), but I think that less anonymity is always better than more anonymity, like I’ve said.
In the bigger picture, anonymity cuts both ways, too. Governments can do unlimited mischief in the name of protecting the "privacy" of the people they are keeping secret records on. In New England, where I come from, the concept of anonymity in a community is virtually unknown. Unlike some other states, nobody has a right to live anonymously in a town, and most government records relating to individuals, including birth date, occupation, property assessments, etc, may be viewed by all. This is the result of a long and august tradition among our ancestors who knew that communities and governments worked far better that way. How much better our country would be if the federal government, including agencies such as the FBI, operated that way.
Another long post…
Just to pitch in on this topic myself: everyone will have his/her own
reason for choosing anonymity versus open identity. I understand
Chris’s desire to see openness as this might even change the tone of
some of the clashes that we frequently see here. Although I have seen
also cases of open identities that don’t refrain from nastiness in
their argumentation style (if one can call some of those
"arguments"…). In my case, maybe I don’t want some people (like
prospective employers) to make a name search and see me as an agitator or troublemaker, or particularly political. Why
would I fear that? Because we live in a culture of political
correctness and neutrality. The same culture that doesn’t expect
someone to talk about politics or religion at the workplace, or for
that matter, at a wedding dinner table (rules and guidelines,
remember?). So, I would rather keep my political incorrectness
limited to these forums.
The neutrality has its advantages when it comes to a site like
this, where the issues that hook people in are factually established
and for the most part, apolitical. Note that even in our society,
apolitical things tend to become politically polarized, like global
warming. It has puzzled me how this topic in particular seems to be
highly correlated with people’s political affiliations. Especially
given that political affiliation in the USA (regarding Reps vs Dems, or the meaningless conservative vs liberal) is as meaningful as a choice between Coke and Pepsi.
Take my pet-peeve, the monetary system (I hope I’m not making
anyone’s eyes roll over, but I have to use this example). The Crash
Course is extremely skillful at making the most educational
explanation of the money creation process. I think it is the best in
the internet. Everyone should come out of viewing that explanation
mastering the mechanics of money creation. As you know, it will even
explain how exponential growth in debts is a necessity of the system,
and how it can’t possibly be sustainable. However, there are other
aspects and implications that are up to the viewer to figure out.
Those aspects and implications, to the extent that they refer to the
history of the monetary system and its use as an instrument of
economic control, are totally political. This is what I wanted to
This is my opinion obviously, but I think I can make a reasonable
case for it: ultimately, the most meaningful actions that we can
engage in, given the present turmoil of the world, are political. I
don’t think that we can escape from this. Every time that we fume
about the public interest been hurt by the Fed’s credit line to
Citibank, or how the Fed (again) is running circles around the
population as it argues "trade secrets" to keep the use of
public money from public view, we are reacting politically. When the
Icelanders or the Greeks take the streets, they are being political.
They may not be able to articulate what is what they really want to
actually solve their problems, but their actions are political. Every
time that we are concerned about the liberties that we are losing or
the transformation of the USA more and more into a police state, we
are being political. Anything that has to do with the distribution of power
in a society, is political. And we are in the midst of a power
struggle and of an economic warfare waged against the population in a
scale without precedent. The people have their eyes closed and are
adrift at sea in this fight against a shoal of white (collar) sharks. "People" here means everyone in this planet.
And this is the problem with "political correctness" and
neutrality, that it limits the possibilities of awareness and action. In the same
way that these attitudes induce shallowness in personal interactions,
they also induce shallowness in our understanding and capability to
act. A while back I wrote a long post inciting people to get
organized. I’m pretty sure it raised more than a few eyebrows, and
not only because of some words I used (sorry about that). It didn’t
resonate. I thought about this and realized that we are not ready for
organization. Effectiveness can only result from numbers. Serious
numbers. I’m talking about the ability to send a million letters to
congress by individuals, at least, to have a coherent position, vast
increases in education and understanding about all the relevant
issues. What a phenomenal and virtually impossible undertaking… we
are not there. All we can do is to raise awareness, to try to get
people sufficiently inflamed that they think that something needs to
be done and that they need to learn more. But beyond that, it seems
to me that it is every (wo)man for her/himself: stash up on food or secure access to it,
make friends of your neighbors, get out of fiat currencies and wait
for the tsunami to strike. Survival, that is.
I am probably alone in the following, and I have said this before: I don’t find that very
satisfying. If society is so impervious to information and awareness,
what is there to rescue? Survive impoverished and in a
quasi-totalitarian system where people have not the slightest inkling
of the rights they once had… I don’t think that this is an
exaggeration. I think that there are things worse than death. This is
why I will probably continue to write things that in essence are
political. I can’t help it. I’ll do it anonymously. I don’t mean this
as disrespect for anyone, I hope that the care that I have in
constructing my posts is taken as a sign of respect for the community
and as a friendly hand reaching out. (But I will welcome and engage in good arguments!) I’ll do this until I get tired,
or until Chris kicks me out. As I once said, I don’t know how long I
can use this as effective catharsis.
“… there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more
doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a
new order of things. For the reformer makes enemies of all those who
profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who
would profit by the new order…”
–Niccolo Machiavelli, in “The Prince”