Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

81 posts / 0 new
Last post
mred's picture
mred
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 8 2008
Posts: 96
Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

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.

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: Heroes in hiding I guess?

Krogoth,

I respect your right to your opinion and your right to continue to participate here under your screen name identity if that's your preference.

But honestly, I'm dumbfounded to understand why you would take offense to my statement that Chris and I appreciate people participating under their true identites. That's simply a matter of fact. Chris and I share the personal opinion that important conversations about critical social issues tend to work better when people participate under their true identities. We're as entitled to that opinion as you are to your preference to participate under a screen name. We have been completely respectful of your prerogative to participate behind a screen name if you choose to. Please return that courtesy by respecting our right to our opinion. We've been very careful not to impose our beliefs on anyone, because we recognize our personal opinions for what they are.

I consider myself to be an extremely proud and patriotic American citizen. Patriotism is something everyone has to consider and interpret in a way that feels right to them. I grew up in Concord, Massachusetts (site of the famous revolutionary war battle of Lexington and Concord), and had an enormously overweighted dose of American history from grade school on. We were taught in first grade that it is our patriotic duty to question government when it no longer represents the interest of the people. As a young child I went on school field trips to the site of the Boston Tea Party, and learned that the foundation of our nation's existence was patriotism, defined as the people not allowing government oppression. I was taught that is my duty as a citizen to stand up and speak out when government goes afoul.

I am very proud of the work I am doing for this site as a volunteer, and I see it as my patriotic duty to help this cause. Speaking for myself personally, I would never do this under a screen name out of fears about what list my name may be put on, because in my view that's letting them win. Speaking only for myself, I would feel like a coward participating behind a screen name here for the reasons you cite. But that's my personal head trip, and I respect your right and everyone else's to see things differently. But I really see no legitimate reason for you to take offense if we see things differently than you do.

Your comment about respect being bought here offends me, frankly. As you well know, respect here comes from contribution in many forms, and both Chris and I have been quick to compliment you both publicly and in back-channel e-mails for your outstanding contributions to the forums and blog comments. Michael did something extraordinary by making the contribution that he made, and he damned well deserves respect for it. From Chris, from me, and from you too.

Krogoth, did you consider how this sort of response might affect others who might be inclined to follow Michael's lead? Do you think others who are able to make large financial contributions will be more likely to do so if they are shown to expect this sort of "appreciation"? When I introduced myself to this community, I intentionally mentioned that I had made a $5,000 cash contribution to Chris' efforts myself. The reason I did that wasn't to show off or pat myself on the back. It was a conscious decision to mention my own donation in hopes that I might inspire others to contribute if they were able to. Lead by example and all that. I was shocked and dismayed when I was barraged with responses accusing me of trying to "buy my way into controling this site"! Do you think people like Michael and myself are more likely or less likely to continue our generosity in the future if we are shown that this sort of critical, unappreciative reaction is what we can expect from this community?

I used to make a hell of a lot of money as a CEO, and I get calls all the time offering me consulting opportunities. Instead I'm spending my weekend working on PeakProsperity.com work, for free, as a volunteer, because I believe it's my patriotic duty to help this cause. Krogoth, you're absolutely entitled to your opinions, and you're welcome to continue sharing them. But I want you to know that this sort of response makes me feel like saying "Screw this. These people just want everything for free, to let someone else donate the time and money to make this all happen, and to have the right to bitch about it anonymously behind some screen name that sounds like a science fiction character if they don't get everything to their liking!"

Thanks for the encouragement, Krogoth. I feel so much better about spending my weekend volunteering my time for this site now.

Erik 

krogoth's picture
krogoth
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 576
Re: Heroes in hiding I guess?
ErikTownsend wrote:

But honestly, I'm dumbfounded to understand why you would take offenseto my statement that Chris and I appreciate people participating under their true identites. That's simply a matter of fact. Chris and I share the personal opinion that important conversations about critical social issues tend to work better when people participate under their true identities. We're as entitled to that opinion as you are to your preference to participate under a screen name. We have been completely respectful of your prerogative to participate behind a screen name if you choose to. Please return that courtesy by respecting our right to our opinion. We've been very careful not to impose our beliefs on anyone, because we recognize our personal opinions for what they are.

I am sorry you are dumbfounded, but I consider contributions to this website under real names or screen names as equal. That's my opinion. I expected nothing less but a long and drawn out response from you, so here are my replies. 

ErikTownsend wrote:

I consider myself to be an extremely proud and patriotic American citizen. Patriotism is something everyone has to consider and interpret in a way that feels right to them. I grew up in Concord, Massachusetts (site of the famous revolutionary war battle of Lexington and Concord), and had an enormously overweighted dose of American history from grade school on. We were taught in first grade that it is our patriotic duty to question government when it no longer represents the interest of the people. As a young child I went on school field trips to the site of the Boston Tea Party, and learned that the foundation of our nation's existence was patriotism, defined as the people not allowing government oppression. I was taught that is my duty as a citizen to stand up and speak out when government goes afoul.

I am very proud of the work I am doing for this site as a volunteer, and I see it as my patriotic duty to help this cause. Speaking for myself personally,I would never do this under a screen name out of fears about what list my name may be put on, because in my view that's letting them win. Speaking only for myself, I would feel like a coward participating behind a screen name here for the reasons you cite. But that's my personal head trip, and I respect your right and everyone else's to see things differently. But I really see no legitimate reason for you to take offense if we see things differently than you do.

I don't think you need to give me a resume of you patriotism, but if you want to drop the patriotism bomb, we can do that as well. I graduated High School at 17 and immediately served my country in the US Navy for 4 years, then I attend college. My father was a Naval Officer as well as an attorney, my grandfather was a Judge and my family history is not only patriotism at it's finest, but can be traced back quite a long time, with parts of my family actually being massacred by American Indians on the trek to the West for better opportunities. Speaking for myself personally, I don't feel like a coward, I feel like I am protecting myself and my family from an unconstitutional acting government. As for the other posters here, I don't think that they would like your personal opinion of the majority of them being cowards. I feel that some people on here, like myself, could be in serious danger under certain new and constitution violating acts that are now in place, based on the fact we attack and go after parts or whole bodies of government. While it's easy to say I am a patriot just as you do, Chris and you are simply conveyors of the problem, and not pointing fingers, attacking any politicians, going after the root individuals responsible, or taking a stand in any way. This is fine and acceptable being that you and Chris are in a much more exposed position, and also much more vulnerable to these new and unconstitutional non-laws, but for anyone who does attack anyone in today's government structure, I would strongly suggest using a cowardly screen name.

ErikTownsend wrote:

Your comment about respect being bought here offends me, frankly. As you well know, respect here comes from contribution in many forms, and both Chris and I have been quick to compliment you both publicly and in back-channel e-mails for your outstanding contributions to the forums and blog comments. Michael did something extraordinary by making the contribution that he made, and he damned well deserves respect for it. From Chris, from me, and from you too.

I appreciate the kudos from both of you, in back-channels and on the forums, but that is not the point of my original post, or my intent of the original post. I don't care about gratitude, but thanks for it anyway. As for respect, who and how I respect people in my life is not something I am shocked you have the odacity or think you have any right to dictate to me.

ErikTownsend wrote:

Krogoth, did you consider how this sort of response might affect others who might be inclined to follow Michael's lead? Do you think others who are able to make large financial contributions will be more likely to do so if they are shown to expect this sort of "appreciation"? When I introduced myself to this community, I intentionally mentioned that I had made a $5,000 cash contribution to Chris' efforts myself. The reason I did that wasn't to show off or pat myself on the back. It was a conscious decision to mention my own donation in hopes that I might inspire others to contribute if they were able to. Lead by example and all that. I was shocked and dismayed when I was barraged with responses accusing me of trying to "buy my way into controlling this site"! Do you think people like Michael and myself are more likely or less likely to continue our generosity in the future if we are shown that this sort of critical, unappreciative reaction is what we can expect from this community?

Actually, I was not worried about your fund raising efforts because I think not only are we adults and not children here, I also believe that we can make decisions on our own, but that once again I think this is way off the message of my original post. Now you are implying that I have no concern for this website or it's continued survival, taking my message way off it's intention and misdirecting it. I have done many posts coming up with ideas, suggestions and other things to make this website not only popular, but educational and profitable. To attack my loyalty is a foundation-less, lame and pointless argument and really makes you look bad. We all know what you have contributed financially to this website, you remind us of it all the time. Leading by example is not taking someones comment about protection, safety and concern, and the definition of why a lot of us are anonymous here and not turning it into multiple responses that have no basis or merit, when the evidence is clearly not only on this website but also based on my continuous support of this website. To lump in a statement like people accused you of to "buy your way into controlling this site"  is way off topic once again and has absolutely nothing to do with my original post's intention. This sounds like a personal issue with you, and has nothing to do with what I originally posted.

ErikTownsend wrote:

I used to make a hell of a lot of money as a CEO, and I get calls all the time offering me consulting opportunities. Instead I'm spending my weekend working on PeakProsperity.com work, for free, as a volunteer, because I believe it's my patriotic duty to help this cause. Krogoth, you're absolutely entitled to your opinions, and you're welcome to continue sharing them. But I want you to know that this sort of response makes me feel like saying "Screw this. These people just want everything for free, to let someone else donate the time and money to make this all happen, and to have the right to bitch about it anonymously behind some screen name that sounds like a science fiction character if they don't get everything to their liking!"

Thanks for the encouragement, Krogoth. I feel so much better about spending my weekend volunteering my time for this site now.

Erik 

OK once again making it your personal business and somehow tying it into my comment. What money we make, used to make or will make is way of topic, as is most of this statement and most of this response. I never asked for anything free, and all I have done is contribute as much as time allows.

I will add to my original post-

I feel it's my way of sharing information with people here, and not so much a patriotic duty, because I think it's a world issue as the big picture.

Of course I am American, so I will think of America first in most of my posts, but patriotic duty I think is better suited for you and not me. I did my patriotic duty for 4 years in the Navy, so I think I have contributed to America in a way I see as fitting and just. It's continuing for me, because I inform and educate as many as I can about America, it's government, and it's people. Being that I travel extensively, and am practically a quasi ambassador having to explain constantly American policies to other cultures. I explain the wonderful things about being American and America, and I explain that things that are not wonderful about America.

Definition of Patriot- a person who loves his or her country and passionately supports its interests 

Well this describes most of the people on PeakProsperity.com. I don't think if the people on here didn't give a damn, they would not post so much or try to help so many others, and giving a damn is being a patriot. My original post was to state that just because people use screen names does not mean that what they contribute or what they have to say is has any less or more importance than anyone else, regardless of donation, posts, number of posts or whatever. That's called free speech, and being a patriot you understand this. One post on here from one person can be educational to many, and that carries just as much importance as contributing capital, but that's my opinion.

What I am concerned with, and will always concerned with, is safety and freedom of speech, which lately in America and around the world has been under attack. You see Erik, people die or are tortured for contributing opinions, educating or informing others with information the government does not like. I was involved somewhat with intelligence in the service and in my private career, and I dare to imagine how far and how badly it can and possibly will get in America. I live next to the country that has a long record of crushing any opinion outside of what they think is acceptable or allowed, it's called China. You use words like patriot and I use words like patriot act. I don't use the word patriot as much anymore after it was tied to these horrible, illegal and unconstitutional acts of the Bush administration, but that is my opinion. Because my original post was intended not only to protect the identity of the majority of contributors to the forums is important, this seems to have turned completly into everything but that.     

ErikTownsend wrote:

Screw this. These people just want everything for free, to let someone else donate the time and money to make this all happen, and to have the right to bitch about it anonymously behind some screen name that sounds like a science fiction character if they don't get everything to their liking!

I don't know if this is directed at me or directed at all of us, but I will assume it is directed at me and all I can say is this is not only petty, it's immature. if it is directed at me, then it's a violation of Chris M's rules

Please avoid any of the following:

  • Personal attacks.

It's not really worth my effort to make this thread explode by adding much more, but let's just leave it at what makes America great. Our different opinions, backgrounds and cultures and our collective desire of PROTECTION of our personal liberties, way of life and freedom.  

 

 

 

 

krogoth's picture
krogoth
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 576
Tax Assesment for writing

Exactly my point. Erik, please read the above post from NonZeroone. This is not a conspiracy-nut story, he is stating it actually happened.

kwwilson's picture
kwwilson
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 7 2008
Posts: 16
Re: Heroes in Action: Michael Höhne

My original off topic post can now be found here , where it belongs.

In the proper spirit of this thread, I'd like to add my thanks to Michael Höhne for his contribution.  Each of us in our own way can help spread this message, and I too feel that we need to do all we can to speed the process of reaching more people.

 

krogoth's picture
krogoth
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 576
Here we go
jrf29 wrote:

Anonymity is never a virtue. And the truth is that it takes a greater degree of courage and integrity to reveal one's true name and to then stand tall for one's own beliefs.

Krogoth, if you want to protect yourself, then do so. Take shelter in the security of your anonymity and disparage the greater courage those who do use their names and photographs. Self preservation is a legitimate reason for action. But some people find that the preservation of their country is more important than saving their own hides from dangers real or imagined.

Anonymity as a concept is despicable. I dislike anonymity in all of its forms. In government it leads to masked operatives and brutal behavior, and in the public the desire for anonymity leads to a cowed populace, unwilling to stand their ground with pride and dignity and say, "I, John Q. Public, will stand up and speak out for my rights."

How convenient for you! I should do the same, just spout a bunch of nonsense about who should stand up for all our liberties, and then turn around with such a lame excuse for not backing it. I guess your protecting your hide as well. Are you in political service at all, because if not the way you talk you should be.

Those who speak on here and don't wish to attack or criticize our government, then post your picture, you name whatever you want. Those of you who as JRF29 said want to protect your hides from real or imagined whatever, then I suggest not attacking anyone, putting light on any subject or doing anything buy let the government run your life. As for me, speaking without identifying yourself is just about the only way to go these days. Maybe before the Bush administration came in I would feel OK providing this to the public, but now in this government, no way.

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.

Until then, if it ever happens, I will use a the supremely lame excuse for not posting my name and picture, just like JRF29.

 

And here it is-

I am sure you have noticed that I post anonymously. In my chosen career path, I am obligated to avoid bias, or the appearance of bias, in any of my public actions, and in so doing I retain my ability to do greater deeds for the public good. But my motivation is a desire to choose my forum, and thereby strike a greater blow for the public good---not to save my own neck and thereby withdraw from the struggle for liberty which it is our duty as citizens to engage in.

When I read this post, I laughed so hard I almost fell out of the chair!

jrf29's picture
jrf29
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2008
Posts: 453
Re: Here we go

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.

krogoth wrote:

 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.

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's picture
jrf29
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2008
Posts: 453
Re: Heroes in Action: Michael Höhne
Nonzeroone wrote:

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.

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.

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Heroes in Action: Michael Höhne

Wow..  I'm offline for 36 hours, and this site goes into meltdown....?  and over what...?

cmartenson wrote:

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... 

cmartenson wrote:

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
about it.

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.

I
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
cities.

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...Wink

cmartenson wrote:

So would I prefer everybody use their real name and picture? Yes.

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.

Mike 

mred's picture
mred
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 8 2008
Posts: 96
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

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
arrive at.

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”

Nichoman's picture
Nichoman
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 1 2008
Posts: 422
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

Everyone's situation and background is different.   Don't do too much blogging (less than half dozen sites).

 

Prefer not to  use real name because as scientist going to conferences and doing presentations, these can be distractions.   Leave it at that.  Chris is correct, probably wouldn't be hard to find identity...but circles deal in folks too busy to care.  What our field is though full of focused, introverted folks, bringing in outside views can't help.  It's nature of my job...opinions weaken you in my circles, not strengthen and can skew my associates acumen to my presentations and issues pursuing.

 

That's primary reason.  Have couple major projects working on in my field that requires assistance from several colleagues.

 

Participate here because: 1.) Subject impacts me and my family; 2.)  Agreed on dire consequences BEFORE Chris's Crash Course as long as 5+ years.   He's taken initiative and effectively trying to do something that helps all of us.

 

Nichoman         

halliho's picture
halliho
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 6
Re: Heroes in hiding I guess?

Here's an "average reader's" opinion of the present flap..

I did not appreciate the focus on money..That's the very root of the present problem.

I do appreciate the neutral reporting of Chris.

I feel sad about Krogoth's posts being deleted.  He has been a tremendous source of information, and I have come to value his opinion. 

 It is VERY sad that all opinions are not respected here.  We have enough division swirling around our world already.

I did post my real picture.  But I have no heavy political or govt involvement; I feel I am not a valuable target.  I DO respect Krogoth's anonymity,  He sees and knows too much for comfort, perhaps.

Please rethink your radical censure.  Please stay with us, Krogoth.

 

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

I go back and forth on this one.  I'm in favor of the transparency and accountability that comes with using a real name and picture on online forums.

However, I'm in the health care profession and have contact with patients on a regular basis.  I've historically chosen to protect my privacy online for this reason.

At this point I'm considering using my real name and picture for this site.  But I've already developed an "identity" with my avatar and username here, so I wonder how switching would effect that.  Perhaps it doesn't matter at all.  

I suppose I could be "[my name], a.k.a. switters" for a while?

Maybe we should think of a "transition" program for those considering switching to their picture and real name.

It'll be fun to see what everyone looks like if that happens.  I have pictures of people in my mind that I'm sure are completely wrong. Smile

tom.'s picture
tom.
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 345
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
switters wrote:

 

I suppose I could be "[my name], a.k.a. switters" for a while?

 

You could just create a "sig" with your name. I was thinking about doing that. Oh wait a minute, I already did ... and while that's not my real picture, I do have a hole in my head.

Michael Höhne's picture
Michael Höhne
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 16 2008
Posts: 119
Re: Heroes in Action: Michael Höhne

My personal feeling though is that most don't want to hide their thoughts from friends and colleagues to not being treated as an idiot. This is contradictory to building a community.

should of course read

My personal feeling though is that most want to hide their thoughts from friends and colleagues to not being treated as an idiot. This is contradictory to building a community.  

 

jrf29's picture
jrf29
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2008
Posts: 453
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
joe2baba wrote:

  it was a mistake to bring up the issue the way you did chris and erik. this fact should be quite obvious by now. i would hope that you would in the future use as much care in the the crafting of future posts as went into the crash course. if you felt that it was important to have a totally open forum then that should have been stated a long time ago in a separate post.

I don't really think that you can properly blame Chris or Erik for mentioning a topic in a post.  To claim that every one of their posts ought to be as well crafted and carefully worded as the crash course implies that they ought to act like politicians, carefully wording every statement so as not to offend anybody in the world.  That also implies that the readers are a mass of ignormauses with no self control, and that if they happen to be provoked, it is solely the fault of whoever or whatever provoked them.  Baloney.  People have responsibility for their own actions.

 

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 486
Re: Here we go

Well said jrf29. I agree totally. For gosh sakes, people like Krogoth may want to be anonymous and so be it but don't drag down the rest of the group by posting disparaging remarks about those that show true valor and are willing to stand up for what they believe in. Chris, Eric, Michael and all those who selfishly contribute deserve a commendation, not the kind of crap Krogoth has put up about it..

 If you can't at least say a simple "thank you" or "good on ya" then please keep quiet. Krogoth, you need to reconsider your statements and I think you owe an apology to those that are working their butts off to make this a better world for you, your wife and your kids and everyone else.

For anyone concerned about this issue, Edward Griffen addresses this exact issue on his DVD presentation. He makes the case for being willing to stand up for what you believe in.We wouldn't be in this mess if more of us had done so logn ago.

 What the hell is the big deal anyway, all you have to lose is your life and your honor is way more important that that. Look around at the culture that surrounds you and learn something.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5974
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
cmartenson wrote:

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
about it.

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.

I
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
cities.

So would I prefer everybody use their real name and picture? Yes.

But
this is a personal choice so I don't require it (and haven't even
pushed it before...I was waiting to introduce the concept under
different circumstances, but here we are).

There can be many reasons for people needing to preserve anonymity from family, peers and colleagues.

Anonymity and the net

Since we are on the topic of "safe, anonymous posting", anybody who wants anonymity from the government should immediately stop using the internet.

Everything is recorded and logged. Everything; and you should know that.

Honestly, it is quite naive to think that using a screen name vs. a real name affords some measure of protection against prying government eyes. It does not. If this is a real concern of anyone's my strongest advice is that you really should not be posting anything anywhere, or even using the internet at all because much can be gleaned from the sites you visit, how long you dwell there, your scroll rate, links clicked, etc.

The level of sophistication affording the government complete access to
all levels of the internet was achieved and surpassed a long, long time ago.

I guess if anybody is afraid of their government associating what they
post with their names, then they really shouldn't be posting anything
that would or could make them nervous.

So if we can agree that anonymity does not really exist, then I wonder what the actual objection is?

For example, I can find a significant number of the posters here on
Facebook where real names, pictures, travel plans, likes, dislikes,
employment and you name it all there for the world to see. Again, if
you think that somehow your information is private to your "friends"
you need to spend more time investigating how computers work.

So I wonder why it's "OK" to use real names and picture in one place but not another? Perhaps the real issue is not actually anonymity, then, but the perception of anonymity at some sites and not others?

In closing

What we are facing in terms of the challenges of the three "E"s requires nothing less than breaking the status quo. If we cannot even break out of a simple habit like using anonymous screen names to post on a chat board, then perhaps the big stuff is out of reach. I don't know, but this is a sometime late-night concern of mine.

I look forward to meeting each of you in person some day, and I can guarantee you this will happen in many cases. We can wait until that day to exchange words using our real names and identities or we can start here.

I'll whoop all this up into a proper post for the forum at some point, as I planned.

I've moved my post over here to where it belongs.

I stand by these words, I've re-read them, and I do not see anything in there that I consider to be a mistake. I will own up to mistakes, readily, but I cannot control how people react to written words.

My actions and reactions are mine, they belong to me, and I take ownership of them and for them.  How other people react is up to them.  We each can, and should, control our own responses and actions, that's where the responsibility lies.

My ownership here is in not getting a few key items out early enough.

  • I erred in not getting the site rules and posting guidelines up earlier than I did.  Things were going along so swimingly that I simply attended to other things first until a problem arose.
  • I have been remiss in not sharing the complete vision and strategy for what I am hoping to acheive here.  I think with some more guidance over what the mission is and how success will be measured, more attention could have been directed to the right activities.
  • I should have laid out my concept of what this is site can be and what it can't be. Putting some sort of box around things would ahve been helpful.

But this site isn't about me, it's about us.  It's about you.  It's about what you want to do and create.

My role was to create the site and my job is to keep it neat and tidy and running.  Like any worthwhile building or structure, this takes time, money and dedication.  If it is valued, it will persist, and if not, if won't.

In this context, I feel like people will value something more if it's their time, money and dedication on the line.  For me, using my real name tempers my thoughts and actions, leading them to be more careful and considered than they otherwise might be.  I see that dynamic at play in my own life and project that this will be true for others as well.

Perhaps I am over-projecting, but that's where my thinking is. 

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: switters "comes out" as Chris Kresser

After reading all of the comments on the recent Heroes in Action blog post, and thinking about this further, I've decided to use both my real name and picture on this site.

My reasons have been discussed by Chris, Erik and others, but in short they are as follows:

  1. I believe that using real names and pictures will contribute to building a stronger and more authentic community.
  2. When we use avatars and screen names we are more likely to "speak" in ways that we wouldn't if we were having a face-to-face conversation.  Using real names encourages a more respectful dialogue and invites us to be accountable for what we say and how we say it.
  3. We are at a crucial turning point in history.  The time has come for us to take a stand and speak our truth if we wish to be effective agents of social and political transformation.  Using our real names shows that we are willing to stand behind our beliefs, even if there is risk involved.  By my calculation, there is ultimately much more risk involved in not speaking out.

While all of these reasons are important to me, I will say that #2 was probably the most significant in my decision.  I have invested a lot of time and energy in learning how to communicate with people.  And I place a high value on maintaining an open mind, listening to others and making an effort to understand and relate to different points of view.  In face-to-face conversations I am - for the most part - able to maintain these standards.

However, I feel somewhat ashamed of how I've engaged in conversations with certain people on this site.  I've behaved in ways that I wouldn't if another human being was sitting right across from me.  I've lost sight of my intention to understand and empathize with others, even when they don't share my beliefs.  I think that using a screen name and avatar at least partially enabled this behavior.  Because I was not accountable for what I said, I did not consider it as carefully as I would have otherwise.

These are my personal reasons for revealing my identity.  I recognize that there are many other reasons why someone would wish to preserve their anonymity, and I respect everyone's right to make their own choice.  Thank you to Erik, Chris, Michael and others for leading the way on this issue.  I am grateful.

To everyone here: hi, I'm Chris.  Nice to meet you.

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 549
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
jrf29 wrote:

To claim that every one of their posts ought to be as well crafted and carefully worded as the crash course implies that they ought to act like politicians, carefully wording every statement so as not to offend anybody in the world. 

 

 I ( usually ) try and ensure what I write makes logical sense, 

I am certainly not trying to act like a politician

PC offends the hell out of me so by its own rules should be banned !   Laughing

 

Cheers Hamish

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

Chris,

Thanks both for your gesture of support, and for making a decision I think you'll be satisfied with.

This is great... Should we organize "coming out" parties like they used to have in the gay community? Just kidding...

Erik

 

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
joe2baba wrote:

  it was a mistake to bring up the issue the way you did chris and erik. this fact should be quite obvious by now. i would hope that you would in the future use as much care in the the crafting of future posts as went into the crash course. if you felt that it was important to have a totally open forum then that should have been stated a long time ago in a separate post.

Joe,

I don't want to fan the flames any further, but I'm honestly very confused by this statement. Joe, you are a very highly valued contributor to this site, and if the original post really offended you, I'd like to understand why. After re-reading my own statement in the original post, I continue to feel it was entirely appropriate:

From the original post, here is what I wrote:

Aside from his extraordinary generosity, Michael immediately impressed
Chris by registering as a user on the site using his own real name and
uploading a real photo of himself for his profile. While we respect
everyone's right to use screen names and avatars if they choose to do
so, we feel that the topics discussed at PeakProsperity.com are serious
issues confronting society, and we always appreciate when people
participate using their true identity, rather than an anonymous screen
name. 

I intentionally went out of my way to be clear in saying that we respect everyone's choice to use a screen name and/or avatar if they choose to do so. All that I've done here was to compliment Michael for making a personal choice that both Chris and I respect. I simply do not comprehend why you, Krogoth, or anyone else would take offense to that, and I welcome enlightenment on that point.

When Krogoth responded bitterly to this, it triggered an emotional reaction inside of me that I sincerely regret. "Taking the bait" and responding to Krogoth as I did in the comments was counter-productive and only contributed to making the problem worse. If that's the part you were put off by, I understand and agree with your objection. As you know, I've already apologized for those actions both publicly in the other thread and privately in an e-mail to you. But if you were really offended (as you say here) by the way this was brought up in the original post, then I'm completely baffled to understand why you feel that way, and would appreciate a little more explanation of how you see things.

Thanks,

Erik

 

tom.'s picture
tom.
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 345
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

No Problem Here

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
Tom Loftus wrote:

No Problem Here

Tom,

Who were you previously?  Might help to put your old username in your signature. 

 

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2008
Posts: 458
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

Being that I operate my own website, I know first hand that one cannot run a website and and remain anonymous. That lesson stuck when I had a phone call to my home from an angry reader. This is not something I gave any thought to either way. Now you're going look at my face every time I post.

 

kwwilson's picture
kwwilson
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 7 2008
Posts: 16
Post moved to this thread.

I had suggested last night that this discussion be seperated from the kudos for Michael.  Following ChrisM's lead, I am posting that message below, and moving my post from there to here.  I will replace this message in that thread with the appropriate and deserved kudos to Michael.

My backchannel message:

Just a thought, although I have commented in this thread, it bothers me that the comments are so far from the original intention of the thread.  Perhaps the original post could be closed to comments, and the comments moved to a new thread?  Or the original post snipped in this thread, and reposted in a new thread, separate from the discussion which has little or nothing to do with Mr. Hohne?  I appreciate the candid discussion of safety vs speech, but hate to see them detract from the kudos that was the thrust of the original post.
Thank you (all) for the forum, and the course.  If you would rather that I post this in the forum for any reason, I'd be glad to do so.

My original post, on topic in this thread:

kwwilson wrote:

I certainly am not wishing to take a side in any disagreement, but in this case I am more than willing to support those who fear that their freedom of speech may not be all that it should be.  In all reality, it hasn't been in a long time, and it is a small step from 'expressing displeasure with the banking establishment', valid free speech of course, to 'inciting violence against the banking establishment', which would of course be hate speech, therefore punishable not only for the speech, but also possibly as conspiracy/treason/etc.

I have shared quite freely in this forum, enough so that anyone who wanted to could quite possibly actually track me down if they so desired.  That is my choice, and entirely contrary to my normal inclinations.  To each their own, but I doubt that any revolution ever occured that was begun in the full sight and presence of the powers that be.  Given known and rumoured internet monitoring, I consider any public (that is not encrypted) forum to be in full view of TPTB.

Peace.

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 486
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
ErikTownsend wrote:

Chris,

Thanks both for your gesture of support, and for making a decision I think you'll be satisfied with.

This is great... Should we organize "coming out" parties like they used to have in the gay community? Just kidding...

Erik

 

Eric,

I think we face an underlying "confidence" issue  when we attempt to put forth a message and yet remain anonymous. How would  the CM" Crash Course" be received if it had been written by "anonymous"?

Our media uses this method on a regulr basis to leak false and misinformation to the public. America is full of people willing to present opinions or data as long as they do not have to be accountable. This is part of our problem, not the solution.

The signers of the "Declaration of Independence" confronted this very issue and when they penned their names to the document. They knew that if they failed in their efforts, their lives would be on the line. Seems I recall a saying .... who was it that stated, "GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH"?  An american I believe who helped get the job done!!!!

I think what we face at this time no longer simply applies to a country or nation, but the whole planet and life as we have known it. Is there really anything to lose in this? I think not. This is much less about a financial crisis than our survival as a species.

I will be donating to the CM site to help get the message out and my name is Cooper J. Kessel. Sorry but I reserve the right to keep my SS # private. (For all the good it will do me!)

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 486
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
Ray Hewitt wrote:

Being that I operate my own website, I know first hand that one cannot run a website and and remain anonymous. That lesson stuck when I had a phone call to my home from an angry reader. This is not something I gave any thought to either way. Now you're going look at my face every time I post.

 

Ray, I like you better allready. I'll have to get a mugshot of myself and get it posted .

tom.'s picture
tom.
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 345
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
Chris Kresser wrote:
Tom Loftus wrote:

No Problem Here

Tom,

Who were you previously?  Might help to put your old username in your signature. 

 

lol ... that was so yesterday though  Laughing

joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

hi erik

good example of how you " fan the flames"

i never said i was offended by anything. you fan the flames by putting words in peoples mouths..

i have been in 12 step programs for over 16 years. here is how we tend to do it.

we own our stuff. all you have to say is yes it " might" have been a mistake i am sorry if i did anything to

detract from the intent of having a "hero " acknoweldgement. end of story.

this was supposed to be about michael not about you justifying or chris justifying anything.

i get that michael is a "hero " for his monetary contribution and is posts and anything else he might do to promote a greater understanding of what we are experiencing. what i dont get is why using his real name makes him a hero or even contributes to being a hero. i was not offended i just found it extraneous. i did not post anything reagrding his using his name until this thread went of the reservation. 

i certainly appreciate all that you do here. i also think you might want to look at how you seem to be a lightning rod at times and if you wish to remain so . and whether being a lightning rod is useful to furthering what we euphemistically call  "the cause".

i have no need to be right i have a need to make this a better world. i posted about having a public showing so that it might give some one else the impetus to do the same. 

thank you again michael glad you are here......................btw is michael  hohne your real name?

joe2baba

 

 

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums
Ray Hewitt wrote:

Being that I operate my own website, I know first hand that one cannot run a website and and remain anonymous. That lesson stuck when I had a phone call to my home from an angry reader. This is not something I gave any thought to either way. Now you're going look at my face every time I post.

 

Ray,

I'm not sure if you read my post above, but I was referring to you when I said I feel remorseful about how I engaged with certain members of this site.

It's abundantly clear that we don't agree on many things.  Those disagreements can produce strong feelings and opinions, and I suspect that we are both passionate about what we believe in.  But I don't feel good about some of the interactions we've had and I regret resopnding the way that I did in those cases.

I value your contribution here and hope that we can continue our lively debate in a more respectful and considerate manner.

Chris

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments