1993-10-26 - why pseudonyms?

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From: Eli Brandt <ebrandt@jarthur.Claremont.EDU>
To: cypherpunks list <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Message Hash: 4914b7b9ee174248b014d2bd6d474d3a5da32a5bda3c2b10883a39964fc8553d
Message ID: <9310262347.AA04346@toad.com>
Reply To: <Pine.3.87.9310261117.A18829-0100000@crl.crl.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-26 23:47:47 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 26 Oct 93 16:47:47 PDT

Raw message

From: Eli Brandt <ebrandt@jarthur.Claremont.EDU>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 93 16:47:47 PDT
To: cypherpunks list <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Subject: why pseudonyms?
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.87.9310261117.A18829-0100000@crl.crl.com>
Message-ID: <9310262347.AA04346@toad.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> From: Arthur Chandler <arthurc@crl.crl.com>
>    Isn't it tough enough to build up a rep under our real names? What is 
> the point to using a pseudonym? I can think of some bad reasons; but I 
> can't come up with any good ones, except for "fun" and "just to see what 
> it feels like to put out opinions not my own."

An obvious reason would be that you don't want what you say to be
associated with your truename.  You might be discussing past sexual
abuse, the nefarious behavior of your employer, your relationship
problems, or the finer points of heroin use.  You may say, "Well,
that's just anonymity".  It could work that way, but it may be more
valuable to be able to carry on a discussion under a fixed pseudonym.
Context and continuity are lost if all messages are totally

It might be wise to conduct even relatively innocuous behavior under
a pseudonym, if you're concerned about personal privacy versus a
"dossier society".  Archives of Usenet news will make a great
marketing database some day.

   Eli   ebrandt@jarthur.claremont.edu