The evolution of anonymous Blue NC's blog Comments Secret blogging Thoughts about anonymity? I have more online identities than I can keep track of. In the early days I as a schizophrenic queen named Liz. Then I became Anglico, named after the airborne US Marine Corps unit I was assigned to. Then and still ... James. I wish more people were more transparent about their identities. I understand why some can't do that, though. Some James and NC Blue and usna77 seem to be the same identity but could be wrong. I don't think it is so bad to be somewhat anonymous on BlueNC actually. I agree with sharisson in that if you put good material here, what does it matter. You could be wrong Actually, you are wrong. James and BlueNC are the same person. I try to do the housekeeping posts as BlueNC (open threads, after dark, etc.) and my personal posts as me. The person who writes as usna77 is not me. I graduated from the Academy in 72, not 77. I don't know who usna77 is. Why would you think that we're the same person? I've read most of his posts and comments and they don't seem very much like what I'd write at all. Identity is a strange thing Even those who post anonymously often try very hard to create or enhance an identity, and that identity will (sometimes slowly) gravitate toward their real-world self. The desire to speak and be heard (write and be read) is strong in all of us, and it may be even stronger in one that tries to conceal their true (legal) name. I will say this: Someone's decision to be open or remain anonymous should not be a determining factor in whether or not we trust them. There are good and bad reasons to choose either way, and the old adage, "It's the thought that counts" fits very well on this subject. I am a public employee, a I am a public employee, a school teacher to be exact. It has been made abundantly clear that anything posted under a real name is subject to review by my employer. Several people have been fired for posts that have been deemed inappropriate. While I don't post anything inappropriate, discussing politics can been somewhat controversial and strong opinions can lead to strong reactions, so I think it is wise in my case to continue using only an internet identity. Job preservation must be a first consideration. I'm a moderate Democrat. When I saw that diary earlier I thought to myself, James would be interested in this. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Ayn Rand's sick legacy The delusional darling of the Libertarian right. A liar by any other name. Rand's success explains itself. Rand worked in that quintessential American proving ground—alongside the likes of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Glenn Beck—where garbage achieves gravitas and bullshit gets blessed. There she learned that dreams don't come true. They are true. Turn your metaphysics into chewing gum, and your chewing gum is metaphysics. Avoiding - or making life harder for -- the data miners ...is one base reason to avoid blogging with your full real name. If the idea can withstand a robust debate, the name of the typist matters little. I'm reminded of the lovely line from Mission Impossible (1996) by Vanessa Redgrave's character "Max." She tells Tom Cruise's character "Ethan Hunt" that, "Anonymity is like a warm blanket." Of course, there is no such thing as anonymity, or security. Estelle Getty (Sophia Petrillo of The Golden Girls) reminds us of the latter. All I need to know I learned from the idiot box. Including Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing teaching Jennifer Grey that the asshole waiter carrying around The Fountainhead really was an asshole. RIP Swayze, Getty, and comfort Redgrave in her recent losses. Anonymity makes it a meritocracy ...and it's most satisfying to rise or fall on your merits. That's how I see it That's the part about anonymity that I love. It doesn't matter who someone is, what they look like, who they know, etc., it's all about the quality of their thinking. The only downside I see to anonymity is the risk of stridency. When I used to write as Anglico, even though people knew my real name, it removed me one step from accountability and fed my demons. That's the only reason I made the shift to being me.