Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hi, My Name Is....Hi, My Name Is....Hi, My Name is...

...(wicky wicky)....Chris Worden.

A reader today told that he had received an inquiry from a congressional campaign asking him if he knew who wrote this blog. I thought everybody knew because I list my e-mail address as, but I am clearly mistaken.

So, for those who don't you know.

I believe anonymity has value. When we know who a person is, we can instantly discredit what is said without giving it due consideration. Also, not everybody is painfully objective. People have jobs and friendships and career ladders that keep them from wanting to say anything bad about those people who, ya know, control their jobs, friendships, and career ladders. So they disclose on the sneaky sneaky, and we get more information than we would otherwise.

Also, our society has become overly sensitive and politically correct, and anonymity lets people make comments they might not otherwise, and through the "crucible of truth" have their errant ways corrected or their "tough love" truths expounded upon.

But having said this, this is America, folks. The authors of the Federalist Papers used a collective nom de plum "Publius" because there was a chance back then that British troops might capture and kill them for sedition. In contrast, we face what consequence, at worst, today? Someone calling us a "(expletive) moron!" I get worse from my paralegal. (She's right on about 3 out of 5 occasions, by the way).

In my opinion (and this is only MY opinion), people who are afraid to say what they think and put their name on the dotted line run the risk of being part of the crowd admiring the Emperor's new clothes. That's why you won't see me typing "anon," unless I'm paying homage to Shakespeare, and I mean "soon."

My next blog will be here anon, friends.



Doug said...

Whereas, I just think every word I type is an unmitigated work of genius and everybody should know from whence the brilliance flows.

Or, you know, it's just a matter of time before someone finds out who you are, so its best not to start with the delusion of anonymity.

Just as an aside, I think there is a practical difference between anonymity and pseudonyms. With the former, it's impossible to build up credibility, since no one can associate past writings with current writings. With the latter, you can cultivate a reputation -- it might not be your full reputation, but past work is available to assess reliability.

varangianguard said...

Gee Doug, what a schmoozer. ;) I do agree with almost everything you say though.

I had recently posted this on Advance Indiana in an attempt to explain why I don't fling my real name about willy-nilly. But, the post moved off the front page and my writings were either not seen, or deemed insignificant. Hoping that it was just not seen, I will quote it over here.

Not that I am high on your (GW's) "hit" list, but I would like to explain why I use a nom de plume on the blogs.

I started posting to blogs in reaction to some issues with my township's school board and school administration. At the time, emotions were running very high, and there was some rumor that nasty phone calls were being made, and also that there were some possibility of vandalism as well.

Now, my opinions are just that - my opinions. Those opinions do not necessarily reflect anything that my family believes, and so I wished to separate my actions from those of my family.

I certainly didn't want "anonymous" callers contacting my home and unleashing any undeserved vitriol upon anybody besides myself. I also don't want to suffer "anonymous" vandalism at the hands of someone who finds my opinions at odds with theirs. Both of those actions seem to be more vile than postings on a blog, and more difficult to remedy.

So, publicly, I am varangianguard. It's not that I'm hiding, per se, but rather than the name has become associated with a certain point of view, and may be recognizable by others who post to blogs, or the bloggers themselves.

If I had it to do over again, frankly I would have come up with a much shorter handle. My typing skills are marginal, at best, and typing "varangianguard" sometimes becomes quite tedious. To those who find typing it tedious as well, I apologize.

Now, I don't think I often call people names on blogs, but I do sometimes use bigger words to say the same thing. Most people simply answer back, and that's as far as it goes. There are people who think I lack a sense of humor, a sense of perspective, and several other less flattering traits, but I just consider that they are entitled to their own opinion (no matter how wrong it is), and I just consider the source.

The thing is, if anyone ever has a real bone of contention with me, I can make myself available for further discussion, if warranted.

Otherwise, it's still just me, varangianguard.

Chris Worden said...

Don't get me wrong! I'm still going to just be IPOPA, too. I just didn't want anybody thinking I'm hiding in the shadows. I call it "Advance Indiana," not Gary Welsh, and if I ever get the cachet of Masson's Blog, I hope people will refer to it as Ipopa, not Chris Worden. Nobody told me when I started blogging that now I'm going to have to worry about threatening anonymous phone calls. Well, that sucks mightily. Oh well. On to my next post...