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> The Use Of Pseudonyms Is a Prima Facie Symptom, Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction (EMAMD)
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Jon Awbrey
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The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction


'Nuff Said

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Notice. Pseudonymaniacs Anonymous Meets Here Wednesday Mornings, 3:00 AM.

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what, anywhere? Or just on wikipedia-related sites?

Using a pseudonym is only what most people do on the entire internet, at least for some of the time.
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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 10:27am) *

What, anywhere? Or just on Wikipedia-related sites?

Using a pseudonym is only what most people do on the entire internet, at least for some of the time.


I think you have the Internet confused with Usenut.

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Is the initiation of this thread prima facie evidence that the author has now eschewed the practice, going forward, of registering pseudonymous accounts on Wikipedia?
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Disillusioned Lackey
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The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction


Hogwash.

"If everyone knew what others said of them, no one would be friends" (Hugh Prather)


That goes double for political opinions, and general banter.

Enforced real identity-internet identification, in the current US legal environment which is completely unconcerned with privacy, not to mention libel or defamation, is just plain f-king stupid, as a suggestion. (Really, it's dumb anywhere, but especially under US law).

I don't know how you guys can see it as otherwise. (Though most people on WR seem to do).

The operant assumption that real identification of, for example, Wikipedia Administrators would cause a sea change in the abuse quotient is not only theoretically flawed, but empirically proven to be incorrect. Durova, Jimbo, Guy Chapman, David Gerard, Gwernol. They (and many others on Wikipedia) are all heavy handed persons whos identities are known, and they don't give a crap. The issue is POWER, and a LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY (legal or otherwise) to prevent abuse.

In the meantime, claiming that true-identity identification is going to solve things is a bunch of hooey, sorry, Jon. I've never failed to be confused by your continued harboring of this belief, but I suppose it will always be one thing upon which we agree to disagree.

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QUOTE(Disillusioned Lackey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 4:20pm) *


Enforced real identity-internet identification, in the current US legal environment which is completely unconcerned with privacy, not to mention libel or defamation, is just plain f-king stupid, as a suggestion. (Really, it's dumb anywhere, but especially under US law).


It's not even so much about libel, as just common sense and security on the internet, as well as just plain reality. Children are encouraged not to reveal their real name for their safety, and most adults choose to due to it being just common sense as you don't know the level of sanity or know the disposition of people you are talking to, and due to talking to far more people and a larger range of people online, there's more risk.

A lot of people who use their real name online, are newcomers to the internet. Look at the presumed grief such as his banning from wikipedia being googlable under his real name, because Jon used his real name as his username. If he'd used a pseudonym in the first place that's far less likely to have happened.

"If you are an adult who is new to the Internet:

* While the tips for students below are geared toward teens and children, adults need to stay safe online, too, and can use these basic guidelines to do so."

" * What you look like—your appearance, gender, age
* Where you might be—address, school, workplace, hangouts, clubs
* Who you are—your real name, not even your first name, teams you play on, bank account info
* And NEVER share a pic of yourself—avoid posting your pic openly or emailing it to those you don't know well offline already"

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:bjvK25Z...clnk&cd=9&gl=uk

This was written by a US senator.

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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 3:38pm) *


I think you have the Internet confused with Usenut.

Jon (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/cool.gif)


Think how many people on the average site, any site, are using their real name as their usename. It's hardly just on usenet that this is by far the minority of users of any given site.

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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 2:20pm) *

A lot of people who use their real name online, are newcomers to the internet. Look at the presumed grief such as his banning from wikipedia being googlable under his real name, because Jon used his real name as his username. If he'd used a pseudonym in the first place that's far less likely to have happened.

That's the trick with Wikipedia. Wikipedia looks to be a reliable source of information, presumably run in a professional manner. Any normal expert, contributor to a journal, would be inclined to give out their name, as it is tied to their credentials, which would presumably justify their basis for making certain edits (hey, didn't Essjay receive certain leverage with his two Phds? I rest my case).

So it isn't only an issue of net-naiivite. It's an issue of the basis presumption that Wikipedia is a safe, well-run environment. Which is certainly is not.

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QUOTE(Disillusioned Lackey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:25pm) *

So it isn't only an issue of net-naiivite. It's an issue of the basis presumption that Wikipedia is a safe, well-run environment. Which is certainly is not.

Agree, Wikipedia is a very highly abusive environment, and not very conducive to expert editing. Many expert editors have been very badly abused, and have given up, and we can see POV-pushing in certain areas, like Israel-Palestine, British-Irish articles to name but a few. The present structure of anarchy will not last, all such models always fail in the end. Something better will come along and replace it, sooner rather than later.

(IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/wink.gif) (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/happy.gif)
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QUOTE(Disillusioned Lackey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:25pm) *


So it isn't only an issue of net-naiivite. It's an issue of the basis presumption that Wikipedia is a safe, well-run environment. Which is certainly is not.


I suppose you're right about that in that some people might believe the hype and not think of it as being run just like any other website/ forum and with the same risks. Although most consider the possibility, as evidenced by the fact that most people there use a screen name when they join, as they do on any other site.

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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 12:20pm) *

It's not even so much about libel, as just common sense and security on the internet, as well as just plain reality. Children are encouraged not to reveal their real name for their safety, and most adults choose to due to it being just common sense as you don't know the level of sanity or know the disposition of people you are talking to, and due to talking to far more people and a larger range of people online, there's more risk.

A lot of people who use their real name online, are newcomers to the internet. Look at the presumed grief such as his banning from wikipedia being googlable under his real name, because Jon used his real name as his username. If he'd used a pseudonym in the first place that's far less likely to have happened.

"If you are an adult who is new to the Internet:

* While the tips for students below are geared toward teens and children, adults need to stay safe online, too, and can use these basic guidelines to do so."

" * What you look like—your appearance, gender, age
* Where you might be—address, school, workplace, hangouts, clubs
* Who you are—your real name, not even your first name, teams you play on, bank account info
* And NEVER share a pic of yourself—avoid posting your pic openly or emailing it to those you don't know well offline already"

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:bjvK25Z...clnk&cd=9&gl=uk

This was written by a US senator.


That's perfectly fine, if Wikipedia is just another social network. But it is advertised as an encyclopedia. And a good encyclopedia cannot be written if there is reason to fear identification.
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QUOTE(Amarkov @ Sat 26th April 2008, 10:01pm) *

But it is advertised as an encyclopedia. And a good encyclopedia cannot be written if there is reason to fear identification.


It's still the internet, and internet risks apply. It's a wiki, that anyone can edit. I.e., you could meet any old dodgy nutter such as Amorrow. If you used your real name would you feel 100% comfortable with him knowing it, especially if you were female? Or if you were "david shankbone" and used your real name, with the threats of violence that he has received, I think you would feel more intimidated and be more at risk, as the person would have more chance of finding out where you live.

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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 2:14pm) *

QUOTE(Amarkov @ Sat 26th April 2008, 10:01pm) *

But it is advertised as an encyclopedia. And a good encyclopedia cannot be written if there is reason to fear identification.


It's still the internet, and internet risks apply. It's a wiki, that anyone can edit. I.e., you could meet any old dodgy nutter such as Amorrow. If you used your real name would you feel 100% comfortable with him knowing it, especially if you were female? Or if you were "david shankbone" and used your real name, with the threats of violence that he has received, I think you would feel more intimidated and be more at risk, as the person would have more chance of finding out where you live.


That's the problem. It is generally a bad idea to identify yourself on Wikipedia, I agree. But because of this (in addition to other reasons), Wikipedia never can be a truly good encyclopedia, and it should stop pretending to be such.
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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 4:14pm) *

It's still the internet, and internet risks apply. It's a wiki, that anyone can edit. I.e., you could meet any old dodgy nutter such as Amorrow. If you used your real name would you feel 100% comfortable with him knowing it, especially if you were female? Or if you were "david shankbone" and used your real name, with the threats of violence that he has received, I think you would feel more intimidated and be more at risk, as the person would have more chance of finding out where you live.

I'm generally *not* in favor of internet identity-openness, given my experience, and things I've observed in the past 10 years.

Having said that, I disagree with your arguments about identity for publishing personsl. What about the reporters in the Post, or the Times? Couldn't they also be subjects of targeting by weirdos? Sure. Actually anyone with their name in the paper has the same problem. So I disagree with that premise.

Why did D Shankbone get a death threat? Do they know who did it, and what their beef was against him?

Given that wikipedia is an amateur-run venture, and more of a chat board than a professional system, anonymity is acceptable. What's not acceptable is that the behavioral limits are absent, and the governing is collusive, and corrupt and there's no feedback loop for issues whatsoever. So something is out of kilter. I don't have a proposed solution for it, personally.

QUOTE(Amarkov @ Sat 26th April 2008, 4:01pm) *

That's perfectly fine, if Wikipedia is just another social network. But it is advertised as an encyclopedia. And a good encyclopedia cannot be written if there is reason to fear identification.

I agree with that there there shouldn't be a reason to fear identification due to abuse. And I agree that a normal publication normally implies identification. Wikipedia is not normal.

Wikipedia has a way of bringing out the worst in normal, reasonable people, once they have pushed them beyond all reason.

QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 4:00pm) *

I suppose you're right about that in that some people might believe the hype
Hype? Its got credibility. Most people have no clue that its a giant chat board. You do, but you hang out on the net. Most people don't.

and
QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 4:00pm) *
not think of it as being run just like any other website/ forum and with the same risks. Although most consider the possibility, as evidenced by the fact that most people there use a screen name when they join, as they do on any other site.
Most wikipedians are kids, or tech-intensive people, so they do this as a rule, from chat-board experience. The experts join wikipedia expecting it to be the real deal, and many of them aren't chat board savvy. Thats why many of them get nailed.


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QUOTE(Amarkov @ Sat 26th April 2008, 10:01pm) *

But it is advertised as an encyclopedia. And a good encyclopedia cannot be written if there is reason to fear identification.

I strongly agree with this.

Were Wikipedia run as a responsible and respectable scholarly project, not only would there be no reason to be pseudonymous, contributors would want to take credit for participating there. Despite all the problems, some still want credit for their labor - several real-name users come to mind. If allowing pseudonymity empowers conflict-of-interest editing, so does compelling pseudonymity, as Wikipedia does with its flame-war environment, remove a motivation for expert involvement, as does the increasingly poor reputation of the project as a whole.

QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:14pm) *

It's still the internet, and internet risks apply. It's a wiki, that anyone can edit. I.e., you could meet any old dodgy nutter such as Amorrow. If you used your real name would you feel 100% comfortable with him knowing it, especially if you were female?

This is a very unusual case, which is why he is often invoked as the only example. Amorrow cannot be blamed for Wikipedia pseudonymity in general.

In times past, I've been involved in some pretty heated arguments in contentious areas of the project. Though I'm easy to locate, not once did I receive any real-world threats, phone calls, etc. What did happen to me was that I was attacked on Wikipedia - in fact, I'm still being attacked from Wikipedia.

Many of us, I'm certain, can relate to that.

That's not "the internet" with "internet risks", that's Wikipedia, and it's something Wikipedia can stop. What's missing is acknowledgement of the problem, appreciation of its seriousness, and willingness to change.
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QUOTE(Disillusioned Lackey @ Sun 27th April 2008, 12:12am) *

QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 4:14pm) *

It's still the internet, and internet risks apply. It's a wiki, that anyone can edit. I.e., you could meet any old dodgy nutter such as Amorrow. If you used your real name would you feel 100% comfortable with him knowing it, especially if you were female? Or if you were "david shankbone" and used your real name, with the threats of violence that he has received, I think you would feel more intimidated and be more at risk, as the person would have more chance of finding out where you live.

I'm generally *not* in favor of internet identity-openness, given my experience, and things I've observed in the past 10 years.

Having said that, I disagree with your arguments about identity for publishing personsl. What about the reporters in the Post, or the Times? Couldn't they also be subjects of targeting by weirdos? Sure. Actually anyone with their name in the paper has the same problem. So I disagree with that premise.


Did I say anything about that? You mean in newspapers, or on wiki? I only really meant on a website such as wiki.

QUOTE
Given that wikipedia is an amateur-run venture, and more of a chat board than a professional system, anonymity is acceptable. What's not acceptable is that the behavioral limits are absent, and the governing is collusive, and corrupt


That is one of the main points as far as I can see- the system is not so bad, but how the clique runs it and enforces it is wrong.

QUOTE
I agree with that there there shouldn't be a reason to fear identification due to abuse. And I agree that a normal publication normally implies identification. Wikipedia is not normal.


It's not a ''publication''- not as in a newspaper etc. Maybe slightly more so now it is said to be coming out in book form in Germany, but even so. You can bet the published version will be a sanitized version (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/smile.gif)

QUOTE
Hype? Its got credibility. Most people have no clue that its a giant chat board. You do, but you hang out on the net. Most people don't.


Most people hang out on the net to an extent nowadays, especially younger people. People don't even have to be netheads to have heard a bit about what wikipedia's like. A friend of my mother's had read about the Rachel Marsden article doctoring or some other Jimbo and wikipedia corruption scandal, even on the BBC website.

QUOTE
The experts join wikipedia expecting it to be the real deal, and many of them aren't chat board savvy. Thats why many of them get nailed.


That goes back to the 'new to the internet' point. They would have similar (though perhaps not half as intense) newcomer's problems to other sites. Life is depressing like that- harsh realities are usually learned by painful or frustrating experience. Especially on Wikipedia (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/smile.gif)

Actually I know someone who's an economics expert in his 50s, and he tried to contribute to wiki, but he just kept replacing an article or parts of it with a long explanation of his own. He couldn't interact with other editors. It comes across as an autistic lack of social skills or a superiority complex to others. But maybe it was being new to the workings of a wiki. My mother's friend didn't know what a smilie : ) meant and so she would get in more rows with people as she didn't realise when they were not meaning to be as abrasive as it otherwise looked.

This is probably one of the reasons why there's less older contributors to wiki.
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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *


Did I say anything about that? You mean in newspapers, or on wiki? I only really meant on a website such as wiki.

That is one of the main points as far as I can see- the system is not so bad, but how the clique runs it and enforces it is wrong.

It's not a ''publication''- not as in a newspaper etc. Maybe slightly more so now it is said to be coming out in book form in Germany, but even so. You can bet the published version will be a sanitized version (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/smile.gif)
I think that you vastly underestimate the level of attention that people who have nothing to do with Wikipedia (or the net in general) to things that you do. The reason Wikipedia has been able to function as it does, is that most people don't realize its operational modalities.
QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

Most people hang out on the net to an extent nowadays, especially younger people. People don't even have to be netheads to have heard a bit about what wikipedia's like.
Not everyone, and not everywhere, sorry.
QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

A friend of my mother's had read about the Rachel Marsden article doctoring or some other Jimbo and wikipedia corruption scandal, even on the BBC website.


In bits and pieces. Sure. But its not anywhere near where it could be
QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

Actually I know someone who's an economics expert in his 50s, and he tried to contribute to wiki, but he just kept replacing an article or parts of it with a long explanation of his own. He couldn't interact with other editors. It comes across as an autistic lack of social skills or a superiority complex to others. But maybe it was being new to the workings of a wiki. My mother's friend didn't know what a smilie : ) meant and so she would get in more rows with people as she didn't realise when they were not meaning to be as abrasive as it otherwise looked.

This is probably one of the reasons why there's less older contributors to wiki.

That and most people dont like to work for free.
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QUOTE(Disillusioned Lackey @ Sun 27th April 2008, 1:52am) *

I think that you vastly underestimate the level of attention that people who have nothing to do with Wikipedia (or the net in general) to things that you do. The reason Wikipedia has been able to function as it does, is that most people don't realize its operational modalities.


I've not said anything about the level of attention I think it is paid. I think sometimes people on this site "vastly overestimate" the level to which if they knew about the clique etc, people outside wiki would care to the extent of intervening, or whether they would even be able to do so. It will take a lawsuit. Because otherwise, no-one cares enough to act. At the most, they laugh or mock at the degeneracy of Jimbo, and tut at the corruption. Just because it doesn't effect them personally- which is what it takes for most people to do something, unfortunately. It's difficult I know, but we can only do our bit as much as we are inclined, and other than that seek the serenity to accept the things we are not entirely able change (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/smile.gif)

QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

Most people hang out on the net to an extent nowadays, especially younger people. People don't even have to be netheads to have heard a bit about what wikipedia's like.
Not everyone, and not everywhere, sorry.


I said to an extent. Of course not everyone knows what Wikipedia's like. But you must admit that several more stories have got into the mainstream media about it in recent months- I've heard the Marsden scandal discussed on Radio 5, for instance.

QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

A friend of my mother's had read about the Rachel Marsden article doctoring or some other Jimbo and wikipedia corruption scandal, even on the BBC website.

QUOTE

That and most people dont like to work for free.


Most of those who contribute, don't view it entirely as work. It's a hobby (sad as it may be.) (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/smile.gif)
It's only the upper eschelons and clique, and perhaps some personality types, that are devoted to accomplishing the Great Work of "The Project", or at least pay lip service to that while pursuing some other personal goal there. The rest of us often edit for enjoyment and would admit to that.
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QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 8:38pm) *

I've not said anything about the level of attention I think it is paid. I think sometimes people on this site "vastly overestimate" the level to which if they knew about the clique etc, people outside wiki would care to the extent of intervening, or whether they would even be able to do so.
Not really. No one vastly overestimates much here. The people on this site are pragmatic. But they understand that most people who have not used Wikipedia don't know how weird it all is. And people who have an inkling that it is weird, or dangerous, don't understand why, and usually dont have the motivation to learn about it.

QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 8:38pm) *

It will take a lawsuit. Because otherwise, no-one cares enough to act.
Chicken and egg. That lawsuit you are talking about has built in preventative protection. Someone needs to care to change the laws, so there can be a lawsuit. (repeat recursion).
QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

It's difficult I know, but we can only do our bit as much as we are inclined, and other than that seek the serenity to accept the things we are not entirely able change (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/smile.gif)
This isn't alcoholism. It's Wikipedia. Anything can be changed. It only depends how much energy you want to invest in it. Unfortunately this is not a high profit career (exposing Wikipedia).

QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

I said [people hang out on the net] to an extent. Of course not everyone knows what Wikipedia's like. But you must admit that several more stories have got into the mainstream media about it in recent months- I've heard the Marsden scandal discussed on Radio 5, for instance.
No, most people don't know what Wikipedia is like. Even lawyers who deal with internet content matters don't know yet. There has been 4-5 newspapers stories and so what. Wikipedia got a few million dollars the next week. Think those donors knew the full story? Think they surf the net? Nope. Nope. They probably think such stories are banter. And I dont know what Radio 5 is, just to make a point.
QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

Most of those who contribute, don't view it entirely as work. It's a hobby (sad as it may be.) (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/smile.gif)
Yes. So is housecleaning.
QUOTE(wikiwhistle @ Sat 26th April 2008, 6:36pm) *

It's only the upper eschelons and clique, and perhaps some personality types, that are devoted to accomplishing the Great Work of "The Project", or at least pay lip service to that while pursuing some other personal goal there. The rest of us often edit for enjoyment and would admit to that.

Yes, we are all aware of that.

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QUOTE(Disillusioned Lackey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 11:20am) *

QUOTE

The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction


Hogwash.

"If everyone knew what others said of them, no one would be friends" (Hugh Prather)

That goes double for political opinions, and general banter.

Enforced real identity-internet identification, in the current US legal environment which is completely unconcerned with privacy, not to mention libel or defamation, is just plain f-king stupid, as a suggestion. (Really, it's dumb anywhere, but especially under US law).

I don't know how you guys can see it as otherwise. (Though most people on WR seem to do).

The operant assumption that real identification of, for example, Wikipedia Administrators would cause a sea change in the abuse quotient is not only theoretically flawed, but empirically proven to be incorrect. Durova, Jimbo, Guy Chapman, David Gerard, Gwernol. They (and many others on Wikipedia) are all heavy handed persons whos identities are known, and they don't give a crap. The issue is POWER, and a LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY (legal or otherwise) to prevent abuse.

In the meantime, claiming that true-identity identification is going to solve things is a bunch of hooey, sorry, Jon. I've never failed to be confused by your continued harboring of this belief, but I suppose it will always be one thing upon which we agree to disagree.


Sorry, Charle — maybe that's not your real name, but why should you care? — I've heard all the arguments, not a one of them worth the à priori it is written on, and I might have bought them four years ago, but what I say at the top of the thread sums up the empirical observations that I've made in the mean time.

QUOTE

As the number of anonyms in an internet population increases,
the probability of integrity in their collective corpus goes to zip.


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This thread is an example of Regression Toward the Meme.
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:16am) *

Resolved —

The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction


Disagree completely. In the case of WP, its very structure and encouragement of anonymous IP editors makes pseudonyms necessary.

I've edited on there for about a year, mostly just minor edits and the like. It's not like I edit war at the Gaza Strip article or anything else that's a hotbed of emotional conflict. That's just not what I'm interested in.

I'd love to be able to edit under my real name, but about six months ago some punk college student got ticked off that I removed his name from a college article. He found my websites and spammed them, threatened my ebay account, and caused trouble for me at work with anonymous emails. My old username was connected to my email account, so a few pages of googling me was sufficient to find me out.

I'm a semi-public figure. If everybody else is afforded the luxury of being anonymous, I need the same for the purpose of safety. Even if ninety-nine percent of people on the internet are normal, that one percent can cause a lot of trouble with very little cause or effort.
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QUOTE(jd turk @ Tue 6th May 2008, 3:36pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:16am) *

Resolved —

The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction



Disagree completely. In the case of WP, its very structure and encouragement of anonymous IP editors makes pseudonyms necessary.

I've edited on there for about a year, mostly just minor edits and the like. It's not like I edit war at the Gaza Strip article or anything else that's a hotbed of emotional conflict. That's just not what I'm interested in.

I'd love to be able to edit under my real name, but about six months ago some punk college student got ticked off that I removed his name from a college article. He found my websites and spammed them, threatened my ebay account, and caused trouble for me at work with anonymous emails. My old username was connected to my email account, so a few pages of googling me was sufficient to find me out.

I'm a semi-public figure. If everybody else is afforded the luxury of being anonymous, I need the same for the purpose of safety. Even if ninety-nine percent of people on the internet are normal, that one percent can cause a lot of trouble with very little cause or effort.


I'm just telling one of the few things that I have learned from Wikipedia over the last four years.

Just by way of clarifying the terms of the statement, the qualification "prima facie" is there to stipulate what computer geeks call a "default assumption". There can be exceptions on account of extenuating circumstances. But the essence of exceptions and extenuating circumstances is to be few in number and even accidental. But the rule remains valid — if a non-trivial subpopulation starts claiming exemptions from the ordinary norms of scholarship and society — as they do in Wikipedia — then there will be Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction (EMAMD) abroad in the Land, you can bet your bottom dollar on that.

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If most of the Western population starts claiming exemptions from the ordinary norms of scholarship and society — as they do at times on the internet — then there will be Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction (EMAMD) abroad on said internets, you can bet your bottom dollar on that.
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Citizen Turk,

Let me focus for a moment on your opening statement:

QUOTE(jd turk @ Tue 6th May 2008, 3:36pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:16am) *

Resolved —

The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction



Disagree completely. In the case of WP, its very structure and encouragement of anonymous IP editors makes pseudonyms necessary.


Do you see what you just said there? You said that Anonyms make Pseudonyms necessary.

Now there may be a distinction between Anonyms and Pseudonyms in Normal Society, and many Wikipediots like to pretend that the putative distinction makes a Big Diff in Wikipedia, but if you really think about the matter, or if you are unlucky enough to spend a lot of time experiencing the practical consequences of the Wikipediot usage of these terms, you will find that it's a distinction without a difference. In short, that which we call Anon IP is simply a species of e-specially noxious Pseudonym.

In light of that Principle Of Equivalence, your statement simply says that Pseudonyms make Pseudonyms necessary.

In terms of practical effects, your statement says that Deficits Of Accountability (DOA's) make Deficits Of Accountability (DOA's) necessary.

And that argument is, well, DOA.

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QUOTE(jd turk @ Tue 6th May 2008, 7:36pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:16am) *

Resolved —

The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction


Disagree completely. In the case of WP, its very structure and encouragement of anonymous IP editors makes pseudonyms necessary.


Maybe, but contributing to Wikipedia in the first place isn't necessary.

It's certainly arguable that any of us who continue to contribute to Wikipedia, even after knowing what goes on there, are emotionally, mentally, and morally, dysfunctional. I don't really agree with this, looking back through my edits over the last month, I think they were mostly rational (they were mostly about subjects I was trying to learn more about, with the rest being responses to things that showed up on my talk page). Then again, my username there, as well as here, is my first name. Is that a pseudonym?

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QUOTE(anthony @ Tue 6th May 2008, 6:26pm) *

QUOTE(jd turk @ Tue 6th May 2008, 7:36pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:16am) *

Resolved —

The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction



Disagree completely. In the case of WP, its very structure and encouragement of anonymous IP editors makes pseudonyms necessary.


Maybe, but contributing to Wikipedia in the first place isn't necessary.

It's certainly arguable that any of us who continue to contribute to Wikipedia, even after knowing what goes on there, are emotionally, mentally, and morally, dysfunctional. I don't really agree with this, looking back through my edits over the last month, I think they were mostly rational (they were mostly about subjects I was trying to learn more about, with the rest being responses to things that showed up on my talk page). Then again, my username there, as well as here, is my first name. Is that a pseudonym?


Just one question — Hopkins or Perkins?

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QUOTE(anthony @ Tue 6th May 2008, 4:26pm) *

QUOTE(jd turk @ Tue 6th May 2008, 7:36pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 9:16am) *

Resolved —

The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction


Disagree completely. In the case of WP, its very structure and encouragement of anonymous IP editors makes pseudonyms necessary.


Maybe, but contributing to Wikipedia in the first place isn't necessary.

It's certainly arguable that any of us who continue to contribute to Wikipedia, even after knowing what goes on there, are emotionally, mentally, and morally, dysfunctional. I don't really agree with this, looking back through my edits over the last month, I think they were mostly rational (they were mostly about subjects I was trying to learn more about, with the rest being responses to things that showed up on my talk page). Then again, my username there, as well as here, is my first name. Is that a pseudonym?


Yes, I think that should be considered a pseudonym. It does not link your account to your IRL in any meaningful way. Also there is no real assurance that it is actually your first name. But on the hand it at least is less annoying than many pseudonym username.

Also another effect of pseudonyms, which I have noted with some displeasure in my own contributions, including here at WR, is that not using a IRL identity permits a user to engage in harsher criticism than might be otherwise used. By using your real first name maybe you not as likely to do this. But still it is a pseudonym.
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Pseudonym = False Name

For example, consider the agent or agents who edited Wikipedia under the following names:Let us assume that the agent or agents in question are human beings and not robots.

In that case, it being highly unlikely that the true names of any human beings are either "217.237.149.143" or "L!-wgi", we may provisionally assume that both of these names are false names of the agent or agents in question.

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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Tue 6th May 2008, 7:34pm) *

Pseudonym = False Name

Jon (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/cool.gif)


I think the other prong of pseudonym, distinguishing it from an anon, is that it comes with it's very own "reputational bank account." Which of course can be walked away from if over-drawn.
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Tue 6th May 2008, 9:38pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Tue 6th May 2008, 7:34pm) *

Pseudonym = False Name

Jon (IMG:smilys0b23ax56/default/cool.gif)


I think the other prong of pseudonym, distinguishing it from an anon, is that it comes with it's very own "reputational bank account". Which of course can be walked away from if over-drawn.


Yes, of course, being closer to Normal than most of us — though I did live in Normal for a brief time in the 80's, it has been a long time since I've been back to Normal — you are thinking of the way it is in Normal Society.

But Wikipedia is a long way from Normal, and you can look it up.

No one is really Anon, since everyone edits under some User Name, even if it's a Number, even if it shifts from time to time, and even if it's shared by many other agents from time to time.

I know of several agents who operate under a small number of IP Numbers, laying up credits and debits under their various and sundry Numb-Nyms, kind of like Numbered Swiss Bank Accounts, I guess.

But all of these are still False Names, unless they are really people's legal names.

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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 7th May 2008, 1:08am) *

QUOTE(anthony @ Tue 6th May 2008, 4:26pm) *

Then again, my username there, as well as here, is my first name. Is that a pseudonym?


Yes, I think that should be considered a pseudonym. It does not link your account to your IRL in any meaningful way. Also there is no real assurance that it is actually your first name. But on the hand it at least is less annoying than many pseudonym username.

Also another effect of pseudonyms, which I have noted with some displeasure in my own contributions, including here at WR, is that not using a IRL identity permits a user to engage in harsher criticism than might be otherwise used. By using your real first name maybe you not as likely to do this. But still it is a pseudonym.


Ironically, my contributions nowadays are not nearly as dysfunctional as my contributions were when my username *was* my full real name. And I actually engage in much *less* harsh criticism now than I did back then. Then again, maybe this isn't ironic. Maybe the premise that pseudonyms are a symptom of dysfunction is a false one.

But then, I don't think every public statement one ever makes should be recorded for eternity and indexed. I don't like that about Wikipedia, and I don't like that about Citizendium either. Is there any real purpose to maintaining the full edit history of an article from years ago? Does that justify the incredible privacy violations made possible by this edit history? What about the talk pages? Can't these at least be discarded after a while? I like the idea from the old days of refactoring talk pages, but nowadays that's pretty much treated as a privacy violation.

I dunno, I don't contribute much to either Wikipedia or Citizendium any more (never did contribute much to Citizendium). I ran across an interesting quote from Larry Sanger today, which summarizes exactly how I feel about Citizendium:

QUOTE

It seems like every time I sit down to do a little work on Wikipedia or Nupedia, I am now asking myself, "What's the use? I don't have any time to do anything of importance." If I can't do the job right, what's the point of doing it at all?


Sanger wrote that March 1, 2002. Who wants to put their real name on an unfinished work-in-progress about some topic that you barely know anything about? If I'm going to spend a lot of time creating "something of importance", I'll publish it on my own site, not on a wiki.

Is it a symptom of dysfunction for me to press "add reply" right now? After all, I'm using a pseudonym, right? No, I don't think this is dysfunctional. I'm using this forum as a conversation, and I think there's a good chance someone will reply with something insightful. And like my contributions to Wikipedia, I don't want this conversation recorded for eternity and indexed (and attached to my real name), if for no other reason than that I won't care 5 years from now how I felt at this particular moment. I'll have worked this particular quandary out by then.
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Tue 6th May 2008, 4:28pm) *

You said that Anonyms make Pseudonyms necessary.


Pretty much, yeah. I'm saying if there is any lack of accountability in the system, it's unsafe. If there was a reliable method of identification for all users on WP (or any other colaborative site), then pseudonyms would not be necessary.

However, there isn't, and they are.
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QUOTE(anthony @ Wed 7th May 2008, 5:42am) *

But then, I don't think every public statement one ever makes should be recorded for eternity and indexed. I don't like that about Wikipedia, and I don't like that about Citizendium either. Is there any real purpose to maintaining the full edit history of an article from years ago? Does that justify the incredible privacy violations made possible by this edit history? What about the talk pages? Can't these at least be discarded after a while? I like the idea from the old days of refactoring talk pages, but nowadays that's pretty much treated as a privacy violation.

That is a good example of an ill-designed system. WikiMedia software is just some general purpose stuff that can be used for stuff. Wikipedia then maps important stuff onto mechanisms designed for other stuff. Then the mechanism doesn't quite do the right thing - like how can you really determine an article's attribution?

The record is important for attribution, but the gunk that goes with it, the detritus of the edit explanation is not important. Similarly the tradition of keeping the unfortunate records of article discussion keeps crap hanging around.

There are those who will argue that keeping the old tat around in an archive stops rehashing old discussions, but I suspect the downsides of ownership and abuse are worse.
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QUOTE(jd turk @ Wed 7th May 2008, 1:17am) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Tue 6th May 2008, 4:28pm) *

You said that Anonyms make Pseudonyms necessary.


Pretty much, yeah. I'm saying if there is any lack of accountability in the system, it's unsafe. If there was a reliable method of identification for all users on WP (or any other colaborative site), then pseudonyms would not be necessary.

However, there isn't, and they are.


At least we have come to the understanding that the issue of Authorship By Any Name (ABAN) is just some color of Herring for the more general issue of Personal Accountability And Responsibility (PAAR).

If you are from the US, or have heard very much about the place, you will almost immediately recognize the form of argument that we are discussing here. In one of its most frequent applications it goes a bit like this:

AK-47s On The Street Make AK-47s For Home Defense Necessary.

And we all know how "safe" that has made us.

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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Tue 6th May 2008, 9:28pm) *

In light of that Principle Of Equivalence, your statement simply says that Pseudonyms make Pseudonyms necessary.

That's right.
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QUOTE(jd turk @ Wed 7th May 2008, 2:10pm) *

This is just one experience, I understand, I'm just using it as an example of how without accountability for everyone, safety can't be guaranteed.


But at least this returns us to the topic.

And at last this returns us to the point.

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Embrace Your Avatar

Gordon Pitts of the Toronto Globe and Mail interviews Gerri Sinclair on the role of avatars in online cultures.

QUOTE(Gerri Sinclair: Time to embrace your avatar)
Gerri Sinclair: Time to embrace your avatar

Gerri Sinclair is a true Renaissance woman. In fact, she was a Renaissance drama scholar before turning her mind to computers, entrepreneurship, and thought leadership about on-line avatars in virtual worlds.

Having sold her Internet company to Microsoft Corp., Ms. Sinclair has been a company director, government adviser, and, recently, head of a pioneering masters degree program in digital media in Vancouver.

But business is clearly in her blood. Now she is planning to co-found a new venture in the emerging area of "ubiquitous computing." Her tentative company name: Blue Beagle Island - in honour of the ship that carried Charles Darwin to the Galapagos.

Click on the link to read Gordon Pitts' interview with Gerri Sinclair.


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Let's not even go there...

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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 26th April 2008, 10:16am) *

Resolved —

The Use Of Pseudonyms Is A Prima Facie Symptom Of Emotional, Mental, And Moral Dysfunction


'Nuff Said


Buddha Bump!

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