On the Issue of Pseudonymity

Jul 24 2011 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Honestly, I feel like I write this post every year. Or at least discuss writing it every year. Usually other people say what I think much better on these issues than I do. And yet, every time, I hear from people, via Twitter, Email, etc, saying I should join under my Real Name. That what I have to say is less valid, less useful, and I suppose, less interesting under "Scicurious" than it is under my Real Identity. And how using a pseudonym means I am untrustworthy, possibly a troll, and for all they know could mean I'm actually a cat whacking the keyboard rhythmically with its paws (which, hey, it's true, you've outed me now).

(I'm pretty cute, yeah?)

And this year it's down to Google +. I'll admit right now I have no real desire to join Google +, mostly because of the pseud issue, but also because...well I don't really need another thing sucking my time away. But I'm glad I didn't respond to the piles of invites that came flooding in. The idea of getting my account totally suspended (no gmail!!!) for using a name not on my birth certificate is...well, it's not thrilling, to say the least.

So WHY, you may ask? WHY am I not PROUD to speak under my own name!?1 Why should I not proudly bust out on the internet with my name and photo and videos of me smashing cake into my face when I was 6? After all, I SHOULD say things under my own name. Clearly, if I don't, I must be a coward, hiding behind a fake name to say mean things about other people. Y'all know I spend a lot of time saying mean things to other people...

Ugh, this issue makes me so grumpy and begins to upset my usually intrepid prose.

Suffice it to say I have many reasons for not wanting my name and photo out on the internet. Reasons that are both personal and professional. And for those of you who can't POSSIBLY think of ANY reason I shouldn't be loud and proud about who I am...think a little harder. Have you ever felt threatened? Have you ever had someone trying to hunt down who you are and where you live and what you do because they want to do you harm? Have you ever feared for your safety because of who you are, or what job you do, and the people who might hate you because of that? If you haven't felt any of these things, then be happy. If you have, you might understand why many people are not comfortable letting the world know their real names. My worries right now are more professional, but they are still concerns.

I don't "hide behind my pseudonym" to troll people. I don't hide to give myself mystique. And I CERTAINLY don't gain anything by it. I've found that many people don't trust Sci on principle. I have been not allowed to comment on some sites, even with extremely valid subject matter.

And there's far more to be gained by coming out, if I felt that I could do so without professional (and potentially personal) repercussions. After all, Sci has her own well honed CV, her own list of accomplishments. They're pretty impressive if I do say so myself (and I do). My real life CV could certainly benefit. And my "Sci" CV could probably benefit a great deal from my real life work. If I'm not combining those lists of accomplishments, you have to assume it's not because half of them are from trolling on the internet. After all, what young post-doc DOESN'T want to pad their CV?!

Not only that, my pseudonym holds me back. I cannot write freelance work for many outlets, who would insist on a real "FirstName LastName" in the byline. I get passed over for many awards and positions in societies, for lack of a real sounding name. People want to invite me on to TV shows (really!!! Honest!! Isn't that COOL!?), to conferences to speak, and they cannot, and I cannot accept, because of issues with live streaming and photos, and all that goes with it. All of these things would benefit my writing work as well as my professional career. But right now, I cannot come out for professional reasons.

I began my pseud as Sci mostly for personal reasons. As Scicurious, I am judged only on the quality of what I write, how well its written and how factual it is. I am not judged based on what I look like. People don't say I write well "for a girl" (many people forget I'm a girl at all), people say I write well. Period. I'm not judged based on my age, my weight, my marital status, my cat. When I started writing, I found this enormously liberating. It also has allowed me some freedom of expression. I could hone my analytical and communication skills by trial and error. I could (and still do) make mistakes, and correct them, without suffering professionally for it. And it allows me to be playful, to communicate science in fun and amusing ways that could earn criticism from some (thankfully VERY few) professional colleagues who find anyone speaking science in the present tense (with humor no less!!! Get the smelling salts!) to be an offense to the senses.

Over time, the pseud has not only allowed me freedom, it has also become famous. Well, "famous". I would say a few thousand people might know me (or they've stopped by at some point, maybe they don't remember and I'm horribly un-famous). That's an order of magnitude more than the people who "know" me in real life. If I were to join Google + under my own name, who would know me? Almost none of the people who read (except Mom. Hi Mom!). What is the point of a social networking site where I cannot network among the people I need to?

Finally, think of it this way. Right now, people have a problem with Pseuds because our names don't sound real. We sound "inauthentic". I could start a gmail, a Google+, a Facebook, TODAY under the name "Lydia Watson". She sounds very authentic. She could have pictures and history. She could have a cat and links to my blog and a picture of her diploma. She sure as hell wouldn't be me. "Scicurious" may not sound like something someone would even name their hamster, but it's got years of writing, years of interactions, and years of experience behind it. How is Sci, at this point, less of a person? Sure, my birth certificate says something different, but as my dear Blogfather Bora points out

Different names are "real" in different worlds. They are all strings of letters, anyway, no more and no less. The name on the birth certificate is important to IRS, FBI, local cops, Homeland Security, CIA, your physician....but is useless in other areas of life, where a different name has much more relevance, authenticity, trust, respect and "real-ness".

Many of you, I'm sure, have nicknames. Maybe you go by your middle name. Maybe you're working it old British school style and people only call you by your last name. But those names are still YOU. They have a reputation, a history. At this point "Scicurious" may as well be my nickname. People certainly call my that in public, in real life and on the internet.

Sure, you may say, YOU are ok, but OTHER PEOPLE are horrid trolls. Well then, don't read them. "Zacharias Smith" can be a troll just as easy as "Comrade Physioprof". If you suffer from trolling, ban or warn the troller, regardless of what name they're under. To rely on a real sounding name is naive at best. It's your blog, your twitter, your Google +, and you're perfectly able to control who can and cannot comment.

Someday, I would like to come out. I would like to combine my real life persona and Sci (and then, of course, we would set out on world domination. I give it two weeks. Your uniforms will consist solely of tinfoil hats and I will only be addressed as "Her most benevolent noodlyness"). But right now, that's not possible. And I'd really like to know, exactly, how that makes my writing worse. How it makes my work untrustworthy. I'm sure Mark Twain and Lewis Carroll would very much like to know as well. But really, I would like to know the other side of this issue. Why is someone with a name that doesn't sound real less trustworthy, even through years of work, than an unknown person with a real sounding name?

54 responses so far

  • Jason Dick says:

    Well, Sci, I for one fully support your pseudonymous blogitude. Some day, I think it would be cool to be able to attach a name and a face to the great writing you do on this blog. But in the mean time, I'll just have to console myself with the great writing :)

    I think Google has completely crossed a line with canceling accounts due to the use of pseudonyms. I'm hoping that this all blows over soon. If it doesn't, I may find myself canceling in protest.

  • Nicole says:

    Sometimes I wish I had started under a pseudonym, especially when I read posts like this. It *would* be liberating not to feel judged professionally (though I'm only a grad student still), and I'm sure it would help with the "writing anxiety" I sometimes get. But, it's too late and I don't want to start from scratch. What can I say, I was young and stupid :-)

    Anyway, I hope Google+ listens soon as well!

  • Dana Hunter says:

    You are made of win, and when you take over the world, I'll wear my tinfoil hat with pride. All hail the great and glorious, Her most benevolent noodlyness, Scicurious Lydia Watson! (Now watch the rumors spread that you actually ARE Lydia Watson, cleverly pretending it's not your real name).

    I know Sci. I love Sci. I got curious about Scicurious because the name was so clever, and followed her around because the writing was so clever, and trust her because she's her. She's proven herself. That's what so many people seem to completely miss, what they just can't understand: these weird 'nyms are just unusual names. The people behind them have a track record, they earned their trust just like all the people posting under their real names. And I think it's bloody pathetic, not to mention outrageous, that Michael Behe or William Dembski can pollute the G+ waters while Scicurious, Her most benevolent noodlyness, is not even allowed to dabble her toes.

    That is NOT RIGHT.

    And if Google doesn't pull its head out of its ass, I'm calling for a mass exodus. Let's see how well their social network works without people.

    (PS. ZOMG SCI LINKED ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *thump* I'm bloody well honored, let me tell you!)

    • scicurious says:

      LOL, you know I saw your comment and thought "Wow! Dana READS me?!!? I'm so flattered!". Goes both ways. :)

  • No fucken way is "Jason Dick" a real name.

  • anon says:

    Thank you for writing this. I am also a freelance writer under a pseudonym, which has certainly cost me professional opportunities or lead to people regarding me with suspicion. What they don't understand (and I don't like to bring it up) is that I had a stalker in the past who does not know where I live and work now, and I'd like to keep it that way. I am also openly gay and openly transgendered (born female, living as male since age 18), which attracts some very violent bigots who really don't need to know my real name. When I transitioned to male, I did so knowing that the number one cause of death for people like me was homicide, and my life expectancy was age 40 -- 40! -- because of bigots killing us and society at large marginalizing us into impoverished, high-crime areas and desperate, constant unemployment regardless of our job skills. Things have improved greatly over the years, but no way in hell am I ever going to drop my guard.

    People should be allowed to use pseudonyms without being treated as though we must be unreliable; usually there is a very good reason we chose to use a nickname.

    • scicurious says:

      Yes. This. Thanks so much for mentioning this. A lot of people don't realize that they can be loud and proud because society already accepts them as who they are, and they don't have violent bigots who might find them just because they CAN. People, if you can be loud and open under your real name, realize that this is a privilege granted you by a society that accepts you, and please try and think of the people who aren't as accepted.

  • Well, Google+ ended up outing me when I had thought that my accounts with my pseudonym and my "real name" account were still separate. Unfortunately, when I answered the invite under my "real name" I was still logged in under my most common pseudonym, which caused the two accounts to be merged. I didn't catch it until it was too late, and now my option is to either close the account or just go with it. I'd "come out" to some friends already on FB.

    My reasons for writing under a pseudonym were professional. I'm a liberal and an atheist, and often write about those things. Those are things that I'm not ashamed of, but at the same time feel pretty strongly shouldn't be taken into consideration when I'm applying for a job... unless, of course, I'm applying for a political appointment or a job as a church pastor.

    More people from my days in early social media (Yahoo!360) still know me as "Dorid", and I still have people I now know in "RL" who still call me Dorid rather than Kate.

  • They don't suspend gmail accounts 1. and 2. the pseudo and business page is a temporary issue. Because it is still the beta they are only allowing real names.

    When your account is suspended it is only gmail and the account is still there but you can't see its profile until they resolve the issue and allow pseudo and business page, news page etc.

    Google words to me

    "Please remember that we are currently limiting profiles to real people and will be launching a profile for businesses and other entities later this year."

    I repeat G+ is in beta version with a limited number of users and they would like those users to use their name but obviously they can't suspend your account if you choice a fake real name...

  • "Jean-Sebastien B. Miousse" is an even faker fucken name than "Jason Dick".

  • Crystal Voodoo says:

    Add me to the pseudonym list, though not for any illustrious blogosphere purposes. In addition to my science writing I do a small amount of creative writing published here and there around the internet. It was only when I went to send out query letters to prospective labs for postdocs that I realized that googling my name resulted in a mix of science publications and my stories. Several of those stories were horror and contained graphic violence, many others were calling out behaviors that I frequently deal with in science in a humorous manner. Thankfully those publishers were incredibly understanding and changed the byline retroactively removing the links from google searches and the "other" me was born.

    It still makes me a little sad that I have to shove that side of me into a separate box for fear of tainting my professionalism but unfortunately it is necessary. I can understand perfectly why you need to do this. Especially for those papers you rightfully criticize. As much as I love science it is frequently populated by a moody bunch where lab pedigrees and name recognition often rank higher than honest well-thought out work and calling someone out could later affect getting a manuscript published or grant funded.

    I, for one, look forward to the day that I can greet my noodly overlady but until that time know that we understand your decision.

  • Kristie says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.........You are so much fun Scicurious. I don't care what your real name is, what your real life is about, where you live.....

    Well.....I must admit that it would be nice to have a beer with you and see you laugh and hear your laughter in real life....in the meantime, keep going !. I love your blogs.

    Thanks

  • Steven Roy says:

    A pseudonym used in the way you are perfectly right to think someone should be able to use one, is for all practical purposes a brand. It's a DBA of sorts. Currently Google is still working on designing accounts for brands, businesses and the like.

    If your family and friends know you by your personal name, it would be a shame (I think) for someone to use their public pseudonym on their personal account. That would prevent them from using the service for their personal use without outing themselves to their family, friends, or colleagues.

    It appears to me that a simple solution that allows someone to get the most use out of Google+ (or any social network for that matter) is to have one account for each persona they are known by. Such a person could open a personal G+ account under their real name today, and a professional/public/brand/fanpage account when Google gets that worked out.

    I think the reason Google hasn't been clear about this is that it seems obvious to them. They simply know this solution, by instinct of sorts. They know in such a way that they don't even understand that they know it. This prevents them from being able to successively express the idea to quell peoples fears.

  • Zoonotica says:

    Delurking to say that actually I think it was one of your earlier posts on this subject that made me believe building up a reputation under a pseudonym was possible. I would never have started blogging if I had to do it under my real name. Two reasons:

    1) I'm a first year PhD student and when I finally finish and start looking for a postdoc position I really don't want the first thing to come up when a prospective employer googles me to be a ropey article I wrote when I first started blogging or even worse, an article criticising a paper they were involved with.

    2) I blog about animal experiments and whilst I'm personally happy to stand up and say I support (well justified, harm minimised etc.) animal experiments I don't want to bring my family and friends to the attention of the extreme animal rights activists.

    So I guess I just wanted to say thank you for writing posts like this :) Hopefully those that hold the bizarre position that a stranger with a 'real'-sounding name is more trustworthy than a stranger with an 'unreal'-sounding name will soon see the light.

  • Cuttlefish says:

    "Cuttlefish" is my real name. That there is a meatspace person associated with me who has a different name is irrelevant.

    An insistence on transparency always sounds so virtuous, but it can act as a way for a privileged, powerful class to maintain their power and privilege, at the expense of those who are currently less powerful and less privileged. Minority viewpoints can be intimidated into silence instead of being addressed. A "show of hands" will get you a different outcome than a secret ballot, especially when there are thugs in the room.

    And thugs come in many different forms. Departmental chairs, local authorities, parents, and ideological foes... actually, once I begin a list, it would be far too easy to keep going for quite some time.

    Or one may choose a pseudonym on a whim. Indeed, I contend that it is important that a goodly number of people do this; else, we may suspect the motives (or their status with regard to power and/or privilege) of those who resort to pseudonyms because they must. The ability to choose a pseudonym must be respected, for whatever reasons it is chosen.

    Pseudonyms allow us to build a reputation independently of sex, race, disability, nationality, class, employment, appearance... a reputation built on the strength or weakness of our ideas. Tell me again why this is a bad thing?

  • Patrick says:

    I'm sorry to learn you've felt fear in your life. That really sucks. But I'm glad you continue to share your knowledge as 'Sci.'

    • scicurious says:

      I have, but the reasons I use pseudonym right now are very much professional. I think those who have any reason to use a pseud, and even those who don't have a "reason", should be allowed to do so.

  • As a well known fellow named Will once said:

    "What's in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet."

  • drugmonkey says:

    I think people are missing the obvious motivation from Google's perspective. Their goal is to track the ever-loving hell out of your online behavior. I bet this goal is best served if each person has only one Googleperson...

    • Some of us couldn't have a single Googleperson if we wanted to.

      For example, at my university, the official email is now Gmail (but without gmail.com addresses). And, like a sensible person, I took serious admonitions to separate my Official Business email correspondence from my Personal (including blogging) correspondence ... setting up separate email accounts for that, which happen to be Gmail accounts.

      If Google thinks it would be jolly to suddenly comingle my business and personal correspondence (and docs, and search history, etc.) it strikes me that they ought to have to explicitly seek and receive my permission to do so. Else, they should be prepared to give me a job should my employer decide to can me on the basis of personal activity lumped, for Google's convenience, with professional.

      • Zuska says:

        Amen. And now I really truly have no interest in Google +, even if I were thinking of going off my social media diet.

  • Tideliar says:

    ""Cuttlefish" is my real name. That there is a meatspace person associated with me who has a different name is irrelevant."

    +1

    Tideliar has an IRL, just as the IRL has an online presence. Yea, I can be an asshole, and I might troll morons now and then. I do that IRL too. But the IRL me is made of more than just electrons and thoughts and wouldn't live long in here. Neither would I live long there...being made of just electrons and thoughts. And sometimes I (IRL) wantto talk about things but have no one to talk to about them, or don't want my meatspace companions getting up in my shit. This avatar gives me freedom to that. if I was an asshole I wouldn't have readers and would get banned from blogs.

    Pseuds are real. Google are wrong. Beta or not (what an assinine fucking argument).

    • Zuska says:

      It's no trouble at all to find out the meatspace person who does the actual typing for Zuska, but that typist is not Zuska.

  • KDCosta says:

    We are such an info-greedy society. We can't be satisfied that Sci is fabulous - we must know WHY Sci is fabulous! Who is she that she can be go glib and clever and smart?

    I'm sorry that yet again you have to defend your pseudonymous position. You speak really eloquently to issues that are salient to our online existences. There are benefits to both choices, as you've outlined. However, at the end of the day, I wish there was a way to remind the insistent that these are OUR identities, and we are free to shape them as it suits us.

    Keep the curiosity coming, Sci!

  • yannisguerra says:

    Well, Sci, I am sorry , but I will judge you by your cat...

    Joking aside, I understand your point, but as every complex situation in life, it always have another side.

    Yes, you can have 2 personalities, and 2 different lives. But you are legally responsible for only one of them.

    Scicurious, Tideliar and Cuttlefish can disappear tomorrow, and leave no trace. After damaging people's reputations, online too. After publishing online the bank passwords of hundreds of thousands of people. And the day after Sciliar, Tidefish and Cuttlecurious can restart a very similar blog, and with complete impunity, restart the process again. You can try to disappear in real life, but it is way, way harder, and you lose a lot more.

    One clear example of that is with Techcrunch (the website). When it had anonymous registration, the amount of horrible trolling there was intense. As soon as they changed to facebook sign-ons...It dissapeared, the commentary was much more constructive and useful.

    The problem is that nice people like you get affected by the ones out there that are not nice. Yes, it sucks to have locks in your car/home/office. Yes, most people are NOT going to rob you/frame you. But when some will, they need to be able to be brought to justice.
    Is there a solution that is perfect? Of course not. If there were, you wouldn't be writing this post every year or so. But it is interesting to listen to different points of view, even when you don't agree with them. Or when you don't really know who they are

    • scicurious says:

      See, the TechCrunch thing was anonymity, not a pseudonym behind which there was a reputation.

      I have seen a lot of this, people expecting to be protected on the internet. By whom are you expecting to be protected? From what are you being protected? From being mocked? Because it usually comes down to that. Who will enforce this protection?

      The reality is that right now, it's up to you to police your own sites and your own behavior, and to discourage (and ban) people who behave otherwise on your sites, and expect and ask for other sites to do the same. For many companies right now, this comes down to whether or not the user has a "Real sounding name". This not only is naive, it also may exclude people who have names that don't sound, say, Western enough (Firstname Lastname that are easily pronounceable and don't have non-english characters) to pass muster for "real sounding". And that could get pretty exclusionary pretty fast.

  • "Yannisguerra" is a totally fake fucken name, and must be immediately brought to justice.

  • jcm says:

    I agree 150% to your point of view, Sci, thank you to explain so clearly facts and feelings everybody can now understand.

    But there are more reasons to be known through a pseudo, which is to appear as a virtual person in the meaning that nobody will find this person through official registations but as a true person too because we can suppose a virtual person won't write or do anything....

    To be oneself through a pseudo can be a vital necessity ("arabian spring" for instance) and any situation when political or social contest can be very dangerous, a direct threat to anybody).

    More details (sorry, in french) : Présent sur Gogol plus ? Complice des dictatures présentes et à venir ! (http://www.agoravox.fr/tribune-libre/article/present-sur-gogol-plus-complice-97689).

    Other big problem with Google and others similar systems : the destruction of personnal datas : Google contrevient-il à la Déclaration Universelle ? (http://www.agoravox.fr/tribune-libre/article/google-contrevient-il-a-la-98052).

    All of that means we must be very carefull with big networks and more perhaps : we should carry them to more "protection" to individuals who make their success !

    (Sorry for my english...)

  • Ed says:

    *floored* no, if you have a gmail, account, sign up for a google+ account under a pseud, they suspend your gmail too? I must be misinterpreting. That's serious, I use my gmail account for business.

    Anyway, excellent post. This comes down partly to the notion of privacy, which people in privileged and relatively powerful positions rarely understand because they are not as vulnerable to the effects of being misjudged, misinterpreted, government persecution etc. Or so they think anyway.

    Quick example: you think an employer googling me is going to read through a bunch of previous posts, and my friends blogs, and ask me to put things in context? No. They will skim a few posts or comments and jump to conclusions. If people are going to handle decisions about me in that irresponsible way then fuck them, I will not accommodate them by combing through and modifying what I am saying in case they come along and do that. And I will not lie down and take it either.

    They can't handle information about me responsibly, then they can't have it. Although all pseuds are broken eventually.

    If people turn away the input of people like Sci they are just shooting themselves in the foot - natural selection at work.

  • Ed says:

    Also, yannis, anonymous is not the same a pseudonymous. Your techcrunch example has nothing to do with excluding pseudonymous identities like Sci. You just have a facebook account under a pseud and your gravy.

  • [...] prominent female science bloggers who use pseudonyms argue against this policy, GrrlScientist and SciCurious, for [...]

  • Ed says:

    Just reading the atlantic article... such bullshit. Yeah, like Zuckerberg, whose business is based in large part on collecting people's information would get it - it is difficult to explain a notion to a man whose job depends on him not understanding it.

    Same deal for anything Google says - as if their "reasons" are the real reasons. Their entire business is based on selling information about people to advertisers.

    Excluding "mean spirited trolls" is a bullshit reason - who exactly decides who falls into that category? The people already in control.

    "It’s Google’s party and if the company thinks..." says people from the class who own all the parties.

    "deal breaker..." indeed, really straining the deal with google in general, not just for G+.

  • Ed says:

    Anyone remember that scene from Legend of Zorro where the spanish go into the prison and ask which one is Zorro? "I am Zorro!", "No, I am Zorro!"....

  • Geeplus Canscrewitself says:

    Now *I* deserve to be booted. Not you.

  • bam294 says:

    Apparently my weekend stint in rehab had me painfully out of the loop on this Google+ issue and the fact bam294 tweets counts as a real name for some reason in Google+ land is all the better.

    Let's face it Sci, you are the rare science girl that can write, so all the more reason for you to drop your pseudo and come out to teach all those other broads they can do something with their lives one day too. Oh wait, I was just channeling what I'm sure would be the douchebaggery of my colleagues if they knew I tweeted/Google+.

    If I didn't use a psuedoname, people's feelings would get hurt. I hope my tweets resonate with those who have experienced similar hilarity and horrors in academics and science. And if they resonate because the bad behavior I call 'bullshit' on is something you have done to a colleague or student, that works too.

    But I don't want my student following me on Twitter or anywhere else for the same reason I don't want them babysitting my kids. TMI in a world with TMI already.

  • I have similar reasons for pseudonymity (I won't say anonymity, because it isn't). I don't want a current or potential employer to discriminate against me because of the causes I support, or my political or religious opinions (or lack of them). Or because of an illness I suffer from. Moreover, I have used this handle for over a decade; some of my online friends only know me by it. How will I remain in touch with them if they can't find me?

    @Ed It isn't just gmail they can cancel. Apparently they reserve the right to delete your entire Google account, even if you're a paying customer for photo storage and so on.

  • chall says:

    Great post!

    I realised after a weekend away that my google account had been linked and that maybe this G+ wasn't such a spiffy thing. I like my pseudonym, not because it's anonymous really (since it isn't) but depending on where I work. If I have any opinoin about science and it is linked with my real name (aka googlable) it sort of needs to go through PR/HR .... since 'people' might think my opinoin is "the opionon of the company" .... and since it's harder to argue about it, it's easier to keep a pseudonym for blogging and comments.

    It's annoying that anonym and pseodonym are so mixed up to some. The first is "troll friendly" the second is imho a way to avoid googlability, threats and other type of interactions btw for example work and private life.

    Maybe a little too aprahensive about this all, but I still don't like the "link all your accounts and photos and life together with your real name so they can own all of it ... .and trace everything easily". I mean, "who controls the controllers"?

  • FrauTech says:

    Agree with everything in your post Sci. I'd lose my job if I posted under my real name. Ed summed it up pretty well above. It wouldn't matter if I never mentioned my employer, never talked about work, never talked about anything tangentially related to the technology I work on- I'd probably be fired immediately. Maybe if I talked only about cooking. But if I want to have a blog that's a little bit about my engineering side, my personal side, and my complaining, whiny, bitter side...pseud it is.

  • serialhex says:

    +1 on having a pseudonym. though my reasons for using oneis basically: "i have it because i like it!" and if you don't like it, tough noogies!

  • Nandsmommy says:

    I find privacy to be incredibly valuable these days, though it clearly isn't viewed that way by society any longer. It makes me ill to see the fame seekers and the celebrity worship (and abuse) across all sorts of media. Not to mention the shift in etiquette regarding phone conversations. I don't want to hear people's private business while I'm gingerly removing a gallon of milk off the grocery shelf!

    I'm all for anonymity via pseudonymity. No need to defend it in my humble (suburban, beyond modest science background, thoroughly enjoys your blog) opinion.

    I'd be honored to share a non-alcoholic beverage with you if you were in the greater San Diego area, yet just as satisfied if you were to remain Sci-mysterious.

  • kim says:

    pseudonymity is good

  • Great write-up post.Truly searching forward to read more. Much obliged.

  • [...] dei profili in Google+.Molte critiche (di cui un ottimo esempio si trova in un articolo del blog scientopia) sono state mosse a Google per il fatto di non permettere di fatto la creazione di profili Google+ [...]

  • [...] real-name policy has created a strong backlash among female bloggers and human rights advocates for other reasons, but what I find strange about this is that, at [...]

  • […] I have to disagree with his views on pseuds. And as a former Pseud myself, who is now a "real adult blogger" under my own name, I still believe that pseuds can make a big […]

  • […] On the issue of pseudonymity […]

  • […] mittelschweren Protestwelle konfrontiert, wie man unter anderem hier, hier, hier, hier, hier und hier nachlesen kann. Zahlreiche John Does fluten die bisher noch recht übersichtliche Google […]