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Re: Anonymity Discussions

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  • Paul Wakfer
    ... Most certainly, and I think more than in most situations. This is particularly bad for a subject that most people do not understand and think to be a
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 3, 2012
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      On 02/03/2012 06:51 PM, Alton Lindsay Jr. wrote:
      > I think you both (Paul and Kitty) raised valid points in this
      > discussion on Alcor. It appears many of the users on there will be
      > for anonymity.

      Most certainly, and I think more than in most situations. This is
      particularly bad for a subject that most people do not understand and
      think to be a somewhat kooky idea, but of course that is precisely why
      so many cryonicists are afraid to put their names behind it. What they
      forget is that historically all the radical new ideas which eventually
      became accepted by the majority, only did so because their proponents
      courageously put their reputations and sometimes even their lives on the
      line.

      [Think of the infant US with the Declaration of Independence - a *very* radical idea at the time. Of course some of those same individuals resorted to pseudonyms when it came to public discussion of the proposed Constitution on the question of its replacement for the Articles of Confederacy. **Kitty]

      > I've had several conversations with anonymous users in chatrooms on
      > the web before about divorces or finding the right mate, and I
      > usually bring up a point that maybe if individuals were more open
      > about their lives and where each person can access background info
      > and feedback on each other, people would make more sound decisions
      > in whom they choose for companionship.

      Excellent argument for non-anonymity, which Kitty just used in her
      latest post on that Alcor Forums thread.

      > Also, a common theme with many anonymous users on the web is to
      > hide behind a pseudonym in order to disrespect others or make the
      > most absurd or derogatory comments, and to disappear from obligations
      > they had with others.

      Absolutely true, and again used by Kitty in her recent post. If they
      get kill-filed or banned from a venue they can then simply come back
      again with a different pseudonym. They can even be there under two
      different names setting each other up - I have experience with full
      knowledge of some doing just that and reasonable suspicions of other
      such happenings. Before I fully realized the harms of not being one
      fully open person, my one time alter ego Tom Matthews sometimes
      posted on the same group as Paul Wakfer, although I was always
      careful never to play any games.

      > I must admit...it took myself a while to be more open about my
      > identity on the web even after accepting the ID requirements of the
      > Morelife group and SelfSip ideas. The thing I feared was what
      > companies or family members may see that was atheistic and related
      > to anarchy. I also feared that strangers would use my identity in
      > unauthorized ways. However, I've grown out of that fear since I
      > became confident and was able to have good conversations about my
      > stances with family members, friends, and strangers.

      That's great to hear. Yes, I think that it should lead to even more
      respect for your iconoclastic thinking and if it causes dislike from
      someone, then do you really wish to continue to be associated with such
      people - relatives or not?

      > As for strangers using my identity without my permission, I would
      > just have to fire up some Social Preferencing.

      I already have described what happened to me and Kitty in this regard,
      but except for possible government assault on us, it was merely a small
      temporary nuisance. This lack of any major negative effect was precisely
      because I had been posting fully openly identified and highly
      beneficially on the group (sle), so that anyone there who had been
      around for awhile knew this was an impostor and ignored him. There was
      no way that he could imitate me and say anything that might appear to
      come from me, while at the same time writing something quite opposite to my known views.

      > As for the Alcor discussion again, two users (TDK and Southbay)
      > there seem to be trapped by the idea of privacy rights with anonymity
      > and not seeing you can still have private associations by being a
      > member of a particular group or website, yet still be open about
      > your ID, views, and background for just that group.

      That would be an intermediate stage, which at the least should be true
      for the Alcor Forums (every member there should be able to determine the
      full ID of every other member). However, in the long run it is not good
      enough for social order, which needs full identifying information
      available to all members of society about every social action taken.

      [It is also not beneficial to Alcor as an organization upon which members are depending to be financially sound in the future, as I and Paul have written. That is why I made the suggestion that an anonymity surcharge should be assessed against those members who insist on anonymity. **Kitty]

      --Paul

      [Alton, I want to just add an aside that I remarked to Paul after reading your comment that your writing is markedly more fluid than when you first started to post here, to which he readily agreed :) **Kitty]
    • Alton Lindsay Jr.
      ... Instead of viewing radical to always mean something extreme or a drastic political reform, people can also look into radical ideas going to the root or
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 11, 2012
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        --- In morelife@yahoogroups.com, Paul Wakfer <paul@...> wrote:
        >
        > On 02/03/2012 06:51 PM, Alton Lindsay Jr. wrote:
        > > I think you both (Paul and Kitty) raised valid points in this
        > > discussion on Alcor. It appears many of the users on there will be
        > > for anonymity.
        >
        > Most certainly, and I think more than in most situations. This is
        > particularly bad for a subject that most people do not understand and
        > think to be a somewhat kooky idea, but of course that is precisely why
        > so many cryonicists are afraid to put their names behind it. What they
        > forget is that historically all the radical new ideas which eventually
        > became accepted by the majority, only did so because their proponents
        > courageously put their reputations and sometimes even their lives on the
        > line.
        >
        > [Think of the infant US with the Declaration of Independence - a
        > *very* radical idea at the time. Of course some of those same
        > individuals resorted to pseudonyms when it came to public discussion
        > of the proposed Constitution on the question of its replacement for
        > the Articles of Confederacy. **Kitty]

        Instead of viewing radical to always mean something extreme or a drastic political reform, people can also look into radical ideas going to the root or origin of something/an underlying structure. The challenge is in the presentation of these new ideas.

        > > I've had several conversations with anonymous users in chatrooms on
        > > the web before about divorces or finding the right mate, and I
        > > usually bring up a point that maybe if individuals were more open
        > > about their lives and where each person can access background info
        > > and feedback on each other, people would make more sound decisions
        > > in whom they choose for companionship.
        >
        > Excellent argument for non-anonymity, which Kitty just used in her
        > latest post on that Alcor Forums thread.
        >
        > > Also, a common theme with many anonymous users on the web is to
        > > hide behind a pseudonym in order to disrespect others or make the
        > > most absurd or derogatory comments, and to disappear from obligations
        > > they had with others.
        >
        > Absolutely true, and again used by Kitty in her recent post. If they
        > get kill-filed or banned from a venue they can then simply come back
        > again with a different pseudonym. They can even be there under two
        > different names setting each other up - I have experience with full
        > knowledge of some doing just that and reasonable suspicions of other
        > such happenings.
        >
        > Before I fully realized the harms of not being one
        > fully open person, my one time alter ego Tom Matthews sometimes
        > posted on the same group as Paul Wakfer, although I was always
        > careful never to play any games.
        >
        > > I must admit...it took myself a while to be more open about my
        > > identity on the web even after accepting the ID requirements of the
        > > Morelife group and SelfSip ideas. The thing I feared was what
        > > companies or family members may see that was atheistic and related
        > > to anarchy. I also feared that strangers would use my identity in
        > > unauthorized ways. However, I've grown out of that fear since I
        > > became confident and was able to have good conversations about my
        > > stances with family members, friends, and strangers.
        >
        > That's great to hear. Yes, I think that it should lead to even more
        > respect for your iconoclastic thinking and if it causes dislike from
        > someone, then do you really wish to continue to be associated with such
        > people - relatives or not?

        Yes, this made me more mindful in who I choose to associate with. I also ended up distancing myself from certain old friends.

        > > As for strangers using my identity without my permission, I would
        > > just have to fire up some Social Preferencing.
        >
        > I already have described what happened to me and Kitty in this regard,
        > but except for possible government assault on us, it was merely a small
        > temporary nuisance. This lack of any major negative effect was precisely
        > because I had been posting fully openly identified and highly
        > beneficially on the group (sle), so that anyone there who had been
        > around for awhile knew this was an impostor and ignored him. There was
        > no way that he could imitate me and say anything that might appear to
        > come from me, while at the same time writing something quite opposite
        > to my known views.
        >
        > > As for the Alcor discussion again, two users (TDK and Southbay)
        > > there seem to be trapped by the idea of privacy rights with anonymity
        > > and not seeing you can still have private associations by being a
        > > member of a particular group or website, yet still be open about
        > > your ID, views, and background for just that group.
        >
        > That would be an intermediate stage, which at the least should be true
        > for the Alcor Forums (every member there should be able to determine the
        > full ID of every other member). However, in the long run it is not good
        > enough for social order, which needs full identifying information
        > available to all members of society about every social action taken.
        >
        > [It is also not beneficial to Alcor as an organization upon which
        > members are depending to be financially sound in the future, as I
        > and Paul have written. That is why I made the suggestion that an
        > anonymity surcharge should be assessed against those members who
        > insist on anonymity. **Kitty]
        >
        > --Paul

        I agree on both points about social order in the long run and the anonymity surcharge.

        > [Alton, I want to just add an aside that I remarked to Paul after
        > reading your comment that your writing is markedly more fluid than
        > when you first started to post here, to which he readily agreed :)
        > **Kitty]

        Thanks. I was not that confident writing to the group when I first joined compared to now. And both you and Paul's writing style made me take writing more seriously even if it is not business or school related.
      • Alton Lindsay Jr.
        I read more of the Anonymity discussion on the Alcor forum and I noticed the southbay user posted a link implying that you both (Paul and Kitty) were arguing
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 11, 2012
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          I read more of the Anonymity discussion on the Alcor forum and I noticed the 'southbay' user posted a link implying that you both (Paul and Kitty) were arguing that people behave better under real names and with this study showing that is not true. But I know the actual argument by you two is with real identities and openness, you show more credibility. http://blog.disqus.com/post/15638234811/pseudonyms

          But after reading the article, it wasn't about good behavior of Disqus users, but that most contributing comments are made by pseudonym users on Disqus. And if you look closely to their statistics and graphs, most of the negative or non contributing comments are still made by both anonymous and pseudonym users which would add up to 22% and real identity users only being 9%.

          [I don't usually anymore comment about a message within the original, but in order to fix an error, this time I need to. The graphs referred to above show that:
          1. 11% of the pseudonymous comments on Disqus are judged as negative.
          2. 11% of the anonymous comments on Disqus are judged as negative.
          3. 9% of the real name comments on Disqus are judged as negative.

          Alton made an error in adding the two 11% because the total of comments from which that percentage is taken is enormously different for each of the three groups. --Paul]
        • Alton Lindsay Jr.
          Thanks for the correction. I forgot the ratio and percentage of negative comments would be different even if I add the pseudonym and anonymous users together
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 11, 2012
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            Thanks for the correction. I forgot the ratio and percentage of negative comments would be different even if I add the pseudonym and anonymous users together as one group since pseudonyms are still unclear identities.

            --- In morelife@yahoogroups.com, "Alton Lindsay Jr." <junioreality@...> wrote:
            >
            > I read more of the Anonymity discussion on the Alcor forum and I
            > noticed the 'southbay' user posted a link implying that you both
            > (Paul and Kitty) were arguing that people behave better under real
            > names and with this study showing that is not true. But I know the
            > actual argument by you two is with real identities and openness,
            > you show more credibility.
            > http://blog.disqus.com/post/15638234811/pseudonyms
            >
            > But after reading the article, it wasn't about good behavior of
            > Disqus users, but that most contributing comments are made by
            > pseudonym users on Disqus. And if you look closely to their statistics
            > and graphs, most of the negative or non contributing comments are
            > still made by both anonymous and pseudonym users which would add up
            > to 22% and real identity users only being 9%.
            >
            > [I don't usually anymore comment about a message within the original,
            > but in order to fix an error, this time I need to. The graphs referred
            > to above show that:
            > 1. 11% of the pseudonymous comments on Disqus are judged as negative.
            > 2. 11% of the anonymous comments on Disqus are judged as negative.
            > 3. 9% of the real name comments on Disqus are judged as negative.
            >
            > Alton made an error in adding the two 11% because the total of comments
            > from which that percentage is taken is enormously different for each
            > of the three groups. --Paul]
          • Paul Wakfer
            ... That is an excellent point. The rational, foundational, responsible and overall beneficial nature of one s uncommon ideas should always be stressed and
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 12, 2012
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              On 02/11/2012 12:12 PM, Alton Lindsay Jr. wrote:
              > --- In morelife@yahoogroups.com, Paul Wakfer<paul@...> wrote:
              >> On 02/03/2012 06:51 PM, Alton Lindsay Jr. wrote:
              >>> I think you both (Paul and Kitty) raised valid points in this
              >>> discussion on Alcor. It appears many of the users on there will be
              >>> for anonymity.
              >>
              >> Most certainly, and I think more than in most situations. This is
              >> particularly bad for a subject that most people do not understand and
              >> think to be a somewhat kooky idea, but of course that is precisely why
              >> so many cryonicists are afraid to put their names behind it. What they
              >> forget is that historically all the radical new ideas which eventually
              >> became accepted by the majority, only did so because their proponents
              >> courageously put their reputations and sometimes even their lives on the
              >> line.
              >>
              >> [Think of the infant US with the Declaration of Independence - a
              >> *very* radical idea at the time. Of course some of those same
              >> individuals resorted to pseudonyms when it came to public discussion
              >> of the proposed Constitution on the question of its replacement for
              >> the Articles of Confederacy. **Kitty]
              >
              > Instead of viewing radical to always mean something extreme or a
              > drastic political reform, people can also look into radical ideas
              > going to the root or origin of something/an underlying structure.
              > The challenge is in the presentation of these new ideas.

              That is an excellent point. The rational, foundational, responsible and
              overall beneficial nature of one's uncommon ideas should always be
              stressed and their uncommon nature ignored and/or downplayed since it is
              essentially irrelevant to their validity.

              [In reading Alton's comment and Paul's reply, my mind went immediately to a couple of *very* radical ideas that resulted in an avalanche of ridicule because they *were* so different. Those promoting the new idea of "germs" causing disease may have been successful sooner if they hadn't been so reluctant to publicize the evidence for their differences from colleagues. Semmelweis, the
              acknowledged creator of the germ theory, is an excellent example:
              http://www.experiment-resources.com/semmelweis-germ-theory.html **Kitty]

              >>> I've had several conversations with anonymous users in chatrooms on
              >>> the web before about divorces or finding the right mate, and I
              >>> usually bring up a point that maybe if individuals were more open
              >>> about their lives and where each person can access background info
              >>> and feedback on each other, people would make more sound decisions
              >>> in whom they choose for companionship.
              >> Excellent argument for non-anonymity, which Kitty just used in her
              >> latest post on that Alcor Forums thread.
              >>
              >>> Also, a common theme with many anonymous users on the web is to
              >>> hide behind a pseudonym in order to disrespect others or make the
              >>> most absurd or derogatory comments, and to disappear from obligations
              >>> they had with others.
              >>
              >> Absolutely true, and again used by Kitty in her recent post. If they
              >> get kill-filed or banned from a venue they can then simply come back
              >> again with a different pseudonym. They can even be there under two
              >> different names setting each other up - I have experience with full
              >> knowledge of some doing just that and reasonable suspicions of other
              >> such happenings.
              >>
              >> Before I fully realized the harms of not being one
              >> fully open person, my one time alter ego Tom Matthews sometimes
              >> posted on the same group as Paul Wakfer, although I was always
              >> careful never to play any games.
              >>
              >>> I must admit...it took myself a while to be more open about my
              >>> identity on the web even after accepting the ID requirements of the
              >>> Morelife group and SelfSip ideas. The thing I feared was what
              >>> companies or family members may see that was atheistic and related
              >>> to anarchy. I also feared that strangers would use my identity in
              >>> unauthorized ways. However, I've grown out of that fear since I
              >>> became confident and was able to have good conversations about my
              >>> stances with family members, friends, and strangers.
              >> That's great to hear. Yes, I think that it should lead to even more
              >> respect for your iconoclastic thinking and if it causes dislike from
              >> someone, then do you really wish to continue to be associated with such
              >> people - relatives or not?
              >
              > Yes, this made me more mindful in who I choose to associate with.
              > I also ended up distancing myself from certain old friends.

              Great! And pleased to see you express that to others.
              I will be posting again at the Alcor Forum thread and again linking
              to this thread.

              >>> As for strangers using my identity without my permission, I would
              >>> just have to fire up some Social Preferencing.
              >>
              >> I already have described what happened to me and Kitty in this regard,
              >> but except for possible government assault on us, it was merely a small
              >> temporary nuisance. This lack of any major negative effect was precisely
              >> because I had been posting fully openly identified and highly
              >> beneficially on the group (sle), so that anyone there who had been
              >> around for awhile knew this was an impostor and ignored him. There was
              >> no way that he could imitate me and say anything that might appear to
              >> come from me, while at the same time writing something quite opposite
              >> to my known views.
              >>
              >>> As for the Alcor discussion again, two users (TDK and Southbay)
              >>> there seem to be trapped by the idea of privacy rights with anonymity
              >>> and not seeing you can still have private associations by being a
              >>> member of a particular group or website, yet still be open about
              >>> your ID, views, and background for just that group.
              >> That would be an intermediate stage, which at the least should be true
              >> for the Alcor Forums (every member there should be able to determine the
              >> full ID of every other member). However, in the long run it is not good
              >> enough for social order, which needs full identifying information
              >> available to all members of society about every social action taken.
              >>
              >> [It is also not beneficial to Alcor as an organization upon which
              >> members are depending to be financially sound in the future, as I
              >> and Paul have written. That is why I made the suggestion that an
              >> anonymity surcharge should be assessed against those members who
              >> insist on anonymity. **Kitty]
              >>
              >> --Paul
              >
              > I agree on both points about social order in the long run and the
              > anonymity surcharge.
              >
              >> [Alton, I want to just add an aside that I remarked to Paul after
              >> reading your comment that your writing is markedly more fluid than
              >> when you first started to post here, to which he readily agreed :)
              >> **Kitty]
              >
              > Thanks. I was not that confident writing to the group when I first
              > joined compared to now. And both you and Paul's writing style made
              > me take writing more seriously even if it is not business or school
              > related.

              I and Kitty are both highly pleased that we have been of help to you
              *and* that you have appreciated our style and our ideas.

              --Paul
            • Paul Wakfer
              ... Yes, you have correctly described one major reason why I and Kitty wish to see an end to pseudonymity and anonymity. The other major reasons are that full
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 13, 2012
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                On 02/11/2012 12:59 PM, Alton Lindsay Jr. wrote:
                > I read more of the Anonymity discussion on the Alcor forum and I
                > noticed the 'southbay' user posted a link implying that you both
                > (Paul and Kitty) were arguing that people behave better under real
                > names and with this study showing that is not true. But I know the
                > actual argument by you two is with real identities and openness,
                > you show more credibility. http://blog.disqus.com/post/15638234811/pseudonyms

                Yes, you have correctly described one major reason why I and Kitty wish
                to see an end to pseudonymity and anonymity. The other major reasons are
                that full identification and openness of a single identity for all
                actions, is crucial for the effective socially ordering implementation
                of both social preferencing (both negative and positive) and the
                value-for-value method of exchange for all goods, services and other
                social interactions.

                I have now examined in detail the link above and here is my critique.
                1. It is in no manner a "study" as that term is normally used for the
                analysis of a data set by means of scientific methods and the
                publication of such analysis in a peer reviewed publication.
                2. The criteria for "real name" users of having linked their Facebook
                identity to Disqus, does not correctly identify actual real name users.
                Disqus users may be real name people not using Facebook (I do not),
                may be real name people who were not using Facebook when first joining
                Disqus or may still not be real name people because they did not use
                a real name on Facebook (FB has no way to really check this out).
                3. The positive "quality" of comments is related to the number of
                times a comment is "liked" and "replied to", and the negative
                "quality" is related with the number of times a comment is "flagged",
                "marked as spam" or "deleted". But particularly with replies and
                deletions, these actions may have little or no relationship with any
                reasonable measure of quality, and no criteria is given for how these
                numbers are used to generate a measure. These are all totally
                subjective valuations by individuals and not any reasonable measure
                of a reasonable definition of quality or non-quality - one man's spam
                is another man's wisdom.

                I fully agree with the writer of the Disqus article about the
                reasonableness of someone being born with a certain name that s/he does
                not like and which certainly does not in any manner relate to hir
                personality and purpose in life or on a particular forum. However this
                is still not a reason to be anonymous (which all pseudonymous posters
                are if they do not also state their real name identity). I know many
                fully identified individuals who use other names. A well known one is
                Mike Darwin, who makes no secret that his birth, and still legal name
                is Michael Federowicz. Another is Mark Plus, who, as I recall, legally
                changed his birth name to that and who appears to adopt a user name on
                each forum which is appropriate to his philosophy and purpose either
                at the time or on that forum. Still another is Alcor CEO Max More,
                (whose birth name is Max T. O'Connor). I have no problem with any of
                these adoptions, as long as the person involved makes it clear that
                all akas are the same person as s/he (as I did with my personal entry
                at MoreLife.org: http://morelife.org/personal/ - but unfortunately
                to my knowledge Mark Plus does not do this with all his akas). So be
                as descriptive as you want with a user name, just don't be anonymous
                - fearful of what others may think rather than proud to express yourself.

                > But after reading the article, it wasn't about good behavior of
                > Disqus users, but that most contributing comments are made by
                > pseudonym users on Disqus.

                But that is because most comments of any type are made by such people
                and that is because the vast majority of people have not yet understood
                why such behavior is opposed to increasing their own and everyone else's
                Lifetime Happiness all at the same time.

                --Paul
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