GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2000-01 > 0948394423
From: "tiglath" <>
Subject: (RAWSEWAGE) Mr. Hines' Bugaboo Exposed
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 13:53:43 -0500
Mr. Hines continues to attack people who use a pseudonym in Usenet
with his old bugaboo that Real People use their real names. Many
know already that anything Mr. Hines defines as "Real <noun>" bears no
relation with reality; it is just a mannerism for what he likes or
dislikes dressed up as objective truth.
There are several valid reasons to use a pseudonym on the Internet.
1. Precedent. Citizen-band users normally use one-word handles for
practical or stylistic reasons.
2. Convenience. Most computer accounts use one-word login names;
they may be contractions of a person's name, or a more preferable
word. It is less typing.
3. Security. The less personal information one puts on the Internet,
the less creeps and opportunists have to play with.
4. Aesthetics. One may choose to change one's name to something that
looks or sounds better.
Mr. Hines (in his customary lack of fundamental clarity) doesn't make
clear why a real name is necessary. It is certainly not an inherent
necessity of the medium or the message. He seems to think it is more
macho to use a real name, and that to be macho is the "Real Thing" and
the "Right Thing To Do."
Mr. Hines cannot substantiate either the implicit charge of "unfair
advantage" to those using pseudonyms (as fencing with someone who
wears a protective vest when you are not). A pseudonym confers no
impunity. Were one to commit a serious abuse the authorities would
have no trouble finding the man behind the pseudonym, since in most
cases pseudonyms are the login names at the ISP, or are tied to them.
If the purpose of the pseudonym user were to adopt a disguise (Mr.
Hines' theory), he would choose a pseudonym that didn't look like one.
It takes about two minutes for John Brown to go to hotmail.com or
netaddress.com and obtain a bogus account in the name of Harry Kruger,
and no one is the wiser.
This is one more argument from Mr. Hines that fails the test of
validity, on many counts, but most prominently because if fails to
provide a defense against the most obvious counter-arguments.
In practical terms two of the most basic requirements to participate
in the Usenet are,
1. The name one uses must be sufficiently distinct to allow our
contributions to be identified and properly attributed
2. We must provide a valid email address, to allow others to use email
as opposed to the newsgroup when appropriate. ("Remove NOSPAM" and
similar devices still yield a valid email address)
Mr. Hines is notorious for posting with a bogus email address. Thus
remaining safe within the Usenet cage, immune to personal, one-to-one
confrontations: the mark of a Real Coward.