What is a real name, round 668

Stephen Hansen apt.shansen at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 07:19:31 CEST 2009


> Understood. In this case, I *am* sure (enough to make the assumption
>  publicly) that the poster is not using their real name in their ‘From’
> field, and was — politely, I hope — requesting that to be rectified.
>

Oh, how I find this attitude simultaneously absurd and offensive-- the only
reason I'm on this (or any) mailing list with my real name is because the
topic is something tangentially related to work so I like to be subscribed
to this list in the mail account I usually use with work related issues.

Normally I'd be under a pseudonym and am in many places; why does the
substance of my message need to have a certain name attached to it? This is
the internet. I am what I present to you:  my thoughts and ideas that I
articulate to you. My name is meaningless. If you google "Stephen Hansen",
you'll get countless results that aren't me. My pseudonym is actually
unique-- if you were to google it and you see only me. But that's not the
point.

Why does it matter if I present myself to you as what just happens to be my
real name, or a name I am more widely known as and have maintained for
years? I can say my name is John Smith, even though its not. Will it make
you feel better to talk to me as John then, since its simply a pseudonym
which isn't obvious?

Why can't you respect their desire -- for whatever reason among myriad
possible ones -- to not have their real name on their from line? Perhaps,
for example, they're using the same email address in several lists and some
do not have the same atmosphere as this where real names are more common.

Evaluate the message, for its value; whatever name the sender chooses to
apply to it only matters insofar as you can identify them clearly when
having the conversation. To do anything else is, IMHO, potentially rude if
not worse.

Its the internet.

--S
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