[Foundation-l] Ring of Gyges

emijrp emijrp at gmail.com
Wed Dec 1 00:03:35 UTC 2010


Most of the vandals are anonymous. But most of the anonymous are not
vandals. Those who use anonymity for bad purposes are cowards.

And anonymity is not modern or an invention of the Internet age. Writers
have used it during centuries[1], for publishing contain anonymously or
under pseudonyms.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarillo_de_Tormes

2010/12/1 George Herbert <george.herbert at gmail.com>

> On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM, Ryan Lomonaco <wiki.ral315 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 6:26 PM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> For added self-referentiality, you can't read this article unless you
> >> identify yourself to the NYT.
> >>
> >
> > I was able to read the article without registering - it's worth noting
> that
> > the NY Times has a rather interesting version of a paywall, where only a
> > handful of people who visit the article are required to register or log
> in.
> > So it leads to confusion when you send a link to 100 people, and, say, 15
> > people can't read it.
> (list-unrelated)
> It's really just a porous IDwall - It's only a paywall in the sense
> that I get targeted ads aimed at my identity there (sometimes
> amusingly - the full-page-header Livescribe pen ads, when I had worked
> there and was given a free pre-prod version of the advertised product
> to field test as I left the company...).
> Google, as far as I can tell, does no worse or better on that point.
> I use Gmail and other related services and am ok with that info being
> floated around for ad targeting.  NYTimes can have it, too.  It's well
> worth it for the access, IMHO.
> (list-related)
> Responding to Mike Peel's comment about applicability to Wikipedia; we
> have two variations on the anonymity theme.
> One, true IP anons often feel little connection to our core goals of
> building an encyclopedia and supporting a constructive community to
> accomplish that.  Not so much that I advocate shutting off anon
> editing at all, but it's an observation that's easy to make.
> Two, nearly all WP users use pseudonymity rather than real names, and
> for most people not having their real name attached anywhere gives
> them a sense of anonymous empowerment similar to the truly anonymous
> trolls seen elsewhere.  We see a lot of behavioral problems that are,
> to anyone who studies interpersonal communications online, extremely
> common.  People don't inherently humanize other pseudonyms; they don't
> feel that they'll necessarily be held accountable in the same way they
> would in real life for behavior, etc.  Coupled with the inherent
> degraded emotional communications in text-based communications, we
> have a lot of the same behavior even with persistent pseudonyms.  And
> you can see a lot of that, where a pseudonym account gets sufficiently
> bad community karma on WP and they go and sockpuppet off and create
> another one, not caring about the underlying issue their behavior
> raised.  That sort of thing is not unheard of in the real world, but
> it's generally felt to be the domain of scam artists and private
> investigators and the like; at the very least, socially dubious.
> --
> -george william herbert
> george.herbert at gmail.com
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