From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 12 - July 1993
See Home Page at

Thoughts Inspired by ...

... John Dorne's 'As for Pseudonyms'

by Britta Burtles, England

Here are my considerations about the article on page 8 of IVy
6 - by John Dorne, whoever he is and pretends not to be.

Probably I don't know John Dorne personally, so it is no skin off
my nose. I have looked upon this as a matter of principle.

He or she might just as well have said 'by Carrot' or 'Apple
Tree' or 'Robot' or 'Ghost' or whatever, or nothing
at all. We all have names to identify ourselves and to recognize each
other. If he says 'by John Dorne,' but in fact it is by 'Jill
Hide,' he might as well not put a name there, for all the value
it has, since it is not true.

If we lived in a dictatorship, and he was writing against the cruel
regime of the dictator, I would find it easier to accept. However,
we live in a democracy(1), so this is absolutely unnecessary,
especially among like-minded, tech-trained people, some of
whom are probably his friends. It's like shaking hands with someone
who stretches out his hand from behind a door, but stays hidden so
as to be unrecognized.

As for hiding: he can say as much as he likes that it has 'nothing
to do with being in hiding' - that's still what it is, however
reasonable the reasons he uses in an attempt to convince us
that it is not.

Why Hide?

What is he really afraid of by hiding his real name? What ideas
is he so ashamed of and can't confront other people knowing he has,
that he feels compelled to hide them behind the excuse of 'the
mind of a good business man'? From what he said, it sounds like
he is not only afraid but also condescending and rejecting to IVy
readers, especially those who know him personally.

Besides, to produce this kind of mystery sandwich just detracts
from what he/she/it really wants to say.

To Be or Not To Be

If I were to consider using a pseudonym in the same circumstances,
apart from thinking about the confront and responsibility angle, it
would for me be a decision of 'To be or not to be?'. I would
have to come down on the To Be side, since I love life and true
as well as companionship and true and open relationships with my
and acquaintances. The alternative spells separation and loneliness.

(1)From the Greek demos (people) + kratos (power) ... people-power.

Tue Jul 11 20:39:55 EDT 2006