von S getting tired of the ranters?

Klimazwiebel is on my reader list, but I don't usually bother with the comments. It looks a bit like the septics are disappointed with him. And he with them: And, damn it, give your names, when making strong statements. When you have an opinion, then you should have also a name. Still, there are some good comments over there (Mike Hulme was there, though he had little to say when I looked).

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One thing I hope this blog and others may promote is the eradication of simple pejorative 'labels' to denote people's views. The label sceptic is so imprecise and so pejorative that it is obscuring the constructive exchange of ideas.

By windansea (not verified) on 02 Feb 2010 #permalink

Didn't know he (they?) had a blog. A little disappointed it's in English.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 02 Feb 2010 #permalink

I can absolutely agree that people who post strong opinions on these blogs should be willing to do it under their own name.

[If that is a snark at Eli, it is only half fair; I know who he is, and so do many others. If you want to know, send him an email: it is very likely he will tell you -W]

By Nicolas Nierenberg (not verified) on 02 Feb 2010 #permalink

Your willingness to identify yourself publicly is likely to depend on personal experience--and your experience may epend on how popular your opinions are with the kind of people who make death threats who live near you and know how to find you.

Your results will vary accordingly. If you've never reached that particular experience, I commend it. It makes life bright and sparkly once it's happened. Trust me on this.

I know several people who don't use their names; the people I do know vouch for them, and that they have good reason not to identify themselves.

Ah, the request for names has been clarified over there:
Blogger Werner Krauss said...
... I only asked people to reveal their real names in cases of severe character assassination; you should also have the courage to sign with your name when you want to ruin someone's scientific reputation and career. ...

I don't interpret van Storch's comment about anonymity as being directed at sceptics in particular. A perusal of his blog shows that easily half of the anonymous comments come from proponents of the AGW theory.

On a related note, it seems that most of the sceptic bloggers write under their real names, whereas many on the AGW side prefer pseudonyms.

[Not sure about blogs. You know who I am, you know who RC are. On wiki, it is certainly the other way around. The septics are all anon -W]

Personally I don't think it matters much either way.

By Kevin Davis (not verified) on 02 Feb 2010 #permalink

If a message comply with regulations and the blog comment policy, I don't see the point of demanding a name and a surname. It sounds like you say one thing or the other depending on who you are speaking to.

So that's were you draw the border? Comparing climate scientists with stalinists is ok, because Werner Krauss gave his name? Oh, and because it was a polemic (!) comparison with Stalin? Oh, the stupidity...

Pseudonyms have a long track record, from Voltaire and Molière, to George Eliot and Mary Westmacott, to Bono and the Edge. The name is unimportant. It's what people say and how they say it. And if what and how they say it requires legal recourse, then (on the Web) the owners of servers have a legal duty in most jurisdictions to reveal the source.

IMVHO, an attack on the pseudonymous for being that is but a thinly veiled ad hominem.

True anonymity I'm a bit more equivocal about, though; but only because it can be difficult to tell one Anon from another when it comes to replying.

The anonymous, or rather pseudonymous, all have their reasons for remaining so, as do I.

If you're making well-reasoned arguments, it doesn't matter. You would not be ashamed to have your real name associated with those arguments, even if they were not popular ones. But if you are making insane rants and baseless attacks on somebody else's character, there is nothing well-reasoned about that. You shouldn't hide behind your anonymity to enable you to say such things.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 03 Feb 2010 #permalink

Posting one's name does not authorize to call names. The pseudonym debate is as old as the Internet. Wait, no : it's as old as satire.

Posting one's name doesn't justify baseless personal attacks, but do it anyway. What I'm after is the people who issue baseless attacks, but would not do so if they weren't anonymous.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 03 Feb 2010 #permalink

How many of us are "on the clock", though? I think that is a player.

#.T. Hine

By thomas hine (not verified) on 03 Feb 2010 #permalink

I am no scientist, just a concerned civilian. I am however, very much in the alarmed camp.

Why do I use pseudonyms, I guess because everybody else does. Although one actually identifies me far more precisely than my name, there are many Tony O'Briens in the world.

I think I understand why some professionals use pseudonyms. If they were to use their official names it would be much harder to be frivolous at times. While the blogs serve a very useful educational purpose, the authors also like to have a little fun.

By Tony O'Brien (not verified) on 03 Feb 2010 #permalink

Its interesting to note that few prominent pseudonymous bloggers remain so for long. For example, the identities of Orac, Eli, and (to a lesser extent) Tamino aren't exactly huge secrets.

I am always intrigued by folks who write like they are very familiar with the field but have pseudonymous monikers. Gavin's Pussycat (and perhaps you, carrot eater) comes to mind.

I had a bad experience posting under my full name a long time ago. I don't really see any advantage to it unless you are interested in publishing or getting into the media in some way. It's not like if you post under "Bob McRoberts" people are going to suddenly listen to you: this is the internet.

"For example, the identities of Orac, Eli, and (to a lesser extent) Tamino aren't exactly huge secrets."

To those of you in the in crowd, maybe. I was always the last to be picked for playground games at school and now it seems I'll be the last to hear the goss about the identity of these bloggers.

[I used to collect them at one point, but then lost track. If you care, I get to know your IP address, so you're not as anon as you think, if you thought you were -W]

By Mark Hadfield (not verified) on 03 Feb 2010 #permalink

I can absolutely agree that people who post strong opinions on these blogs should be willing to do it under their own name.

The only real difference between a name and anonymous on the internet is pronunciation. Sure, I could tell you my name is Benjamin D. Solitzol, but how would you know it's true and why would you care?

Well, pough, I could probably find out a lot by Googling Benjamin D. Solitzol.

Now, if your name was Jeremy Smith, it wouldn't be much different from using pough. Probably less useful.

Well, pough, I could probably find out a lot by Googling Benjamin D. Solitzol.

You might or you might not. I have no idea. It's not my name, just a name I made up. For kicks, though, I could start calling myself Nicolas Nierenberg or even Zeke Hausfather. My point is that even in those times that a real name is used, it might not be the real name of the person posting. That's why I think that giving so much weight to the illusion of a real name is foolish.

Continuing on from pough: This is why I think it's only particularly important for somebody to post under their real name if they're actually somebody doing work within the field being discussed.

Everybody else is just an anybody. At most, hopefully they keep consistent names, for the purpose of a functioning conversation.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 04 Feb 2010 #permalink