What is "Anonymity"?…conversations with the editor of the Arcata Eye


The Plazoid recently recieved an email from the Arcata Eye (newspaper) agreeing to online discussion, but not “anonymously.” This condition imposed on the discussion by the editor(s) of the Arcata Eye brings to mind some questions:
What’s in a name? (“…that which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet…”)
What are the intentions behind this conditional agreement?

In response, let us look at what a “legal name” is. Many of our legal nems have been stripped of their traditional or cultural meaning and are nowadays essentially numbers. Our legal names are attached to social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, P.O. box numbers, drivers’ license numbers, IP addresses, case numbers, employee numbers, etc.

Our “names,” which are essentially just numbers, exist to make it easer to keep track of us, like subjects of an experiment or inmates of a prison-system.

So why would the Arcata Eye insist on our identification numbers? Would that help them to relate to us or understand our points better?


I can only think of two reasons why they might want our numbers: so they can concentrate their attention on “the messenger” while distracting attention away from “the message,” or perhaps keeping track of the individuals who participate in The Plazoid project. Neither one of these intentions are welcome here.

The Arcata Eye editors are, of course, welcome to continue commenting on this blog, anonymously or not.


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