Sunday, February 29, 2004

This blog is now anonymous.

I've decided to become anonymous -- I'm afraid that having my identity attached to this blog will forever identify me as a not-serious-enough philosopher, which may be detrimental to the job search, many years down the line. Also, I think it'd be fun to watch people try to sleuth my true identity. I'm not sure what steps to take in order to become anonymous, though. I considered adopting a pseudonym and removing my name, email address, and AIM name from the sidebar, but reasoned that if I did that, then people wouldn't be able to contact me if they had something interesting to say. I'd hate to miss out. There's also the inconvenient fact that my URL is currently tied rather closely to my name. Fortunately for me, names need not pick out unique individuals, and there's no reason to believe that mine does. With this in mind, the following possibilities should make it clear that, as my blog stands now, you don't know who I am, and that I'm therefore in an important sense anonymous:
  • You think that I am Jonathan Ichikawa. Possibly, I'm not -- I'm someone else whose name is 'Jonathan Ichikawa'.
  • I might, as far as you know, be lying -- it may not be the case that my name is 'Jonathan Ichikawa'. Furthermore, Jonathan Ichikawa might be in on the trick, such that he pretends to be the author when you talk to him in the non-internet world.
  • You assume, based on the fact that my language appears similar to English, that I am writing in English. This may not be the case -- I may be writing in Shmenglish, which is almost identical to English, except with respect to the way that speakers or writers identify themselves (also, some things look like typos in English but are correctly-spelled in Shmenglish). So in fatc, I may not have even alleged to have been Jonathan Ichikawa.
  • Nobody knows the real me.
Unless you can definitively rule out these scenarios, it is not the case that you know my identity. Whew, that's a relief.

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