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Alias debate (nothing to do with the TV show) - Kurt's Life (or lack thereof) [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kurt Onstad

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Alias debate (nothing to do with the TV show) [May. 12th, 2002|01:50 pm]
Kurt Onstad
I started this journal as a place to put down my private thoughts somewhere that a few select friends (self, technomonkey, and dragonpookie) could respond and give advice regarding my love life, specifically my relationship with Megan. I also occasionally ranted about other things in my life, but at the time, that was more secondary. As you can tell, the purpose of the Journal has evolved a lot since then.

When I started jotting down my thoughts, I didn't want anyone who knew Megan (or anyone else I happened to write about), to immediately understand who I was talking about, unless they were part of the inner circle. Thus, the list of aliases began. But, ever since the "Worms" incident, more and more people have become aware of the journal, and the reason for the alias list has become weaker and weaker.

I started writing up a new entry, before creating this one, and realized that I needed to create two new aliases (one for Fred's wife, and one for the person that Erik and Cynthia is now living with). I really didn't see much of a point to it. I have a few options available to me at this point:

1) Continue creating aliases.
2) Keep all of the current aliases, but no longer create new ones.
3) Go back, and edit my entries to reflect the correct names, and stop with the aliases altogether.

There are definite advantages and disadvantages to each of these. Option 1 I'm not all that interested in, but it keeps a semblance of privacy to those people who might not want parts of their lives openly discussed on the internet. Option 2 is the easiest in the short term, but could cause long term confusion between people whose real name matches an alias of someone else. Option 3 takes some initial work, but I'm willing to do it, and would be the simplest in the long term. It's the one that I would actually prefer at this point, but other people may prefer the aliases for one reason or another. So, I open it up to you, the people reading this. Mostly the people who have or could possibly be discussed on these pages. What are your thoughts on the matter?


[User Picture]From: self
2002-05-13 02:13 pm (UTC)


I'm self (and that icon is actually part of the spelling). You're welcome to refer to me by other names, but I won't respond to them here.

Beyond that, though, I always thought the aliases were stupid. Rather than protect privacy, they invite people to break your code, and the only folks who won't easily do so are the ones who've never met your friends.

I use pronouns, and invoke poetic license to make other words function as pronouns. He, She, Teacher, Friend, Cashier, etc. This gives them form without focus, or possibly vice versa.

I may use differemt terms to refer to one person over the course of a few posts, and I may use the same pronouns to someone else over time. Things that can only refer to one person sometimes don't. There's no traceable pattern, and this prevents me from inadvertantly compromising the layer of abstraction.

(and yes, I do occasionally provide a stronger clue. but then you usually ask for details, and I throw up my hands in frustration)

Anyway... I'd say go with #3, because it lets you judge each post individually and decide if there was too much information about someone else given. If so, you can tag that post as private, or go in and edit it further. Otherwise, you're always at risk of having crossed the line retroactively...
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[User Picture]From: speedball
2002-05-13 03:22 pm (UTC)

Nice reference...

Yeah, it's been a very long since I've referred to you as David, which was your original alias. If I go with option 3 (and since I've gotten no objections yet, that's looking more likely...), any references to you would be updated to self.

Because my journal has much more of an ongoing story to it, I thought it best to name the people, as opposed to using pronouns and such. But, I didn't want someone who knew one of the other people in the story (like Jessie), but hadn't met me yet, to be able to recognize them immediately. Obviously I'm not hiding who I am at all ("Kurt Onstad's Journal" and, see, this is what I look like!), nor am I hiding the others all that deeply. If someone who knows me wants the full alias list, that's fine by me. This was done more to protect my friends from being immediately recognized by one of their other friends who might come across my journal by accident. Thus, the aliases began.

But, I'm really not seeing much of a point in that anymore. Does anyone else see a reason that I'm not?

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[User Picture]From: self
2002-05-13 07:31 pm (UTC)


First name, and maybe a last initial when appropriate - I don't see how many people are going to be recognized by that if the reader hasn't met you...
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[User Picture]From: speedball
2002-05-19 07:00 pm (UTC)

Obvious by now...

It should be fairly obvious if you go through my journal that the alias debate was resolved, and I've changed all the aliases where I could.

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