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Posted April 30, 2011 by Jim Centi in Open

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commented on Dec. 17, 2012
by Shankar Narayan



Occasionally, I enjoy participating in these discussions and think it’s a nice feature of the site. Possibly the only problem I have with it is the use of fictitious names. I can understand using a fictitious name if you’re on a porn site, but this is a respectable site and I see no reason to conceal our identity. I have experienced my comment been dismissed with abrupt rudeness by someone using a fictitious name. Rather than confronting the individual, I simply backed off. I have also witnessed what was interpreted as unjustified aggression being used repeatedly by someone using a fictitious name and this could discourage some people from participating in discussions. When I joined the discussions, I was using the username “nonlocalmunster” because I saw that everyone was using fictitious names, so like a mindless lemming, I joined the herd. In my opinion, using our real name would contribute to more open, honest discussions and possibly more thoughtful posts. In the spirit of the revolutions occurring around the world, I would like to suggest using our real names. Any takers or comments?

  • Anonymous Icon

    Shankar Narayan Dec 17, 2012

    Serrena,Truthseeker& saoirse.

    the usage of "pseudo-names" Make sense when you put it that way. And your input is more important than your name. There surely is a lot of bias against noetic science.

  • Saoirse Aug 31, 2011

    I okay with whatever people want to call themselves, as long as they contribute in a meaningful way. I'm even okay with the discussion getting "lively," Too many people think that disagreement is a bad thing, and will become hostile or defensive in response to it, which I think is sad. Adults should be able to see the distinction between themselves and their ideas, and to understand that saying, "I think that idea is nonsense" is not the same thing as saying "I think you're an idiot." I don't consider myself an idiot, and yet, I freely admit to occasionally having ideas that in retrospect were pretty idiotic. The only things I ask in discussions of this sort is that people refrain from ad hominem arguments, and that they also refrain from treating challenges to their ideas as attacks on their persons.

    I don't need to know real names. I rather like the anonymity of usernames because it allows discussion without the subconscious biases of gender, etc. Without names and images, we don't know whether we're talking to 70 year old retired male professor or a bright 19-year old female student, so we can only deal with the merit of the response. I like it that way.

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    truth_seeker Aug 30, 2011

    I would just like to add in defense of us who use fictitious names, for those of us who are proper human beings not wanting to secretly be hostile to others. I use a fictitious name for a couple of reasons. First where I work, it may be frowned upon that I subscribe to taboo science and I think that some of my opinions fall out the scope of acceptable in our current scientific climate. I don't want to come off as a coward but I do have to think about my family and continuing to support them. Also, It allows me to separate myself from those who may choose to be hostile. I was on another site discussing new age physics and I guess my opinions offended someone who then felt the need to look me up on facebook and linkedin, he proceeded to be hostile there where my family, friends and co-workers were able to see. I used to use my name on all of these sites but unfortunately its the situation where one bad apple ruins the batch. So I do hope that my using the name "truth seeker" doesn't offend or bring me any disrespect here. Out of all the things I choose to spend my time doing, it's connecting with like minded people that I truly value the most. I am new on this site but am very excited to get know people here and learn from other's and have the option for others to learn from me. I look forward to talking to all of you in the future


  • Matthew Gilbert Aug 19, 2011

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the thoughtful conversation about this issue. It's not always easy to "police" those who are aggressive or disrespectful, and it's great when the community steps in and affirms what community is all about. I don't have an attachment either way as a far as how people want to identify themselves, as long as they bring the right spirit to these discussions.


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    Serrena Aug 18, 2011

    It's good to see that so many are comfortable with being open with their identity. I offer a gentle reminder that not everyone is, in this world of google making everything so accessible with a few keystrokes. There are literally thousands of people who work very much under public scrutiny whose careers and general life could be uncomfortably impacted were it known what they truly think. While open-mindedness is abundant here, lets not pretend is in the workplace. There are unfortunately many places left where just admitting to not being a Christian is a career-ender. Admitting to less than orthodox ideas can be worse than a scandalous photo on facebook for some people. Personally, I like being employed. Yes, there are laws against discrimination, but try *proving* a promotion was given to someone else because of something you posted on an internet forum. Its sad, but being out in the open is not yet an option for everyone.

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    winddancer Aug 15, 2011

    Though I chose a fictious name (one I adopted at a time when I wasn't able to be active: "Winddancer"--which represented to me a tree dancing in the wind), I prefer to sign my posts with my actual name, Alicia Adams. Our culture is so impersonal; who needs more of the same when we are sharing deeply from our hearts and experiences?

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    LorenC Aug 07, 2011

    I could not agree more Jim. People use fictitious names obviously out of insecurities and fear of being judged. As humans we all have those fears, but in the interest of moving forward as individuals and as a community, it only makes sense to set those insecurities aside and have enough confidence in ourselves to be more candid. Intellectual nudity (and physical nudity for that matter) can be both humbling and liberating. Perhaps if we learn not to fear other beings, we can begin to fear ourselves less.

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    Shankar Narayan Jul 26, 2011

    I AGREE WITHOUT A QUESTION JIM! And one to one interaction would be helpful, don't you think. I've seen people comment and forget. no further comments to support their view, abruptly disrupting a healthy discussion and putting the flow of thoughts to an end!

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    Jim Centi May 01, 2011

    I believe that it is appropriate that I explain the circumstances which caused my post regarding user names.

    I am relatively new to the discussions on this new IONS site, but I have been a member of IONS for several years. On the old site we had two sections where members could post their opinions, discussions or announcements. On that site we used our real names, I cannot recall ever seeing a fictitious user name.

    When I began posting on this site, I could not understand why my friends were not using their real names- I had no idea who I was talking with. After posting this recent post, I learned that although there may be long time members of IONS posting here, many of those who post are new. On other sites, I rarely use my real name, so I can understand why many new members carried that practice to this site.

    Now that I have confessed to the illusory nature of my experience, I still hold to the position that using our real names contributes to more honest, responsible posts.

    So then, should we discuss this matter further or simply allow it to dissipate into the vastness of cyberspace?

  • Anasazi May 01, 2011


    While I believe you have a valid point some feel the need to perhaps conceal their identity for reasons other than the nefarious ones that you elude to. Dissension is, for the most part, the catalyst for further understanding. I believe every thought is matter and energy so if that energy is negative (and this is often subjective) wouldn't it be better to counteract the potential negativity with a persuasive argument to the contrary? Rather than seeing a reply as confrontational perhaps an open mind could possibly reveal a more objective approach to continue a discussion? There are, in fact, other opinions and although they can oft be seemingly negative or aggressive it does not dismiss potential validity. Be a little more understanding, a little more willing to engage, and perhaps, dare I say, a little less "thin skinned".

  • Gretchen Dreisbach May 01, 2011

    I do agree with that Jim! None of our words, thoughts, or actions can possibly be hidden from SOURCE so it is quite conducive to a practice of mindfulness to act with the understanding that every particle of our entire selves is being recorded in the infinite field of consciousness at all times.
    So there is actually no point in hiding right? love to you, Gretchen Grace Dreisbach

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