The Telegraph’s Alexis Dormany is suspicious of people like your humble servant who are anonymous on the web, behind noms de plume. Very… unsettling.
He is torn between castigating megacorps for wanting to know everything about their customers and damning the web-facility for saddos to build whole fantasy IDs and lives online, potentially (at least, arguably) damaging themselves and others. He seems to disenfranchise perfectly innocent citizens who wish to contribute to public conversation while preserving their privacy.
On balance, he thinks online IDs should be transparent. I think he wants you to know exactly who I am. Well, he is entitled to his opinion, and he makes one or two good points, but on balance, my response is Bugger off, Mr Dormany. If Mr D gets his way, you will never hear from me again and you will never know who I was. Am.
What’s the value of free speech if you don’t know who’s talking?
First, distinguish between legitimate privacy and suspicious secrecy.
Second, listen carefully to what is said. Read carefully what is written. Never mind who said or wrote it. Does it have value in itself?
I do not have a monopoly of truth. My opponent may have something to say from which I would wish to learn. It makes no difference that I cannot see his face.
If too much attention is paid to the speaker (which is easy) it may be that too little time is left to examine his speech (which may be difficult). If a writer is too celebrated, the brilliance of his celebrity may cast his writing into shadow.
We know nothing of Socrates but what Plato remembers him saying. We know nothing of Plato but what he wrote.
Our age is cursed by superficiality.