Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Thoughts on Identity

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Thoughts on Identity

    As a tangent to a couple other recent threads, I'm interested in others' opinions on how they approach handling identity. On one end of the spectrum, we have people who don't believe in handles at all, and on the other we have people who have personas that are kept separated from their 'real' identity. Personally, I try to keep any association 'yotta' and [my 'real' name] to a minimum. I do this because by using an alias, I have much more freedom to discuss things that some people may find questionable. I also try to limit, in general, public availability of information about my personal life. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but I'm afraid of having things used against me.

    What approaches do you folks take?

  • #2
    Re: Thoughts on Identity

    My handle is fairly well associated with my name, and it is just a convenience. As to things that people might find "objectionable', they have the right to agree or disagree with me on a given subject. Either way, the opinions I express are mine, and I don't slink under an alias.
    Thorn
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Thoughts on Identity

      Originally posted by yotta View Post
      As a tangent to a couple other recent threads, I'm interested in others' opinions on how they approach handling identity. On one end of the spectrum, we have people who don't believe in handles at all, and on the other we have people who have personas that are kept separated from their 'real' identity.
      Interesting. I've written about this, extensively, in other places. As you may know, if you read any of the True Names thread, I'm a strong believer in Nyms. Unlike our gentle friend Thorn, I don't think that using one or more aliases is anything like slinking. I actually have 4 or 5 that I'm serious about (most people know about the one I use here, which stopped being magic several years ago). There are any number of reasons to use a nym, only one of them being fear of reprisal.

      Originally posted by yotta View Post
      Personally, I try to keep any association 'yotta' and [my 'real' name] to a minimum. I do this because by using an alias, I have much more freedom to discuss things that some people may find questionable.
      The interesting thing about a long-term alias/handle/nym is that it gains a reputation in its own right. There are people who might not know me by my true name (yes, even now), although at this date, considering the length of time I've been using shrdlu, I don't know that I could say that *it* wasn't my true name.

      Originally posted by yotta View Post
      I also try to limit, in general, public availability of information about my personal life. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but I'm afraid of having things used against me.
      Some things I don't care about. I have a Flickr page. I'm on LinkedIn. I even started blogging recently (no, I don't care if anyone reads it, it's for the exercise in writing it). There's a whole lot of personal information there, and the LinkedIn profile is public (i.e. search engines spray it to the ends of the innertubes). Other things I care about, and share only with a few friends, or perhaps only my immediate family.

      I go out of my way, every single time it's used, to remind people that my mother's maiden name is a matter of public record, and an invalid way to check validity of my identity. On things that matter, I insist on a passphrase, and every now and then, I call up, try just my mother's maiden, or last four of my social, or whatever's standard with a particular company. I've close an account where, even though there was a passphrase, they honored the maiden name thing.

      I'm not afraid of reprisal near so much as of identity theft. I *used* to be concerned about appearing to speak for someone other than myself, but no longer have that concern.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Thoughts on Identity

        Originally posted by Thorn View Post
        My handle is fairly well associated with my name, and it is just a convenience. As to things that people might find "objectionable', they have the right to agree or disagree with me on a given subject. Either way, the opinions I express are mine, and I don't slink under an alias.
        Yeah, what he said!

        Searching for "theprez98" very quickly will find you my name and most anything else you wanted to know about me. Then again, I don't make it too difficult when I list my speaker name as "Firstname 'handle' Lastname".

        For me, my real name and my handle are one in the same in the sense that they're both just "me", whether you call me "theprez98" or "prez" or "Mike".
        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Thoughts on Identity

          I tend to be surprisingly strict about the policy of using my nick as opposed to my given name at things like cons, etc. While sometimes this leads to people thinking i'm either a l33tb0y-extraordinaire or an aficionado of tin foil underwear (since i take pleasure in introducing myself as "Deviant Ollam" even at suit and tie events... and respond to "yeah, ok... but what is your first name" with "just Deviant is fine" etc) my friends have by now realized that it's somewhat more of a simple convenience.

          It works like that for a number of people... noid, for example, has that on his business cards (or at least has in the past) since it's a nickname that reaches beyond the mere dates of defcon, etc. If you tell someone you're going to see "Gary" give a talk or get security advice about something from "Roy" nobody connects that particularly in their head. If you, however, say you are planning to attend "Deviant's" talk (or if a con organizer says to his or her committee of planners that they are thinking about inviting "Deviant" to show up and plan on paying all his expenses -- wink wink) folk can get a much better notion right away of what they're saying.
          "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
          - Trent Reznor

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Thoughts on Identity

            Most of my bzcards have both on them. I have been Jackalope for about 15 years and known pretty nationally, so my name is pretty much universally "Jackalope" at this point. That's fine with me, leads to fun nick names like Jlo, Lopey, etc...

            As for when I'm introducing my dj/hacker friends, I tend to let them introduce themselves just because I never know who they want to be known as. One thing I hate, though, is that I've known most of you for so long by your nicks, once I learn your real name, it's hard to call you by it!
            ======================================
            DJ Jackalope
            dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

            send in the drop bears!
            ======================================

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Thoughts on Identity

              Originally posted by yotta View Post
              As a tangent to a couple other recent threads, I'm interested in others' opinions on how they approach handling identity. On one end of the spectrum, we have people who don't believe in handles at all, and on the other we have people who have personas that are kept separated from their 'real' identity. Personally, I try to keep any association 'yotta' and [my 'real' name] to a minimum. I do this because by using an alias, I have much more freedom to discuss things that some people may find questionable. I also try to limit, in general, public availability of information about my personal life. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but I'm afraid of having things used against me.

              What approaches do you folks take?
              This is a fine, responsible, respectable question that "is worthy of response". I would be prudent otherwise, but in this case I can say I go both ways with "nicks" and "handles" depending on the credit returned. I work three forums as a second job and actually use my real full name in one as a professional security product tester/ reviewer. In another forum where I roost I use a derovative nick for "Kevin D. Mitnick". In here I use another nick that crosses the ol' madhatter (although I never dip my hats in mercury), with "greyhat" the art of hacking for both white and dark reasoning.

              When I'm paid or honored in some way when using with my real name that is what I use rather than a nick.
              Last edited by Greyhatter; April 22, 2008, 17:09.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Thoughts on Identity

                Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
                I tend to let them introduce themselves just because I never know who they want to be known as
                see... i love to use the analogy that someone made to me a while back since it's perfect. Hackers are like trannies in a way... if someone introduces themself to me as "Darlene" when i know her birth name is "Frank" then they are referred to as "Darlene" (whether or not the makeup is on, etc)

                I believe in respecting a lot however a person chooses to identify themself. I've seen people introduce and shake hands giving their nick only to get an almost immediate follow-up of "and what's your real name?"

                It's like... fuck you, douchebag. You wouldn't tell a tranny "it's nice to meet you, Cindy... By the way, what is the name you used to use back when you were acknowledging your birth gender? Still have that penis swinging between your legs? I'm just curious, you understand."

                I actually sort of adapt my own vocabulary when meeting new people, particularly at cons or other environments where people may self-identify in unconventional ways. Like Robert De Nero speaking with Jean Reno for the first time in Ronin, he chooses to ask "What do i call you?" almost in anticipation that he will be told an alias or a throw-away name. Only after the reply comes "My name is Vincent" does he know both how the other individual wants to be addressed as well as how he identifies, etc.

                Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
                One thing I hate, though, is that I've known most of you for so long by your nicks, once I learn your real name, it's hard to call you by it!
                i think that if you go by your nick almost exclusively for ages then you don't get to expect people to switch to your real nick right away if you let them know it. heh, of course that can make things a bit odd from time to time... meeting parents or other relatives, meeting co-workers who aren't at con but at the person's place later, etc. i've been called Deviant once in the bedroom, too. Wasn't expecting that but certainly enjoyed it at the time. Fangirls can be funny.
                "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                - Trent Reznor

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Thoughts on Identity

                  I weave through many different shadows of Defcon. At some they want my handle and if I state my name it is as if I am spoiling the party. In others a real name is expected and they think you a child playing make believe for using a handle.

                  Other than that, I save (and answer to) my real name when I begin to maintain a level of a relationship with an individual outside of Defcon specific. Come to my house and I will likely ask your name, but I will also likely not call you by it.

                  Then there are the folks whose real name you do not even want to know!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Thoughts on Identity

                    I tell people I'm xor but my real name is Brian. I've had a few nicks and handles which have changed over the years. My last name is always mispronounced so I don't even bother.

                    Actually my full name is not hard to find; the most basic of IT recon skills will yield it to you.

                    I picked my nick out of a book on assembler. I wanted something short, cyber, and cool. I was actually very pleasantly surprised, bordering on shocked that no one had taken it here at the Defcon forums. I also thought 3 characters would be way too short for the forum software logic to accept. It is on a lot of sites so I have to do something different on those. Usually 5 characters is the minimum.

                    I generally believe you should call people what they want to be called. I've had some pretty rotten nicknames myself over the years and never liked being called them.

                    xor

                    Ps If you do that recon and look me up, the G is silent in my last name.
                    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Thoughts on Identity

                      I tend to go by my nick during the conventions, but normally my real name once the convention is over. I tend to try to keep my convention life and my personal live separate (which usually does not work..) but if I know someone I rather them know me by my real name. Since we tend to be a rather interactive community, it is not that hard to figure out someone's name anyway.
                      Happiness is a belt-fed weapon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Thoughts on Identity

                        I've never used my nick anywhere but on boards and forums, and being that I dropped out of "the scene" for about 10 years it wouldn't surprise me to see another burncycle having popped up at some point. I'd like it if I was still the only one, but I'm not too much of a stickler about it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Thoughts on Identity

                          Originally posted by che View Post
                          I tend to go by my nick during the conventions, but normally my real name once the convention is over.
                          heh, you're in my phone as just "che"... come to think of it, i don't know if i could state your real name even if there was a cash bonus for doing so.
                          "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                          - Trent Reznor

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Thoughts on Identity

                            I'm sure anyone can figure out my real name with Google in less than a minute
                            45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
                            45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
                            [ redacted ]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Thoughts on Identity

                              When I was seven a police officer who knew my mother told her he thought I was a weird child and thought I should be referred to as a little freak. So here I am Lil_freak, I go by either my real name or handle but most folks know me just by my handle.

                              Even at work there are some that just call me Lil_freak, which can sometimes led to odd stares but I could care less. (If you know where I work you understand) Now at "business meetings" with outsiders I go by my real name only, that's whats on my business cards.
                              "It is difficult not to wonder whether that combination of elements which produces a machine for labor does not create also a soul of sorts, a dull resentful metallic will, which can rebel at times". Pearl S. Buck

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X