Power of using pseudonyms on the internet
One of the things I am most excited about future is the ability to work under pseudonymous identities.
What does being pseudonymous mean?
You might already know what begin anonymous means.
Being anonymous is hiding your true identity by not providing a name or any other personal information by which you could be identified.
There are many reasons to stay anonymous on the internet: safety, privacy or preference.
Pseudonymous ≠ Anonymous
Being pseudonymous is not the same as anonymous.
Being pseudonymous essentially boils down to broadcasting (posting videos, writing books, writing blog posts, making courses and others) under a false name.
Real names enable building reputation, anonymity protects the individual. Pseudonymity is the best of both worlds: it allows for someone to protect their identity as well as build their reputation on top of their pseudonym.
Why be pseudonymous?
Nowadays, social media has enabled everyone to become a public figure and a journalist. Since cancel culture is prevalent, social media mobs can go after someone they don’t like and damage their reputation.
Real names enables anyone to destroy your real reputation. Pseudonyms, on the other hand, allow you to start from scratch under a new one at any point.
Using pseudonyms is the internet equivalent of “not putting all your eggs in one basket”. It has become more important than ever to separate your real identity from your social media identity, earning identity and recreational identity. By using multiple pseudonyms, you limit the damage to any one identity.
The main idea behind pseudonymous economy is not to avoid using real names, but to have the flexibility to choose pseudonyms.
When I prepared for the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), I studied from a website called GreGmat.com. The guy who runs this website works under a pseudonym Greg Mat (cleverly named!). He records his live sessions on Zoom with some students with slides and voice narration, and curates these recordings into a structured format. It was interesting to follow a 2 month study plan made by a guy I knew nothing about. Since he is a good instructor, Gregmat has grown rapidly through word-of-mouth and the reputation he has built under the “Greg Mat” pseudonym.
I think that pseudonymity has this powerful effect that allows you to solely focus on the ideas being discussed by someone.
Pseudonymity protects ideas.
Satoshi Nakamoto invented bitcoin pseudonymously. Bitcoin itself was de-centralised, meaning it had no central authority behind it. It was a network of miners and participators who were connected to the network, like torrent networks.
If someone wanted to take down Bitcoin during its initial days, they couldn’t take the network down because it was decentralised. Their only hope would be to go after the man who invented this. But because Satoshi was using a pseudonymous identity, they couldn’t.
Originally published at https://blog.adityakarad.com.