Paul is a pretty obvious guy. No one is going to see him and think he is an actuary. That is not the case for most of us, we can easily blend in to the surrounding culture, have normie jobs and normie families and pass as normies. Most of us are not covered in tats and riding motorcycles. There is something to be said for that. For now.
I am not here to tell anyone else how to present themselves to the world. Each of us has to make that decision for themselves and with an eye for how it effects their family and friends, their career and their social standing. Many of the most prolific voices on social media from Gab and Telegram to Youtube and Twitter use pseudonyms, something with a long history in this country back to the founding of the nation. Periodically one will get doxxed and usually their voice seems to go silent.
When I left the corporate world for health reasons in 2014, I was still a corporate drone in good standing. I could have found a new job in some new office somewhere doing some new meaningless bullshit. While I am sure that my old blog torpedoed some job opportunities for me because of saying naughty things about gays and women in the church, it wasn't that offensive. Writing under my real name back in 2016 was a little spooky, things were changing rapidly that year with the election cycle and my eyes were opening up to what I had known all along. I found that I could no longer pretend that what experience had taught me for decades was not really true.
So in November 2016 I started a new blog, using a different profile and an anonymous pseudonym and with a super cringey blog name. I wrote a post titled Welcome and some thoughts on anonymity on the internet and said this:
In general I have never been a fan of anonymous posting on the internet. My position is that if you believe in what you are saying, you should have the courage of conviction to stand behind it publicly. If you are unwilling to say who you are when you say something, maybe you ought not say it. So it bothers me to be putting my opinions and rantings out for public dissemination while seeming to hide behind a pseudonym.It would be nice to be able to write whatever one wants without concern over retaliation. That isn’t the world we live in. If I were a single guy, a loner with no one to hurt and nothing to lose, it wouldn’t matter much but thankfully I am not. Quite the contrary, I have a wife of many years. a household full of kids and a job. While I don’t think my job would be impacted by using my real name, you never can tell in this world. I am quite certain that writing what I plan on writing using my real name would lead to all manner of threats, harassment and even outright harm to my family. You can do whatever you want to me but I don’t see the value in dragging my kids and wife into the fray. When they get out on their own they can do what they want but while they are in my home their safety and well-being is my top priority and my calling as a father. You might see that as a cop-out or hypocritical. That is your call.So that leaves me with three options. One is to use my real name and take my chances. As stated above that isn’t feasible or prudent for family reasons. Two is to just keep my opinions to myself and that isn’t palatable given the state of the world in general and America in particular. So that leaves me with this compromise. Maybe someday that will change but given the trajectory of the U.S. I really doubt it.
That blog was spur of the moment and not well thought out, and short lived. Even my wife was giving me some well deserved grief over the blog name so after a few months of sporadic posting I started a new blog in June of 2017 called "Ourselves And Our Posterity", an obvious reference to the Preamble to The Constitution. The new blog was also under a pseudonym and I also was continuing to blog on original site using my real name. I put out 57 posts in 2017 on the new blog (that no one read) and another 132 on my original blog.
Things took another turn in 2018 driven primarily by a significant religious shift when I walked away from organized religion entirely. It seemed to make sense to shut down my original blog where I had been posting since 2004, posts that were deeply entwined with my former Christian faith. When I started this blog in April of 2018 I knew I was going to take on some of the forbidden topics but some things had changed. I was pretty secure in being self-employed and couldn't imagine going back into the corporate workforce and my kids were older. With that in mind I made the decision to blog whatever the hell I wanted to and do so under my real name. I am an easy person to find, my name combination is unique in the world and even an internet neophyte can figure out who I am without any effort at all.
My practice for the last couple of years is to archive my posts as soon as they are published while slowly going back to archive older posts. That should preserve my old stuff if my site is nuked but it also means that the path back to normie corporate America is now shut down forever. I am OK with that. Having been liberated from that setting for a number of years, the idea now of going to some soul-crushing job doing meaningless busy work, no matter how good the benefits, makes my skin crawl.
That provides me with a certain amount of freedom that others don't have. The only thing They hold over my head for now is killing my site, otherwise I am pretty immune to Their standard intimidation tactics.
Again, I am not here to tell you how to live your life and more specifically how to present yourself to the world via social media. I am saying that the space for being a tourist in the struggle is narrowing quickly. No one is truly anonymous on the internet, not even using a pseudonym behind a VPN. It would be wise now to figure out how to stand for what is right and true even if that means finding new ways to support yourself and even if that means severing relationships. It will come down to that. Better to figure it out ahead of time than to react once it has already happened.