The Nym Wars rage on, well, some are raging, others offering an astute commentary on the whole saga.
Botgirl has certainly produced a staggering array of both witty and insightful tweets, posters and posts on the subject….. and earns a Girl Crusader badge, at least.
I first came across Botgirl’s work almost three years ago and I was interested because she had thoughts on avatar identity (as I did)…. although she tends to be more concise than me. The fact that she has involved herself in this current mess at G+ is no surprise as it is the front line in a battle for identity.
I believe we should all take this very seriously indeed, related as it is to Miso Susanowa’s work too on the Politics of Information, State of Mind, and the continuing erosion of our rights.
Recently I have started to think that this is a lot about culture, and tried to start to put some ideas on paper about this aspect of the Nym Wars. I now believe that it is a fully fledged Culture War, many wars are basically one culture trying to impose it’s moral/cultural stance on another.
Relatively soon after joining SL I remember being very offended by a Brooklyn is Watching sign and writing a mini rant about it. The rant was not very clear or concise… the sign said… Do something “here” and “you” will be watched, thought about and commented on… whatever…leave “something” “here” and it will be cronicaled [sic] on our blog.… Now, it was the speech marks, the inverted commas that drove me nuts.
One possibility is that they guy that wrote the sign was uneducated, but, more likely the use of the term …“you”… actually expressed how he felt about avatars. I doubt that he would have said …..I’ve just been speaking to my “brother” on the phone…. for example, but there was obviously a sort of unauthorised entity in the “you” he left the message for.
OK…so…this is old stuff? Well, not really, I think that a good number of people who are fighting for pseudonymity to “just go away” would also have called us “you”…..or think of us as “you”….as I rather clumsily tried to say on my previous rant, surely “you” is an oxymoron.
So we come again to this question of cultures, those of us that spend a lot of time immersed in virtual communities and with online friends do not think we have “friends” online. There is no Reality Hierachy, and that I think is the cultural difference between the Real Fools and Us.
It now seems that G+ is having internal nymwars too and seeking to resolve the issue, possibly by some people being labelled as More Authentic and others as Lesser Human, or some such device. The cultural difference will remain, however.
There is no doubt that, for some, the Other person presents a threat. They are like a Black Hole of consciousness because we cannot control what will be emitted from the Other or what they are thinking. The Other is basically beyond our control, and some people are threatened by that. The seemingly idiotic idea that we will know more by knowing more names, or specific names, or names we like, is born surely of fear…..(possibly greed).
If I am happy in myself and a reasonably balanced person, meeting humans online, however they name themselves, has to be fascinating experience and one of the reasons I pay my ISP.
Naming has mystical origins and, in adult life, we will not be named by others without our full consent.