aka Murdoc

Anonymous vs. Pseudonymous

Michael Williams has a good quick post on the difference between anonymous and pseudonymous writing.

“Murdoc” is not my real name. I took the name from the character Murdoc Jern in the Andre Norton sci-fi series about the Zero Stone and also from the character in the A-Team (whose picture currently adorns my masthead) although his name is spelled Murdock. (Murdock liked planes and was clinically insane. For some reason, classmates in school thought that I reminded them of him, and my nickname was given to me.)

Murdoch is is also a common spelling for the name.

I use the pseudonym because I can maintain a certain amount of privacy for myself and also to shield family members from the shame that they would surely be subject to if my secret leaked.

(Remind me not to speak out about the whole yellowcake thing.)

I always ID myself as Murdoc when online unless dealing directly with personal friends or family, or if my true ID is needed for financial or other “official” reason.

I never use a different name when commenting on other sites, nor do I comment anonymously. I stand by what I say, and I don’t have a problem if others can see what I post. In fact, that’s a benefit to being consistent.

That’s all. Murdoc out.


  1. The internet allows people to say anything they want, without any concept of being held responsible for it, as they could be if they were in the same room as the person they were talking to. I have always held that this is both the internet’s greatest strength, and at the same time, its greatest weakness. Ideas come forth that could never otherwise come forth. (i.e. free speech rights in China) People also say stupid/annoying/hateful and otherwise indefensible things that they would NEVER say if you were in a real situation where they might have to actual explain or defend themselves. These are the people that are the gating factor on the usefulness of the internet.

  2. cool. i loved that book when i was younger, and have never been able to get my boys to read it. probably should have read it to them when they were young enough to sit still for that kind of stuff. and besides that, i like the ideas you’re describing. it’s one reason i did not agree with andrew sullivan’s recent criticism of atrios on the ‘anonymous’ issue (though i did agree with him on atrios’ resistance to criticizing anyone on the left of any issue) chris (my real name :)