artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


15 July 2005

Are we not we? We are mechanisms! Are we ourselves, or our usernames? If someone else signs on as us, are they taking us over and becoming us, or are they someone else wearing our skin?[More:]If, say, I give an account to a friend, and never use it again, folks who are paying close attention might register a personality change, but that's it. So does responsibility for what I've said in the past through this hypothetical account lie with the new user? If someone gets hold of my login, are they my username now? It's like Invasion of the Body Snatchers! There are loads of other corollary q's and a's that go along with this, but my brain is beginning to mushroom out of my ears.
I'm working under the assumption the "start a new thread, Janus" was meant seriously, and not a way of saying, "take your meaty questions elsewhere, this is a thread about blahblahblah."

If I've misinterpreted, feel free to ax this blather.
posted by Hugh Janus 15 July | 11:11
god i love that geezer
you belong to me
posted by ethylene 15 July | 11:15
Nicely done dodgygeezer.

I think you're overthinking the problem here. Just to confuse you more, replace the concept of shared online identity with that of a company or organisation.
posted by seanyboy 15 July | 11:21
In fact, does metachat itself have a personality, and does responsibility for the actions of one member lie with all members.
posted by seanyboy 15 July | 11:24
Oh, I see, try to push all the thinking onto me. Can't you see my brain is mushrooming out of my ears? I can't even keep my hat on to dance!
posted by Hugh Janus 15 July | 11:24
And what about the universe man. It's like you could touch out and influence it, and is that like I am the universe, and in a way are we all like god, or are we all a part of god.
posted by seanyboy 15 July | 11:24
i think for some people, they identify aspects of their personality or exaberate them for each particular name, not unlike seanyboy's analogy. some people use "office voice" at work, and in one instance i thought someone alwasy just talked with this baby voice until i called them at work.
also, the ethylene here is probably the most genuine ethylene in ages, not that i have ever lied on any meta or filter
posted by ethylene 15 July | 11:25
* nice gear man * Pass the bong *


whaoooah - pretty colours.,
posted by seanyboy 15 July | 11:25
Gold. We are all a pot of gold.

The lights go down on a California town...
posted by Hugh Janus 15 July | 11:26
Dude, what if people were actually pieces of gold, and someone used you to buy something you disagreed in. Who's fault would it be man? Who's fault?
posted by seanyboy 15 July | 11:29
omigod, go listen to some they might be giants
are you the shelf they left you on?
posted by ethylene 15 July | 11:31
I love the word "gear." Nobody uses it over here. Except to refer to stuff that isn't the kind of gear you're talking about.

I refer to my username by name, as in, "Today, Hugh Janus posted a silly picture."

On preview, I'm not going to play the blame game here. Ha!
posted by Hugh Janus 15 July | 11:36
I love the word "gear."

"Hello, this is the famous Ringo. Gear, Fab."
posted by jonmc 15 July | 11:40
it begs the question: are you your user name, Hugh?
posted by ethylene 15 July | 11:40
But can't I be both me and we?
posted by Frisbee Girl 15 July | 11:41
i don't know about you but i need to change
posted by ethylene 15 July | 11:42
Butt of course, ethylene.
posted by Hugh Janus 15 July | 11:44
There is only one Specklet.
posted by Specklet 15 July | 11:48
My brain hurts.
posted by gaspode 15 July | 11:50
This thread is giving me flashbacks to the early 70's.

*sees trails*

I thought the whole point to the internets was that nobody knew you were a dog (or a bunny with pancakes on its head.)
posted by warbaby 15 July | 11:51
I thought the whole point of the internets was the Hasselhoffian recursion.
posted by Hugh Janus 15 July | 11:57
I'm still p*ssed off that I had to abandon my low-number 5-digit Slashdot account because of an occasion when, whilst very drunk, I mega-flamed some loser and ended up being cyber-stalked. I now have a low-numbers 6-digit account, but it's not the same. Not the same at all. Sniff.

Don't post drunk, kids.
posted by veedubya 15 July | 12:05
Posting sober gets you in trouble, too, my friend.
posted by Frisbee Girl 15 July | 12:13
I abandoned a low 4-digit meffy account because I believed I'd gradually poisoned my own inkwell, and that the taint of what I'd done would stick with me. It wasn't that I'd used up my goodwill with others; my username had used up his goodwill with me. It was time to move on.
posted by Hugh Janus 15 July | 12:17
How am i not myself?
posted by Schyler523 15 July | 12:20
posted by safetyfork 15 July | 12:50
Well, you're not you when I'm you. But we is exponentially more complicated.
posted by Frisbee Girl 15 July | 12:55
Q: Are we not we?
A: We are Devo!
posted by carter 15 July | 13:55
That's right, we are, though I kind of pussied out on the "Are we not men" line in the title. But I wanted to be non-sexist and inclusive, so I butchered the reference and went with "we." Then I went and used the verb "to pussy out" in this very comment, negating all that I worked so hard to achieve. Such is life.
posted by Hugh Janus 15 July | 14:14
We are mechanisms.

I think the solution to the problem is to think of usernames as puppets. The internet is one big puppet theater in which everyone participates through their puppet, and that is all they can see.
posted by invitapriore 15 July | 14:32
"The internet is one big puppet theater" was Brenda Laurel's less successful follow-up.
posted by safetyfork 15 July | 15:05
we we we all the way home...
posted by warbaby 15 July | 15:05
Well, I am more than the sum of my usernames. Of course we will only find that out if I get tossed out of the Blue on my ear again. ;-)
posted by bunnyfire 15 July | 15:13
Well, I'm more than the sum of my user names, but I wouldn't say that I am other than my user names. I bring the same person/personality to the screen that I do to a face to face interaction. Hugs are harder electronically, but that's about the only difference. It seems as though it would take far too much energy to maintain multiple facades.
posted by Frisbee Girl 15 July | 15:24
I gave my password out on IRC || Warning * SPOILERS INSIDE * Warning