Sunday May 13, 2007

For the Anonymous Among You

Every once in a while I do get an anonymous commentator who leaves me a comment I cannot track or parse or understand because I cannot determine anything about its authorship or authority.

In one recent comment, one such "anonymous" graces the comments section of one of my entries with the following pleasantries:

Why is this kind of twisted-logic America-bashing on Sun's blog site? Does Sun Microsystems employ lots of people like you?

Totally confused about the authorship, its authority and its intent, I wrote the following response:

Mr. or Ms. Anonymous -

Thanks for catching my typo. It should have read "extension" not "extention" ... Yes, thanks for catching it, and it shows you had the patience to read the whole thing, and thanks for that, too!

Please note what I've said loud and clear on the top left corner of my weblog, in boldface: The opinions expressed here are purely my own, and neither Sun nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

So, postulating otherwise would not only be quite silly but unreasonable.

Let me address one other point in your comment, as immediately as I can.

If I did not love the community I live in, I wouldn't even bother writing this particular entry. There are far better things to do in life. So, I have no idea what you mean by "America-bashing." Perhaps, you should explain.

As far as the rest of your comment, you don't seem to have the simple courage to say what you're saying with your own real identity, whatever that might be. Hiding behind "anonymous" only makes what you say hollow and impossible to deal with because I have no idea what kind of authority you are and what moves you to say what you're saying.

So, I'm lost [as to] what to say.

Perhaps you're trying to perfect the art of anonymous intimidation.

At least I have the courage not to hide behind "anonymous" when I say what I think.

To say that the U.S. has exercised imperial power in the world should be quite a non-controversial matter.

To say that empires tend to over-extend themselves beyond their means also carries a great deal of scholarship and authority behind it.

If you believe it [to be] otherwise, please present your facts!

And again, in closing, I refer you to the top left corner of this blog:

The opinions expressed here are purely my own, and neither Sun nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

If you think that anyone who has a job with some company should not say anything [related] to current topics and politics, I refer you to Lawrence Lessig's book Free Culture. For a relevant extract, I refer you to: "A Taboo Against Political Discourse."

As an aside, I think you might also want to consult any of the books by Zbigniew Brzezinski, where he examines the challenges to the empire from a strategic perspective. Searching for recent Zbignew Brzezinski interviews on YouTube might also produce interesting results. [I've also written about one of Brzezinski's recent comments here.]

Yours truly,
M.M.

P.S. I hope next time you write, you'll drop the "anonymous" so I may better be introduced to you and your ideas!

I do wish anonymous commentators find the courage and feel the need to say who they are, and to commit themselves to what it is they write. The least they can do is to use a consistent pen name or a consistent set of pen names and write enough tractable material (with each pen name) so that we know and can construct their position on topics of interest.

That sort of commitment is certainly missing in much of the web. See one of my earlier comments on a related topic at "Existential Phenomenology of The Internet."

There, I leave it, for now.

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