French blogger & philosopher Philippe Lemoine has a Twitter thread arguing for using real names online, which has excited some vigorous discussions and counter-arguments:
My own two cents are that both approaches are fine, depending on personal circumstances.
I don’t regret “self-doxing” a few months after I started blogging in January 2008. I’m fine with that, though I acknowledge that if I’d remained in the US, I might well have had big problems by now. (Though OTOH I probably would have had problems regardless; were I in academia or the corporate sector, I just do not think I would have had the restraint to keep my mouth shut on the BLM cult, etc). Besides, when you get to a certain level of prominence in punditry, keeping the two lives entirely separate becomes very hard and de-anonymization converges to inevitability (as even Scott Alexander may soon regrettably find out).
There’s a couple more considerations which I haven’t seen made much.
(1) In many European cultures, even woke ones like Sweden, it is still taboo to make family political differences public (at least according to commenter Swedish Family). This is expressly not the case in the Anglosphere, where there are many cases of daughters denouncing fathers, and parents, sons – and being celebrated for it. So I think the potential costs of self-doxing in Europe are lower than in the country founded by Puritans.
Though of course it’s hard to see into the future, especially sociologically. I hope that events in the West scare off Russians in a “reactionary” direction (much like how Europeans and Americans themselves became much more anti-Communist in the wake of the Russian Revolution). But these hopes may be misfounded, and perhaps SJWism and Cultural Marxism will triumph in Russia as well in a decade or two. In which case I’ll be screwed either which way.
(2) The Arrow of Technology is such that privacy will become impossible in principle within just a few more years, thanks to the combo of proliferating textual and photographic data across the Web + data scraping + machine learning/facial recognition. This isn’t one of those hypothetical “futurism” things, it’s a mature, ready to use technology (e.g. see my post on Clearview AI) that is already being adopted by police forces across the country. It is only a matter of time before analogous “solutions” seep into the corporate world (Woke Capital), or eventually any basement SJW (https://akarlin.com/ratwiki/).
As usual, the central problem is one of power, and who gets to wield it.