Friday, 27 November 2009


We all use slightly loaded words to help convey a message or, as Noam Chomsky calls it, “manufacture consent”, and I do need to explain more fully my concern over the use of the word integrity in connection with the question of whether or not one decides to disclose RL names and circumstances of SL avatars (other worlds are available).

Botgirl’s words “Public pseudonymity IS compatible with the quest to live with integrity” started me on this particular path as I posted previously and thank you for your comments.....

The implication that integrity is increased through disclosure (not only here but in other recent postings by others) is the lie disguised as truth that I want to disagree with the most strongly.

The logical extrapolation being.... that publishing my photo, address and details of my breakfast makes me a more moral being.

Integrity, whether in relation to the Self, or to a piece or art like me, Soror, is the same, viz.. “ Integrity as a concept has to do with perceived consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcome.”
If I decide to create an avatar in a VW I move into a new context. The integrity of that creation is compromised when my decisions and actions are taken out of context. That means, quite simply, that there is less integrity in an avatar that has been linked to a RL personality.

If the RL person is under the delusion that that increases their integrity, hmmm, well...interesting to ask why..

An anonymous commentator I thought to be particularly interesting in this discussion as it sort of justifies my concern. He (that may be a sexist assumption) demanded that I “come clean” and the assumption is obviously that pseudonymity is a dirty state of existence, transparency being morally commendable.

I think there is an underlying paranoia which has to do with the unknown. Jung was fascinated by the alchemists as he saw speculation about the unknown to be a near perfect state of ‘transference”., i.e. the individual transfers his fears and hopes onto the unknowable (for example, the future; in the case of the alchemists, matter) and in so doing reveals his/her psyche.

“We know what power you'd like too, but we're onto you now.;)” Well,this is pure transference. [My particular plans for world domination through the planting of flowers is not going so well that it warrants studying by a committee (unless “we” refers to the Royal pronoun and it is Prince Charles who is writing..)].... but this feeling of being watched by person or persons unknown, which is a short hop from religion and schizophrenia, is maybe a driving factor behind this particular persons fanaticism.

Now, it is not the fault of Islam that there are some fanatics who take extreme action, no more than it is any one particular person who is at fault for this disclosure fanaticism, but....I think it is time to stop spreading the idea that disclosure is more honourable.

...and I hope Lalo Telling won’t mind that I post these wise words as a ‘final word’....

“I think (to paraphrase Botgirl's blog post) we are ready to move past the navel-gazing stage of "Am I my avatar; is my avatar me?" and accept that the answer is "Yes." Names don't matter. Words and actions do, so let's look at how -- and why -- our presence in the Metaverse expresses us, how it changes us, how we change it, and what we want to do with that.”




  1. This is a really interesting thread! I agree with you that there is no certain relationship between disclosure and integrity. When I think of integrity, it's usually not in terms of something I do for others, but rather being true to myself. And when it comes to pseudonymity, I don't thing the idea of integrity would imply any particular choice.

    I do think that personal disclosure does have an impact on intimacy in relationships. But by personal disclosure, I don't mean the "facts" about one's personally identifying details, but rather the substance of our hearts. And many people have shared with me that pseudonymity helps them share parts of themselves with others that they have seldom, if ever, been able to share otherwise.

    That said, I would hope that by learning to share oneself within the perceived safety of pseudonymity, one would eventually be able to leverage those experiences to be able to share more deeply in non-pseudonymous relationships.

  2. yes, I would agree with that completely.

    I have still to do a more comprehensive post on the particular therapeutic nature of VWs which I have touched upon on occasion.

    I believe the real, enduring value of VWs will be in this healing realm rather than in a poor copy of RL, but time may or may not prove me wrong.

  3. While researching my next blog entry (with luck, to be posted today), I discovered a quote from Oscar Wilde:

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

    - - - - - - - - - -
    Isn't it wonderfully ironic, if not vindicating, to think that the same people who are derided for wasting time in places like SL may become more socially adept, through their lives as avatars, than their "meatspace-only" counterparts?

  4. Yes, I am totally convinced that this is the case.

  5. btw, I did get that new entry posted: