In a recent posting Vox Day notes that the ability to dox effective opponents of the leftist narrative has reached a point that anonymity, even moderately strong steps, can no longer be considered effective to protect oneself from blowback if your lifestyle is not antifragile. In the comments he notes:
There is nothing veiled about it. The situation changes. 10 years ago, it was possible to remain anonymous. These days, it is almost impossible to do so, not only due to social media, but the way in which governments and corporations are gathering data.
These days, it’s very, very easy to slip up and drop a clue, but even if you perfectly manage your own behavior, a personal friend might put a picture on Facebook, a trusted colleague might get angry and betray you, or hackers might obtain access to your Apple or Yahoo account.
What was reasonable a few years ago is no longer viable.
I guess you couldn’t have spelled it out any more clearly, but does this mean I should give up trolling anonymously?
If you aren’t willing to pay the price of being outed, yes. The only thing presently protecting you is your irrelevance. If you become effective, they will focus on finding out who you are.
If you genuinely have no reason to care about being outed, then you’re fine.
In all things, given the lock that Google, Facebook (which I basically don’t use), etc. have on online life and access, if one is effective enough, or gets noticed by / irritates the wrong person, someone will have the resources to track you down.
My own situation is only moderately antifragile. I mention “liberal” people I know a lot, and that is because while my overall state is red, the area I’m in and its environs are solidly blue, if not overwhelmingly. Unfortunately, most of the red crowd are very blue pill – and nearly just as loudly point and shriek at accusations of racism, sexism, whatever as any SJW pointing the way for them. That said – while I’d almost be guaranteed to lose a significant number of clients if someone contacted them, I’d still be employed, and have means to get by until I could rebuild.
I’m strongly enough covered that no-one from my immediate life stumbling into this is likely to recognize who I am from personal details. The backtrail for phone and email leads to dead ends – protonmail is awesome. There’s actually a stronger chance that someone I know who’s pointed to this page may recognize arguments that I made, or my mode of speech – but that has more plausible deniability, and does require that someone here that I know and have talked philosophy or politics with has seen these pages and makes the connection. In accessing sites such as disqus, blogger, wordpress, I’m logged in under one of two VPN services from any of five different geographical areas. Passwords are very long, and stored in a local, further encrypted archive.
In short, until I piss off and come to the attention of someone who can correlate connections from twitter, google, etc. back through VPN’s and TOR or obtain what should be personal info out of those accounts – which are unlikely to be hacked by normal means, and don’t lead to accounts with my name on it – I’m safe.
At that point, all bets are off.
So I’m faced with a choice. I’m not committing yet. On one hand I won’t say “I will never let this blog and persona to be great or effective” and duck my head. I may not reach greatness, but I certainly don’t want to aim for mediocrity. And I’m probably in little danger of coming to the level of scrutiny in the next year that would make me shut down these accounts before I meet my goal of a full year of daily (m-f) activity.
That said, brand. If I wish to not only survive exposure, but to do well regardless, I need to develop scalable, antifragile sources of income. That means finding a way to put myself out there in a recognizable way that people can get back to and work with me, to connect with people, that there’s a discoverable footprint associated with me, online or in the real world, linked to my name, to my bank accounts, and so forth. I may not have to draw the curtain back and publicly associate my name with my thoughts here, but some aspects will have to be in my name, and time spent on that will be time I can’t spend here.
It’s not time to choose yet, but it is certainly time to begin operating in the knowledge that a choice will need to be made.