Friday, September 08, 2006

the game of the name

every now and then someone pops up in my inbox to say hi. to say "this is my take on what you've written". or maybe "thought this link was up your alley". or sometimes to find out where i am and what im upto, or maybe even something personal from their lives. (of course i get my share of hate mails as well for saying some things - typically like the wikipedia affair!)

for the most part, it warms my heart. i think its very sweet of them to take the effort. we start swapping mails arguing about something, bouncing ideas around, eventually just talking and becoming friends. im really glad to have met some of them : they make my world an infinitely more interesting, more alive place.

especially since instant messaging, and google hooking up all its services, the dynamics of interaction have changed so much - when we talk, we talk like we already know each other, not as the random strangers we are. its very nice that we dont have to do the initial polite conversation dance, and that we each (usually) have a reasonably good idea of the essence of the person after having read their blog.

recently i had a misunderstanding with someone who came to know my name, and was very hurt that it wasnt from me. so i got to thinking about this huge hang-up with names that so many people seem to have.

i've not met many of you. while i refuse to share the intelligence agency belief that all criminals use blogger, gtalk and gmail, i am a little wary about my privacy and how much information i disclose! that should be obvious from (if nothing else!) the fact that i post as "m.", that i dont ever put up a photograph of myself here.

i think we've each a right to that - a right to the degree of anonymity we are comfortable maintaining, the walls we operate from behind, the sort of details to tell and to withhold. i dont mind being asked my name directly - several people have. i just mind their regarding it as their prerogative to be told even when ive explained that id rather not. its a comfort thing really, and is no reflection on the person's decency, manners or anything of the sort.

however this whole thing has started me thinking on the politics of the thing. another post follows shortly here.

my life



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