Settling In

Someone has asked me why I am contributing under a pen-name, since the first thing I did was to tell the whole world who I am.

Heck, I don’t know.  I thought it would be neat to have a pen-name.  I had some vague ideas about anonymity, too.  As soon as I started blogging, though, I realized that I would not be able to resist linking to a lot of my own stuff; and in any case, friends tell me my style is unmistakable.  So I guess there wasn’t much point.

Walter has pointed out the downsides of blogging under a pen-name:

  • Reader confusion.
  • Lack of recognition for one’s work.
  • The blogosphere’s general devaluing of anonymous commentary.
  • Giving one’s opponents an opening to hint that one is hiding something.


I guess he’s right.  Having started out as Bradlaugh, though, I shall continue until some negative consequence ensues, then rethink.  It’s nice, in any case, to give a little publicity to Bradlaugh, beneath whose statue the teenage me learned to smoke cigarettes.

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4 Responses to Settling In

  1. Mesquito says:

    You can run, but you can’t hide.

    I’m thinking of adopting a pen-name, myself.

  2. Gerry Shuller says:

    What, if anything, does the secular right intend to accomplish with this blog? Given that you control no major institutions in this culture, what weapons do you have at your disposal?

    Look at Even though secular leftists have run government-run education in this country for generations, they have failed to win over the vast majority of Americans on this point.

    Can you do better with far less?

  3. Ed the Roman says:

    Actually, John, I knew it was you from the style.

    I’m one of your (religious) NRO correspondents, but I use a nom de blog since my real name is, ahh, distinctive.

  4. jonathanjones02 says:

    I’m a fan, Mr. Derbyshire, and one who believes that Internet pen names are lame. I hope you come out into the sunshine.

    And as a practicing Catholic who likes secular and more scientific arguments, I am happy this website exists.

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