We had a long conversation a few weeks ago about whether people on Ricochet should have pseudonymous handles, or whether full disclosure requires us to use our real names. I, for one, understand why some want to remain anonymous (work, relatives, bill collectors, and on and on).
What I'd like to know is why you chose your handle and what it means (I'm talking to you Western Chauvinist, Sawatdeeka, Fredosphere, Mama Toad, FreeWifiDuringSermon, Crow's Nest, and Pseudodyonisius--and many others). [Natalie and Fred Cole: I think you're exempt from this one; unless, of course, you're trying to fake us out with a name that appears to be the real one].
I'll go first. I really don't care if people know my real name (Ted Smith), but I like my handle. The symbolism of a blank slate can cut both ways (Am I conceding my stupidity? Or am I touting my willingness to learn new things despite my advanced age?) You be the judge. I also like the irony of my avatar: a blank slate that isn't really blank because it has "blank slate" written on it. Actually, I chose my handle for the most mundane of reasons: because I like Latin phases and that one sounded cool (when you go through life named "Ted Smith," you yearn for something a bit jazzier).
Finally, as I pointed out a week or so ago, I got a direct shout-out from Charles Krauthammer. This was a feature of my handle that was completely unintended. [Yes, I am trying to get you to link to my personal Dr. K shout-out: I'd like to extend my 15 minutes of fame another 15 minutes].
And, by the way, I'm reading a book by the great English social commentator Theodore Dalrymple entitled Second Opinion. Lo and behold, I ran into this sentence (Dalrymple was criticizing the English education system):
“[S]chools round here leave the tabula of the human mind strictly rasa.”
So, two shout-outs in as many weeks (we'll ignore the fact that Dalrymple actually wrote his book in 2006). What's keeping George Will from entering the fray?
So, even if you have a less famous, less "elite" handle than mine, tell us why you chose it and what it means.