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Personal Identities

I'd have to say that some people (not only on this list) are over 
reacting to the threats incurred with the question of identity on the 
internet.  I certainly have never had any problem with telling people on 
the net exactly who I am, I have nothing to hide.  As far as children 
are concerned, your kid is safer cruising the net IMHO then they are 
when they leave your house.  Not to say that you shouldn't take some 
precaution, but let's not smother the poor kids...  You might think of 
the internet as your typical urban area, it has its good and bad areas.  
You wouldn't want your kid at some porn site for example, and there are 
a lot of sickos out there too, but they are more likely to have access 
to your kids outside your home.  USENET groups are a bit more 
questionable than forums such as this one.  When you post to 
rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants for example, you're much more likely to 
become the victim of a SPAM-BOT than you are here.  I'd say that this 
group and other list-serv groups like it, that can be moderated, are a 
lot more safe than you may think.  
Knowing who you're talking to really does have an effect on how or 
whether you answer them.  I'm sure that Karen Randall has completely 
different standards for what she uses in her AFM articles than what we 
have here, but someone who hides their identity makes me question the 
veracity of the info given.  Everything you read on the internet should 
be viewed critically; with the proverbial 'grain of salt'.  However, for 
someone who hides their identity (for whatever reason) you might want to 
view with more skepticism.  How can we believe that you really have lush 
growth of your plants with hardly any light or anything else when we 
don't know who your are?  Could be a troll...
Having said that, addresses and phone numbers are better traded in 
direct e-mail.  I'll often say that I live in Boston, for example, when 
I really live in a suburb close to the city (Medford), for simplicity 
rather than shiftyness.  If someone wants more info they can e-mail me 
directly.  It will be a nice improvement when we get to the point that 
information posted here will be backed up with photos, but for the most 
part we rely on a person's spoken word.  But then we don't know if the 
person posting great info on a new lighting method or species of plant 
is real, even if they use a name...
Peter Davis

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