Going way back.
I suppose that there really shouldn't be anything surprising about the fact that I've found three previous opportunities to refer to the New Yorker cartoon from 1993 that pictures two dogs in front of a computer, with one explaining to the other:
On the internet nobody knows that you're a dog
Perhaps the real question should be why it is that I've only referred to it three times. The question of identity on the internet is a central, perhaps eternal, question. It's not a question that's going to be resolved any time in the near future, and it seems as though additional aspects of that question are continually presenting themselves. The last time I referred to the cartoon, three years ago, was also within the context of expertise, though then I tried to examine whether it really matters that amateurs edit the Wikipedia. This column deals with a similar question, but from what seems to me to be a different angle - whether it matters to someone who posts material to the internet that his or her credentials are recognized by whoever finds that material.
Go to: Just who do you think you are?