No, this page still doesn’t tell you who I am. I am still a low-level civil servant who reads reports. I still do not represent my employer on this blog, not one little bit. I still only comment on what I see in the public record, in reports, presentations and the news. I am grateful to Aquafornia for ceaseless work sorting and presenting information to those of us who are fascinated by California water, and for protecting my identity.
Here’s a list of the readings that have influenced me, to which I must add For the Common Good, by Daly and Cobb. It should be on all of your shelves.
I’ve been challenged for blogging anonymously. I don’t consider myself an anonymous blogger, although I don’t condemn that either. I am pseudonymous, distinct from the other anonymice. OtPR is a stable identity, here and in the comments of other water blogs. It has been two years now. OtPR has a reputation to uphold, one I value and protect.
I started blogging pseudonymously because I don’t want to mix my professional and blogging worlds. It turns out I love blogging pseudonymously, primarily for a reason I didn’t expect. I love that my words stand on their own. They can’t be weighted by an academic pedigree nor dismissed as the obvious thing someone of my background would say. They aren’t shaded by what I am like in person, my age or my clothes or an accent or look. They must be considered alone.
I like being in the water profession distinct from OtPR. I write about public disputes and widely known people from afar, and want to keep it that way. In person, in public meetings with influential people, I sit quietly and watch. I don’t have to say anything. I can make my thoughts known should I want to. I don’t want to meet the influential names in the field nor sit in important meetings. If I met them, I would probably like them and lose my ability to call them terrible things. We all know how important that is to me. Keeping the two separate is very grounding. When OtPR has posted some provocative piece and is getting attention, I can go to work and be reminded that blog controversy is very different from real life, where no one cares. It does get a little lonely. I have never once heard OtPR mentioned in real life (even if someone reads it, how would he know to mention that to me?), which can make blogging a bit like throwing stones into a quiet lake.
I’ll be outed one day. It is inevitable. When I am, you guys will realize that knowing OtPR will tell you more about some bureaucrat with a name than knowing my name will tell you about OtPR. I will keep blogging, I expect. I don’t think I can stop. It will be less pleasant, but if I don’t blog, I have to think all these thoughts by myself. I am always grateful that people read this blog. Writing for others, thinking in public, is one of those privileges that very quickly starts to feel like a need. Talking about water very quickly, with allusions to current events, is another rare treat. I need you for both of those and I don’t forget it.
Finally, I have gotten roundabout word that there are people out there who want to meet me. I can’t think why, but if you have some pressing reason to interact with me, you should email. It isn’t terribly mysterious. I check that email and write back.
Onthepublicrecord @ gmail.com