When I initially connected to BigThink, I observed a variety of internationally famous people, as well as professionally significant people who are not quite so generally recognized, putting their faces and their words out for all and sundry. While I do not always agree with all of their views and comments, I have been inspired to participate and contribute in my own fashion - with my own name and face attached.
Both philosophy and science (and their respective derivatives and integrations) require rigor to be convincing and acceptable within their purpose. Accountability for that rigor lies upon the individual.
So my disappointment lies in the fact that there are contributors and commentors here who, for whatever reason, instead of representing themselves for who they are, hide behind fictitious and sometimes ridiculous names and less-than-humourous avatars, as if this were the friends-only blog of a fifteen year old.
Half of the challenge of open discourse is sticking your face (or neck, as the case may be) out and letting it rip. You and I both know that the chap standing in front of the tanks in Tienanmen Square was know to those in power. I joined this forum to contribute in an honest (and, I hope, challenging) way; I have done so, with what thoughts and resources I have; if I find out that anyone I know personally is taking the halloween-mask route, they will get a bit of excoriation from me.
Yes, I know about the concept of free speech in American and other libertarian countries; the editorial pages of newspapers and magazines around the world abound with people espousing an opinion. And I don't know any reputable publication that prints such editorials without an actual name attached; I don't expect to see 'firstname.lastname@example.org' as a signature on an editorial.
I would challenge those who hide to come out - 'olly-olly-ox-in-free!'