Why I’m Publishing Under the Numeric Citizen Nom de Plume?

This article was previously published on HEY World.

Someone once asked me: “why are you calling yourself ‘numeric citizen’ online?” I was caught off-guard because this name was chosen instinctively, without much thought.

When I came back to blogging in 2018, after a few years of hiatus, I wanted to use a pseudonym that would endure time, be unique, and related to the cyberspace world. I knew my writings would be mostly about numeric things like photography processing, numeric technologies, data privacy protection. So, I went ahead and settled on “Numeric Citizen”. That being said, in retrospect, I reflected on my choice and did some search online to see how good my choice is. Here is what I found.

First, consider the “Nom de plume” definition and origin. This French expression refers to a pen name, a pseudonym. In certain countries, a while ago, women had to use pseudonyms because it wasn’t well regarded for women to write and publish novels for example. This was horrible. But today, as a man, why use a pseudonym? Let’s continue with some research.

  • Numeric”: the opposite of being analogue, in the real world.
  • Citizen”: being part of a community,  an inhabitant of a particular town or city… or cyberspace.
  • Cyberspace”: the notional environment in which communication over computer networks occurs.

I like the notion of existing numerically, besides having a real like, in the real world. Prolific content creators like online writers, bloggers, over time, create a corpus of content that goes beyond their own self. This corpus lives in cyberspace and is consumed in cyberspace. This relationship of the creator and its content, often influenced by what can be found in cyberspace is similar to being just a citizen, in real life, hence my pseudonym.

Why not use Digital Citizen instead?
I could have used Digital citizen but there would have been domain name conflict (see http://www.digitalcitizen.com/ which is already taken). Searching in Google returns interesting things, though, while doing the same search with “numeric citizen” returns close to nothing. I like this uniqueness!

When applied to things like: “Numeric Citizen's Digital garden”, these words fit perfectly together. They suggest mental images that I really like.

The numeric world is so fascinating and takes a big part of our lives, our societies. Today, it seems the numeric world is where everything is happening; the real world is a simple reflection of the numeric world, a consequence of it.

About this banner
This banner was found on Unsplash and is inspired by the movie “The Matrix”. This science-fiction movie story is happening mostly in cyberspace.

“When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth--the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.”

The film describes a future in which reality perceived by humans is actually the Matrix, a simulated reality created by sentient machines in order to pacify and subdue the human population while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Upon learning this, computer programmer "Neo" is drawn into a rebellion against the machines.

I made a few changes to this background and use it in many different places. It’s part of my “branding” if you will. You can find it in my 2021 version of my avatar background for example, as shown below.

So, now you know why I’m publishing under the “nom de plume” Numeric Citizen. Questions? Comments?