[Jonathan H. Adler, May 1, 2006 at 10:31am] Trackbacks
I Was Juan Non-Volokh:

As most readers have surmised by now, I was Juan Non-Volokh. I explained my decision to blog under the JNoV pseudonym at the beginning and at greater length in my last post as Juan. As I noted in the latter post, the concerns that prompted my use of a pseudonym were never exclusively (if even primarily) ideological. Nonetheless, I would agree with those who think I was overcautious. My colleagues at Case voted unanimously to grant me tenure this year. However things may have looked in 2002, I have no reason to believe the outcome would have been any different had I contributed to the VC under my own name. In any event, I hope VC readers have enjoyed my posts as Juan, and that you all find my future posts on this site worthwhile as well.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. I Was Juan Non-Volokh:
  2. Who Is Juan Non-Volokh?
Welcome Professor Adler (or should I say, welcome Professor Adler qua Professor Adler)!
5.1.2006 11:53am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Welcome out of the closet, although I must say that I far more enjoyed your writings under your real name than anything you wrote as JNV.
5.1.2006 11:57am
Prof. Adler: Something that came up in the other thread was the curiosity that you took up blogging at Southern Appeal, Bench Memos, etc., while still keeping up the JNoV persona here at VC. Did those ventures lead you to consider revealing yourself here as well?
5.1.2006 12:23pm
I can NEVER forgive you for posting under an alias! Only a coward would do that!


Hoosier Guy
5.1.2006 12:26pm
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
Rex --

It's a little more complicated than that. I had been a contributor to NRO (including ocasional Corner posts) before I became an academic and before Eugene asked me to join the VC. At the time, I largely confined my writing on NRO to issues on which I already had a track record prior to entering academia. As I've noted before, I was concerned that some might think that my pre-existing political interests and commitments would compromise my success as a an academic. Over time, as I published more academic articles and received positive feedback from my colleagues about my writing, teaching, and the like, I gradually expanded my horizons -- blogging about judicial nominations on NRO, guest-blogging at Southern Appeal, blogging on The Commons, writing WSJ op-eds, etc. WIth each step, the case for retaining the JNoV personna diminished. I also became increasingly frustrated about my inability to blog more substantively about my research interests while retaining the pseudonym. The question then became when to give it up. I almost did so several times in the past two years, in part because I did not think it was much of a secret anymore, but was discouraged from doing so by friends and colleagues who (in an overabundance of caution) thought I should wait until tenure -- and I did. Had I to do it all over again, I am not sure I would have adopted the pseudonym in the first place, and I doubt I would have maintained it for as long (4 years) as I did.

5.1.2006 12:42pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Considering the problems many others have had, and how little we all knew about this blogging thing, back in 2002, I think your caution was well-founded. Congratz.
5.1.2006 12:44pm
Prof. Adler, a number of people are curious in retrospect about the whole Brian Leiter affair, since it seems there wouldn't have been any particular consequences if you had been outed at that time. Were you simply sticking up for the general right to be anonymous? Your thoughts are appreciated.
5.1.2006 1:00pm
Pete Freans (mail):
I wonder if bloggers who use their own names risk being "unconfirmable"? i.e. SCOTUS, Fed. bench, cabinet postions, etc. Of course one should always use caution before firing-off commentary that isn't well-thought out. Blog-trails are easily discoverable and I suspect vunerable to wild misinterpretations for ulterior motives. I'll stick to my pseudonym, thank you.
5.1.2006 1:03pm
Rats. Unwelcome evidence that there is no god.
5.1.2006 1:23pm
DJ (mail):
I still think it's Michelle Boardman.
5.1.2006 1:35pm
I can NEVER forgive you for failing to recruit a replacement! Only someone intent on destroying the Volokh Conspiracy would do that.
5.1.2006 1:41pm
Silicon Valley Jim:
Happy that you can shed the cloak of anonymity, and happy that you've been granted the tenure that you undoubtedly earned.
5.1.2006 1:44pm
Eh Nonymous (mail) (www):
Does this mean Prof. A. hasn't been adopted by the Volokhses?

Will students be referring to you now as Prof. NOV?

*I* am Spartacus.

And I'm with Hoosier guy.
5.1.2006 2:01pm
You'll always be Juan non-Volokh to me.

5.1.2006 2:27pm
starimomak (mail):
I think the monicker was somewhat, if unintentionality, misleading. Obviously it comes from Jonathan, but the choice was poor.

Volokh is located in Los Angles, and with a pseudonym like Juan one could reasonably have the impression that the blog had some, as they say, ethnic diversity. It turns out that Juan is yet another Jewish law professor, exactly the same demographic as most of the other bloggers here. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the Juan thing was subliminally misleading IMO.

Joshua son of Nun might have been more appropriate.
5.1.2006 3:50pm
His pseudonym was misleading you say?
5.1.2006 4:33pm
Closet Libertarian:
Seems to me penn names and acting names are nothing new. I have pondered the question of whether it is ethical to give false but similar background information just to keep your identity from being revealed. For example, is it ok to say you have a degree from Harvard when you actually graduated from Yale. Did you use such deceptions or was it strickly a lack of information?
5.1.2006 4:34pm
pbf (mail) (www):
We all already knew, Jon, so you're right--it wouldn't have made any difference had you blogged under your own name.
5.1.2006 5:30pm
John Jenkins (mail):
Syme, I am guessing he missed the irony there.
5.1.2006 5:44pm
JerryM (mail):
Yeah, but who was Kaiser Sose?
5.1.2006 5:51pm
Ari (mail):
The pseuodonym was not misleading. The reader's assumption that the name Juan suggests a particular ethnic or racial group demonstrates the reader's narrow minded view and not that of the Volokh Conspiracy.

Given the transient nature of people and the availability of name alternatives via the internet, I've often found that a person's name offers some anecdotal insight into their background at best.

If the reader dislikes the viewpoints or backgrounds of those on the Volokh Conspiracy, he or she should consider asking to be a guest blogger instead of needlessly attacking Adler's psuedonym choice.
5.1.2006 6:11pm
Jonathan Adler (mail) (www):
Closet Libertarian --

Any personal information I relayed in various posts -- where I went to school, grew up, etc. -- was always accurate. While posting under a pseudonym, I sought to be honest in the content of all of my posts.

5.1.2006 7:09pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Reflecting upon this thread, I find it somewhat ironic that one of Galbraith's most noted publications was A Tenured Professor. :)
5.1.2006 7:18pm
Michael Daly (mail):
Does this mean that Elvis is really...dead?
5.1.2006 10:16pm
Hugh59 (mail) (www):
No! I'm Spartacus!
5.1.2006 11:54pm