October 15th, 2008

Who is Joseph Addison?

To my normal readers: most of you will not understand the following post, nor care about the revelation contained therein. Should that be the case, please ignore this post.

Three years ago (almost to the day), Rusty at Nine Moons revealed the identities of a few individuals involved in some anonymous blogging that had taken by the bloggernacle by storm. To say that the revelation caused a bit of controversy would be an understatement.

One of the participants apparently could not stay away from the comfort of anonymity, and later started Trash Calls. (The information below supports the claim of this affiliation.) Since its inception, the identity of the blog’s owner/editor has remained a mystery. Until today.

This evening, a visitor came to my blog around 5pm. According to my analytics tracker, he scrolled through three pages of posts, and then searched for “marriage” in my blog’s search form. He then left my blog.

This visitor has been to my blog before, and commented three times on a blog post I wrote in May. At that time, I “tagged” them in my analytics tracker to tie their name to their IP address. See below for screenshots showing both of these sources.

Not two minutes later, a visitor came to my blog by clicking on a link on the Trash Calls blog. I clicked through to see what link they had come from, and it was a post that had just been written. That post contained a link at the end to a post I wrote about getting married.

Thus, it’s quite safe to conclude that the editor of Trash Calls, who had just written a post containing a link to a post on my blog about marriage, was the same individual who not two minutes previously had searched for “marriage” on my blog to find a relevant post.

So, who is Joseph Addison?

As the source images below show, it’s the person most have suspected all along: Steve Evans.

Thanks Trash Calls, it’s been a real trip!

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

41 Responses to “Who is Joseph Addison?”

  1. Steve Evans
    October 15, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    Here’s a little tip for you, Encyclopedia Brown: Trash Calls welcomes submissions. There’s a little email address at the top of the screen, there. Sure, I’ve contributed content to that site via that method, but Addison himself remains elusive.

  2. Connor
    October 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    Uh huh.. so somebody (not you) at the same IP address you’ve used to visit my blog before (and leave comments) searched through three pages of my blog, searched for “married”, and then submitted and had published a post containing a link to my blog post about marriage two minutes later.

    Heh, good one.

  3. gst
    October 15, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    I am Spartacus!

  4. Steve Evans
    October 15, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    Connor, maybe what I said wasn’t clear enough. Let me say it again using some easier words.

    Anybody can submit a post to Trash Calls. All you have to do is write up the post and email it to Addison’s email address. So yes, I “searched through three pages of [your] blog, searched for “married”, and then submitted” a post containing a link to your blog post about marriage two minutes later. It’s not very complicated. What your post here describes is Trash Calls’ open submission process, which is hardly a revelation.

  5. Connor
    October 15, 2008 at 8:44 pm #

    Hmm….

    1. Steve writes up submission
    2. Steve emails submission to trashcalls@gmail.com
    3. “Real” editor of Trash Calls receives email, decides to post submission.

    …all within less than two minutes. What a joke.

  6. gst
    October 15, 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    Steve, can you say it in words understood by enrollees in unaccredited institutions of higher learning run by John Birch types?

  7. Some Random Guy
    October 15, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    How about this…

    1. Connor notices link to a post
    2. Connor can’t take a joke
    3. Connor flags trashcalls as a spam site

    Dude, that ain’t cool!

  8. Anonymous
    October 15, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    *wondering what’s going on in the nacle these days per ‘trash calls’ and idly clicks through*

    Oh, yeah, that’s why I tuned it all out. People are still doing that? It’s like I never left.

    ‘Observers’ like TC & SN only serve to keep the prisoners trapped by offering a semblance of significance–the idea being that if someone’s watching it must be worthwhile, right? Sure, some people need that sense of ‘significance’ to feel good about themselves. They need to go do something truly significant, or they’re just chained by dependance to the never ending contest of sophistry with a dash of the high-school popularity contest thrown in for good measure.

    It’s sad, because the nacle could be a truly significant phenomenon; it could be a place where learning is shared, theories are tested, and understandings are enriched. Instead it’s become its own evil twin (was it ever anything else?), celebrating faux celebrity, connection and contention, encouraging self-aggrandizement (all the while robbing the people involved of their own thoughts and efforts that might otherwise be used on, y’know, something real that would bring them much greater satisfaction). Grasping at scraps, they deny themselves the meal. It is so sad.

    I yearn for all of you caught in that web. It’s seductive, no doubt, so don’t be embarrassed that you got caught. It’s time-consuming, soul-sucking, addictive–and pointless. (See here). In this kind of protracted ego clash, everyone’s clambering to be the king of the hill, but what noone realizes is that when you’re more concerned with clawing everyone else down, when it’s about competition and not cooperation there is no winner. Noone comes away with anything but an addiction to a consistent stream of low-level adrenaline hits and a hard-core dependance on external validation.

    Really, it sucks. You think it’s fun, you think you learn something, some of you even think you’re there out of sense of duty, but really, in the end, for whatever reason you came, you stay to win, to try to get the upper hand, to get in the last word, but it’s become a big enough pond that there’s always someone else who can tack on one more comment and all your hard work is swept away, and all you have to show for it is a new vendetta or maybe an extra chip on your shoulder.

    Seriously, look around. If you can summon even a modicum of self-honesty, if you can see it for what it really is for even just a moment, ask yourself if that’s really the most fulfilling thing you can be doing with those seconds, minutes, hours, days weeks, months, and even years of your life. Yes, the blogging adds up to years of your life lost, on what–being right? Looking more clever that someone else? More quick witted? In possession of more obscure church history knowledge than anybody else? You might win this round, but someone else will take the next. It makes you feel important, but only so long as you stay caught up in it. The fact is, outside the nacle, noone cares what’s said in the nacle.

    For all that it’s supposed to be Mormon forum, it’s one of the least charitable ‘places’ I’ve ever been (and I’ve been in some pretty gnarly situations in my day).

    Well, this can be read such that it looks like quite the rant, but it’s meant well. There is a real and vibrant life of true accomplishment and the satisfaction of doing what is truly right and good out there waiting for everyone. Some of you have been on here way too long (judging by the many familiar names on TC). Quit concocting an atmosphere of significance about these petty ego-wrestling matches. Semblance of accomplishment is nothing to be proud of; get out there and do something real, and see how that feels.

    Like I said, I yearn for you all, and I hope you find your way out.

    As for Evans, it doesn’t surprise me (and neither does his thin cover story).

    Let this be an end on it, Connor, you have better things to do with your time.

    Yuck, I feel like I need a shower.

  9. Yin
    October 15, 2008 at 10:22 pm #

    Anonymous,

    Amen! You took the words right out of my mouth and said them much better than I ever could. I’m glad to see others feel the same way I do about the nacle.

  10. Some Random Guy
    October 16, 2008 at 4:14 am #

    This Sunday, Connor will turn trashcalls in to his bishop. Also, the New York Times.

  11. bloggernacleburner
    October 16, 2008 at 5:35 am #

    An epic struggle. An epic destiny.

    Two opponents locked in a cosmic struggle for the soul.

    We have so got to call Stephen Speilburg.

  12. Jeff T.
    October 16, 2008 at 6:47 am #

    What, Connor, inspired you to tag that IP address so many months ago?

  13. Connor
    October 16, 2008 at 7:14 am #

    What, Connor, inspired to to tag that IP address so many months ago?

    I tag anybody who comments so that my analytics makes more sense—rather than looking at IP addresses, I can see individuals’ activity.

  14. Last Lemming
    October 16, 2008 at 7:16 am #

    About a year ago, Addison put together a roster of Bloggernacle participants with as much information about each as he could gather. If I read it right, he outed himself in that document. It was not Steve Evans.

    Because of objections from various people being outed, Addison withdrew the document, so I cannot check it. I’m not willing to name names without documentation. Did anybody happen to download a copy while it was available? If so, care to settle this issue?

  15. danithew
    October 16, 2008 at 8:07 am #

    Last Lemming, that might have been a Google Doc spreadsheet(?). It’s been a long time – can’t remember for sure.

  16. Jeff T.
    October 16, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    So you probably know that I refresh your site a dozen times each day…

  17. a random John
    October 16, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    Wow. Remind me that Connor hates privacy and that I should never visit this site.

    Oops.

    Seriously Connor, do you have any ethical standards regarding publishing people’s ip info?

  18. Connor
    October 16, 2008 at 9:01 am #

    Au contraire, arJ. I love privacy… but those who think that the internet is a private place delude themselves.

  19. a random John
    October 16, 2008 at 9:12 am #

    This post proves otherwise. You love your own privacy but not that of others.

  20. Connor
    October 16, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    Seriously Connor, do you have any ethical standards regarding publishing people’s ip info?

    You are right, it was inappropriate of me to publicly display his IP address. I’ve updated the images w/ the IP address blurred out.

  21. a random John
    October 16, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    You could also post some indication that you’re editing my comments.

  22. Connor
    October 16, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    You could also post some indication that you’re editing my comments.

    As you wish.

    Be it known: I have always edited out profanity from comments on this blog, and will continue to do so without notification or explanation. Those who have more intellect and tact may choose to phrase their expletives in a more courteous manner to bypass the censor.

  23. Brad Kramer
    October 16, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    Last time I submitted a post to trashcalls, it appeared in about 90 seconds.

  24. Russ
    October 16, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    Struck a chord have we?

    Oh Connor, you’re, you’re a stupid head. You, you neo-con, Fox-loving, NY Times hater you. Connor, you privacy hater. Seriously people.

    If you knew half as much about what companies know about you and your internet behavior, you’d never log on again. Do you hate privacy since you support what you call a violation of it by visiting said sites?

  25. a random John
    October 16, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    Connor, when you you say is clearly counterfactual bovine excrement I’m compelled to say so. I’m sorry if it offends your sensibilities, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

  26. a random John
    October 16, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    Russ,

    I worked for 8 years as a security and privacy consultant for IBM. Believe me I am somewhat informed concerning internet privacy issues. What Connor has done is inappropriate.

  27. Connor
    October 16, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    What Connor has done is inappropriate.

    Which I acknowledged, and corrected. So drop the tantrum, please.

  28. Russ
    October 16, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    @a random John
    Isn’t it creepy how much companies know? This is why I tell my family members to put very little information on sites like Facebook…

    As for the IP thing…
    Thank goodness Connor can say I’m sorry for posting the IP address (as he did) and we can all forgive him. :-)

  29. a random John
    October 16, 2008 at 10:56 am #

    Russ,

    What is even creepier is how much the government knows and how much more it wants to know. Also creepy is the fact that even though Connor has now blurred the images the unblurred originals still exist in the caches of visitors and if someone wanted to they could post them. Connor has done what he could to make it better, but the fact is that he can’t completely undo what he’s done.

  30. Mister Correlation
    October 16, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    I thought I was Steve Evans for awhile. But then it occurred to me I was Adam Greenwood.

    In the end, I realized I’m a figment of the Bloggernacle’s imagination, so I’m all of you and none of you at the same time.

    As for JA – he’s dead, and Steve Evans isn’t. Therefore, they can’t be the same person. QED and all that.

  31. a random John
    October 16, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    The real question is who is Mister Correlation…

  32. Bored in Vernal
    October 16, 2008 at 4:02 pm #

    I heard it through the grapevine that Trash Calls was a group effort. So there are still more masked [wo]men to be uncovered!! Tally ho!

  33. Clumpy
    October 16, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    I’m glad that few of Connor’s posts are this meta. I’ve never been so lost.

  34. Dustin
    October 17, 2008 at 4:09 am #

    Wow, I have had no idea who Steve Evans was, nor have I ever heard of trash calls. I guess I’m thankful for that. ;)

  35. a random John
    October 17, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    Connor,

    I’ve been thinking of it and I’ve come to realize that you probably owe JA a thank you. I know that I never come to read your stuff unless he’s spurred me on and would guess that the same is true for a substantial portion of your readers.

  36. Connor
    October 17, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    I know that I never come to read your stuff unless he’s spurred me on and would guess that the same is true for a substantial portion of your readers.

    Sorry, but your guess is wrong. Trash Calls traffic accounts for less than .05% of the visitors I get. No thanks merited; frankly, I’d rather TC not even exist (in agreement w/ Anonymous’ comment).

  37. Russ
    October 17, 2008 at 9:57 am #

    @Connor

    Hey now, if JA is going to be getting praises of men, I want some too for sending people to your site.

  38. John C.
    October 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm #

    I’m curious, Connor. How much of Anonymous’s comment do you agree with? The part where this is all a whole bunch of wasted time? Or the part where TC and SN are bad for advertising wasted time?

    Furthermore, is there some way for you to demonstrate that what you do on your blog is of superior worth? Why isn’t Anonymous’s comment equally condemnatory of your activity?

  39. Adrien
    October 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm #

    That’s actually quite brilliant. . . you know, like Superman III?

  40. tracy m
    October 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm #

    I am Steve Evans!! Oh, er, um… I am SPARTICUS!

  41. Daniel
    October 22, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    How come you always get to be Spartacus?

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