Monday, November 29, 2004

Axiomatic Identity

Scott Lemon, the mastermind behind the way-before-it's-time DigitalME project at Novell, has launched FreeID.Org which is intended for "Exploring Identity in the Internet Age".

He's begun to posit what he calles the Axioms of Identity. And right from the first one, I can see we're going to disagree.

Lemon states, "I posit that we humans do not have any inherent identity." His thesis is that of all identitifiers, "...none of these are inherent to you ... they are all given to you by outside entities." He mentions Social Security number, name, height weight, etc.

But he does overlook DNA.

While it's true that you could say that your DNA is 'given to you' by your parents, they do, in fact, have no choice in the matter (except the choice of picking a sexual partner). Your DNA is you. You are your DNA. It is not assigned to you nor can you change it. It is your identity. Everything else is simply a "handle", a shortcut or nickname for the identity that is you.

Kim Cameron is referencing Scott's axioms as he tries to define the "Laws of Identity", but appears to be hopelessly sidetracked by the question of how Bluetooth works.

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