Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Identity Habit?

Kim Cameron points us to a new blog (at least for me) by Don Parks with a reference to the posting Identity as a Verb.

Parks leads off by saying:

To me, identity is not something one has, like InfoCard or a key, but something one does, a verb if you will. Identity is like the equal sign of an equation.

Certainly, Math does have the concept of "identity" (x 0 = x [addition identity] or X * 1 = X [multiplication identity] which involves an equals sign. We might consider "identity" to be equivalent to an entity if we consider "identity" to be the unique attribute associated in a "one and only one" relationship with that entity. And I'll agree with Parks that Identity is not something one has (which might be a token, or some other symbolic representation of an authentication or even of an identity). But it also isn't something you do. "Identity" is something you are. Something any entity is. It's the something that makes one entity able to be differentiated from another entity. The entity's identity remains forever, whether or not that identity is made known to any other entity. The attributes associated with that identity can grow and shrink, the roles filled by the entity as well as the personnae manifested by the entity can change. But the identity remains forever.

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