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Personal Numbers As Names

An official number which follows you around
  [vote for,

Changing your name is really annoying, at least in the UK, as you generally have to go around every official body and tell them all you've done it, which depending on what you've changed it to can take quite a bit of bravado and brazenness. Presumably some countries have different systems where there's a central registry, but this arrangement, inconvenient though it be, is still preferable to that. SInce all your qualifications, bank accounts, legal documents, loyalty cards, whatever, used the previous name, it's a bit of a faff.

Generally people change their names to escape persecution, to lay themselves open to persecution by a specific person (i.e. marriage), to adopt a stage name or because they dislike their previous names. They are less likely to form such attachments to a number. They are in fact allocated various such numbers in their lives, e.g. by the NHS or Nationall Insurance numbers, and these numbers do not have the annoyance factor that Issachar Necessary or Ben Dover have experienced (well, not Isaachar because he deliberately chose that name but apparently he's really annoying anyway), but they could still to some extent be chosen by parents if they really wanted.

So the idea is, have no official names at all, just numbers which, unlike the names, are unchangeable and follow you around from cradle to grave, on your birth certificate, qualifications, title deeds, bank cards, whatever. Call yourself what you like, don't use the number in everyday life, just when you, say, write a cheque or file a tax return, and nobody will ever be saddled with a stupid or hateful name again. Avoid numbers which trigger weirdness in people like "666" or "13", but other than that, just allocate them randomly but let parents choose numbers if they want, provided they're unique. Clearly there would be a risk of identity theft and fraud, but probably less so than at present because they'd be less memorable to others than names.

nineteenthly, Jan 24 2014

I think you get a number when you go to jail. http://www.youtube....watch?v=yjg6flu3zuc
[xandram, Jan 27 2014]


       You mean something like a social security number? Kinda baked in the 30's.
RayfordSteele, Jan 24 2014

       I choose 42.
UnaBubba, Jan 24 2014

       I choose fortytwothly
AusCan531, Jan 24 2014

       I think the Germans may have baked this idea in the 1940s... along with many of the so numbered people.
UnaBubba, Jan 24 2014

       "Oh 2438764690J, please get Daddy a glass of water."
popbottle, Jan 24 2014

       "Eat my shorts, 867-5309!"
UnaBubba, Jan 24 2014

       Puh-lease ... WKTE.
8th of 7, Jan 24 2014

       Unless your name is Amanda.
UnaBubba, Jan 24 2014

       Good idea. But start at 1000 so it looks like we've been at it for a while.
the porpoise, Jan 25 2014

       Erm, we already do have the numerical values of the letters in people's names.   

       Only remains to to work out of if a=1 or are we going to the the ascii values to make it more exciting?
not_morrison_rm, Jan 25 2014

       Clearly there are social security numbers, NI numbers or whatever, but those are not used across the board. Each one has a specific usage, such as in dealings with taxation and social security or with the NHS, and they don't have a wider application, which is what bothers me. This is definitely not the same thing unless NI numbers or whatever have their use expanded. Also, you don't get to choose those numbers on the whole.   

       [not], ASCII would be more exciting but when I said "number" I was more envisaging a mixture of numbers and letters, though obviously not loads of letters or it'd just be a name anyway. More like a number plate.
nineteenthly, Jan 25 2014

       Erm, well, probably just first name and initial would be a start, so Aaron Brown would be 111815142
not_morrison_rm, Jan 25 2014

       Then where's the "serial" part? Wouldn't it be useful to be able to tell how old someone was by looking at their name?
the porpoise, Jan 25 2014

       So, if you're 45 this year you get the prefix 69- ?
UnaBubba, Jan 25 2014

       //Changing your name is really annoying, at least in the UK,   

       Blummin' easy, write it on a piece " I blah blah etc" run it though the photocopier, post them out, if they really want the original, then say "this is the original, I want it back" or do multiple originals (as it were) and send them all out..that's what I did.   

       Out this neck of the woods you can't change your name at all...so that guy who came to my ex's office in Tokyo long time ago, Mr Toilet, and yes it was the correct kanji for toilet, so no possibility for just sounding like, is completely buggered.
not_morrison_rm, Jan 25 2014

       Social security numbers used to be used almost everywhere.
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2014

       //Out this neck of the woods you can't change your name at all.//   

       Say what? Which woods are you in the neck of?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2014

       Well, there is a linear park near me two bits of woodland, each about 50 foot wide and about half a mile long, so that might count as neck as it's skinny enough. There's another one about 25 miles away.   

       In more general terms in Japan and I think Korea, the locals don't get to change their names, except for women taking the surnames of their husbands and maybe in witness protection, but that's it.
not_morrison_rm, Jan 25 2014

       This is exactly how companies in the UK operate: each has a unique and fixed identifying number and can change its name as often as it likes for a low low cost (£30 or £100 same day? I think. I have minions who do this). So the infrastructure is there already. Can it scale?
calum, Jan 25 2014

       OK, the serial doesn't make sense, sorry about that.   

       That's quite concerning, [rm].   

       It's not the same as a social security number incidentally. I envisage something like an exam certificate with a number at the top rather than a name. That number can then be matched or not with other documents.
nineteenthly, Jan 26 2014

       Well, in fact with a bit of jiggery-pokery, the binary string could be divided up into seven-digit segments, each representing an ASCII character, and that could be your official name.
nineteenthly, Jan 26 2014

       I would endorse this idea only if the numbers encoded genealogy. For instance, your number might be some mathematical derivative of your parents' numbers, in such a way that their numbers could be re-derived from it. If people had started doing this from the beginning, we'd all be able to trace our ancestry back to 1.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 05 2017

       Sounds a little like Bitcoin to me. Yeah, okay.
nineteenthly, May 05 2017


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