Dirk Knemeyer

The names must change

Thanks to the Internet, it is an inevitability that we will drastically change the way we name our children. Why? Try Googling even a semi-common name. There are hundreds, nay, thousands of results. Each of us wants to be relatively unique and special. We want our children to be relatively unique and special. In the analog world, we could name our child “Patrick Mahoney” (the name of an old friend of mine) and he likely would not meet another Patrick Mahoney in his lifetime. Now, not only is he confronted with many, many Patrick Mahoney’s, but old friends and people who care about or want to connect with him will not be able to find him, precisely because there is a global glut of “Patrick Mahoney’s” coming up on any search of the Interwebs.

Its not a question of if; its only a question of when. My guess is that, rather than a future name being “Patrick John Mahoney”, it will be “Patrick John Jacob Jingleheimer Mahoney”. There is always the chance we go to unique identifiers instead, such as 13io45ght with more user-friendly “nicknames” put on top of them. But I suspect the weight of history will prevent that drastic of a shift. We’ll see what happens, and when…

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