Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Identity Redux Redux

IDENTITY CLASSIFICATIONS from yesterday with added I#dentity designations.
I1dentity - Perception: How I see myself
dentity - Projection: How I present myself to others
dentity - Conception: How others see me
dentity - Detection: How I think others seem me
dentity - Institutional: How official entities define me
dentity - Social: How social groups define me

One of the far-fetched goals for this journey is to come up with some reasonable criteria for what "real" means when applied to identity.
While defining specific identity classes is a necessary step, classifications only specify what we evaluate, not the measurements to use nor the standards upon which we should base judgment.

Is Joe really "too big to get on the boat?" Depending upon the evaluation criteria, you might need to know the class of measurement (height, weight, percentage of body fat) and the unit of measurement (centimeters, inches) and also have the necessary resources to take an accurate measurement.

Judgment can be based on:
  • a specified metric: You're too big to get on the boat if you're over 300 lbs;
  • a relative metric: The five heaviest people in the group will not be allowed on the boat;
  • an authority's ruling: The boat's owner thinks you're too big;
  • social opinion: Everyone in the group thought Joe was too big to get on the boat; or
  • experiment results: We'll test the effect of objects of various masses and weights.
I suspect I've missed at least a few others.

Let's put off discussion of how we might evaluate the validity of standards until another day. For now, before we launch into big questions such as how we might test an identity's reality, let's look at the relatively simple matter of testing its classification.

Treating a classification as an equation is a good approach. [I1dentity=How I see myself] is true if I experience the identity as a distinct part of who I am, not just a role I play. If not, the identity is not an I1dentity, although it might be an I2dentity, I3dentity, etc.

That's all today. Please weigh in with your suggestions, critique, links to graphics or whatever else you feel moved to share.


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar. My creator's site can is at