Why do we have names?

  • Thread starter kyle_soule
  • Start date
  • #26
Originally posted by zoobyshoe
I'm very confused. How can you
tell what class someone is from
by their name? Did the whole
world adopt the Indian Caste
system when I wasn't looking?

A recent study looked into racism in the workplace. They sent identical resumes to various jobs with the only difference being the names. It was found that black sounding names such as LaWanda Jenkins or Tyrone Freeman recieved far fewer call backs that identical resumes with white sounding names.
 
  • #27
240
1
Originally posted by Chemicalsuperfreak
A recent study looked into racism in the workplace. They sent identical resumes to various jobs with the only difference being the names. It was found that black sounding names such as LaWanda Jenkins or Tyrone Freeman recieved far fewer call backs that identical resumes with white sounding names.

Interesting. Not surprising.

Would you happen to have a link for the study?
 
  • #28
3,891
3
I can't believe that no one has touched on the point of family lines (though they might have, I kind of skimmed a few of the posts). A person's family connections are very important, not just because they limit the amount of people you can invite the the family reunion, but they also limit the amount of people you can marry (no, I don't mean the "amount of people you can marry", I mean the amount of people in the world that are available to you as a potential spouse).
 
  • #29
3,891
3
I should probably complete my thought. You see, people haven't always had last names, so the family line point didn't really apply (people just added the "son of John, the third Earl of Warwick" to the end of their name, and called it good). However, the first name is now useful to further limit the person that you are talking about (if I just gave you the last name, I would have limited it to a certain few families, but if I give you the first name I will limit it to a precious few (hopefully, unless it's something like "John Smith")).
 
  • #30
Robert Zaleski
Steppenwolf, I find this subject inane and disturbing. Disturbing in that a numeric name dehumanizes the individual. It provides the individual with no clue to his/her family's past. It leaves the individual with nothing. The Jews thrown into Nazi concentration camps can attest to this with their tatooed forearms. Now consider being at a social gathering, where you have to introduce six people to six other people all with nine digit numeric names. Or in a court room setting involving numerous witness for both the defense and prosecution. Or a classroom where the teacher poses a question to five different kids. Is this sounding more and more like a Marx Brothers movie to you. Numeric identification works fine when it's used for individual accounts or for keeping vital statistics on an individual, and that's about it.
 
  • #31
Sunfist
I agree. First it is dehumanizing. I think it's a horrible idea.

Also, I could never ever learn people's names if they were numbers. As it is, the only way I can call people is to get the number out of my cell phone. That's just a 7 digit phone number the first 3 digits which I already know.

By the way, you REALLY should read the book We by Zamyatin. I think you would find it very relevent.
 
  • #32
240
1
Originally posted by Mentat
I should probably complete my thought. You see, people haven't always had last names, so the family line point didn't really apply (people just added the "son of John, the third Earl of Warwick" to the end of their name, and called it good). However, the first name is now useful to further limit the person that you are talking about (if I just gave you the last name, I would have limited it to a certain few families, but if I give you the first name I will limit it to a precious few (hopefully, unless it's something like "John Smith")).

This only applies when you share the same last name, which many family members do not. It would require either local government or Federal Government involvement much more, perhaps. When I go to a family dinner I don't need to know peoples names, if I see someone from that family dinner on the street I would not make a pass at them. I don't think this really applies, one would simply have to have local government verify they are not related if they were to marry. The same thing would apply if I was to try to marry my second cousin; I would not know they were my cousin if their last name was Pritchard and mine is Soule. Also, I am not related to any of the numerous Soule's in my home-town. Basically, last names are not an accurate way to figure out marriage potentials. There are under 100 people from the billions, chances are you aren't going to run into one of them to marry even if your name was a numerical value.

Again, if we were to have 9 digit names they could be shortened. If your name was 231-45-6184, in class, for example, the teacher would call you by 231, or something of the sort. If this was the system we would have no problem memorizing many different names just as we have no problem with names now.
 
  • #33
Sunfist
Honestly, this idea is really starting to frighten me. Why on earth do you want the government to control so much?

When I have a child I look forward to giving him a name. For example, I am the IV. I have my father's name and his father before him and his father before him. I enjoy this fact. On the other hand, we aren't rich, we aren’t politicians, royalty, etc. I'm not using my name to put down people. I simply like that I can trace my name directly back for three generations. When I have a son, I look forward to deciding what I'm going to name him. I'm not sure right now, but it's a privilege that I'm glad I have.
 
  • #34
Integral
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,212
56
I do not see how this number for name idea would accomplish the intended end. I can here it now, "OH, those 10,000s think they are sooo.. good. They are no better then the 9000s just an extra digit. What differnce does that make?"

Snobbery, after all, is in human nature, not in what you are named. Simply exchanging numbers for names will change nothing, and will add the difficulties mentioned by many.


Guess, if the numering were done right, it would be easier to recognize an irrational person. "Watch out for PI he is always going in circles!"
 
  • #35
240
1
Originally posted by Integral
I do not see how this number for name idea would accomplish the intended end. I can here it now, "OH, those 10,000s think they are sooo.. good. They are no better then the 9000s just an extra digit. What differnce does that make?"

I suppose people could say that, but why? the 10,000 would be a group of people spread throughout the world, no generalization could possibly be made that extends past 1 or 2 individuals.
 
  • #36
199
0
Yea...I am thinking becuase numbers came after as siad before ugh and egh
 

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