cis ppl are funny because they tell me their names and I say like whoa great name, then I remember they didn't actually choose it and I feel weird


they pick a gender _and_ a name for you before you're even born, how is that even supposed to work. it's like you were forced to use those random default creatures from gravatar as your permanent avatar.

@elilla I hope that the permanency of digital posts causes society to start accepting that on someones 21st birthday they pick a new name and get a fresh start on history. And then that dead naming anyone becomes unacceptable to all.

Or maybe that name change should be at any point until your 30's.

@LovesTha name changes for everyone at any point however many times they want, no questions asked.

I mean, wth. why does the government gets to control people's own names anyway.

@elilla Well...citizenship comes to mind. Also social benefits. I feel like they have to be involved in one's identity to some extent.

@math_always_to_tyrants What does citizenship or social benefits have to do with names?

Like, people change names all the time. Various countries have different name laws, but most of them you can change surnames when you marry or unmarry ,and you can change first names if they're embarrassing or cause problems. In some countries like Finland you can just go and change your first name.

And not only names are not mutable, but they're also not unique. There are millions of people with the exact same names and surnames. So names would be a terrible choice for a primary key, so governments don't use them as primary keys. They have some sort of unique ID, like the social security number, the steuernummer, the mainumbā etc. The name is just a text blob attached to the ID, along with many others.

(Social benefits should be available for everybody, no questions asked, including homeless guy on the street without any papers, the undocumented immigrant etc. And there should be no such thing as citizenship, or borders, or governments. But even within the systems where these unethical forms of gatekeeping resources exist, the systems are not predicated on names being permanent. After all, they already are mutable. Treating names as unchangeable is just a funny quirky of European culture that was spread through colonisation and ended up hardening laws for historical reasons.)

@elilla To clarify, I'm not at all arguing for keeping names unchangeable. Gosh no. Just that the government (while there still inevitably is one) likely needs to stay the arbiter of the process. Especially in the US, we don't have a formal unique ID (SSN, sure, but it's an absolute mess). The US credit system alone is an absolute disaster that can fuck over anyone at any given time when records don't align or get updated.

@math_always_to_tyrants You really should not rely on names as primary keys, that's just poor database design and will cause all sorts of trouble. But if you really want the government to be the arbiter of the name changes, then set up an online form at where people type in old name, new name and update the database.

@elilla It should absolutely be that easy. And tbh, I wouldn't be surprised if TransUnion/Equifax/Experian did actually use names as database keys. Have you /seen/ the shit they do to people? I had shit happen just last month lol. It was like someone's cat walked across the keyboard while their cursor focus was on my personal data fields, except the implications were my eligibility for housing.

@math_always_to_tyrants Even with all the exposure we get to U.S. stuff from movies etc. I still don't know anything about how mortgage, private health insurance and pension, private universities with loans, credit scores, 401k etc. work out in practice. I just have some vague notion that stuff that is freely accessible or automatic in most places, you have to go through a lot of steps and pay a lot of money and have jobs or lose it.

All I know is that these things by themselves would be enough to make me not want to live in the U.S., and I say that as a Brazilian haha

@elilla Yeah I'm not too happy living here. Once I finish my degree, I'm out. I respect that you wouldn't want to live here. We're not doing too hot.

@elilla I wasn't in favour of the government limiting things, I was imagining societal norms (and probably didn't express that well).

@LovesTha non-European cultures like Japan or China or many sorts of indigenous nations etc. changed names throughout their lives all the time for any number of reasons including age changes, becoming a monk or a writer or a tradesperson, completing an initiation ceremony, had a big insight and a change in lifestyle and so on. It's also common to have multiple names (like in Australian cultures the "bush name" which coming from the dreaming is of restricted use, as opposed to the skin name which is more social, and distinct from the familial name which builds connecting to kin, which is not the same as the birth name which is based on local nature etc.)

Societies like this existed for thousands of years without name changes causing any issues.

@elilla Western culture doesn't need to look too far for examples within itself for name changes to turn over a new page in life: The bible has some, eg Saul->Paul.

@LovesTha like the other day one of my partners was talking about somebody from their house and said like "and then Y said that – oh that was X, they’re going by Y now ­– we could cook dinner together, and…" and I just made a mental note, oh cool, didn't even think about it. this is pretty common in my trans circles.

@LovesTha @elilla I picked my own name for my 21st birthday. I think it would be awesome if that became a normal rite of passage.

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