Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Plato, A Platypus And Identity In The 21st Century (Link List)

Recently, I have been thinking about identity and what it means in the 21st Century. It all started with a good little book called Plato And A Platypus Walk Into A Bar... It is a primer on a number of philosophical concepts using jokes as examples. The book is a lot of fun and very much worth the read. You aren't particularly interested in what I think of it, though. You are just hoping that I will repeat some of the jokes. OK...

A King and his dukes and earls went out for an elk hunt. All of a sudden a peasant broke from cover shouting, "I am not an elk!!" The king took careful aim and shot the man.

"Sire", said a duke, "why did you shoot the man? He said he was not an elk".

"Good Lord", said the king, "I thought he said he was an elk!"

Or this one...

Nurse: "Doctor, doctor! There's an invisible man in the waiting room!"
Doctor: "Tell him I can't see him."

The discussion of existentialism got me thinking about identity. When I think about identity, of course, I always start with Dick Clarence Hardt's speech at the OSCON 2005 Convention. Hardt has fallen on some tough times recently but I still think he does a good job in this speech making the problem of identity in the internet age more accessible to the rest of us.

Then, when I saw this post on the laws of identity on B2fxxx today, I knew I needed to put together a quick link list for those, like me, who find this sort of thing fascinating.

PS. To find out about Plato and the platypus you will have to read the book.

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