ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Identity of Information

Updated on April 19, 2016

We do it all the time, without realizing it.

I wasn't even sure where to start with this idea, and I'm not even sure if this is already an established mode of thought, but it occurred to me that this isn't necessarily a new idea. Humanity has been doing this for thousands of years, whether or not we have formally recognized it. I don't plan to go into extreme detail, and so this will be a short hub about the topic, mostly because I couldn't really fit this into any other format. I just didn't know what to do with this idea.

Basically the idea is summed up in the Rifleman's Creed, popularized by the movie Full Metal Jacket: This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Any object, whether it is physical or conceptual, can be identified by multiple sentient observers. Relativistically speaking, your green is not my green, but absolutely speaking we're talking about the same color. You may not actually see the same exact color or shade that I do, but we can both point to an object and agree that it is indeed the same thing. It is "that thing, right there, right now".

Because while quantification of information is a method of identification of information, it is not the identity of that information. This doesn't change much if the object being identified, is a sentient one. What I mean by that is, we both may be able to talk about John Smith and have a different personal opinion of him, but his identity is his own no matter what we think about him. He is John Smith, born in Anytown, Anystate. Even if John Smith has an identical twin, John Smith is not his twin.

The same way that John Smith has his own identity, though, is the same way inanimate objects have their own identity. You might have many coffee mugs, but you might have a favorite one.

Throughout history humans have been doing this. Looking back to the ancient Mid-East region, we see that while there are many gods and goddesses, there are specific ones that relate to specific cultures. So while some people might classify them all as "basically the same", they are uniquely not the same. They might all be deities, but they are not all the same deity. Even if someone wanted to make the argument that they were basically the same, there can be no denying the uniqueness of each one, particular to the culture which they were associated with. Otherwise there would probably have been a lot less bloodshed at the time, if they could all agree on whom they were serving, and why, and how, etc.. Right?

Going back to the favorite coffee mug analogy, while all coffee mugs have the same function, not every coffee mug is good at being a coffee mug. Perhaps my particular coffee mug was painted my favorite color, which is why it is my "favorite coffee mug", but it is also made out of a material that is a very good insulator. It keeps the coffee warmer, for a longer period of time. It's also larger than most other coffee mugs, holding more liquid.

Each "layer" an "object" has, makes it uniquely identifiable to each unique sentient observer.

The moral of the story is...

I'm not sure what the moral of the story is. I could tell you that I found some great and mystical truth, but that would be a lie. So the saying goes, perhaps the guy who broke his leg prevented him from going into combat, thereby saving his life. Or maybe he just broke his leg for no reason what-so-ever. We'll see. Right? Maybe we will not ever know.

Working with unknowns, or variables, works much the same way with definable information. I might tell you that I have a favorite coffee mug, but I never identify which one it is. You just know that I have a favorite coffee mug. To complicate things, this coffee mug might not even exist yet, or ever. Perhaps my favorite coffee mug never runs out of coffee, and every time I take a sip it's the best tasting coffee I've ever had.

My quest for the perfect coffee mug, is much like the quest of Jason and the Argonauts looking for the golden fleece. You may understand the story, and you may have your own interpretation of it, but that only matters for you. What matters is that there may be many coffee mugs, but this one is mine. Even if it isn't a real physical object, it's still mine, and there is nothing you could do to take it away from me.

We don't even have to agree to disagree. We can disagree simply to spite each other. What can not be denied, however, is that my preference for a beverage container exists. It doesn't even matter if you know that beverage containers exist, or that I have a preference for a particular one. The identity of my favorite one makes it uniquely identifiable to me.

If I had to put a label on this concept or idea, it would be along the lines of "relativistic absolutism". And that's the moral of the story. I think.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)