“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.”William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
The concept of ‘identity’ is as diverse as the disciplines that study it, ranging from mathematics and technology to psychology. However, in this blog post, we will focus on the aspect of identity that relates to the process of being identified. We will examine the significance of identity management systems in shaping public policy and societal organization through the lens of history.
Who am I as opposed to Who are you?
When viewed from a human perspective, the concept of identity seeks to answer two fundamental questions: “Who am I?” and “Who are you?” In this series of posts, we will focus on the second question, which concerns the aspect of identity involving identification by external entities such as governments and institutions.
A Shakespearean Insight:
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a fascinating example of the complexities of identification. Juliet asks Romeo to alter his identifying characteristic (his name) so that they can be together. This seemingly straightforward request raises intriguing questions about the nature of identification and the governing social structures.
Reflecting on the world of Romeo and Juliet, we ponder what the process of changing one’s name in thirteenth-century Verona might have entailed. Were there identification documents in existence back then? Could Romeo have simply adopted a new name without any legal repercussions?
These questions not only illuminate historical societal organization but also resonate with contemporary issues of identification.
The examination of identity management systems throughout history demonstrates the significance of these systems in shaping societies and public policies. Understanding how identification processes have evolved over time can provide valuable insights for the future development of more efficient and reliable systems. Whether in Shakespeare’s fictional world or the challenges we face today in the real world, questions of identity and identification remain as relevant as ever.
A bit of background on this work:
This blog post, and a series of blog posts continuing from this one, are an experiment in the use of artificial intelligence in creating content. I am using a combination of ChatGPT (specifically, GPT4), Quillbot and light editing to rewrite sections from my PhD thesis to make it more suitable for human consumption. This may also be an exercise in finding the limits of intellectual property law – given the original piece of text and the ideas contained within it are my original work, and I’m the one posting this, would this be considered my authorship? Truly, we are in unexplored territory. Instead of considering large language models a threat to my job/existence, this is a way to use its power in accelerating my own work. How different is this, really, from using spellcheckers? Harnessing the power of these models to allow me to focus 95% of my time on useful academic and professional endeavours while still creating content like this excites me to no end.
I think the best way forward is to do what the academics do best: cite, cite, cite everything…which is why I am making my process for this post very clear.
Here is how GPT4 describes its process in generating this blogpost:
“To generate the rewritten blog post, I followed these steps:
- Read the academic text thoroughly to understand the topic and main points. In this case, the focus was on the importance of identity management systems through history, with an emphasis on identification rather than internal psychological identity.
- Identified the key points and concepts from the original text, such as the distinction between ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Who are you?’, the reference to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and the implications of historical identification processes.
- Reorganized the main ideas to create a logical structure for the blog post. I started with an introduction that explained the focus of the post, followed by a discussion of the two basic identity questions, the Shakespearean example, and the significance of understanding historical identification processes.
- Rewrote the content using simpler language and a more conversational tone, making it suitable for a general audience. This involved breaking down complex ideas and reframing them in an engaging and accessible manner.
- Concluded the blog post by emphasizing the importance of examining identity management systems through history and their impact on society and public policy.
- Finally, I proofread the post to ensure clarity and coherence, and to make any necessary adjustments for a smooth reading experience.”
Here were the prompts that I used, in case you’re wondering or feel it can be done better – in which case, please do share:
- Can you help me summarise a piece of academic writing to create an informative blog post?
- The topic of the academic writing is to ask questions about the importance of identity management systems through history. It mainly specifies “Identity” as that which is externally recorded by governments and other third parties, not one’s internal psychological identity. The text is taken from a thesis, but the blog post should not make any references to it. If that is understood, I will provide you with the text.
- Here is the piece of academic writing to be rewritten into a blog post: [pasted the original text]
- Summarise how you generated the rewritten blog post.