We embark on the journey to personality: Who are we? Who we were? On the way there we historical concepts of identity, until we arrive at the topic of Digital identity and the Blockchain – and ask ourselves: Who and how are we going to be? Today: Identity 1.0.: History of identity.
Who am I? Who I want to be? And why? These are the questions people are not adrift, it is only since the era of procrastination, digitization and the World Wide Web. Whether Socrates in the ancient world, Sigmund Freud in the Vienna of the 20th century. Century, Friedrich Nietzsche employees right next door to Judith Butler in the presence of – great-Thinking of all the times in one way or another with the question of the core of the Ego. To apply this in the Digital and later on the Blockchain (or at least the attempt), you need to understand: how is identity?
The birth of identity
If you have questions as to the origin, it is always useful to go in search of clues: where does the concept of identity? From the Latin Identidem, which stands for “again and again, repeatedly, repeated,” identitas for exactly the same thing, equality, complete agreement. Here you can see two important components of identity: the time and the core. So the idea that there is a unit that is repeated again and again. But who or what has this core that is always repeated? The Individual.
The individual – Indivisible and yet blown
Even the word individual in the view of the root of the word helps. The Latin word individual means “Indivisible” (- individual). One speaks here of a single thing, an entity, or a Being – something therefore that exists. To delineate, however, of things, is it something Human, attributed to the identity.
Broke also about the identity of the head: Immanuel Kant
How come these two categories now? An individual is attributed to an identity. If you like, it is so human. Something, the something is always the same, Repeating: Indivisible so that a fixed identity.
One speaks here also of the “subject of the enlightenment”. At the time of the enlightenment, it was the assumption that man is a being that is the seat fixed has a core – identity. With this identity, filled with features which define the Person closer, it was after Immanuel’s imperative subjected to and this also to be able to Kant, the categorical:
“Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to make use of his understanding without the guidance of another. Even this immaturity is not to blame, when the cause is the same lack of mind, but of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding!“
The center of these people so, so the then common idea of a fixed, immutable core identity. John Locke, considered a pioneer of this era, recognized a connection between consciousness and Thinking, and described the identity as “sameness”:
“Because the consciousness of the Thinking is always accompanied, and each makes what he Himself calls, and making it from all other thinking beings is different, so there is herein alone the personal identity, i.e. the sameness of a rational being.”
Not quite as differentiated as Locke or Kant: Mark Zuckerberg
Very similar ideas on the concept of identity, by the way, Mark Zuckerberg, even if he comes from a different mindset:
To have “two identities is a lack of integrity.”
What has that to do with Blockchain?
So far, we are still in the reconnaissance phase. Before you can understand how (and whether) the identity on the Blockchain can come, you should first know what these terms mean.
So just to recap: at The time of the enlightenment, it was assumed that man has an unchanging core, an identity and, thus, the distinctive, the indivisible individual. However, the perception of this Central authority should change soon. For a long time before the words of the Internet, decentralization, or Blockchain, it became clear that identity has no fixed core is decentralized. More on this in identity 2.0.: The decentralization of identity.
Disclaimer: identity is a highly complex issue that has for centuries been a topic of research. The author is not trying this in the best way possible and digestible to present, which is why he comes to certain Shortages fail. The occupied angle of view is dominated by the study of literature, art and media studies, enriched with the philosophical, sociological and psychological knowledge snippets. Nevertheless, neither completeness guarantees can be claimed, yet absolute truth. Therefore, the present article is to set the terms for what it is: an opportunity to broaden the horizon. And in addition: a lot of fun to read.