Came here from an email or other personal reference? This page describes how I choose personal names for myself.
Aliases 3000 is a system of choosing personal names for myself, in lieu of "Peter".
In 2016, because of one of my personality quirks, I just "had it" with the name "Peter," even though it was the name I was used to being called. I wanted to be called a different name, perhaps my middle name. However, it is "Hang", which has connotations with hanging, so that was unusable. In short, together with all my other thoughts, I was faced with an interesting situation:
- I would like to be called a name other than Peter, but my middle name Hang was unusable.
- If I were to choose a completely different name, there would be a lot of complications:
- I could start with choosing a certain name, but instantly regret it because of some connotation that I was unaware of.
- Because it is not part of my full name, not many people would believe that I could genuinely be called by such a name because they would have believed that I had made it up on the spot.
- Even if I did say that it was something I have always done, it is not always clear to others why it is, given that "Peter" is a totally fine name and that one would normally not feel compelled to use a different name for themselves.
- Additionally, if I were to use a different name, then not only would people not recognize it, but people would also presume some sort of malice by doing so (e.g., to commit identity theft). Under no circumstances would I do so in choosing a different name; I just want to hear the name that I always want to be called and somehow link it to anything under my real name.
Aliases 3000 was invented to solve the above scenario. By providing a go-to reason with actual substantial effort put into it, with mechanisms to account for the names used, we can not only inform others of my legitimate desire to use a different name, but we can also account for the use of chosen names as evidence that I had used a certain name to refer to myself at almost any given point in time.
The name "Aliases 3000" was chosen to refer to email aliases, which is one of the main expressions of Aliases 3000, and 3000 was just a number that sounded futuristic, like the year 3000.
How it works
Aliases 3000 works on the principles of namespaces and "scope aliasing." Essentially, by putting my real name alongside a name I choose, the chosen names can be used in a way to refer to me, even if the name I choose is completely unrelated to my real name. This is mostly done by creating email addresses where the left part of the email address is a name I choose, and the right part contains my domain name, which in turn contains my real name. In this way, "peterjin.org" becomes the namespace or scope, and my chosen names are the names within the namespace.
Aliases 3000 has several main properties:
- Non-permanence: If I choose any given name for myself, it should not be necessary for me to use that name forever because they might be a reason to stop using a name, most commonly due to an unwanted connotation.
- Flexibility: Aliases 3000 should not be limited to a certain subset of names. Although certain names are excluded from being chosen, it does not mean that I cannot expand into using other names.
- Accountability: For every name in substantial usage, it shall be logged in a public location for scrutiny, similar to how names must be put into a newspaper publication when people want to change their legal names.
- Properness: Aliases 3000 should be reasonable and able to be used to inform others of how and why I use different names. Any doubts of malice or unreasonableness should be cleared up as soon as possible.
- Main article: Aliases 3000 Name Selection Process
List of current, previous, and future-use names
- Main article: List of names used by Aliases 3000
Analogy: i vs. j for the imaginary unit in electrical engineering versus general mathematics
Imagine I'm the imaginary unit (pun intended). I normally go by "i" in most mathematical and scientific fields. However, this is not true in electrical engineering. There, I go by "j", because "i" is already used for electrical current. In other words, everyone calls me "i" but the electrical engineers call me "j"; thus, "j" is considered an "alias" for myself ("i" [no pun intended]) in electrical engineering.
This is very similar to how Aliases 3000 might be useful, except that my real name "Peter" is "i" and one of the names listed above is "j". Because there can also be other people named "Peter" (other "i"s) in a certain context, I have to come up with an alias for myself.
Normal people would use their last names or initials in such a situation, or even perhaps their middle names, but I just think that's too mundane (also see "History" above). Therefore, Aliases 3000.
I do have to admit that there was a bit of hypocrisy in this situation, because I personally prefer "i" for the imaginary unit, even in electrical engineering. But that might just be because I don't focus exclusively on electrical engineering.