How Am I Unique?

Paul TeutulThis is a topic that concerns elements of dB design. I have an address book and being that I am both a supporter and developer of Microsoft products, I keep this data in an Excel spreadsheet. However the work I have recently done for a client using an Access dB has influenced me to consider porting my data into it. Yet I still have the issue of capturing a minimum of information that allows me to uniquely identify everyone I know or know about. We like to think we are individuals, but that is difficult to quantify. Take the name Paul Teutul. Which of the two gentlemen above is Paul? If you’ve seen American Chopper a reality TV show then you know they both are! On the left is senior and junior is on the right.

By now everyone knows that DNA is a biological ID code. It may have become common knowledge during the OJ trial. But even when used there was only a pretty good probability in limiting the possible number of people connected by DNA to 1 in 170 million match. With over 6 billion people currently in existence, that means at least 35 people, including OJ should match that DNA. Certainly not unique! However it is a GUID that we are born with. Perhaps one day it will be used to add us to Big Brother’s dB but as of today it is merely an example of something a lot more accurate than fingerprints, but beyond our ability to utilize as a tool to identify an association.

Worse, as we gather information we realize how little we actually know about the other people in our lives. It should not be necessary to know a lot about them and social networks like facebook help in terms of allowing us a means to share information to some extent.

So I continue to ponder and extend the attributes that define us. There is our Name, Birthdate, Birthplace, Father and Mother. Harder to obtain but used by banks is our driver license and social security number. I need to think on this some more. There must be someway. Perhaps if I can figure out How Am I Unique?