Thursday, February 05, 2004

I've noticed a near-universal (and perfectly understandable) inability to pronounce or spell my name correctly. For example, at least two sites out there spell my name "Tonnes." No "i." I'm not mad at all. I honestly don't care how my last name is spelled or pronounced, or if I even have a last name, for that matter. If I could just go by "Mac" I'd be happy. Last names are for bureaucrats.

For the insatiably curious, "Tonnies" is pronounced "Tone-ease." Maybe someday, if I'm sufficiently famous, I can go by my first name or come up with a new name altogether and retire "Mac Tonnies" in much the same way that online businesses retire Internet domain names.

Modern-day cyborg Stelarc.

And, when you think of it, what is a name but a sort of domain name, an "address" that communicates to the world that the addressee occupies space and (presumably) exists in the same ontological matrix as everybody else? What if I eventually have my mind uploaded into a computer or android body? Does this constitute a change of address? Am I still "Mac" or am I post-"Mac"?

Extropians like to use the "greater than" sign (>) to denote someone with traits that fall under the "transhuman" rubric. So maybe I'm ">Mac." But that seems far too pretentious and clunky for my taste. For good or bad, I think I'm at this particular carbon-based address to stay . . . at least for a while.