Naming

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Naming is an extremely fundamental concept from the perspective of OrganicDesign and it's related disciplines of philosophy, spirituality and information technology. For more information on the concept in general, see Wikipedia:Name and the opposite concepts of the un-namable, Wikipedia:Ineffable.

Computer programming

In programming languages, name binding refers to the association of values with identifiers. An identifier bound to a value is said to reference that value. Since computers themselves have no notion of identifiers, there is no binding at the machine language level — name binding is an abstraction provided by programming languages. Binding is intimately connected with scoping, as scope determines when binding occurs.

Use of an identifier Id in a context that establishes a binding for Id is called a binding (or defining) occurrence. Other occurrences in expressions, assignments and subprogram calls an identifier stands for what it is bound to; such occurrences are called applied occurrences.

  • In IT naming becomes a problem when names from different interacting technologies conflict
  • Changes in names can cause problems if the information of the change is not universal
  • see Wikipedia:Name binding

The nodal take on naming

  • names and GUID's - guids are meaningless and unseen, there is no attachment to any one more than another
  • the Identity organisation
  • All aspects changeable means that any concepts can have any number of names (only GUID's are fixed)
  • See key-as-reference for details of non-name-based data structure

Spiritual

The Tao Te Ching is one of the foundation texts of Taoism and it covers the key concepts of naming very clearly as shown in this excerpt from the Wikipedia article. These famous first lines state that the Tao is ineffable. Tao is nameless, goes beyond distinctions, and transcends language.

The Way that can be told of is not an unvarying way;
The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind. (chap. 1, tr. Waley)

Author of an English translation of the Tao Te Ching sums this concept up very well in his introduction to the text as follows:

Quote.pngThere is a way in which we may conduct our lives without regrets, and in such a manner as assists in developing and realising our individual potential, without harming others, or inhibiting the realisation of their potential, and which is beneficial to a healthy society.

Such a way of life may of course be conducted without a name, and without description, but in order that others may know of it, and so as to distinguish it from other ways in which life may be conducted, we give it a name, and use words to describe it.

When discussing or describing this way in which life may be conducted, rather than refer to it in full, for convenience, we refer to it as the way, meaning simply that the discussion is concerned with this particular way, not that it is the only way of conducting one's life.

In order that we might distinguish it more easily from other ways, we refer to it also by its original name, which is Tao.
— Stan Rosenthal, Introduction to Tao Te Ching translation


The naming habit - not just naming of objects, but of states and attributes such as "affection" or "recognition". The habit is the mental verbalisation of the attributes composing the current experience, and thereby removing oneself from the experience itself into an abstract representation of it.