The ABCs of Naming

Creating compact examples with either simulated or real data will involve making up names for people so their attributes can be discussed easily.  Many examples will be somewhat (but not entirely) artificial, and in those we will adopt a standard table size and naming convention.  Because it is often convenient to use short abbreviations to pack identifying information into narrow column headings, it will usually be appropriate to stick to a table size of 26 rows or columns and to use the letters of the alphabet as abbreviations for names.

Therefore the following table will be used.   There will be 26 surnames , used, one for each letter of the English alphabet, from Anderson, Brown, and Clark to Zimmerman .   There will be 26 boys first names used, from Anthony, Brian, and Charles to Zachary .   And 26 girls names used, from Angela, Barbara, and Carol to Zelma .  These names are in fact the most common names beginning with each of those letters in the 1990 United States Census.   It may be of interest to some people to compare the most common names for each initial letter in 1990 with those from 140 years earlier.  The following table lists these names for comparison, with the 1990 names in the left hand columns and the 1850 names in the righthand ones .

Surnames Boys Names Girls Names 1990 1850 1990 1850 1990 1850 Anderson Allen Anthony Andrew Angela Ann Brown Brown Brian Benjamin Barbara Betsey Clark Clark Charles Charles Carol Catharine Davis Davis David David Dorothy Deborah Evans Evans Edward Edward Elizabeth Elizabeth Flores Foster Frank Francis Frances Frances Garcia Green George George Gloria Grace Harris Hall Harold Henry Helen Hannah Ingram Irwin Ian Isaac Irene Isabella Johnson Johnson James John Jennifer Jane King King Kenneth King Karen Kate Lewis Lewis Larry Lewis Linda Louisa Miller Miller Michael Michael Mary Mary Nelson Nichols Nicholas Nathan Nancy Nancy Owens Owen Oscar Oliver Olga Olive Perez Parker Paul Peter Patricia Polly Quinn Quinn Quentin ??? Queen ??? Robinson Robinson Robert Robert Ruth Rebecca Smith Smith Steven Samuel Susan Sarah Taylor Taylor Thomas Thomas Teresa Tabitha Underwood Underwood Ulysses Uriah Ursula Ursula Vasquez Vaughn Victor Valentine Virginia Virginia Williams Williams William William Wanda William Xiong ??? Xavier ??? Xiomara ??? Young Young Young Young Yvonne Young Zimmerman Zimmerman Zachary Zachariah Zelma Zilpha

Where more variety is needed, we can make variations in the names used by occasionally substituting one of the names from 1850 for the corresponding one from the later census.   Where we use a single list of 26 first names to identify 26 people but of mixed gender, it will be a convenient convention to alternate male and female names this way:   Anthony, Barbara, Charles, Dorothy, Edward, Frances, George, Helen, Ian, Jennifer, Kenneth, Linda, Michael, Nancy, Oscar, Patricia, Quentin, Ruth, Steven, Theresa, Ulysses, Virginia, William, Xiomara, Young, Zelma.

When company, partnership, and corporation names are needed, people’s last names will be used,  so the company or corporation identified by the letter  C  will be something like Clark and Co., Ltd.

A similar conventional will be used when we need to refer to people’s social or economic wants or needs, such as this project might help them achieve.   So in addition to the longer descriptive questions used in our introductory What Do You Want form ,  we can used 26 single words to abbreviate a question that might be asked or an answer given.   The words used are much more arbitrary than the names given above because we as yet have no way of saying which are the most popular human desires.   The words that have been choosed occur in the last column of this table, which illustrates the technique:

(sorry, that table is not ready and you’ll have to wait another day …)

Every webpage should have a metatag at the top containing text invisible to the viewer but available for indexing purposes to search engines and indexers.  They usually try to cram as much information as possible into a small space, providing a rich summary with a certain amount of advertising histrionics.  For this page our metatag reads :

Introducing a standard system of convenient conventions for naming example people, companies, occupations, desires, countries, and so on, for use in examples and explanatory text accompanying descriptions of social technology software being developed by and presented on this site in open source and eventually binary form for people to use for various purposes including research and management but also in all areas of human society to give everyone a better life through applying numerical analysis and combinatorial optimization in the social environment.

This is only one of many pages in a site that is growing daily with new pages to read enhanced by new software demos and source code.  Please visit some of our other pages by following some of the links below and the ones they lead to.

Copyright © 2000 Douglas P. Wilson

Copyright © 2009   Douglas Pardoe Wilson

Other relevant content:

New: Social Technology through Diagrams

New: Social Techs novel online

New: Social Technology Blog

New: Social Technology Wiki

Please see these web pages:

The main Social Technology page.

Find Compatibles , the key page, with the real solution to all other problems explained

Technological Fantasies , a page about future technology

Social Tech a page about Social Technology, technology for social purposes.  I think I was the first person to use this phrase on the Internet, quite a long time ago.

Roughly corresponding to these web pages are the following blogs :

Social Technology the main blog, hosted on this site, with posts imported from the following blogs, which still exist and are useable.

Find Compatibles devoted to matching people with friends, lovers, jobs, places to live and so on, but doing so in ways that will actually work, using good math, good algorithms, good analysis.

Technological Fantasies devoted to future stuff, new ideas, things that might be invented or might happen, such as what is listed above and below.

Sex-Politics-Religion is a blog about these important topics, which I have been told should never be mentioned in polite conversation.  Alright that advice does seem a bit dated, but many people are still told not to bring up these subjects around the dinner table.

I believe I was the first person on the Internet to use the phrase Social Technology — years before the Web existed.

Those were the good old days, when the number of people using the net exceeed the amount of content on it, so that it was easy to start a discussion about such an upopular topic.  Now things are different.  There are so many web pages that the chances of anyone finding this page are low, even with good search engines like Google.   Oh, well.

By Social Technology I mean the technology for organizing and maintaining human society.  The example I had most firmly in mind is the subject of  Find Compatibles , what I consider to be the key page, the one with the real solution to all other problems explained.

As I explained on my early mailing lists and later webpages, I find that social technology has hardly improved at all over the years.   We still use representative democracy, exactly the same as it was used in the 18th century.  By contrast, horse and buggy transporation has been replaced by automobiles and airplanes, enormous changes.

In the picture below you will see some 18th century technology, such as the ox-plow in the middle of the picture.  How things have changed since then in agricultural technology.  But we still use chance encounters, engagements and marriages to organize our home life and the raising of children.  

I claim that great advances in social technology are not only possible but inevitable.  I have written three novels about this, one preposterously long, 5000 pages, another merely very very long, 1500 pages.  The third is short enough at 340 pages to be published some day.  Maybe.  The topic is still not interesting to most people.   I will excerpt small parts of these novels on the web sometime, maybe even post the raw text for the larger two.

This site includes many pages dating from 1997 to 2008 which are quite out of date.  They are included here partly to show the development of these ideas and partly to cover things the newer pages do not.  There will be broken links where these pages referenced external sites.  I’ve tried to fix up or maiintain all internal links, but some will probably have been missed.   One may wish to look at an earlier version of this page , rather longer, and at an overview of most parts of what can be called a bigger project.

Type in this address to e-mail me.  The image is interesting.  See Status of Social Technology

Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009, Douglas Pardoe Wilson

I have used a series of e-mail address over the years, each of which eventually became out of date because of a change of Internet services or became almost useless because of spam.  Eventually I stuck with a Yahoo address, but my inbox still fills up with spam and their spam filter still removes messages I wanted to see.  So I have switched to a new e-mail service.  Web spiders should not be able to find it, since it is hidden in a jpeg picture.   I have also made it difficult to reach me.  The picture is not a clickable link.  To send me e-mail you must want to do so badly enough to type this address in.  That is a nuisance, for which I do apologize, but I just don’t want a lot of mail from people who do not care about what I have to say.


Progress Report — (old)

Copyright © 2009   Douglas Pardoe Wilson

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