Identity Politics 2023

I’ve used Identity Politics as an umbrella for my issues with definitive identity. Essentially that “definition” of anything is emergent from many relations and definitive only for specific “purposes” AND that “identity” of specific things – beyond simply naming being a unique handle in the world – is the net result of the (definitions of the) many overlapping ontological relations – classification & specialisation and whole-part (mereology). Politics because there is always a choice about which set of relations (identity) is most relevant to the context. All models are wrong. Identity is always political.

My descriptions of how all that works I’ve reduced to #GoodFences (after Robert Frost) sometimes with #GateInTheForest (after G K Chesterton). Essentially that the politics of identity is a negotiation with a history of incomplete knowledge. And that history is a “game” with definitions as rules that evolve.

I mentioned that in response on Mastodon to a Ben Taylor post on LinkedIn about Resisting Categorisation and Ben’s posted a couple of references since on Mastodon.

When it comes to “resisting” it, I see it as more like having to accept that it is happening – everywhere all the time – but that the fences, the pigeon-holes, are flexible and not to be taken as definitive except beyond agreed / negotiated contexts / purposes.

This is really just a holding post for the interesting looking references:


Previously on Psybertron:



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