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September 09, 2003

Celebrating non-diversity

Here's something I've always wished for: a gathering of all the David Smiths. It's just for a small town in Vermont, but maybe this will lead to a US-wide (or even world-wide!) convention someday. I'd go.

I've always felt cursed by having the dullest name in the universe. (My close friends know that my middle name is equally dull, so no hope there.) It's caused any number of logistical problems, from getting the wrong mail to having to wait an extra 10 minutes while the support rep on the phone scrolls through 10 pages of names just to find mine. It even caused a minor problem with the house-buying process -- in the title search some other David Smiths turned up with judgements against them, and I had to prove I wasn't them. On the other hand, it does help to become anonymous when you need it.

On a more serious note, the one-to-many mapping of names to people has caused problams for several people as a result of the current War on Terror. There is now a "passenger watch list" which the airlines are meant to scritinize, and if your name matches one on the list you get searched. In detail. Every time. Problem is, there's no way to get your name off the list if it's added mistakenly, and because the list only has first and last names (and sometimes just initials!) many innocent travellers are being inconvenienced. For example "J Adams" is on the list, and if your are John or Jenny or James Adams you will be stopped. The WSJ covered the issue. Let's hope "D Smith" never gets added to the list -- not just for my sake, but to prevent the 4-hour security lines it would cause.

Posted by david at September 9, 2003 11:41 AM | TrackBack
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Comments

My friend Fred Brown recently commented that his name is too dull to make it on any such list. It would just be too obvious.

Posted by: Kate on September 10, 2003 05:07 PM

And here's another one: the new Joe Millionaire. He'd brighten up a meeting of David Smith's that's for sure. :)

Posted by: david on October 21, 2003 01:02 PM

Maybe, or maybe not. I saw him interviewed this morning and cute as he is everyone in the room was dumber for his having spoken. Plus, the new "Joe Millionaire" has tanked in ratings.

Posted by: jay on October 21, 2003 04:55 PM
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