What's in the last name?

Throughout the history people have been finding innovative ways to divide themselves. I pray to an entity that has three heads while yours has just one; or I was born on this side of the land rather than that side.

People are already working to take us to Mars, cure cancer, teleportation and even defy death using techniques such as head transplant. We are so hell bent on improving technology that we forgot development of our society. With the petty problems that plague our society today, do we really deserve these advancements? Shouldn't we evolve so that when the technology is ready, we are also ready for it?

We as species will have to 'evolve or perish'. Keep on finding ways to divide ourselves into smaller groups and we will find our strength diminishing. Even small threats that seem negligible today would become capable of destroying us. Not going into cliché sayings, we need to find ways of making us 'one'.

A Type-1 Civilization is a Planetary Civilization that unites the entire planet. It is an advanced civilization that controls all the aspects of a planet. Weather, climate, volcanoes, earthquakes, energy sources, magnetic field, species; essentially anything and everything that functions on a planet level.

The path to become a true planetary civilization starts with uniting our species. One nation, one culture, global language, global currency and global religion.

I strongly believe that separate religions or races have no place in a planetary civilization. A Planetary religion would be based on logic rather than belief. Probably a religion based on Matrix, that believes we are in a computer simulation, or a religion based on math where, as Sheldon puts it, "the only sin is being stupid".

Jokes apart, we can already see the glimpses of such advanced thinking in some places where few people follow traditional religion and they are among the lowest crime rate, high development, high happiness index places on our planet.

Although, I might be wrong about religion not based on faith. One such example is Japan. A strong Buddhist country, is one of the most advanced civilization on the planet. But, I think having common belief and culture is very important for growth. (Japan has one of the most homogenous population with more than 98% natives).

We are already inching towards 'One'. Moving around and settling in different countries is easier than ever. More information is available in English than any other language and increasing number of population understands and speak English. Innovations like cryptocurrency are a step towards global currency system.

But we need to unite our society as well. We must rise above race, cast and religious discrimination. And to accelerate the process, we should abolish Last Names!

Think about it, the thing which defines a family is also responsible for dividing us. One look at a person's last name, and we judge a person's origin, race, cast or religion. People spend their entire lives protecting their legacy, which is identified by their last names. We live for it, fight for it and even die for it. All for a false notion of pride.

We must understand that real pride is in unity, in knowledge, and collective advancement of our species. not just of our clan.

To implement such a revolutionary plan isn't easy. No one would like letting go of their identity. But with a little smartness, it can be done.

In this digital age, uniquely identifying a person is necessary. Names are inherently flawed as identifiers. Pick a handful of people in your locality, and chances are, you will find someone with same name. A quick social media search will reveal numerous people with exactly same first and last name as yours. For this purpose, many countries have a National Identification System in place. Add to it the country code, and we have a Global Unique Identity of a person.

We are already using the UID to identify a person in legal matters. Promote this ID to the first entry in every identification document. Driving license, bank accounts, medical records, schools, colleges every ID card issued should carry this ID. Slowly, name will take a back seat as a legal identifier. 

With name being insignificant for legal recognition, remove last names from these ID cards. None of the legal form will carry a field for last name.

Nowhere you will be asked for last names, nor it will be displayed in any legal document. Number will be the sole identifier for a person.

Of course, you will still have a name. A well thought name given to you by your parents. Your near and dear ones will recognize you by this name. This will retain the human touch and warmth, while to the legal system, you will be a identified by a number.

Done slowly and gradually over a decade or so, the protest to such a change should be minimal. The current generation will never forget their last names, might even teach their kids to remember it, but with no place to ever write/ display their last names, it will slowly be forgotten. Within three generations, people might not even know what a last name is!

As more and more people continue to migrate and mix with other cultures, Names would start becoming homogenous. It would not be possible to judge a person's origin by his/her name. No one would treat other differently just because their name sounds out of their community. And that would be a big leap towards evolution! 

Somil Bhandari

Somil Bhandari, A programmer, traveler and an amateur photographer. Loves adventure, hates stagnant life. Always looking out for something new.


  1. Beautifully written. Logically expanded. Didn't know that you were still continuing to write!

  2. but blogspot? still? in the age of wordpress? -- rajeev