.person TLD - or, giving every person a domain (published 2020-04-20)

This started as a discussion in tilde.chat's #meta about giving every person a free (tax-supported) domain. Here are the finer points of the discussion.

19:15 < login> Since when do you have to pay to have a name?
19:15 < login> Do you have to pay to have an address?
19:16 <~khuxkm> yes
19:16 <~khuxkm> you pay taxes, don't you?
19:16 < login> oh yeah lol
19:16 < login> so it should be tax funded
19:16 < login> domain names, at least 1 for each person
19:16 <~khuxkm> tax funded domain names
19:16 < login> yeah

I proposed a .person TLD that would give every person on Earth a domain name. The only problem was how to handle people with the same name. You see, there are 1,586 people in the United States alone that share my name. Clearly, the number worldwide is even larger. How do we solve this issue?

The answer we eventually came to was to give each person a random 11-digit hexadecimal number as their "global ID number", and that this number would be your domain (for instance, I generated 5e400a6423c.person for myself).

Some approaches we tried but dismissed:

  1. Use nicknames: I dismissed this one as unwieldy. Do you want your email to be "rmiles@bigrobrobertmiles.person"? No, I didn't think so.
  2. Use pseudonyms (not necessarily nicknames): This doesn't solve the issue, it merely kicks the can down the road. I'm sure I'm not the only person to ever use the pseudonym "MineRobber".
  3. Country and passport numbers: Passport numbers change every 10 years or so, and you shouldn't have to change domains that often. Also, passports cost $$$, which defeats the whole purpose of free domains.

This proposal also proposes a global ID number system. This may defeat the need for passport numbers, as everything could be tied to your global ID number. This global ID number would exist solely to identify a person, and should not be used in a manner similar to how Social Security Numbers are used in the US.

For instance, I would be Robert Miles, US citizen, GID 5e400a6423c, and my .person domain would be 5e400a6423c.person. Simple, as elegant as possible given the circumstances, and globally unique.

And if we end up running out of 11 digit numbers (which would mean over 17 trillion new births)?

We'll just add another digit.