What is in a name?

Can a place without a name be a place?

Perhaps I simply seek what is familiar in the unfathomable but the topography of Intaki Syndicate space reminds me of the landscape of my childhood. To me, the whole region is dominated by the unscalable peaks of The Cord Of The Elements, which shape Syndicate’s habitable space into a looping river valley with its great bend at Poitot and numerous tributaries running down from the primordial heights of The Cord to join the main stream.

One such tributary rises among The Cord’s the most forbidding heights, which separate Syndicate from Solitude, and flows down through the constellations of JQV5-9 and MK7-AO to the great confluence of M2-CF1. This area’s sense of being surrounded by an elemental wilderness with a single route to the wider world reminds me of the mountain valley in which I was raised and has drawn me since I first came across it in YC119.

A custom observed by the Syndicate since its foundation is not to name systems and constellations in order to commemorate the destruction of our original colonies on Poitot III by the Federal Navy. This choice reflects Syndicate’s original tragedy and marks a standing rebuke of the Tovil Trial’s failure to address Duvalier’s crimes against the exiles. However fitting the choice, DED’s impersonal navigational codes fail to do justice to the vibrant communities that have not only survived but flourished in the valleys carved into The Cord. I will, perhaps, describe “JQV5-9 and MK7-AO” in more detail in another post but without a name it seems hard to know where to start.

Place names have a certain power to them, they resonate with history, identity and community. Without names, Syndicate’s communities seem somehow less than others. I am not sure whether our custom should be abandoned in the spirit of looking forward or the Federation’s President should, as her first anniversary in office approaches, make good on her promise not to neglect the periphery and redress that which the Tovil Trials ignored. Perhaps both need to happen together but all that aside, I ask, what is in a name to you?

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Eloquently written.

Names do have a certain power to them. We do not think fondly of Pator IV we think fondly of Matar. We speak of the “Steppes of Mikramurka,” the “Tronhadar River,” the “Sobaki Desert,” the “Mioran Islands” and the “Crystal Steppe.” Just hearing these names provokes thoughts and emotions in the people to whom they are familiar.

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Names give us knowledge, or a feeling of knowledge. Maker forged us so. And now if we encounter something without name, we give it a name, so we know it. We give names to trees and plants, we give names to birds and animals, we give names to our children, and we give names to subatomic particles and whole galaxies.

Ask a child, “do you know this animal?” And he will call his name. He won’t know where the animal leaves, what it eats, can it be tamed or hunted, but he knows his name and thus he knows him. This can be a bit awkward, yet it’s the knowledge we understand. Knowing the name, we already associate certain attributes to it, for example, appearance of the same animal.

Things without names are things we don’t know. Take for example the Maker - we don’t give him any name except “Maker” - one, who makes, or made. Just because we cannot comprehend even how vast the universe is, how it was created, from what, by whom, the amount of energy, willpower, sentient thought, design and random events involved, the scale and complexity is beyond our reach. We cannot even imagine how the Maker would look like, devolving only into something familiar like humanoid forms, but could they exist before era of humans?.. Would the Maker need hands at all, and if he will, why only two?.. Some things we cannot learn and will never learn, leaving it only to our imagination, and yet - there are some people who will claim they know the Maker. Just because they know the ‘name’ - “The Maker”.

This unique property of our mind - giving names - was both helpful and derailing in our development. And yet, we cannot deny the great foresight of the One who forged us and give us this ability. Now, in the age when we have ascended to the stars and travel lightyears faster than crossing around a planet on a vehicle and store accumulated knowledge not just in our brains and books - but in easy accessable databases, this property allows us quickly find anything with a name and read any property of it we wish to know! You can find a system by its name, find how many planets and moons it has, its asteroid belts, stations - without even visiting it yourself!

Now, truly, knowing just the name gives you knowledge or ability to get any knowledge about named thing.

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Please accept my sincerest apologies for the late response to your intriguing thread.

I have been thinking about your query since you posed it almost two weeks ago, and although several distractions have precluded me from responding on here in a timely fashion, it has nonetheless lingered on my mind.

For me, a name is a mark of identity. And as Captain Regyri rightfully states, they possess a certain gravitas to them when they are applied, whether that be as a name which one chooses to identify as, or one that is bestowed upon them, or indeed a particular location in New Eden. A name is a reflection of history and culture, which has resulted in more than one debate and most likely has sparked a conflict or two throughout the centuries over what names are deemed as ‘correct’.

Luminaire Seven is a prime example: Cephalin, Caldari, Home. Names that were given by those that gazed into the stars and wondered ‘what was out there?’. And when through extraordinary endeavours those same people reached out through the divide, they were enlightened with a new name for the planet they had for so long known as Cephalin, or whatever variation in the many languages of Gallentia. Arzad/Starkman is another, the former instituted by House Ardishapur as a geographical recognition, the latter as an undying memorial to an act of unrivalled barbarism and to a Tribe once thought lost to history as a result of that act. A name that has been bitterly contested, as the system itself has been the site of many battles since the CEMWPA Conflict began twelve years ago.

A name can be the culmination of one’s love and admiration for another, just as well as it can be applied out of loathing, hatred and fear. It can be proclaimed out of pride, as well as decried through despair. Through recognition, as well as condemnation. Again, these can be given by several entities each with a different intention, but one that holds meaning to each of them all the same.

A name does not have to be conventional, either. Those impersonal navigation codes you refer to have in some instances been etched into contemporary history with the spread of capsuleer organisations. 1-DQ, for example, is an unconventional name that has obtained meaning beyond it’s designation. BR-5RB is another, with the shattered husks of countless capital vessels drifting in the void immortalising it’s name in the annals of history.

For the communities in Syndicate, the designations without a doubt do not account for what they refer to their systems of residence as. I am sure that there is also a level of disagreement as to what they should be called, as if the navigation codes were updated by CONCORD and the relevant national organs responsible for cartography, what name would they pick? Perhaps that is where one should start, in seeking to describe JQV5-9 and MK7-AO. Go to the people and ask, rather than wait for an administrative change that may not happen for years.

As much as my own personal opinion on Syndicate will cloud my perception of the region, I concede that not all that reside there are complicit in the activities I condemned in recent history. If one would be willing to go to the effort of enlightening us about the communities in the aforementioned systems, it would go to some length at enabling others to understand the history and culture of those that call Syndicate their home.

That is the Federal way, is it not? Through our pursuit of knowledge, the more we can further our understanding of each other. I look forward to reading what you have to write on the subject matter.

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Hi you guys, I’m scared. I read that thingie about can places without names be places? And I was like wooOOah. Did you know that CONCORD took away peoples’ ethnicities? They’re gonna come after the rest of our tabs, too. And like, that’s where I keep all my stuff written. Like my name, you know?

If I lose my name am I a person?

Oh my gosh.

I don’t want to stop being a person.

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Too much Quafe, maybe?

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