, ,

How do you define a single identity model for a global enterprise?

Arguing for a generised identity model that connects to a Master Data Management system for a golden record of userIds and roles reminds me of the joke answer to the barber paradox realisation of Russell’s Paradox.

The barber paradox is:

“The barber is a man in town who shaves all those, and only those, men in town who do not shave themselves.”

From this, asking the question “Who shaves the barber?” results in a paradox because according to the statement above, he can either shave himself, or go to the barber (which happens to be himself).

Just for myself and other who prefer Z-Notation to “proper English” the paradox can be explained as:

(\exists x ) (\text{man}(x) \wedge (\forall y) (\text{man}(y) \rightarrow (\text{shaves}(x, y)  \leftrightarrow \neg \text{shaves}(y, y))))

The paradox breaking answer is “what if the barber is a woman?”. For the global enterprise the problem is that the introspection on the data model is an equal block.  We will all end up with massive beards if we don’t make a decision.  Similarly would philosophers eating spaghetti still get locked if you just let them eat with their hands?