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The OID and I

This article is off topic and likely not of general interest.

I was commenting over at Birther Report, explaining why Zullo’s race codes were fake, not federal codes nor Hawaiian codes. I showed from an example certificate that code “3” stood for the race “part-Hawaiian” on a 1961 Hawaiian birth certificate. One of the rather dim bulbs that comment there argued based on the same certificate:

[A] 3 is also placed by the "steamship" company, what kind of race is steam ship company. Looks more like people making things up as they go on this piece of forged paper.

That comment stuck me as pretty dumb, but then I had to realize that I am somewhat of coding wonk. Maybe some people think that the same number represents the same thing no matter what the context. Codes are meaningful only in the context of a code set, like a set of race codes, or occupation codes, or diagnosis codes.

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