# Social Justice out of control

#### Tharmas

##### Veteran Member
Major League Baseball teams used to maintain a “disabled list” (DL) on which were placed players who had suffered a temporary injury and couldn’t play for a period of time. A player on the DL could be replaced by another able-bodied player.

So last year they changed the name of the DL to “IL,” standing for “injured list,” out of fear of insulting people who were actually disabled. As a permanently disabled person, this rather amused me. It never occurred to me to be offended. I can’t imagine why it would. By the way I am an ardent supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act and get very irritated at buildings – or in my neighborhood, sidewalks – that have not been modified for ease of access.

#### thebeave

##### Veteran Member
Where did he call them deranged? Copernicus said that most, not all people don't care about this. I think he's right. He was just explaining how difficult it would be to change some of the terms that offend a small percentage of people.

It would be really helpful if people would communicate more effectively and actually listen to each other. Imo, it would be better to use our energy to try and change how people treat each other, and work to change the systemic racism in our system, instead of spending so much time worrying about words that aren't even being used to describe humans.

As individuals, we can avoid using certain terms and words to describe groups of people. We can all do that, but if slave/master are used to describe something that has no relationship to humans, it does seem a bit extreme, even to me, a person who always tries not to use offensive terms when it comes to actual humans. But, to use an old cliche' "actions speak louder than words".

How cold and cruel you are using such an expression. I am offended... there are invalids who are incapable of actions and you are saying they don't matter as much as those are.

Just a little satirical example of those who embrace victimhood and wokeness. No words are safe from them.

As a person born without arms and who is thus unable to "embrace" the way you "normal" people do, this offends me. Please consider your choice of words more carefully next time out of respect for us who are appendage challenged. And from now on people, please do not use this emoji ------>

#### thebeave

##### Veteran Member
Major League Baseball teams used to maintain a “disabled list” (DL) on which were placed players who had suffered a temporary injury and couldn’t play for a period of time. A player on the DL could be replaced by another able-bodied player.

So last year they changed the name of the DL to “IL,” standing for “injured list,” out of fear of insulting people who were actually disabled. As a permanently disabled person, this rather amused me. It never occurred to me to be offended. I can’t imagine why it would. By the way I am an ardent supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act and get very irritated at buildings – or in my neighborhood, sidewalks – that have not been modified for ease of access.

Yep. Reminds me of an interview I heard several years ago, about a blind man who had just scaled a pretty technically challenging mountain peak. The woman who was interviewing him was using various PC words throughout the interview to describe his disability, such as "visually impaired", "optically challenged", etc. The whole point of the interview seemed to be to show her audience how "woke" and non-offensive she could be, rather than focusing on his achievement. The guy seemed to be getting exasperated by the tone of the interview. Finally, she asked him what term he prefers to describe himself as, and he replied, "Lady, I'm fucking blind!". She turned bright red. It was classic.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Where did he call them deranged? Copernicus said that most, not all people don't care about this. I think he's right. He was just explaining how difficult it would be to change some of the terms that offend a small percentage of people.

It would be really helpful if people would communicate more effectively and actually listen to each other. Imo, it would be better to use our energy to try and change how people treat each other, and work to change the systemic racism in our system, instead of spending so much time worrying about words that aren't even being used to describe humans.

As individuals, we can avoid using certain terms and words to describe groups of people. We can all do that, but if slave/master are used to describe something that has no relationship to humans, it does seem a bit extreme, even to me, a person who always tries not to use offensive terms when it comes to actual humans. But, to use an old cliche' "actions speak louder than words".

How cold and cruel you are using such an expression. I am offended... there are invalids who are incapable of actions and you are saying they don't matter as much as those are.

Just a little satirical example of those who embrace victimhood and wokeness. No words are safe from them.

As a person born without arms and who is thus unable to "embrace" the way you "normal" people do, this offends me. Please consider your choice of words more carefully next time out of respect for us who are appendage challenged.

Well done... but to be truly woke, you need to be offended for the sake of someone else (or some group that you are not a member of) that you imagine and claim would be offended.

#### thebeave

##### Veteran Member
As a person born without arms and who is thus unable to "embrace" the way you "normal" people do, this offends me. Please consider your choice of words more carefully next time out of respect for us who are appendage challenged.

Well done... but to be truly woke, you need to be offended for the sake of someone else (or some group that you are not a member of) that you imagine and claim would be offended.

Very true. Have you noticed that being offended on behalf of others seems to be a thing that only white people get off on? What's up with that?

https://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/05/28/101-being-offended/

In fact there are few things white people love more than being offended.

Naturally, white people do not get offended by statements directed at white people. In fact, they don’t even have a problem making offensive statements about other white people (ask a white person about “flyover states”). As a rule, white people strongly prefer to get offended on behalf of other people.

It is also valuable to know that white people spend a significant portion of their time preparing for the moment when they will be offended. They read magazines, books, and watch documentaries all in hopes that one day they will encounter a person who will say something offensive. When this happens, they can leap into action with quotes, statistics, and historical examples. Once they have finished lecturing another white person about how it’s wrong to use the term “black” instead of “African-American,” they can sit back and relax in the knowledge that they have made a difference.

#### southernhybrid

##### Contributor
Social justice is one thing. Cancel culture is something else. Cancel culture is way out of control. It stifles free speech and makes people worry about every word that they say or write. We need to stop with that shit. I for one love the letter that was published in Harpers and signed by over 100 intellectuals. It's insane that some of the far left have tried to totally redefine what left and right means when it comes to politics.

Very true. Have you noticed that being offended on behalf of others seems to be a thing that only white people get off on? What's up with that?

I think it must have something to do with white guilt. It's time for us to be more like MLK and stop judging each other by the color of our skin. Feeling guilty never solves problems. It often makes them worse.

Yes, we have a problem with systemic racism in the US, but worrying about every fucking word that comes out of our mouths isn't going to improve things. I try to use words that are respectful because I have no desire to be offensive, but I'm not going to lose sleep if some ultra left wing puritan doesn't approve of some of the things I say. Toltaritarianism isn't any better than fascism.

And, thank y'all for the laughs. Humor is still the best way to cope with crazy. Oh no. Now I've offended the mentally ill. We're all a little crazy when it comes down to it, regardless if we have an official diagnosis.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
I'm out of touch: Most of my contact with Westerners these days is via Message Board and news sites. But one certainly gets the impression that "political correctness" is going way WAY too far. Racism was the norm in past times. Most American abolitionists were racist! — they opposed slavery but wanted to deport Blacks, not give them citizenship. Toppling statues of everyone with guilt by today's standards is absurd. What's next? Dynamite Mount Rushmore? Thomas Jefferson was an enlightened and inspirational beacon of progressive humanitarian thought (and didn't his will free all his slaves?); yet in today's clime some probably regard Jefferson as just another slaveowner — and his slaves' emancipation on his death would just raise the retort "Why not sooner?"

Things really are getting absurd. I watch a Chess channel on YouTube. Recently he had one of his videos taken down; he doesn't know why but suspects he said of a chess position "White is better than Black here." What is he supposed to do? Change the chess colors from white/black to green/pink?

Changing basic vocabulary seems silly. Gradual change? OK. "Cancelling" minor offenders? Count me out.

@ Linguists: Use of "light/dark" that evaluate to "good/bad" is common in English and I doubt that the origin is race-based. How about in African languages? (In Thai "black heart" means "cruel" but this proves little, especially since Thais are light-skinned.)

If anybody has doubts of whether the social justice warrior society is out of control, take a look at this.

"Social media platform Twitter is dropping the terms "master", "slave" and "blacklist" in favour of more inclusive language."
... I'm a lefty... but right now my chips are being moved over on the conservative side because this sort of lunacy has to be stopped.

I'm more centrist than leftist, but support the left because the Right is much too strong in America. Something's wrong if you let this one issue push you rightward generally. You'd be playing into the Right's hands — they exaggerate these excesses of "political correctness" just so they can get more suckers to vote tax cuts for the rich.

This is my biggest complaint with excessive "political correctness." It will annoy or offend a lot of moderates and runs the risk of pushing them to vote for the Party of pandering criminals.

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
It is foolish to argue over the "master/slave" usage, because it exists in technical jargon that is used internationally. It is in countless contracts, specifications, instructions, warranties, and other legal documentation. Most people could care less about this issue, and it would take a lot of people caring for linguistic usage to start to change.

Some people do care, and calling them deranged just because you gont is , well, ironically, rather deranged.

Where did he call them deranged? Copernicus said that most, not all people don't care about this. I think he's right. He was just explaining how difficult it would be to change some of the terms that offend a small percentage of people.

J842P and DrZoidberg did.

Copernicus just was making an appeal to popularity fallacy: most people couldn't care less, therefore it's not a real issue.

He did say "foolish ", though.

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
Where did he call them deranged? Copernicus said that most, not all people don't care about this. I think he's right. He was just explaining how difficult it would be to change some of the terms that offend a small percentage of people.

It would be really helpful if people would communicate more effectively and actually listen to each other. Imo, it would be better to use our energy to try and change how people treat each other, and work to change the systemic racism in our system, instead of spending so much time worrying about words that aren't even being used to describe humans.

As individuals, we can avoid using certain terms and words to describe groups of people. We can all do that, but if slave/master are used to describe something that has no relationship to humans, it does seem a bit extreme, even to me, a person who always tries not to use offensive terms when it comes to actual humans. But, to use an old cliche' "actions speak louder than words".

How cold and cruel you are using such an expression. I am offended... there are invalids who are incapable of actions and you are saying they don't matter as much as those are.

Just a little satirical example of those who embrace victimhood and wokeness. No words are safe from them.

A rather ironic comment, given the context of a thread where someone effectively claims victimhood because a company he never worked for and doesn't plan to work for changes an internal policy that doesn't affect them in the slightest.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
"Slave" is in the context of "master/slave networking" and similar. When I learned of that usage, I found it rather odd, because "slave" is usually considered a demeaning sort of status."Master/servant" would be nicer, since being a servant is a much less demeaning status. There has to be some simple way of stating a command hierarchy here.

As to "blacklist" vs "whitelist", "blocklist" and "allowlist" seems more neutral. "Enemylist" and "friendlist" is another possibility. I've seen "watchlist" in a different context.

As to black and dark being bad and white and light being good, I think that that is a result of what is easier to see -- one can't see very much without a lot of light in one's surrounded. One can't see very much in a dark environment.

The point is clarity. How isn't Master/servant as demeaning? I'd argue that slave is more appropriate since a slave drive has to obey the master drive or it won't work. A servant always has the option to fuck off at any moment. A slave drive is in no way an indipendent unit. Which is what we're trying to communicate. I think it's a great metaphor. Very clear.

And "gaschamber" is an apt metaphor for /dev/null: nothing that goes there ever comes back.

Yet somehow I don't see us picking that up as official terminology: most people with a brain understand that doing so would trivialize the holocaust.

But some people, otherwise appearing to be equipped with a brain, fail to understand that using "slave/master" can be in a fully parallel fashion seen as trivializing slavery.

That's actually quite deranged, to borrow your word.

I think you're trying way too hard to be woke now. "Gas chamber" makes me think more of a car engine or a bong than the Holocaust. The problem is the technical languge used. The name is intended to evoke thoughts other than murder. The thing that makes the Nazi regime so evil is how the dehumanized their victims by wrapping up their terms in medical or technical language. They weren't murdering people. They were "solving problems".

The term "slave" comes from Latin. For all their evils the Romans didn't dehumanize their slaves. They saw them as just as human as they were, humans who had been unlucky in life. That's why the term is stronger than "gas chamber". It's unambiguous. "Gas chamber" has ambiguity and vagueness built into it. It's not poetically strong enough to work in everyday language. If used in a technical context we will take the word litterally and wonder where the gas is.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
Major League Baseball teams used to maintain a “disabled list” (DL) on which were placed players who had suffered a temporary injury and couldn’t play for a period of time. A player on the DL could be replaced by another able-bodied player.

So last year they changed the name of the DL to “IL,” standing for “injured list,” out of fear of insulting people who were actually disabled. As a permanently disabled person, this rather amused me. It never occurred to me to be offended. I can’t imagine why it would. By the way I am an ardent supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act and get very irritated at buildings – or in my neighborhood, sidewalks – that have not been modified for ease of access.

But aren't athletes who can't compete because of injury litterally disabled? Isn't that what the word means?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disability

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
If anybody has doubts of whether the social justice warrior society is out of control, take a look at this.

"Social media platform Twitter is dropping the terms "master", "slave" and "blacklist" in favour of more inclusive language."

This is in the code. It's not in communication material. It's in the code, which nobody other than programmers see. These are also terms that are standardised and universal within programming. They are also useful because they are clear and descriptive. If you have two thingy's on a network and one is called "the master" and the other "the slave" there's no doubt about which does what.

It's also going to be expensive. These kinds of code changes cost a lot of money to push through. I don't think they're thought this through. I think this is something the communication department came up with without fully involving the nerds, because this is just dumb.

I'm a lefty... but right now my chips are being moved over on the conservative side because this sort of lunacy has to be stopped. It's Newspeak. Reality is being replaced by virtue signalling symbols. Progressivism is being forced upon us in Moaist people's courts. While China just turned Hong Kong into an actual totalitarian Big Brother state, Putin became president for life, and the West worries about whether or not code might offend the handful of black programmers that come into contact with it. I suspect that most of their programming is done in India anyway, by people who have no reason to be offended by the term "slave".

This whole thing is just a new SOP for code maintainers. It isn't in the code, it's in the descriptions of what the code does. It's a problem that people trained to read can fix offline while eating lunch. All pointing no substance.

My view is that coders hate oversight and structure. They think of themselves as arteeeests. They hate documenting their stuff. If you can't write good code don't go claiming it's because of management. Yes they're bulshit too, but lack of structure, repeatability, migration, openness to change (modifiability and replaceability) when needed are the real cost drivers of code. So let the maintainer durgs have a few chips.

#### Copernicus

Where did he call them deranged? Copernicus said that most, not all people don't care about this. I think he's right. He was just explaining how difficult it would be to change some of the terms that offend a small percentage of people.

J842P and DrZoidberg did.

Copernicus just was making an appeal to popularity fallacy: most people couldn't care less, therefore it's not a real issue.

He did say "foolish ", though.

What I said was not even close to a popularity fallacy:

It is foolish to argue over the "master/slave" usage, because it exists in technical jargon that is used internationally. It is in countless contracts, specifications, instructions, warranties, and other legal documentation. Most people could care less about this issue, and it would take a lot of people caring for linguistic usage to start to change.

Popularity fallacies claim that some proposition is true because it is believed by large numbers of people, but that is not what I said. I made the point that the "master/slave" terminology exists in all sorts of legal and technical documents. For a change in English usage to occur, a large number of people would need to care enough to make the change. Do you disagree? If so, then explain why you disagree. Mischaracterizing what I said as a popularity fallacy doesn't make your case. Southernhybrid understood it perfectly well.

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
And "gaschamber" is an apt metaphor for /dev/null: nothing that goes there ever comes back.

Yet somehow I don't see us picking that up as official terminology: most people with a brain understand that doing so would trivialize the holocaust.

But some people, otherwise appearing to be equipped with a brain, fail to understand that using "slave/master" can be in a fully parallel fashion seen as trivializing slavery.

That's actually quite deranged, to borrow your word.

I think you're trying way too hard to be woke now. "Gas chamber" makes me think more of a car engine or a bong than the Holocaust. The problem is the technical languge used. The name is intended to evoke thoughts other than murder. The thing that makes the Nazi regime so evil is how the dehumanized their victims by wrapping up their terms in medical or technical language. They weren't murdering people. They were "solving problems".

The term "slave" comes from Latin. For all their evils the Romans didn't dehumanize their slaves.

Actually, the (classical) Latin term for a slave was "servus". The term "slave" emerged in medieval Latin (via Byzantine Greek) from the ethnonym "Slav" since the Byzantines mostly had Southern Slavic slaves. So even if a 1500-year-old etymology of a term where of any relevance to its present connotations (which it isn't), what the Romans did or didn't do to their slaves remains irrelevant, it's the Byzantines you need to ask about.

They saw them as just as human as they were, humans who had been unlucky in life. That's why the term is stronger than "gas chamber". It's unambiguous. "Gas chamber" has ambiguity and vagueness built into it. It's not poetically strong enough to work in everyday language. If used in a technical context we will take the word litterally and wonder where the gas is.

Well that's just bullshit. Taken literally, a slave is a human being with a legal status that makes them something akin to a commodity. If we take that word literally, we'll start wondering where the head and feet are. The entire point of a metaphor is that it's not to be taken literally.

At any rate, are you trying to say we would all be using "gas chamber" for /dev/null if it weren't ambiguous? Because I'm pretty sure we still wouldn't use it because of the associations it evokes. Using "slave/master" as technical jargon is categorically similar in that it evokes the idea of people being dehumanised. It doesn't really matter how the Byzantines 1300 years ago or the Romans 2300 years ago treated their slaves since, with the exception of historians focussing on the medieval/classical periods, that's just not the first association it evokes in the vast majority of English speakers in the 21st century - the first association is that of 19th century plantation slavery.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
Actually, the (classical) Latin term for a slave was "servus". The term "slave" emerged in medieval Latin (via Byzantine Greek) from the ethnonym "Slav" since the Byzantines mostly had Southern Slavic slaves. So even if a 1500-year-old etymology of a term where of any relevance to its present connotations (which it isn't), what the Romans did or didn't do to their slaves remains irrelevant, it's the Byzantines you need to ask about.

My bad. Yes, that is the Roman word for it. But the Romans still had slaves, which was my argument. And their use of slaves is surely the strongest association we have today? Or slaves in the ancient world in general? The Jews in Egypt, etc. Yes, the Byzantines had as well. Also, not irrelevant. I can't really follow your argument for why it would be irrelevant.

They saw them as just as human as they were, humans who had been unlucky in life. That's why the term is stronger than "gas chamber". It's unambiguous. "Gas chamber" has ambiguity and vagueness built into it. It's not poetically strong enough to work in everyday language. If used in a technical context we will take the word litterally and wonder where the gas is.

Well that's just bullshit. Taken literally, a slave is a human being with a legal status that makes them something akin to a commodity. If we take that word literally, we'll start wondering where the head and feet are. The entire point of a metaphor is that it's not to be taken literally.

In Roman culture, At Saturnalia (the pagan Christmas) one meal a year the masters would serve the slaves dinner. Unless slaves were considered fully human with the same emotional life as non-slave, this ritual makes no sense. There were plenty of laws in ancient Rome around fair treatment of slaves. They all had rights as well as differing social status. A slave in ancient Rome wasn't just a slave. In the early Christian church some priests were working as priests while also being slaves. It was something they did on their free time. Yes, they had free time, protected by law. And were allowed to do whatever things they wanted on that spare time. If they weren't considred fully human, how would a Christian free Roman citizen accept joining a congregation led by a slave? But it did happen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

Some of Romes most famous philosophers were slaves. Epictetus for example. He was revered as a living God. And a slave.

At any rate, are you trying to say we would all be using "gas chamber" for /dev/null if it weren't ambiguous? Because I'm pretty sure we still wouldn't use it because of the associations it evokes. Using "slave/master" as technical jargon is categorically similar in that it evokes the idea of people being dehumanised. It doesn't really matter how the Byzantines 1300 years ago or the Romans 2300 years ago treated their slaves since, with the exception of historians focussing on the medieval/classical periods, that's just not the first association it evokes in the vast majority of English speakers in the 21st century - the first association is that of 19th century plantation slavery.

I highly doubt that. Most English speakers are NOT American. I live in Denmark. A part of the old Viking world. The Vikings were primarily slave traders. So that's the first port of call for my associations of that word. The Roman world is my second stop, because I can get my head out of my ass and don't assume my local associations are universal.

African slaves in the Americas (as well as native American slavery) is an odd form of slavery since the slaves were dehumanized and racist theories justifying the colonial powers right to treat them horrendously emerged. For historical reasons. It's NOT universal.

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
My bad. Yes, that is the Roman word for it. But the Romans still had slaves, which was my argument. And their use of slaves is surely the strongest association we have today? Or slaves in the ancient world in general? The Jews in Egypt, etc. Yes, the Byzantines had as well. Also, not irrelevant. I can't really follow your argument for why it would be irrelevant.

It's irrelevant because most people in general, and most coders in particular, are not historians focussing on social relations in antiquity, so whatever a term, or concept, implied to a contemporary in classical Rome isn't what they associate it with.

It really doesn't get any more complicated than that.

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
I highly doubt that. Most English speakers are NOT American.

Most native speakers are. Furthermore, people who know the names and surnames of recent(ish) ancestors who were slaves tend to have stronger associations with the term than people who only heard of it in history books.

I'm willing to bet you 1000 euros of mine against 10 of yours that most coders who fit that bill are indeed American.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
My bad. Yes, that is the Roman word for it. But the Romans still had slaves, which was my argument. And their use of slaves is surely the strongest association we have today? Or slaves in the ancient world in general? The Jews in Egypt, etc. Yes, the Byzantines had as well. Also, not irrelevant. I can't really follow your argument for why it would be irrelevant.

It's irrelevant because most people in general, and most coders in particular, are not historians focussing on social relations in antiquity, so whatever a term, or concept, implied to a contemporary in classical Rome isn't what they associate it with.

It really doesn't get any more complicated than that.

That wasn't my point. We all the time make associations to things only tucked away in our subconscious. But we still make them, regardless of our grasp of history. We don't need to be historians to make associations.

And not to point out the obvious, but by the same token, coders aren't necessarily historians specialised in the Atlantic slave trade or the American version of slavery. So you're arguing against yourself.

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
My bad. Yes, that is the Roman word for it. But the Romans still had slaves, which was my argument. And their use of slaves is surely the strongest association we have today? Or slaves in the ancient world in general? The Jews in Egypt, etc. Yes, the Byzantines had as well. Also, not irrelevant. I can't really follow your argument for why it would be irrelevant.

It's irrelevant because most people in general, and most coders in particular, are not historians focussing on social relations in antiquity, so whatever a term, or concept, implied to a contemporary in classical Rome isn't what they associate it with.

It really doesn't get any more complicated than that.

That wasn't my point. We all the time make associations to things only tucked away in our subconscious. But we still make them, regardless of our grasp of history. We don't need to be historians to make associations.

And not to point out the obvious, but by the same token, coders aren't necessarily historians specialised in the Atlantic slave trade or the American version of slavery.

They are not.

But some coders are the direct descendants of people who were subjected to the American version of slavery a little over 150 years ago, and still know stories about some of them, or at least their names and rough bios (genealogy is an amazingly popular hobby in the US).

Your failure to put yourself into their shoes doesn't make them deranged.

No living coders will tell you stories of their great-great-grandfather who was a Roman slave.

That's my whole point. I don't see what's so hard about it.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
I highly doubt that. Most English speakers are NOT American.

Most native speakers are. Furthermore, people who know the names and surnames of recent(ish) ancestors who were slaves tend to have stronger associations with the term than people who only heard of it in history books.

I'm willing to bet you 1000 euros of mine against 10 of yours that most coders who fit that bill are indeed American.

India? There's way more native English speakers in India than USA. USA isn't even close. And without researching I'm pretty sure most native English speakers live in Africa. I think it's a native language to about half of all Africans. While the Atlantic slave trade was horrific for the Africans, it dwarfs the Arabian slave trade in Africa. The Atlantic slave trade only went on for a couple of centuries. The Arab one has been going strong for thousands of years, and is still ongoing.

I didn't look any of this up, but it's common knowledge.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
They are not.

But some coders are the direct descendants of people who were subjected to the American version of slavery a little over 150 years ago, and still know stories about some of them, or at least their names and rough bios (genealogy is an amazingly popular hobby in the US).

Your failure to put yourself into their shoes doesn't make them deranged.

No living coders will tell you stories of their great-great-grandfather who was a Roman slave.

That's my whole point. I don't see what's so hard about it.

I maintain that you have a particularly US-centric view of this. You're taking your local experience and treating as a universal for all humanity. Slavery has been practiced all over the world and in every culture, and I'm pretty sure we all have our own association depending on where we live.

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
I highly doubt that. Most English speakers are NOT American.

Most native speakers are. Furthermore, people who know the names and surnames of recent(ish) ancestors who were slaves tend to have stronger associations with the term than people who only heard of it in history books.

I'm willing to bet you 1000 euros of mine against 10 of yours that most coders who fit that bill are indeed American.

India? There's way more native English speakers in India than USA. USA isn't even close.

Exactly where are you getting your facts? According to the 2011 census, only about a quarter million people in India spoke English as their first language, with another 130 million stating it as their second or third language. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/in-india-who-speaks-in-english-and-where-1557814101428.html

And without researching I'm pretty sure most native English speakers live in Africa. I think it's a native language to about half of all Africans.

Maybe you should research then. Most Africa belongs to the Francosphere, so English is, at best, a third language. Even in those countries where English is the primary language in commerce and education, only a minority speak it as their first language. In fact, the exclusive use of English (or French, as the case may be) in "higher" spheres, which many poor people don't speak, is a major factor solidifying social stratification in many places in Africa.

While the Atlantic slave trade was horrific for the Africans, it dwarfs the Arabian slave trade in Africa. The Atlantic slave trade only went on for a couple of centuries. The Arab one has been going strong for thousands of years, and is still ongoing.

And that is an argument for claiming that the term "slave" is fairly benign how?

I didn't look any of this up, but it's common knowledge.

2 out of 3 factual claims clearly wrong, one debatable (and irrelevant). Not a bad result for "common knowledge" at all - a lot of it tends to be false.

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
They are not.

But some coders are the direct descendants of people who were subjected to the American version of slavery a little over 150 years ago, and still know stories about some of them, or at least their names and rough bios (genealogy is an amazingly popular hobby in the US).

Your failure to put yourself into their shoes doesn't make them deranged.

No living coders will tell you stories of their great-great-grandfather who was a Roman slave.

That's my whole point. I don't see what's so hard about it.

I maintain that you have a particularly US-centric view of this. You're taking your local experience and treating as a universal for all humanity. Slavery has been practiced all over the world and in every culture, and I'm pretty sure we all have our own association depending on where we live.

I have never even been to the US.

This is, however, a thread about a policy decision by an American company. That alone makes the American experience more relevant than those elsewhere.

#### Worldtraveller

##### Veteran Member
India? There's way more native English speakers in India than USA. USA isn't even close.

Exactly where are you getting your facts? According to the 2011 census, only about a quarter million people in India spoke English as their first language, with another 130 million stating it as their second or third language. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/in-india-who-speaks-in-english-and-where-1557814101428.html

And without researching I'm pretty sure most native English speakers live in Africa. I think it's a native language to about half of all Africans.

Maybe you should research then. Most Africa belongs to the Francosphere, so English is, at best, a third language. Even in those countries where English is the primary language in commerce and education, only a minority speak it as their first language. In fact, the exclusive use of English (or French, as the case may be) in "higher" spheres, which many poor people don't speak, is a major factor solidifying social stratification in many places in Africa.

While the Atlantic slave trade was horrific for the Africans, it dwarfs the Arabian slave trade in Africa. The Atlantic slave trade only went on for a couple of centuries. The Arab one has been going strong for thousands of years, and is still ongoing.

And that is an argument for claiming that the term "slave" is fairly benign how?

I didn't look any of this up, but it's common knowledge.

2 out of 3 factual claims clearly wrong, one debatable (and irrelevant). Not a bad result for "common knowledge" at all - a lot of it tends to be false.
Welcome to TFT, have you met "Dr." Zoidberg?

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member
Exactly where are you getting your facts? According to the 2011 census, only about a quarter million people in India spoke English as their first language, with another 130 million stating it as their second or third language. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/in-india-who-speaks-in-english-and-where-1557814101428.html

Maybe you should research then. Most Africa belongs to the Francosphere, so English is, at best, a third language. Even in those countries where English is the primary language in commerce and education, only a minority speak it as their first language. In fact, the exclusive use of English (or French, as the case may be) in "higher" spheres, which many poor people don't speak, is a major factor solidifying social stratification in many places in Africa.

While the Atlantic slave trade was horrific for the Africans, it dwarfs the Arabian slave trade in Africa. The Atlantic slave trade only went on for a couple of centuries. The Arab one has been going strong for thousands of years, and is still ongoing.

And that is an argument for claiming that the term "slave" is fairly benign how?

I didn't look any of this up, but it's common knowledge.

2 out of 3 factual claims clearly wrong, one debatable (and irrelevant). Not a bad result for "common knowledge" at all - a lot of it tends to be false.
Welcome to TFT, have you met "Dr." Zoidberg?

Dr. I'm-a-lefty-but-I-will-defend-the-stupidest-conservative-arguments-because-stupid-arguments-are-my-thing?

#### Jokodo

##### Veteran Member

If anybody has doubts of whether the social justice warrior society is out of control, take a look at this.

"Social media platform Twitter is dropping the terms "master", "slave" and "blacklist" in favour of more inclusive language."

So a private US enterprise decides to divert a minuscule fraction of their revenue to changing terminology that they feel might be inappropriate in the US context. How is this any of your business? Why do you even care? And what does ancient Roman history have to do with any of that?

This is in the code. It's not in communication material. It's in the code, which nobody other than programmers see.

And the reason it is in the code is because it seemed like an apt and innocuous metaphor to a handful of predominantly white American lead engineers growing up in a largely segregated society who coined those terms back in the 1950s to 1970s when computer science came of age. The reason they even thought of those metaphors instead of any other equally apt pair of words is because the concepts felt familiar coming from their cultural knowledge of US history. What those terms might evoke for African-American programmers seeing them everyday wasn't even on their radar, and as far as I can tell, no-one's blaming them for it - not the engineers who instigated the change, not Twitter's management, not the people welcoming the change. The only proposition made by those "social justice warriors" you so fiercely oppose is that this isn't the 1960s anymore, and maybe in retrospect their choice of terms wasn't the most sensitive. If you think that's "out of control" or "deranged", you'll have some explaining to do.

These are also terms that are standardised and universal within programming. They are also useful because they are clear and descriptive. If you have two thingy's on a network and one is called "the master" and the other "the slave" there's no doubt about which does what.

There's no doubt about which does what when they're called "leader" and "follower", or "allowlist" and "denylist" either. If anything, the proposed new terminology is even clearer and requires less historical and cultural context to assign an interpretation to someone hearing it for the first time. (For what it's worth, I don't think the background for "blacklist" or "whitelist" is racial, but "allowlist" and "denylist" are still clearer.)

It's also going to be expensive. These kinds of code changes cost a lot of money to push through.

Why don't you let that be a concern for Twitter's shareholders and costumers? Also, can you quantify "a lot of money", as a percentage of Twitter's annual revenue? Can you compare the figure to the cost of moving from one docstring convention to another, or from one Java version to another? I'm willing to bet a substantial sum that the cost will be minuscule in comparison. Where's your drunken rant about about the lunacy of keeping up with the most recent Java releases?

I don't think they're thought this through. I think this is something the communication department came up with without fully involving the nerds, because this is just dumb.

You're wrong about that, and all it took to verify it is to follow up the links in the article you yourself provided. The policy change was spearheaded by a pair of engineers by the names of Regynald Augustin and Kevin Oliver. Maybe you should read more nerdy sources? https://www.cnet.com/news/twitter-engineers-replace-racially-loaded-tech-terms-like-master-slave/

I'm a lefty... but right now my chips are being moved over on the conservative side because this sort of lunacy has to be stopped. It's Newspeak. Reality is being replaced by virtue signalling symbols. Progressivism is being forced upon us in Moaist people's courts. While China just turned Hong Kong into an actual totalitarian Big Brother state, Putin became president for life, and the West worries about whether or not code might offend the handful of black programmers that come into contact with it.

A textbook example of whataboutism. Yes, there's a lot of problems in this world that are more pressing than whether a subordinate device is called "slave" or "follower". I don't see where Regynald Augustin, Kevin Oliver, or anyone else for that matter has claimed otherwise. Most of those more substantial problems are, however, not for Twitter to solve.

I suspect that most of their programming is done in India anyway, by people who have no reason to be offended by the term "slave".

They have no reason to be offended by the the term "follower" either. So it's a win-win: Where previously some people were offended while others weren't, now no-one has reason to be offended. Other than whiny "I'm-a-lefty-butts" who get offended by change (any change pretty much) for the sake of getting defending the good old ways (a.k.a. conservatives in the narrowest sense of the word).