back to article Developers renew push to get rid of objectionable code terms to make 'the world a tiny bit more welcoming'

Amid the protests over the death of George Floyd, activists in the software community have taken the opportunity to remind people that they're trying to do away with terminology tied to racial oppression. On Monday, Scott Hanselman, a programmer and educator who happens to work at Microsoft, published a blog post about how to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BTW: How did that work out?

    Remember the controversy (abetted by a very nasty Joyent *) over gendered pronouns in source for Node? Someone submitted a PR tweaking only pronouns and one of the prime Node devs (non-native English speaker in non-hungup country) said "wha? why?" and got pilloried?

    Did that original someone *ever* do anything else 'worthwhile' for that open source project? Or any other?

    (* Joyent was a competitor with the company that the pilloried dev worked for. Not entirely unself-serving social action they indulged in.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: quick, they're discussing race again!!

      Well divert with some irrelevant detail and turn it into a conversation blocking thread at the start of the comments! Duh!!

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: BTW: How did that work out?

      Did that original someone *ever* do anything else 'worthwhile' for that open source project? Or any other?

      I'd like to seriously know. My guess: No. REAL developers care about programming and functionality and quality. NOT "that".

      from the article: activists in the software community have taken the opportunity to remind people that they're trying to do away with terminology tied to racial oppression.

      That's right. ACTIVISTS are doing this. And they're busy trying to define what the "RULES" are that are allegedly being "violated". [insert usual comments here]

      And maybe the best way to RESIST it is to IGNORE the lunacy, until it goes away. Because, bending to it will ONLY get you EVEN MORE lunacy in return.

      That's how *I* see it, In My Bombastic Opinion.

      /me steps down from my soapbox, puts the bullhorn back in its case, and goes back to just writing code, and ignoring feelings, as usual. I think I'll focus on having it WORK and NOT have serious vulnerabilities. That seems to be a LOT more important!

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: BTW: How did that work out?

        Did that original someone *ever* do anything else 'worthwhile' for that open source project? Or any other?

        I'd like to seriously know. My guess: No. REAL developers care about programming and functionality and quality. NOT racism and systemic oppression.

        Fixed it for you.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: BTW: How did that work out?

          Those who can, code.

          Those who can't, bitch about the lingua franca.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Those who can, code.

            Are you saying I can't code because I have a different opinion to you about racist language?

            How does that work then?

            1. genghis_uk Bronze badge
              WTF?

              Re: Those who can, code.

              To be 'racist' there needs to be some intent to cause hurt - this is where the SJW'sand other do-gooder's get it wrong.

              If I say something is black is is because it is not reflecting light it has bugger all to do with race. To be honest, if I say someone is black it is descriptive in the same way as blonde, or tall is descriptive. There is no malice there and none should be implied. Blacklist has no overtly racist overtones unless you want to read it that way - that is on you not the originator.

              Master-Slave in software is descriptive if we use it as a description. It neither condones slavery nor implies racism (there were 1000's of years of slavery before Africa got involved) so why is there a problem? Is a person of colour less likely to use a SPI bus because is has MOSI ans MISO controls?

              Bloody word police! How much of this is due to real offence vs. 'we think it could be offensive' from people who feel they have to be offended on behalf of others?

            2. Matthew Taylor

              Re: Those who can, code.

              Programming requires abstraction - the ability to step back from concepts and see them in logical terms. Getting upset over terms like master & slave - when they're clearly nothing to do with human subjugation in a programming context - implies a lack of ability in that regard.

            3. oldfartuk

              Re: Those who can, code.

              racist my arse. It complete bullshit. its NOTHING TO DO WITH RACISM, unless you are a brainless Z list celeb trying to jump on the bandwaggon or some gullible wet behind the ears snowflake thats been brainwashed at school. It looking to racism where no racism has even existed. On the other hand, destroying english cultural artifacts like statues is anti white racism.

              1. Mooseman Silver badge

                Re: Those who can, code.

                "anti white racism" - chucking a statue of a slave trader in the briny. Oh dear, oh dear. I suppose you empathise or support those morons doing Nazi salutes at the cenotaph as well? After all they claimed they were "protecting their heritage". Just when you cant imagine things cant sink any lower you come along and prove me wrong.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: BTW: How did that work out?

          My guess: No. REAL developers care about programming and functionality and quality. NOT racism and systemic oppression.

          This lazy, ignorant, and wrong headed assumption that one race of people is more racist than another is doing us all no favours. There are two facts that always get overlooked:

          1) People of all races are racist. Let me be explicit here, black people are every bit as racist as white people.

          2) The UK is the least racist major country in the world. If you think there's another, name it and explain why.

          Moaning about terminology, frankly, is a waste of everyones time and smacks of white-savior syndrome. If you genuinely choose to be offended by terms such as master/slave as it relates to coding/engineering/etc then you are the problem. No amount of appeasement will ever be enough for you because you'll just choose the next thing in line to be offended about. You need something else in your life because if you've time to choose to be offended by that then you have far too much time on your hands.

          1. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: BTW: How did that work out?

            "The UK is the least racist major country in the world. If you think there's another, name it and explain why."

            No, I think you need to substantiate that claim.

            1. sed gawk Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: BTW: How did that work out?

              It's easy define "major country" as UK or US. and we are clearly the least racist major country in the world. Q.E.D.

            2. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: BTW: How did that work out?

              No, I think you need to substantiate that claim.

              Trivially easy, and yet the data isn't codified into a single metric.

              Major countries - lets define that for arguments sake as the G7.

              Numbers for racial equality aren't easy to find, but there is a set called the World Values Survey, explained below:

              "The World Values Survey asked respondents from more than 80 countries dozens of questions, including one that asks respondents to identify types of people they would not want as neighbors. The researchers reasoned that the more people of a single country who respond that they would not want a neighbor of a different race, the less racially tolerant you could call that society."

              So, lets take a look at what the numbers tell us then.

              "Generally, the least racially tolerant countries were in Africa and Asia"

              From that we can evidence that racism is not, contrary to the current trendy pretense, a white people thing.

              Further:

              "while the most tolerant countries were Latin countries, Scandinavian countries, and the United Kingdom and its former colonies (the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand)."

              So lets map those 4 nations back onto the G7. We can lose Australia. That sees the UK with a top 4 finish at the very least - among a field of almost 200 nations.

              https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/least-racist-countries/

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2013/05/15/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-racially-tolerant-countries/

              Now lets take a look not at what people say but by what they do.

              In the UK "the vote was restricted to adult males and also by property qualifications, but never by race. The first black person known to have voted in a British election was Ignatius Sancho who qualified in Westminster in 1774 and 1780."

              In America "After 1870 blacks were theoretically equal before the law, the period of time between the end of Reconstruction era and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 showed that racial equality has been inconsistent in American life."

              So between 100 and almost 200 years later, just to gain recognition as equals. Bye bye America. That leaves Canada and New Zealand left.

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

              Lets move on to who actually lives there then....

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_ranked_by_ethnic_and_cultural_diversity_level#List_based_on_Alesina_et_al's_analysis

              The UK works out at 54 for ethnic fractionalization vs NZ's 109th. Canada comes in at 181.

              NZ literally belongs to the Maori people and yet they are routinely treated as being second class in their own lands. See literally any mainstream media outlet in NZ for details.

              Canadians simply killed off almost everyone that originally lived there so its basically white European.

              At this point, you're going to struggle to find any evidence to overturn what I've said, so we can probably consider this point made, case proven.

              If not, and to all the muted downvoters, state your case. Which major country is less racist than the UK, and why?

          2. AVee

            Re: BTW: How did that work out?

            2) The UK is the least racist major country in the world. If you think there's another, name it and explain why.

            Excuse me? You make a very bold statement there without any explanation at all. How are you demanding explanation by others?

            But I'll bite and name a few: Morocco, Algeria, Philippines, New Zealand, Russia, Albania, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Norway, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Netherlands, El Salvador, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Bangladesh, Portugal, Canada, Kenya, Poland, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nigeria, Singapore, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda.

            And here's why: https://www.indexmundi.com/surveys/results/8

            So, now show me your proof, which I fully expect to be a lot better then mine...

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: BTW: How did that work out?

              But I'll bite and name a few: Morocco, Algeria, Philippines, New Zealand, Russia, Albania, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Norway, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Netherlands, El Salvador, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Bangladesh, Portugal, Canada, Kenya, Poland, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nigeria, Singapore, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda.

              And yet you've fallen at the first hurdle because none of those are major countries. Otherwise I'd have given you Cuba near the top.

              Further your source is transparently rubbish. Asking an ethnically homogenous nation how racially equal it is will never produce the same range of scores as asking an ethnically diverse country the same question.

              1. AVee

                Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                Sure, my source is crap. I'm well aware of that. Which is exactly why I said I expected you to come up with proof that was better then mine. But even given this very low bar you still fail to come up with anything at all to back up your claim...

                (Never mind that Canada and Russia are in that list, if those are not major countries the UK isn't either..)

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                  But even given this very low bar you still fail to come up with anything at all to back up your claim...

                  Asked and answered elsewhere in the thread by another poster.

                  (Never mind that Canada and Russia are in that list, if those are not major countries the UK isn't either..)

                  If you seriously think Russia is less racist than the UK then you are delusional and I can't help you.

              2. Drew Scriver Silver badge

                Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                You listed those countries in jest, right?

                I happen to be quite familiar with some of those countries, the Netherlands in particular, and I can tell you unequivocally that racism* is very real there.

                *Racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race (Merriam Webster)

                On a side note, racism is bolstered by the logical conclusions of the theory of evolution. Thanks, Darwin.

                1. sed gawk Silver badge

                  Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                  Swatze peter - just saying.

                  Incidently the Brits to a man, went wtf... so make of that what you will.

                  1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

                    Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                    Zwarte Piet. Or "Black Pete", if you will.

                    However, I don't think it's as easy as pointing to ZP/BP and concluding that they're all racists. Not everyone who supports the tradition believes that people are inherently superior or inferior based on their 'race'.

                    Having said that, I am troubled by those who support ZP/BP without reservation even though it has become quite clear that a growing number of people equate it with racism.

                    I wonder how many of the Dutch are wondering why in the world some groups in the USA hold on to the Confederate Flag, but yet would take to the streets to defend the tradition of ZP/BP.

                2. bombastic bob Silver badge
                  Unhappy

                  Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                  maybe if everyone were to just STOP caring about race and racism, and just treat everyone the same, regardless... yeah I can dream. Unfortunately, the issues brought up by the activists may, in fact, be prolonging racism in society instead of ELIMINATING it. It's back to why we need to ignore the lunacy, NOT give these people any credit for ANYTHING, and especially NOT bow to their demands.

                3. Wellyboot Silver badge

                  Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                  >>>racism is bolstered by the logical conclusions of the theory of evolution. Thanks, Darwin.<<<

                  Sorry Drew, those would be ilIogical conclusions.

                  The premise that all Darwinian change is improvement is wrong, Darwinian change merely covers changes to suit the prevailing conditions*. Evolved skin tones lighten with distance from the equator due to the relative intensity of sunlight, it is a balanced response to the human bodies need to 'produce vitamin-D in' and 'avoid UV damage to' the live tissue directly under skin.

                  I agree with the rest of your post.

                  * Dodo bird : Original pigeon like population flew to the island and then due to the total lack of predators evolved to be large, flightless and completely incapable of any self defence.

                  1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

                    Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                    Even though Darwin referred to a "common ancestor", he left ample room for different lines to have developed that could be considered independent.

                    Although various ideas about 'races' (developed along different evolutionary lines) were already present before Darwin boarded the Beagle, he became a catalyst for their furtherance.

                    As such, the notion that some groups are more advanced than others did not originate with Darwin, but his concept of the "hierarchy of man" did bolster them.

                    Many school textbooks well into the 20th century espoused clearly racist ideas. Many (implicitly or explicitly) referred to Darwinism as the source.

                    Even trusted sources like the Encyclopedia Britannica espoused the superiority of certain 'races' over others.

                    Here's an interesting article that provides an insightful survey of racism in textbooks:

                    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.565.5305&rep=rep1&type=pdf

                    Disclaimer: I have not yet had time to verify the veracity of its claims.

                4. Mooseman Silver badge

                  Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                  "racism is bolstered by the logical conclusions of the theory of evolution. "

                  OK, I'll bite - in what demented version of evolutionary theory is racism a logical conclusion?

            2. oldfartuk

              Re: BTW: How did that work out?

              The UK has welcomed people of all colours for centuries. Why would we do that if we were a 'racist ' country. Its brainless figment of the imagination by a bunch of marxist agitators, whos true intent is the destruction of capitalism and the instigation of world Marxism. Groups like Momentum openly admit it, as does Extenction Rebellion. And whats even more absurd is to judge a philanthropist from the 18th century, who gave away a fortune and built Guys Hospital, which has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people of all colour, to then judge him on the values of a totally different world 200 years later is absurd, and is not done seriously to combat racism but as an excuse to riot and destroy English cultural icons. What it IS is a cultural war against the English. A Race war, instigated by black racists and middle class marxists.

              1. mattje

                Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                "What it IS is a cultural war against the English. A Race war, instigated by black racists and middle class marxists."

                So Black "racist" people and middle class Marxist people are not English?

                1. Mooseman Silver badge

                  Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                  "So Black "racist" people and middle class Marxist people are not English?"

                  He probably considers them to be somehow "lesser" people, some kind of untermensch…

              2. Mooseman Silver badge

                Re: BTW: How did that work out?

                "marxist agitators, whos true intent is the destruction of capitalism and the instigation of world Marxism. Groups like Momentum openly admit it, as does Extenction Rebellion"

                Jesus, you are an idiot aren't you?

          3. Smooth Newt Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: BTW: How did that work out?

            2) The UK is the least racist major country in the world. If you think there's another, name it and explain why.

            You are Boris Johnson and I claim my £5. Not sure how you are going to send it to me though, as you might make a dreadful mistake trying to post a cheque since burqa-wearing Muslim women apparently look like letterboxes.

          4. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: BTW: How did that work out?

            I once suggested, the last time this issue ran its course a couple o' years ago, that instead of allegedly "oppressive" terms like master/slave, they could use S&M terms like "dominant/submissive" instead and go down THAT (rabbit) hole.

            Someone else also pointed out that the term 'master' alone has a LOT of positive contexts:

            a) master craftsman

            b) martial arts master

            c) master's degree

            And so on.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: BTW: How did that work out?

              I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with Bombastic Bob - the attempts to mollify and assuage some people's guilt by changing things that have essentially nothing to do with our history of slavery actually cheapens the point of the whole BLM movement. "Master" has many semantic connotations, and by focusing on pointless term changing while ignoring the fundamental issues is pointless.

        3. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: BTW: How did that work out?

          I have one black software developer colleague. I think he would be totally confused if anyone told him that he is supposedly suppressed because we have a "master" branch in git. Or that having a blacklist or whitelist is somehow aiming at him. Now someone here said:

          "My guess: No. REAL developers care about programming and functionality and quality. NOT racism and systemic oppression."

          But that's wrong. REAL developers are decent human people who care very much about racism and systemic oppression. They just don't see a word like "master" or "blacklist" in a software development context to be in any way related to racism.

          1. Jaybus

            Re: BTW: How did that work out?

            By contrast, had you a Neo-Nazi colleague who actively promoted racism, still he or she would not likely consider the master branch in git to be a racist term.

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: BTW: How did that work out?

        You are correct, it is just a load of whitewashing rose fertilizer, it won't do anything for attitudes in the real world.

  2. TRT Silver badge

    I suppose black hat and white hat has to go as well. then.

    1. Def Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Or maybe we could just accept that some words have multiple meanings and context really does matter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Def - Yeah but

        that would imply using grey matter which is getting scarce in these days.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: @Def - Yeah but

          There is plenty of grey matter to go around. What there is a lack of is bothering to use it, because that would be hard.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: @Def - Yeah but

            I mean... one could align it with red team / blue team terminology, but that would mean... blue hat = good, and red hat = bad... and I'm sure Fedora would have something to say about that.

            1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

              Re: @Def - Yeah but

              Red is out, too. As an example, consider the controversy regarding the name of the Washington Redskins (American Football) team...

              Fedora, by the way, may also be problematic. In some countries it's a symbol of old men who drive too slowly. Other cultures regard it as a fashion attribute, but some gangs have adopted it to make a statement.

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: @Def - Yeah but

                Beat it! It's the Feds!

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: @Def - Yeah but

                Aye, for the worst of the Red Hat gangs look up The Red Hat Society. Be prepared to be shocked that such a thing can be allowed to exist in our modern world ...

        2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: @Def - Yeah but

          that would imply using grey matter

          Which shade? Inquiring minds need to know.

          1. jake Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: @Def - Yeah but

            Which shade? If you were to really open your mind, you'd know.

            I suggest having a beer and a cogitate instead.

            1. Geoffrey W

              Re: @Def - Yeah but

              RE: "...really open your mind..."

              The problem with having an open mind, is that others keep putting things into it.

            2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: @Def - Yeah but

              If you were to really open your mind

              My mind is open enough to regret reading "Fifty Shades Of Grey" (and the sequels).

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: @Def - Yeah but

                Just remember that an open mind isn't the same thing as a hole in your head.

                I read the first couple pages of fifty shades, and tossed it as trash (actually, I put it into one of the Sonoma "book share" boxes for someone else to try). Not worth the paper it was printed on, IMO. Before you flame me for this comment, please try to remember that if we all liked the exact same things, the world would be an extremely boring place.

              2. MJI Silver badge

                Re: @Def - Yeah but

                Sometimes you just know it will be bad.

                This was basically Twilight fan fiction.

                Couple of paragraphs online were enough to tell it was crap.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Def - Yeah but

                I downloaded a naughty copy of 50 Shades from the interwebs and I disliked it so much that I downloaded it 15 more times, just to spite her. That'll learn her - 16 copies of her nookie bookie she will never now sell. Ha!

      2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        context is racist now

      3. Louis Schreurs Bronze badge

        Context Does Matter

      4. AVee

        "...and context really does matter."

        Not just context, personal perception too.

        "Users are loosers."

        Now I bet the majority of readers here didn't think about drugs first. Yet some non-IT person from the US that was around during the Reagan era would associate it with drugs instantly.

        And that's whats happening here as well. If you are working software all day your first association with a term like 'master' will be purely technical and therefore neutral. If you are working on racism/slavery related things all day your first association will be very different (and not so neutral).

        I'm fine with being accommodating to people for whom those terms are loaded with a different meaning. But at the same time it's rather offensive when use of technical terms like that which to me are perfectly neutral is labeled as racism, because that's just not fair.

        So if anyone really wants to do something about racism, take some time to understand the different perception someone else may have. Otherwise you are just contributing to the "Us vs Them" mentality which feeds most racism in the first place. Be better...

        1. Def Silver badge
          Coat

          "Users are loosers."

          Now I bet the majority of readers here didn't think about drugs first.

          No, my first thought was: That's not how you spell 'losers'. ;)

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Gon't you mean lUsers?

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      It's not unreasonable to change black/white where the meaning is white=good, black=bad.

      This isn't exactly the Daily-Mail fake frothing about not being able to say blackboard or black coffee

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Yet Another - Problem is

        who decides what is good and what is bad ? For instance, a black horse, is it a good one or a bad one ?

        1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

          Re: @Yet Another - Problem is

          Depends how you cook it, surely?

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: @Yet Another - Problem is

            Nope, you don't cook it, you either grill it or you stir fry it ;)

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: @Yet Another - Problem is

          >who decides what is good and what is bad

          The point is using black/white to mean bad/good as in blacklist or black hat.

          If you don't think this is offensive feel free to swap black/white for Jew/Muslim or Catholic/Protestant in your docs

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: @Yet Another - Problem is

            Unfortunately for your argument, Yet Another Anonymous coward, those words are never used in that context, never have been used in that context, and nobody is suggesting that they are used in that context.

            Except, apparently, you. Are you a religious bigot?

            1. HildyJ Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Shut it

              Anonymous Coward used the wrong examples. Christian / Jewish lists come to mind. Or, if you want to stick to colors, how about Green / Orange lists? Those contrasts have been used as a substitute for good and bad. As an atheist, I can't say I'm personally insulted but I can see and acknowledge that others are. The point is that words have meaning and context.

              I'm a privileged white male who grew up in the south and, since I worked in IT, almost all of my colleagues were privileged white males (at least until H1-B visas became big). Even from an early age I recognized that white /black was meant to be insulting. Substituting good and bad gives the exact same meaning without the racial content (and might actually make more sense to users).

              Why people are getting so up in arms about this is beyond me.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Shut it

                Shut what? Are you attempting to censor me? Really? You are trying to shut me up in the name of equality? Do you see how fucking stupid that very concept is?

                "Why people are getting so up in arms about this is beyond me."

                Because people like you (and other holier-than-thou wannabe do-gooders) are assigning intent to other people's use of language, even though that intent doesn't exist. You are inventing my intent out of the whole cloth, and I don't take kindly to that. Worse, you have the damn gall to insist that you are offended on behalf of other people over use of that language, despite none of those other people needing, wanting or asking for your "help".

                I am perfectly capable of putting my own foot in my mouth, and apologizing for it if needs be, without folks like you dreaming up stuff I never did, said or intended to apologize for, thank you very much. So fucking butt-out, unless you have something positive to add to the conversation.

                1. Anthony 13

                  Re: Shut it

                  Wow, just wow... Someone highlights fact that there are clear inequalities they have witnessed in society and, hey, maybe there are some simple changes around language that could encourage inclusivity for other people. And you go absolutely ape-shit? How can you be so angry about that?

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: Shut it

                    How can you be so angry about that?

                    Probably because its utter fucking nonsense, I guess.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Shut it

                  "Worse, you have the damn gall to insist that you are offended on behalf of other people over use of that language, despite none of those other people needing, wanting or asking for your "help"."

                  Please Help, Jake can you help too?

                  what will it take for society to make some small changes to make things better?

                  Sexual equalities rules seem to have come in really quickly, which is a good thing, why is it still taking time for racial equality to percolate through.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Shut it

                    "what will it take for society to make some small changes to make things better?"

                    Tolerance. From everybody. No exceptions. Yes, this means you.

                    Be slow to give offense. Be even slower to take it.

              2. sabroni Silver badge

                Re: Why people are getting so up in arms about this is beyond me.

                Duh.

                White privilege.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Why people are getting so up in arms about this is beyond me.

                  What would you do if I were to tell you that I am not a Caucasian, Sabroni?

                2. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: Why people are getting so up in arms about this is beyond me.

                  White privilege.

                  The only meaning that phrase has is "I'm a bored middle class bore with too much time on my hands and not enough useful things to be doing". It's not a thing and you'd do yourself no end of good to stop pretending that it might be. It's born of exactly the same nonsense that leads the handwringers to the illogical and wrong conclusion that only white people can be racist.

                  I grew up in one of the least privileged parts of the country during a time when that meant hardship rather than not having the full sky tv package. Black, white, whatever, there was no privilege, everyone faced the same hardships and challenges.

                  Black people are every bit as racist as white people. They always were. They always will be. Confronting and eventually ending racism absolutely requires that you take that fact to heart and make it part of your thinking.

                  This demonising the left do of the white folk is exactly the same as the klan used to do of the black folk in the south, and for the same reason. You're racists.

              3. Alan Mackenzie

                Re: Shut it

                Green and orange will cause you trouble in Ireland.

                1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
                  Meh

                  Re: Shut it

                  Green and orange will cause you trouble in Ireland.

                  In the 2000s there was an Orange mobile phone shop in the middle of Belfast. I used to regularly walk past it. It prominently displayed the then-current Orange UK slogan of "The future is Orange". I often wondered at two things - why its windows remained intact, and how profitable it must have been.

                  If you were on the Loyalist divide in Northern Ireland and of a certain mindset, then there would doubtless only be one mobile phone to have. And you probably applied strong, perhaps kinetic, pressure on everyone else in your community to do the same.

                  I imagine most of the people living in Republican areas went Vodafone though.

                  1. RobbieM

                    Re: Shut it

                    I was in Italy a few years ago and noticed that one of the mobile companies was Telephonica Italia Mobilia, pardon the cod italian. or TIM and its company colours were red white and blue. for someone who grew up in the west of Scotland this was hilarious, for anybody else, other than the Irish, probably went straight over their head.

                    1. katrinab Silver badge
                      Headmaster

                      Re: Shut it

                      Telecom Italia Mobile

                      Telefónica is Spanish, the Italian equivalent is Telefonia

                    2. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

                      Re: Shut it

                      OK - I'll admit to being an ignoramus and it went over my head.

                      Why was it hilarious ?

                      1. katrinab Silver badge

                        Re: Shut it

                        http://www.thecelticwiki.com/page/Tim

                        A Tim would not use Red, White, & Blue as their colours.

                        1. Lunatic Looking For Asylum
                          Pint

                          Re: Shut it

                          Suitably enlightened :-)

                          Being English and not being interested in football probably explains my ignorance/lack of privilege ;-)

                          Have a beer.

                      2. RobbieM
                        Coat

                        Re: Shut it

                        I just typed a long explanation and then realised it wasnt worth it. so dont worry about it if you dont get it.

              4. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: Shut it

                I'm a privileged white male who grew up in the south and, since I worked in IT, almost all of my colleagues were privileged white males (at least until H1-B visas became big). Even from an early age I recognized that white /black was meant to be insulting. Substituting good and bad gives the exact same meaning without the racial content (and might actually make more sense to users).

                I'm a white male, not privileged you see, because growing up in the working class North East there was no privilege to be found - we were more worried about keeping food on the table and a roof over our heads, just the same as the folks of whatever race or gender next door.

                I work in IT and for most of my career most of my colleagues were white, though not in my current teams. Being white is not a privilege, or a blessing, any more than it is a disadvantage or a curse. If you seek to portray it as a privilege then you're choosing to think of it as functionally superior and you are a racist.

                Whitelist blacklist etc are not meant to be racist or insulting. If you choose to feel that they are then knock yourself out, just don't be surprised or disappointed when the rest of us choose not to play along.

                Playing word games is the very definition of newspeak. I choose not to live in your Orwellian nightmare, and if you choose to be offended by that then tough shit, grow up.

                1. katrinab Silver badge
                  Meh

                  Re: Shut it

                  White privilege means being able to go out without being shot at by the police, not being expelled from school for having hair on your head, and other similar things that you take for granted. It doesn't mean you are super-wealthy.

                  1. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

                    Re: Shut it

                    Is that why the black kids are knifing each other and shooting innocent young women on the way to the shops.

                    The white kids are privilieged to avoid that ?

                    When I grew up black and white were names for colours, we were colour blind - we didn't care what colour the kids were, we just played together.

                  2. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: Shut it

                    White privilege means being able to go out without being shot at by the police

                    So basically everyone in the UK, except we're not all white. Quack quack oops.

                    not being expelled from school for having hair on your head

                    I used to get in trouble for just the opposite of that oddly enough.

                    other similar things that you take for granted

                    Such as what, exactly?

                    It doesn't mean you are super-wealthy.

                    No, it literally means a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group, in this case you're trying to couple it to being white, and yet have zero evidence for your view.

                    What rights do whites specifically enjoy that blacks don't? I'll give you a clue. It begins with the word "Nothing" and ends with the words "absolutely nothing".

                    So stop being racist and grow up.

                2. Mooseman Silver badge

                  Re: Shut it

                  "in the working class North East there was no privilege to be found "

                  You're missing the point. "Privilege" does not refer to your personal wealth or circumstances, it means that given the same situation, say applying for a job, you are far more likely to get the job if you happened to be white. You are far more likely to be stopped by the police of you happen to be black. It's not relevant to say "I grew up poor" - many of us did too, but you and I both missed out on the added disadvantage of being black.

                  On your "everyone is racist" comment, I would agree, in general terms (I'm not applying this to individuals, just as a broad white/black/ whatever brush) - the most blatantly racist people I ever had the misfortune to work with were Indian, they hated everyone, "pakis" particularly, but this was in a company where 99% of the staff were Indian and probably felt they could say that kind of thing without fear or consequence. It is interesting to see how people behave if they don't feel there is any reason for them not to say things that normally we would find abhorrent.

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: Shut it

                    You're missing the point.

                    One of us certainly is but it isn't me.

                    "Privilege" does not refer to your personal wealth or circumstances, it means that given the same situation, say applying for a job, you are far more likely to get the job if you happened to be white.

                    Except it isn't remotely true. White's make up a far lower percentage of professional roles than should be the case based on ethnic diversity. In medicine go and see your local GP surgery or hospital for evidence - not that I can about a persons skin colour so I don't really give a toss where they originate, but skin colour is apparently important to you. I'm just glad of a doctor when I need one.

                    Take professional sports. I'd love to see a black man lift the world cup for England, because it means an England has won another world cup. I don't really care about his skin colour you understand, I'm just putting it in your terms because apparently skin colour is important to you.

                    You are far more likely to be stopped by the police of you happen to be black.

                    Because they are statistically more likely to be engaged in provable crime. Pay attention to all of those words, not your emotional response to them. Prison populations where they are tracked reveal a far higher percentage of black men being imprisoned, which means a higher percentage convicted of crimes, which is why they get stopped more often. Now, what I didn't say was "black men commit more crimes" which is how you will have interpreted that. The CPS prosecute the lowest hanging fruit only, so the problem is likely to lie there - in economic terms they're creating demand for the police to fill.

                    On your "everyone is racist" comment, I would agree, in general terms (I'm not applying this to individuals, just as a broad white/black/ whatever brush)

                    The gang that beat me almost to death a couple of decades back were black. So were half of the doctors that put me back together. Most of my teams are ethnic minorities. There's good an bad in all races. A persons skin colour might be an indication of where their forefathers originated, but that's about all its useful for. Including where it's white.

                    1. katrinab Silver badge
                      Flame

                      Re: Shut it

                      "Because they are statistically more likely to be engaged in provable crime."

                      Which statistics are you looking at? Because if you are looking at conviction rates, that is a product of the cases the police choose to prosecute. When a white person is stopped by police, they are far more likely to be guilty of something than what a black person is stopped by police.

                      1. LucreLout Silver badge

                        Re: Shut it

                        Because if you are looking at conviction rates, that is a product of the cases the police choose to prosecute.

                        Ignorance abounds. The police don't decide who to prosecute, the CPS do.

                        When a white person is stopped by police, they are far more likely to be guilty of something than what a black person is stopped by police.

                        Go on then, this'll be good. Why? And what evidence do you have for this?

                    2. Mooseman Silver badge

                      Re: Shut it

                      "apparently skin colour is important to you."

                      And there you go, deliberately trying to insult me for pointing out what "white privilege" means. Are you that insecure? Yes there are many doctors of Asian backgrounds, and you know perfectly well why, but you choose to highlight that as if its some evidence of racism.

                      Sorry, but if you can't debate without resorting to cheap insults then you can fuck off, ok?

                3. abo

                  Re: Shut it

                  I'm also a white male. I too grew up in the working class North East, in the 70's and 80's, and you're right; everybody was struggling. But some struggled for different/additional reasons which definitely weren't applied to us white folks. You're misunderstanding the way 'privilege' is used in the context of 'white privilege'.

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: Shut it

                    You're misunderstanding the way 'privilege' is used in the context of 'white privilege'.

                    No I'm not.

                    Privilege literally means "a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group", in the case of your view that is white folk. What you've not been able to articulate is what particular rights or advantages are ascribable only to white people.

                    This, you see, is the problem with newspeak and making up utter nonsense phrases; they don't really mean anything. Its a bit like Harry Potters spells in that regard I guess, just for wokies.

                    1. sed gawk Silver badge

                      Re: Shut it

                      Being a man, I'm afforded the privilege of assumed agency, in other words, I meant to act this way for better or worse. Women are not afforded that privilege by default; e.g. Man walks into women's changing room - he's doing something deliberately wrong. Woman walks into men's changing room, she made a mistake..

                      There are around 2 million people of colour in the UK, 1.8 million odd live in the big cities..

                      Which means you are the "default" if you are white in this country, that is privilege. Because you are not black as a black person in a black country, you're simply a person. Logically that extends to being white in a largely white country.

                      The main effect of this is that you become that person who is disliked for being northern/southern/ginger/blonde/fat/skinny/stupid/smart instead of being reduced to a cypher for an entire spectrum of humanity sharing similar tastes in sun cream.

                      "if only *some of them* didn't act in a way that lets the *rest of them* down"

                      "It's the ones that aren't going out doing xyz..."

                      Remember the last time you heard that sentiment or other like it expressed towards people who present as part of the majority ethnic group. Because I don't.

                      I fully admit to playing up to this as a kid, I used to pretend to not speak English when buying booze underage. Alas I flew too close to the sun, having returned to the one shop three times on the same day.

                      In the England of my youth, it should not have been possible to have someone think, oh maybe "they're just short, or whatever rationale they used".. They called the police, and the copper near pissed himself when I came clean that I'd been doing it for months.

                      1. LucreLout Silver badge

                        Re: Shut it

                        e.g. Man walks into women's changing room - he's doing something deliberately wrong. Woman walks into men's changing room, she made a mistake.

                        I think you'll find both are assumed to have made a mistake. either that or the man is identifying as a woman and so is to be socially recognized as the same. That's how its supposed to work, right?

                        Which means you are the "default" if you are white in this country, that is privilege.

                        Your definition falls apart when you consider South Africa, large parts of the Middle East etc. Sorry, but your assumption is clearly and demonstrably wrong.

                        Because you are not black as a black person in a black country, you're simply a person. Logically that extends to being white in a largely white country.

                        Or ginger in a largely not ginger country? Or blonde in a largely non-blonde world. Or short in a tallish person time. Or fat in a thin person country (the reverse in other places).... You're manufacturing something out of nothing here.

                        "if only *some of them* didn't act in a way that lets the *rest of them* down"

                        That isn't how people think about gingers or black people though. Racists might, but racism isn't a white people thing, its an all races thing.

                        I've been a victim of racism in this country as a white guy - both verbally on too many occasions to count, and violently (actual violence not made up "micro-aggression's"). There's no monopoly on this and no privilege afforded by being white - certainly it hasn't shielded me from the very worst aspects of racism in the country of my birth. White privilege is an attempt at gatekeeping suffering from racism as being a non-white thing because of the incorrect and wholly untrue fallacy that only white people are racist.

                        1. sed gawk Silver badge

                          Re: Shut it

                          "White privilege is an attempt at gatekeeping suffering from racism as being a non-white thing because of the incorrect and wholly untrue fallacy that only white people are racist."

                          Where did I say this?

                          1. LucreLout Silver badge

                            Re: Shut it

                            Where did I say this?

                            That's what the phrase "white privilege" means. Its all through your post.

                            1. sed gawk Silver badge

                              Re: Shut it

                              That may be what the phrase means to you.

                              I've repeatedly made clear that 1) I don't hold that view, and 2) suggest the context which your response has stripped.

                              For example, I added the caveat in a largely white country, making it clear the thing is not about colour, it's about presenting as being in a majority/default in a given context.

                              I've also made it clear, I think that racism is not restricted to any ethnic group.

                        2. sed gawk Silver badge

                          Re: Shut it

                          "e.g. Man walks into women's changing room - he's doing something deliberately wrong. Woman walks into men's changing room, she made a mistake."

                          I think you'll find both are assumed to have made a mistake. either that or the man is identifying as a woman and so is to be socially recognized as the same. That's how its supposed to work, right?

                          Actually it's interesting that you bring up a trans people reference, as quite a lot of the safe spaces objection to shared changing rooms (from women) is the assumption that a man is deliberately using access for ulterior intent. So thank you for unintentionally reinforcing my point.

                          "That isn't how people think about gingers or black people though. Racists might, but racism isn't a white people thing, its an all races thing" I don't think anyone is saying that white people are the only people who can be racist. Or even that white people are racist or more racist than non-white people.

                          But being a white person in a white country, is to not stick out in a crowd of other people who look the same as you. I'll give you an example, there is a very well photographed man of colour who is a big fan of Brexit. I wonder if you can call his dress to mind.. There is an equally well photographed white man who is on the other side of the fence. The pair of them have been shouting at each other for nearly four years now outside the H.O.C.

                          Can you call the white guy's clothing to mind? Can you call any details of the black guy's face to mind?

                          I don't think of myself as a racist person, but I failed this when the question was posed to me, so please don't take this as saying unless you are "marvo the memory man" you are xyz, just an exercise in framing.

                          1. LucreLout Silver badge

                            Re: Shut it

                            quite a lot of the safe spaces objection to shared changing rooms (from women) is the assumption that a man is deliberately using access for ulterior intent. So thank you for unintentionally reinforcing my point.

                            No, quite a lot of the objects are because of a misanthropic fear that men would use it for ulterior intent. I think you'll find that most reasonable people understand that if a man wants to see a naked woman that isn't his lass, he'll simply go to a damn strip club. They're not hard to find and the women will n the whole be better looking and pleased to see you. Don't let facts get in the way of your beautifully constructed narrative though.

                            But being a white person in a white country, is to not stick out in a crowd of other people who look the same as you.

                            Using your logic white people would be disadvantaged in all of Africa, except, they're generally not.

                            I'll give you an example, there is a very well photographed man of colour who is a big fan of Brexit. I wonder if you can call his dress to mind.. There is an equally well photographed white man who is on the other side of the fence. The pair of them have been shouting at each other for nearly four years now outside the H.O.C. Can you call the white guy's clothing to mind? Can you call any details of the black guy's face to mind?

                            I honestly can't think of either person. I'll freely admit that I turned off the Brexit coverage for the most part right after the first vote, because I presumed the matter settled, and because by then both campaigns had degenerated into lying echo chambers.

                            To stay with your idea though... I can readily recall to mind Daley Thompson's face, though for the life of me, not what he was wearing. Same for Bruno, Tyson, AJ, etc etc Equally easy is Fury, but again, not his clothing - which is.... different to my recollection.

                            I see the person in front of me, not what they drive, not what they wear, and not what job they do. Don't you?

                            1. sed gawk Silver badge

                              Re: Shut it

                              The black guy has a union jack suit, and the white guy has a top hat with stop brexit written on it.

                              He's been screaming stop brexit for years, make of it what you will, I recalled one and not the other.

                              It's not a racial thing, it's a framing thing https://i1.wp.com/metro.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/SEI_589268781.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&zoom=1&resize=768%2C971&ssl=1

                              Again, just a framing thing.. not drawing a conclusion..

                              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                                Re: Shut it

                                The black guy has a union jack suit, and the white guy has a top hat with stop brexit written on it.

                                He's been screaming stop brexit for years, make of it what you will, I recalled one and not the other.

                                Sorry, I honestly can't recall either of them. I know there's some bloke with a comic strip sized megaphone that you hear in the background sometimes, but I've not the first clue what race he is or what he wears. I do know he yells "stoooooopppp Breeeeexxxxittttt!", so is he the white guy in your post? I'm assuming the black brexiteer isn't yelling for Brexit to stop.

                                Stop press, I followed your link. He IS the megaphone guy (I can see it in his hand). Don't recall seeing him before, but I can still hear his voice, if that helps. I'd not have recognized either of them if I passed them in the street.

                                I'm not sure what this says about me, or your views, but it just occurred to me that I think of the black guy in the union jack suit as "my guy" and the white guy with the megaphone as "their guy". Make of that what you will.

                                1. sed gawk Silver badge

                                  Re: Shut it

                                  I think they are both mental tbh.

                                  Just how many Union Jack suits do you have to own to have one on for four years straight?

                                  The alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

                                  They are both drapped in flags, I don't know what it means.

                                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                                    Re: Shut it

                                    Just how many Union Jack suits do you have to own to have one on for four years straight?

                                    Between 1 and 4, depending on who I'm trying to impress. Hopefully they dry clean well.

                                    They are both drapped in flags, I don't know what it means.

                                    For one night, probably that they like flags. For four years, probably that they have some mental health challenges. That's not to make light of that, but I wouldn't camp outside Taylor Swifts door for 4 years if she was giving away free love to anyone patient enough to wait, so I can't fathom doing it for a piece of politics.

                                    How do people pay the bills for 4 years? What does it do to your employment prospects? How do you redefine yourself when its time to go home? What do you do when you get there?? What happens when you wake up for the first day of whatever is next? It's..... genuinely concerning.

                                    1. sed gawk Silver badge

                                      Re: Shut it

                                      Yes. This. How do you fund being a professional shouty person.

                        3. sed gawk Silver badge

                          Re: Shut it

                          "I've been a victim of racism in this country as a white guy - both verbally on too many occasions to count, and violently (actual violence not made up "micro-aggression's"). There's no monopoly on this and no privilege afforded by being white - certainly it hasn't shielded me from the very worst aspects of racism in the country of my birth."

                          it's not that far ranging, so you like me grew up in a working household, so you missed out already on quite a lot of the early benefits, as growing up with money counts more in the early years.

                          It also is not going to shield you from some arse deciding to vent his spleen on you because you need more sun cream than I do. It just means you don't stick out as much in a crowd, that's not that much of a privilege.

                          1. LucreLout Silver badge

                            Re: Shut it

                            It also is not going to shield you from some arse deciding to vent his spleen on you because you need more sun cream than I do. It just means you don't stick out as much in a crowd, that's not that much of a privilege.

                            Unless the crowd is a convention for people with a face like a well slapped arse and no dress sense I can pretty much guarantee to stand out somewhere down the line. Picture if you will a time bending collaboration between Michael Angelo and Picasso, after a few beers, and before they'd mastered their arts.

                            Don't forget, as a white guy there's large parts of London that I've lived in where I was the ethnic minority. I'm not stating that as a bad thing, only pointing out that your hypothesis has a great many holes.

                            Being white is being white. Being black is being black. There's no difference in experience. Not in the life I've lived anyway. Racists are illogical assholes whatever hue their skin, and they will always find their target, no matter the crowd.

                            1. sed gawk Silver badge

                              Re: Shut it

                              "Unless the crowd is a convention for people with a face like a well slapped arse and no dress sense I can pretty much guarantee to stand out somewhere down the line. Picture if you will a time bending collaboration between Michael Angelo and Picasso, after a few beers, and before they'd mastered their arts." lol.

                              "Racists are illogical assholes whatever hue their skin, and they will always find their target, no matter the crowd." Completely with you here mate.

              5. John 110
                Joke

                Re: Shut it

                "... how about Green / Orange lists? ..."

                You're obviously not Scottish or Irish if you think those are acceptable substitutes...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Yet Another - Problem is

            You are aware that "black" in "blacklist" has absolutely nothing to do with skin colour aren't you?

            1. Louis Schreurs Bronze badge

              Re: @Yet Another - Problem is

              YOU are aware that black means bad and white means good in that sense, right?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Louis Schreurs - Re: @Yet Another - Problem is

                You're right. However I fail to see where's the connection with the skin color. If the word blacklist is making you that suggestion maybe you have some other problems that should be addresses first.

              2. MrZoolook

                Re: @Yet Another - Problem is

                "YOU are aware that black means bad and white means good in that sense, right?"

                Blackboards, those things that used to be used to... you know, educate people, were bad?

                I think we understand why you think the way you do, now. You refused to be educated because of the evil blackboards that were oppressing minorities... (sigh)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @TRT Also

      please add yellow and red to that list too.

      1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        Re: @TRT Also

        Sounds like we're in for some interesting traffic intersections.

        1. skeptical i
          Alien

          Re: @TRT Also

          Agree about traffic lights: the aliens will wonder if green-on-bottom is some sort of insult, and will only hover over certain historically Irish neighborhoods where traffic lights have green on top.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What colour alert will be used for the spore drive?

      1. eldakka Silver badge
        Coat

        What colour alert will be used for the spore drive?

        Not a colour as such, but:

        Bullshit alert.

    5. eldakka Silver badge

      I suppose black hat and white hat has to go as well.

      Dayhacker and nighthacker?

      As I understand the origins of using black/white (no references to back this up, just vague memories from school etc.) to mean evil/good originated from night/day. Where only evil things happened at night (well before street lighting whether burning torches/candles/oil/gas/electric, when people huddled around their camp fires at night shrinking from the darkness), that's when the evildoers would do their thing under the cloak of darkness. If you were doing good works, you'd do it during the daylight.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Really? I thought it came from cowboy movies. Good job we didn't settle on Cowboys and Indians...

        Mind you, if we referenced 1960s adventure serials from the UK instead of Hollywood, the good guys would be driving English marques like a Lotus Elise or a Bentley, the bad guys always seemed to roam the streets of London in Citroens, BMWs etc.

        1. ChrisC

          Cowboy movies provides an explanation for "white hat" and "black hat", but not an explanation for why those two hat colours were chosen to represent good and bad - that's where the previous poster's comment comes in, by providing one possible explanation for that.

          For an IT angle, referencing the computers used by the good and bad guys in the various series of "24" would give us "Apple Hat" and "Windows Hat"...

          1. TRT Silver badge

            There's some research that suggests the white / black & good / bad association is related to personal hygiene. The classic experiment is the Stroop test, where you use coloured words and measure reaction times. They did all sorts of tests with words, virtues and morality words and cleaning products... and found that things like Dove soap and Crest toothpaste were more desirable to people who showed the strongest bias in white/black moral/immoral word associations, whereas there was no such association with Windex and Floor cleaner. Personally, I like Dudu-osun soap if I can get it.

            And charcoal toothpaste, or Miswak, but that's more pale brown than white or black.

            I've no idea how representative the subject group was for that research, by the way. Probably biased as hell.

            The cowboy thing doesn't hold up to close scrutiny either, by the way. Nowt queer as folk, as they say.

  3. Brian Miller Silver badge

    Master changed, really?

    Just started a new project recently, and, ah, "master" is still "master." Oddly enough, I've never seen a "slave" branch.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Master changed, really?

      What about Master/Pupil to use the original academic meaning?

      1. BigE

        Re: Master changed, really?

        Well as you digress what about the master keys? Shall we start applying to it to sheep also?

        For what it's worth I don't think that these words are really understood to be offensive. What is offensive is the prejudices that people hold.

      2. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        Re: Master changed, really?

        It's 2020; we may as well go with master/padawan so we don't have to change everything again when Disney buys us.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Master changed, really?

          It's 2020; we may as well go with master/padawan so we don't have to change everything again when Disney buys us.

          Racist against the Sith!

          How's about we stop the stupid word games and actually take a look at why so many people of all races are racist given its extremely illogical.

      3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Master changed, really?

        What about Master/Pupil to use the original academic meaning?

        I'd go for apprentice and journeyman (or journeywoman as the case may be, this is one of those rare cases where English has a female form where my native Dutch doesn't).

    2. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      Re: Master changed, really?

      Yeah, that got a shoutout in the article. It very obviously derives from "master copy"-type terminology, and not master/slave (the only terminological experience of which I remember having is jumper configs on IDE disks).

      It surprises me that steps have been taken toward this, and especially that a replacement term of "trunk" was chosen rather than "main" or similar. "master" is a pretty good name whose meaning is obvious to a lot more people than "trunk", which presumably only means something to telecom-aware engineers and those that have used Subversion (I know it seemed like a stupid name to me when I saw my first VCS).

      1. Woza

        Re: Master changed, really?

        The term "trunk" comes from a tree analogy - you have a central trunk with branches diverging off it. Of course, the analogy breaks down when you try and explain merging branches back into the trunk...

        1. logicalextreme Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Master changed, really?

          You know that's facepalmingly obvious now, what with branches and all. I wonder what convoluted part of my mind conflated it with trunk lines, and what sort of code it's produced over the years.

        2. logicalextreme Bronze badge

          Re: Master changed, really?

          In retrospect, branches sure as hell weren't that common at the place I first used svn, so I may have learned what "trunk" was in isolation.

        3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Master changed, really?

          The term "trunk" comes from a tree analogy - you have a central trunk with branches diverging off it. Of course, the analogy breaks down when you try and explain merging branches back into the trunk...

          In that case why not use "root"?

          1. dak

            Re: Master changed, really?

            Because the root doesn't have branches and is usually invisible?

        4. Mark #255
          Boffin

          Re: Master changed, really?

          Speaking as someone who's recently been chopping back a beech hedge, re-merging branches is absolutely a real-world occurrence.

        5. eldakka Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Master changed, really?

          The term "trunk" comes from a tree analogy - you have a central trunk with branches diverging off it. Of course, the analogy breaks down when you try and explain merging branches back into the trunk...

          Also breaks down if your archetypical tree used is the aspen (Populus tremuloides). This is a single tree with no central trunk, it has thousands of trunks that can spread over acres, the largest covering 106 acres.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Master changed, really?

            This is a single tree with no central trunk, it has thousands of trunks that can spread over acres, the largest covering 106 acres

            Hmm, don't let some people I used to work with know that, they'd see it as a model for software control.

        6. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Master changed, really?

          Trunk?

          Am I the only person who thought of elephants?

      2. ThatOne Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Master changed, really?

        > "trunk", which presumably only means something to telecom-aware engineers

        And elephants.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Master changed, really?

          And travelers.

          Is a trunk a data structure full of objects?

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Master changed, really?

            My experience of trunks is that they are usually unstructured, so more of a heap. Or perhaps a stack?

            There is, of course, an XKCD

        2. logicalextreme Bronze badge

          Re: Master changed, really?

          And a VCS never forgets…you might be onto something here. Not to mention the fact that svn has been driven to near-extinction.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Master changed, really?

      I believe Linux is going to change to use Pimp and Ho.

  4. sabroni Silver badge

    master and slave

    When it's a drive that tells another drive exactly what to do then the wording makes sense and i can't think of anything more appropriate.

    For the main branch of a repo "master" doesn't really convey what it is.

    Blocklist and allowlist are much clearer names than blacklist and whitelist.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: master and slave

      >When it's a drive that tells another drive exactly what to do then the wording makes sense

      Except in IDE sense it doesn't. It's just who is first and who is second.

      You might as well call them Gold and Silver

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: master and slave

        "You might as well call them Gold and Silver"

        Let's just call them all "Semprini"

    2. BigE

      Re: master and slave

      Oh I had lists of colored shapes, wont work there.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @sabroni - Re: master and slave

      Yeah but they are less meaningful :)

    4. TRT Silver badge

      Re: master and slave

      Doesn't that come from master / slave circuit terminology? It's a device or circuit directly controlled by another. Other terms like primary / secondary have been used for other descriptions of the operation - it's a different thing. Subsidiary has the same connotation, but it's harder to say.

      1. Ferry Michael

        Re: master and slave or controlled/controlling

        I once had to work on some software where master/slave was used in a different context to the software I was working on so the original developer decided to use different terminology to avoid confusion. He chose "controlled" and "controlling" instead. The code was full of:

        if instance == CONTROLLING

        then

        do controlling things

        else

        do other things

        When debugging it was no surprise when half of these conditionals were inverted.

        To make matters worse, the information was held in two different variables.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Black / white box testing?

    I've only ever though of these as "can I see in the box because the light is on".

  6. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    Then, there is Chess...

    One day the social engineers will discover a game called chess, and break down in tears before setting out to put things right. For one, both colours are considered racist these days, the game reeks of a class structure where half the pieces are mere pawns, sacrificing themselves for knights and bishops, ruled over by an all-powerful queen and a king so frail it can barely move a single square a turn. The game also promotes threats of aggression and deadly violence as a way of resolving issues, while trivialising murder by labelling it “taking a piece”.

    1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      Re: Then, there is Chess...

      All I could think of was the House of Lords until your final sentence when I suddenly pined hard for Battle Chess. Dem feels

    2. overunder Silver badge

      Re: Then, there is Monopoly

      Monopoly. The core fundamental strategy is to grow a vast greed by controlling all utilities and evicting people from their own property so that you can grossly overcharge them to live on your own, but preferably in hotels/condos so you can suck more money. If you keep working at the game, you will get $200 every week and although it eventually won't be enough to live on, you might be able to put up a mortgage to pay your overlords until you get that $200 the following week, if you make it. Once all players but 1 can no longer live through the week, the winner is decided by who made everyone else homeless.

      1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        Re: Then, there is Monopoly

        Plus: you simply bribe your way out of jail, and might even win a beauty competition.

        1. aberglas

          Monopoly is intresting

          It was actually created as a social statement. To show how money goes to money in a quite unfair and rather random way. But it totally back fired, monopoly players all want to be rich!

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Then, there is Chess...

      Except black goes first in chess.

      In French chess do you have a guillotine for the king?

      1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        Re: Then, there is Chess...

        Black goes first at going second in the chess I've played. Not that it matters; I'm so progressive that I lose as either colour.

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Then, there is Chess...

        "Except black goes first in chess.

        In French chess do you have a guillotine for the king?"

        I love comments with only one fact in them, which is false.

      3. swm Silver badge

        Re: Then, there is Chess...

        Black goes first in GO.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Then, there is Chess...

      and don't forget, deliberately sending a chess piece to its "death" in a sacrifice move or gambit.

      And why is the Queen so powerful, but the King is so wimpy? [or would THAT be ok?]

      these new "rules" are SO confusing, aren't they?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Then, there is Chess...

        And why is it only Jacks that have nobs? Or am I getting my bored[0] games confused again ...

        [0] No, I didn't either. You don't play those games when you have anything else to do, do you?

        1. Louis Schreurs Bronze badge

          Re: Then, there is Chess...

          And then you have also have the WOODEN pieces have or have not //?.,>><<m

        2. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Then, there is Chess...

          Then there's that fancy move where you can make a quick hop locally that looks like it shouldn't be allowed and not be penalised for it. What's the term?... Barnard Castling or something.

    5. Old Used Programmer

      Re: Then, there is Chess...

      And "Checkmate" comes from "Shah mat" (the king is dead).

    6. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Then, there is Chess...

      where half the pieces are mere pawns

      Only half? That's a lot better than we have currently where it's more like 90%.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Then, there is Chess...

        Some would argue they are the 99%

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: Then, there is Chess...

        But the only one that really matters is the King, so 50% pawns, 43.75% middle class and 6.25% kings. And the king is allowed to have up to 9 queens.

  7. Blackjack Silver badge

    Blacklist to Blocklist but...

    What word do you use to replace Master?

    1. Foxglove

      Re: Blacklist to Blocklist but...

      'What word do you use to replace Master?'

      FOXGLOVE

      You are now mine!

      Yes, yes, I know ownership or repression of others is wrong.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Blacklist to Blocklist but...

      "What word do you use to replace Master?"

      "Overlord" has my vote!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Blacklist to Blocklist but...

        Nah. It simply has to be BOSS.

        Why do I have an 'orrible feeling that boss is next on the outlawed words list? Where is George[0] when we need him?

        [0] No, I mean Carlin. I suppose that makes me "racist". ::sighs::

      2. OssianScotland Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Blacklist to Blocklist but...

        "Overlord has my vote"

        Seventy Six Years and Three Days ago, definitely.

        But now, surely it is sexist (Lord) and sizeist (Over)?

        I'm going to stick with Lewis Carroll:

        “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Blacklist to Blocklist but...

      Mistress?

  8. logicalextreme Bronze badge

    The circle is now complete

    When I met you, I was but the learner. Now, I am the trunk.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The circle is now complete

      I'm trying to remember which source control system defaults to 'trunk' for the main branch

      1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        Re: The circle is now complete

        Subversion that I know of, but there may well be more. Probably nothing too well-known though.

        1. Missing Semicolon

          Re: The circle is now complete

          Perforce has (had?) "main".

  9. Andrew Williams

    Context...

    But then context is probably a trigger word.

    Anyhow, it’s all bollocks and wasted effort to boot.

    Making code better and making better code is probably a more pressing need.

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Context...

      Context (noun): /ˈkɒntɛkst/

      1 - SMS message purposely constructed to mislead the receipient.

      2 - SMS message sent to or by an incarcerated person.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Context...

        I was thinking of SMSing you a response - but that was just a pretext.

  10. paduan
    Coffee/keyboard

    Alternatives

    Maybe we could go down a culinary route for alternative terminology...

    Mains and sides perhaps?

    Dinner and snack?

    Possibly not chicken and egg though.

    1. revenant Silver badge

      Re: Alternatives

      I'm disappointed that no-one has so far suggested Dom and Sub.

      This is TheRegister, after all.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Alternatives

        Personally, I agree with you. That would pretty much cover all bases.

        But I'm sure that you've seen the kerfuffle when we discuss the Gnu Image Manipulation Program. It'll never fly ... these crybabies want everything sanitized to the point where adults can no longer carry on an adult conversation, for fear that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Alternatives

        Or Dom and Boris

  11. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Facepalm

    All it does is make the world a tiny bit more irritating

    title has a fixed version of a quote from the end of the article.

    icon, because, facepalm

    /me points out: when I was 4 years old, the bank manager had everyone do the 'pledge of allegience' one day because I saw a flag in the bank, and had just learned it. It "felt REALLY good", with me being 4 years old, having people do something like that for me. But, of course, it wasn't ever to happen again. I had to grow up. Sure, it's "cute" when a 4 year old kid wants to be patriotic and the bank manager goes along with it, but allow this too often, and it just gets IRRITATING.

  12. Yes Me Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Don't believe what you read in some random blog

    "The Internet Engineering Task Force (IEFT) points out that 'master-slave is an oppressive metaphor that will and should never become fully detached from history' as well as 'In addition to being inappropriate and arcane, the master-slave metaphor is both technically and historically inaccurate,'" he wrote... This comes from an IETF draft document published in 2018
    Factually speaking, the IETF did not point out anything of the kind. That quote is from a draft that expired in September 2019 and in no way is a statement by the IETF.

    It is also a fact the one of the authors of that draft has made a point of keeping an eye on other drafts in order to sus out terms like master/slave, blacklist/whitelist and even balkanization, which some people from the Balkans don't much like. And some people think it isn't OK to call other people snowflakes, even if they're snowflakes.

    Turns out this is a research topic: see the Human Rights Protocol Considerations research group.

  13. Ken Y-N
    Stop

    Black/whitelist to block/allowlist?

    Why not stick to colours and have Redlist and Greenlist as are already used by governments for things like trading partners? Or will American Indians and vegans get upset?

    (I agree changing master/slave, but for git, keys, etc it smells of virtue signalling)

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Black/whitelist to block/allowlist?

      Smells? Are you nuts?

      It positively REEKS of virtue signalling.

    2. OssianScotland Silver badge

      Re: Black/whitelist to block/allowlist?

      Watermelons certainly won't be happy!

  14. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

    Newspeak. 1984.

  15. revenant Silver badge

    "the master-slave metaphor is both technically and historically inaccurate"

    That rather depends on the circumstances.

    Often the relationship between two things is better described by another term, and on a project I worked on in the distant past I successfully argued in favour of changing 'Master/Slave ' to a more technically meaningful term - one which better described the relationship between two systems.

    But there may be cases where the technical relationship between two things is indeed best described using the 'Master/Slave' metaphor, and I wouldn't argue to change it to something less accurate.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you can try and help

    Or you can do nothing because you're happy with pigs killing black people.

    Pick a side.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: you can try and help

      Or you can do nothing because you're happy with pigs killing black people.

      Now you are insulting to pigs. ACAB.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: you can try and help

      We were talking about language used when coding, not pigs killing people. Do try to keep up. Ta.

      (Some of us care about ALL people, not just black ones. Pick a side.)

    3. sed gawk Silver badge

      Re: you can try and help

      The "pigs killing black people" don't care about the terms used in the source code.

      If you care, (1) vote, (2) donate [time/money/assistance], (3) don't conflate use of language with oppression, (4) Just treat people as fellow humans.

      It's that basic, and apparently that hard to understand.

      I blacklist IP addresses that show up in my firewall logs. I prefer the master branch, as it's the "mastered copy of the work" i.e. it's always safe to pull from

      Am I supposed to be offended by all colours or only the English names for them? Seems a bit narrow minded, can I not be offended by the Spanish, or French names. How about the names of colours in Arabic or Bulgarian or Finnish. The idea of a "Black" = bad, doesn't work in those languages.

      Oppression is a real thing, it has definite symptoms, it's not about well-meaning people using the names of colours in a pejorative sense. I find the idea of avoiding certain words blood boiling, it's performative and pointless.

      I'm offended when, after flying through three telephone interviews, the literal astonishment at seeing my face, followed by my interviewer's face dropping. (UK Home Office circa 2006). That's an issue.

      I'm offended when a candidate being interviewed by a Brown and a Black man, can't hold back the revulsion at being forced to shake the hands of the interviewers. That interview was comedy gold, guy turned up with complex multithreaded code he claimed to have written. Couldn't explain the use of mutexes or condition variables, despite it being written directly against pthreads..

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: you can try and help

        (4) Just treat people as fellow humans.

        ^^^^

        Wot (s)he said!

    4. 9Rune5 Silver badge

      Re: you can try and help

      Before you make me choose: Which side produces the most bacon?

    5. MrZoolook

      Re: you can try and help

      Proof, else you are a liar.

  17. Missing Semicolon
    Facepalm

    MISO/MOSI

    Master In Slave Out / Master Out Slave In.

    These exactly describe the functions of SPI bus pins on interface chips. Master interfaces drive the clock, Slave interfaces must use the clock from the connected Master.

    I really think that this is just cosy people feeling offended on other people's behalf.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have questions

    When did black become associated with badness? We wear black at funerals. Did that pre- or post-date the slave trade? When did the association between Satan and darkness come into being?

    It seems possible that blackness of skin and darkness representing cold and fear is merely a coincidence, but perhaps I'm being naive as well as ignorant.

    Enlighten me. Hang on, not that. Er, inform me?

    1. sed gawk Silver badge

      Re: I have questions

      Enlighten, comes from elucidate, to make clearer, hence to shine a light into a shadow. That said, people are messed up and skin bleaching creams are a thing.

      Black at funerals:

      It's a cultural thing, I was born and grew up here, so turned up to the funeral of a family member dressed in black tie, only to find everyone else was dressed in white (oops).. apart from my fellow godless heathens who couldn't be expected to know better. To this day, I still don't know why I was supposed to not wear black tie.

      Took flowers to the funeral, turns out you're not supposed to do that either..(oops)

      The family member would (a) have pissed himself laughing.. (b) given zero fucks about the clothes I wore.

      It's all a bit bollocks really, fwiw the UK is a much more classist society than racist. But that has all the overlapping stuff about immigration tied in. "A bit below the salt", "Not quite one of the chaps".

      Listen to callers on the radio, and see how many characteristics you are able to assign to the voice..

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: I have questions

        UK classism over racism.

        Yep fully agree.

        There are types of people I am wary of (eg drunk thugs) but nothing colour related.

        Now to racism, I take the mickey out of a hat one member of staff wears to try to style his hair*, but not him.

        Anyway he is of Indian sub continent ancestry born here, dad from the African explusion. Another collegue was on about "them lot" and "your lot" with regards to immigration. So a few of us stepped in to boths surprise.

        Then I stated that I am not a racist but a twatist, be a twat and get treated like one.

        Trying to explain that being born somewhere, speaking the main language as your first language, understanding the national ID, he was as British as anyone else. Also he was not a twat.

        It really riled me as the picked on lad was early 20s and was sad to say used to such nonsense.

        * Still not worked out why, not sure if trying to flatten or what.

        1. sed gawk Silver badge

          Re: I have questions

          Poor lad.

          I'll always remember “Enoch Powell says he wants to give me £1,000 to go back to where I came from. Which is great, because it’s only 20 pence on the bus from here to Dudley.” Lenny Henry

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: I have questions

            I remember that joke too, first saw LH on TISWAS. He was bonkers. Did a good Bellamy and McDoughnut.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: I have questions

          So the 20-something lad was used to such nonsense, and yet you say that racism isn't common in England? Perhaps it would be more correct to say that you, personally, haven't seen much evidence of racism. Seems to me that that lad has seen enough for both of you, though.

          As a Yank in Blighty, I've seen plenty of blatant racism. How do you feel about your childhood Golliwog? I saw a survey somewhere in the last couple years that showed only 20% of Brits saw anything racist about it ...

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: I have questions

            Racism

            Not common for him but enough to mention.

            Golliwogs

            Funny really but I have always seen them as childrens characters not effigees of people.

            They look like strange dolls not like people. I don't get the likeness thing. They look like a strange idea from a weird person.

  19. crishog

    So eliminating the use of the words "master" & "slave"? From what the English language?

    Newspeak, old old English Schooltrunk would be appalled to think that someone considered the use of "trunk" to be semantically equivalent to "master". I don't think he would even be able to trunk the concept

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Trunk" reminds me more of the horror called SVN than Git.

  21. T. F. M. Reader

    A glimmer of hope?

    Will this liberate us from the slavery of "agile development" when "scrum masters" are put against the wall?

  22. tip pc Silver badge

    we constantly change our use of language, master/slave white/black can and must change

    there was a time when using ie6 and ssl was a good thing, floppy disks, jazz/zip drives, video/audio tapes, cd/dvd/bluray, all terms we used to use frequently but all dying out.

    Gay meaning happy, bad meaning good etc etc.

    We modify and change our language constantly attributing new meanings to old words or use new words.

    There is no reason why other words cannot be used to describe master / slave or white/black list

    primary / secondary

    master / replicant

    master / clone

    original / backup

    live / backup

    live / clone

    allow / block

    it doesn't take long to compile a list of meaningful alternatives.

    1. MrZoolook

      Re: we constantly change our use of language, master/slave white/black can and must change

      It takes even less time and effort to just say 'sod off' and carry on using the words as they have been used previously.

    2. Libertarian Voice

      Re: we constantly change our use of language, master/slave white/black can and must change

      If you have nothing better to do than come up with bullshit like that then I guess you must be furloughed.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elsewhere in the news...................

    .......................even SILENCE is used as evidence of a so-called "thought crime"....................................

    *

    Careless use of common words is proof of a crime, while....................

    .................silence is also proof of a crime..................

    *

    You thought the inanity (and sometime insanity) of "political correctness" was bad...................................now this!

    *

    Welcome to the future!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elsewhere in the news...................

      My personal coding standard now says this about variable names:

      "Any word to be found in any dictionary in any language MUST NOT BE USED in whole or in part in a variable name."

      I've written a translation library to transform all the code I've ever written (headers, code, scripts, etc). The only names which are not transformed are reserved words in the specific language being used.

      But I do wonder how long it will take someone out there to start complaining about some language problems with C words like "printf", "fopen", "fclose", "strstr" or Python words like "len", "strip", "set_title" or "destroy_with_parent".

      In the meantime, what were (to me) meaningful variable names (like "handle") are being replaced wholesale with names like "Zxcdsjuuio10", and my function and procedure names similarly as in "encode" being replaced with "hqwYUolster". This hasn't made much difference to my Python programs -- they still run fine -- but it has meant recompiling all the C. Still....all in a good cause!

  24. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Why does "master" trigger so many people, even when its use has nothing whatsoever to do with slavery, while "owner" gets a free pass?

    1. aqk
      Thumb Up

      "OWNER"

      I had forgotten that one!

      It too, must banned immediately! And of course expunged from American dictionaries.

      If people need to use it, then call it "The O-word"

      Although this may conflict with a certain word of a sexual nature...

  25. AVee

    Crap, does that mean that I won't get my master's degree if I commit my code to the master branch?

  26. John H Woods Silver badge

    Never mind coders...

    ... can we please have management stop referring to things as the Final Solution?

  27. steviebuk Silver badge

    Pointless

    "activists (white people) in the software community have taken the opportunity to remind people that they're trying to do away with terminology tied to racial oppression. Much like the white people that try and ban Christmas trees in retail spaces in some councils, ignoring the fact other races also enjoy Christmas just for the holiday season it is.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Pointless

      Christmas

      Funny really, have not met any non Christian who are anti Christmas.

      They all look at it as a time of rest and family.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Pointless

        I'm not an xtian, and I don't celebrate xmas. I celebrate Solstice, and have since I were a nipper. Not because I'm Wiccan/Pagan/whatever (I'm not), but rather because I appreciate that the days are getting longer, and it's almost time to start the Spring veggie crop.

        1. aqk
          Pint

          Re: Pointless ? Try FESTIVUS !

          The best Winter solstice celebratory term I have ever heard! Courtesy of Kramer and George's father in "Seinfeld" .

          See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus and remember it this December. And please list your grievances at dinner!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Git

    Doesn't anyone else find the term "git" objectionable? (Alf Garnett)

  29. AnAnonymousCanuck
    FAIL

    White Elephant

    The project sounds like a white elephant to me.

    i did fail my political correctness course, of course

    Another Anonymous Canuck

  30. Richard IV
    Childcatcher

    And yet...

    No one is bothered that child processes do most of the work.

    I've been known to gob on Lord Londonderry's statue in Durham. (Not recently, for obvious reasons) Amongst many other bits of bumholery he opposed the banning of child labour on account of it being more expensive to build adult sized tunnels in his mines.

    The thing that I hate about this particular trend is that people are objecting to new metaphors because the origin of the metaphor is objectionable.

    That, though, is precisely what makes them memorable, useful, and a permanent if obscure reminder that that origin was a bad thing. It's a form of cultural appropriation that I very much approve of in the hope that the bad origin will become obscure enough to not be the first thing that is thought of in usage. I don't literally support the tearing of flesh whence comes sarcasm, the forced euthanasia of sardony, or open street slaughter and butchery implicit in a shambles. Nailing ears to pillories is perfectly fine, however, as it's a wonderfully elegant way of having optional early release.

    The kind of friendly world _I_ want to live in is one where future generations are surprised and shocked to find that the word slave was ever applied to humans. Attempts to force us exclusively to do so should be actively discouraged.

    1. Ferry Michael

      Re: And yet... cleanup: kill all the children

      Child processes are great.

      I once added an explanatory comment near the end of a shell script:

      # Kill all the children

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PC idiots

    This is getting stupid.

  32. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Is it the weather? Covid-19? or what?

    There seems to be a lot of troll activity around today.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Left Leaning Dingbats Buttons so Easily Pushed

    Ah the first world left leaning dingbats so well trained them come out of the wood work every time the right needs them the most.

    As long as all they focus on is useless quibbles like this, they will never build their own mass communication network like Faux News, and they will never succeed in convincing the people who used to be their base to come back again and we all will continue to suffer fools like the current POTUS and congressional majority.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Left Leaning Dingbats Buttons so Easily Pushed

      The problem is that they've solved all of the problems they set out to solve.

      That leaves them with an option of either declaring victory and disbanding as a social movement, or demanding things that are so ridiculously absurd that it's obvious that people are going to scream "this is nuts" in order to maintain an "enemy" to "fight against".

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Horatio Nelson....the source of all our problems.....

    Yes.....really! ALL OUR PROBLEMS!!

  35. Bbuckley

    More PC madness. I am particularity amused by the term 'She' as a supposedly 'gender neutral' term I see a lot (especially from 'woken' bun-heads from the US west coast). Hilarious. If only they gave the same deep focus on real diversity and more importantly that the coded system actually works at the end.

  36. Paul 195
    WTF?

    Predictable responses

    I had a little bet with myself that a lot of the responses on here would be along the lines of "politically correct claptrap" moan moan. And I was right. A lot of pearl clutching and fainting over what is a pretty harmless change to terminology. What's the harm in replacing whitelist and blacklist with allowlist and denylist? The new terms are just as concise, and far more descriptive of the actual intent.

    I can't speak for BAME people any more than I can speak for all white people. But given the context of US history, why should anyone be surprised if at least some people find terminology like master/slave offensive, even if no offense is intended? Most of us are IT professionals, we work with computers every day, we know that it isn't really that hard to go through a codebase and remove terms that regarded by some as problematic. Why do so many professionals who claim to be calm, reasonable people arguing simply from a position of logic get so upset about this?

    And as for some of the other arguments I've seen on threads below, they show a distinct lack of empathy, understanding, or attempt to put yourself in someone else's position. The claim that there is no racism unless it is intended is patently ridiculous. Who remembers Danny Baker tweeting the picture of posh people with a monkey in children's clothes after Meghan Markle gave birth? Danny Baker probably didn't meant that as a racist jibe, but it sure as hell looked like one to a lot of people. Because it so closely resembled many other provocations that *were* meant as racist. In the furore that followed that incident, and his sacking from the BBC, there were lots of (mostly) white folks explaining to (mostly) non-white folks how wrong they were to be offended, and missing out the fact that whether meant as racist or not, the tweet was genuinely offensive.

    If you consider yourself as a well-meaning liberal who is "beyond race", then at least have the decency to stop telling other people when they should and shouldn't be offended. And if you are genuinely racist, then at least own it rather than gaslighting everyone with your insistence that you aren't.

    1. aqk
      Childcatcher

      Re: Predictable responses? WTF...

      "BAME people"? WTF are BAME people?

      Can I use this term in an office meeting, or will I be thrown out and told to report to the Personnel...uh, I mean the HR department, as I contemplate a future where my wife, children and I starve as we go onto the dole?

      1. Paul 195
        FAIL

        Re: Predictable responses? WTF...

        Judging from your comment below, you will get reported to HR for offensive behaviour long before you ever use the well-known term BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic). How exactly does reminding us that Rudyard Kipling was a racist cast any further light on the matter under discussion? Thank you though, for living up so beautifully to the techie stereotype of someone ready to expend more energy complaining about inclusive language than the actual effort of using it.

  37. Libertarian Voice
    WTF?

    Wow! Just Wow!

    I never thought of a blacklist as being racist before. What sort of messed up person do you need to be to link the two. As for master and slave, my mind takes me to kinky sex before racism (I read the backs of too many bog doors in the 90's).

  38. aqk
    Facepalm

    OK- it's "M-word" and "S-word"

    From my comment in the Sept-2018 Python article:

    Soon, the niggardly language arbitrators of the USA will decree that, just like the Enword, the words "slave" and "master" must be stricken from THE dictionary. (I believe the only one they follow is the Webster.)

    These nasty words will be replaced by "S-word" and "M-word" respectively, so that no culturally-sensitive person of colour (Kipling referred to them as the "Lesser breeds") will have a heart attack, or worse, draw out that shiv hidden under his trouser ankle, and slash some "white" man's throat. All good liberals know that every young Enward carries such a shiv, right?

    BUT!

    Soon the USA will run out of alphabet letters to describe offending words.

    .........

  39. cutterman

    And what about my M.Sc. ?

    Come to think of it, Slave of Science (S.Sc.) has a bit more truth in it.

    But wait, there's more, someone may trigger on the SS in my S.Sci.!

    Life is getting VERY difficult these days

    Mac

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