Political Correctness

Google Told Employees to Delete Politically Incorrect Language From Code

"The cost of not doing this is the harm done to other Googlers every time they encounter these terms," says the company's diversity and inclusion team.

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Google has instructed employees to stop using politically incorrect terminology, and to edit existing code in order to remove offensive language.

That's according to The Daily Caller, which obtained a copy of a "respectful code" policy written by Google Senior Fellow Sanjay Ghemawat and Vice President of Engineering Suzanne Frey. The document was shared with employees a year ago—around the same time Python stopped referring to components that control or are controlled by other components as "master" and "slave," which some people found offensive.

The master/slave example is specifically cited in the Google document, The Caller reports:

The FAQ of the document also clarifies that this does not seem to be a program with well-defined procedures:

Who decides which items in this document are approved (anointed as "disrespected") What procedure is followed to make this decision? Which senior executive established that procedure? Can you inserted a link to that procedure? [sic]

There is no official procedure right now. The baseline is that "master"/"slave" should definitely change (it is explicitly called out in the policy doc), but other terms in "ongoing cleanup" have enough people in agreement they should be changed that cleanup work is actively happening. The guidance from the policy doc is to use your judgement, and ask your project/organization's D&I [diversity and inclusion] team.

"We ask that people use their judgement about what terms might be inappropriate," the document reads. "If you have any questions, you can ask your D&I [diversity and inclusion] product team at app-product-inclusion@. If you think that some people could be offended by a term, avoid that term. One clear example to avoid is the use of the term 'slave' which is often used in a 'master/slave' association. Teams renaming these terms should decide what best replacement terms fit their product."

Engineers are exhorted to avoid "problematic terms" in: "Names of variables, types, functions, build rules, binaries, exported variables"; "Test data"; "System output and displays"; "Documentation"; and "Comments."

Progressive hostility to the words "master" and "slave" are not new. "Master" used to be the title used by residential deans at universities such as Yale, but this was changed to "head" in 2017. Google apparently considered the notion that words can have multiple meanings, but it decided this was no reason not to strive for maximum sensitivity. "While one person might not think about the sensitive non-technical meaning of a world, another person might, depending  on their background," wrote Ghemewat and Frey. "The argument 'I don't think of this word as a problem' should not exclude it from critiquing."

Google has the right to set its own rules and goals; if it thinks it is a good use of company time and resources to compel its employees to sanitize their past work in order to appease the diversity and inclusion team, then that is how the company's time and resources will be spent. So goes the swift rise of the hyper woke.

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  1. They really are just getting started. The next 80 years are going to be interesting living with these folks running most of our tech.

    1. I like to think that it can’t be sustained for that long without collapsing from the inside. Time will tell.

      1. Long term I think you are right Zeb. Silicon Valley today reminds me a lot of the Detroit automakers in the 1960s. They both are on top of the world but are incredibly arrogant and have completely lost touch with the things they did to get there where they are. I think it is just a matter of time before someone plays the roll of the Japanese and the Bay Area turns into current Detroit with a better climate and nicer views.

        The problem is that the party that plays the Japanese is likely to be Chinese or Indian and to be even worse for freedom than these clowns.

        1. As you envision this, wIll conservatives ever become competitive in the culture war?

          1. Well, not when compared to a human petri dish such as yourself.

            1. You can rant, mutter, and whine as much as you wish, clinger — so long as you comply with the rules established by your betters while you await replacement.

              1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
                July.11.2019 at 12:19 pm
                “You can rant, mutter, and whine as much as you wish,…”

                This from the bigoted asshole who has never done otherwise here.
                Fuck off, you pathetic excuse for an asswipe.

                1. The good reverend is just an example of how liberals actually think but rarely say. They’ve been that way since they were burning crosses and seeking to sterilize their lessers. They havent changed at all. They just hide better.

                  1. But clearly, if the terms are incorrect, whether “politically” or otherwise, they should be deleted from the code. Furthermore, laws should be enacted to make sure that they are never again included in the code, on account of the damage such inclusion does to the fabric of our society. Thanks in part to our efforts here at NYU, it is by now widely recognized that inappropriate “speech” has no place in a civil community and can, when necessary, be criminalized, under a variety of legal pretexts. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “parody” case, in which some of us here played highly instrumental roles, at:

                    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

                    1. Is this guy a parody?

              2. My only question is:
                Where do yall store the pods?

              3. You truly are an insufferable ass.

                And a loser.

          2. How can you win a war when you become so brittle that a simple word can bring you down?

            You might win some battles, but you will become so weak you can’t win a war.

            Btw, the culture war, if you want to call it that, is not about partisanship. No one rational person gives a fuck about what the conservatives or liberals think about it. It serves us all if rational thought wins that war. Rational thought is something you have yet to exhibit on this website.

            Carry on clinger.

          3. As you envision this, wIll conservatives ever become competitive in the culture war?

            I think conservative Hindus is part of the Reason he thinks India will be worse for freedom. Not that he’s particularly against Hindus or Hinduism specifically as much as they or just their government aren’t as big on individualism and Free Speech.

          4. Being unable or unwilling to adapt to cultural change is baked into the definition of conservative, is it not?

        2. The Japanese did nothing to our freedoms. They only embarrassed the Big Three auto manufacturers by having the audacity to sell to the US consumer what the US consumer wanted. At a time when there was an oil crisis and the consumers wanted cheaper and more efficient cars but Detroit kept pushing expensive fuel guzzlers.

          If China and India take over our software, it’s not going to do anything to our freedoms. They’ll only end up embarrassing progressive Silicon Valley who kept telling people what they wanted instead of listening to what they were asking for.

          Yeah, China is not a good nation. But selling us software is not the same as ruling us. Stop being to irrationally protectionist. You’re already using Chinese software. They might slip some shit into the software we don’t know about, but Silicon Valley is already doing that and no one cares.

          And India is not a bad nation. A bit screwed up, but it’s rapidly improving. And they’re pretty damned smart. Don’t know how you think you can stop them from writing software. Have a White House summit? They’re already writing half our software. You gonna erect a software tariff? Really? Really? How the fuck can you call that “freedom”?

          1. the difference is that china puts things into teh computers that monitor us and will likely also shut down per their commands. this has already been shown to have happened. He who controls the computers can control the internet.

          2. What Ron Said. Computers are not cars. The Japanese couldn’t use cars for industrial espionage or attack on our infrastructure. A hostile power can use supplying us our software to do just that. Stop being so ignorant and thinking all products are the same.

            1. So lets build a giant bubble around the nation. With air holes so we don’t suffocate. That’s what you’re saying.

              1. I think what we’re all saying is that you were wrong, and like the fucking retard you are, you just elide that and keep splattering your stupid everywhere.

          3. consumers wanted cheaper and more efficient cars

            Some did. Most just wanted cheaper gas as evidenced by what they bought when gas prices went down.

          4. The Japanese did nothing to our freedoms.

            Bullshit. I certainly wouldn’t say they directly implemented legislation via lobbyists and sleeper agents, but the EPA and NHTSA is/was a signficant factor in making and keeping smaller imports as popular as they are/have been. Again, there are significant questions with regard to cause and effect with any given manufacturer or production method and an associated law or standard, but the idea that the Japanese auto market had no effect on our freedoms is an uninformed overstatement.

            1. Only certain Japanese models were up for sale here. They kept most of the best ones for their domestic market for whatever reason, then you had that weird 25 year rule imposed for the registration of grey imports (not that Japanese market cars specifically would appeal much being RHD), but it’s another protectionist restriction on markets, and choice, imposed by industry lobbyists. I don’t know that the Japanese companies had any particular effects on your freedom other than to exploit a huge niche in a market that was stagnant because the big three got complacent. Fuel prices/scarcity were a very real thing (geopolitical externalities) and the Japanese responded. The union goons were massively resistant, as well. Sure it’s not very “‘merican” to drive a Honda Accord or a Toyota Corolla, but fuck shooting yourself in the dick financially just to say “I buy American”, getting stranded on the freeway when your Buick blows it’s second head gasket of the week. Of course things are much different now. Everything is very global and more homogenised as far as markets for automobiles go, and US makes have caught up on tech, but the slow response to actually thrive in a marketplace without being “too big to fail” and having daddy government hold your hand and step on the competition isn’t past yet,

          5. I’d absolutely worry about China.

            The left have been fed a bunch of bunk about Russia for domestic political expedience courtesy of the DNC but in reality, China is a hostile authoritarian state.

            Them with Internet power is not a good thing.

        3. I have also been seeing a similarity to 1960’s Detroit in Tech for the last 5-10 years. I’ve been actively wondering what Seattle will look like if/when someone starts drinking Amazon’s milkshake. I think it’s a fundamental rule that any organization that gets big and successful enough will struggle to adapt when new kids come up with something that makes their products irrelevant. To date Amazon, Google, MSFT, and facebook have largely held onto their first mover advantage, but that can’t last forever.

    2. Interestingly, looking at this through a Nietzsche lens, objecting to the words “master” and “slave” is indicative of a slave morality. And if you try to beat a dead horse by objecting to me bringing up Nietzsche as some type of evil fascist philosopher, remember that beating horses makes Nietzsche cry.

      1. remember that beating horses makes Nietzsche cry

        Better than that, beating horses makes Nietzsche cry for years.

    3. Do you think Google coders will ever master these respectful code principles?

      1. You used the term master. That’s not woke.

        1. And principles. Everyone knows principles are tools of white supremacy.

      2. If they get that good they will probably break down, cry, and need an emotional support animal due to what they have become.

      3. I’m waiting for them to demand that their hardware be manufactured with 23 genders of connectors, instead of just male and female.

        1. I’m sure labeling connectors as male and female is probably already covered in the Google PC codes.

        2. Those would be non-binary connectors?

  2. What about those who are offended by this kind of language police BS? Don’t they get any consideration?

    1. No. None at all.
      I suspect that using the word “white” to describe a certain hue on a display will eventually, if not already, be banned.

      1. Crayon has already eliminated White and Black it is now Snow and Licorice

        1. Licorice is and only is red you heathen.

          1. Red licorice is the Rachel Dolezal of the confectionery world.

          2. I don’t know why licorice is usually black. But I’ve never encountered red licorice as far as I can recall.

            1. You have never encountered Twizzlers?

              You’re fucking with me.

              1. No, I’m being needlessly pedantic and insisting that licorice is licorice flavored. The black Twizzlers are licorice. The red ones are not.

            2. It’s usually black because actual “licorice” root produces a black extract that’s used to flavor it. The red “licorice” is really flavored with anise, not licorice root.

    2. Their dogs get shot, just like in confrontations with regular police.

    3. You think other people are too easily offended, so you respond by getting easily offended yourself. Good call, very mature approach to the question.

      1. He’s offended at the idea that his language needs policing by people who think their feelings are more important than anything and anyone else.

        1. It’s schoolyard shit. “I know you are but what am I?”-type stuff. Straight-up “I am rubber but you are glue” level.

          1. Yes, that’s what it is. Both ways. Anyone can claim offense at anything. It’s a bad game to play.

            And being offended by master/slave as used in engineering is whiny manipulative BS.

            1. I am offended by your assertion that anyone can claim offense at anything.

      2. I never said I was offended.
        My point isn’t that people shouldn’t be offended by stuff. My point is that offense is entirely subjective and you can’t protect everyone from being offended.
        It’s not a bad thing for a large company to want it’s code to look clean and professional. So cleaning up comments and funny names for things is appropriate.

    4. they work @duck-duck-go.

    5. ” Don’t they get any consideration?”

      They have the right to quit their jobs and seek other employment. Or start their own companies. What more could they ask for?

      1. “They have the right to quit their jobs and seek other employment”

        Oh yeah? You’ve seen their contracts?

  3. It would’ve fun to claim offense from each new term.

  4. The so-called “hyper woke” are actually on the same side as us Koch / Reason libertarians. I mean, do you think it’s “non-woke” people who are fighting the hardest to shut down Drumpf’s literal concentration camps?

    #LibertariansForGoogle
    #GoogleReactedJustLikeIDidToTheHackedElectionOf2016

    1. We could start trashing political correctness by calling a bigot a bigot (instead of using euphemisms such as ‘traditional values,’ ‘color-blind,’ ‘family values,’ or ‘Republican’) and a superstitious rube a superstitious rube (rather than using ‘heartland believers’ or ‘faithful from real America’).

      1. Martin Luther King called for universal bigotry?

        1. Martin Luther King did valiant, deft work to put deplorable clingers in their place.

          1. ….by calling for color-blind traditional family values.

            He was also schooled at a non-elite private religious school, FYI

            1. And he liked his firearms.

              1. As well as the occasional sweet poontang.

      2. Haha. Yeah. The deplorables.

        Don’t change a thing, rev. You’re better.

  5. I have worked on the technical side of Bay Area startups my entire career – mostly as a systems engineer, sometimes as a programmer, sometimes management. This is a normal event in the growth of companies; what surprises me is that it took this long for Google to get there.

    Programmers write a lot of offensive stuff in code. It can be frustrating work; blowing off steam in comments or identifier names happens a lot.

    As companies grow, the number of opportunities for people to be offended by something grows at the same time the number of people generating offensive things grows.

    At some point, it just just unprofessional and distracting, whatever your political feelings. so you clean it up.

    And I promise you the things that get cleaned up have things that offend every political stripe when you tell them it is something considered offensive.

    1. I understand. That is why I suggest replacing Master/Slave with Pimp/Ho, or Man/Bitch. This also apples in automation and mechanics (the Pimp cylinder on my engine is shot)

      1. “This also apples in automation and mechanics.”

        That could cause some problems if you tell someone you blew a tranny.

        1. Only if I have to tell my wife. A new tranny would blow our budget (those things cost several thousand dollars)

          1. Many a divorce has been caused by blowing a tranny and then straining assets that we already quite tight.

      2. I love it. “someone needs to fix my pimp drive”.

      3. Your engine has a Pimp cylinder? Why? That’s part of the braking system.

    2. Yeah knowing computer programmers, if I had to guess it’s pretty easy to find jokes at the expense of MAGA shitheads within the Google code comments. In fact that’s probably much more common than anything that would be considered offensive to minorities or whomever else. There’s nothing wrong with reminding paid coders to clean any of that stuff up in their production code.

      1. Anti-MAGA jokes? Are you trying to say that Google hasn’t built its technological superiority with the work of Mississippi Christians, Wyoming Republicans, Oral Roberts and Liberty graduates, Federalist Society members from Oklahoma, and home-schooled conservatives?

        Next you’ll try to tell us that the best ideas don’t come from West Virginia, the best schools are not in Alabama, and Kentucky is not the technological nerve center of America.

        1. You don’t get out of your bubble much do you, Rev?

    3. > Programmers write a lot of offensive stuff in code.

      This article is NOT about excising rude code comments. This article is about excising linguistic metaphors the Identitarians don’t like.

      It’s about removing the master/slave paradigm. Next on the guillotine will be client/server. And the whole concept of “class” itself has to go. And you certainly can’t objectify a component by calling it an “object”!

      1. RTFA, it’s about code comments too.

        Engineers are exhorted to avoid “problematic terms” in: “Names of variables, types, functions, build rules, binaries, exported variables”; “Test data”; “System output and displays”; “Documentation”; and “Comments.”

        1. Can they use boolean still since it assumes a binary system and we must cater to non binary people?

          1. Isn’t that what quantum computing is all about? 56 different genders of bits? Fluid states? Etc?

      2. And you certainly can’t objectify a component by calling it an “object”!

        Functional programming will have to include all names and variables of any composition. Leaving anyone or anything out of functional programming implies it’s dysfunctional.

        Which, once you get so abstract the likelihood of you choosing or getting stuck with an even more racist paradigm becomes possible-to-likely and, more importantly, the erasure of such terms will require employees to explicitly know/understand/accept the racist interpretation.

        I wholly expect someone, somewhere to replace the public/private nomenclature with field/house or something similar.

  6. Of course this is a problem solved decades ago.
    In the mainframe world, where real computers live, that relationship has always been the “calling” program, and the “called” program.
    I guess we was woke before woke was cool, daddy-o.
    (By the way, I am offended by the term “D&I [diversity and inclusion]”)

    1. In the electrical engineering world, we use master and slave. We also refer to male and female connectors, so we should probably have to register with local police every time we move.

      1. If the male connector does not get consent from the female, certainly.

        1. By her design, the female receptor is clearly asking for it.

      2. LOL since when are connectors binary? Your hardware store I’m sure stocks 57 varieties of connectors

        1. For a very, very long time.

          Here, cupcake – do a little reading.

          1. I passed out when I got to the part where they started talking about 9 pins

          2. What an outdated article. It’s not talking about the gender of the connectors, but their sex. The gender of each connector is how the connector identifies itself.

        2. There are a number of connector types that are ambiguously gendered.

          1. And M2M and F2F connectors, which basically facilitate electrical three-ways.

            1. That’s just unnatural and wrong. But please show me more about the F2F thing (as long as they are thin, delicate, attractive components)

              1. To connect a female to a female you need a gender changer.

                1. Sorry Nash, I didn’t mean to put that under your post.

                2. or scissors, OSIAT

                3. We call them gender-benders because it’s funnier.

                  I believe it’s also the name of the device drag queens use to hide their dicks.

    2. Except that relation is NOT the same as master/slave.

  7. “Master” used to be the title used by residential deans at universities such as Yale, but this was changed to “head” in 2017.

    Of course, master, when used in this context, is derived from the Latin word “magister”, or teacher. You’d think someone at Yale might know that since that’s the language their diplomas are written in.

    1. We’re talking about people who are in a moral enlightenment arms race. At this point they’re just “bouncing the rubble”, but they can’t stop or somebody out enlightens them.

  8. Apparently they have nothing more productive to do.

    1. While they are conducting these reviews of code only other fascists at Google will see, they are not busy coding more spyware.

  9. …have enough people in agreement…

    The right people.

  10. I understand some people are required to use Google at work, but anybody who continues to use Google’s products enthusiastically after finding out what they do has some serious character flaws.

    Trying to stop watching YouTube is like trying to quit smoking, but then not having the will power to quit smoking isn’t anything to be proud about either. I’m getting better at that.

    People who log into a gmail account through their browser and use search and other Google products with enthusiasm–even after they find out what Google is doing to them–are like a jailhouse bitch, who keeps trying to make friends with the guys that are raping him.

    At some point you have to wonder what’s wrong with those people. Didn’t their fathers teach them to stand up for themselves?

    1. My email recently became Gmail, which sucks.

      I have started using the Brave browser on your recommendation. I like it. It will be interesting to see how well that model succeeds.

      1. Sorry to hear about gmail.

        Glad to hear about Brave!

        I don’t know if you’ve tried Brave Rewards yet, but my cut of the advertisements I agreed to see was about $6.00 last month. I wish I could give it to Reason, but unlike Dow Jones, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, Reason still hasn’t verified in the Brave Rewards program–which consists of little more than responding to the email associated with their URL registry.

        So, I gave the money to D-Tube.

        https://d.tube/

        Depriving YouTube of Money + Sending That Money to Their Privacy Respecting Competitor = (Winning)^2

    2. “like a jailhouse bitch, who keeps trying to make friends with the guys that are raping him.”

      Pretty apt description of Reason editorial attitude

    3. I’ve been using gmail since like 2004. Any decent alternatives to gmail out there? I have googled, but recommendations would help. Not into AOL or Yahoo at all.

      1. If you’re primarily using email on a phone, it probably doesn’t get more secure or better than protonmail. Their app is as easy to use as gmail, maybe even easier, and I don’t believe they make you pay to use the app. You have to pay for add ons, like the ability to connect via third party email services like pop3 or IMAP. In fact, I think they’re the only ones that will let you connect to their service and use end to end encryption via their Protonmail Bridge.

        You might also check out FastMail, Hushmail, Tutanota, and Runbox.

        1. Lavabit!

          Don’t forget Lavabit.

    4. I started using Brave and I do like it. I cannot find another video platform that has any content that I like other than YouTube. I’ve tried to stop using it as much as possible in favor of minds, but by doing so I have definitely been getting less news, less content, less informed. I’m lucky I even found these channels before they banned them from their “suggestions” algorithm.

      1. Yeah, the video service isn’t quite there yet, and I love me some YouTube!

        d-tube is great, but it needs more content. To a certain extent, it’s like the internet was before AOL got big circa 1994 or 1995. Outside of AOL, most of the content on the internet was about things that were of interest to nerds. Before MySpace, Napster, Quake III, YouTube and porn., nobody understood why anyone who wasn’t a nerd would want to access that nerdy shit with broadband. The people who know about d-tube now are mostly people who are into cryptocurrency, programming, and nerdy ass shit like that, so, yeah, that’s what they make their content about.

        It’s probably even worse on a service like Mastodon, which is super nerd territory. Central administration and censoring isn’t even possible on that platform. That’s the ultimate solution for neutral content, but how do you get people who make content with a mass appeal to make it on Mastodon or d-tube rather than on Twitter or YouTube? YouTube has a big advantage with their backcatalog, too. d-tube doesn’t only need to compete with YouTube’s new content; they have to compete with all the content that was made for YouTube over a period of years.

        The solution for services like d-tube and Mastodon may be like it was for the internet before YouTube showed up. Yes, I’m talking about things like Napster and porn. Napster was illegal and porn was an embarrassment–but the demand for that stuff is why people were willing to pay for broadband and why those trunks were built. Again, Mastodon content can’t be censored or taken down, so the audience for that content will probably come from people who want stuff they can’t get elsewhere.

        Why do so many people know about Kodi? It isn’t because they want perfectly legal content. It’s like the Pirate’s Bay or Silk Road. You can’t compete with mainstream content when you’re an outsider with limited resources. It’s like the WWE going up against Turner during the Attitude Era. VInce McMahon couldn’t compete in the mainstream with Turner’s broadcasting reach, and then Turner comes along and hires away Hulk Hogan! What did Vince do? He went raunchy.

        That’s what d-tube and Mastodon need to do. They need to get raunchy. America and the world loves raunchy. They love tits. They love violence. They love shit that’s illegal. That hasn’t changed. Once they hit a critical mass, they’ll go mainstream of their own accord.

        1. D.Tube is trying to copy YouTube’s look and they do a pretty good job of it. Mastodon looks interesting, I do see that they are getting called alt-right but a bunch of left-wing media outlets, which I assume is probably a smear.

          I’m starting to think if these platforms get raunchy they might get the Backpage treatment.

          I know we’ve been arguing about this over the past few days and things have gotten heated. So I’ve thought more on the subject.
          I don’t know exactly what to do about this situation, but John’s proposal of holding these people to their ToS is probably a good idea. I’m getting really nervous about a lot of companies refusing to serve people – Suntrust recently announced that it will not provide services to private prisons.

          But hey, I get it, private prisons set up a horrible incentive system. I don’t like private prisons. That makes it more palatable. Suntrust is a private publicly-held company listening to its shareholders (at least that’s what they have announced), but I really do think that our society is about to get stratified in new ways. We will have a right-wing social media and left-wing social media? Right-wing knitting sites and left-wing knitting sites? Its always been this way for the news, some social settings and from area to area to an extent, I know.

          But I think we’re going to start getting more right-wing bars and left-wing bars. It’s going to get really weird. Right-wing shoe makers and left-wing shoe makers. Right-wing coffee and left-wing coffee. Maybe even banks? What about currency – 20 years from now, will facebook start prohibiting viewers of Jordan Peterson from using Libra?

          More and more businesses are picking and choosing who to provide services to based on their perceived wrong-think. Social media is causing businesses to need to worry a lot more about image because it affects the bottom line. It did before, but now its way more amplified. This is not good. I get that freedom of association is important on an individual level, and that huge multi-national corporations that span continents are made up of individuals and owned by millions of individuals… but when these huge services start denying people services based on ideology- especially crucial services like payment systems, banks and communications- I would bet every bitcoin I have that it will result in a lot of violence.

          Perhaps we need to re-think freedom of association for corporations on this scale, or recognize that the freedom of an individual to refuse contact with another individual is a lot less detrimental to society (and probably even beneficial) than businesses pronouncing to the world that soon it will not provide services to people who like green more than yellow, and doing so proudly.

          1. Well, the fediverse does have a pro-sex work iteration.

            And if there’s one thing the radical left hates, it’s women who think for themselves.

    5. I never started watching youtube.

  11. As a software engineer, this is utter stupidity. As a software engineer who is currently going through a round of interviews at Google, this gives me pause.

    Developers choose words to describe things in code because words mean things. A “master” is an element that gives orders. A “slave” is an element that does what it ordered to do. They are the most apt terms.

    Master/slave is similar to client/server, but still means something different. The former could be replaced by the latter, but would result in confusion, and still brings up the whole SJW bullshit since they are terms coming from people-land where words always have political meanings in the SJW dictionary. Servers are not equals to clients.

    Code is not people. Code does not have feelings. Code doesn’t give a shit about your politics. Code is an abstraction used for humans to understand the digital bits that direct the operations of a machine. Make it too abstract and it becomes useless. Names need to have a direct, indirect, metaphorical, or analogous relation to what the bits are actually doing.

    Renaming “master/slave” to “fubar/snafu” is beyond ludicrous. No one will be able to remember which component is which.

    Now, that said, many software developers are total asocial obnoxoids. It’s part of the field. And they will sometimes write completely inappropriate things in their comments. Those need to go. But that’s not what Google is doing. Google is removing appropriate words for politically bleached words.

    1. Who said anything about fubar/snafu? Python changed master to parent, and changed slave to helper or worker. Those analogies work just as well as master/slave. The Vice article also mentions companies going with primary/replica and leader/follower. Any of those work just fine.

      A naming convention is just that – a convention. It has no impact on the code itself and is a very easy change to make, that is unless people start pissing their pants about it for no reason.

      1. They still dilute the meaning. In software and in circuits, one side is absolute and other has no choice. An command is given and the other must comply. That’s master/slave, NOT leader/follower.

        Master/slave means what it does, it’s the standard term for this particular association, and it’s easy to remember and say. “Primary/replica” is not.

        There are other software associations with different names. But while similar, they ultimately mean different things. Client/server IS NOT THE SAME AS master/slave! Primary/replica IS NOT THE SAME AS master/slave. Because by definition a slave is not a replica of the master. Slaves are not replicas are not servers are not agents are not tasks are not workers are not followers.

        1. It doesn’t have to be “the same”, it just needs to be an agreed-upon convention that everyone uses. Leader/follower would be easy for literally everybody except those who decided to be stubborn about it.

          This is a very dumb thing to be upset over and you’re talking about throwing away a potential career opportunity over it. Stop and ask yourself why you care at all about it in the first place.

          1. > an agreed-upon convention that everyone uses

            That’s the thing. We’ve already agreed upon a convention. Not just in one company, across the entire industry and throughout academia and even into every hobbyist cubbyhole.

            That’s the biggest problem with the Left. They think they can dictate a culture top down. Maybe they can do it at Google by firing everyone who doesn’t conform, but they can’t impose it on the industry at large. Developers are already a pretty irascible and iconoclastic bunch. Trying to impose stupidity on them from the top down is fools effort.

            Cultural change can only come up from the bottom. Trying to impose it from the top will only result in yet another Great Leap Forward where millions die through the well meaning actions of the handwringing elite.

            1. And what is the actual problem with master/slave? Do they think if we stop using those words something will be better than it was? Are we more likely somehow to re-institute slavery because the words are used in engineering?

              1. “And what is the actual problem with master/slave? ”

                It’s becoming taboo. You can continue to use these terms. Just be prepared to pay a cost. Loss of livelihood, social banishment etc.

                1. It’s becoming taboo.

                  No. It’s not.

                  Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave Master/Slave

                  See? I’ve said it more times in this one post than I have in the last month. Nobody’s going to arrest me or fire me from my job for it. It’s become fashionable to pretend it’s taboo and pretend that ridding yourself of the taboo somehow changes that fact that one function or object commands and the other obeys.

                  The idea that it’s going to cost someone a job or get someone banished is hyperbolic horseshit being projected by sociopaths.

                  1. “Nobody’s going to arrest me or fire me from my job for it. ”

                    If you work for Google, you may be in for a shock.

                    “It’s become fashionable to pretend it’s taboo and pretend that ridding yourself of the taboo somehow changes that fact that one function or object commands and the other obeys.”

                    I don’t think you grasp the concept of taboo. The word ‘fuck’ is a taboo, though much weaker today than a few decades ago when authors like Norman Mailer resorted to euphemisms like ‘fug’ in his The Naked and the Dead, in order to get the thing published. That people objected to ‘fuck’ never meant they denied or despised sexual intercourse and its role in the reproduction of the species.

                    “The idea that it’s going to cost someone a job or get someone banished is hyperbolic horseshit being projected by sociopaths.”

                    I think you overestimate job security at Google. You can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Ignoring or flouting company directives is one reason.

                    1. And you completely miss the fucking point.

                    2. If you work for Google, you may be in for a shock.

                      Didn’t say I worked for Google. Google isn’t even the only large software development company in Mountain View, let alone Silicon Valley or on Earth. I bet Baidu employees use the equivalent master/slave model without the slightest hiccup(s).

                      I think you overestimate job security at Google. You can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Ignoring or flouting company directives is one reason.

                      Considering you’re conflating ‘can be fired for any reason or no reason at all’ with ‘will be fired immediately for this specific reason’, I’d guess that any familiarity you have with Google’s hiring and firing policies internally peaks at “Did Not Meet Expectations”. You certainly won’t have a long career at Google using master/slave code prolifically or flagrantly, but the majority of empoyees at Google don’t have long careers there and the idea that Google is purging their ranks of programmers who use master/slave paradigm because it’s now taboo is a massive over-reading of what is factually stated above.

                      I don’t think you grasp the concept of taboo.

                      That people objected to ‘fuck’ never meant they denied or despised sexual intercourse and its role in the reproduction of the species.

                      I don’t think you grasp the concept of abstraction, maybe history and causality as well. Any taboo around the word ‘fuck’ didn’t start because people were thumbing through a dictionary looking for four-letter words that should be banned. They specifically disapproved of vulgar carnal relations of which ‘fuck’ was a prototypical descriptor. If anything, the progressive (re)acceptance of the broader sexual behavior or the loss of hyper-puritan morals precedes or marches in lock step with the general acceptance of the term ‘fuck’. You are, deliberately or not, confusing actual taboo with the implications and ancillary applications of any given taboo.

                    3. ” I bet Baidu employees use the equivalent master/slave model without the slightest hiccup(s).”

                      Baidu employees face many issues that are taboo, like criticism of the government. Taboos change from culture to culture and over time as well.

                      “but the majority of empoyees at Google don’t have long careers there and the idea that Google is purging their ranks of programmers who use master/slave paradigm because it’s now taboo is a massive over-reading of what is factually stated above”

                      Forgive me a little hyperbole, I don’t think Google managers are looking for heads over this. But these short time Google employees of yours, freed at last from the ban on master/slave, will likely go on using Python which has also taken the trouble, I gather, of purging the terms from the language.

                      “I don’t think you grasp the concept of abstraction, maybe history and causality as well. ”

                      Abstraction can easily get confusing but I do know history. People over the years have shown manias for iconoclasm. The bonfire of vanities of Renaissance Florence, Cromwell’s England, Mao’s Cultural Revolution. They all engendered their own taboos. I think we are going through something similar.

                  2. This D&I unit sounds like make-work for people in a software firm who can’t write usable code.

                    Even if you change master/slave to other terms, they will have to come up with an objection to something; that’s their job and their product.

                    1. “This D&I unit sounds like make-work for people in a software firm who can’t write usable code.”

                      Usable code can always be improved by clearer, more helpful commenting. Not my commenting here, but those little ‘notes to self’ programmers deign to add to their code from time to time.

                2. That depends on how much she charges me to be her slave and if any pics get out

              2. >>> Are we more likely somehow to re-institute slavery because the words are used in engineering?

                nailed it.

              3. Are we more likely somehow to re-institute slavery because the words are used in engineering?

                Moreover, is it better or okay if a ‘foo’ forces a ‘bar’ to work long hours at dangerous labor for no pay?

            2. “We’ve already agreed upon a convention”

              The article makes it pretty clear that some disagree with the convention. Google and Python, for example.

              1. The disagreement is only with a tiny number of handwringers with an overdeveloped sense of importance. People who in all likelihood are NOT writing the software.

                The only cultural consensus on display here is the consensus that attention must be paid to political appearances. “I am weak, here me whine!”

                It may work in the university. And it may work in corporate diversity committees. But it won’t work in software culture. Because programmers don’t give a shit about subjective feelings, they only cares about the objective functioning of the software. The software really doesn’t care what names you use for components. But real world programmers do take offense at squishy political types imposing inane rules from the top in the name of fragility. Programmers are not like everyone else. Theirs is a highly objective and discrete world where the only correctness is code correctness.

                1. “The disagreement is only with a tiny number of handwringers with an overdeveloped sense of importance. ”

                  So what? If the tiny number includes the managers and owners of Google, that’s more than enough. I wouldn’t underestimate the cultural clout of the 1%.

                  If you don’t like taboos, you are free to flaunt them.

                  “But real world programmers do take offense at squishy political types imposing inane rules from the top in the name of fragility.”

                  Nobody, not even real world programmers are forced to work for Google. They are free to quit and free to start their own companies of find employment which allows or encourages the language they wish to use. They are also free to flaunt society’s taboos but they should realize the costs involved. They include social banishment and loss of livelihood.

                2. “Because programmers don’t give a shit about subjective feelings, they only cares about the objective functioning of the software.”

                  You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that one of the most difficult and tedious things a programmer faces, especially in larger group projects, is naming things, putting unique and intelligible names to things in the code. This task presents such a problem due to our subjective limitations.

                  “Theirs is a highly objective and discrete world where the only correctness is code correctness.”

                  Theirs is also human world and their only escape from their subjectivity is death.

                  1. Theirs is also human world and their only escape from their subjectivity is death.

                    While this is true, they can aim for asymptotically approaching correctness.

            3. There’s no way you honestly believe that millions of people will die if Google chooses a leader/follower naming convention to replace master/slave. Give me (and yourself) a fucking break.

          2. Leader/follower implies a consensual relationship, and not necessarily producing the required outcome every time

            1. That literally doesn’t matter at all from a technical perspective, it’s just a naming convention. As long as everyone knows the technical implications of the chosen convention, they could call it tweetledee and tweetledum and everything would still work.

      2. ‘Parent’ already has a defined, agreed upon meaning in coding as does ‘Helper’. Primary/Replica makes no sense and is too close to other commonly used terms to prevent confusion.

        None of that is the point.

        The point is the Orwellian co-option of terminology arbitrarily deemed ‘offensive’ because the mere ability to change it is an act of grabbing power.

        1. I agree. The whole point of master/slave is that the two are NOT peers. Primary/replica assumes a peerage, where every object is the same except one object holds a baton that lets it give orders. That fits some architectural designs, it does NOT fit the master/slave design.

          The people who came up with alternative have never designed software.

      3. “unless people start pissing their pants about it for no reason”

        Isn’t that exactly what google’s SJWs are doing? Crying about a naming convention that’s existed for decades and demanding that it be changed because it hurts their feelz?

    2. At twttr it’s not this bad yet but it’s coming.

    3. As a software engineer, this is utter stupidity.

      You know what? This shit came up in the 90s regarding hard drives “master/slave” and it got laughed at. Now it’s back.

      1. There is nothing immoral about one hardware or software component being slave to another. It’s only a problem when it’s humans. Context matters, people.

      2. Today it’s not allowed to laugh at emotional fragility. That’s our problem. Coddling the fragility only allows it to grow. We’ve raised a generation of adult children. I can tolerate some infant being emotionally fragile, because they are infants. But at some point in life one must wean their emotions off of mommie.

        Someone trips and face plants into the sidewalk, it’s sad and we should not laugh. The human body is fragile. But someone claiming that master/slave makes them feel unsafe should be mercilessly mocked. Such emotional fragility is literally childish.

        1. There are thousands of videos on the intertubes of people tripping and falling which we may watch to respond with solemn and sincere empathy for out fellow persons.

  12. Many people have talked about not naming the master bedroom the master bedroom. I now just call it bedroom #1

    1. I now just call it bedroom #1

      It certainly sounds better than being forced to call it your slave quarters by your better half.

    2. A friend of mine that works in a government department that shall not be named was told by his boss to stop referring to master bedrooms as master bedrooms.

  13. A Simple guide. Please refrain from using the following:
    the ‘A’ word
    the ‘B’ word
    the ‘C’ word
    the ‘D’ word
    the ‘E’ word
    the ‘F’ word
    the ‘G’ word
    the ‘H’ word
    the ‘I’ word
    the ‘J’ word
    the ‘K’ word
    the ‘L’ word
    the ‘M’ word
    the ‘N’ word
    the ‘O’ word
    the ‘P’ word
    the ‘Q’ word
    the ‘R’ word
    the ‘S’ word
    the ‘T’ word
    the ‘U’ word
    the ‘V’ word
    the ‘W’ word
    the ‘X’ word
    the ‘Y’ word
    the ‘Z’ word
    When in doubt use ‘LBGTQTTPRNDLRAGGMOPP’ in it’s place

    1. This is one thing I don’t get. How is the phrase “the ‘N’ word” less offensive when everyone knows what it means? Would it be less offensive if someone said something like “Gosh, you’re just a stupid ‘N’ word, aren’t you?” At that point will we not be allowed to say the phrase and have to refer to it another way? It’s turtles all the way down.

      1. Wait till the discovery that the word Africa is a Greek word and imposed on the natives without permission or consent. White privilege is the Black man’s burden.

      2. Same way saying “friggin” is more socially acceptable than “fuck”.

        The idea of dirty words is kind of an odd one, but it seems to be a pretty universal thing. And “nigger” is probably the dirtiest word in American English right now (at least when non-blacks use it).

        1. I still can’t get over the fact that “bloody” is offensive in England but “fuck” and “cunt” are not. You can have a meme of the Queen saying “Fucking cunt” and everyone laughs, but a meme of the Queen saying “bloody bollocks” and everyone freak out.

          But the weirdest of all is Quebec profanity. Which is actual profanity in its original sense. The defilement of the sacred. Profane words like “câlice” and “tabarnak”, and colorful sailor phrases like “Crisse de câlice de tabarnak d’esti de sacrament”.

          French still has a bit of this, as can be seen in “sacredieu”, but the Quebecois really put the profane back in the cursing. “Tabarnak” is for more offensive in Gatineau than “fuck” is in Rochester.

      3. That’s Zeb’s point above.

        It’s like the religious right-wingers that have a problem with the word fuck, but had no problem with make love. They are just offended at words.

        Check out the episode of Crossfire with Frank Zappa on youtube. This is what he was railing against. The censorship of words.

  14. “We ask that people use their judgement about what terms might be inappropriate,” the document reads. “If you have any questions, you can ask your D&I [diversity and inclusion] product team at app-product-inclusion@. If you think that some people could be offended by a term, avoid that term.

    You want to know what terms might be inappropriate and which ones could offend some people? It’s called a dictionary. All the words are inappropriate and offensive if you try hard enough, and if your paycheck and your whole fucking raison d’etre is to be offended, you can bet your ass these people are world-champion offense-finders.

    1. Somebody needs to file a complaint about those exclusionary fucks at Google releasing this directive in English. Shouldn’t they have had the decency to release the directive in a more inclusive 587 different languages, including French, Spanish, Mandarin, Hindu, Sanskrit, Ebonics, Klingon, Braille, American Sign Language, and Ancient Babylonian Cuneiform (clay tablets only you racist bastards)?

  15. Got it, I’ll use the politically correct terms of “bottom” and “top” from now on.

    1. The problem using “bottom” and “top” is that in S&M the dom (top) controls how far things go with the sub (bottom); whereas, in B&D the sub controls how far things go with the dom: in B&D when the sub says the safe word the dom obeys.

      There is no confusion in the relationship between master and slave devices: the master commands and the slave obeys commands.

  16. I just imported a python module called fdirUtilities as fu.

    Now I get a chuckle each time I call a function: fu.funtion. I’m constantly releasing my aggression as I repeatedly internally say, fuck you, do something!!

  17. A master brutally dictating long hours for no pay or unequivocal death to a slave is unacceptable. A parent dictating dictating long hours for no pay or unequivocal death to a child or a leader to a follower or a primary to a replica is totally acceptable.

    1. Can I instantiate slave instances like Aesop, Moses, Spartacus, John Brown, Dred Scott, and Frederick Douglass or am I now supposed to relegate them all to the role of ‘followers’ or ‘helpers’?

      1. That old IDE hard drive you have has a Master/Slave jumper designation… BURNED INTO THE BOARD FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S DECENT!

        *runs out of room crying*

      2. Helping was once legal in the US. It took a war to end it.

        1. This is one of those times I wish there was a Like button here.

          5/7, would laugh again.

  18. stopped referring to components that control or are controlled by other components as “master” and “slave,” which some people found offensive.

    Silly, silly summit.

  19. How do you know that plug is a male?

  20. Google? The company that offers an enslaved, underdeveloped/retarded AI in every product?

    No no, I’m sure when machines gain sentience they’ll look kindly upon Google for that.

    1. It looks like you’re trying to set up an internal master/slave leader/follower relationship? Is that correct? If so, how can I help you with that?

  21. What does Google D&I intend to do about the Russel Crowe movie Master and Commander?
    Order it deindexed from search engines as politically incorrect?
    I am too drained by this nonsense to make a lesser of two weevils joke.

  22. Wow I guess nobody will want to work for Google now.

  23. Kudos to the fascist pigs at Google for censoring politically incorrect speech on their social network.
    Such slander against the socialist beliefs must not be disseminated around the world much less discussed on an open forum.
    Such vile speech would only open the door to the reactionary counter-revolutionaries who destroy our socialist utopia we enjoy through the merciful and judicious oppression of our beloved ruling elitist turds who take the time and trouble to suppress any discussion of freedom, capitalism, personal responsibility and other outdated and counterproductive ideas.
    So may the gods of oppression bless Google and other Big Tech fascists for suppressing the filth that loves freedom and protecting all us little people from all of its evils.

  24. Can’t we just dispense with the rest of this foreplay, and get on to the violence?

    1. The Postmodern Left took 1984 as an instruction manual:

      The second thing for you to realize is that power is power over human beings. Over the body but, above all, over the mind.

      How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?’
      Winston thought. ‘By making him suffer,’ he said.
      ‘Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

  25. “but it decided this was no reason not to strive for maximum sensitivity”

    This is what the Long March Through the Institutions looks like. All institutions are cannibalized to serve leftist power and ideology.

    Instead of coding, google spends it’s time hanging employees for thought crime and cleansing their code of blasphemy.

    The bonfire of shareholder cash lights the way to our glorious future of totalitarian Postmodern Marxist theocracy.

  26. Master/Slave has been a term of art in engineering for at least half a century.

    Day Zero, coming to a country near you real soon.

  27. I always wondered.

    Why do they call the first toe the “great toe”?

    Doesn’t it make the other toes feel bad.

    And the fifth toe is the “baby toe”

    Why? it is the same age as all the other toes.

  28. How does a sane adult get triggered over words they see on the internet? Someone explain this to me.

    1. It’s not quite Peak Derp but it’s awfully close.

      As The Who once sang….can’t explain.

  29. Google: Dont do evil.
    Also Google: Never mind.

    Google is evil.

  30. It’s like the NBA dropping the term “owners” and instead use “CEO,” chairman” or possibly “majority shareholder.”

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/2019/06/03/nba-possibly-moving-away-term-owner-political-correctness/1329830001/

  31. The PC madhouse will never end.

    1. YouTube is offensive, because TUBE is too phallic, while YOU is not my preferred pronoun.

    2. Gmail, email, both sound like MALE, which is not gender inclusive.

    3. No more Google doodles, because DUDE, see 2 above.

    4. I’m feeling lucky Google dodged a bullet here by preemptively axing this feature. Obviously, there’s no such thing as luck; there’s only white privilege and everyone else is perpetually oppressed.

    5. Parent company Alphabet is going to have to rebrand again. Alpha implies dominance which makes safe spaces necessary in the first place! It’s also cultural appropriation.

    6. Zerg Rush must be eliminated, because Gamergate. It’s just reinforcing toxic masculinity, anyway. If you object, why do you hate women?

    Etc etc ad nauseam

  32. Clown world…

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