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Discussion on: 9 problems with replacing "master" in Git

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lonelymoon profile image
Hung Luong

Are you sure you are not committing the straw man fallacy? Your arguments doesn't counter his; and you are making conclusion not really based on anything discussed.

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woubuc profile image
Wouter • Edited on

That's because I generally agree with most of his points (apart from 7 and 8 specifically which I did directly address), but I disagree with the implied conclusion that these points are valid reasons why we shouldn't change our terminology going forward.

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lonelymoon profile image
Hung Luong

Even if that's the case, I am saying that your arguments aren't conclusive either.

Saying that we should change even just to avoid this particular mess is exactly what makes the slippery slope a valid argument. What is next mess that need to be politically correct? Do we engineers now have to design/build/name things with the fear that 30 years later somebody would dig back our mail thread to determine if we were correct or not?

Besides, it was never mentioned that we should silence anyone. In fact, all of us should speak our mind. But do we have a choice in this? No. We (including non-US and non-English speakers) have to accept this. And every voice against it means the speaker is a racist? And you say that we should just silently accept it for the sake of not reinforcing some "implicit bias" about race?

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woubuc profile image
Wouter

No one is arguing that we need to vilify people who made decisions 30 years ago. This isn't a matter of "those people were wrong" because at the time, they weren't. Different time have different standards and it would be ridiculous to suggest that someone who lived X years ago should have behaved according to today's standards.

People are simply asking for everyone to start being more respectful and inclusive in the language we use, which to be seems fairly cut-and-dry. We're talking about a word that means something negative to one side, and that is "just a word" to the other side, so why would we not all agree to start using a term that's "just a word" to all sides, out of respect for everyone?

Let's take out the slippery slope argument for a second. Let's say this is literally the only change you ever have to make and then everyone is happy. Would you change it then? And if yes, then why is it so much more difficult to do while also acknowledging that there may be more work needed in the future to make our language and society inclusive, equal and just for everyone?

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lonelymoon profile image
Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community. View Code of Conduct
Hung Luong

And no one is arguing that we should not be respectful to anyone, black or white or yellow or whatever. Intentions are almost never bad. But it is always the action stemming from those intentions that is the problem.

How can you say that the name change is "more respectful and inclusive in the language we use" while at the same time, refuting that it is not significant at all for anyone? If you say that it should not matter to me to accept it, why does it matter to you that I have to accept it? You are free to name your branches however you like, for whatever agenda you pursuit. I like to name my branch master because it's the first thing I learned about Git. Do I not deserve that respect?

I'd also like to say that I am Asian, living in Asia. Not that my race matter, I am merely providing a context as to how I feel regarding all this US-central bullshit. Some black man died half the world away - a sad matter, yet now I have to be all respectful and inclusive and need to have all this SJ forced down my throat. Would you be happy if you were me?

Finally, I never argued that we are living in a perfect world. But accepting halfhearted political PR stunt is - in my opinion - doing more harm than good. I draw the line at policing my language to express myself or my work. This change maybe small and insignificant to you, but the frog got boiled alive.

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dandv profile image
Dan Dascalescu Author • Edited on

Perhaps strongly worded, but this is a valid point I also linked to: developers far away who are not and have never been involved in this US/UK/Germany racial/slavery debate, have to suffer its consequences.

There's one more thing in it. People blindly imply that all other world should care about US internal problems. There are lots of countries that just don't have these racial problems US has.

And for some reason we (non-US people) should also be affected. I have personally seen people forcing this change for projects made by Bulgarian, Russian, Kirgiz, and Indonesian people. It just makes no sense!

I'm not sure why @hung 's post was marked "low quality". I think collateral damage is an important point.

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lonelymoon profile image
Hung Luong

Could be my wording that is the problem and I apologise if that's the case. Although the CoC also seems to draw a very fine line regarding acceptable stance in matter like this.

Nevertheless, it is great to see you including our voices in yours as well. Non-US/non-English speaking engineers seem to be drowned in this debate for no good reason.

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tdreid profile image
Trevor Reid

It's not exactly a straw man fallacy, it's actually a form of begging the question. When wouter says "there shouldn't be a logical argument that is stronger than 'make our language more inclusive and less racist," it implies the rejection of logic based on reaching an a conclusion that has been predetermined to be unacceptable.

To me, as a black software developer, the idea of making a "more inclusive and less racist" language sounds like a road to Newspeak and thought policing -- meanwhile it's distracting, wasteful and disrespectful of my professional time.

The time I spend renaming 'main' to 'master' to preserve compatibility with existing tools, workflows and established convention will be in the running to exceed even the time-tax of the Stoopid Cookie Rule.