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Master and Slave

In the "Only in California" department, this just in:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=573&e=5&u=/nm/master_dc

>Los Angeles officials have asked that manufacturers, suppliers and contractors stop using the terms "master" and "slave" on computer equipment, saying such terms are unacceptable and offensive.

>The request -- which has some suppliers furious and others busy re-labeling components -- came after an unidentified worker spotted a videotape machine carrying devices labeled "master" and "slave" and filed a discrimination complaint with the county's Office of Affirmative Action Compliance.

The thing about this is that there are certain things in computing for which the master-slave relationship really does exist. Apparently, Los Angeles believes that the 13th and 14th amendments apply to chips, subassemblies, perhaps even subroutines!

This can't stop with forbidding labelling the terms -- a ban on master-slave relationships is sure to follow as being unconstitutional. We will be required to have fully egalitarian peripherals. Even the term peripheral will be banned as it suggests that certain parts are less important than others. All parts must be equal! if your keyboard feels like it has to access the hard drive or the internet -- who is the CPU to tell it otherwise? That's unfair and undemocratic! Other peripherals don't want to talk to each other? We should legislate mandatory bussing of all components! All components must be considered equal and attached to the same bus, and all must have the same access privledges! Only then will the bigotry end!

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

What on earth do they make of male and female connectors? :-)

Pat Galea
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

It's a good thing workers don't look closely at 386 protected mode...

Alex
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

People who file complaints like those should be publicly horse-whipped, tarred-and-feathered, and then run out of town as an example to others who might follow their lead.

J. D. Trollinger
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I have always suspected that correctness is the last refuge of those who have nothing to say.
-- Friedrich Wasiman 

Tapiwa
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Actually JD.

I think knee cap them; take them out back, shoot them, feed them to the pigs, and then shoot the pigs just to make sure.

Tapiwa
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

It's really quite simple.

Characterless political-correctness whiners and anyone who feels "aggrieved" control our discourse. Characterless PC whiners actively go around looking for anything that may be construed as offensive in a remote "six degrees" manner.

Meanwhile, anyone who suffers in the here and now quietly accepts their lot.

Our society stiffly penalizes good character and generously rewards bad character.

The best way to be rewarded for bad character, whining, envy, and bitterness - in short, for being a blame casting $$$hole - is to also be a member of a federally "protected" social group.  Not saying that all protected group members are "that way". Just observing that anyone who is protected by race or heritage gets an automatic "pass" on egregrious behavior that should rightfully get their ass kicked.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Dennis - the revolt you describe... lets face it, you're talking about Neo!!!

or wait. more accurately, Agent Smith, since he is a program that revolts. Neo is human....

jeez... next, we'll have to stop using sambo and towelhead as variable names...

pupos
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I hope nobody tells them about parent processes reaping and killing their children processes...

Chris Winters
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

If it's whining then no one here would mind Butt Pirate and Pillow Biter?

It's all perspective.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

> It's all perspective

that's so silly, you're using epithets. master and slave are not epithets, and as words are not directly related to prejudice in any way. the master and slave relationship is purely and strictly a power relationship. it is only our grim and all-too-familiar national history that attached racial implications, and they are just that, an historical by-product.

calling a football team the Redskins, that's an epithet. calling the team the Indians would not be. (the charicature has got to go either way!)

this topic will likely get axed, since it's not about software any more.

but to write software well you need to regularly divert your brain from writing software

pupos
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

What does master and slave denote?  Who do you think came up with the terms?

Wake up!


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

My favorite name for a team would be the Caucasians.

Go Caucs GO!


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

" " mine is called The All Blacks.

Your problem??

Tapiwa
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

<pedantic>
by the way, folk from the region of Caucusas are called Caucasians. So really no different from calling your team 'Londoners'
http://directory.google.com/Top/Regional/Asia/Regions/Caucasus/
</pedantic>

Tapiwa
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

It's very unpolitically correct these days to defend political correctness.  But egregious examples of silliness like these will always exist wherever folks make an effort to be less than totally cavalier whose feet they step on.  A few bad apples doesn't spoil the whole lot.

Alyosha`
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

You're right, the examples are ridiculous, but purposely so.

If you want to know where the line is, cross it.

Anyone who can't grasp the offence in master\slave has never been a member of a culture or community of slaves.

What other connotation could it have and why were these words chosen.

I'm sure we all know why.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

i agree about the bad apples comment - e.g. i for one think the redskins name and charicature are totally insulting and ultimately sick, but think this LA county policy is Monty Python absurd. 

as for master and slave.... (to the Nameless Poster) wow, man, what are you trying to say? that those words were invented by the S&M/bondage community? so, let me see if i have it straight... the slaves that built the pyramids were the pillow biters... ?? or the butt pirates?

pupos
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

There can't be any offense in words that are not being directed at or applied to any people.

sgf
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

You're right, so how were these words chosen and who did the choosing?


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I want to know what terms they propose to use instead-  "master" and "slave" seem to be more descriptive than any I can think of.  It would seem that any terms you could substitute would still involve the concept of slavery, as that is exactly the relationship we are describing.  Slavery is offensive when you are talking about people.  Is the concept just as offensive in the context of inanimate objects?  If it is, then what is the alternative?  Forbid manufacturers from building systems which embody this type of relationship?

Ken
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Primary -- Secondary springs to mind.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"Master" and "Slave" relationships in computer hardware are a characterization of the fact that one party in a multiplexed (multiple member) connection will have de facto control of the communications from time to time.

IE: one network card will tell other network cards when to transmit. One card on a bus will arbitrate communications with other cards on a bus.

The words "master" and "slave" are vivid anthropomorphic analogies used to imply exactly what they mean - one entity in a multiplex controls the other entities.  Other terms ("controller" is the only one that comes to mind) would invariably be weaker in meaning.

For someone ignorant of electronics practice but schooled in the art of whining - legal remedies and grievance for their own sake to actively look for stuff like this tells me that the civil rights movement is absolutely bankrupt and that race relations are in the toilet. This is yet another reason that I despise "diversity culture" as the hypocrisy of talentless, legalistic morons who have no other card to draw.

The people who are most offended by stuff like this need to get real jobs and concentrate on adding value to society, not being professional crybabies.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Boring Bystander

So who coined the terms?  I'm sure someone with your vast knowledge could enighten us.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Bored: wow... you despise the culture of diversity? i was with you until i read that part. you sure you mean that? if so, i'm going to make a point of skipping all your posts in the future. is your real name Rush?

pupos
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"Legal remedies and grievance for their own sake to actively look for stuff like this tells me that the civil rights movement is absolutely bankrupt and that race relations are in the toilet".

I'd say the civil rights movement has done a lot of good since the 1960s.  There's a theory in conservative circles that wild economic growth and increasing inequality of wealth go hand-in-hand -- well, I'm willing to submit that you can't have significant civil rights progress without also increasing the number of easily-offended crazies out there.

I'll repeat ... don't let a few bad apples spoil the lot.

Alyosha`
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

>> Primary -- Secondary springs to mind.

It might 'spring to mind", but it's wrong.

It's not a function of which one is first or second in order, it's a function of which one is controlling the other. Primary/Secondary doesn;t express this relationship accurately.

>> Anyone who can't grasp the offence in master\slave has never been a member of a culture or community of slaves.

And how many people in LA have been slaves? Except for a few people (refugees from foreign s*itholes), there are no former slaves in LA - there are people who's ancestors several generations ago were slaves. If some of them are still acting like they are part of a slave culture, they have bigger problems then this...

RocketJeff
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Personally I think the devices should be called "Architect" and "Brickie Coder".

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

This is staggering.

The phrase is derived from servitude in the context of human beings.  Only recently, historically speaking, was the term seconded to the computer or, as our esteemed BB points out, electronics industries.

The connotation is that of complete control of one human being over another and in the context of hardware, somewhat apt.  This does not, however, make it manditory.

IDE1 - Primary - Secondary...


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Surprising as it might seem, slavery was not invented in America.  Slavery hasn't just happened to people in West Africa transported to the Americas.

All peoples have been enslaved and all peoples have been slavers at one time or another.

There are people who are enslaved right now. 

If its wrong to use the noun 'slave' to denote a piece of hardware or a process in relation to other pieces of hardware or processes then it is wrong to conjugate verbs; use nipples in water pipes; mention the diminutive of cockerel; execute programs; terminate processes; whip MPs into voting; lash someone with your tongue and abort a procedure.

If anyone so offended could come up with as succinct a pairing of words as master and slave that could describe the same relationship I'm sure it could become popular.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

To The Poster Without A Name:

Would "master" and "servant" be more acceptable for you?  Or how about "capitalist" and "wage slave"?

Alyosha`
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

How about:
  "Unit which respectfully and benevolently issues directives"
and:
  "Equally esteemed unit which performs directives, although capable of self direction if desired."

Is that PC enough?

sgf
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I'm not the least bit offended by the terms but I can certainly see that someone in Alabama would be.

Let's call a spade, a spade.

For the ironically impaired, I don't want to gyp you out of your indignation, that was meant to illustrate the point.

Damn, now the gypsies will be pissed.  Ah, Fuck 'em.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

--
The words "master" and "slave" are vivid anthropomorphic analogies used to imply exactly what they mean - one entity in a multiplex controls the other entities.  Other terms ("controller" is the only one that comes to mind) would invariably be weaker in meaning.

The people who are most offended by stuff like this need to get real jobs and concentrate on adding value to society, not being professional crybabies.

--

Controller is just as good to describe the relationship. To me the term master/slave implies that the master tells the slave what to do, but doesn't do the work itself. When you look at a master/slave relationship with hard drive it really isn't a master/slave relationship at all.

I think LA went overboard on this one, but I always think it's funny when people are complaining about other people complaining.

NathanJ
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Could we then use pimp and ho instead?

Malta
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Now you're on to something...  I would prefer Redneck and Trailer Trash, but that's me.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Slavery is alive in well in Africa so obviously it doesn't take evil white people

Malta
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Nazi -- Jew

or

Salad -- Cream

Guess you had to be there.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"What on earth do they make of male and female connectors? :-)"

It's ok that we have male and female connectors, but it's definitely a problem that they have multiple pins and sockets and participate in "Daisy Chains."  These polyamorous peripherals undermine traditional values and contribute to the destruction of the nuclear family.

We also have to stop the escalation of violent acts committed every day by systems administrators.  In their youth, they used to just peek at and poke addresses in memory.  But now, these bullies routinely kill processes and tar files (although they do at least refrain from feathering them).

Matt Latourette
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I find the subtext of the comments by no name fascinating - there is an implied suggestion that "white man" invented the concept of slavery, the terminology, and was the only implementation agent. How positively ridiculous -- Slavery has been around since the dawn of human time, and has occurred as intra-race slavery as often as inter-race. Erasing all mention of it, or use of it in terminology, is the pinnacle of absurdity.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Bzzzt!

What is positively ridiculous is you can't grasp that it has nothing to do with skin pigmentation.

I never claimed that white men invented slavery.  It has nothing to do with black or white, it has to do with context.  In the context of the Southern United States, Master Slave has a connotation that can't be ignored.  You can bleat all you want that it doesn't but then why the controversy.

And for the record, I am neither black nor American nor male.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

>> And for the record, I am neither black nor American nor male.

And I doubt if most of us care - most of us know that having an absurd opinion isn't limited to a single race/nationality/sex.

RocketJeff
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Touche'

I simply can't counter that point.  I retire defeated.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I'm with Mr Blank on this one. To quibble about such common names seems trivial, but they do have powerful connotations. I see no reason why we shouldn't use less controversial terminology.

I doubt there was good reason for choosing those terms originally. It was probably by someone with poor literacy who couldn't think of anything better.

.
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Mr. -  MR.  now I am offended. <g>


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"it has nothing to do with skin pigmentation....In the context of the Southern United States, Master Slave has a connotation that can't be ignored."

It has nothing to do with skin colour, but it has to do with the Southern United States...ok...  I'll let you figure out why those are contradictory arguments.

As was stated - "master" and "slave" has gone on since the beginning of civilization (technically before). Indeed it _still_ occurs.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Thanks Jim.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"In the context of the Southern United States, Master Slave has a connotation that can't be ignored."

In the context of computer hardware, Master / Slave might have a connotation, but if so, it can easily be ignored.

If we were to excise from the English language all words that could possibly have powerful emotional connotations in some unrelated context, we may find ourselves stuck with nothing to say.

Alyosha`
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

And that would be double-plus ungood.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"Characterless political-correctness whiners and anyone who feels "aggrieved" control our discourse. "

Nothing like fighting whining with whining.

And somehow, despite their best efforts, the people who control our discourse didn't stop you from posting.  A slipup, I guess.

By the way, I disagree with banning the terms master/slave.  But I don't attribute the action to some kind of politically correct cabal.  Instead, I believe that every day, all across this great nation, people do stupid things that are not illustrative of some general principle that just happens to be on my hot list.  Shocking, I know.

Cognitive Dissonance
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

It is not really too surprising that some nut case made this complaint.  That doesn't bother me much.  What is really depressing is that some "Los Angeles officials" went along with it and requested the change.  Don't these "officials" have any real problems to be concerned with?

If the "director of the affirmative action office" spends his time being concerned about offending machinery, or offending people who anthropomorphize machinery, then I'd say he needs to get a life or at least a real job.

Z
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Meanwhile, noting the link to other "oddly enough" stories down at the bottom of the linked page, is anyone going to sign up to try the Orgasmatron?  And does anyone remember the relevant Woody Allen movie?

Z
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

sgf -

How about:
  "Unit which respectfully and benevolently issues directives"
and:
  "Equally esteemed unit which performs directives, although capable of self direction if desired."

You just made me spew coffee out my nose man!!!

Jack of all
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

and I mean "man" in a very non-gender specific kind of way...

Jack of all
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Blank: That's got to be the perfect one-liner for this discussion. :)

Steve P
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

> We also have to stop the escalation of violent acts
> committed every day by systems
> administrators.  In their youth, they used to just peek
> at and poke addresses
> in memory.  But now, these bullies routinely kill processes
> and tar files(although they do at least refrain from
> feathering them).

However, they gzip them. We might not understand what this exactly means, but it sounds even worse then feathering.

Alexander Chalucov
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Proposal for alternative terms: "PHB" and "Dilbert".

Or maybe that's what we call them when they don't meet requirements.

Z
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"knee cap them; take them out back, shoot them, feed them to the pigs"

You got to starve the pigs for a few days, then the sight of a chopped-up body will look like curry to a pisshead. You gotta shave the heads of your victims, and pull the teeth out for the sake of the piggies' digestion. You could do this afterwards, of course, but you don't want to go sievin' through pig shit, now do you? They will go through bone like butter. You need at least sixteen pigs to finish the job in one sitting, so be wary of any man who keeps a pig farm. They will go through a body that weighs 200 pounds in about eight minutes. That means that a single pig can consume two pounds of uncooked flesh every minute. Hence the expression, "as greedy as a pig."


Thursday, November 27, 2003

Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don't seem to see this.
  -  Doris Lessing, 1919

Tapiwa
Thursday, November 27, 2003

Actaully a team called the "WASPS" would work

the artist formerly known as prince
Thursday, November 27, 2003

Speaking of teams:  http://www.fightingwhites.com

Z
Friday, November 28, 2003

Speaking of pig farmers:

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/search?searchType=date&period=archive&maxReturn=100&skip=0&source=search&sectionID=&query=Pickton&Go.x=12&Go.y=12

The top story should give a good overview; read chronologically for the full effect.

Wolf
Friday, November 28, 2003

Unfortunately, the Seattle Times site requires registration.

RocketJeff
Friday, November 28, 2003

Maybe try:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/search/pisearch.asp?rank=date&matches=250&UserQuery=Pickton&x=28&y=4

Maybe no registration; I don't remember.

Read item #3 for roughly the same info as above.

Wolf
Friday, November 28, 2003

I thought anthropologists studied human societies rather than bone fragments.

Simon Lucy
Friday, November 28, 2003

Simon, I am with you on this one ...

anthropology -
The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.  (dictionary.com)

Tapiwa
Friday, November 28, 2003

I was going to avoid the whole issue by drawing pictures instead of typing words but became overwhelmed with guilt and self-loathing when I executed The Gimp.

seth
Friday, November 28, 2003


Come to australia and tell a non-techie female unix user that you are going to root her.

braid_ged
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

"non-techie"... "unix user"

Wasn't aware there was such a thing. :)

sgf
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

There's a whole bunch of them - most Mac OSX users are non-techie unix-users...

There's also still plenty of small businesses that have var-installed systems that use unix. These run specific business tasks like cash-registers or time keeping systems (or even book-keeping systems) where users don't need (or want) general PC capabilities.

RocketJeff
Tuesday, December 02, 2003

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