[mythtv-users] The historical roots of our computer terms

LsrsuitLry at yahoo.com LsrsuitLry at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 8 13:14:00 UTC 2020

> On Jun 7, 2020, at 2:22 PM, Yeechang Lee <ylee at columbia.edu> wrote:
> But that is the issue. Why should we kowtow to people who don't understand or don't care about history and etymology?
It’s not kowtowing, dude, it’s recognizing that language and context changes things (and sometimes it’s recognizing that the terminology was always bad and shouldn’t have been used in the first place!) The history and etymology of the word “gay” is that it meant happy. But if people misunderstand me today because I refer to anyone I see smiling as “gay”, I’m the one that’s in the wrong, not them for failing to understand etymology. I know change is scary, but I promise it won’t kill you.

> The vast majority of historical slavery is not whites enslaving blacks, but everyone enslaving everyone (including themselves). As Tim said, Romans took Africans, Germans, and Britons as slaves, and conversely were willing to grant them citizenship if they purchased it or received it from their owners.

What point, exactly, are you trying to make here? I’m really struggling with this, because I can only come up with seemingly two possible explanations. Either you’re trying to say that “Actually, slavery isn’t that bad!” Which, well, agree to disagree if that’s the case. Hot take: I think slavery was bad, even in the instances you’re describing there, and so maybe that means it was a bad idea to use those terms in the first place! Or are you trying to say that because all that other slavery existed, black people are quite silly for complaining so much about America’s slavery? If that’s the case, I’d encourage you to do a bit of reading on what slavery was like in America! Here’s a quick spoiler: Americans weren’t enslaving other Americans, and they certainly didn’t let their slaves buy their own citizenship! In fact, even when slavery was ended in America, they objected quite strongly to those formerly enslaved people being granted citizenship or exercising their rights to that citizenship in any way! Seriously, go ahead and do some research on what slavery was like in America, I think you’ll find yourself quite surprised. There’s a reason that when we say the word “slavery”, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is the American South. They didn’t invent slavery, to be sure, but boy howdy they took it to the next level.

If that’s what leaps into a lot of people’s minds when they see the word “slave”, maybe it’s really surprising and unpleasant to see that used as a term when setting up a computer program? And maybe it’s not such a huge sacrifice to just change that word? Just one man’s opinion.

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