[R] [SPAM] Re: The "--slave" option

Benjamin Lang |@ngbnj @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Thu Sep 19 11:51:13 CEST 2019

Dear Richard,

Thank you, that’s interesting. There is also something called an “etymological fallacy”. I think current usage is more useful here than the “science of truth”, i.e. the Ancient Greek idea that the (sometimes inferred) derivation of a word allows us to grasp “the truth of it”. 

In current usage, a “server” is someone who brings you dishes in a restaurant. A “client” is a customer. A “slave” is a human being forced to perform work under duress and considered nothing more than a machine, say a dishwasher or a tractor. And in some regions, this echoes on and is offensive and hurtful to some.

A new user, wanting to reduce output from R, would probably reach for “-q” or “—quiet”. This makes sense in the same way that “—stentorian” is not a good alternative to “—verbose”. 


> On 19 Sep 2019, at 10:55, Richard O'Keefe <raoknz using gmail.com> wrote:
> One of my grandfathers was from Croatia.  Guess what the word "slave" is derived
> from?  That's right, Slavs.  This goes back to the 9th century.  And then of course
> my grandfather's people were enslaved by the Ottoman empire, which was only defeated
> a little over a hundred years ago.  My other grandfather was from the British isles,
> where to this day followers of the same prophet are enslaving people like me
> (except for being female).  So I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed.
> How many computers are "servers"?  There's that whole client-server thing.
> Guess what "server" comes from?  That's right, the Latin word "servus", which
> means guess what?  You got it again: "slave".  Are we to abolish the word
> "server"?  What about the word "client"?  Ah, that's part of the client-patron
> system from Rome, so what about the patriarchy, eh?
> We are dealing with something called "the genetic fallacy".
> "The genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins ...)
>  is a fallacy of irrelevance that is based solely on someone's
>  or something's history, origin, or source rather than its
>  current meaning or context."  (Wikipedia.)
> Context matters.
>> On Thu, 19 Sep 2019 at 17:10, Abby Spurdle <spurdle.a using gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Personally I much prefer backwards compatibility to political correctness.
>> I agree with Rolf, here.
>> And as someone that's planning to write a Linux Terminal Emulator, in
>> the medium-term future, I *strongly* defend this approach.
>> And to the original poster.
>> Haven't you seen The Matrix?
>> (Second best movie ever, after the Shawshank Redemption).
>> I would prefer the technology to be my slave, than I be a
>> prisoner/slave to the technology.
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