The "--slave" option

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The "--slave" option

Benjamin Lang
Dear R project,

I have a very simple question:

How, in late 2019, is there an option called "--slave" to "make R run as
quietly as possible"?

Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").

This is a disgrace and it should have been addressed one or two decades
ago. Why not just "--quiet"?

Please do not mention "backwards compatibility". For the historically
inclined, it does not make much of a difference whether the term evokes the
Roman, Greek, American or modern kind of slavery for you: it is as
disgusting as it gets.

Thank you,
Ben

--
Benjamin Lang, PhD
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6358-8380

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (MSCA-IF)
Gene Function and Evolution (Dr. Gian Tartaglia)
Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Spain

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

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Re: The "--slave" option

Patrick (Malone Quantitative)
For what it's worth, this is an ongoing conversation in computer
science and engineering. And has been so for decades.

Not R, but related to this it's only in the past few months that a
fork of the photo-manipulation software GIMP (slur for handicapped)
renames it (GLIMPSE).

Note, I am not saying this isn't a battle worth fighting.

On Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 1:52 PM Benjamin Lang <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Dear R project,
>
> I have a very simple question:
>
> How, in late 2019, is there an option called "--slave" to "make R run as
> quietly as possible"?
>
> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
>
> This is a disgrace and it should have been addressed one or two decades
> ago. Why not just "--quiet"?
>
> Please do not mention "backwards compatibility". For the historically
> inclined, it does not make much of a difference whether the term evokes the
> Roman, Greek, American or modern kind of slavery for you: it is as
> disgusting as it gets.
>
> Thank you,
> Ben
>
> --
> Benjamin Lang, PhD
> http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6358-8380
>
> Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (MSCA-IF)
> Gene Function and Evolution (Dr. Gian Tartaglia)
> Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Spain
>
>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
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Re: The "--slave" option

Jeff Newmiller
I think there is no confusion except in the minds of those with nothing better to do. I agree with Antirez, quoted in [1], which nevertheless indicates that perspective lost the debate.

Any accurate alternative notation will have similar connotations because in fact the "slave" side of that relationship is completely subordinate to the "master" side... there is no escaping that fact. It requires a very different and more complicated architecture to achieve a "peer" relationship, which often is not worth the effort or even appropriate.

So while Dr Lang may be mollified by a change in notation, someone else  is going to find the new words offensive and make the same PC argument since the implications of the architecture have not changed. In fact there should never have been a parallel drawn between the morality of human slavery and computing architectures to begin with.

[1] https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8x7akv/masterslave-terminology-was-removed-from-python-programming-language

On September 18, 2019 11:57:32 AM PDT, "Patrick (Malone Quantitative)" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>For what it's worth, this is an ongoing conversation in computer
>science and engineering. And has been so for decades.
>
>Not R, but related to this it's only in the past few months that a
>fork of the photo-manipulation software GIMP (slur for handicapped)
>renames it (GLIMPSE).
>
>Note, I am not saying this isn't a battle worth fighting.
>
>On Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 1:52 PM Benjamin Lang <[hidden email]>
>wrote:
>>
>> Dear R project,
>>
>> I have a very simple question:
>>
>> How, in late 2019, is there an option called "--slave" to "make R run
>as
>> quietly as possible"?
>>
>> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970
>when
>> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax,
>documentation
>> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
>>
>> This is a disgrace and it should have been addressed one or two
>decades
>> ago. Why not just "--quiet"?
>>
>> Please do not mention "backwards compatibility". For the historically
>> inclined, it does not make much of a difference whether the term
>evokes the
>> Roman, Greek, American or modern kind of slavery for you: it is as
>> disgusting as it gets.
>>
>> Thank you,
>> Ben
>>
>> --
>> Benjamin Lang, PhD
>> http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6358-8380
>>
>> Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (MSCA-IF)
>> Gene Function and Evolution (Dr. Gian Tartaglia)
>> Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Spain
>>
>>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
>______________________________________________
>[hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>PLEASE do read the posting guide
>http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

--
Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity.

______________________________________________
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Re: The "--slave" option

Rolf Turner
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lang

On 18/09/19 6:00 PM, Benjamin Lang wrote:

> Dear R project,
>
> I have a very simple question:
>
> How, in late 2019, is there an option called "--slave" to "make R run as
> quietly as possible"?
>
> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
>
> This is a disgrace and it should have been addressed one or two decades
> ago. Why not just "--quiet"?
>
> Please do not mention "backwards compatibility".

Personally I much prefer backwards compatibility to political correctness.

> For the historically
> inclined, it does not make much of a difference whether the term evokes the
> Roman, Greek, American or modern kind of slavery for you: it is as
> disgusting as it gets.

IMHO this is a precious PC quibble, taking offence where no offence is
intended.

If you are really concerned about literal slavery --- as everyone should
be --- then join/contribute to an appropriate activist organisation
(e.g. Amnesty International, which is my personal choice).

cheers,

Rolf Turner


--
Honorary Research Fellow
Department of Statistics
University of Auckland
Phone: +64-9-373-7599 ext. 88276

______________________________________________
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Re: The "--slave" option

Abby Spurdle
> 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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Re: The "--slave" option

Richard O'Keefe-2
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 <[hidden email]> 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.
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

______________________________________________
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Re: The "--slave" option

Patrick Connolly-4
In reply to this post by Jeff Newmiller
On Wed, 18-Sep-2019 at 02:58PM -0700, Jeff Newmiller wrote:

|> I think there is no confusion except in the minds of those with
|> nothing better to do. I agree with Antirez, quoted in [1], which
|> nevertheless indicates that perspective lost the debate.

I agree with Jeff.  Automotive hydraulics have used terms such as
'master-cylinders' and 'slave-cylinders' without such an issue for a
century or more.  

If we have nothing else to do, we might want to purge ESS of its
so-called 'inferior processes', but it ain't me, Babe.

BTW: I've used R for 20+ years and never used a --slave option.
Should I get an award?


|> Any accurate alternative notation will have similar connotations
|> because in fact the "slave" side of that relationship is completely
|> subordinate to the "master" side... there is no escaping that
|> fact. It requires a very different and more complicated
|> architecture to achieve a "peer" relationship, which often is not
|> worth the effort or even appropriate.


|> So while Dr Lang may be mollified by a change in notation, someone
|> else is going to find the new words offensive and make the same PC
|> argument since the implications of the architecture have not
|> changed. In fact there should never have been a parallel drawn
|> between the morality of human slavery and computing architectures
|> to begin with.



|> [1] https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8x7akv/masterslave-terminology-was-removed-from-python-programming-language
|>
|> On September 18, 2019 11:57:32 AM PDT, "Patrick (Malone Quantitative)" <[hidden email]> wrote:
|> >For what it's worth, this is an ongoing conversation in computer
|> >science and engineering. And has been so for decades.
|> >
|> >Not R, but related to this it's only in the past few months that a
|> >fork of the photo-manipulation software GIMP (slur for handicapped)
|> >renames it (GLIMPSE).
|> >
|> >Note, I am not saying this isn't a battle worth fighting.
|> >
|> >On Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 1:52 PM Benjamin Lang <[hidden email]>
|> >wrote:
|> >>
|> >> Dear R project,
|> >>
|> >> I have a very simple question:
|> >>
|> >> How, in late 2019, is there an option called "--slave" to "make R run
|> >as
|> >> quietly as possible"?
|> >>
|> >> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970
|> >when
|> >> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax,
|> >documentation
|> >> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
|> >>
|> >> This is a disgrace and it should have been addressed one or two
|> >decades
|> >> ago. Why not just "--quiet"?
|> >>
|> >> Please do not mention "backwards compatibility". For the historically
|> >> inclined, it does not make much of a difference whether the term
|> >evokes the
|> >> Roman, Greek, American or modern kind of slavery for you: it is as
|> >> disgusting as it gets.
|> >>
|> >> Thank you,
|> >> Ben
|> >>
|> >> --
|> >> Benjamin Lang, PhD
|> >> http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6358-8380
|> >>
|> >> Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (MSCA-IF)
|> >> Gene Function and Evolution (Dr. Gian Tartaglia)
|> >> Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Spain
|> >>
|> >>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
|> >>
|> >> ______________________________________________
|> >> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
|> >> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
|> >> PLEASE do read the posting guide
|> >http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
|> >> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
|> >
|> >______________________________________________
|> >[hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
|> >https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
|> >PLEASE do read the posting guide
|> >http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
|> >and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
|>
|> --
|> Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity.
|>
|> ______________________________________________
|> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
|> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
|> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
|> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

--
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.  
   ___    Patrick Connolly  
 {~._.~}                   Great minds discuss ideas    
 _( Y )_           Average minds discuss events
(:_~*~_:)                  Small minds discuss people  
 (_)-(_)                        ..... Eleanor Roosevelt
         
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.

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

Benjamin Lang-2
In reply to this post by Richard O'Keefe-2
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”.

Best,
Ben

> On 19 Sep 2019, at 10:55, Richard O'Keefe <[hidden email]> 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 <[hidden email]> 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.
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
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Re: [EXTERNAL] Re: The "--slave" option

R help mailing list-2
In reply to this post by Rolf Turner
I prefer backward compatibility to PC too, but since we're on the topic,

My personal PC advocacy  is against the term blacklist always being associated with some "negatives".

A search of CRAN found several packages using this term.
I advocate using a more descriptive term, such.

Falsepositivelist
truenegativelist
forbiddenlist
etc..

Package maintainers can keep the old term, but please mark it as deprecated.
Thank you for your consideration.

Hugues Sicotte

-----Original Message-----
From: R-help [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Rolf Turner
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 6:10 PM
To: Benjamin Lang
Cc: [hidden email]
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [R] The "--slave" option


On 18/09/19 6:00 PM, Benjamin Lang wrote:

> Dear R project,
>
> I have a very simple question:
>
> How, in late 2019, is there an option called "--slave" to "make R run as
> quietly as possible"?
>
> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
>
> This is a disgrace and it should have been addressed one or two decades
> ago. Why not just "--quiet"?
>
> Please do not mention "backwards compatibility".

Personally I much prefer backwards compatibility to political correctness.

> For the historically
> inclined, it does not make much of a difference whether the term evokes the
> Roman, Greek, American or modern kind of slavery for you: it is as
> disgusting as it gets.

IMHO this is a precious PC quibble, taking offence where no offence is
intended.

If you are really concerned about literal slavery --- as everyone should
be --- then join/contribute to an appropriate activist organisation
(e.g. Amnesty International, which is my personal choice).

cheers,

Rolf Turner


--
Honorary Research Fellow
Department of Statistics
University of Auckland
Phone: +64-9-373-7599 ext. 88276

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
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Re: [SPAM] Re: The "--slave" option

Ivan Krylov
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lang-2
On Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:51:13 +0200
Benjamin Lang <[hidden email]> wrote:

> A new user, wanting to reduce output from R, would probably reach for
> “-q” or “—quiet”.

Not to argue against your point, but note that (1) --quiet is already a
flag which means something else and (2) --slave is not only a command
line option, but also a structure field name. You can find it in
src/include/R_ext/RStartup.h, not far away from typedef enum { ...
SA_SUICIDE } SA_TYPE. There is also a public API endpoint R_Suicide in
src/include/Rinterface.h.

One could think that R sources should come with trigger warnings or
something.

--
Best regards,
Ivan

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

R help mailing list-2
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lang-2
Hi Ben:

Without commenting one way or another on your point,  your initial post seemed a lot like trolling because of:

> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
>

You are certainly welcome to your opinions about R,  but these comments are totally aside from what I assume is your main point,  and because of this my first reaction was don't feed the trolls.

My $0.02.

-Roy

> On Sep 19, 2019, at 2:51 AM, Benjamin Lang <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> 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”.
>
> Best,
> Ben
>
>> On 19 Sep 2019, at 10:55, Richard O'Keefe <[hidden email]> 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 <[hidden email]> 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.
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________
>>> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

**********************
"The contents of this message do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or NOAA."
**********************
Roy Mendelssohn
Supervisory Operations Research Analyst
NOAA/NMFS
Environmental Research Division
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
***Note new street address***
110 McAllister Way
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: (831)-420-3666
Fax: (831) 420-3980
e-mail: [hidden email] www: https://www.pfeg.noaa.gov/

"Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill."
"From those who have been given much, much will be expected"
"the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" -MLK Jr.

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

Duncan Murdoch-2
On 19/09/2019 4:12 p.m., Roy Mendelssohn - NOAA Federal via R-help wrote:

> Hi Ben:
>
> Without commenting one way or another on your point,  your initial post seemed a lot like trolling because of:
>
>> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
>> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
>> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
>>
>
> You are certainly welcome to your opinions about R,  but these comments are totally aside from what I assume is your main point,  and because of this my first reaction was don't feed the trolls.

Why have a second reaction?  Trolls are bullies, bullies should be ignored.

Duncan Murdoch

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

Benjamin Lang-2
In reply to this post by R help mailing list-2
Hi Roy,

Thank you, I’m sorry — I couldn’t resist fitting in a little dig there because that’s one of my main frustrations with actually using R, and to me it seemed to make some sort of sense because I was complaining about backwardness in a way (so a steep learning curve seemed to fit in). The error messages are so cryptic that I wonder how anyone ever used R before Google (e.g. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/27350636/r-argument-is-of-length-zero-in-if-statement).

I’m a bit appalled 50% of the responses think correctness and not being a jerk to some fraction of people is a bad thing and trigger warnings have been brought up (in a funny way). I should have done my research and noticed —quiet is indeed an existing option, though.

If I had an R-related wish, it would be that “—slave” becomes “-Q” in the documentation and is silently maintained for compatibility.

My original post came out of watching “12 Years A Slave” and if you haven’t, I recommend it. The powerlessness and ultra-grating injustice and the irony of slavery being easily justified by the Bible while abolition is not is an experience.

Thanks,
Ben

P.S. Do any R developers actually read this?

> On 19 Sep 2019, at 22:12, Roy Mendelssohn - NOAA Federal <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi Ben:
>
> Without commenting one way or another on your point,  your initial post seemed a lot like trolling because of:
>
>> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
>> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
>> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").
>>
>
> You are certainly welcome to your opinions about R,  but these comments are totally aside from what I assume is your main point,  and because of this my first reaction was don't feed the trolls.
>
> My $0.02.
>
> -Roy
>
>> On Sep 19, 2019, at 2:51 AM, Benjamin Lang <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> 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”.
>>
>> Best,
>> Ben
>>
>>> On 19 Sep 2019, at 10:55, Richard O'Keefe <[hidden email]> 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 <[hidden email]> 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.
>>>>
>>>> ______________________________________________
>>>> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>>>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>>    [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>
> **********************
> "The contents of this message do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or NOAA."
> **********************
> Roy Mendelssohn
> Supervisory Operations Research Analyst
> NOAA/NMFS
> Environmental Research Division
> Southwest Fisheries Science Center
> ***Note new street address***
> 110 McAllister Way
> Santa Cruz, CA 95060
> Phone: (831)-420-3666
> Fax: (831) 420-3980
> e-mail: [hidden email] www: https://www.pfeg.noaa.gov/
>
> "Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill."
> "From those who have been given much, much will be expected"
> "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" -MLK Jr.
>

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

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

Richard O'Keefe-2
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lang-2
Nobody would use "stentorian" as an alternative to "verbose" because they
mean very different things.
  "verbose" means "using many words"
  "stentorian" means "talking very loudly, like Stentor, whose voice was as
powerful
                      as fifty voices of other men".
You can be verbose while talking in a whisper.
You can be stentorian while being laconic.

If you don't like the word "slave", the option "--silent" is there for you
to use.

The "master-slave" design pattern is in hundreds of books (although I note
that
Erlang uses different terminology).  Your car has a master hydraulic
cylinder and
slave cylinders.  The analogy is pervasive in technology.  See a very short
list
at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master/slave_(technology)
which ends with "Global Language Monitor
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Language_Monitor> found the term
"master/slave" to be the most
egregious example of political correctness
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness> in 2004, and named it
the most politically
incorrect term of that year."

The one thing "slave" does not mean in technology is any kind of human
being.

On Thu, 19 Sep 2019 at 21:51, Benjamin Lang <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 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”.
>
> Best,
> Ben
>
> On 19 Sep 2019, at 10:55, Richard O'Keefe <[hidden email]> 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 <[hidden email]> 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.
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

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Re: The "--slave" option

Francesco Ariis
On Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 03:14:44PM +1200, Richard O'Keefe wrote:
> The one thing "slave" does not mean in technology is any kind of human
> being.

At risk of repeating what someone else said, we are most likely
not dealing with a human but with a "supernatural being, often
represented as of diminutive size, but sometimes as a giant, and
fabled to inhabit caves, hills, and like places", as from
exhibit A

On Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 08:00:00AM +0200, Benjamin Lang wrote:
> Let me reiterate that it is 2019, i.e. "The Future", rather than 1970 when
> R was presumably developed, based on its atrocious syntax, documentation
> and usability (I think I only need to say "NaN", "NULL", and "NA").

I suggest not to fatten such a magical creature!

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

Richard O'Keefe-2
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lang-2
Not being a jerk is a good thing.
Unthinking political correctness is not the same thing at all.
The point has already been made that the relationship between
a "master" process or cylinder and a "slave" one is intrinsically
a dominance relation where the "master" tells the "slave" what to
do.  No amount of mucking around with audible or written words
will affect the *meaning*.  Even boss/worker is uncomfortably
close to master/slave and is going to trigger anyone who is
triggered by words rather than actual oppression (such as having
someone hostile attempt to control your speech, and intrinsically
oppressive act which presumes that the would-be controller has
some sort of *right* to dominate the potential controllee).

If we ever hear of someone using R who is or was a slave, we'll
ask for *their* opinion on the matter.

It has also been noted that euphemisms erode surprisingly quickly.
In my daughters' generation, the euphemism "toilet" for the jakes
is being replaced by "bathroom" -- with the result that I never
know which room they're going too, we have to use the ridiculous
"bathroom bathroom" to indicate the place where you wash yourself --
and I'm sure another term for the necessary house will be along
soon.  In fact, we're already starting to say "wharepaku" (Foh-
Re-Pah-Koo) for clarity.  Dear knows what that will be replaced
by.  So shunning the word "slave" is not only ineffective, it
won't even be ineffective for long; whatever replaces it will
itself be the target of cries of "being a jerk".

The really annoying thing about this is that it does nothing whatsoever
to improve the actual condition of any living person.

As for NULL, NA, and NaN, you really cannot blame R for NaN.
S existed before IEEE arithmetic, and it's not *that* hard to
keep NULL and NA apart.  length(NULL) is 0.  There is literally
nothing there.  It's what c() gives you.  length(NA) is 1. There is
a place for something but it was missing or undefined.
IEEE arithmetic introduced NaN, which means "there should be something
here but your calculation went wrong, the *mathematical* result might
be defined but this machine cannot compute it."
Frankly, IEEE arithmetic made a lot of things simpler, but a lot of
other things more complicated.  You should see what it did to
floating-point comparison in C.

As for the syntax of S, it comes from the same organisation as C.
Having used GLIM, GENSTSTAT, SPSS, and BASIS (don't ask), S was a
revelation that statistics environments did not have to be arcane.

As for the documentation of R, it's pretty much the best of any open
source programming/statistics tool I've used, and most impressively,
has a huge library of packages whose authors have also produced
comparatively good documentation, but the standards of free software.

Run time error messages?  Yes, they could be improved.  Quite a bit.
You've probably heard about the famous Multics error message.  One
day, on startup at a Multics site, the machine wrote
   Hodie natus est radici frater.
You probably haven't heard about the Burroughs B6700 ESPOL compiler.
One of its error messages was
   IF YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS, IMPLEMENT IT.
It's an open source project.  If you think an error message could be
improved, you can patch your copy and send the patch to the maintainer.
The following sentence was written by a biostatistician:
"Help files are frequently more than a little obscure."
That was written about a commercial package, not R.

SPSS costs NZD 156/month for one user, or about NZD 1871/year.
SAS prices are scary.  I don't know what the licence terms for the
free-as-in-beer "University Edition" are; since I'm no longer at a
university I suspect I wouldn't qualify.
I rather liked GLIM, but it's dead, and the syntax was idiosyncratic.
I also rather liked GENSTAT, but when you look for the price and are
invited to "ask for a quote", my "I-can't-afford-this" alarm goes off.
Plus the pages I viewed are for Windows only.

Thing is, for the price of one year for one user on one machine,
you could fund quite a bit of error message improvement for R.

As for slavery and the Bible, what's translated "slavery" in the OT is
not the "chattel slavery" that was practiced in the 19th century.
Slavery was banned in England by William the Conqueror, of all
people, and the first "official" ban on slavery by any religion that I
ever heard of was when the Vatican ruled that the native
inhabitants of the Americas could not be made slaves.  Many of
the Abolitionists derived their opposition to chattel slavery from
the Bible.  The practice of African slavery was, as a matter of
history, learned from another religion entirely, whose prophet
bought and sold black slaves himself.

Serfdom is close to slavery.  ("Serf" comes from "servus".)
http://www.scottishmining.co.uk/429.html
describes the way salt-workers and colliers were bound to the
land in Scotland, so that 'And thus it came about that the nineteenth century
had dawned before it could be said in truth of Scotland, in the words
of Cowper:—
There are no slaves at home : then why abroad?"'
These were native Scots.

Enslavement is the vile extreme of the desire to control other people.
Let those who oppose slavery oppose that desire whatever form it takes.
(Want to read about man's inhumanity to man?  Read "The Gulag Archipelago.")

Can we perhaps return to helping each other with the use of R?

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

Benjamin Lang-2
In reply to this post by Richard O'Keefe-2
Hi Richard,

Sure, it's a silly example, but it makes about as much sense as using
"slave" to mean "quiet". Also, there is no "--master" option so it's not
exactly the master/slave terminology here either.

My only point is that I think it's very distasteful to give such a
needlessly awful name to an option in what has become a very broadly used
piece of software. It would be good to update it, I think.

If anyone knows how to actually pass this on to the R
developers/contributors, please let me know.

Thanks,
Ben

On Fri, 20 Sep 2019 at 05:14, Richard O'Keefe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Nobody would use "stentorian" as an alternative to "verbose" because they
> mean very different things.
>   "verbose" means "using many words"
>   "stentorian" means "talking very loudly, like Stentor, whose voice was
> as powerful
>                       as fifty voices of other men".
> You can be verbose while talking in a whisper.
> You can be stentorian while being laconic.
>
> If you don't like the word "slave", the option "--silent" is there for you
> to use.
>
> The "master-slave" design pattern is in hundreds of books (although I note
> that
> Erlang uses different terminology).  Your car has a master hydraulic
> cylinder and
> slave cylinders.  The analogy is pervasive in technology.  See a very
> short list
> at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master/slave_(technology)
> which ends with "Global Language Monitor
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Language_Monitor> found the term
> "master/slave" to be the most
> egregious example of political correctness
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness> in 2004, and named
> it the most politically
> incorrect term of that year."
>
> The one thing "slave" does not mean in technology is any kind of human
> being.
>
> On Thu, 19 Sep 2019 at 21:51, Benjamin Lang <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> 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”.
>>
>> Best,
>> Ben
>>
>> On 19 Sep 2019, at 10:55, Richard O'Keefe <[hidden email]> 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 <[hidden email]> 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.
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________
>>> [hidden email] mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>>> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>>
>>

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

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

S Ellison-2
> Sure, it's a silly example, but it makes about as much sense as using
> "slave" to mean "quiet".
It doesn't. It's a set of options chosen for when R is called as a slave process from a controlling process, and in that it is a reasonable description of the circumstance.

--quiet is a separate command line option with different effect.




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

Richard O'Keefe-2
Ah, *now* we're getting somewhere.  There is something that *can* be
done that's genuinely helpful.
From the R(1) manual page:
       -q, --quiet
              Don't print startup message

       --silent
              Same as --quiet

       --slave
              Make R run as quietly as possible

It might have been better to use --nobanner instead of --quiet.  So perhaps

    -q, --quiet
        Don't print the startup message.  This is the only output that
is suppressed.

    --silent
        Same as --quiet.  Suppress the startup message only.

    --slave
        Make R run as quietly as possible.  This is for use when running R as a
        subordinate process.  See "Introduction to Sub-Processes in R"
        https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/subprocess/vignettes/intro.html
        for an example.

On Sat, 21 Sep 2019 at 02:29, Stephen Ellison <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> > Sure, it's a silly example, but it makes about as much sense as using
> > "slave" to mean "quiet".
> It doesn't. It's a set of options chosen for when R is called as a slave process from a controlling process, and in that it is a reasonable description of the circumstance.
>
> --quiet is a separate command line option with different effect.
>
>
>
>
> *******************************************************************
> This email and any attachments are confidential. Any u...{{dropped:13}}

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

Abby Spurdle
In reply to this post by Benjamin Lang-2
(excerpts only)
> slavery being easily justified by the Bible while abolition is not is an experience.
> P.S. Do any R developers actually read this?

I've read one or two verses...

I also found this (by you):
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20362542

Which uses embryonic stem cells.
I recognize that they're mouse embryos.
However, your article cites at least five other articles (probably, a
lot more), that use human embryonic stem cells.

You complain about slavery (that doesn't exist), and then prompte
murder (which does exist).
What does that say about you...

And that's ignoring the way you treat animals
We slice and dice data, you slice and dice living creatures.

Here's two songs about freedom, if you have ears to hear:
https://youtu.be/lKw6uqtGFfo
https://youtu.be/HAIdo707Sac

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