2
$\begingroup$

Usernames like https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/users/89947/python-programmers-are-souless

I am a python programmer, and username like this is grating on me. Makes me feel unwelcome.

Ok, I am not a snowflake and can handle that. Maybe I can change MY username to something like:

'Usernames like "python programmers are X" are for morons'

Will it be allowed? If not, why not? Ok on some forums but not on others?

$\endgroup$
6
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'm a python programmer too! $\endgroup$
    – user89947
    Feb 5, 2022 at 9:23
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ You very obviously cannot handle it. And your very own user name is equally opinionated; it just happens to reflect a popular opinion. (Which, in my opinion, makes it rather pseudo-nonconformist conformist.) (Honestly, if I was that user, I'd have chosen Python Programmers Are Cold Blooded. Same idea, subtler fun.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Feb 5, 2022 at 9:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ When the mods allow me to change it again I'll set it as : "Py developers are gorgeous" $\endgroup$
    – user89947
    Feb 5, 2022 at 9:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I noticed it. Sometimes you wonder what goes on in people's mind, devising names like this.. Why insult people every day.. I'm not a Python programmer, but I would take it as offensive, whatever apologetic answers are put for it. Agree with L.Dutch on this, the name is not appropriate. I can add there's many users on WB who are on SO as well, many of them are Python programmers. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Feb 6, 2022 at 11:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just import soul and prove them wrong. $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2022 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ I saw this guy a feel days ago and had a good chuckle at the name. :-) I want to know what he has against us! $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2022 at 18:25

4 Answers 4

11
$\begingroup$

From our Code of Conduct

Be inclusive and respectful. Avoid sarcasm and be careful with jokes — tone is hard to decipher online. Prefer gender-neutral language when uncertain. If a situation makes it hard to be friendly, stop participating and move on.

No subtle put-downs or unfriendly language. Even if you don’t intend it, this can have a negative impact on others.

Therefore no, that username is not OK.

For the future, you can simply flag any of the user posts for moderator attention and mention the issue.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ok, that makes sense. So this username is considered as flagged? Thank you for being consistent. $\endgroup$ Feb 5, 2022 at 9:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 agree. It is not respectful and WB is not the place for tribal wars between software programmers. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Feb 6, 2022 at 11:42
3
$\begingroup$

Perfectly Fine

"Python Programmers Are Soulless" is hardly "very" opinionated. It's not directly insulting to any individual or group of people; it's not really funny so is not a joke; it's not disrespectful and not harmful.

It only grates me because they spelled "soulless" wrong!

I wouldn't flag it and I wouldn't worry about it. The fact that you had to ask the question here tells me you are in fact reacting emotionally to something that you should not be reacting emotionally to.

This is the kind of thing that, were I a Python programmer, I'd just chuckle at and then move on because what with Russia and Covid and China and gas prices and whacky politics and whacky society, really, somebody's user name on an online forum is so far down on the list of things I need to worry about that it's not even worth worrying about.

$\endgroup$
10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "it's not disrespectful and not harmful." I don't know why you think that's the case. Accusations of being "soulless" have been used for literal centuries to suppress and attack groups of people. Because without souls, they deserve no pity. Nor even status as "person". This has then motivated persecution and acts that cause actual physical harm. And this is justified because "soulless" do not deserve anything but scorn according to those who take label at face value. This does go beyond "disrespect" IMO. Whether it causes harm may depend on who is labelled that but perfectly fine it is not. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 9, 2022 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ -- In order to be disrespectful, the individual would have to target a specific person. If the user name were "python_users_like_VLAZ_are_insert_bad_name_here", then yes, that would be disrespectful of you. Otherwise, we really run the risk of reading too much into something like this. Generally speaking, I agree with you. He could have chosen a better name, but the choice he made is neither opinionated nor dehumanising. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Feb 9, 2022 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ I'm pretty sure a lot of things have been used by persecutors to do bad things, yet we use those things anyway cause it doesn't matter. $\endgroup$
    – Drien RPG
    Feb 9, 2022 at 22:12
  • $\begingroup$ @DrienRPG and we don't use others because it does matter. What's your point? $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 9, 2022 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ the point is that drawing parallels to "bad people" did or said this thing, therefore this thing shall never be used or mentioned ever again. Nazis did use a lot of things that we still use to this day, even though they were used by Nazis to do bad things. So it's just an useless comparison. $\endgroup$
    – Drien RPG
    Feb 9, 2022 at 22:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DrienRPG we don't really use the n-word any more because of its history. And we don't use it to such an extent that we have the very term "n-word" for it. And here you are claiming that we use all sorts of stuff regardless of its history. No, no we do not. Not everything. Speaking of your example, the Jewish have been called "soulless" through various points in history to justify their mistreatment and oppression. Similar thing has happened to the Irish, the Roma, as well as natives of Africa, Australia, and the Americas. There is more than a few "bad people" here. "Perfectly fine" it is not. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 9, 2022 at 22:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ -- I think this is another example of reading way too much into something. Context is key. I would be extremely surprised if the owner of that user name directly and actually intends to call his fellow Python programmers non-human non-persons (after all, the human person is a composite of body and soul). In context, I am extremely confident that "soulless" in this context is meant to convey a humourous & self-deprecating jab as it also means "cold", "hard", "lack of warmth", "mechanical", perhaps even "excessively nerdy". That word just isn't in the same league as dehumanising epithets. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Feb 10, 2022 at 6:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @elemtilas was it with ill intent? I don't know. I do prefer to think that it was not. However, I'm also not happy with an interpretation of "it was never and could never be taken or used badly" because I believe it can. It has been historically. What you seem to describe is "no offence meant" which is different from actually causing no offence. Let's recap - was it used with ill intent? Probably not. Could ever cause a problem even if it was not with ill intent? The answer is definitely yes. We have the question here confirming it, history backing it up. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 10, 2022 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ -- I really try not to assume malice from the outset. Given that the first comment to the OP's question is literally python_programmers_are_souless telling the OP that he himself is a Python programmer. What I mean is that offence is something we create ourselves. You took offence at the name because of reasons. That's your choice! Otherwise I agree with you: such a name can be taken badly (where the hearer creates offence; such a name can indeed be meant maliciously (in which case the user creates offence); such a name can indeed cause a problem (but really and truly only if (cont) $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Feb 11, 2022 at 6:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (cont) ...the hearer creates offence and makes a stink about it. As I see it, unless it can be demonstrated that the user is acting with intentional malice, then the best practice is for all the rest of us, those of us who do not take offence as well as those of us who do take offence, to leave it well enough alone. It's no better taking rash actions against a name without strong evidence to back up one's claim (like reporting it as "offensive") and in fact causes more damage than the name originally did. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Feb 11, 2022 at 6:15
3
$\begingroup$

I can understand why you can be displeased

Even though I don't feel it (I'm no "snake" programmer :p), I can understand it. Sometimes there are things in life that trigger some innate, irritating feelings. And while I agree with Elemtilas that it's not really über-important, it can be annoying if you're not used to this kind of thing.

However

Counter-acting the way you suggested -choosing the same kind of name against the user griefing you- is like putting more firewood on the wood on fire. It's :

  • At most useless as said person won't understand your approach. Indeed, if said person is kind at heart or polite, they wouldn't put this nickname if they got the consequences.
  • At worst cascading into hate (#flamewar) since they either are feeling delightful of your reaction (it happens), or they don't understand why you react that way.

As such, don't play the same game, this will most probably manage to get you in the jail. Instead, talk with them (and I mean talk, not order) if you can catch'em in chat (PM if there was any). If you cannot, yes flag a post and tell about the username.

On the same topic, telling that their choice of nickname is "VERY" opin-onion-hated is quite an hyperbol, and I would have avoided to present it like that. Comparatively, I've seen people promoting the Shoah, raping and holy war terrorism through their pseudonym, so making some sort of computy science joke -even if it's bad- is not "VERY" opinion-based in comparison. It's annoying sure, but not that harmful like the above.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

I agree with @L.Dutch, but I'd also like to make a point.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me

I was taught that aphorism a very long time ago, but it seems no one teaches it anymore. We live in a world where, increasingly, the offended believe they have overwhelming rights.

A dear friend of mine was once told that he should stop his use of "ma'am" and "sir" on the grounds that they're "gender hate speech." It didn't matter to them that he'd been raised, both individually and in a society, where the use of both words were intended and expected for honorable, respectful, and civil discourse.

It's certainly true that we should act conscientiously to avoid hurt feelings whenever possible. But I'm not a fan of the concept of equity. I'm a fan of the concept of equality. And that means that if it's reasonable to expect someone to act in that manner, then it's just as reasonable to expect people to conscientiously avoid taking offense. Other than the two comments to the post by User 89947 (who owned the moniker), we've not heard a thing from the user in question, but I'd be more than surprised if the choice of moniker was nothing more than an attempt at humor. His/Her explanation for the choice might even add to the humor. Frankly, we're fortunate he/she is being so good natured about all this.

And before I go any further, let's point out that this Meta discussion singling out a specific user in a way that demotes what was likely nothing more than an attempt at humor and vilifies for no better reason than someone took it personally is also a violation of the CoC.

So, yeah, the choice of moniker technically violates the CoC. It would have been better handled using the Contact link at the bottom of every page or using the flag link following every post to tap a moderator on the shoulder and bring the issue to their attention in a way that promotes true peace, unity, and tolerance.

So, please consider the following:

  1. Sticks and stones may or may not actually break your bones, but words spoken in a free society that celebrates diversity of opinion as much as diversity of culture, ethnicity, race, and belief really and truly cannot hurt you — unless you let them.

  2. If your irritation over someone's moniker is the worst thing that happens to you on any particular day, you had a great day.

$\endgroup$
35
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ "I was taught that aphorism a very long time ago, but it seems no one teaches it anymore." Probably because it was never true to begin with. Words do hurt and "just get over it" is not how you stop them. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 9, 2022 at 11:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ Where do you draw the line? Every dissenting opinion will hurt somebody's feelings - if they allow their feelings to be hurt. The example of this post is fantastic - it wasn't directed at the OP. The OP chose to take offense. It's like walking down the street and seeing a T-shirt depicting a motorcyclist with a Grateful Dead skull and, because the viewer rides motorcycles, that person takes offense. Who's responsible? Frankly, the person who chose to take offense. The other person may have been simply wearing a concert T-shirt because they like the Grateful Dead. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 9, 2022 at 16:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I draw the line at the facts: words can hurt. If you don't like that, then you can choose to not be bothered by it. Can you? From your post and the response, seems either you chose to be bothered by it or that you didn't have a choice. Doesn't seem that simple as you paint it to be. Yes, of course not every expression should be suppressed. I've not actually advocated for that. I advocate for recognising and acknowledging words have power is important. Bullying and domestic abuse can be done with words and suggesting it's not the bully or the abuser's fault doesn't sit right with me. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 9, 2022 at 16:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @VLAZ "Words can hurt" is a useless fact. Which words? In what context? Everyone reacts positively or negatively to what we hear all the time. The idea that every person should be compelled to monitor every word on the off-chance that someone might feel hurt by the word is beyond ridiculous. Most people who use phrases like that identified above have no intention of hurting anyone. But someone became irritated - and you think that person is in the right. I do not. You appear to be elevating a humorous statement to bullying or verbal abuse. That's an overreaction that's also wrong. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 9, 2022 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ And I need to go to work, please forgive me that a future response will be hours in the making. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 9, 2022 at 16:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "The idea that every person should be compelled to monitor every word on the off-chance that someone might feel hurt by the word is beyond ridiculous." which, again, is not what I'm advocating. "You appear to be elevating a humorous statement to bullying or verbal abuse." No, that is not a claim I made. I only talked about the idea you expressed that no harm can ever come from words. In that context, bullying and abuse are counter examples. Please pay attention to the context I use here - it was never the username. I felt you were downgrading bullying and verbal abuse to all being the $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 9, 2022 at 16:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ fault of the victim. According to what you wrote, the only conclusion to draw is that it's the victim who allowed themselves to be hurt when words are involved I. Do. Not. Agree. With. That. The same way we cannot reasonably expect every person to monitor every word, I also don't think we can reasonably expect any word ever to be regarded as completely void of potential harm. Yes, balance must be struck. Point being that it's not an extreme. Like the aphorism that claims that words never hurt. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 9, 2022 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ @JoinJBHonCodidact If you state that "words can hurt" is a fact, even if it's "useless", then you agree with the statement right? This is further enhanced by the rest of your comment against Vlaz', that people can react positively or negatively to words. Therefore, the statement "words can never hurt me" is either contradictory to the above, or you think the "me" you tell is not everyone else, that they're some steel person? In both cases, there's something wrong with this sentence. [...] $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2022 at 22:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ [...] I don't intend to tell that every offensive words shall be punished all the time, but the thing is... We don't know what Peter M. experiences in day-to-day life. Maybe they heard the joke for the 10th time, a bit like most women heard the same rubbish... Pick-up attempts (If that's the word) over and over. In that I can definitely relate to, and something you can either take on yourself (ie. not solve as you let others take position) or take action. But definitely something that you cannot feel indifferent if it piles up over time. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2022 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean "conscientiously"? You said contentiously twice, and I think it means the opposite of what you're trying to say. $\endgroup$ Feb 15, 2022 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ @ThomasMarkov Stupid spell checker. Thanks for the catch! $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 17, 2022 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ You're either being obtuse or you don't understand the underlying point of the aphorism. Its purpose was to instruct children (who were expected to become mature adults) that how they react to the complexity of their society is a choice, which is itself a learned skill. If you insist that there's a reasonable discussion beyond this, I'd be more than happy to join you in a chat room and express a very clear opinion about adults today insisting that their every unhappiness is somebody else's fault or that the context of this Stack can be globalized without consequence. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 17, 2022 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena If your opinion was reasonable then no book expressing an opinion should ever be published because it's permanency violates everything you just said. Gratefully, applied to adults, the opinion is inadequate. Peter is surely exposed daily to things over which he has no control yet that bring him unhappiness. But even if they're meant to cause him unhappiness, it's not their fault that they do. Just as he can choose to avoid a billboard he objects to he can choose to not use this site. It's not only the world's responsibility to make him happy. He shares in the responsibility. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 17, 2022 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ @JoinJBHonCodidact "express a very clear opinion about adults today insisting that their every unhappiness is somebody else's fault" I very clearly expressed twice this is not at all what I am advocating. Are you being obtuse? You keep trying to pick this imaginary fight with me or to to "explain" or whatever you want to do. And it's about something you believe but I've not at all touched. It's disrespectful. I'd appreciate it you stop trying to either attribute this strawman argument to me or to bring it up when there is nothing in context for it. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 17, 2022 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ Like the aphorism that claims that words never hurt. I'm not downgrading bullying. I'm pointing out that the OP is a bully. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 17, 2022 at 8:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .