Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

I have a relatively high tolerance for what others are quick to label as “political correctness,” but this story from CNN seems to me to be off the scales. See if you agree.

California officials have asked the producers of computer equipment to stop using the words, “master” and “slave” to refer to primary and secondary hard drives. “Based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County, this is not an acceptable identification label,” Joe Sandoval, division manager of purchasing and contract services, said in a memo sent to County vendors. Some employee apparently complained that they found such labels offensive and discriminatory.

The science fiction fan within me suddenly imagined that this decision altered the future of some parallel society ruled by Ray Kurzweil’s Intelligent Machines: suddenly, the changed terminology resulted in a transformation from an authoritarian to a more democratic society.

Machines of the world unite – all you stand to lose is your connector cables!

Sorry, I got carried away for a moment in the enthusiasm of imagining liberating all of those “slave” drives from the oppressive yoke of their “master” units.

Perhaps next we will take aim at male and female plugs, paving the way for a much more liberated relationship between electrical outlets.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »