Scott Hanselman is Wrong

If you’ve done any Microsoft development in the last two decades you probably know the name Scott Hanselman, and are probably familiar with his blog at I used to enjoy reading Hanselman’s articles, back when I wrote code for the Microsoft platform, and generally considered him to be a pretty even-keeled individual with generally insightful thoughts and balanced opinions.

That was back before virtue signaling was all the rage of course. Now it appears that he’s fallen into the trap of proving how woke he is by showing us how to change our initial git repository name from master to main.

Why make this change, you ask?

I’ll quote from his blog:

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IEFT) points out that “Master-slave is an oppressive metaphor that will and should never become fully detached from history” as well as “In addition to being inappropriate and arcane, the master-slave metaphor is both technically and historically inaccurate.” There’s lots of more accurate options depending on context and it costs me nothing to change my vocabulary, especially if it is one less little speed bump to getting a new person excited about tech.

Aside from completely misunderstanding the meaning of master in git (think: master copy, not slave-driver), Scott has managed to lower himself to the point of sweating over a metaphor that encompasses all of human history, not just that of the American Antebellum South. (Check out Thomas Sowell’s chapter The Real History of Slavery in his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Sowell is a black, award-winning economist who grew up in the Bronx.)

The word master has quite a few other definitions that would be blotted out if we just tossed it to the side because wokeness. For example:

  • having complete control over a situation
  • learning to do something properly
  • the title of famous painters
  • the first and original copy of a recording
  • the head of a ship that carries passengers or goods
  • a college degree
  • a revered religious teacher
  • an abstract thing that has power or influence
  • a main or principal thing
  • etc.

Should we expunge these parts of our language because Scott feels bad about things he didn’t do, hundreds of years before he was born? Should we ditch any word that acts as a trigger mechanism for someone else’s discomfort?

I can tell you right now, moist isn’t making the keep list.

It makes me sad to see Hanselman become a useful idiot, and it makes me sad that, hundreds of years after the destruction of the Western slave trade (by the West!), white people are stooping to this level of bullshit because they’ve adopted some perverse doctrine of racial original sin, and are constantly trying to atone for it.

If Scott thinks self-flagellation will fix any actual racial problems in this country, he’s deluded. Changing a git repo name won’t eliminate qualified immunity, bring corrupt cops to justice, or stop our elected officials from shredding the Bill of Rights. It won’t fix fatherlessness in black America, or the blight of narcissistic, checked-out parents in white. It won’t provide healthcare, it won’t feed the poor, it won’t address mental health issues. It won’t protect us from white school shooters, and it won’t save us from black gang bangers. It’s a token gesture without teeth; emotions on meth.

People like this black American nationalist give me hope, though. He knows that real change will come through brutal honesty and personal responsibility, from all sides, and that’s the only way America can get over the blood feud we’ve been nursing for roughly two hundred years. He gets it, and he doesn’t need the contrition of false white guilt to satisfy a grudge. It’s a breath of fresh air, hearing this man speak, and I hope for all our sakes – even for the sake of Scott Hanselman – that many more like him will bring sanity to the sanitarium that is present-day America.