Hurtling through Space

Master No More!

24 June 2020
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Words matter.

I always make an effort to use inclusive language. At work, I make a conscious effort to use genderless pronouns. When I interview someone, I try to remove bias in my write-up by saying ”The candidate said…” or ”They solved the problem by…” rather than injecting gender with “he/she” pronouns. In the official NASA documents I review, I evangelize replacing instances of “manned spaceflight” with “human spaceflight.” I also make sure that generic astronaut pronouns are always “they” and not “he,” which is not only biased but also increasingly inaccurate.

But gender bias is only one kind of bias in language. I’m trying to be more sensitive to instances of racial bias especially in light of recent events. GitHub CEO Nate Friedman’s recent tweet about picking a name other than master for the default branch of new projects resonated with me. What’s the point of using racially charged language when the English language affords plenty of equally descriptive and harmless options?

So with that, by the time this post has published, I will have removed the master branch 🥳 From here on out, the live version of this blog will live on the live branch! It not only has no racial connotations, it is objectively a better description of the intent and purpose of the branch.

I know this isn’t much, but it needed to be done. Every word matters.

How to cite this blog post:

    author = {Pittman, Cameron},
    title = {Master no more!},
    journal = {Hurtling through Space},
    url = {},
    year = {2020},
    month = {June},
    accessed = {Oct 17, 2022}
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