[Python-ideas] Retire or reword the "Beautiful is better than ugly" Zen clause

Jan Claeys lists at janc.be
Sun Sep 16 09:40:37 EDT 2018

On Fri, 2018-09-14 at 22:09 +0200, Davide Rizzo wrote:
> At one Python conference in Italy, participants were given an
> elegantly designed and well-crafted t-shirt with a writing in large
> characters that read "Beautiful is better than ugly" in reference to
> the Zen of Python. Back home, a close person who is not a Python
> programmer nor familiar with PEP 20 saw the t-shirt. They were
> horrified by the out-of-context sentence for reasons similar to what
> has been already stated in support of this argument. It prompted them
> of lookism and judgmentality, and found the message to be disturbing
> in its suggestion to compare by some standard of beauty and to
> discriminate. Let me add some context: this person is socially and
> politically active (maybe what someone would call a "SJW"; definitely
> not what anyone would call "politically correct"), and is specially
> sensitive to issues of discrimination and sexism. This was enough,
> though, for me to wonder what kind of message I would be projecting
> by wearing that writing on me. I've been since then discouraged to
> ever wear the t-shirt in any public context.

This illustrates that by taking something out of context, it can
(appear to) get an entirely different meaning.  This can happen on
purpose or (as in this case, I assume) by accident.

It doesn't say anything about the complete text of the “Zen of Python”
(which to any layperson probably looks quite like unintelligible

The lesson to be learned is: “be careful when taking something out of

Jan Claeys

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