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The people who invented the tech (US/Europe/Japan) optimised it for consumers around them.

If darker skinned people had invented it, or had been a richer consumer group things would have been different - to think otherwise you'd have to think greedy capitalists would give up piles of cash to be racist.

Why hate on inventors who create something cool just because it doesn't quite work as well for all groups of people?

Surely this also left a gap in the market - someone could have optimized film for darker skin tones and made a lot of money?




The article covers all of this closely, and I see nothing in it that can fairly be described as "hate on inventors". Would you mind reviewing the site guidelines at https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html? I think you'll notice that they require HN comments to be more substantive than this one here.

For one, there's this: "Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith." The author of an article is someone.

Then there's this: "Eschew flamebait." Taking an HN thread further into flamewar, which is the direction your comment points in and alas even moves a little into, definitely breaks that guideline. Keep in mind that once one person goes there, a lot of others are going to go there—for and against, bashing each other along the way—so the biggest responsibility is not to be first to go there. If we all avoid that, no flamewar.

There's also: "Please don't post shallow dismissals, especially of other people's work. A good critical comment teaches us something." It seems to me that the dismissals here were indeed shallow, reminiscent of instant objections that pop into one's mind when encountering what, for whatever reason, we dislike. That mechanism is hardly unique to you—it is active in 100% of us. But the HN guidelines have been carefully written to ask all of us to slow down and inhibit that mechanism—to be more reflective and less reflexive—because this is the only way to get good conversation on the internet.

There are two other guidelines that the comment breaks, but I'll leave them as an exercise for the curious.


The article does not cover at all why black people didn't invent their own film technology or were a sufficiently organised or attractive consumer group to spur someone else to (it was chocolate and furniture makers)

"Hating" is perhaps too strong a word, but the author makes multiple accusations of racism against companies, technicians etc - from my reading thinking things are far too intentional and getting angry/offended - where in reality it's a mix of money and physics - not racism against a people.


"Hating" is much too strong a word to describe the article—so much so that invoking it in a thread like this is a big upping of the flamewar ante. There's no need to do that, but it's hard to resist, when a topic stirs up powerful emotions. This creates a need for relief, and venting that energy in the form of extreme words is one way to get relief. Unfortunately, it doesn't relieve anything at a community level. It just tosses the hot potato around in a way that only makes the potato hotter and more painful to the one who catches it next. What provides relief at a community level is when people find ability in themselves to acknowledge truth in what the other is saying.

I would say there is more love in the article—consider the passages about the author's grandfather, whose humiliation she in a way dedicated her career to repairing—and later about her father. Note how she includes a moving (to me at least) moment of reconciliation at the end ("Her eyes were glassy as she said goodbye. Mine were, too, grateful for her vulnerability."). How easy it would have been to shame the woman who made the faux pas instead. Such moments of acknowledgment are hard to come by, and are worth emulating. This is not someone who's just out to hate.

> thinking things are far too intentional and getting angry/offended

A more charitable interpretation of the article is that a series of omissions can compound into a bias, even without deliberate attempts to exclude. That's interesting, and I'm a bit puzzled by the aversion in some commenters to look at it. Yes, angry accusations have been made and still get made, but that leads us to hear them also when they're not really there. We need the ability to notice when they're not really there, so as to respond in kind. That would be a de-escalating movement.

> the author makes multiple accusations of racism against companies, technicians etc

I'd urge you to read the article again and see whether those are really there, or if you haven't somehow filled those details in, perhaps because it felt that way while reading it. I just reread the whole thing myself, to see whether I had missed some accusation of racism against a company or a technician. I didn't find any. In fact, the second reading convinced me that the author must have taken great pains to restrain herself from doing that—since nothing would be easier for someone in her position to do.

The article does contain a lot of pain—the pain of being unseen, excluded. And she does do something difficult for the reader: she creates tension by never expressing the pain directly. It's there implicitly, which heightens the effect. That's a pretty effective device for making a point, and I wonder if that's really what people are reacting to: the discomfort we feel when something intense is present but not expressed. But there's also generosity in this. If someone holds back from expressing as much as they could, even when feelings are intense, it creates space for others to do the same. Those opportunities are worth noticing and acting on, because otherwise we all just repeat the cycle.


> The people who invented the tech (US/Europe/Japan) optimised it for consumers around them.

I must confess that it grinds my gears too when people rail against makers for being 'selfish' or discriminatory when the things they make end up best suited for people like them.

You could even see such a accusations as implicitly insinuating that the non-catered-to groups are somehow less capable of innovating their own more suitable alternatives.


[flagged]


> touched a nerve, which is not unexpected

With this you've confessed to trolling. I mean, the White Man’s Burden? Come on.


Posting a viewpoint, sincerely held, which you know will be unpopular, is not trolling. They seem to believe what they're saying.


> They seem to believe what they're saying

Most trolls do.




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