Yes, things are so bad.
And it must be more than "European" naiveté if you don't believe that people naturally discriminate for people who look like them, or believe the same things as they do.
Its the nature of the human beast to not be rational.
> Isn't tech a business of ideas anyway?
Ah, but now that you mention it... most of us are hiding our faces (and ethnicities) behind our websites copy. So even a B2C company on the internet doesn't have to worry about stereotypes harming their first impressions.
Look at Justin.tv, just how many of Michael Seibel's customers and clients do you think know that he is black?
Do they really, naturally? I don't think that many people are walking around, constantly repeating an inner mantra like "I'm a middle-aged white male", always comparing everyone against what they themselves look like in the mirror? Who does that?
> Its the nature of the human beast to not be rational.
It's my experience that most humans only think like "beasts" if they have been conditioned to do so. It's not like we have to force ourselves to be rational all the time, is it? Being somewhat rational, friendly and compassionate should be the default position.
> Ah, but now that you mention it... most of us are hiding our faces (and ethnicities) behind our websites copy.
That's true, and I'm happy about this option. I certainly wouldn't have such a great time on the net if people could actually hear or see me. But being black is not the same as being ugly.
> just how many of Michael Seibel's customers and clients do you think know that he is black
How many care?
The term "naturally" implies that it is an automatic function (e.g. breathing is natural). Did you not realize this or are you intentionally leaping to the straw-man argument?
> It's my experience that most humans are only thinking like "beasts" if they have been conditioned to do so.
I didn't mean "beast" in any bad sense. I simply meant that human beings are evolved creatures, hormonal, emotional, and often instinctive in their approach to social situations. We are not a rational abstraction.
We don't have to 'force' ourselves to be rational all the time, because mostly we aren't rational and rationality would be the long method of coming to the same conclusions. The typical person doesn't have to rationally process every quirk of someones facial or body language to decide on what emotion is expressed---that would take forever. Instead we have mental shortcuts built into our psyche which while are irrational, are also usually correct.
When it comes to issues like racism, it is a case of our natural instinct being wrong instead of right for a change.
Yes some people are ever curious about the "other", but this isn't the norm.
For further discussion, can anyone find a copy of this article ( http://dlib.eastview.com/browse/doc/12134981 ) outside the Paywall so everyone can see it?