An obstacle to what? You're already reading what a person has expressed, so why is it necessary to see what they really look like?
To my mind, it can only add unnecessary judgment. I know you see it as more personable, like the difference between talking to someone on the phone and seeing them in person, but on many internet forums, especially scientific ones, we try very hard to distance the idea from the person who has the idea just so there is no extraneous judgment involved. One of the worst crimes you can commit here is to attack someone personally rather than their idea.
if you knew nothing else about them, no matter what idea was being expressed? Truly?
I understand your point. But you must recognize that the elimination of "extraneous judgment" is wishfull thinking (http://en.wikipedia....ishful_thinking)
_You must learn to know someone first before you can hear what he says.
_words from people like Barack, Albert, Isaac, are recognized because the one who said it is important, not because of the wording.
_words from people like Benitto or Adolf are dismissed for the same reason.
The "who is talking" is very important.
My point was simply that IMO the avatar is an obstacle to know Who is talking. It make me feel like belonging to a secret society where the members are outlaws, fearing something.
Maybe we have to fear something, actually, as Phee said, and others. Maybe I am naive.
Hm, I am .