How is Lena inferior to the other "female" images? Lena seems to offer a good mix of highly detailed textures, smooth gradients and sharp edges. Maybe there are copyright reasons but Playboy seems to be fine with the use that the Lena image is made of.
I seem to recall someone approaching playboy to see of the negatives where available to make a new “standard” version but I don’t know of that got anywhere. At any rate, there are several subtly different versions around, which has caused some issues in the past.
Lena originally became popular not because people liked looking at a pretty face (though I don’t imagine that hurt) but because it has quite a bit of variation in texture, with strong and weak edges, etc. Particularly for image compression research, it was a real challenge in the 80s and 90s.
All of the technical challenges are better represented these days by other image sets, that don’t have the drawbacks I mentioned. And of course it is much easier to produce your own sets now, and evaluate performance over a significant number of images...
Also I would personally add that the level of exposure received could by itself warrant removal from a bigger set, since it would still be used as an example anyway and could skew informal perception.
elaine.512 doesn't seem particularly pornographic, but perhaps she's from Playboy too (anyone know?)
I know nudity and even a slight sexual undertone in anything upsets some people, but I don’t understand why. I think it says something more about the person than our culture. Sexuality is a core part of the human experience and to deny it is to remove that part of our humanity.
> “As silly as it sounds, they were surprised she was a real person,” he told me.
Women notice stuff like that, I guess.
> “I didn’t really know what that was,” she told me. “But my husband, he thought it was kind of cool, and it was money, and I didn’t have a lot of money.”
And what did she get?
> After her centerfold photos were published, Lena, green card in hand, got a divorce and a new boyfriend.
Even faced with lack of money for food and rent, still got a divorce out of it. Which in '71 , was still considered an abomination.
Don't get me wrong. Men also trade their bodies for the same existential threat; being deprived of food and shelter. But instead of being valued for beauty, we're valued for our utility. And too, our bodies break and rot under harsher conditions.
Only ones who automate and make others' lives meaningless get further than the rest - which I think adequately explains IT in a nutshell. Frankly, its only time until we're also due the same fate.
At the end of the day, her perspective matters the most:
> Lena doesn’t harbor any resentment toward Sawchuk and his imitators for how they appropriated her image; the only note of regret she expressed was that she wasn’t better compensated. In her view, the photograph is an immense accomplishment that just happened to take on a life of its own. “I’m really proud of that picture,” she said.
She's proud of it. Don't deprive her of that.
She’s like the Amen Break.
Of course a straight male won’t ever be able to compute the monstrosity of Patriarchy - ironically, it makes me a lesser human - but seriously, I’m not sure all this vitriol helps.
Believe me, I’m relieved when I see a normal woman work at software. It raises my hope that we’re not inevitability stuck living in a Mad Men episode. A normal woman, not some edgy, fringe individual, just a plain female, not ugly nor beautiful, loud extrovert of not. Just plain average.
And the next thought is how little there still are, and how all this punitive, calvinist moral panic might be focusing so much on castigation and not enough at making it chill for anyone to just pick up this job if they feel it’s their thing.
I wonder how many walk away and do something else rather than become a walking flame-bait.
Sure, the most egregious cases of outspoken chauvinism should be addresses - preferably if they relate to something occurring today - but constant nitpick and blanket attack simply select for people with axes to grind who are motivated to quarrel.
Propositive criticisms like "this attitude/prejudice/whatever, today is an obstacle now and we should work to remove it if we care about an inclusive society also in our industry and workplace." would be much more effective (IMHO.)
Who are you to say anything about their character or quality as “objects”? It seems uncharacteristically harsh to just make an assumption like that.
I don't interpret "oh you're a real person" as saying "oh wow, you're more than a sex object". I think the reaction is more in line with the awe of meeting the flesh and blood subject behind a static photograph (and an alluring photograph at that).
You make it sound like this was 500 years ago! Anyway, no one is saying to retroactively condemn the people who did it. They are saying to stop using it now. The context is the use of the picture in the here and now contributing to non-inclusion of women in tech.
If Lena came out saying she felt abused by the distribution of her photograph in this manner and that the practice needed to cease, I would agree with you. But her comments indicate to me that individuals ought to reconsider their reaction in light of the subject's perspective. If we respect what Lena believes, and sought her out to document her opinion, then we should seriously consider the weight of her opinion of her own life and own image versus ours.
What information are you using right now when dealing the judgement of "inappropriate" to the current situation?
The fact that some women spoke up about this doesn't mean that only those women find it objectionable; many may have just decided it wasn't worth the grief (and rightly, given how many replies I got to my original post!) and just moved away.
i think we've come far enough to agree that having playboy issues in your research lab is no longer acceptable so why continue to implicitly endorse that?
find a new picture if you want. it's not like this is the optimal image for testing anyways...
I can understand not wanting a Playboy model to be the standard image in a professional setting, especially a setting that is overwhelmingly full of guys.
Then again I’m in Italy where somewhat different social norms apply: people ask each other out on dates after they meet in the workplace and even if it’s unappreciated nobody dreams of kicking up a stink for sexual harassment because they consider it a normal form of human interaction. It’s also normal to compliment people on their looks and choice of attire. Both genders do it. Nobody gets offended. It’s more like “yeah, I put a ton of effort into choosing and matching this outfit this morning, and nobody noticed?! WTF??”
Now that I'm aware of the picture's history, I agree that it was a poor choice back then but I disagree that using it today is somehow an endorsement of sexism. Using it today only means you are using the standard image processing image.
Nope. They chose porn from Playboy. And this trend continues on to today with "brogrammers". No wonder why women feel inferior in tech.
Faces are a great test case. They represent a large fraction of the images we need to compress, and humans are very good at picking out issues with faces.
Once you understand that the piece makes sense.
Personally, I found the story of her life interesting and uplifting (especially about her days at Kodak). If they had selected a landscape or airforce test pattern, we wouldn't have this wonderful story or be getting to read about this woman's life. It's a human connection and history of a time that may have been operating under different social norms.
It's a unique part of the culture and a personal story and it saddens me that some people are able to find negativity in it, just because of the source, and I find it very disrespectful to Lena herself -- there's nothing wrong with how she lived her life or what she did to earn her current minor celebrity.
The article essentially said it:
>In 1972, at the age of 21, she appeared as Miss November, wearing nothing but a feathered sun hat, boots, stockings, and a pink boa.
This is literally what happened to "Lenna" - the image didn't celebrate or honour her as a person. It was an image protraying an unrealistic "beautiful thing". People didn't even know her real name, or what she's achieved as a real person.
It's perfectly reasonable and rational for women to say this makes it harder for them to be perceived as being equals.
Or the fanservice aimed at females in current-day shows like Riverdale where these hot guys throw off their shirts at the hint of an opportunity ?
This idea that it is somehow wrong to appreciate and find pleasure in the physical appearance of people is something I find very hard to understand. Are we going to ban makeup ?
Also consider examples outside of work, like dating. The tall, handsome, muscular guy is more likely to be perceived as desirable even though those traits don't necessarily correlate with what makes a good boyfriend. A man in search of a partner might feel objectified if his potential partner had posters of good-looking men up on her wall.
 The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the "Female" Professions https://www.jstor.org/stable/3096961
where these hot guys throw off their shirts at the hint of an opportunity ?
Because it's a test image not a novel.
It's a picture of a woman. What's unrealistic about that? That she's good looking?
It's a facile concept that is extremely difficult to decouple from a whole set of nasty, narrow social expectations for women that have nothing to do with aesthetics.
If you want to get a sense of just how nasty, do the social experiment of discussing one of the many subculture of biological males who present convincingly as female. It's hard to analyze the resulting physical unease and non-sequiturs as anything other than a confusion of aesthetics with... everything else, really.
Isn't this rather misleading? Obviously there were women in early computing who were very influential. But weren't the "human computers" in fact performing tedious and repetitive calculations, and not merely "perceived" as such?
You'd think, having written a whole article about her, you'd be able to spell her name right. It's incredible to me how relaxed people in English speaking countries, particularly the US, are with removing and changing letters as they see fit.
I remember seeing someone on Reddit, for example, who had named their kid Soren, after Søren Kierkegaard, completely ignoring that it's not even the same name. Do people realize that these letters are different looking for a reason?
It's why people in English speaking countries are named Michael (or one of the 50+ alternatives) instead of the original מִיכָאֵל, or why BBC reports on Chinese President Xi Jinping instead of Chinese President 习近平.
Fiancée résumé déjà vu touché.
What do you guys (yes, guys) think about making Fabio the standard image instead?
- grayscale (lenna image is rgb)
- very odd 271x257 resolution (lenna image is square 512x512 which is a power of two)
- just hair as fine detail features (lenna image has several: hat, feather boa and hair)
An optimal image would have the following properties:
- different textures at different
- easily recognizable features
- power of two resolution
- no cultural issues
- no licensing issues (not a scan of a magazine, globally recognized license, i.e. not "public domain")
No, we shouldn't.
Them using a different image in their research is perfectly acceptable--when one spends hours looking at something rendering, one shouldn't have to look at something one objects to--but referring to the research as a social statement diminishes the scientific value by framing it as a publicity stunt.
Also, apart from using research time/money for licensing: "lena" has become shorthand for "face-female-with-various-patterns" and is a historical accident. "Fabio" will always be Fabio, a commercial model; a less than optimal choice for a scientific paper.
I don't agree at all with your statement here.
There is a whole historical/social difference at play here; taking it into account doesn't make you a hypocrite.
(I hate the "hypocrite" judgement. So easy to cast and rarely true)
>Of course, anyone who does have an issue with Lena would have equal issue with a male equivalent, if they're not a hypocrite.
Part of cedex12's point, I take it, is that there is no 'male equivalent'. Your 'of course' following by accusation of hypocrisy makes it seem you were looking for a fight, not a discussion, and mainly wanted to dump out the standard 'talking point' which followed. "Of course" is just bluff, begging the question, code for "I have no reason to give but I'm right, obviously". No, you're not "even".
(I do however disagree with cedex12's claim that accusations of human hypocrisy are rarely true.)
 I dislike like the sound of me saying that. I tried removing it, but I disliked the implied acceptance of the way you were speaking on here even less, so I put it back.
No objection here. Heck, make both the Fabio and Lena images part of the test image set so that everybody's happy (or at least equally unhappy).
I remember doing my senior thesis on 2D LPC in 1990 and since we did not know how to print images, in our report we just printed the pixel values as numbers. Ahh, the good old times.
Not exactly, there is even a web site about it -- http://www.lenna.org/ -- and both she and the image have Wikipedia entries.
But I have heard that a 3d model of Thom Yorke (Radiohead)'s head is the de facto standard for 3d printer trials.
This is the thesis of the article, if you don't want to waste your time reading through the banal padding of a story around it.