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Very out of topic but, is lena.jpg still acceptable? I mean, tech industry is getting better at inclusion but come on, are we still using that crop from Playboy?



I'd say it has enough historical significance to still be acceptable. Consider this: every image compression format out there has an example of their work done on the Lena image. The source code for various compression algorithms may have been lost, but the encoded Lena results for that compression algorithm may very well still exist. This means we can compare between compression algorithms of the past quite easily. We dont have to dig up old source code and find hardware that will run it to compare output - we can simply provide the same input that they had.

Regarding the image itself, it's not even a good test image. There are far better images out there that test the robustness of image compression, but those test images haven't been ran though every image processing algorithm since the 1973. Should we change default test images? Yes, but Lena should still be used as well. The historical data it provides is invaluable.


> I'd say it has enough historical significance to still be acceptable.

This sounds a lot like Redskins argument.

> The source code for various compression algorithms may have been lost, but the encoded Lena results for that compression algorithm may very well still exist.

We need to compare a new algorithm to an obsolete one where we don't even have the source code and this is beneficial... how?

By the way, the image is remastered in 2013 so none of this is relevant anymore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenna#Remastering


Considering that Lenna herself is fine with it, I'd say so. (Unless you want to deny a woman the right to permit the use of her own body for aesthetic, erotic, or academic purposes, which is the logical if ironic outcome of some schools of feminism.)

The problem with the Lenna imagery isn't political correctness, it's the fact that it's a crappy scan from a magazine that always had crappy photography to begin with.


The "fine" thing would be to let Lena use photographs of herself in her own work.

The problem is that women in science cannot read a paper on image processing without being reminded that it's a boy's club.


The problem is that women in science cannot read a paper on image processing without being reminded that it's a boy's club.

I find this attitude far more patronizing than any conceivable choice of test imagery in a graphics research project.

Suggest reading this before posting anything else about the delicate sensibilities of "women in science": http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/magazine/my-great-great-au...

Do you think any of those women would have spared a half-second's thought about this issue? Somehow, I don't think so. I think they were too busy doing science.


I'm sure they do, because I can point to them speaking up about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenna#Controversy

I'm not saying all women are crippled by it, because they have to deal with such nonsense while walking down the street every day. But can't we as scientists strive to improve the status quo?


(Shrug) I can point to outraged people "speaking up" about everything from global warming to Jar-Jar Binks. It doesn't prove much, except that some people enjoy a good bout of outrage.

The scientists in the article I linked, on the other hand, aren't speaking up about anything, because they're all dead.


You're implying that because the women you picked didn't speak up and just did their work, that somehow that is the model all women should follow (because Science, apparently). Yet you provide no evidence that they were not affected by attitudes toward women. Just because they did not speak up does not imply there were no negative effects of contemporary attitudes toward women. On the other hand, I have evidence that researchers are affected by it.


Yet you provide no evidence that they were not affected by attitudes toward women.

The New York Times Magazine article is pretty long, it'll take you a few minutes to read it. I'll wait.

Short version: they suffered real discrimination, which you've diminished by comparing it to the use of Lenna.jpg in a graphics project.


Fine, I didn't read it. What is your point? That just because something is worse for one person that we should ignore problems affecting another? That someone else has suffered in the past is not a reason to give up improving the status quo today.


> Unless you want to deny a woman the right to permit

Not doing something you are permitted to do is somehow denying their right to permit? It's nice of her permitting the use, however her permission doesn't force us to use it. By the same logic, it would be perfectly okay use goatse image if the guy permitted it, right?


By the same logic, it would be perfectly okay use goatse image if the guy permitted it, right?

If the ability to represent the goatse image were a critical part of the evaluation process for a compression algorithm, then yes. However, we evolved to recognize and respond to subtle features in human faces, not human colons. So, no, goatse would not be an appropriate reference image.


If her face is the only face that is critical to the image compression analysis, yes, you are completely right.

I have a hard time understanding the knee jerk reaction to the change and the willingness to maintain the status quo. We have nothing to lose if the image is swapped with one that is less ostracizing --which is something Mozilla did in the past. Why defend it?


Technically, the Lenna scan is indeed a bad reference image for numerous reasons, such as being blurry, heavily quantized, and composed of various shades of magenta and purple. Its value is more or less entirely nostalgic.

So it wouldn't be worth defending at all, if it weren't being attacked on grounds I strongly disagree with, by people who I believe shouldn't gain any more influence over our culture than they already have.


> So it wouldn't be worth defending at all, if it weren't being attacked on grounds I strongly disagree with, by people who I believe shouldn't gain any more influence over our culture than they already have.

I'm having trouble understanding what this means, concretely. Do you think it would be a bad thing if computer science became less of a boys club? Or do you not believe that is why people dislike the picture? Who is it exactly that has too much power over "our" culture -- women? Politically correct killjoys?


Who is it exactly that has too much power over "our" culture -- women? Politically correct killjoys?

On the Internet it's hard to be sure, but I haven't seen any negative comments about lenna.jpg that I can attribute to women qua women.

So I guess that leaves door #2, huh?


Thanks for clarifying. I can relate, since I would also defend anything if it was criticized by people I didn't like.

...no wait, I wouldn't.


Please don't put words in my mouth.


> So it wouldn't be worth defending at all, if it weren't being attacked on grounds I strongly disagree with, by people who I believe shouldn't gain any more influence over our culture than they already have.

Is it putting words in someone's mouth if said words are their own, I wonder?


He's not saying "I'm disagreeing with you because I dislike you," he's saying "I dislike you because I disagree with your ridiculous PC policemanship and the fact that a lot of people actually take it seriously."


> I'm disagreeing with you because I dislike you > I dislike you because...

Are you even aware you made my exact point?


I disagree! You have the cause and effect mixed up. It's normal to dislike certain groups of people you strongly disagree with. For example, I imagine we both dislike gay bashers pretty strongly.

You, on the other hand, were suggesting that CamperBob2 was arguing with you purely because he didn't like you, which would be pretty silly if it were true.


I suggested the sole reason of him defending the status quo was that it was challenged by people he didn't like. I still believe it's true.


People are still up in arms about the last time Mozilla made a swap to be less ostracizing.


I briefly wondered the same thing. Tradition would probably be a poor argument for continuing to use it. But being able to directly compare the results with the lena.jpg results throughout its history might be valuable?


Just one thought: If some woman (or man, or whatever, really) used a similar crop from playgirl in a paper ...

Yeah, sure, from a historical perspective, the situation is not exactly symmetrical, and if it helps with normalizing the situation, maybe Lenna should be banished ... but then again, I would think that if the atmosphere is right otherwise, I doubt anyone would really be bothered by the use of mildly erotic pictures where there is consent from the person in the picture?




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