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Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49604379) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Thank you for proving a point.

...not a particularly proud one since it implies the field was started by guys reading porn magazines...

Here you imply that porn and looking at porn is somehow morally wrong.

Only if you're doing so around people who don't want to be exposed to it, I think a computer vision lab qualifies.

the sexualized component is part of the statement, a certain degree of controversy, offense, or shock actually adds to the artistic value

Here you see sex and sexual themes as shocking or offensive.

So please explain how your statements about sexuality are better grounded than those coming from fundamentalist christians,jews, muslims et al.?

Cut the crap.
Of course sexual imagery in art is shocking or at least provocative, that's the point, it's one of the strongest desires we have. That's the whole bloody point unless you want to look at a painting of a fruit bowl.

Comment: Re:idgi (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49604371) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

No. The "context" you present is irrelevant. The same twisted logic can be used to ban the Star-Spangled Banner because it was originally a drinking song. Despite your desires to cast it into the contrary, the meaning of the Lena image has changed over time and the original context is of no significance other than from a historical point of view.

I just have to disagree on that point.

As for claiming to speak on her behalf, that is what you are doing. You are deciding that there is something "not okay" with the Lena image because she is "a sexual object" which is absolute bollocks.

No I am not.

I am saying that image, even cropped, does not belong in a high school classroom because many people find it to be objectifying.

The girls are uncomfortable? Too bad. There's a lot of shit in the world that is "uncomfortable." A head shot is extremely unlikely to be one of them.

So your argument is that because the world is a shitty place there's no problem with making it a little shittier?

On top of that, you're pretending girls don't masturbate and have never willingly looked at explicit sexual imagery.

And now you're arguing with a figment of your imagination...

Perhaps if you bothered to read the comments on the WaPo article, you'd discover that multiple female alumni of the school in question who learned under female CS educators at said school came forward and strongly refuted the article's contents.

I read the comments and the closest I saw was someone mentioning knowing female alumni who hadn't complained in the past (though I could have missed as WP has a terrible commenting system). I also saw things criticizing the article for things it never said nor implied. And finally I saw multiple posts from people completely agreeing with the article.

Your outdated Puritanical views on sexuality and your attempt to pretend that teens are children rather than young adults put you squarely in the minority...and in the wrong.

Again you're ascribing views and arguments I never made. And sexually liberated girls and guys can still be offended by pornography and what they perceive as sexual objectification.

It's not your job to fix them.

Comment: Re:idgi (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49604249) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Leaving aside the fact that we are not discussing an image that is pornography nor of a nude woman - it is face and top-of-shoulders, which makes all of this irrelevant...

Even the cropped image is mildly suggestive, but the fact people will know if comes from a full nude image makes it relevant.

Your own link goes on to discuss (immediately after the section you quote!) how there is not universal agreement on what is objectifying, including pornography.

And many people who feel it's objectifying will be in that class, their wishes should be respected.

I happen to think that a woman should be allowed to express herself however she wishes

I'm in full agreement.

I also think we need to respect the people who don't want to see her picture as an assignment in a high school CS class.

Comment: Re:idgi (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49604233) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

If you think the 512x512 Lena image used in image processing for 40+ years is "a pornographic picture" then you're a Puritan lunatic.

The full Lena picture, which many of the kids will find and know they're working on, is most definitely pornographic. That carries an important context.

On top of that, you have spoken for Lena in assigning the "sexual object" label to her; it was never your choice, it was hers, and she chose to have that picture taken. You don't get to speak for her or be offended on her behalf. Take five seconds to actually understand what you are talking about before you spout off and look like a fool.

Why do you claim I was trying to speak on her behalf? I never attempted such a thing.

But what would you say to the girls in the class who are made offended and/or uncomfortable by the image and its origin? Do they have a right to feel uncomfortable? What's the big deal with using a different image and removing the problem?

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49603935) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Except it's not porn. it's an image of a face cropped from a larger image that happened to feature softcore nudity.

Even if it were only the face it would still be creepy since the expression is clearly suggestive, but a lot of the kids are going to find the original and that changes the context.

So, there are two implicit assertions here: first, that softcore nudity is porn and unprofessional (unless it's at least a couple hundred years old, in which case it's merely 'art').

This is playboy, I'd consider it professional softcore pornography.

Nudity in art regardless of age can have pornographic aspects or not.

The second assertion is that softcore nudity is so horrendously unprofessional that it taints even derivative works where no nudity is detectable or implied.

Here I'm assuming you mean "unprofessional" as in don't bring it into the workplace. I don't know what "softcore nudity" is but softcore pornography should not be brought into the workplace. Cropping helps, I doubt having the cropped Lena photo as a desktop background would be an issue, but using it in a presentation? I'd say that's unprofessional.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 2) 498

by quantaman (#49603649) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

It's just a tradition and not a particularly proud one since it implies the field was started by guys reading porn magazines

As a "tradition", there is surely some value in being able to compare current vs .historical efforts to analyze the same image.

True, but I'm not sure it's worth the baggage.

Also, you are implying (very un-subtly) that there is something inherently shameful, or at least "non-proud" in guys looking at porn. I would call that prudish and potentially misandric.

Not quite, I'd say there's something inherently shameful about inserting porn into a technical field not caring or realizing that there's people who won't want to view it in a professional setting. I would call that asshole-ish.

Comment: Re:idgi (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49603615) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

1) Every picture is also part of a larger instantaneous image of the world in which millions of people are currently having being tortured to death. Do you think those pictures belong in the classroom as well?

Do I think pictures of individuals being tortured should be included in a classroom setting? If a history class, or current affairs, carefully presented in context, and the children were sufficiently mature - it may be appropriate.

But not appropriate for a computer vision class regardless of the age.

Should CROPPED pictures be included of such out of context? No. Because the subject suffered, unlike in this case, where the subject has no problem being seen.

Kids aren't stupid, they'll figure out the source of the photo and everyone will know. The nature of the photo creates the context.

2) There are students, particularly female ones, who find it both objectionable and threatening. That is completely relevant to its use in a high school class.

I find cars objectionable and threatening - they've killed way more people than consensual, safe, softcore pornography

And if a lot of people shared your strong objections to car pictures than I'd agree schools should avoid unnecessary photos of cars.

You have no idea how difficult it is for me to respond civilly after you claimed I'm a sexist that objectifies women.

YOU are the one arguing that objectification is inevitable. When you see that image, do you think less of the model, or of women in general? If yes, YOU have a problem. If no, you've blown a hole in your own argument.

You've missed the point entirely.

The problem isn't that me or a woman in the class is objectifying women because of the picture.

The problem is that there are men in the class who are objectifying women, or thinking it's appropriate to objectify women, because of the picture.

Whether or not I'm one of those men is irrelevant, merely the fact women have a reasonable expectation that those men are there objectifying them makes it an issue.

There are two very obvious gender differences. One males are, on average, far stronger than women.

True, but of fuck all relevance here.
Second pregnancies are far more costly to women.

True, but in most civilised nations, contraceptive pills and implants and morning-after pills and early terminations and (as a very last resort) adoption are universally available.

Which is one of the reasons that Western women are more sexually liberated, but the differences persist.

but also because men have far less to fear about being physically overpowered.

Utterly, utterly false. Non-consensual sex / sexual assault is rarely about being physically overpowered. This is one of the main rape myths that (proper, i.e. egalitarian rather than anti-penis) feminists have tried to dispell.

Ask any woman, it's still something they have to be aware of, I know many girls who won't trail run by themselves because they're worried about guys attacking them. That's a concern that never even crossed my mind.

And it's not just rape, spousal abuse is still terrifyingly common and there's certainly a sexual component to that.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 3, Insightful) 498

by quantaman (#49602949) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Context

I'm seeing the context of the "Lena" image as being a standard test for image processing.

There's no technical reason for that to be true. It's just a tradition and not a particularly proud one since it implies the field was started by guys reading porn magazines, its continued usage suggests that hasn't really changed. I don't think that's a message you want to send about a technical field.

As for art, a lot of it appears to have a sexualized component when it was created (some of it very explicit), but in the context of a class, it's being studied for its place in art history.

That's art, the sexualized component is part of the statement, a certain degree of controversy, offense, or shock actually adds to the artistic value.

I don't think the standard computer vision test image should be making provocative artistic statements.

So what am I missing? Tell me how a cropped Lena picture is any worse than (say) Goya's The Nude Maja, which Wikipedia notes was probably created to hang in a private collection, and whose subject, just like the Lena photograph, looks directly at the viewer (and unlike the Lena photograph, "Nude Maja" tends not to be cropped).

It's not any worse. But neither image should be used as a standard test image.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49602823) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

And yes, using an image you know many students will find offensive or threatening just because you think they should feel otherwise is preaching.

If someone finds a picture of a face offensive or threatening, then they've got problems no amount of preaching is going to fix.

So what? Just like it's not the role of the school to fix your attitudes towards sexuality it's not the role of the CS class to "fix" theirs.

And it's very disingenuous to say it's just a picture of a face, kids aren't morons, someone will figure out the source and spread the news. And even as just a face it's very obviously a sexualized picture.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49602371) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Computer vision scientist here.Yes, I've taught such a practical as a postdoc, so no I had no control over the content. Yes Lena was used. Sooner or later someone figures out where the image is from and everyone, well the guys, all have a good laugh.

So yes it does create a hostile environment. I'm afraid that your armchair logic and reasoning are going to come in second to those who have not only witnessed it, but been a part of the whole thing first hand.

How exactly does it create a hostile environment?

Context.

For bonus points, explain how nudity in classic art (paintings, sculptures, etc) does not create a hostile environment in the classroom.

Context.

Comment: Re:idgi (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49602367) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

women's concerns

Which women's concerns?

That looks like you're criticizing my grammar or something, I think you're incorrect.

And yes students will figure out it's a pornographic image

1) Every picture is a small part of a larger instantaneous image of the world in which millions of people are currently having sex.
2) What is wrong with softcore porn, please? Answer in a way that's relevant to the use of it in this circumstance.

1) Every picture is also part of a larger instantaneous image of the world in which millions of people are currently having being tortured to death. Do you think those pictures belong in the classroom as well?

2) There are students, particularly female ones, who find it both objectionable and threatening. That is completely relevant to its use in a high school class.

shows a woman as a sexual object

The full picture shows a woman as sexual. It does not show a woman as a sexual object, unless you're seriously suggesting something like porn makes you think women aren't human?

Wow, you're the second person in this thread to try that horrible BS debating tactic.

where women would be expected to have different attitudes

So your whole argument is based on your ignorant sexism?

You have no idea how difficult it is for me to respond civilly after you claimed I'm a sexist that objectifies women.

There are two very obvious gender differences. One males are, on average, far stronger than women. Second pregnancies are far more costly to women.

This means that men are far more likely to be interested in casual sex than women because they have far fewer things to fear from casual sex. Both because men feel less consequence from potential pregnancies but also because men have far less to fear about being physically overpowered.

It is not true for everyone, there's a cultural component as well, and there's nothing shameful or unfeminine about a woman interested in casual sex. But the fact the genders do have very different attitudes is backed up by virtually every study ever done.

Comment: Re:idgi (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49602283) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Don't you think that using a picture that shows a woman as a sexual object is going to add to the objectification of women?

No. I don't see pretty and/or nude women as objects. Why the hell would you ?

You're seriously using the "if you're criticizing X because you think it leads to Y then that means you have a strong tendency to Y" argument? I'm sorry but I think that's a very insulting tactic.

Lets look at the definition:

Sexual objectification involves a woman being viewed primarily as an object of male sexual desire, rather than as a whole person.

This isn't nude photography, this is pornography, it is a woman being portrayed in the nude as an object of male sexual desire. This is literally the definition of objectification of women!

The fact you can view and enjoy pornography without objectifying women doesn't mean there aren't a lot of women and men who find it very objectifying.

You may not agree with them but why not take their concerns into account?

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 2) 498

by quantaman (#49601335) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

No she doesn't. ITS A FACE, not a nude body.

The picture used WAS JUST HER FACE, if you want to see the full image you don't get it from the first Google search with Safe search on. You have to go out of your way to see nudity, and if they want to see nudity on the Internet, she's pretty fucking low quality nudity. A much less targeted Google search will yeild 18 year old boys HUNDREDS OF FREE PORN SITES ...

They don't give a flying fuck about Lena.

So are you in favour of prayer in the classroom? Having endless religious speakers and abstinence only advocates come in to speak?

Because your comment suggests you think it's perfectly appropriate for teachers to push their personal views on the classroom. I take the converse view, they don't get to preach their beliefs and we don't get to preach ours. And yes, using an image you know many students will find offensive or threatening just because you think they should feel otherwise is preaching.

Comment: Re:idgi (Score 1) 498

by quantaman (#49601293) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

The problem is a RELIGIOUS legacy of people being ashamed of their bodies. Women, especially, are taught to feel ashamed of their bodies.

No, the problem is guys who are so oblivious about women's concerns that they'd use a pornographic picture as an assignment for a high school classroom. And yes students will figure out it's a pornographic imagine.

And guys who think that such images are an excuse to objectify women are behaving equally awfully, but this is not the problem right here.

Don't you think that using a picture that shows a woman as a sexual object is going to add to the objectification of women?

And it's not just some religious legacy or shame at work here, sexuality is one of those rare instances where women would be expected to have different attitudes than men. Using a pornographic image in the classroom will create an environment that makes women feel vulnerable and uncomfortable, there's no reason to have it.

Comment: Re:That escalated quickly (Score 1) 102

by quantaman (#49596021) Attached to: Climatologist Speaks On the Effects of Geoengineering

While I see many challenges to geoengineering, talks breaking down into nuclear war is not one of them. I mean, I have challenging talks with my wife all the time about the budget, but I never think going into it that she's going to burn down the house in response to a dispute.

Part of the reason that happens is you're both aware of the consequences of things getting out of hand.

This kind of speculation is a balance, talking about nuclear war too much is just fearmongering and people won't take you seriously.

On the other hand part of the reason it's probably not going to happen is people are aware of it. One of the reasons the West isn't taking a stronger response to Russia in Ukraine is the possibility that things will escalate and you'll end up in a war that could go nuclear.

The issue with geoengineering is you've added a dial on the planet that many people will want to control, that's very likely to increase international tensions among big powers. The more tensions you have the more likely a war is going to break out.

Geoengineering probably isn't going to lead to a nuclear war, but that's partially because we sometimes remind ourselves that it's a possible outcome.

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