Home > Archive >  2008 >  May >  11

What do the images mean?

Sunday, May 11, 2008 by Dave Winer.

From time to time people ask what the images in the margins of Scripting News mean. I don't think I've ever answered the question on the blog itself. Permalink to this paragraph

There are many answers to the question because they mean whatever you want them to mean. The point is to stimulate creativity. If I wrote an article about Fidel Castro, for example, and put a fiery picture of Fidel next to the piece it would satisfy curiosity. "I wonder what he looks like?" Suspense eliminated. That kind of imagery serves to quell creativity, to push it down, stifle it. It answers questions as opposed to raising them. Lowers entropy instead of increasing it. Permalink to this paragraph

My goal is to stimulate thinking. If people say they disagree with me -- excellent. Sometimes I disagree too. There are many sides to every question, and many of them are valid. To fix on one answer as being the only one would be to eliminate creativity, imagination. It's why stories told on radio can be so incredibly vivid compared to movies or TV. You get to supply the visuals. So if the meaning isn't obvious, you get to find your own meaning. That's better sometimes than filling in all the blanks. Create new blanks.  Permalink to this paragraph

My pictures are supposed to raise questions. The first one might be "Why did he put that there?" You may find you have an answer, but know that that's your answer, not anyone else's. It says something about you. Or you might look at the picture and say "That's a weird picture" and not give it another thought. That's also a valid answer. Or you might be tired of the pictures and see one and choose not to read the article. More power to you!  Permalink to this paragraph

Esther Dyson once sent an email asking why there was a big picture of herself next to an article that had nothing to do with her. "I thought it was an interesting picture" is what I said. I told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Permalink to this paragraph

I once got a call from a neighbor when I lived in the country, she said she was going to get some baby goats, and they might make a lot of noise as they were being weaned from their mother. I asked why she was getting the goats. She said she always wanted goats.  Permalink to this paragraph

That's pretty much what the images mean. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph


Recent stories:

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

I'm a California voter for Obama.

© Copyright 1994-2008 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 10/20/2008; 8:22:33 AM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.