Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sepia Saturday 237 : Google And The Right To Be Forgotten


Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week came as a bit of a surprise to me. On one level it was no surprise at all - after all, I had chosen the image myself based on a suggestion by Sepian Wendy Mathias. The image she put forward as a potential theme was a little small and therefore I searched Flickr for something I thought was similar. What could be the difference between two sets of dancing girls?. As things turned out, it would appear that the difference was a spare Y chromosome! On closer inspection the dancing girls in the prompt turn out to be dancing boys and therefore we get a new potential Sepia theme for Sepia Saturday 237 : people of indeterminate gender. Which brings me to my featured photograph of the week - this Victorian portrait of a couple which seems to have been taken in a makeshift tented studio, perhaps at a country fete. On the left we have, without doubt, a seated lady; but on the right we have what looks like another woman dressed as a man.

There is a minor secondary mystery about this particular photograph. When I selected it for use in my post this week, I couldn't get rid of the suspicion that I might have used it before. If so, it must have been a long time ago and therefore it would be new to all but the most ancient of Sepians (Yes, Bruno, I mean you). In order to double-check I decided to do a Google Search, making use of the facility by which you can give Google an image and ask it to find all previous occasions when that image has been used on the Web before. It came back with no exact matches but a selection of close matches - one of which was this picture of a Texas Ranger on his horse! I was beginning to think that Google might not be the all-powerful brain of the universe we often credit it with being. But perhaps it is just that someone is making use of this new legislative "right to be forgotten". Perhaps the gent in my old family photograph had decided that the photograph of him did little to flatter his rugged and masculine good looks and therefore instructed Google to forget it.

Whilst you might want to forget an embarrassing photograph from your past, don't forget to visit the Sepia Saturday Blog and check out all the contributions this week.

13 comments:

  1. I find Google Image Search quite weird. I've never had it make a connection with any realistic similarity to the original

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  2. Google Image Search definitely gives you some strange results, but it's a lot of fun to use just to see what it comes up with. Great photo, Alan. They look like they are sisters.

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  3. They are a handsome pair and I could believe they are sisters, or even a husband and wife playing at cross dressing too. But having enjoyed the performance of Glenn Close in the movie Albert Nobbs, I know that anything is possible.
    And that was no horse either.

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  4. Gender crossing confuses me since I want what looks like a man to be a man. It has nothing to do with the crossing of boundaries or a fear of experimentation but rather the idea perhaps of not having to think too hard. :)
    Poor Google. Perhaps she was having a bad day when you did your search.

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  5. Great photo choice for this week's theme.

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  6. Fun post! I've never used Google Image Search. I'll have to give it a go.

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  7. Great fun with this post and your tie to the prompt. Then to introduct Google Image Search, which I dinna even know existed, or how to use, and coming up with the horse. Definitely gave me an entertaining time this morning. --- and how do you ask google to search for a specific image? Me thinks I am a google dunce.

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  8. My grandmother used to dress like man occasionally..I've seen a few pictures of her in my grandfather's clothes and once in a uniform. In each photo, she's brandishing a gun. Men had all the power in those days - I think once in a while, it might have been a thrill to "try on" the male role for a while.

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  9. I haven't used Google Image Search either. May need to give it a try!

    I recently read a story about a court case many many years ago, where a lady had pretended to be a man for many years....and even married, fooling his new wife!!! Seems unbelievable today!

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  10. Funny -- I didn't even recognize that the prompt was inspired by the photo of dancing girls that I had suggested. Short term memory loss, I guess.

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  11. Yes it looks familiar to me too, but it’s worth a repeat, especially as it takes us off on such a diferent and interesting tack.

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  12. Confusing. The seated one could be a man.

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  13. I have one that has confused gender...interesting photos. I have never tried that Image search:)

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