The Philip Greenspun School of Online Articles – Irrelevant Photos in Entries and Articles

To avoid entries becoming a “wall of text” –especially the lengthy outings — I’ve long borrowed from thePhilip Greenspun school of online articles and intermixedirrelevant, largely random photographs.

Generally I finish the entry, and then quickly select one,two, or three recently taken shots — shots with zerocorrelation to the story in question — and stick themin. It adds a bit of color, and I’ve gotten some comments thatpeople enjoy the diversion. As a side-effect, it’s a great exampleof subjective interpretation, because some readers build their ownexplanation for how each picture fits with the story (I’ve gotten afew emails describing these interpretations, and it is trulyfascinating. A few had me convinced that I must have subconsciouslythought that the picture represented X, the explanation was socompelling).

A small amount of extra bandwidth for a little extra color anddiversity in the entries.

I recently got an excellent bit of feedback from a longtimefriend and associate: They enjoyed the pictures, but foundthat they made visiting the site during work hours analmost covert activity. Pictures of my daughter playing in astream, night falling on a drive-in, or some orangutans at the zoo,they felt, would give a passerby or suspicious boss thefeeling that they were slacking away readingkidsplayinginstreams.com, or driveinenthusiast.com, or zoopics.com.Knowing how entirely unenlightened many workplaces are, Iimmediately appreciated exactly what they were saying.

As such, from here on in I’ll avoid unrelated pictures, perhapssticking to pictures of circuit boards and control flows.

Completely Offtopic – Several days back I was stuck drivingbehind a huge late-model Chevy Suburban in an industrial park. Whatstruck me as absurd wasn’t the vehicle — some people actually needa vehicle of such size, even if most don’t — but the way theycarefully swerved to avoid every single manhole cover on thestreet: Undulations in the road of less than a CM, which arefiltered out in the shocks of even the smallest of econoboxes, hadthis person doing panic avoidance maneuvers.

Irony in vehicle choices.