Saturday, August 07, 2010

Painting pictures in patent reform

Sometimes, as in patent reform, the picture conveyed is formed to fit the viewpoint
of the speaker, rather than to depict the reality of the situation. For example, we had allegations that patent applications were granted at a 97% rate, reflecting the authors' viewpoint of a broken and out-of-control patent office, even though the US patent grant rate never was 97%. The following images reflect artistic liberty in the depiction of Farragut Square in Washington, D.C. How many divergences can you see between image and reality?

The image conveyed:

The actual scene:

On the fallacy of the 97% patent grant rate

[One of the changes is the direction of the traffic on I Street. From a review of the movie "The Graduate":

In western culture, things that move left to right seem natural (think of the direction you read words on a page), those that move right to left seem to be going the wrong way. These two visual techniques echo the themes of the film, Benjamin is going the wrong way, and getting nowhere in life.

[In passing, that review does not seem to mention the problem of traffic direction when Benjamin is going TO Berkeley on the Bay Bridge.]


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