Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Inspiring" circle bait

A lot of the Google+ circle “requests” (since it is not a de dicto request) I get come from people whose postings are what I call “Luminous Fantasy Realism” (LFR) images. These are software enhanced photo-paintings that share a certain aesthetic, if not subject matter.

LFR images are somewhat limited in scope. They use a bright light sources or reflections thereof; lots of whites, yellows, and oranges and hardly any dark colors (except those necessary to depict edges); and subject matter of striking natural scenes, like forests with light coming through the trees, waterfalls, mountain vistas, etc. There are rarely animate individuals depicted, although more than one individual may appear as long as these animals (or people) function mainly as composition elements rather than the focus.

The subject must always remain The Awe. Or, more cynically punned: The Fawe.

Notably, the individuals who post these things usually 1) mainly post these images and almost never post informative articles; and 2) tend to have thousands of people who have circled them (i.e., chosen to follow the postings of these individuals.

I never circle these LFR posters simply because there are a lot of them and I don’t want my feed cluttered with a bunch of faux-inspiring images. But the more I have seen of them, the more suspicious I have become of the intent. I mean, who posts only such things? Who quests the infinities of the Internet and returns from the journey to offer us only this?

Whether or not they have an agenda, one thing is clear: a lot of people are buying into it. Again, thousands usually circle these people. It is as if the LFR crowd as discovered an exploit, a nearly perfect form of circle bait.