Photometric and spectroscopic variability of late-type stars frequently has been interpreted as evidence of magnetic activity. The standard picture of stellar activity – inherited from solar observations – includes cool, dark “spots” in the photosphere and hot, dense regions in the chromosphere and coronae. The immediate cause of each of these phenomena is a closed topology of the local magnetic field. Because stars appear as mere points of light, these localized phenomena have not been directly resolvable on stars other than the Sun. Most observed effects are produced by an asymmetric distribution of starspots. If the distribution is symmetric, it would escape detection by most current techniques of light-curve and line-profile modeling. Even more troubling, the stellar properties measured with these techniques describe only a difference between contrasting hemispheres, not an absolute measure.