August 04, 2004

Can you read people’s thoughts by just looking at them? - This article is 2 years old, but I missed it the first time and it is fascinating. Malcolm Gladwell interviewed people who study facial expressions for meaning (and indexed about 3,000 of them) for a living. If you're interested in anthropolgy or psychology or sociology at all, this is a great--although long--read.
  • this is a great article! i remember reading it when it came out and being just fascinated: Ekman recalls the first time he saw Bill Clinton, during the 1992 Democratic primaries. "I was watching his facial expressions, and I said to my wife, 'This is Peck's Bad Boy,' " Ekman says. "This is a guy who wants to be caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and have us love him for it anyway..."
  • Thanks for this post. I didn't realise so many of my favourite New Yorker articles were written by the same person: Article archive.
  • Gladwell is also the person who wrote "The Tipping Point" which is an equally fascinating book about how trends develop and spread. <--- that was a completely inadequate description of a completely interesting book.
  • Can I read people's thought by looking at them? I can do better than that. I can read people's thoughts when they're sitting in their living-room on the other side of the world, posting to MoFi. Hey, don't get worried now, I only use my powers for good.
  • ... d'oh!!
  • Not to sound snarky, but doesn't an article about something so intensely visual need pictures? It would be neat to see some examples.
  • Great article. I found the first few chapters of the manual over here, and indeed some example pictures over here. Because I'm nice like that. Of course the pictures don't mean very much without having deciphered the manual first, but as I'm not about to do that I'll just have to settle for laughing at scientists trying to remain dignified while pulling some very silly faces.
  • I can't read people's thought just by look at them, but I have the uncanny ability to read the writing of English-speakers just by looking at it. In fact, I'm reading the things you have written RIGHT NOW!!!