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SNS: The Technology of Identity: Face vs. Freedom

SNS: The Technology of Identity: Face vs. Freedom


In This Issue
Week of 04/02/2018
Vol. 23 Issue 12

The Technology of Identity: Face vs. Freedom

  • Brain/Face Evolution
  • The Power of Anonymity
  • The Power of Identification
  • The Two Sides of Technology
  • Selfies
  • Facial Recognition
  • Advertising and the Consumer Society
  • From Finger to Face
  • Security and Privacy

Quotes of the Week



“Certain tribes of indigenous Native Americans used to practice what they called “face reading.” They believed, perhaps correctly, that a person’s face revealed all manner of information about his or her life, character traits, soul.

Today, scientists such as UW professor emeritus of Psychology John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman, co-founders of the Gottman Institute, have made a career from looking carefully at faces, using advanced camera and video techniques. This has been so successful that the couple has been able to determine, with a 90%+ success rate, whether a couple will still be together in five years, just by watching on camera what are called micro-muscles in their faces, for half an hour. (Admittedly, it would take longer for others not as well-trained.)

The Central Intelligence Agency, always interested in getting the truth from subjects, appears to have figured out long ago that polygraph tests are imperfect, and in fact can be fooled by accomplished subjects. For that reason, the Agency has perfected techniques now taught to its agents, looking for micro-muscular, involuntary reactions in the faces of others, as the most accurate path for seeking out truth vs. deception.

These and other studies have shown that one can learn much more than just how to detect truth from lies, and it’s no surprise that study of subtle changes in the face transmit all manner of information about our intents, feelings, apprehensions, emotional states, and many other “tells” about our otherwise-secret thoughts….”

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