JUN 29, 2014  

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face recognition & face trust

Iím a case of mild prosopagnosia (face blindness; "mild", thatís my assessment based on my own experience, I read about the severe cases). My ability to recognize faces is somewhat impaired, while other aspects of visual recognition and processing is normal (well, thatís also my assessment). Because face is an important identifying feature in social life, I can tell you stories about the difficulties to socialize normally with others. But the present writing is on another face recognition subject: the trust based on the features of human face. What it is about certain human faces that makes them look either trustworthy or fearsome?

Itís hard to resist the temptation to judge strangers by their faces. Iíve stumbled on the photo on the right while browsing the Google images for something else. Of course I didnít recognize the man, Iíve warned you about that in the first paragraph. I felt attracted to the man, I sensed I can trust that man. I would believe what he says, I would follow his advice.

My filings were somewhat shaken when I realized itís a photo of the notable contemporary theoretical physicist Leonard Susskind with whom I disagree on some basic principles - from where I stand, he is a prominent builder of the religious physics [140601]. Was I fooled by his smile? No, rollover for the other photo on which the man is even more trustworthy, even charismatic.

So, whatís the verdict? Yes, I would trust the man, I believe that he stands behind his words. I may not agree with his words, but I would certainly assign a high value to them.

 

Leonard Susskind

 

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