San Francisco’s Most Important Scientist

Lie-01I have been using Dr. Paul Ekman’s learn­ing mate­ri­als for 5 years now and have acheived a 90% recog­ni­tion rate. That is face read­ing for the novice.

Learn to read face. The micro-expressions. From the man who has been study­ing them for 40 years. An indus­try has arisen from his work.

Be aware of how the peo­ple you know really feel about you. It’s writ­ten on their faces.

He cre­ated an ‘atlas of emo­tions’ with more than 10,000 facial expres­sions. His research on iden­ti­fy­ing decep­tion and hid­den demeanor is used to train law enforce­ment and secu­rity per­son­nel around the world. He was even the inspi­ra­tion for a tele­vi­sion drama series. APS William James Fel­low Paul Ekman reflects on his sto­ried career in an inter­view for the Inside the Psychologist’s Stu­dio video series.

The inter­view, filmed before a live audi­ence last May at the 2014 APS Annual Con­ven­tion in San Fran­cisco, was con­ducted by APS Past Pres­i­dent Robert Levenson.”

via Inside the Psychologist’s Stu­dio: Paul Ekman — Asso­ci­a­tion for Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence.

The Most Important Article of the 21st Century (So far…)

B9316600246Z.1_20150313203231_000_G5LA7DMPK.1-0Bless this woman. She speaks sim­ple, pure wis­dom: Noth­ing will change until you bring the “vio­lent” crim­i­nals into the onorous carceral state equaation.

The entire Amer­i­can soci­ety will not become a human soci­ety until then. Until this is dealt with, as Ms. Gottschalk says, Amer­ica descends into total­i­tar­i­an­ism and atrocity.

Read it. And weep. Or not.

The intense focus in crim­i­nal jus­tice reform today on the non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual offend­ers — the so-called non, non, nons — is trou­bling. Many con­tend that we should lighten up on the sanc­tions for the non, non, nons so that we can throw the book at the really bad guys. But the fact is that we’ve been throw­ing the book at the really bad guys for a really long time.

Leg­is­la­tors are mak­ing trou­bling com­pro­mises in which they are decreas­ing penal­ties in one area — such as drug crimes — in order to increase them in another area — such as expand­ing the use of life sen­tences. In doing so, they’re also fos­ter­ing the mis­taken idea that it is easy to dis­tin­guish the non, non, nons from the really bad guys.”

via It’s Not Just the Drug War | Jacobin.

A Setback for American Justice

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Grassley-090507–18363– 0032

Why is Amer­ica chock full to the gills with revenge Puri­tans? I guess it’s what the “peo­ple” voted for. The old peo­ple. The young peo­ple. The Amer­i­can people.

Sen­a­tor Grass­ley is in charge of sen­tenc­ing reform, a long, long over­due reform that is stran­gling America.


He is one of those revenge freaks. And was elected as such.

This piece comes from the legal blog in the United States. It is detailed and bor­ing to read for a non-lawyer.

I rec­om­mend you read it sev­eral times.

We can­not change a thing by releas­ing a few “low-level” offend­ers. But, even doing that may be beyond Chuck Grassley’s feel­ble grasp.


I share the view that it is silly to speak of a ‘leniency indus­trial com­plex,’ and there are lots of other lin­guis­tic flour­ishes in Sen­a­tor Grassley’s floor speech that could be exten­sively picked apart for rhetor­i­cal excess and inac­cu­racy.  But, but the same mea­sure, I under­stand Sen­a­tor Grassley’s expressed con­cern with terms like ‘low-level’ and ‘non-violent’ (echo­ing points pre­vi­ously made here by Bill Otis) because use of these terms in sen­tenc­ing reform debates are ‘question-begging’ and do involve ‘sheer cloudy vague­ness.’  Though I may myself be some­times guilty of using or repeat­ing these terms, I think a term like ‘less seri­ous’ is a bet­ter term that ‘low-level’ (though still vague).  And what can and should qual­ify as vio­lent or non-violent crime has been such a prob­lem in fed­eral law that the US Sen­tenc­ing Com­mis­sion has given up try­ing to fix this mat­ter and the US Supreme Court might soon blow up a statute for its vague­ness in this arena.”

via Sen­tenc­ing Law and Pol­icy: Spar­ring over sen­tenc­ing reform lingo involv­ing the media and Sen­a­tor Grass­ley.

If you think being a “professional” makes your job safe, think again

Robert Reich, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC BerkeleyRobert Reich sees into the future. There is none. Unless we embrace redis­tri­b­u­tion. I know. Amer­i­cans are averse to that God Damn welfare.

But, guess what? Amer­ica? Change it. Or Lose it. Here’s why:

That vir­tu­ous cycle is now falling apart. A future of almost unlim­ited pro­duc­tion by a hand­ful, for con­sump­tion by who­ever can afford it, is a recipe for eco­nomic and social collapse.

Imag­ine a small box – let’s call it an “iEv­ery­thing” – capa­ble of pro­duc­ing every­thing you could pos­si­bly desire, a mod­ern day Aladdin’s lamp.

You sim­ply tell it what you want, and – presto – the object of your desire arrives at your feet.

The iEv­ery­thing also does what­ever you want. It gives you a mas­sage, fetches you your slip­pers, does your laun­dry and folds and irons it.

The iEv­ery­thing will be the best machine ever invented.

The only prob­lem is no one will be able to buy it. That’s because no one will have any means of earn­ing money, since the iEv­ery­thing will do it all.”

via Robert Reich (The “iEv­ery­thing” and the Redis­tri­b­u­tional…).

A Musician’s Musician

620-01b-bob-dylan-man-strong-opinions.imgcache.rev1422563250097.webThis long-form inter­view (in the old folks’ mouth­piece AARP) is a primer on record­ing, singing and play­ing music. But it is so much more. Just one seg­ment of the inter­view fol­lows. Any­one who is doing art, who is per­form­ing music, will be inspired. A man with a purpose.

Once you think you know the song, then you have go and see how other peo­ple have done it. One ver­sion led to another until we were start­ing to assim­i­late even Harry James’ arrange­ments. Or even Pérez Prado’s. My pedal steel player is a genius at that. He can play any­thing from hill­billy to bebop. There are only two gui­tars in there, and one is just play­ing the pulse. Stand-up bass is play­ing orches­trated mov­ing lines. It’s almost like folk music in a way. I mean, there are no drums in a Bill Mon­roe band. Hank Williams didn’t use them either. Some­times the beat takes the mys­tery out of the rhythm.”

via Bob Dylan Exclu­sive AARP The Mag­a­zine Inter­view (Long Form) — AARP.

A Tiny Bit of Justice

tascajpg-39db9c68998fd406This is a primer on what hap­pens when a human being who is also a police offi­cer attempts to be a human being. Other police offi­cers attempt to ostra­cize her (or worse). Now.….what does that make those other police offi­cers? Human beings? In what way are they human?

Put one on the score­board for the humans in this one par­tic­u­lar case.

A New Jer­sey police offi­cer who was fired after she pro­tected a sus­pect from being beaten by offi­cers has won her job back. Regina Tasca is the only female, and gay offi­cer on her force to this day and said she was con­tin­u­ously harassed by officers.”

via Offi­cer Fired for Stop­ping Beat­ing Gets Her Job Back | XRe­pub­lic.

The History of Eating

greasy-breakfastWant to be healthy? Want to lose weight? This essay cov­ers the his­tory of eat­ing over the last 5 cen­turies. A relaxed fit is the best course for the human mammal.

Instead of obsess­ing about meal size and fre­quency, Ochner rec­om­mends some­thing sim­pler: Don’t eat when it’s time for a meal; eat when you feel hun­gry. That, he says, is a lost art: In indus­tri­al­ized soci­eties, where food is abun­dant, we eat because of social cues ‘or just because some­thing smells good.’ If we can teach our­selves to pay atten­tion to our own bod­ies instead of our envi­ron­ment, he says, ‘that might be the best diet of all.’”

via Why You Should Stop Eat­ing Break­fast, Lunch, and Din­ner | Mother Jones.