August 20th, 2002

the only earth?

an old link, unformed opinions, edited many times.

This link has probably been posted by everyone who read it, but I just got around to it this morning. So if anyone missed it the first time, here it is: can you read people's thoughts just by looking at them? I'd like to know if the training video is available to the public.

I think there must be interesting connections between facial communication and the lateness of the emergence of spoken language, but I can't imagine there being a single facial communication gene like FOX2. Is the ritual removal of facial hair related to the importance of nonverbal communication?

Thinking about different types of communication reminds me of this bit from Ben Marcus's story in McSweeney's:
"I have always tried to be polite about words - . . . - yet I find language plainly embarrassing. It is poor form, bad manners, that so much hope is pinned to such wrong sounds out of the mouth, to what is really only a sophisticated form of shouting and pain. It is not pleasant for me to hear 'foreign' languages either. All languages are clearly alien and untrue, and absent of so-called meaning it is repeatedly clear that language is a social form of barely controlled weeping, a more sophisticated way to cry. To speak is to grieve, and I would prefer not to listen to a weeping animal all day and every day, sobbing and desperate and lost."
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