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April 28, 2005

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I just KNEW you would eventually write some smart-aleck junk that the Karnak line, Edward_.

Interesting.

Now we need to explain why two people, mirroring the behavior of a third, can disagree about the behavior they are mirroring. Looks to me like in most cases, one of them has it wrong.

(E.g. the case you raise--my call is that he is smirking, too, and that this reflects badly on him. But many people see the Bush smirk--or the Reagan smirk--and find it a reflection of something good, wholesome, etc.)

I hate to tell you, but individual essays at mind-reading are still going to require all of the support and justification they always did previous to these discoveries.

I just KNEW you would eventually write some smart-aleck junk that the Karnak line, Edward_.

Well there is precedent to go on as well, DaveC. ;-)

I hate to tell you, but individual essays at mind-reading are still going to require all of the support and justification they always did previous to these discoveries.

As they should, for the very reason you highlight, but I'll secretly (and, yes, smugly) know I'm right from this point on, even if blogging rules prevent me from sharing why. ;-)

The thing is, Edward, mirror neurons don't ensure that you interpret other' emotions or thoughts correctly. They're just the neurological underpinnings of what wins us the Karnak award.

"but I'll secretly (and, yes, smugly) know I'm right from this point on, even if blogging rules prevent me from sharing why."

Oh, that's okay, Edward--even if you don't reveal it overtly, we'll be able to infer your reasons by using our mirror-neurons in their Edward-emulation mode.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but

If I recall correctly, Karnak never had any answers. He came up with questions, after the answers had already been provided.

As is the wont of many of the scribblers around here.

Excluding me, of course.

He came up with questions, after the answers had already been provided.

But before they were revealed.

Well, I shall treasure even more fondly the K(C)arnak award I received from Charles over at Tacitus back in the day.

Also, I reread the phobia open-thread and I want to add to my list of phobias: I'm afraid of reading phobia threads, and that commercial (there are several) in which the Burger King shows up at close-range unexpectedly and wordlessly stares at people completely creeps me out. I can't watch it. It's enough to make Hannibal Lechter a vegan.

That is all, cause my mirror neurons are firing and I can tell what you're thinking.

Dang. As usual, hilzoy beats me to the punch.

There's nothing new about this idea, just that they've now figured out where it comes from. Racers on the starting block tend to get pulled off the blocks when one false-alarms. It's not because they all happened to mis-start, it's because their bodies reacted reflexively to external cues. Similarly, you don't need someone to tell you they're angry; you don't even need to think about it. This is why communications experts will tell you (not that many people get this) that you're always communicating, whether you intend to or not.

yeah, my problem is that everytime my mirror-neurons fire, I think I'm surrounded by macaques.

But at least I can *understand* them.

No, the amazing Carnac came up with the answers. The questions were read after he'd determined the answers to the questions inside the sealed envelope.

"... you're always communicating, whether you intend to or not"

I've hardly made it through the apologies for my intended communications, and now this!

Just what in the hell did you mean by that, John?

8)

No, the amazing Carnac came up with the answers. The questions were read after he'd determined the answers to the questions inside the sealed envelope.

OK, so bookmark this as the one time I've been wrong.

Why, Slart, surely you must be able to guess from my body language.

Which, I think, last time I communicated with my body, is Sanskrit.

Many people don't understand President Bush because they don't listen to what he says. I recall a lot of people saying that Bush lied. He said the threat was imminent. when his actual words in the 2003 SOTU speech were:

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?

Similarly, many people cringed or shrugged and asked "what was that all about?" when they heard these words in the 2004 SOTU:

Athletics play such an important role in our society, but, unfortunately, some in professional sports are not setting much of an example. The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message -- that there are shortcuts to accomplishment, and that performance is more important than character. So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now.

But sure enough, action has been taken on steroids in baseball.

So to reiterate, if you want to know the direction this country is going, dont watch President Bush smirk. Listen to what he says.

First question, Mr. Gannon...

So to reiterate, if you want to know the direction this country is going, dont watch President Bush smirk. Listen to what he says.

With an opening that wide, who can resist?

  • "What I think the president ought to do [when gas prices spike] is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots...And the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price."
  • Apr 2004: "One of the interesting things people ask me, now that we're asking questions, is, can you ever win the war on terror? Of course, you can." Aug 2004: "I don't think you can win [the war on terror]." Aug 2004: "Make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win [the war on terror]."
  • "We're going to keep the promise of Social Security and keep the government from raiding the Social Security surplus." Also, " [F]or years, politicians in both parties have dipped into the Trust Fund to pay for more spending. And I will stop it..."
  • it goes on and on, but you must get the point.

    I recall a lot of people saying that Bush lied. He said the threat was imminent. when his actual words in the 2003 SOTU speech were:

    Bush said the threat was "grave", of "unique urgency", a "much graver threat than anybody could have possibly imagined", and "serious and growing", the Vice President described the threat as "mortal", his spokesman repeatedly affirmed that the threat as imminent, his communications director described the threat as imminent, the administration's National Security Strategy of the United States document used the term to describe threats from states such as Iraq, the Secretary of Defense described the threat as "immediate", the chairman of the Defense Policy Board described the threat as "imminent"....I could go on here.

    If you believe the above accurately described the true situation, you have been proven wrong. The more important issue is not whether some person in the administration used this word or that word to describe the alleged threat from Iraq, the more important issue is whether we can trust the President and his administration on matters of national security. We can not. They have lost that trust by deceiving the American people about the threat from Iraq (among other things). Word games will not change that fact.

    Vaughan, one of my co-bloggers at Mind Hacks has a piece here on mirror neurons (from Feb - it's always interesting to see the propagation rate of various pieces of research). There's also a section on mirror neurons in the Mind Hacks book (plug plug, neuroscience for geeks, full of diy online demonstrations). And there is a nice piece by Ramachandran here where he pontificates, as only he can, on how this is only the most important discovery to have ever been made in understanding our origins and nature (until the next sexy topic). It's very interesting, though.

    recall a lot of people saying that Bush lied. He said the threat was imminent. when his actual words in the 2003 SOTU speech were...

    And Brutus is an honorable man.

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