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From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

Convert Woozy to Bollywood!
Topic by: woozy
Posted: December 4, 2005 - 2:48 PM PST
Last Reply: January 26, 2006 - 7:47 PM PST

page  <<  11  12  13      prev | next
author topic: Convert Woozy to Bollywood!
pooja
post #201  on December 28, 2005 - 12:57 AM PST  
> On December 27, 2005 - 11:47 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> You could? How? She has utterly no distinctive features!

You can't tell? How odd. I couldn't think who else that picture might be! I guess we're "opposites" here... I've always been really good at recognizing faces, even if I can't for the life of me remember the person or character's name.

> Her character on Will & Grace is named Karen.

Well there you go. I'm not operating in a total vacuum.

> But in that photo she's not wearing the makeup and hairstyle she does on the show. And in the photo she's wearing a sensible suit. So how on earth did you know it was her?

I didn't recognize "Karen" the character as much as "Megan Mullally" the actress. No one else looks like her. To me Kim Basinger, Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman look completely different! Right now I can't think of two actresses who look similar enough that I'd mix them up. Unless I mix up their names or something. OK, I have no idea which one is Mary-Kate and which one is Ashley but they're twins!

> Aw, you were going to lead me around. How sweet.

I'm just systematically following the directive of this thread. That's not particularly "sweet" is it?

> How much time do you think I'll have to devote to this experiment?

As much as you need to complete the "conversion" or just give up, whichever comes first.

> And what do you suppose will be the outcome.

That's not my problem...

> > Of course there's always Mother India
> >
> It's on my list. Is there singing in it?

It's actually quite a "pure" bollywood film... there're singing, dancing and melodrama.

Oh, my, look at the time... I was watching a new Bollywood music video compilation I got as a present. 50 songs from 20 different movies. I better hit the sack.
woozy
post #202  on December 28, 2005 - 11:37 AM PST  
> On December 28, 2005 - 12:57 AM PST pooja wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On December 27, 2005 - 11:47 PM PST woozy wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > You could? How? She has utterly no distinctive features!
>
> You can't tell? How odd.

I can't tell what? I'm actually not so much surprised that you can recognize her as I am perplexed as to *how* you did it as I for the life of me never would be able to.

I'm pretty sure I don't have prosopagnosia as I can recognize faces-- it just takes me four or five meetings to get them down. Characatures are of course easier to recognize than the people themselves and the people in person are much easier than still photos.

My question for you though, is after looking at that page of rocks would you be able to recognize matilda (the rose quartz) out of a photo of ten rocks (of similar size) of rose quartz without being able to refer to the page of rocks? I think I could.

I've never passed my mother on the street and not recognized her as one prosopagnosiac did but I did mistake a stranger in the library for my sister. (She was probably irratated that I kept sidling up to here and asking how she was doing. I finally stood beside her and said "I'm tired. Let's go home now" before she glared at me directly in the face and I realized it was someone else.) And I have bumped into my older sister, my brother, and a woman I was dating, without recognizing them. And I've frequently run across people I know in public and recognized them. So in that sense I don't seem to be prosopagnosiac.

But times I've not recognized people when I meet them later are for more common and indicate I might be. Plus the degree to which I know the person (celebrities I don't know very well) and the distinctiveness of features play in my ability to recognize (and its fading over time) indicate I might.

On the third hand I seem to be pretty adapt at recognizing, my rock, or my pet, or my pile of laundary, my newspaper, from others in a way most people aren't. So if my ability to recognize rocks, newspapers, pets, and faces are all on the same level maybe I'm a highly perceptive prosopagnosiac.

> I couldn't think who else that picture might be!

What if she were a total stranger?

> I didn't recognize "Karen" the character as much as "Megan Mullally" the actress. No one else looks like her.

But *she* doesn't even look like her.

> To me Kim Basinger, Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman look completely different!

I can't remember what Kim Bassinger looks like (although I think she is bustier than the others and has thicker curlier hair while the others is straighter.) I know what Uma and Gwenyth look like. If you showed me a photo of Gwenyth and said who is she and but implied she was a friend or coworker I'd be perplexed. If you showed me the photo and said it was an actress I wouldn't be able to say with any certainty and depending on the photos angle I may or may not be reminded of Gwenyth. If you showed me three photos and asked me to pick out Gwenyth Paltrow I could.

>Right now I can't think of two actresses who look similar enough that I'd mix them up.

I just don't know them well enough to distinguish them. It's more like the first time I see Sarah Michelle Geller acting I don't notice anything. She's short and blonde and nothing sticks out. Then the first time I see Reese Witherspoon act she's also short and blonde. Then the second time I see SMG act I don't remember anything distinctive. So you refer to the first SMG flick and point out it was the same but not Reese Witherspoon and I say "Hmm, that so..." then we see Alicia Silverstone act and *she's* short and blonde and I say "That's not Sarah Michelle Geller, is it" and you say no and I say "I didn't think so but I'm not good with faces" and you say "it wasn't Reese Witherspoon either" and I say "Well, I can't really remember Reese Witherspoon" then we see SMG for the third time and I say "Hey, that's SMG isn't it?" and you say "Yeah, that's good you're getting it." Then we see Reese Witherspoon again and I say "Definately not Sarah Michell Geller" and you say no Reese Witherspoon and then we see Alicia Silverstone and I ask "Which one is this" and you tell me "Alicia Silvertone" and I say "Okay, she's got the baby-fat chubby face, right" and you say "right" and I become a buffy fan and can recognize SMG instantly (although video clips and voice clips are 100s of times easier than still photos) and Alicia Silverstone ... usually but Reese Witherspoon only by ruling out others.

Unless I mix up their names or something. OK, I have no idea which one is Mary-Kate and which one is Ashley but they're twins!

>
> > Aw, you were going to lead me around. How sweet.
>
> I'm just systematically following the directive of this thread. That's not particularly "sweet" is it?
>
It's kind of sweet that you volunteer yourself for the role. If I made a thread "Buy Woozy nice clothes" would you take me shopping?


> As much as you need to complete the "conversion" or just give up, whichever comes first.
>
I thought I was converted for a moment almost. But then ...I watched the first have of KHNH on thurs. and laughed and was amused and was highly entertained. But couldn't finish till Sun. On sunday I was worried about lack of continuity and, I'm very sorry to have to admit this, seeing it a second time instead of being amused and reminded of everything that I thought was clever and delightfully done I was ... rather painfully aware of the cheesiness. So my conversion is not going as well as I had thought. Perhaps I shouldn't have told you that... but... well, honesty and all that... (I was able to get over it and enjoy the second half though...)

> > And what do you suppose will be the outcome.
>
> That's not my problem...
>
No, what if I become your disciple and follow you around. What if I beg you to come out here so we can do pub trivia together (your ability to recognize faces and my ability to remember detail once you tell me what I'm looking at will help on the photo round which I always suck at ... The only two photos I did that I'm proud of is one was a photo of a mustached man cut out and imposed on a book cover of "The adventures of B'rer Rabbit" so I guessed "Chandler Harris" and was the only one in the pub who got it and one whom I had no idea and my partner said "From the sixties... a politician... Who was Lyndon Johnson's or Richard Nixon's vice-president" and I then realized it was a photo of Robert McNamara... other wise I usually take wild stabs and guess the photo of Presilla Presley is Clarrissa Flockhart or the photo of Jennifer Lopez is Angelina Jolie...)

> > > Of course there's always Mother India
> > >
> > It's on my list. Is there singing in it?
>
> It's actually quite a "pure" bollywood film... there're singing, dancing and melodrama.
>
Ah, okay.

> Oh, my, look at the time... I was watching a new Bollywood music video compilation I got as a present. 50 songs from 20 different movies. I better hit the sack.
> ---------------------------------

Last night I hit the sack and it hit back. Weird bad dreams.

Cool present!

woozy
post #203  on December 28, 2005 - 12:05 PM PST  
Okay, How about her. I go to IMDB and on the side they have her photo in a sidebar labeled 25 top stars of 2005 and I utterly have no idea who she is. No it's possible I don't watch many of the tabloid buzz so if she's in teeny-bopper flicks or some reality tv show I haven't been paying attention but maybe I do know her. Let's find out.

... few minutes later...

Oh. Jessica Alba... #6 I haven't really been following her so I actually don't know her. But...

on this page for the photo of Keanu Reeves I'd say... "some actor... Maybe Tom Cruise", for the photo of Tom Hanks I'd say "Tom Hanks, that's his photo from the Green Mile" Kirsten Dunst I'd get but I'd probably wonder if it wasn't that cool chick on "six feet under" Eva Longaria, I've never heard of so I'd take a wild stab and guess Christina Aguilar. Robert DeNiro I'd say on the tip of my toungue on the tip of my toungue .... no, don't know. Vin Diesel ... no idea, some pro wrestler, not Lex Luther on Smallville, is it? No don't think so. Jon Heder, the guy from Napolene Bonapart but I don't know his name. Daniel Radcliffe I'd get. Rachel McAdams-- Cameron Diaz? Nicole Kidman-- Reese Witherspoon?. Emma Watson-- no idea. Christian Bale-- no idea, Justin Bateman? Scarlett Johansson-- the redhead from that 70s show, I don't know her name. 12 Jennifer Aniston-- Jenifer Anniston? Orlando Bloom --- Cory Savage? Hilary Duff-- Kirsten Dunst. Natalie Portman-- could be anyone, could be Carole Bouquet, could be J. Binoche. Kiera Knightly-- ditto but no Binoche. Tom Cruise-- Tom Cruise? Paris Hilton-- Alicia Silverstone? Lindsay Lohan-- drawing a blank. Brad Pitt-- Brad Pitt? Angelina Jolie-- Julia Roberts. Johnny Depp-- no clue.

So, verdict. Prosopagnosia?
pooja
post #204  on December 28, 2005 - 4:52 PM PST  
> On December 28, 2005 - 12:05 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> So, verdict. Prosopagnosia?

Hmm... slogging through the above I'm beginning to think it's just basic inattention and cluelessness. People with prosopagnosia seem to have a wiring or chemical problem in the part of the brain that is hard-wired to recognize facial features. They could try really hard to see the facial features that regular people use to identify people they know and they'll never be able to do it, just like we could never hear the sounds that bats use to navigate even if we worked at it every day. People with prosopagnosia have to rely on other clues.

In your case it sounds like if you applied yourself you probably COULD learn to recognize these people's faces, but it's just not so important to you... I mean, if I really applied myself I could probably learn to remember people's names too, but it's just not something I'm obsessed about. I suppose it's a handy skill, and if my life or livelihood depended on it (if I was in some kind of lobbying or public interface profession, for instance) I would probably learn it.

As far as Megan Mullally and Jessica Alba, there are basic facial features (where the eyes and nose and mouth are on the face, how closely they're spaced, relative sizes and stuff like that) that are definitely recognizable.

There are other clues as well.

The fact that the picture is at imdb indicates that they are a media celebrity of some sort. (BTW, it would help if you change the "ia" in your URLs to "www"...)

It's pretty easy to see the person's age... I first assume this is what the person looks like now unless it's a B&W photo or if the quality of the photo suggests a certain style or technology that dates the photo.

Clothes are a big clue if the photo is a candid... it indicates when and where the photo was taken. Looking at the picture of Jessica Alba, I can see that it's not a picture of Shari Belafonte from when she was young. Alba is wearing modern clothes. If Shari Belafonte was wearing the same clothes she would look older. Makeup and hairstyles also indicate the currency of the photo. Alba's hairstyle and coloring is fairly recent.

It really helps if you have an idea of how people look in and out of makeup. Then even if you've seen "Karen" on TV you can extrapolate how Megan Mullally would look with no makeup or regular non-TV/movie makeup.

The ultimate trick is to learn to use features that remain after eliminating the big variables. Hair color, length, and straightness could be misleading because it's so easy to change from role to role or even in real life. Even eye-color is deceptive because of contacts and the fact that photos often don't show "true" colors that subtle.

Look at cheekbones, nose, ear shape, chin and jawline (the biggest clue for Reese Wetherspoon... she has a very distinct jawline/chin). How close together are the eyes? How do the eyebrows relate to the eyes and the rest of the face? What does the space between the nose and mouth look like? Lip shape is a big feature... her lips and eyes make Angelina Jolie almost instantly recognizable. Foreheads are also a big feature... people have very distinctive foreheads, framed as it is between the eyebrows and hairline.

Of course regular people normally don't have to consciously consider these things... my brain is hardwired to notice and store these features in memory. So I'm not sure if these points would be helpful for you...

If someone is not prosopagnosic it's hard for me to imagine how he could NOT take advantage of all these distinctive features to identify a face in a photo...

Getting back to KHNH, I watched it twice in a row once and I don't remember being bothered by anything in it. Believe me, there are plenty of cheesier Bollywood films! I found it to be generally pleasant, well produced and funny, and I appreciated the excellent music and fun choreography.
IronS
post #205  on December 28, 2005 - 5:23 PM PST  
> On December 22, 2005 - 1:23 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> >So are you all finished with that Inyasha show?
> > ---------------------------------
>
> No, still slogging through. Watched disk 30 (eps. 88-90 last night. Have only about 7 more to go. Should be done by the end of jan.
>

But discs 38 and 39 are coming out in Feb. Bwahahahaha!!!
pooja
post #206  on December 28, 2005 - 6:04 PM PST  
Gee, I wonder if there's a part of the brain that just recognizes bellybuttons? That would be handy for Bollywood because there are a lot of bare midriffs.
woozy
post #207  on December 28, 2005 - 7:35 PM PST  
> Hmm... slogging through the above I'm beginning to think it's just basic inattention and cluelessness.

I'm not sure I like the implication.

> People with prosopagnosia seem to have a wiring or chemical problem in the part of the brain that is hard-wired to recognize facial features.

Actually, that is the exact oposite of what those prosopagnosia pages say. They say they can just as easily see that ShahRukh has a nose that is so and so many centimenters long and that the curve and angles of her mostly square face is such and such and as the woman with the rock demonstrated she can tell the rocks apart with the same ability to tell faces apart. It's just that recognizing distinct measurements in faces can not explain the ease in which you can recognize faces as opposed to the difficulty in recognizing rocks. Hence non-prosopagnosia have some part of the brain that seems hard wired aquire faces.

Now I know the faces of people I know well pretty intimately but I also know the rocks in my garden pretty intimately too.

I'm not seeing what I could be inattenttive to in being given this image of Gwyneth Paltrow to observe. I see a young blonde woman with flaxen hair and a heart shaped face her nose is long but upturned. Her eyebrows somewhat arched good cheekbones, graceful neck.

Now I look at this photo. This photo is pretty poor but from what I can see nothing is out of the norm that it can't be the same woman. I suppose he mouth may be a milimeter higher or lower but I just don't have any measuring device to verify within any margin of error.

Then there's this photo this photo. Off hand I'd say this person is a second person and the two above are the same. This person's neck is longer and skin is rougher. The cheeckbones in all three are good but the bridge of this ones nose is flatter. Her eyebrows are lower, weeker, and less arched.

Now, if I'm being lazy and inattentive what am I being lazy and inattentive to?

I agree that I'm probably not prosopagnosiac but I think the ability to make the connection is variable.

> As far as Megan Mullally and Jessica Alba, there are basic facial features (where the eyes and nose and mouth are on the face, how closely they're spaced, relative sizes and stuff like that) that are definitely recognizable.
>
But how long did you have to hang out and watch them before you started recognizing them. I usually can recognize people but not until I've spent at least 10 hours watching them over a period of at least four weeks. Sometimes I'm lucky and they'll have a really distinctive feature or strong features no-one else has (Name *one* feature Megan Mullally or Jessica Alba have that no-one else does) so I can use that to recognize them in context for the weeks it'll take for me to learn to recognize them.

> Look at cheekbones, nose, ear shape, chin and jawline (the biggest clue for Reese Wetherspoon... she has a very distinct jawline/chin). How close together are the eyes? How do the eyebrows relate to the eyes and the rest of the face? What does the space between the nose and mouth look like? Lip shape is a big feature... her lips and eyes make Angelina Jolie almost instantly recognizable. Foreheads are also a big feature... people have very distinctive foreheads, framed as it is between the eyebrows and hairline.
>
I think non-propagnosiacs can distinguish all these traces with micron variations and combinations in one spot of memory whereas a propagnosiac can remember Angelina Jolie as five centimeter wide lips and gweneth paltrow and nicole kidman have three and but gweneth's upturn nose is slightly less than nicoles and gweneths face from nose to forehead is a half inch more than nicole takes up a huge honkin space.

I think I'm not propagnosiacs in that I can form the face as a "whole" but... it takes me weeks to do so. Still photos and glimpses out of the corner of my eye and short encounters aren't enough to have certainty in my recall, and looking a little like (that photo of Megan Mullally reminds me a bit of Demi More, the prosecuting attorney on Law and Order, an editor at UC press, and a woman I dated in my freshman year of college) can trigger an "is that", and people I recognize now will overwrite the people I used to recognize that I will not recognize them later if I've made space to recognize someone else that looks like them instead.


> If someone is not prosopagnosic it's hard for me to imagine how he could NOT take advantage of all these distinctive features to identify a face in a photo...
>
They *do* but they aren't enough. I've never confused Gwyneth Paltrow with Whoopi Goldberg. But what are the distinguishing features Gwyneth and Nicole have against each other. The both are fair skinned blondes with long necks and upturned noses and delicate features and thin lips. What else is there to notice? Nicole's hair is redder and she is shorter but that's hard to tell unless they are in the same photo together.

woozy
post #208  on December 28, 2005 - 7:45 PM PST  
Okay, so Lagaan and Dil Se are next. Not sure when I'll get to them. Probably an hour of Lagaan tonight after stargate and The wire. Um, lost is a rerun, right?
woozy
post #209  on December 28, 2005 - 7:51 PM PST  
> But discs 38 and 39 are coming out in Feb. Bwahahahaha!!!
> ---------------------------------


I think my only promise was to watch "all" the inu yasha disks that were out at the time... and I have!!!!!!
woozy
post #210  on December 28, 2005 - 9:48 PM PST  
Okay, watched Lagaan up until intermission. So lets talk about Krishna and Radha. Their dance and song number was my favorite part of Devdas. So the English Elizabeth (has anyone name Elizabeth ever *not* been cool?) asked if they were married and was told, no, they were married to others but Indians keep their love in their hearts as as an ideal love. Now would a victorian no matter how open minded understand such a sentiment. Maybe I don't understand such a sentiment. Enlighten me to pujas, pooja.
pooja
post #211  on December 28, 2005 - 9:58 PM PST  
> On December 28, 2005 - 7:35 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Actually, that is the exact oposite of what those prosopagnosia pages say. They say they can just as easily see that ShahRukh has a nose that is so and so many centimenters long and that the curve and angles of her mostly square face is such and such and as the woman with the rock demonstrated she can tell the rocks apart with the same ability to tell faces apart.

Yes, obviously these people can see perfectly well. They are not partially blind. They can see all the details and even measure them. But the perception of "face" is not there, at least not in the way that regular people perceive "face". We can understand the concept of flying by sonar the way bats do, and with special instruments we can even "hear" the sounds they make. But we could never experience navigating through 3 dimensional space in total darkness just by hearing reflected sound. A person with prosopagnosia can see all the same elements of a face that we can, but they lack the ability to make sense of it the same way we do.

> I also know the rocks in my garden pretty intimately too.

I'm not sure I like the implication.

> Now I look at this photo. This photo is pretty poor but from what I can see nothing is out of the norm that it can't be the same woman. I suppose he mouth may be a milimeter higher or lower but I just don't have any measuring device to verify within any margin of error.

It would be hard for two young blonde movie stars to look MORE different than Gwyneth and Reese. It's very difficult to imagine not being able to tell them apart. Now I would understand if you said sometimes Naomi Watts looked "just like" Christina Applegate. Of course if you look carefully they look completely different, but from certain angles they are remarkably similar.

> Now, if I'm being lazy and inattentive what am I being lazy and inattentive to?

Hmmm... if you look that carefully and they still look like the same person to you, maybe you are prosopagnostic. Because you are recognizing that their features are very dissimilar when measured, right? That the details are different? That's like saying "I recognize that the forefinger on my right hand is not similar to the pinky on my left hand. I've measured them just to be sure they're different sizes. And yet to me they look identical." If you're saying that about Reese and Gwyneth perhaps you are prosopagnostic.

> But how long did you have to hang out and watch them before you started recognizing them. I usually can recognize people but not until I've spent at least 10 hours watching them over a period of at least four weeks.

Oh, 5 minutes or so. Maybe even less. As long as the person is not an "extra" or in "the background"... it would take me a lot longer to learn and remember the person's name. But their appearance is usually no problem.

> (Name *one* feature Megan Mullally or Jessica Alba have that no-one else does)

Um... one has "Megan Mullally's face" and the other has "Jessica Alba's face"... really it's as simple as that. That's what hard-wiring means. There's no effort or consciousness involved in the process, or at least very little.

> But what are the distinguishing features Gwyneth and Nicole have against each other. The both are fair skinned blondes with long necks and upturned noses and delicate features and thin lips. What else is there to notice?

That they're two completely different people who are not identical twins? Really Gwyneth and Nicole are even MORE different looking than Gwyneth and Reese! I guess you are somewhat bad at this...
pooja
post #212  on December 28, 2005 - 10:29 PM PST  
> On December 28, 2005 - 9:48 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> they were married to others but Indians keep their love in their hearts as as an ideal love. Now would a victorian no matter how open minded understand such a sentiment. Maybe I don't understand such a sentiment.

Here's a pretty good description of their relationship. My interpretation is that it's an acknowledgment of duality and imperfection in the mortal world. One recognizes that there is such a thing as perfect devotion and love. However, in reality this might conflict with other societal values, such as family duty and honor. Bollywood parents often are shown struggling with these dualities. Should they allow their son to marry the girl he loves most, or should they force him to put family duties first? Both are equally valuable so there can be no "right" answer. Should we invade Iraq or allow Saddam to stay in power? Maybe there is no "right" answer but Americans often need to be convinced one way or the other. So we do everything we can to demonize Saddam who was a good "friend" of the USA just a couple of decades ago. We have to convince ourselves that he's no better than Hitler.

By celebrating the "illicit" and yet "pure" love between Krishna and Radha we recognize that sometimes life is an imperfect situation where we have to make compromises work as well as possible. We can see that Krishna and Radha are perfect for each other, and yet still sympathize with Radha's husband and parents. Maybe the best we can hope for is that things will work out better "in the next life" and in this lifetime we have to deal with whatever conflicts there are to the best of our abilities. Maybe this life will be crap but karma will help work things out in the long run.

Nowadays, though, the Bollywood plots tend to work out in favor of the true lovers for the most part. Devdas and KHNH are more the exception than the rule.
woozy
post #213  on December 28, 2005 - 11:07 PM PST  
> Yes, obviously these people can see perfectly well. They are not partially blind. They can see all the details and even measure them. But the perception of "face" is not there, at least not in the way that regular people perceive "face".

I'm not sure how regular people percieve "face". I usually see a face a whole bunch of times and eventually it and all aspects become familiar to me. Takes a long time.

>We can understand the concept of flying by sonar the way bats do, and with special instruments we can even "hear" the sounds they make. But we could never experience navigating through 3 dimensional space in total darkness just by hearing reflected sound.

Sure we can if you have the deviouses and practice a lot.

> A person with prosopagnosia can see all the same elements of a face that we can, but they lack the ability to make sense of it the same way we do.
>

What sense do we make of it. I don't see wear the magic happens.

> > I also know the rocks in my garden pretty intimately too.
>
> I'm not sure I like the implication.
>

My implication is only that I can learn to recognize rocks to pretty much the same extent I can learn to recognize faces.

> It would be hard for two young blonde movie stars to look MORE different than Gwyneth and Reese.

Um, but that isn't Reesewitherspoon. It's Nicole Kidman.

> > Now, if I'm being lazy and inattentive what am I being lazy and inattentive to?
>
> Hmmm... if you look that carefully and they still look like the same person to you, maybe you are prosopagnostic. Because you are recognizing that their features are very dissimilar when measured, right? That the details are different?

Not that I can tell be the photographs. There's no detail in the Nicole Kidman picture that is different within an reasonable margin of error than the Gwyneth Paltrow photo. The second Gwyneth Paltrow photo has different measures than the first and I'd probably think they were different people. Of course if I could measure *all* at once I'd maybe assume it is more likely that the measurements are all slightly different and be the same person than that they'd *all* be so close together and not be the same person. I think in real life as I learn to know Gwyneth intimately it'll be things like the gap in her teeth that tell them apart.


>If you're saying that about Reese and Gwyneth perhaps you are prosopagnostic.
>
I'm saying that about the three photos of Gwyneth and Nicole.


> > (Name *one* feature Megan Mullally or Jessica Alba have that no-one else does)
>
Well, can you describe those in words that someone else will be able to pick them out of a line up?

> Um... one has "Megan Mullally's face" and the other has "Jessica Alba's face"... really it's as simple as that.

That sounds like magic hocus pocus to me.

> That they're two completely different people who are not identical twins? Really Gwyneth and Nicole are even MORE different looking than Gwyneth and Reese! I guess you are somewhat bad at this...
> ---------------------------------


Well, you are the one who thought Nicole Kidman was Reese Witherspoon.
woozy
post #214  on December 28, 2005 - 11:14 PM PST  
> Here's a pretty good description of their relationship. My interpretation is that it's an acknowledgment of duality and imperfection in the mortal world. One recognizes that there is such a thing as perfect devotion and love. However, in reality this might conflict with other societal values, such as family duty and honor...

> By celebrating the "illicit" and yet "pure" love between Krishna and Radha we recognize that sometimes ...

Yes, I like this interpretation and is, more or less, the interpretation I came with. Yet nothing could be further from the beliefs of Victorian England, probably one of the, if not the, repressed periods of human history. That she appreciates it so readily, along with the speed in which she picked up rudimentary but extensive Hindi so quickly, is just one of those things I'll have to take with a grain of salt.

woozy
post #215  on December 28, 2005 - 11:42 PM PST  
I am very curious about propagnosia because I've always been rather puzzled with the ease most people have in recognizing people. I don't think I have it because I *do* recognize people but all those discriptions of problems propagnosiacs have and what the do to recognize people they don't know well enough to recognize on their own are very similar to what I do.

I am curious how we "hardwire faces" I guess for me its similar to addictive habits. After a few days I associate sitting at my work desk with playing online card games that I can't really concieve of not doing it even if I utterly don't want to play online card games. Similarly after a while I notice that I'm looking at the folds around my friends eyes and the gap in his teeth to have a hardwired association but it takes a long time to develope this (longer than it'll take me to get addicted to a tv show or settle into a new apartment) and I only have this for a hundred or so faces at a time. Also it's based on *lots* of details that may not get captured in photos. So if I know someone well enough to remember someone I can usually recognize them in a photo but not of people I don't know well enough. Likewise, when I try to remember what someone I don't know well enough to recognize I usually remember them as looking like someone else whom I do know well enough to recognize. So when i remember my friend from college twenty years ago I remember him as looking like someone I know now who is the seem height and hair color instead. And I can *never* recognize anyone from a photo first.

I once had a job as a security guard and there was a folder of black and white xeroxes of work ids and we were supposed to learn to recognize folks from the photos because the higher-ups got very pissy when pissant security guards asked them for ids. I couldn't for the life of me understand why they'd be pissy about this, but more I couldn't understand how they could even consider that (memorizing xerox photos and then recognizing the people later) to be a humanly possible task. To my mind they might have told me the password would be any one of the prime number words of the poem jabberwocky and assume that because I know the poem I'd be able to instantly tell if a word was in a prime number position in that poem. "'Toves' password or not? What do you need time to think for, toves is the sixth word and six is not prime so 'toves' is not a password. What's so hard about that?" I think this security job was the first time I realized that not only was I bad at recognizing faces but that I was *really* bad at recognizing faces.
pooja
post #216  on December 29, 2005 - 7:35 AM PST  
Oh yeah, sorry. You had mentioned Reese before and that's a particularly "Reese" face Nicole is making (also a very Elizabeth Montgomery face). If I was casting Bewitched I'd cast Reese rather than Nicole for Samantha, I think. People can be tricked with things like hair and makeup and "acting" which these people do for a living, woozy.

Maybe it would be more interesting if you did google image searches for an actress and compared different pictures for the same person. If you can see the things that ALL those photos share, that would be the "Gwyneth" or "Nicole" quality of that face, I should think. Depending on things like hairstyle and makeup and facial expression, if you had a hundred pictures of Reese then in some of them she might look more "Nicole" while looking more "Gwyneth" in others. But there should be a basic "Reese"ness that all the photos share (after all, they're all pictures of Reese).

When I say hardwired, I mean the brain is structured that way before birth. You can't "hardwire" a brain after the fact, although you can damage it (how some people become prosopagnostic after a stroke or something). Through practice and constant use you can increase the number of neurons and connections between them associated with one memory or task, but you can't change the basic way the brain is structured.

Kids' brains are more "plastic" than adult brains and there's some possibility with "re-wiring" there. But, say, if a section of the visual cortex is damaged or lost, you can't usually "train" another set of neurons to take over those functions.

Regular human brains don't have to go through the logical, rational process of acquiring, analyzing, classifying and memorizing a face the way you describe, woozy. It's not something that can really be learned or taught. There are brain cells that evolved over millions of years that gives humans the ability to identify and remember faces, and it just happens, yes, like magic or hocus pocus. Gwyneth, Reese and Nicole DO look different, and our brains recognize this difference and organize them somehow. But it doesn't work like an image library with a coherent folder structure or something... There's no "blonde" section or "blue eyed" section with cross referencing. There's a "Nicole" and a "Gwyneth" and a "Reese" part of our brains that we created, but that seems to be the extent of it. You have to understand that human brains DO NOT work at all like a computer or a calculator. Brains and computers process information in fundamentally different ways. Logical systems for organizing information are human inventions that help us to impose some semblance of "order" on our chaotic world, but they are not actually systems that mirror the way human brains are structured. To a certain extent they mirror the way our thought processes SEEM to work to us. But whole big chunks of actual human brain function have been left out completely, like empathy, feelings, intuition, faith, hope, imagination, and creativity. We can make computers that can draw or play chess, but THOSE are actually more "sleight of hand" than actual re-creations of how the human mind really works.

If that just sounds magical to you, maybe you do have prosopagnosia of some sort, or maybe another type of brain deficit. But I'm not a physician or a neurologist and I can't diagnose or assist you with the problem on this thread. If you have a psychologist or psychiatrist you might want to talk to him and maybe get a reference to a neurologist or something if you want to pursue the matter further. A sighted person can't explain to a congenitally blind person EXACTLY what the experience of vision is like, and certainly could not teach that congenitally blind person how to see. The sighted person can teach the blind person how to get around in the world without seeing, and I think a regular person could help a prosopagnostic person how to get by in life without the ability to "identify faces" by teaching how to rely on other clues and cues (the way a blind person uses his hands or a cane). But we can't "teach" a prosopagnostic person to see and remember faces instantly like a regular person. Perhaps some kind of doctor or specialist can help, but there's no "cure"...

Meanwhile, I'll be happy to discuss Bollywood films with you. But please don't make it into a rant about how we "all look the same" to you.
;-)
woozy
post #217  on December 29, 2005 - 9:53 AM PST  
> Meanwhile, I'll be happy to discuss Bollywood films with you. But please don't make it into a rant about how we "all look the same" to you.
> ;-)
> ---------------------------------

I said it elsewhere, *you* don't all look the same to me; *everybody* looks the same to me.

Brains are fascinating. In describing my process I'm not saying I consciously do those things. I recognize faces but it's usually something I have to wake up to in a matter of weeks. The fact that I'll recognize someone later is not something I take for granted.

If you were given a folder of xeroxed work ids and expected to recognize the people later, would you consider that a reasonable request? I'm curious.

I'm also curious as to how folks do on identifying the imdbs to 25 photos. To be fair to me though, I have to admit I've never heard of Jessica Albee before. (And as for Hilary Duff, I've heard of her and seen her on movie posters and know she is a blonde "teenager" but have never seen her movies, videos, or tv appearances.

Bollywood, bollywood, bollywood... I like Lagaan so far. I have no qualms with the British being bullying thugs. They *were* in my experience and understanding bullying thugs. Am a bit ... amused ... as to how sympathetic to the villagers the rajaji is (and vice versa) which is not my experience between classes. Not that upper classes are mean or cruel but simply that class differences tend to have different outlooks and assumtions that weakens empathy. What, in your experience and understanding, were the feelings of the raj to the occupying british, and the feelings of the lower classes to the upper indian classes to each other.

Ah, another question. The brit Andrew pressured Bhouvan into taking the wager. Many, at first most, of the villagers were upset with Bhouvan for accepting the wager. After the wager was accepted they were opposed to Bhouvan and refused to join him to play and slowly they came around. Now, my question. As the wager was made and there was no backing out, refusing to join and stating opposition will result in paying triple Lagaan, what is to be gained by opposing Bhouvan? Is this, do you think, a matter of doing what is right despite the consequences?

pooja
post #218  on December 29, 2005 - 11:07 AM PST  
> On December 29, 2005 - 9:53 AM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> If you were given a folder of xeroxed work ids and expected to recognize the people later, would you consider that a reasonable request? I'm curious.

What kind of question is that? I guess it would depend on how many work ids are in the folder... if there are 5 or so yes, if there are 15000, no. The police expect you to be able to pick out a suspect from a line-up or a book of headshots. Is that reasonable? Usually people who introduce themselves to you and shake your hand expect you to remember what they look like. Is that reasonable? Film makers introduce characters in the course of the movie and expect you to be able to identify them in later scenes. Is that reasonable?

I suppose in answer to your question, I would say that if a person handed me a folder of photos with the expectation that I would look at them and remember what the people in the photos look like, the situation presupposes that being able to do so is "reasonable" unless you know that the person who gave you the folder is crazy or stupid or defective in some way. So what's the point?

> I have to admit I've never heard of Jessica Albee before.

Gee, woozy, regular people aren't expected to recognize people they've never seen before either...

> What, in your experience and understanding, were the feelings of the raj to the occupying british, and the feelings of the lower classes to the upper indian classes to each other.

In common usage, woozy, The RAJ refers to the British. So probably the English felt sympathetic to themselves...

As for the various princes and nobles who ruled over localities, their sympathies probably varied according to their personal morals and sense of practicality. Probably their relationship with the British were mostly self-servingly cordial, but hostile if it suited them to be so. If you're interested there's probably lots of information on the web about life under the Raj, but I'm not going to teach history here, unless it's Bollywood history.

> what is to be gained by opposing Bhouvan?

Well it certainly serves the story if the villagers are reluctant to go up against "the man" at the beginning and gradually come to support the anti-Establishment Bhuvan. If everyone fell in line right away, how could we have a 224 minute movie? You have to understand that characters in a story are there to service the plot. I guess in terms of the story, opposing Bhuvan would preserve the hope that the Brits would magnanimously retract the wager. Or perhaps they thought they would be able to avoid further punishment by siding against Bhuvan.

> Is this, do you think, a matter of doing what is right despite the consequences?

Gandhi led the Salt March to Dandi to protest the British tax. Lagaan is a variation on that story, I think... except the peaceful resolution is achieved by a sports contest rather than a non-violent march. Gandhi wagered the future of his country that the Brits would be unable to stop him from walking to the beach, against all odds.
woozy
post #219  on December 29, 2005 - 12:05 PM PST  
> What kind of question is that? I guess it would depend on how many work ids are in the folder... if there are 5 or so yes,

There were about six. I thought it was an impossible task. I could not do it. I wouldn't have realized other people could.

>The police expect you to be able to pick out a suspect from a line-up or a book of headshots. Is that reasonable?

I always saw that in tv shows and used to wonder why they thought it'd be reasonable to expect someone to identify someone they only saw once. I've always known that there'd be no way in hell I could do this. The rest of you. Do you assume anyone could do this. That you could do this occassionaly? Conditionally.

> Usually people who introduce themselves to you and shake your hand expect you to remember what they look like.

I know and I've always worried about embarrassing myself as I can not do this. Usually I hope they'll have one distinguishing feature and I'll use this to recognize them in the context that I met them and hope I can use this for the first five or six times I see them untill I can learn to recognize and hope and pray I never run into them out of context until then. I once did run into my aunt in the street and didn't recognize her. I've sinced learned in situations like this to shrug and say something about meeting someone out of context and they'll understand a little bit and assume I have a better idea who they are and that I was more lost in thought and not looking at them although they were.

> Film makers introduce characters in the course of the movie and expect you to be able to identify them in later scenes. Is that reasonable?
>
Well, It's a valid complaint when two characters look too much alike. Movie directors, much as book illustrators, tend to make characters look visually different. I usually at one point in every movie or tv show I watch at one point or another confuse one character for another. And in the case of that obscure object of desire was inable to recognize two actresses playing the same character were different actresses.


> I suppose in answer to your question, I would say that if a person handed me a folder of photos with the expectation that I would look at them and remember what the people in the photos look like, the situation presupposes that being able to do so is "reasonable" unless you know that the person who gave you the folder is crazy or stupid or defective in some way. So what's the point?
>
The point being I couldn't do my job. I was not supposed to let anyone in without having them show id. The first person to show up I asked to show his id to the camera and he said very angrily he was one of the managers and didn't need to show his id. So I let him in. I looked through the bad xerox photos of five white guys and two white women and found the name he said and it was a basic white guy with a thick neck but there are thousands of white guys with thick necks. I asked the next three folks for ids and they complied and I was able to compare and be somewhat convinced. (Seemed harder to imagine someone bothering to scam me.) Then I asked id of another guy and he said he was a manager and didn't need to show id and he'd get me fired if I didn't let him in right now. So after that I stopped asking for ids. Appearently I let someone in I shouldn't cause I got fired anyway.


> > I have to admit I've never heard of Jessica Albee before.
>
> Gee, woozy, regular people aren't expected to recognize people they've never seen before either...
>
Well, I didn't know if I had never seen her. That photo of Christina Applegate doesn't look like anyone in particular. I don't know if I've ever seen that woman before or if shes a "nobody" or if she's a computer generated composite. Of course, I know who Christina Applegate is.

> , but I'm not going to teach history here, unless it's Bollywood history.
>
I was asking in sense of Bollywood Indians in unity whether nobility or villager against Alien British as a movie technique. I tend to find empathy between classes to be almost more difficult to believe.
woozy
post #220  on December 29, 2005 - 5:38 PM PST  
> Nowadays, though, the Bollywood plots tend to work out in favor of the true lovers for the most part. Devdas and KHNH are more the exception than the rule.
>
> ---------------------------------

*sigh* I think Rohit deserves to be the true lover. And Anjeli in KKHH deserves to be the first love. Not fairs...

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