Thursday, November 01, 2007

GATTACA Coming....,

The word 'Gattaca' is composed of the initial letters of the four DNA nucleotides (adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine). The movie Gattaca depicts one of the endgame objectives of current neo-governance initiatives - sorting humans by the "quality" of their genome. But its just one of many such newfangled governance initiatives. In my opinion, possibly the most interesting and advanced front in the burgeoning Gattaca-ization of contemporary society is the fruit of the work of Paul Ekman and his predecessor John Gittinger. This is why I red lettered the paragraph referring to Ekman in my earlier article about consensus reality and learning via imitation.
When barely out of the womb, babies are already riveted on a major source of social cues. Newborns to four-month-olds would rather look at faces than at almost anything else. Rensselaer Polytechnic's Linnda Caporael points out what she calls "micro-coordination", in which a baby imitates its mother's facial expression, and the mother, in turn, imitates the baby's. Since psychologist Paul Ekman, as we'll see later in more detail, has demonstrated that the faces we make recast our moods, the baby is learning how to yoke its emotions to those of a social team. Emotions, as we've already seen, craft our vision of reality. There are other signs that babies synchronize their feelings to those of others around them at an astonishingly early age. Empathy - one of those things which bind us together intimately - comes to us early. Children less than a year old who see another child hurt show all the signs of undergoing the same pain.
The ability to manipulate and control genomic expression is flourishing in parallel with the ability to detect and read emotional expression. This business (and it is rapidly becoming precisely that) of reading the liminal cues which flash across the human face or in the scan of brain activity in an fMRI - is the natural and inevitable heir to John Gittinger's PAS.

The Personality Assessment System was the preferred method by which Central Intelligence sought to ascertain the liminal contents of one's character. Detailed and intimate relationship management is of course the sine qua non of good governance between rulers and those ruled and nowhere more crucial than in the sensitive and secret affairs of state delegated to the shadow world of covert operations - which is fundamentally about what - GOVERNANCE.
There is something disconcerting about the fact that we can map the human genome and land a robot on Mars, but we still can't say for sure whether someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Our inability to know when someone is deceiving us has enormous consequences in the fight against terrorism.

Anyway, check out the three part story carried this week on NPR about the recent evolution of the Gittinger-Ekman-Langleben system for ascertaining the hidden or liminal contents of your character.


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