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Via Marginal Revolution, here’s a story about a young lady who has always had a knack for remembering and recognizing faces.

As a child, Yenny Seo often surprised her mother by pointing out a stranger in the grocery store, remarking it was the same person they passed on the street a few weeks earlier. Likewise, when they watched a movie together, Seo would often recognise “extras” who’d appeared fleetingly in other films.

Some Australian scientists led by David White were studying people who get a knock on the head and lose the ability to recognize faces. Then they decided to look at the other other end of the scale and study “super recognizers” who can reliably pick out individuals they’ve seen only once from photos of crowds. Ms. Seo scored in the 99.9th percentile of the test the Australians made up.

You can take Dr. White’s test here.

I scored below average, barely better than random:

On the UNSW Face Memory Test you scored 20 out of 40.

The first test first shows you formal mug shot-style photos of, apparently, unsmiling college students in Australia, then shows you informal snapshots of smiling young people and asks you to pick out the ones you were shown before.

On the UNSW Face Sorting Test you scored 51 out of 80.

The second test shows you a picture and then asks which of the next four snapshots are of the original person. Note that the wrong answer pictures are not random but were picked because they look similar to the people in the right answers.

Your overall score on the UNSW Face Test was 59%.

For your information, based on the first 6300 participants on the UNSW Face Test:

Top 5% scored 72% and above

Top 10% scored 69% and above

Top 25% scored 65% and above

Top 50% scored 61% and above

In my defense, it’s a hard test. It appears to use photos of college students in Australia, with no older or younger people, and lots of Asians, who, I’m guessing, are harder to tell apart.

I look forward to op-eds by Asian girls about how their lives were ruined forever when some white person once got them confused with some other Asian girl.

It would be interesting to see how the latest facial recognition software does on this test.

I wonder which sex is better at facial recognition?

 
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  1. Mike Tre says:

    Marilu Henner (who was one of the hottest women ever in Hollywood) supposedly has hyperthymesia, a condition that allows her to recall memories from every single day of her life. I am a bit skeptical of the validity of that condition, but it was an excuse to put up a photo of this prime example of feminine beauty:

  2. My browser doesn’t like the consent form, but FWIW, the older I get, the more I see people who look like other people I’ve know throughout life. I’m pretty sure this is the result of just having seen pretty much the whole gamut of faces by now.

    What do you folks call it? Phenotype?

    Another curious thing only a weirdo like me would think about: Notice how we pretty much just use the face as the unique identifier of a person. Without the face or head, people would just be bodies of more or less the same size, some fatter, taller, whatever, but indistinguishable. We are heads on bodies that support the heads.

    Our identities are in our heads. Hmm… think about that in all it’s iterations for a moment…

  3. @Buzz Mohawk

    Yes, phenotypes. Just recently a professional hockey player who’s face is nearly indistinguishable from my own came to prominence and no young player who sees me in my helmet and visor fails to inform me of the similarity.

    And I went my whole life telling people “no one looks like me.” Ooops.

  4. My wife, who is East Asian, is really good at this. Last night, in the first frame, she picked out the guy who plays JD Salinger in the current Netflix biopic as the child actor boy in About A Boy. She does it effortlessly with white people so it doesn’t seem connected, at least not strongly, to identification of members of her own ethnic group. I want to try to get her to take the test, although she might not be interested. Obviously, I am wondering right now if East Asians are better at it than others. My interest was drawn to this article when I read it in the Guardian because I knew it was true. People have vastly different face recognition abilities.

    One interesting way of investigating this ability would be through literature. You could look at the varying ability or interest in writers identifying people by their faces and other relevant characteristics in novels.

  5. I didn’t even try, because I cognize in people something, the “essence”, but I usually don’t notice, even in relatively close ones physical changes or peculiarities.

  6. I’d bet the good politicians, that is, those good at BEING politicians would do very well on this test. That’s part of how they get far. People feel good when they are recognized by some semi (at the time)- big shot, who remembers the face and associates it with one little thing he made an effort to remember about you. “Hey, nice to see you again! Do you like your new house?”

    I’ve seen an example in person. I’d do very poorly on this test.

    (Dang, I had a great “The Office” scene in mind, as Michael Scott demonstrates how to memorize names to the Stanford branch. I can’t find it. Is it youtubers letting me down, or youtube itself trying to cancel all the PIC stuff?)

  7. @Tony Lawless

    The Maltese Falcon contains a two page description of Dashiell Hammett’s rather unique look in the person of Sam Spade. Of course, Bogart didn’t look at all like the blond 6’3″ rather diabolical looking Hammett/Spade.

    Heinlein never described his characters. If Hollywood wanted to buy one of his books and cast Sidney Greenstreet or Peter Lorre, either one was all right with him as long as the check cleared.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Excal
    , @Simon
  8. SafeNow says:

    no older or younger people, and lots of Asians, who, I’m guessing, are harder to tell apart

    Exactly, Steve. If I remember my psych correctly, part of “the narcissism of small differences” is that we are good at perceiving and remembering small differences when we observe people who look like us. Conversely, when people are different-looking from us, they all look the same. When John Smith says all black people look the same to him, he is called a racist, but it’s an unfair criticism.

  9. @Buzz Mohawk

    Without the face or head, people would just be bodies of more or less the same size, some fatter, taller, whatever, but indistinguishable. We are heads on bodies that support the heads.

    Covid masks are really causing me trouble. I am starting to notice voice more lately.

  10. @Aeronerauk

    LOL thanks. That’s actually pretty cool. Best of luck to you on the ice.

  11. Below average. The story of my life.

    I’ve always been bad with faces. Especially with women who change their hair style. I kind of expect the girl I knew 20 years ago to have a similar hair style today. At reunions and such, if their hairstyle was the same, I had no problem recognizing them. I would have a difficult time recognizing women, even women who I was quite friendly with, if they changed their hair style significantly. Once they started speaking it would sometimes make it easier recognize them. Like it was a trigger effect. But to be fair, many people would not recognize me. My appearance has changed quite a bit since high school/college. No long hair, bad acne, braces, I used to be rail thin (not anymore), etc.

  12. Coemgen says:
    @Tony Lawless

    My “east asian” wife is very happy to ridicule me for having “face blindness.”

    I don’t get it.

  13. OFWHAP says:

    I did much worse than I figured I would. I generally have a pretty accurate photographic memory. Of course I tend to remember things that are not important and to forget things when it is important to remember them. Maybe I remember things better in person as opposed to comparing an awkward mug shot with grainy action shots.

  14. @Aeronerauk

    It could be a lot worse. At least your parents didn’t name you Michael Bolton… or did they?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  15. @Mike Tre

    I remember her, because I have a photographic memory (more like a film and audio memory.) Nice photo. I would believe anything she claimed.

    • Replies: @Anon
  16. Anon[107] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mike Tre

    Feminine beauty? No, sir.

  17. JMcG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I remember being startled at the end of Starship Troopers when the main character turned out to be Filipino. I was probably twelve or so.

  18. Anon[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I would believe anything she claimed.

    Good boy. Now fetch!

    • LOL: Buzz Mohawk
  19. @Achmed E. Newman

    C’mon, that was stupid. I drive by Michael Bolton’s house almost every week.

    There are three speed bumps there, even by stop signs. I always wonder if Michael is the reason. His estate is, surprisingly to me, in a downtown area. We drive in from the forest, a few miles away for some shopping, and there is Michael’s gate, right in town.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  20. I really wish I could see the faces and the hear the voices of more TUR commenters. I’m thinking of (partially) doxing myself soon by putting some responses into Youtube videos and posting them here.

    I might as well put myself out there. I think it will only be salutary in the long run.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  21. angmoh says:
    @Tony Lawless

    There’s another online test (http://alllooksame.com) which shows you pictures of east asians and asks you pick where they are from (China/Japan/Korea) – my asian friends did well on this test whereas I was scarcely better than chance. At the time I assumed it was just because they are asian and I am not, but maybe there is something more there. I don’t think it’s because I am uniquely bad – I got 70% on the UNSW test.

    Another example – my friend’s asian girlfriend is awesome at the ‘chimp test’ (https://humanbenchmark.com/tests/chimp) where you have to remember positions of numbered squares (Chimps are famously much better at this than people). Perhaps a visual memory advantage in general?

  22. @Buzz Mohawk

    Notice how we pretty much just use the face as the unique identifier of a person.

    I can’t entirely agree with this. When I would pick up my daughter from high school I could pick her out of a crowd at a distance by her silhouette and the way she walked before I could see her face clearly. I could do the same with my wife and other children.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Ralph L
  23. Ken52 says:

    The Office had a hysterical episode where Michael and coworker try to pick up two Japanese girls in Benihana, bring home two other Japanese girls instead and then Michael can’t tell them apart so he marks his with a magic marker. Totally gone from YouTube other than people criticizing it.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  24. edkpyros says:

    I stumbled on the test years ago. Sure I must be a super-recognizer, I proceeded to flunk it completely.

    Especially the part where the photos were upside-down—is that still part of it?

    That made me think it was more a test of a certain kind of autism, like these chaps in the IDF, who search satellite photos with an uncanny ability to spot irregularities and changes—apparently better than computers…

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a26454556/roim-rachok-israeli-army-autism-program/

  25. How long before super-recognizers get employed by the authorities in the way that this stupid dog is absolutely certain you have drugs in your automobile.

    Or that malignantly obnoxious sheriff’s deputy in Cobb County, Georgia putting random women behind bars because with certainty he can tell the “hidden signs” that a person has been using marijuana, a follow-on blood test showing no signs of the drug be damned?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  26. prosa123 says:

    26/40 on the first part and 40/80 on the second. It would have been interesting, though asking too much of a free online test, to have gotten a gender/race breakdown of my results. For instance, did I do better with men or women? Caucasians or Asians?

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  27. @Mike Tre

    In everyday life Marilu Henner would be considered quite attractive, but by Hollywood standards she’s just average. On “Taxi,” she was believable as someone who might be driving a cab, while Ana de Armas or Margot Robbie would not be.

    • Replies: @anon
  28. Anon[369] • Disclaimer says:
    @Aeronerauk

    Just recently a professional hockey player who’s face is nearly indistinguishable from my own came to prominence

    Lucky you if it’s the Caps Tom Wilson

    or Boomer Esiason‘s son-in-law Matt Martin (or is it a young Brad Pitt?)

    Both Wilson and Martin are 6’4”, tough guys, and skilled players.

  29. Ola says: • Website

    26/40 on the first part and 48/80 on the second. I was mainly just guessing and rushing through the second part as it seemed more or less impossible to identify them for certain. Surely young Asian people must find it much easier.

  30. Macular degeneration and related eye diseases cause inability to recognize faces.

    People with it pay much more attention to gaits and clothing and hair and whatnot.

    Worse is that disease when you don’t recognize your own things as your own. That’s estranging alright.

  31. Fishbait Miller, official Doorkeeper of the U.S. House of Representatives (Mister Speaker, the President of the United States!) “had a talent for remembering names, and he would stand beside the presidents and tell them the names of the approaching individuals and a little something about them. In that way, each person who approached the president would be greeted by name and engaged in short conversation. Miller was considered invaluable to presidents and congressmen alike for this and many other reasons.”


    Fishbait Miller, JFK’s sidekick at Perle Mesta’s party.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  32. @angmoh

    I was once sitting in a group of people, one Chinese, the rest whites. A young east Asian woman walked past – “Oh, another Chinese”. “She is Japanese, can’t you tell?”

    Of course, body language, gait and clothing must be clues to those with eyes to see, but it is conceivable that east Asians really do vary less from each other in facial appearance, and that they have developed a stronger ability to discriminate slight differences. I never heard a white say that all south Asians look the same, nor vice versa.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Mike Tre
  33. Sean says:

    Arthur Jensen said one reason many teachers believed he him wrong was Black children are typically very good at remembering faces and being able to put a name to them. The part of the brain thought to be used in reading has an older recognizing faces function

    https://www.unz.com/pfrost/the-visual-word-form-area/

    Evolutionarily speaking, these population differences seem paradoxical, as does the very existence of the VWFA. As Dehaene and Cohen (2011) note, natural selection could not have created a specialized mental organ for reading because “the invention of writing is too recent and, until the last century, concerned too small a fraction of humanity to have influenced the human genome.” Writing emerged in the Middle East only six thousand years ago, and some societies adopted writing only within the past century. Even in societies that have long been literate, reading and writing were confined to a minority until recent times.

    To resolve this paradox, Dehaene and Cohen (2011) argue that our brains deal with word recognition by recycling neurons that were originally meant for face recognition:

    Thus, learning to read must involve a ‘neuronal recycling’ process whereby pre-existing cortical systems are harnessed for the novel task of recognizing written words. […] reading acquisition should ‘encroach’ on particular areas of the cortex – those that possess the appropriate receptive fields to recognize the small contrasted shapes that are used as characters, and the appropriate connections to send this information to temporal lobe language areas. […] We have proposed that writing evolved as a recycling of the ventral visual cortex’s competence for extracting configurations of object contours

    (Dehaene & Cohen, 2011)

    • Thanks: Johnny Rico
    • Replies: @Anon
  34. Anon[385] • Disclaimer says:

    Nothing is worse than not being able to accurately perceive and describe reality.

    If you can’t recognize faces, you can’t recognize beauty. Your ability to perceive 3-dimensional object is the limit of your ability to perceive beauty. Hence why so many men on Unz seem to be attracted to bulldyke women like Marilu Hennner.

  35. Anon[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    Blacks are typically very good at remembering faces

    Citstion needed (there was nothing in your link). Black visual IQ is lower than verbal. As far as I’m aware, East Asians, Native Americans, Oceanean, and Northern Germanic people are the only ones that are actually better at visual than verbal tasks. African Pygmies do have an advanced polyphonic musical heritage that has been compared in complexity to European classical music, so verbal abilities are not constrained to the development of writing. The visual abilities of North Eurasians are likely related to Neanderthal ancestry.

    • Replies: @anon
  36. When I was in college, my best friend was a Chinese student. He told me that Asians have just as much trouble telling each other apart as white people do, and that this difficulty was particularly evident when a child would happen to get separated from his mother in a crowded store or street, as every woman around looks just like his mother (and from the mother’s perspective, every child around looks just like her son).

  37. Moses says:

    lots of Asians, who, I’m guessing, are harder to tell apart.

    I look forward to op-eds by Asian girls about how their lives were ruined forever when some white person once got them confused with some other Asian girl.

    In my years in Asia I found that to Asians all Whites look alike. I was constantly being confused for other Western men or not recognized by acquaintances. It’s not a nice feeling.

    My go-to joke was “No worries, all Westerners look alike you know.” They would agree and chuckle with relief.

    It’s a racial thing. We all have wiring optimized to recognize faces of our own race.

  38. These days i only look at throats and hands. If i see an apple or hairy knuckle busters then i feel fairly sure it’s a dude.

  39. JMcG says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    There’s a passage in James Bradley’s Flags of Our Fathers, about the iconic photo of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi, which describes something similar. The Marine who is anchoring the base of the flagpole has his back to the camera, his face completely hidden from sight. Supposedly, his mother recognized him as her son instantly, just from the overall shape of him.
    I do agree with you, I can easily identify some people from a distance by their gait, or by the way they stand.

  40. I’m usually pretty terrible at faces, but I got 65%. I think it helps that I’ve lived in Asia for over 30 years.

    I’m completely accustomed to (at least initially) not knowing the names of people I need to interact with at work, church, etc., who do know my name. I stick out like crazy here — white, and very tall — and I do a lot of public speaking kinds of things, so lots of people learn my name, and then come up to me and say ‘Hi, Calvinist!’, and I’ve got zero clue as to who they are. This used to make me feel a bit bad, but I eventually accepted it as a problem that I can’t really solve over the long haul.

    Masking has made it much much worse. We’ve been wearing masks everywhere, all the time, in Hong Kong for almost two years now. There are now quite a few people at my workplace I’ve never seen unmasked.

  41. prosa123 says:
    @New Dealer

    As Perle Mesta would have been 70+ in that photo, she probably would have been one of the few women JFK would not have wanted to nail. Probably.

  42. @angmoh

    Jimi Hendrix, it is said, could remember the first time he ever heard a guitar lick he liked. I think WC Fields had a similar memory for every comical physical movement he had ever seen.

    Ramanujan, it is said, had an emotional connection or friendship with most 4 digit numbers, and certainly with all 4 digit numbers that interested him.

    While I do not share those specific skills, I can almost immediately tell when a prose writer (in English, anyway) is imitating something in a phrase or sentence and when the writer is being original. I can also tell – and I think almost nobody I have ever met can do this – when I am doing the same thing and when I am not.

    Relatedly, I was in a Thai restaurant recently with a Thai friend and an Asian woman we had never met came in, and we talked for a little while, and my Thai friend asked her if her parents were Thai — after the woman left I asked my friend why she said that. She said she thought the woman could be Thai, and I was like, of course she wasn’t — and she was Filipina, by the way.

    It might be genetic – my parent on the maternal side (that is a joke for people who think I am autistic) could find, pretty much any time she wanted, a four leaf clover – it is a real skill that has been investigated. Very few people can do that.

    There was a pitcher who was once asked about a game winning homerun he had almost given up if there had not been a spectacular catch – in an ordinary game, 20 years or so in the past at the time, not a World Series game or anything like that. The sportswriter who described the scene said that the pitcher described not only the pitch but started to describe every pitch he had thrown to the hitter that game and was about to describe every pitch he threw that game, but his friends, not being the sort of people who are interested in this subject, stopped him.

    It is not autism, it is just a normal form of human talent. And as von Neumann once replied when asked what it felt like to be so unusually smart, he never wondered at why he was able to do what he did, he only wondered why other people could not do it. Or as some guy named Aaron Haspel said, our unique talents are not something foreign to us, they are the water in which we live, as a fish lives in water.

    Joyce was interested in bar maids and other writers were interested in rich beautiful women (sorry Hemingway) because Joyce saw that most people had unique and fascinating talents.

  43. PSR says:

    What piques my curiosity about this is that it’s a study originating in Australia and you can take it only in English or Portuguese. What?

  44. JR Ewing says:

    I got 75% correct and screwed up a couple where I slide the right answer the incorrect direction.

    Have always been pretty good with faces. My business partner is always impressed when we go to some conference or other event and I point out someone we met several years ago that we met briefly at another gathering. Names too. If I can remember someone’s name within the first 10 minutes I will remember it forever.

    Also agree that it would have been a lot easier with a mix of older people and more whites and blacks and fewer Asians.

  45. JR Ewing says:
    @Mike Tre

    The story she always tells is that she will always remember July 20, 1969 as the day she lost her virginity.

    Gotta admit, I like hearing that story repeated.

  46. @Anon

    I like old-school hockey but Wilson is a dangerous psychopath

  47. @prosa123

    Agreed. And the second part confirms my feeling that people can look astoundingly different even in consecutive shots from the same session

  48. anon[389] • Disclaimer says:

    I scored 70%. Sure isn’t over 90%

  49. 68%. But I’m skeptical this means much–those photos are of such poor quality I felt like I was guessing more often than not. I could probably take it again and get an overall 10%. Are recognizing faces in grainy photos the same talent as recognizing them in real life, where the, uh, “resolution” is much better and they’re dynamic–changing expressions, etc.?

  50. When examples were Homer and Bart, I thought it would be a piece of cake. I got 70% overall, but felt like I was guessing at every single example- it was so bad in the sorting test that I spread the photos out before sweeping them left or right, and still felt like I was guessing. I have actually always been really good with faces. I think I scored better on the first part than on the second one, but don’t remember the numbers right now.

  51. anon[764] • Disclaimer says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Just the opposite. Marilu Henner made Angie Dickinson look like she had breath.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    , @Brutusale
  52. Ralph L says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    My grandmother said she could identify my father marching in formation at USNA when they turned a corner, because he had the biggest butt (he was a sprinter and long jumper). I didn’t ask how she figured that out.

  53. @Achmed E. Newman

    In my younger days, I was congressmen a bit. And yes, they were very good with faces, names and details about peoples lives

    But, more importantly, they were very good at making every person in a room feel like the politician talked to them individually, that they were important to him. When they spoke to a person even for just a minute or two, they would make very strong eye contact and make that person feel like they were the only one in the room.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  54. I can super-recognize obscure white bit-players in old TV shows — Alan Fudge, Douglas Henderson or Jason Wingreen — but I just can’t do real-life blacks or Asians

    • Replies: @Rohirrimborn
  55. J1234 says:

    I scored 65%, which is not all that great. Like Steve, I got 20 out of 40 on the first part of the test. I’m sure did much better with white people than with non-whites.

    I don’t know if this is the same study that he sited, but Kevin MacDonald (I think) mentioned in an article several years ago that facial recognition is probably not associated with IQ. If that’s the case, it seems to me to that it illustrates a deficiency in IQ tests, or – more likely – the popular interpretations of IQ tests.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119172758.htm

    I had to laugh when my Democrat college professor wife mistook a black lady at church for the wife of the black pastor we had (on a short term basis, as it turns out.) She has come to realize her limitations in that regard. She can live with that, but I think it kind of bothers her that I’m notably better at voice recognition than she is (she’s a speech pathologist.)

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Dieter Kief
  56. @Achmed E. Newman

    There was a long article about how Bill Clinton got to be president in one of the bourgeois rags like the Atlantic back in the early ’90’s. Whenever he went to a meeting, from beginning when he was a college student, he used to fill out an index card for every person he could remember there and everything he could remember about them. And he filed them. So people would have this experience years later of meeting Bill again and he remembered their name, where they were introduced, their favorite flavor of ice cream or they liked Led Zeppelin and hated the Beatles.

    In my defense, it’s a hard test. It appears to use photos of college students in Australia, with no older or younger people, and lots of Asians, who, I’m guessing, are harder to tell apart.

    Now see if I was doing this test on Mr. Sailer I would take old baseball cards and cut off the uniform and cap and see if he could get the faces of Vada Pinson and Don Mossi and he would do much better at this far more valuable ability.

    All you lound eye rook arike.

  57. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    I filed out of an airliner once where Oprah was sitting in an aisle seat in first class due to going on to the next connection. She made every single one of her fans feel like they’d made a deep personal connection with her in the 5 or 10 seconds it took them to shuffle past.

  58. @Emil Nikola Richard

    It was called a Farley File after FDR’s postmaster general.

  59. @J1234

    “it seems to me to that it illustrates a deficiency in IQ tests”

    If true, that would be right. Facial recognition sounds like a really important cognitive skill.

  60. AndrewR says:
    @Mike Tre

    I have a similar disorder which I treat with copious amounts of alcohol.

    • LOL: Mr. Anon, Bill
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Mike Tre
  61. AndrewR says:
    @Tony Lawless

    It has nothing to do with race. Sailer is retarded. The “all X people look the same” meme comes from a simple lack of exposure to the group in question.

  62. Anon[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Philip Neal

    Johnny Carson once quipped ” What’s the most difficult job on earth?…. A Chinese police sketch artist “… Ah the good old days.

  63. Wow that was hard. Felt like i was almost completely guessing. Then halfway through the left/right exercise i started overthinking it b/c it looked like some of the four candidates looked similar so i _wanted_ them to be the correct pic, but that could have been part of the test.

    On the UNSW Face Memory Test you scored 24 out of 40.

    On the UNSW Face Sorting Test you scored 48 out of 80.

    Your overall score on the UNSW Face Test was 60%.

  64. I read somewhere that you’re better able to differentiate faces of the race(s) you’re exposed to when young. Maybe that’s why Asians say White people all look the same. I went to half-Black schools starting in 6th grade, and I seem to be better at distinguishing Black faces than most White people.

    I’m curious to take the test. I usually do better with faces while my wife is a savant for voices (when we’re watching Pixar movies she can always match the celebrity voice).

  65. Might not be true but in high school, it was urban myth that it was easier to buy alcohol from a grocer from a different race. If you were white, go to an Asian or minority grocery store to get beer. Unfortunately I had a fairly heavy beard so I got tapped to go in but it seemed to usually work.

    • Replies: @Tony massey
  66. Anonymous[165] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    She made every single one of her fans feel like they’d made a deep personal connection with her

    How did she do it?

    • Replies: @Dube
  67. This is probably a good time to point out that I have a weird … tic? where, after a few minutes of talking to someone that I have ostensibly just met, I start to get a really strong feeling that I have actually met them before and they start to feel very familiar to me. Anyone know if that has a name?

    • Replies: @Badger Down
  68. @Matthew Kelly

    “felt like i was guessing”

    Me too, but in the back of my mind i was also thinking “let the Force flow through you, RR. Let it guide you to the correct answers”

    • LOL: Matthew Kelly
  69. AndrewR says:
    @Ken52

    Why is his forehead so big

  70. @JR Ewing

    JR, So glad Marilu remembers, I remember that day, but not the date or the time…it is all so fuzzy now.

  71. J.Ross says:

    Years ago, when the “refugees” started celebrating New Years, but after the initial attempts at flat out denial of what was on video, BBC radio tried lionizing police “super recognizers” as the answer. I laughed at the attempt and never heard a follow-up.

  72. Dube says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The good pols are good at remembering people. This example is one of the less surprising: friend Ann had to interview Gov. G. Mennen Williams, but never could keep all her kit together, and had to borrow a pen from the Gov to take notes. Later he saw her on the midway at the Michigan State Fair and called, “Have you found your pencil, Ann?” That was easy.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  73. @anon

    I did a Google image search to see if I could find a picture of Marilu Henner that would justify describing her as “one of the hottest women ever in Hollywood.” Sorry, I’m not seeing it, but there’s no arguing taste.

  74. @Tony Lawless

    One interesting thing is that I have had discussions with more than one person here in Japan about eyes vs nose/mouth for identifying people’s emotional state. This always comes out of a discussion about masks. For me, talking to a person in a mask makes it very difficult for me to read them. For Japanese people, it seems to present no issue. On the other hand, Japanese people find it extremely disconcerting when people wear sunglasses, which doesn’t bother me at all.

    As for Steve’s comment about Asians looking the same, I think it is basically true, although I have no problem telling Asians apart. More uniformity in faces but also much more uniformity in bodies.

    • Replies: @Dube
  75. OT…but where else to post this. The Berkeley City Council has voted to introduce “equity paving” of the city streets. Check the demographics of the street, minority, yes. At one time in the past redlined, yes. Priority paving. Pot holes on major streets not so much. Best comment….paraphrasing…”Redlined in the past, black neighborhood…bought house to \$10K now worth \$1 million. That’s equity”

  76. Anonymous[357] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tony Lawless

    My Korean mother-in-law was with some of her septuagenerian Korean friends when I met them. She introduced me to them and they told her (in Korean) that they had already met me. When she told them they hadn’t, that they had met her other daughter’s white husband (who, btw, doesn’t look like me), they responded in Korean and all started laughing. When I asked what was said my mother-in-law told me they said, “All white men look alike.” 😳

  77. Mike Tre says:
    @Philip Neal

    Can a typical Chinese or Japanese person distinguish between an Englishman and Irishman? The “you all look the same to me” thing applies to all people.

    Related: Here are some Chinese basketball fans welcoming a negro basketball team to China (nsfw):

    https://leakedreality.com/video/31921/a-warm-welcome

  78. @Buzz Mohawk

    Apparently, you didn’t see the movie Office Space, as that is what I was referencing. I’ll take the guy in the movie’s word for it that the real Michael Bolton is a “no talent ass clown”.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  79. Alrenous says: • Website

    Female subject were more efficient in recognising female faces. These results indicate that recognition of male and female faces are different cognitive processes and that in general females are more efficient in this cognitive task.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15249109/

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  80. @Dube

    Exactly like that, Dube.

    I ask you all to please watch the scene that Paul Jolliffe linked to, above, as that is one of the many hilarious Michael Scott The Office scenes. You will not fail to laugh!

  81. @Steve Sailer

    i.e., a good bullshitter. I don’t need that.

  82. @very old statistician

    Thanks, very interesting story about the pitcher.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
  83. @Prof. Woland

    What? You guys didnt have a bootlegger? My goto was an old wermacht soldier. He loved selling beer to kids. We always paid moar. Didn’t matter if the lights were off either. Just knock. He’d get up.

  84. SafeNow says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Ah, memories, the way they work. This is, by the way, Roger Ebert’s favorite dialogue from the entire history of the movies. It comes from Citizen Kane. 29 seconds:

    • Thanks: Harry Baldwin
  85. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Hearing the voices of people you’ve only read can be a discombobulating experience.
    The other day I listened to a podcast interview of a columnist for another publication. I’d always thought of him as intelligent and insightful and I read him very carefully. But as soon as I heard him speak I could never take him seriously again. He sounded like a cross between Jerry Lewis and PeeWee Herman. It was almost as bad as when I first heard Gen. Patton speaking.
    I read a female blogger who is a veteran of the Afghanistan campaign. I always imagined her as having a somewhat husky, masculine voice. But then I heard her on a podcast reading a poem and she had the sweetest, most girlish voice. I could not imagine her stomping around in marpat and combat boots. Yet when I heard her voice I felt there was something familiar about it. Then I suddenly realized I knew her and the last time I had seen her was when we chowed down with Lt. Col. Chris Raible not long before he was killed. Voices can be as identifiable, maybe more identifiable, than faces. Each is unique.
    By the way, I saw a video interview with Steve Sailor and he sounds like he looks and writes. Ditto Ron Unz. But Jared Taylor comes across as somehow “off.” Listening to him makes me uncomfortable, so I don’t. And having heard him speak, I can’t read him anymore.
    So be careful about going beyond writing your opinions. You might gain audience. But you also might lose it.

  86. Anonymous[246] • Disclaimer says:

    I knew a set of identical twins in high school who were totally indistinguishable in photographs but somehow I, and most people, could tell them apart in person/knew who it was when we saw just one of them. Their voices and demeanors were identical, also, and we wore school uniforms. There are areas of cognition to which our “thinking” minds seemingly have no access.

    Without knowing for sure I would wager I did much better with the whites in the face sorting section than with the Asians.

  87. angmoh says:
    @very old statistician

    Seems to be a common theme among some of the top athletes. Lebron James is a good example of a guy who seems to have excellent domain-specific episodic recall. There are plenty of examples of this. On the other hand, many athletes have a ‘shooters memory’ too, so it’s not a universal thing. Chess players are the hallmark example of excellent memory – all the top guys seem to have a ridiculous ability to recognise games they played years ago from looking at a static position.

    These example makes me suspect that the current paradigm of generalist education until x age (only specialising later), may not serve society as well as a system where you obsessively focused on a field from a young age.

    It’s a little sobering that many examples of people butting against the limit of human capability are toiling away in ultimately irrelevant pursuits. What if a guy was as good at say project management or brain surgery as Tiger Woods is at golf – I doubt there are many examples of that because nobody even starts those fields until they are into their 20s, but there could be.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Twinkie
  88. @angmoh

    Sir Lewis Hamilton, the top F1 driver, has had a career quite similar to Tiger Woods: child prodigy radio controlled model car racer, then boy go-kart racer. Like Tiger, the sport really wanted a half-black kid to succeed and helped his dad pay for the son’s 10,000 Hours, and he more than lived up to hopes.

    Tom Wolfe described Roy Cohn as a child prodigy lawyer: e.g., he secured the death penalty for the Rosenbergs when he was 23.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  89. Dube says:
    @Anonymous

    She made every single one of her fans feel like they’d made a deep personal connection with her

    How did she do it?

    And how many were on the flight?

  90. I got 63, 27 out of 40 on the first, 47/80 on second. I thought I’d done better on the second half. Pretty pleased I got nearly 70% on the first. I focus on hair and eyes first, then facial features like ear and eye setting, mouths. They switched to black and white and did profile. Only so far logic will carry you instead of actual ability to distinguish faces!

  91. Twinkie says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    How long before super-recognizers get employed by the authorities

    It’s already a part of certain law enforcement selection tests.

  92. Twinkie says:
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    There was a long article about how Bill Clinton got to be president in one of the bourgeois rags like the Atlantic back in the early ’90’s. Whenever he went to a meeting, from beginning when he was a college student, he used to fill out an index card for every person he could remember there and everything he could remember about them. And he filed them.

    You don’t do this?

  93. Dube says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    Peter Ustinov spoke about being received as a visiting personage in Japan. The hospitality delegation had arrived quite a while before the landing, “in case the plane would be early.” He then described his reading of the face presented as the host leaned forward to discern his disposition for pleasure, and Ustinov expressed amazement at the range conveyed in wordless subtleties of facial expression – as Ustinov put it, “Girls? Or … ?”

    The actor Ustinov conceded that his host had expressed more than Ustinov could with “my somewhat western face.”

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  94. jamie b. says:

    Once failed to recognize my own reflection. Have also failed to recognize myself in pictures.

    • Replies: @Ola
  95. Excal says:
    @Steve Sailer

    It doesn’t look like Heinlein did cash many checks from Hollywood (though he did once get a \$5k check from Roger Corman …).

    Very little of Heinlein’s work was adapted for the screen during his lifetime. Even after his death, producers seem to have contended themselves with only a few of his works — most prominently Starship Troopers.

    It’s a little surprising to me, given the amount and variety of his output, but maybe his stuff tends to be too hard to work into an appealing film.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  96. @Achmed E. Newman

    It’s one of my favorite movies. The thing I admire about the famous Michael Bolton is his ability to make money. He clearly has a lot of it.

  97. anon[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    In an independent sample of 321 students, the researchers found that face recognition ability was not correlated with IQ, indicating that the genes that affect face recognition ability are distinct from those that affect IQ.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119172758.htm

    • Replies: @Eagle Eye
  98. @very old statistician

    It is not autism, it is just a normal form of human talent. And as von Neumann once replied when asked what it felt like to be so unusually smart, he never wondered at why he was able to do what he did, he only wondered why other people could not do it.

    Somewhat ironically given the subject of the post, von Neumann had Prosopagnosia (face blindness). He couldn’t recognize colleagues he encountered on a daily basis.

    • Replies: @angmoh
  99. Mr. Anon says:
    @AndrewR

    I have a similar disorder which I treat with copious amounts of alcohol.

    Hah! I hear you. You ain’t the only one.

  100. angmoh says:
    @kaganovitch

    Somewhat ironically given the subject of the post, von Neumann had Prosopagnosia (face blindness). He couldn’t recognize colleagues he encountered on a daily basis.

    Source?

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  101. @J1234

    facial recognition is probably not associated with IQ. If that’s the case, it seems to me to that it illustrates a deficiency in IQ tests, or – more likely – the popular interpretations of IQ tests.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119172758.htm

    Quite a few successful politicians know incredible numbers of persons – very helpful for holding the party (or the own parliamentary party) together. Johannes Rau, German Bundesrpäsident in the nineties, knew all heads of th hospitals in Northrhine-Westphalia (15 million inhabitants) by name – often the names of their wifes too) – and, and, and…

    Face recognition is also quite helpful when being a landlord. It once turned out, that my father knew close to all of the inhabitants of the small town his restaunt/pub dance hall was located in (a few thousand poeple). I rather failed in that regard. He never read a book…(not one).

  102. @JR Ewing

    That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for Marilu.

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
  103. Anonymous[127] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alrenous

    Female subject were more efficient in recognising female faces. These results indicate that recognition of male and female faces are different cognitive processes

    Females don’t really need to recognize male faces.

  104. anonymous[149] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Tom Wolfe described Roy Cohn as a child prodigy lawyer: e.g., he secured the death penalty for the Rosenbergs when he was 23.

    Jews are really good at persuasion, Steve. World’s best salesmen.

  105. anonymous[149] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    You don’t do this?

    Do you? Even in a digital world?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  106. I’d think people are better able to discern faces of their own race.

  107. @Known Fact

    My brother had this ability too. He had suffered severe brain trauma as a child and couldn’t live without assistance for the rest of his life but he developed an incredible ability to remember things and one of them was remembering bit players from old TV shows. We grew up in NYC so we had occasion to encounter minor celebrities on a regular basis. The one incident that I remember best was the time we were riding the subway and my brother recognized Darren McGavin and his wife Kathie Browne sitting across from us. My brother asked Kathie if she remembered what she said when Perry Mason broke her down on the witness stand and exposed her as the murderess. She couldn’t remember so my brother recited her dialogue back to her word for word. I think he freaked her out. I do not have this ability.

    • Thanks: HA
    • Replies: @Known Fact
  108. @Excal

    Heinlein spent a bunch of time hanging out with director Fritz Lang, who made the sci-fi silent movie “Metropolis” in Germany, but it didn’t lead to a movie.

    Heinlein contributed to the 1950 “Destination: Moon.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destination_Moon_(film)

  109. Mike Tre says:
    @AndrewR

    Hey, some of my best memories are the result of poor decisions!

  110. Mike Tre says:
    @Anon

    They both look like they could be Hemsworth brothers.

  111. @Buzz Mohawk

    I’m not impressed by that.

    George Soros made even more money than Michael Bolton. Do you admire George Soros, Buzz?

    (That’s not to say Michael Bolton is evil in any way. It was a joke from a movie, and he’s just not my type of musician.)

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  112. @Emil Nikola Richard

    Yeah, Emil, Clinton was a great smoozer and bullshitter. Since you mentioned the index cards, I’ve gotta put in one more The Office scene.

    Just watch from 01:35 to 02:05 or so.

    • LOL: JR Ewing
  113. Dan Smith says:
    @Mike Tre

    My ex-wife’s mother had that ability. I never put her to the test but have no reason to doubt. Problem was, at age 80 she had persistent delusions about her dead husband appearing in her bedroom every night.

  114. @Anonymous

    Interesting. You end up with a voice in your head sometimes for someone you read regularly. It may not match their real one at all. It takes getting used to, but yes, there are people on youtube who sound just too weird or effeminate, or whatever else to listen to.

    Speaking of your examples, there’s a guy that sounds a lot like Jared Taylor, of whom there’s a recording played regularly in the Atlanta Hartsfield airport terminal – every 1/2 or so, I think. I can’t remember what it’s about.

  115. @Achmed E. Newman

    I don’t care for Bolton’s music either. I’d like to hear Soros sing though; that would be entertaining.

    Sorry for the confusion. I just thought it was funny that I drive by his house so often and I always think of the character in the movie. My replies were in good fun, but they approached Peak levels of Stupidity, and I am duly embarrassed.

    Normally I have good communication skills…

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  116. Ola says: • Website
    @jamie b.

    I have an identical twin brother and I can’t tell us apart in pictures where we are < 4 year old. This bothers me as I truly was an exceptionally cute baby and kid, but I just can't bring myself to say that about my brother.

  117. Mikeja says:

    It’s an interesting ability in that seems completely independent of general intelligence. At least I hope so because I’m awful with faces

  118. nebulafox says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Don’t mention that name. I remember what happened to Butt-head.

    • LOL: Buzz Mohawk
  119. TWS says:

    There’s a test like that to see if you can recognize different Oriental nationalities. Almost every picture is of a kid mugging for the camera often with a deliberately ‘off’ expression like a parody of Miley Cyrus sticking her tongue out.

    Most of the rest had mental illness haircuts and coloring.

    Still got better than fifty percent.

  120. nebulafox says:

    >and lots of Asians, who, I’m guessing, are harder to tell apart.

    Here’s a handy guide for those who ever visit Malaysia for telling them locals apart. I think it’s pretty accurate.

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/fVE3bPWr4HRJ1XM8RHyGr6rS5AOuUpHzEi0-Nb127UvzXibOK3kVbykArrlJuCF21pi8geA47AFrdgOasVZF_4aZ-TUeret0IbOPw5coJGbZlQ=w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/hkIaV4AMlKrEozwvQ2US4DLHNPC9U158JoFgqTHX1TwTC_kWK94s2dS2EN662J-vOaCeJaGosPWWyQPzjcbcSOJbAVe3AkLQy91R5DcFnz23Yg=s0-d

    >I look forward to op-eds by Asian girls about how their lives were ruined forever when some white person once got them confused with some other Asian girl.

    We’re treating SJWized NYT writers as normative now?

    >I wonder which sex is better at facial recognition?

    Probably women. They tend to be more aware to subtleties in general. Evolutionary reality and all that.

  121. @Rohirrimborn

    Thanks Roh! Kathie Browne, was she ever a piece of work — No problem super-remembering her

    • Replies: @Anon
  122. Ganderson says:
    @Aeronerauk

    Anyone who saw me play, except perhaps someone from the darkest Amazon living in a tribe as yet untouched by civilization, would not confuse me with any pro hockey player. Of course the jungle dweller wouldn’t know what hockey was…

    Unfortunately for me, I resemble Stephen King. I’ve been asked for my autograph 3 times.

    One time was on the Broadway bus at 96th St. in NYC at 7 am. I asked the high school aged girl who requested the autograph “ If I were Stephen King you think I’d be riding the bus this early in the morning; or indeed at any time?” Point made.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  123. Odin says:
    @very old statistician

    [T]he pitcher described not only the pitch but started to describe every pitch he had thrown to the hitter that game and was about to describe every pitch he threw that game…

    My grandfather was a farmer on the Canadian prairies before / during / after the depression. Based on my listening experience, I’ve long believed he could recall every rock of every end of every curling match he’d ever played–and that was a lot of matches.

  124. Ganderson says:
    @Aeronerauk

    Oh, and which player?

    I’m told my slap shot resembles former Red Wing/Bruin/ North Star Reid Larson’s- that is if Reid had broken both his arms….

    The highlight of my hockey career was, when playing pickup one night with Reid as my D partner, the other team scored: Larson turned to me and said, “My fault”. Nice of him to say….

    • Replies: @Ganderson
  125. Ganderson says:
    @Anon

    I did not know Martin was Boomer’s son-in-law.

    Boomer apparently plays hockey several times a week- I’m guessing he, being a high level pro athlete, is pretty good at hockey. Not to mention Swedish genes, although they didn’t seem to help me much.

    Martin did a nice turn in the 2016 “All Hockey Hair” video:

  126. @Dube

    Ustinov expressed amazement at the range conveyed in wordless subtleties of facial expression

    My brother has lived in Japan most of his life. In such a homogeneous society, many things don’t need to be expressed verbally, but are communicated through subtle intonations or expressions. It can lead to awkward situations with gaijin. Someone may invite you to stay at their home, even insist upon it, yet you have to understand that hosting you would impose an enormous inconvenience upon them.

    Also, my brother can tell whether someone is not Japanese from half a block away by the way they walk. He said the Chinese and Koreans have a looser gait than most Japanese.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  127. LP5 says:

    Turing Test, too?

  128. I scored 59 as well Steve.

    Tough test. Especially because many of the secondary photos were so grainy that it was very hard to tell eye or hair color etc.

    I certainly find Asians harder to tell apart comparatively, so that may play into some people’s scores one way or another (do Asians think that Euro’s all look the same?)

    Overall I feel like the test may have as much to say about the methodology as anything else.

  129. Michelle says:
    @angmoh

    A few of us workers in my Dept took that test. I scored second to last, at 6 out of 20. A Chinese immigrant coworker scored 9. One Chinese American girl scored 11. The highest score, 17, went to my Godzilla obsessed, white coworker, who loves Asian women. The lowest, 5, was my longtime best friend, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She grew up in Lawton Oklahoma. She was really mad about her low score! I was just happy someone scored lower than I did!

  130. Simon says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I recently read The Maltese Falcon, and one of the things that struck me as a peculiar mark of Hammett’s style is that, instead of talking about people’s thoughts or feelings, he spends an unusual amount of time describing their facial expressions and movements, on the order of “He sat down heavily, crossed his left leg over his right, stuck a cigarette in his mouth, and raised his right eyebrow.” (Okay, that’s an exaggeration.) It’s as if he’s offering excessively detailed stage directions.

  131. 1) I’d like to see the recognition scores broken down by male/female. Women’s faces are more memorable and fascinating than men’s, but women also have far more tools to suddenly change or disguise their look — especially hair and makeup — and are far more motivated to make these changes.

    Men may gradually get grayer, balder, heavier etc., or suddenly show up with a beard, weave or toup, but they basically are what they are. Glasses are one variable that men as well as women can use effectively, though some people are too vain to grasp how the right frames can be extremely flattering. In a more civilized era hats were another key accessory.

    2) You guys are one tough audience — Marilu Henner is no Sophia Loren but she was reasonably cute and foxy in her day and did not age too badly. I would lean more toward Lee Meriwether or Lois Nettleton myself in the retro division

    3) A fun game related to facial issues is deciding who would play you on TV.

    • Replies: @Anon
  132. Twinkie says:
    @anonymous

    I have kept dossiers of everyone I met over the years, and, yes, I have switched to digital storage. I taught my wife to do it as well, but she’s spotty at times and I end up doing it for her sometimes. My kids are a lot better about it. They never use social media for themselves, but are very good at compiling information about others from it.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  133. Twinkie says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    I always find it amusing that the Chinese think I am Chinese, the Japanese think I am Japanese, and the Koreans think I am Korean… not only in their respective countries, but with their diasporas overseas as well.

  134. @JR Ewing

    7/20/69!!?? Coincidence? If I was her first, she was my second.

  135. Twinkie says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    You need to generate a TPS report on your earlier outburst at me, and, yeahhhhhh, we’re gonna need you to come in for work today. It’s not a half day or anything. And would a profit-sharing plan make things better? Great. Thanks, Peter. You are a management material.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  136. I don’t know why anyone would have reason to care, but just in case: I scored 65%, which, they say, puts me at exactly the 25th percentile.

    Should there be something of interest about my performance, it might be that almost all of my answers were guesses, or at least they felt that way to me. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure that I performed significantly better than chance would predict.

    Perhaps my reptilian brain has a better short term memory than my cerebral cortex.

  137. @angmoh

    It’s either in McRae bio or his brother’s book (Nicholas von Neumann)

  138. @Twinkie

    LOL. I’ll be sure to put a cover sheet on that TPS report.

  139. Brutusale says:
    @anon

    You are obviously NOT a super-recognizer!

  140. Anonymous[786] • Disclaimer says:

    Facial recognition AI is old hat. The new technology can recognize individuals with a high degree of accuracy from their body shape and gait.

  141. MEH 0910 says:

    https://www.roku.com/blog/roku-original-weird

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/1979s-steve-sailer-story/

    • Replies: @Bernard
  142. @Steve Sailer

    Heinlein wrote for juveniles for about 12 years (47-59, according to Wikipedia). He didn’t write many novels before that time.

    He wrote Starship Troopers, which was quite short, and that was what set him to writing longer books for adults. But most of these are unfilmable.

    In my view, his finest book was The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (although Starship Troopers is quite good and the movie itself very underrated). But what makes Moon interesting is the conversation and the explication of a new society. If you turned it into a movie, you’d focus on the action, the lunar society and the wars which might be fun–but it’s not what made Moon such a great book.

    This is also true for Stranger in a Strange Land. Amazing concepts. But you either ignore the sex or make it a porn film.

  143. @Anonymous

    I disagree about Jared Taylor, but I’m southern. He sounds like a Virginia gentleman who drives an older Cadillac, serves on local boards of directors, hunts quail, venerates his lost cause ancestors, and goes to the nice church in town but also enjoys a good aged bourbon. But of course he has sacrificed his bien-pensant reputation for a new cause that is hopefully not a lost one.

    Speaking of Jared Taylor, I noticed that Razib Khan accidentally referred to him in a recent podcast when he meant to say Jared Diamond, so it seems like he’s probably been reading or listening to Taylor.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  144. @Ganderson

    I’ve been told I resemble various performers at different times in my life. The depressing thing is how this has gone from people saying, “You look like [some Hollywood hunk] — or “are you his brother,” to people saying, “You look just like [a certain crazy comic actor, one with serious problems, mind you.]” Aging sucks.

  145. ColRebSez says: • Website

    My father told me my grandfather visited with Memphis political boss E.H. Crump twice. Crump was able to control Tennessee politics for about 20 years or so because of his control of Memphis. He died in 1954 but only in recent years has the Crump machine lost control of Memphis.

    Anyway, the visits were 10 years apart. On seeing my grandfather for the second time Crump called him by name, asked about my grandmother by name, and made other inquiries as to my grandfather’s family and business. I’m not sure what percentage of politicians have this ability, but those who do clearly are at an advantage.

  146. Anon[203] • Disclaimer says:
    @Known Fact

    How? There’s literally nothing distinctive about her. Her face is as average and unremarkable as it gets.

    Me thinks some of you are just taking the piss in this comment section.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  147. Anon[203] • Disclaimer says:
    @Known Fact

    Women’s faces are more memorable and fascinating than men’s

    Lol, source? Women tend to have very average and unremarkable faces. Men’s features are more chiseled and distinctive, whereas women are basically the same featureless Cabbage Patch Kids doll.

    There’s a lot weird matricuck energy on the Unz forum. Why? Is it because the site attracts a lot of ex-liberals and minorities who have embraced the alt-right as the next form of anti-authoritarian counter-culture?

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  148. @Twinkie

    > 99% of people are forgettable. The unforgettable ones plant themselves in my memory banks with no work on my part.

    Unless you are a professional politician this game is an utter waste of time and effort.

    • Disagree: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  149. @Steve Sailer

    I thought I read somewhere that Heinlein had something to do with Forbidden Planet (1956), but it would seem that I was wrong.

    The first time I watched FP, I had a hard time recognizing Leslie Nielsen:

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  150. I did a bit better than average on the first part but crashed out on the 2nd. I’m not even sure what the 2nd part was all about. I guess I failed the IQ part.

  151. Anonymous[786] • Disclaimer says:

    It used to be said of teachers at English public schools that they knew they had reached mid-career when, looking at the new students at the beginning of the year, they would start to see familiar faces – the sons of the boys they had taught 20 years before.

  152. Eagle Eye says:
    @anon

    … face recognition ability was not correlated with IQ, indicating that the genes that affect face recognition ability are distinct from those that affect IQ.

    Francis Galton noted this about a bushmen population in South West Africa:

    [The Damara] certainly use no numeral greater than three. When they wish to express four, they take to their fingers, which are to them as formidable instruments of calculation as a sliding-rule is to an English schoolboy. They puzzle very much after five, because no spare hand remains to grasp and secure the fingers that are required for “ units.” Yet they seldom lose oxen : the way in which they discover the loss of one, is not by the number of the herd being diminished, but by the absence of a face they know.

    https://galton.org/books/south-west-africa/galton-1853-travels-in-south-africa-1up-linked-ocr.pdf#page=99

    • Thanks: Harry Baldwin
  153. Twinkie says:
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    Not only are relationships with people rewarding on their own (at times), they also can be great resources. I have a large set of concentric networks I built over the years, all of which has been greatly aided by compiling dossiers.

  154. Bernard says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I filed out of an airliner once where Oprah was sitting in an aisle seat in first class due to going on to the next connection. She made every single one of her fans feel like they’d made a deep personal connection with her in the 5 or 10 seconds it took them to shuffle past.

    Whatever you say about Oprah, that is truly a remarkable gift that must be applauded. A small thing that makes the world a better place, if only for a brief moment. Celebrities of that magnitude are often surprisingly generous and friendly. Magic Johnson is another who is always warm to his fans.

  155. @angmoh

    I have known hundreds (thousands?) of East Asians, and I have never noticed any of them to have a special ability to recognize faces. But maybe I just was “blind” to this?

    There was a 60 Minutes story a decade ago on both the face-blind and the super-recognizers. They did interview Marilu Henner, who was a friend of someone on the 60 Minutes staff, I think.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-face-blindness-when-everyone-is-a-stranger/

  156. Bernard says:
    @MEH 0910

    The Weird Al resemblance is remarkable.

    I see a slightly better match here though.

  157. J.Ross says:
    @Twinkie

    … of people you do not want to kill. Yeesh. Williamshatnering. This is some real “rich dad, poor dad*” hours, I have to check my keys now.
    ——
    *Before replying note that I am already aware that Robert Kiyosaki was a fraud and refer to the fundamental concept of little not-secret but also not widely known or taught good practices and not actually doing what the marine force’s best chopper pilot advises.

  158. J.Ross says:
    @Stan Adams

    Heinlein did write an early sci-fi movie about travel to the moon which resembles Forbidden Planet in many respects including parts of the costumes. Forget the title but it made an excellent MST3K episode. Heinlein being Heinlein it has a sex angle (What, women can’t fly spaceships! Oh no, now we’re trapped together for months, with no Encyclopedia Britannica or knit owl picture kits!), but being from its time it also had an important Cold War diplomacy subplot.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  159. @Simon

    Isn’t it known for that particular style? completely third-person. No inner dialogue. I haven’t read enough of Hammets stuff to know if that is peculiar to that book.

  160. @RonaldReagansLoveChildWithMadonna2

    Yes, I’ve got that. It’s called being very bad at recognising faces. I sometimes don’t know it’s me in the mirror. I got 61% on the test, through chance alone; I didn’t recognise anyone.

  161. @Anon

    Me thinks some of you are just taking the piss in this comment section.

    Better than a big steaming dump. Since the original anecdote referred to Kathie Browne, I did Kathie Browne. You’re more than welcome to present one of those “chiseled and distinctive” males you said you prefer.

  162. @Anon

    You do have a point in that reasonably good-looking men’s faces often acquire more character and gravitas as they evolve into middle-age. Women’s peak looks tend to have a shorter shelf life, although not nearly as short as it used to be. One constant I also keep pointing out is that the photographer can make all the difference

  163. Twinkie says:
    @Lockean Proviso

    He sounds like a Virginia gentleman who drives an older Cadillac

    Nobody sounds like that in Virginia (not even those who speak the dying Tidewater accent). After all, Taylor was born in Japan and grew up there. His accent strikes me as somewhat of an affectation.

    I noticed that Razib Khan accidentally referred to him in a recent podcast when he meant to say Jared Diamond, so it seems like he’s probably been reading or listening to Taylor.

    Most people who are dissident rightists know who Taylor is. That doesn’t mean they all listen to (or read) him. I made the same mistake more than once in conversations. Taylor just rolls off better after Jared than Diamond does.

  164. Twinkie says:
    @angmoh

    Seems to be a common theme among some of the top athletes… excellent domain-specific episodic recall.

    John Danaher, the noted polymath BJJ instructor and coach to MMA and BJJ stars such as Georges St. Pierre, Gordon Ryan, and Gary Tonon (and who has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University) was once asked about what vital skill made for champions. He replied, “the ability to retain [relevant] information.” Top level athletes often seem less than intelligent in ordinary lives and display bad judgment, but seem to possess exactly what you described – excellent “domain specific” memory. The MMA fighter Jon Jones is notorious for low IQ behavior outside the cage, but has a very high fight IQ and has not only encyclopedic technical knowledge in fighting, but also that of his opponents’ tendencies.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  165. @J.Ross

    Project Moonbase (1953):

    The MST3K episode features two shorts before the Heinlein movie. Skip to the 33-minute mark.

    • Thanks: J.Ross
  166. anonymous[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    I have kept dossiers of everyone I met over the years, and, yes, I have switched to digital storage.

    Could you be so kind as to elaborate on the system you use (both physical and digital)? Thank you!

  167. bjdubbs says:

    30/40 on first part, which is the only part that I’m counting. The second part was more a test of endurance.

  168. Ganderson says:
    @Ganderson

    Reed, not Reid. I suppose I could blame auto correct…

  169. @Twinkie

    1. https://www.amazon.com/Bourgeois-Virtues-Ethics-Age-Commerce/dp/0226556646

    2.

    3. Disclaimer:

    A. Mr. Sailer reports McCloskey does not eat h* own dogfood!
    B. According to tabloid reports Hall had valuables pilfered from his library by people he should not have trusted.
    C. Although Stephen Hoeller reports that the tabloid reports are all nonsense.

    4. Belicek, McEnroe, Nixon would do anything to win. Including allow Barack Obama to sodomize them. Anything means just exactly that. Belicek, McEnroe and Nixon all are (were) miserably pathetic human beings.

    5. It’s just a game.

    Have you ever seen somebody thrown out of a lesbian softball game? I saw it at the only lesbian softball game I took the time to attend and I am glad I did. They allow the miscreant to have a batting practice whack before they have to leave.

    It’s just a game.

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The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
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