Good news: “Many app-makers are experimenting with software that can analyze someone’s emotions or honesty just by a few facial cues.”
Bad news: The app wasn’t available for elections just completed.
This past Halloween – speaking of scary portends, at least for political-types – Gary Shapiro reported in The Washington Post that a logical application of this new app is a “major overhaul” of politics.
“With every smartphone possessing a virtual lie-detector test, elected officials will need to be creative in the ways they talk to us.”
Imagine having such “assessment technology” in the palm of your hand that flashes ‘Liar! Liar!’ with a visual of pants on fire when a candidate at your door (TV, debate, whistle-stop) utters, well, just about anything anymore.
Like Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) in the American crime drama television series “Lie to Me,” you too will be capable of “interpreting microexpressions through the Facial Action Coding System, and body language.”
Politicians, candidates, door-to-door vacuum-cleaning salesmen, trick-or-treaters, your in-laws – anybody and everybody will have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
Armed with your downloaded truth-teller app on your smart (really smart) phone, in response you’ll smile sweetly (visual lie); say ‘love your tie – dress, hat, etc.’ (verbal lie); thank the candidate ensuring them of your vote (more lies); ask your mother-in-law to please visit again soon (still more of the same) and chuckle to yourself over this latest development in the “recognition revolution.”
So much for campaign rhetoric.
Just hope they’ve not downloaded that app too.
“What can government leaders do to counteract the cynicism and mistrust?” asks Elizabeth K. Kellar in this Nov. 5th issue of “Governing.”
Oh, I don’t know. Until the new software becomes available, tell the truth – with a straight face – comes to mind. Have a track record of promises kept. Avoid duplicity. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Run your race on your own merits while not showcasing the alleged demerits of your opponent.
The day after this year’s elections, Kellar referenced the “barrage of campaign ads, reminding the public that much of what they see and hear is misleading or worse.”
Take Christine Kilduff’s late-in-this-election-cycle TV ad analyzed by the Tacoma News Tribune’s Melissa Santos this Oct. 29. “False,” (aka, a lie) was the conclusion. No matter. The damage, paid for by House Democrats and labor unions, had been done. And, as wrote one commenter, even ‘worse-r’ than telling a lie is its “libelous (nature), attacking the personal character of her opponent, making obviously false statements to try and damage his reputation.”
We expect green-painted faces, pointy hats and shoes following a knock at the door at Halloween. Given the nefarious character of the holiday it is not surprising that vampires, ghosts, Frankenstein and cheetahs round out the perennial top five most popular outfits.
Angels, in contrast, with their gold-tinted wings and suspended haloes do not.
Not trick-or-treating. And evidently not campaigning.