Monday, January 12, 2009

Lie to Me Does Indeed

Highly annoyed by the advertisements for the new TV show, Lie to Me. Basic cop/mystery show (like CSI, Law and Order, NCIS, etc.) and the twist is the main character who can tell, based on body language alone, if someone is lying. The premise here is that non-verbal communication (that's the term of art in the academy) is a dead giveaway, is readable, and is accurate.

That's a lie. It isn't.

I've taught it, so, I've read the material. And if it is so easy, then why can only the main character do it? I think there is a connection between the idea that it is easy to figure this stuff out with the idea that yes, untrained idiots can easily spot terrorists. As others have pointed out, when you have amateurs doing terrorist surveillance, you get amateur-level security (for instance, see Patrick Smith's "The Hazards of Flying While Muslim", and the horrible story of an innocent techno-art student almost being shot by police).

The only amusing thing here is that one of the advertisements for Lie to Me, like the recent NFL ads, uses a Morrissey song (Glamorous Glue, in this case). Two in one year, that's a record.