I Can't See Faces

Our thoughts about the famous Cracked.com.

I Can't See Faces

Postby NathanLoiselle » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:21 pm

http://www.cracked.com/article_22216_5-insane-realities-life-when-you-cant-see-faces.html

#5 - Well that should be the end of this article.
#4 - *puts on a hat* Who am I?
#3 - Well, that was awkward.
#2 - Look. I don't know who you are but stop stalking me. Please?
#1 - Don't look now but they're really after you.
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby Tesseracts » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:46 pm

Nathan. There's still hope. You don't have to let yourself succumb to Ericho disease. KEEP FIGHTING.
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby Cordslash » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:57 pm

Not entirely sure if you're joking Nathan but I'm guessing you are. If not prepare to have your ankles bitten.

I thought it was an informative and overall pretty nice and mellow article. You do know we have a couple of people who have prosopagnosia right here on TCS right? One of them is a regular and she's open quite about it. It does happen to be actual condition, and one that I couldn't even comprehend (because I happen to be good with faces).
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby jbobsully11 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:17 pm

Cordslash wrote:Not entirely sure if you're joking Nathan but I'm guessing you are. If not prepare to have your ankles bitten.

I thought it was an informative and overall pretty nice and mellow article. You do know we have a couple of people who have prosopagnosia right here on TCS right? One of them is a regular and she's open quite about it. It does happen to be actual condition, and one that I couldn't even comprehend (because I happen to be good with faces).

Pretty much this, though I knew about it already because I have a weird obsession with perfectly normal hobby of learning about random neurological disorders/abnormalities. Personally, I'm pretty good with faces, but terrible with names.
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby Tuli » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:20 pm

I am now wondering if my dad has some degree of this, because it has happened several times that he would have (and sometimes has) just walked past me on the street without any acknowledgement if I didn't animatedly wave and greet him myself. Most recently on Thursday. Or maybe he just doesn't pay any attention to people on the street. But where's the fun in not diagnosing your relatives recklessly with any new disorder you learn about?
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby CarrieVS » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:29 pm

Putting a hat on is a cunning disguise, but I'll still recognise your build and voice.

Dammit I was going to do a TCS article about faceblindness.



5 [I Can See Faces, but I Can't Remember Them] - yes, that's about it. If I see two faces side by side and concentrate on comparing them then I can see the differences. But if you showed me two faces again the next day I wouldn't be able to say if they were the same two.

4 [The Smallest Changes in Appearance Will Turn Loved Ones Into Strangers] - Let me tell you a story. My older brother and I were working at the same place one summer, and I knew he was working a certain day when I was, so I was looking out for him. He was very easy to recognise, as he had shoulder-length blond ringlets. He would tie his hair back usually when at work, but the shoulder-length blond ponytail was just as distinctive.

He wasn't there. There was no guy with long blond hair. There were several guys I didn't recognise, and there was only one who didn't have dark hair or some other feature that obviously didn't belong to my brother. The exception was a guy with a similar build to Rob and an almost colourless crew cut.

Someone had mentioned to me that he was indeed here, so I decided this must be him, but even now knowing that, I couldn't see my brother in this guy with the crew cut, and in the end I actually had to take him aside and ask 'are you Rob?'

3. [It Can Be Socially Awkward as Hell] - Oooh yes. I've been working at the same place for over a year and there are three people I can recognise and be sure of it. Two are the tallest guys in the building and the other is - I'm sorry - the fattest woman. The other week I couldn't walk over and talk to the guy I've been working with the last two months because I didn't know if it was him. He was sitting at his usual desk but it was a Thursday and he's usually at a different office on Thursdays.

It's a lot better than it was in most of my childhood because I know what faceblindess is and I can explain to people. Until I was about fourteen I just thought I sucked, and did everything I could to hide the fact that I couldn't recognise people.

2 [It Has Made Me a Nicer Person, Against My Will] - For anyone who hasn't read the article, what the author says here is that she avoided the popular crowd at school and so on because they all looked mostly the same, and hung out with anyone who was a little different. Now I went to a school that didn't really have any punk kids with elaborately unique hair, and I tended to just avoid everyone. However it's probably not a coincidence that I ended up best friends with one of the few black children in the school, who was also remarkably small and had the shortest hair of any of the girls. And I also befriended a girl with Down's syndrome, who was also distinctively small but mainly she was recognisable by her behaviour and speech.

The author also says that she became very sensitive to emotional cues because facial expressions and body language give her better clues about how to act towards people when she doesn't know who they are. This is interesting because I suck just as much balls at recognising expressions as the faces they're on, and I've always attributed that to my faceblindness. An alternative explanation might be that people keep suggesting that I might be autistic (and faceblindness is also particularly common in autistic people).

1 [You Can Spend Your Whole Life Not Knowing You Have It] - I was taken to be assessed by someone who I presume was a child psychologist or similar, as a small child, for my inability to recognise people. However at that point faceblindness simply hadn't been discovered, other than as a very rare acquired condition following brain damage. Since it's a problem with perception, if you've had it all your life you have no idea that you're not perceiving things normally.

I was fourteen when I heard that this condition existed, and it was the biggest relief of my life. I didn't suck, I had a problem with a name that wasn't my fault and that I could explain to people. Before that, I used to dread being asked to hand back exercise books by a teacher, because I would have to admit that I didn't know who people were.

Once, our head teacher popped into the changing room just before a PE lesson and gave one-third of the girls in the year a lecture on being more friendly. He was, he said, shocked to learn that there were some people who still couldn't recognise everyone in the year, and we needed to do better. There were around 250 children in my year. I couldn't yet recognise more than about half the 28 or so people in my form, and only a handful of others. I was devastated. I knew I was terrible with faces, and didn't know it wasn't a personal failing, but it had never been suggested to me before that it actually meant I was a bad person.

This is half of the reason I like to tell people about faceblindness, to raise awareness. The other half is that, unlike the author of the article, I don't find that people get offended or call bullsh*t if I tell them I have faceblindness. Well they do, but they generally shut up when I drop the Latin word for it; somehow far fewer people think I could be making up prosopagnosia (Chrome does though) than faceblindness.
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby cmsellers » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:14 am

As a kid, I seemingly had something like prosopagnosia, but it only applied to people I didn't see much. I could recognize my immediate family and close family friends, but I couldn't even tell my three maternal aunts apart until I realized that one had a broken nose and of the other two, only one smiled when I started to say "auntie [aunt's name]."

By high school, I could tell the aunts apart automatically, and other people I knew well. But everybody else I remembered by features, and some people I knew sort-of-well could confuse me just by cutting their hair. Even today, I still have some trouble telling features apart.

In light of neuroplasticity, I've often wondered if I simply had a very underdeveloped system for facial recognition, one which I've managed to improve by long practice.

One thing that's interesting is the point about identical twins. Even though I didn't have prosopagnosia, I could still tell identical twins apart, if I interacted with one of them. Usually one would be slightly chubbier and one would be slightly smilier. Also, I had no idea until I looked them up on Wikipedia after watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I had no idea that the Olsen twins were fraternal twins; they look more identical than most identical twins to me.
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Re: 5 Insane Realities of Life When You Can't See Faces

Postby Edgar Cabrera » Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:42 am

No, not Ericho again NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Image
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby Jack Road » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:06 am

You GIF made me cry because I realized that Carrie probably can't remember Neil Patrick Harris' beautiful, beautiful face.
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby Australia » Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:44 pm

I don't see faces* because my eyes are always focused down at BANNED! The fifty lewd adjectives in a thread tackling a real condition were bad enough but there's no excuse for the fifty-seven spelling errors.
Image

*Unless they're two at once
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YamI JamesT Eyebrows Edgar Logan Eric Michael Tess Sunny Notch Kate Jamish Lao Carp Moo FaceCitizen Aquila Nisi Qinglong Chaise Nullbert NotCIAagent JackRoad Delta MURDA Bert Czar Ambi JulyJack Adric Marcuse SilverMaple Nudge 52xMax Damiana Doma Pumpkin Toy Fry Andro Carrie Snarky Royal RLG Pikajew Windy skooma Kleiner Java Sellers Piter Gisarmbards Grimstone Recluse Esteban Syrup Krashlia Twistappel MacReady Funkotron mcfooty Pseudoman Creepy Kivutar nerd Ladki Jim Youghurt satan GL Angler
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby OrangeEyebrows » Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:03 pm

Burn Inflict wrote:You GIF made me cry because I realized that Carrie probably can't remember Neil Patrick Harris' beautiful, beautiful face.


A serious question for Carrie, if you don't mind answering, my lovely. If you find it difficult to distinguish between different faces, does that mean you don't perceive specific faces as being beautiful or not-beautiful? That's usually down, basically, to the size, shape and position of facial features, so I just wondered.
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:23 pm

Um. I don't tend to notice as much as I think some people do, and I don't know if I have the same opinions on the same faces as most people, but I do perceive some faces as more or less aesthetically pleasing than others.
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby OrangeEyebrows » Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:27 pm

Would you say it's down to the arrangement of facial features? Expression? Something else? Or fuck off Orange I've had enough of this conversation?
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby CarrieVS » Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:39 pm

I don't know. I suspect that my idea of a pretty or an unattractive face is rather looser than most non-faceblind people's. But when I look at a face, if I concentrate, I can see the shape and the proportions and the positions and shapes of features. I wouldn't be able to call that face back into mind a little later and tell you what I thought was beautiful about it but I can find it aesthetically pleasing or otherwise in the same way as anything else - a building, a car, a dog, a space rocket - can be aesthetically pleasing to me. Although the only person I know who knows much about rocket engineering almost completely disagrees with me about what's beautiful in a rocket.

I don't know if what I find to look nice in a face is very much like what other people do. For instance, in Notch's Am I Pretty thread, the picture I posted was one I thought was nicer than most photos of me, whereas Notch thought it was an unflattering photo.
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Re: I Can't See Faces

Postby OrangeEyebrows » Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:52 pm

That's actually a really good way of explaining it, thank you. I can tell whether or not a building is pleasingly proportioned, but if you then asked me to pick that specific building out of a lineup of similar buildings, I wouldn't have a hope.

I think I missed the Am I Pretty thread.
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