Monday, March 16, 2009

I Don’t Know Him, But His Face Rings A Bell

With the new(?) portrait of Shakespeare(??) getting all the buzz this week, it only makes sense for the “face readers” to come out of the woodwork and tell us some things about the man based entirely on the science of judging the book by its cover.  Or, in this case, judging the book by someone else’s interpretation of what the cover looks like. 

Know what I’m thinking?  Surely this has been done, but I think that we should take all known or assumed portraits of Shakespeare, throw in a bunch of other folks of the same period, and then use one of the face recognizing software packages (like Google’s Picasa, for instance) to see if it groups all the Shakespeares together.

(*) The subject, by the way, is the punch line to an old and rather bad joke.  I thought it appropriate.

1 comment:

Rose Rosetree said...

Hi, Shakespeare Geek and fans of this blog. Thanks for mentioning one of the two blog posts I devoted this week to doing Face Reading on the newly discovered portrait.

Just to clarify the art of physiognomy,it is not about "judging" people based on their faces. At least my system isn't.

If you're curious to learn why thoughtful people have been reading faces for character forever and, more specifically, physiognomists have used one system or another for upwards of 5,000 years, I invite you to learn more about it from one of my books. (Google on "Rose Rosetree" to find them. Or you could google on "recovering English Major" ;-) )

In particular, you might be interested in "Wrinkles Are God's Makeup: How You Can Find Meaning in Your Evolving Face," which especially emphasizes the fascinating ways that free will changes faces. I worked on that book for 9 1/2 years, as part of the research into physiognomy that I have done since 1975.

Ironically, people who don't do Face Reading yet are more apt to judge in superficial ways than those who stop, look at the face data (with human eyes and hearts, not data recognition software) and apply their greatest wisdom to interpreting what they find.