Friday, October 3, 2008
What's in a Wink?
(S)He who winks the eye causes trouble,
And a babbling fool will be ruined.
From Proverbs book 10
Blinking is a neat natural process whereby the eyelids wipe the eyes clean, much as a windscreen wiper on a car.
Blink rate tends to increase when people are thinking more. This can be an indication of lying as the liar has to keep thinking about what they are saying. Realizing this, they may also force their eyes open and appear to stare.
Blinking can also indicate rapport, and people who are connected often blink at the same rate. Someone who is listening carefully to you is more likely to blink when you pause (keeping eyes open to watch everything you say).
Beyond natural random blinking, a single blink can signal surprise that the person does not quite believe what they see ('I'll wipe my eyes clean to better see').
Rapid blinking blocks vision and can be an arrogant signal, saying 'I am so important, I do not need to see you'.
Rapid blinking also flutters the eyelashes and can be a coy romantic invitation.
Closing one eye in a wink is a deliberate gesture that often suggests conspiratorial ('You and I both understand, though others do not').
Winking can also be a slightly suggestive greeting and is reminiscent of a small wave of the hand ('Hello there, gorgeous!').
Sarah Palin has experience being a runner-up -- which will come in handy in November. Tonight she barely kept up.
In advance, the commenteriat almost unanimously agreed on a false measure of this debate. Judging by "expectation" meant that pundits could conceivably award a faux victory if she was half-coherent and modestly informed after a cram session in Arizona.
But voters apply an absolute standard, not a low water mark of expectations: With America facing two wars and economic disaster, Americans ask if a candidate is up to the job.