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James Bond: The spy we love

Most of us love to read and watch James Bond novels and movies. This character is depicted as master people reader and more specifically - the sharp “mind” reader who always stays ahead of the curve. He can judge people and their potential moves upon confrontation very quickly and most accurately. James Bond has a tonnes of tricks under his sleeves to tackle criminals, outlaws, avengers and enemies.

"You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face." - Ian Fleming

His success highly depends upon reading a targeted person just by its expressions, gaze, gestures, postures, para language and movements; making quick and most accurate judgments in given situation and acting upon plans in no time. He is dropped at very hostile places with minimal equipment to finish the deadliest operations (to save the world). Only truly lethal weapon he has is his brain. Isn’t it?
James Bond: Celebrating 50th anniversary on screen
If James Bond would have ever existed in reality, every intelligence and spy agency on this planet would have tried to recruit him on highest compensation. Ultimately, our world would have become a peaceful place to leave, free from mad scientists, rouge organizations, terrorists, conspirators, psychopaths, fundamentalists and international criminals. Sadly, this is only a great dream that novelists, fiction writers and movie makers show to all of us.
 
Our world is full of multiple threats and challenges which are posed by several evil-minded, anti-social, psychopathic, rogue and extremely ambitious individuals. We live by dreaming and hoping that someday this much-loved-on-screen secret agent or super spy would show up and save us from them and turn the world into a peaceful heaven.

Actually, every independent nation has its own defense framework and infrastructure which is consistently kept on toes by a group of intelligence and counter-intelligence officers and agents. We can’t watch them in a party or round the corner as the handsome spy we love (wearing costly black suits and wearing glasses) walks up to and introduces himself saying, “My name is Bond…James Bond!”. 
 
In fact, secret agents or spies are not the way they are depicted in novels, movies or TV serials. However, all they have in common is black glasses, goggles or sheds on their eyes most of the time while moving around people so that people can hardly notice that they are being observed, gauged and scrutinized by the expert and experienced eyes which can pick subtle clues. Devil lies in details and spy lies in disguise.

Master Mind Readers

No doubt, secret agents and spies posses highest accuracy rates in reading people (and their minds) than ordinary people - about 80% globally. It is only achieved by senses, rigorous training given by experts, strong mental preparation, enhanced observational skills, better knowledge about human behavior, thousands of hours of practice and most crucially - following the gut feeling.

There are many famous TV serials like Lie to Me (Micro expression analyst), The Mentalist (Great observer), Byomkesh Bakshi (Indian version of Sherlock Holmes) and many more having a protagonist or a central character of a crime investigator or a detective with sharper observing eyes, greater analytical skills and quicker judging skills.

Work of a typical crime investigator is mostly confined to collect samples, analyze photographs, probe video - audio tapes, interrogate people, trace suspects and conduct laboratory tests but secret agents or spies are like the moving (and typical “killing”) machines that are ready to act upon every signal of suspicion, threat and danger given away by persons (and their silhouettes and shadows too), entities and situations.
Sherlock Holmes: Sign of superiority on face!
Being an actual secret agent or spy is all about greater situational awareness, a longer attention span and fixation for details. Also, agent has to be physical strong, resourceful, adaptive, agile and enduring. Perhaps, an ordinary looking person that turns out to be a secret agent or spy before our eyes is most fascinating because of typical predatory qualities it has are sophistication, stealthiness, courage, accuracy, deceptiveness and extreme speed.

The real James Bond(s)

Ian Fleming
Many of us may not know that Ian Fleming, the maker of James Bond character, was a naval intelligence officer serving for United Kingdom during World War 2. He and his team spied for Allied forces to defeat Germans (Nazis). What he wrote in novels about James Bond, was based on his own life and of those individuals who inspired him. Otherwise, he could not have brought that much realistic effects and details in his scripts.

He worked with and closely observed many agents putting their lives at risk, almost exactly like his super spy character does to change the course of world’s history and politics.
Few of his team members were working as double-agents, spying for both Allied forces and Germans. They succeeded in distracting and deceiving Germans (Nazis) by providing false intelligence updates.

[Courtesy: The million year old super spy hidden right inside us - unconscious mind.]

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Botox hampers emotional awareness

Botox (Botulinum toxin) is a new magical substance in shelves of today’s cosmetic therapists and beauticians who cater their "youth-maniac" clients. Given “ever-youthful face” fad in modern metropolitan society and corporate work culture, this medicine helps in vanishing facial wrinkles that are caused by natural aging process, severe illness or abnormalities.

Like its apparent advantages in an impression driven environment, the beneficiary(?) has to weigh a great setback in its social life. As Botox is administered in small patches of skin to make it look young, it ultimately hampers one’s ability to read emotions in others. How?
Regaining youth or losing emotional ability?
Actually, we all give and get facial feedback unconsciously. It’s not necessary that facial expressions are always noticeable because many a times we try to keep face expressionless. However, unnoticeable muscular activities do occur that can be detected by seasoned eyes or computer software with sophisticated imaging devices.


Remarkable purpose of involuntarily muscular movements is detection of emotions in others. Brain understands emotions in other by simulating corresponding muscular movement on face of an observer. Movements might be too tiny to remain unnoticeable by third person or even two persons who are participating in an emotional melodrama.
In future, machines could read human emotions. What about us?
Botox paralyzes muscles that cause wrinkles on facial skin and thus face looks reflated and swollen. However muscular movements are inhibited because Botox interferes with signals that brain sends to facial muscles. Though it gives a person so-called youthful look, lack of muscular movements hampers core abilities of expressing and detecting emotions.

A person can find itself as emotionless as if it has been forced to stay poker faced for a long time. A research done by Prof. Dr. David Neal (a professor of psychology at the University of Southern California) underlines side effects of Botox on emotional awareness stating clearly, “If muscular signals from the face to the brain are dampened, you’re less able to read emotions.”
Poker Face: Magnificently Dull

Even though many of us don’t get Botox injected, we don’t capitalize facial muscles at fullest. Staying poker for long time is also likely to hamper our ability to both express and read emotions in others.
 
Particularly, in the metropolitan environment, where large population is forced to use and share limited physical space, we incline to keep our faces almost emotionless while commuting and invading - sharing physical space.

It helps us to isolate ourselves from strangers on social grounds but it might hamper our emotional awareness too. Issue gets multiplied by working conditions where casually interaction with others is almost impossible or not (assumed as) required. Not expressing emotions on face could lead us to social devastation.

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