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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 and more specifically “mind” reader. He can judge people very quickly and accurately - especially criminals, offenders and their enemies (plenty he has).

"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, deportment, para language and movements; making quick and most accurate judgments in given situation; and acting on plans in no time. He is landed in very hostile places with minimal equipments to face deadliest operations (to save the world). Only 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 agency on this planet would have tried to recruit him on highest compensation. Ultimately, our world would have become a peaceful place to leave. Sadly, this is only a dream that novelist or fiction writer shows us. Our world is full of threats and desperation posed by anti-socialists, psychopaths, extremists and exploiters and we live upon dream and euphoria hoping someday this secret agent or super spy would manifest and save us from perils.

Actually, every independent nation has its defense system supported by a group of intelligence and counter-intelligence officers though we can’t watch them in a party or round the corner as like the spy we love (wearing costly black suit and glasses) walks and introduces himself saying, “My name is Bond…James Bond!”. In fact, secret agents or spies are not the way they are depicted in movies or TV serials.

Master mind readers

No doubt, secret agents and spies have highest accuracy rates in reading people (and their minds) than ordinary people - about 80% globally. It’s only achieved by rigorous training, mental preparation, improving observation power, understanding behavior, hours of practice and most crucially a hunch that develops or improves over time.

Also, 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 central character of a crime investigator or detective. Work of these experts is mostly confined to collect samples, analyze photographs, probe video & audio tapes, interrogate & trace suspects and conduct laboratory tests but secret agents or spies are like a moving (and typical “killing”) machines that sense every signal of suspicion 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 present mindedness, acute vigilance and situational awareness. Also, agent has to be physical strong, adaptive, agile and enduring. Perhaps, an ordinary looking person that turns out as a secret agent or spy before our eyes is most fascinating because of typical predatory qualities it has - sophistication, secrecy, courage, accuracy, deceptiveness, unexpectedness 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 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 - our 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 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.”

Intentional "Poker" Face

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 read emotions in others. Particularly in a 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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