Ifat Glassman

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Everything posted by Ifat Glassman

  1. Happy Birthday to Ifat Glassman

    Thanks!
  2. ARTIST discovered on THE FORUM

    I decided to drop engineering as a career after my 2nd year, when I realized it cannot be combined with art. I finished the degree though for several reasons (it's Biomedical Engineering though, not Electric Engineering). I am an artist, it's what fits me and who I am.
  3. ARTIST discovered on THE FORUM

    Hi, I noticed this page occasionally shows up as a referral to my website, I figure I'd correct the address to the current one. It's just www.ifatart.com I'm flattered and treasure the compliment. I have new work now, mostly my student work. The work Inventor was referring to is no longer available online. I do have it on display to my friends on Facebook, if anyone is interested in adding me, just send a request. Now I mostly display what I do at my school - a lot less imagination and a lot more working from life.
  4. Happy Birthday to Ifat Glassman

    Thanks. I enjoyed posting here in the past and might come back to it occasionally in the future. Your forum is much appreciated.
  5. I've been thinking of this one quite a bit in the past couple of years. Facial expressions and body language are something all animals use to communicate, humans included. We absorb the knowledge, part automatically and part intentionally as we grow up, learn to sense how other are feeling and thinking, what their intentions and character are through the way they move, look and sound. It is essential to our survival to be able to do so and a person who cannot read those would not be able to successfully live in a social environment. Yet I wonder if this form of communication is objective. With words, there can only be one meaning, but body language, facial expressions and intonations are a different thing. I imagine people would justly be afraid to use it as evidence in court, for example. It's easy to imagine it going out of hand, when one person claims that they can just "sense" that the defendant sounds as if he's guilty or sounds as if he's lying when he says he didn't kill that person and so on. How would he go about proving that he is right? I know that being objective and the required standards for proof in court are not the same, but court is a place that requires such a high degree of accuracy and objectivity that I found it to be a good setting to use for thinking on this subject. An interesting and relevant thing to note is that animals are capable of reading body language flawlessly. If anyone here seriously watched the dog whisperer show then one thing they could learn is that dogs readily sense what the human feels inside. Other people may not sense that someone is nervous, but the dog always will, without mistake. They are not born with this ability, but they develop it and it is their main form of communication with other animals (projection of emotions and intent through body language, facial expressions and sounds they make). This shows that the information provided by body language is indeed something that can be identified truthfully or falsely - there are no "2 right answers". So long as it is the case no one can claim that this sort of information is too obscure to rely on or that it can never be "real knowledge". It might be said that we need to develop certain specific measurements to be able to say that the information we acquire through body language is objective and can be relied on. Ayn Rand spoke of a sense of life and getting to know somebody's sense of life in The Romantic Manifesto. I remember she said that we get a strong impression of it the first time we meet someone but that she also thought that that first impression can be wrong and that in order to evaluate someone SOL correctly more time investment is required. I hope I will be forgiven for paraphrasing without a quote - it's a big book and it would take me hours to look. I think it's ok since I am saying that I am paraphrasing so it can be taken as such. Another thought is - if body language/ facial expressions are not objective, how can we possibly evaluate works of art, like paintings or dancing? It will be impossible and it would mean that those are not currently objective either since we lack the means to identify them with certainty.
  6. Is body language objective?

    I listen to his explanations combined with the visual evidence. I can't possibly describe in text what the TV show shows. But honestly, I'm going to bail out of this discussion. What will I be spending my time on here? arguing with you guys whether or not we should look at the evidence presented by an expert? No thanks.
  7. Is body language objective?

    I understand you better now, but I did mean that they sense what a person feels inside. A person may smile and fool people but a smile will not fool a dog if the human has bad intentions. His show showed that so long as a dog has sufficient social experience the dog will recognize what a person feels. There are exceptions for that, but I think they are better put aside. A dog may learn to associate red bike with someone about to hit them thereby considering anyone on a bike as a threat, but that still doesn't change their other ability. The ability is still there. The point I was making is that they can sense a person's feelings, not just interpret them based on their random associations ("what it means to them"). A pack of dogs which Cesar would call "balanced" will react with the same emotion to a new dog showing a certain attitude. They all sense the attitude and read it the same. So it's not accurate to say that each dog there happens to respond to "what the behavior means to them", rather that they are able to correctly interpret what they see and hear. That is a very different meaning.
  8. Is body language objective?

    Oh, I actually meant something else. I was talking about less literal body language, such as the way a man walks, moves, breathes, the way they hold their facial muscles at any point in time, the way they sound and so on. It's what we use to get a sense of someone's intentions (are they friendly, mad at you, romantically interested in you, about to rob you and so on).
  9. Happy Birthday to ifatart

    Boy, alann, you cracked me up with that farming comment. It was a good one indeed... Thank you all for the greetings, and thanks for the poem, I'm sure it made me blush pretty good. Also thanks Betsy for the thread and the Forum which is a wonderful environment. If I ever get the time (like maybe over the summer), I'll go back to participate and read here and there.
  10. Happy Birthday to ifatart

    Thanks. What a sweet picture, very much my style. Thanks for hosting a great forum and putting so much attention into every individual member.
  11. Positive vs. Negative motivation

    Overall, there are two kinds of emotional motivations: pleasant (will be referred to as "positive") and painful (will be referred to as "negative"). Either a man acts to gain pleasure, or to avoid pain. These are essentially the two forms of emotional motivation man experiences. For example: we can be motivated to build a house out of a sense of pleasure. We can run away from a snake because of fear. We can give money to a beggar to avoid guilt, or we can buy a gift to a friend because of pleasure. We can study for a test because we are afraid to fail it, or we can read a book because we enjoy training ourselves in rational thinking. These examples illustrate an additional implicit understanding - that emotions are motivational force for action. The positive and the negative categories of emotional motivation are not meant to play an equal role in man's life. Negative motivation is meant to help us avoid damage - to deal with disaster and prevent it. To that extent, it is an excellent servant, and useful for our lives. Positive motivation is meant to motivate us for the rest of our actions in life, in the pursuit of values. Values such as food, house, entertainment, friends etc'. Take this opportunity to stop and think for a moment: Is the pursuit of such values in your life a result of positive motivation or negative one? Are you moved in your work by a sense of pleasure, or by a sense of duty? Do you do what you think is moral out of duty, or out of pleasure? Motivation in pursuit of values should be from positive emotions, not from negative ones. Assuming that the pursuit of values is the norm of every day life (what we do most of the time), and disasters are exceptional and rare, motivation from negative emotions should only be present in exceptional cases of correcting a mistake, or when you try to deal with some disaster - but not on the form of daily basis. It is important to keep in mind that negative emotions do have a significant role, too. Suppose you did something wrong, like, say, acting unjustly to a friend. You would feel guilt, and this will motivate you to correct the injustice. Acting on negative motivation in this case is proper. How do you decide what is proper? Reason is always the final arbiter. But listening to your emotions is an important first step to suggest an action. So let's look at an example of improper negative motivation: forcing oneself to do well at school, because of viewing it as an instance of the virtue of productivity. Doing well at school in most cases is NOT a matter of productivity at all (because school is not fully rational), studying becomes a constant action despite boredom and pain. "If you want to be good - you must try to be a good student. To be a good student - you must learn to endure pain". The result is going through years of putting an effort into school because of a desire to avoid a sense of guilt and failure. But the process of acquiring knowledge required for your career is pursuit of a value - not an attempt to avoid disaster or correct a mistake. Is it right that instead of pleasure, all one would feel is the pain of duty and self-repression? No. Such a clash is a call to look for a mistake in one's thinking (as I learned the hard way), not a call to continue things as the day before. This example demonstrates how rationalism leads to living one's life under negative motivation - out of a sense of duty to obey moral principles, not out of sense of acting selfishly to achieve one's pleasure. (The rationalist idea, in this case is to decide arbitrarily that success in school has to be, regardless of its actual nature, the virtue of productivity). Now what would be the long-term consequence of motivation from negative emotions in pursuits of values? Over time, it destroys everything it touches. In schools, kids are taught that they are good if they learn despite being bored. Over time the result is that they come to hate learning. Not just learning at school, but the act of putting mental effort into anything. As an adult, you may start with a job you dislike, training yourself over time not to notice your boredom. After enough time, you lose motivation to do any kind of work at all, even one you could have enjoyed before. How did this happen? you trained yourself to make your emotions irrelevant to your actions. You trained your subconscious to associate "work" with suffering and self-compulsion. If you view morality as a duty to hold yourself to - you will continually repress personal desires in order to be "in-line" with those principles. At the end of this road, you either lose sight of what "you" is, or you throw morality completely and attempt to live without principles at all. The pursuit of moral values, or virtues, or becoming the hero you have in your mind - should be from positive emotions. If it is not, that is the time to stop and think - make sure you really understand the principles you attempt to live by. Make sure you can see how those principles are good for you. There is only so much time that negative motivation can carry a man. This motivation is meant as a temporary assistant - not as fuel for every-day actions throughout life. This motivation is "crash and burn", its end result is always bad if used to pursue values. After 4 years of stress and repression I had in the technological institute I studied in, I know. To the extent that a society is irrational (like bad schooling system), some conflicts are bound to cross your way. In a dictatorship, one's actions are motivated by fear as the only possible way to function. But - Taking whatever existing conditions under account, try to pursue your values by the desire to gain pleasure. It is selfish. It is good. It is what makes life worth living. (Also available here) This was a pretty good one, so I decided to post it here.
  12. Positive vs. Negative motivation

    That's an option. Thanks for the suggestion.
  13. Positive vs. Negative motivation

    Does anyone have the course ""The Philosophy of Motivation" by Darryl Wright that Betsy mentioned? It seems to be no longer available at the Ayn Rand bookstore. I would be glad to buy it if anyone has it and want to sell. Or even borrow if that is possible, whatever is preferred. It seems to be an antique. Thanks.
  14. My Salsa show

    This is a salsa show of 3 girls (one of them is me (purple shirt)). It was a final test in a salsa course me and the other girls in the video took. I did the choreography (almost all of it). [unfortunately, we needed to downgrade the level of the dance a bit due to one of the girls (and yes, it does tick me off somewhat)]. Here it is on youTube: (best to watch in high quality (small link below the location of the player))Ifat
  15. Happy Birthday to ifatart

    Thanks, everyone. ( nice song, Brian).
  16. I'm curious to get input about the question above (I'll repeat it here): Who has it easier to say what's on his/her heart, men or women? The context is a romantic relationship. To give some examples of what I mean - suppose it is some emotional topic, like how one feels about the other, or about feeling disappointed by something (like, say, disappointed by something the partner did in relation to you), or even just how one feels about daily events. Do men hide their feelings more than women or share them less? And if so, why? (clarifying side-note: I think by "men" in my last sentence I can only refer to most men, not really to all men, because I don't think this is something men are born with, rather it is a psychological issue. But I am not sure about that).
  17. I was wondering if anyone ever had the same problem and thoughts, and would like to offer a solution or additional input. Here is the thing: I have always felt (since around high school time), that people are artificially nice. Many people (excluding close friends) smile at you for many reasons, none of which are enjoyment. It seems more like people are afraid not to smile, because they sense it could make a declaration of some sort. Or they may smile to build some sort of "bridge of approval" (you know, of the type of "you like me, I like you" when in fact you barely know the person at all). The thing I dislike about it is that it feels like a trap. It takes a lot from me to instantaneously identify if someone is smiling in a genuine way, or in a fake way, and yet it feels ungrateful or attacking in a way to return a flat face of indifference (or even a disliking face) for a smile. I'd like to use my face to only convey my feelings. Never to communicate any social conventions. So this whole thing irritates me and I'm not sure how to solve it. Furthermore, I consider consistency between facial expressions and emotions to be part of the virtue of honesty (a very important part, too). I think a man that can keep his face "pure" in this sense, and not to consider other people's emotions in this context has reached a tremendous psychological achievement. Most people I see never look as honest in this sense. It seems like most people succumb to the "nice" fear. People who actually genuinely return smiles are just as unique as the honest (and not approving) type (to sketch a very rough draft of this personality). Marilyn Monroe comes to my mind, and also Rachel Ray (a famous host for a T.V. show). Potentially, also Betsy Speicher (although I don't know enough to tell for sure). They actually smile in a genuine way, that seems to come from somehow believing that people around them are good enough for it. I am inclined to think this is an over-optimistic illusion. So far I've had some mixed solutions, but none of them feels quite right. On the record - I have no problem interacting with people who are genuinely nice, and to whom I have a desire to smile at. I don't hate nice-ness as such . I just hate any fake part of it (which is very common). Any input is welcome. Ifat
  18. A problem dealing with people who act nice

    Why do you care where I saw it? Why does it matter? And I am certain all people have a problem with "nice stuff" - at leats as something they need to make a choice about at some point in their life. It's just that some people have more courage than others to admit their state of mind.
  19. A problem dealing with people who act nice

    Here is that skepticism I was talking about. "We can never know". We can know. This is the same to how the term "psychologizing" is used to essentially cut out ANY attempt of psychological analysis. "Who are we to know? we can never know, so better not judge, but just answer the arguments". I judge, I don't just answer the arguments, and I am certain I can reach correct conclusions about people's psychologies from reading their writing. It has become almost a taboo to discuss any negative evaluation of someone's psychology, under the name of psychologizing. And I think this approach to so called "psychologizing" is at the core of skepticism in regard to human intentions, expressions and motivation. I am completely against it. Knowledge in that field IS attainable, and you don't have to be a "professional" for that.
  20. A problem dealing with people who act nice

    So we're suppose to do learn about what something is based on exceptional cases? What's the logic in that? Might as well say, that since sometime people smile when they're actually sad, one can never tell if a smile indicates a good mood or not. Which would be skepticism (in this area). Just because it might be difficult to identify something correctly, does not mean one should be skeptic about the possibility of knowledge in that field.
  21. Happy Birthday to ~Sophia~

    Happy Birthday
  22. A problem dealing with people who act nice

    To make a point, I'd like to describe one approach that I think is completely flawed: Thinking that a perfect person has a benevolent approach to people (supported by deduction from Objectivist principles), and because of that, a person is going to be nice to people. Every time upon meeting a new person, reminding yourself "The perfect person is benevolent, so now think how wonderful it is to be benevolent (to be perfect), just like the perfect person is suppose to be, and if you smile you will actually be that perfect person". And then the person smiles and feels confidence as a result. What it is is nothing but cowardice and blind following. This is not self expression, nor selfishness. It is just like men who try to sleep with women to get self esteem, or like teenagers trying to immitate Roark's style to consider themselves good. This is one example how focusing on intellectual analysis of being nice or not is actually (surprisingly) to avoid facing the problem - thinking that if you can explain why being nice is necessary intellectually, then there is no need to face any emotional conflicts involved.
  23. A problem dealing with people who act nice

    It is obvious that in order to discuss how to deal with fake nice-ness (/fake smiles), people first need to agree that such a thing exists. Like Duh.
  24. A problem dealing with people who act nice

    I think whether or not there is harm, depends on your answer to my question if it involved voluntary control of one's muscles and expression. I think that such control* does damage one's well being. For starters, it automatizes a dissociation between one's expression and one's emotions. It is not coincidence that the magazine talks about "feeling dead inside". Feeling dead is a result of this kind of faking emotions. One, over time, loses touch with one's true feelings and becomes an empty vessel. This also influences one's self-esteem in a very heavy way. People who fake smiles, I guarantee you, also have self-esteem issues. But it's going to be hard to provide evidence for my last statement - maybe you can help here. *(putting aside rare cases like hiding a fugitive in your home and laying to the Nazis about it)
  25. A problem dealing with people who act nice

    Well, Halleluya! someone who agrees with me that fake expressions exist. I had the exact same thoughts as yours about the picture of Jordin Sparks. Nice remark about the exception of micro-expression. I never thought of it like that... I am impressed that part of training in a psychology degree involves what you describe. I thought there is nothing to expect but bologny, back in the days when I was considering a degree in psychology. OK, now to your follow-up post.