The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession

The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession

The Lie Detectors The History of an American Obsession The story of the lie detector takes us straight into the dark recesses of the American soul It also leads us on a noir journey through some of the most storied episodes in American history That is bec

  • Title: The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession
  • Author: Ken Alder
  • ISBN: 9780743259880
  • Page: 382
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The story of the lie detector takes us straight into the dark recesses of the American soul It also leads us on a noir journey through some of the most storied episodes in American history That is because the device we take for granted as an indicator of guilt or innocence actually tells us about our beliefs than about our deeds The machine does not measure deceptiThe story of the lie detector takes us straight into the dark recesses of the American soul It also leads us on a noir journey through some of the most storied episodes in American history That is because the device we take for granted as an indicator of guilt or innocence actually tells us about our beliefs than about our deeds The machine does not measure deception so much as feelings of guilt or shame As Ken Alder reveals in his fascinating and disturbing account, the history of the lie detector exposes fundamental truths about our culture why we long to know the secret thoughts of our fellow citizens why we believe in popular science and why America embraced the culture of truthiness For centuries, people searched in vain for a way to unmask liars, seeking clues in blushing cheeks, shifty eyes, and curling toesl the body s outward signs But not until the 1920s did a cop with a Ph.D team up with an entrepreneurial high school student from Berkeley, California and claim to have invented a foolproof machine that peered directly into the human heart In a few short years their polygraph had transformed police work, seized headlines, solved sensational murders, and enthralled the nation In Chicago, the capital of American vice, the two men wielded their device to clean up corruption, reform the police, and probe the minds of infamous killers Before long the lie detector had become the nation s mechanical conscience, searching for honesty on Main Street, in Hollywood, and even within Washington, D.C Husbands and wives tested each other s fidelity Corporations tested their employees honesty Movie studios and advertisers tested their audiences responses Eventually, thousands of government employees were tested for their loyalty and morals for lack of which many lost their jobs.Yet the machine was flawed It often was used to accuse the wrong person It could easily be beaten by those who knew how Repeatedly it has been applied as an instrument of psychological torture, with the goal of extracting confessions And its creators paid a commensurate price One went mad trying to destroy the Frankenstein s monster he had created The other became consumed by mistrust jealous of his cheating wife, contemptuous of his former mentor, and driven to an early death The only happy man among the machine s champions was the eccentric psychologist who went on to achieve glory as the creator of Wonder Woman.Yet this deceptive device took America and only America by storm Today, the CIA still administers polygraphs to its employees Accused celebrities loudly trumpet its clean bill of truth And the U.S government, as part of its new war on terror, is currently exploring forms of lie detection that reach directly into the brain Apparently, America still dreams of a technology that will render human beings transparent.The Lie Detectors is the entertaining and thought provoking story of that American obsession.

    • Best Download [Ken Alder] ✓ The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession || [Paranormal Book] PDF á
      382 Ken Alder
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      Posted by:Ken Alder
      Published :2020-02-26T14:20:20+00:00

    816 Comment

    The "lie detector" is an American invention of the 20th century that measures the physical changes (blood pressure, sweat, hear rate) that are said to correspond to willful deception--lies. However, there are serious scientific and philosophical questions about whether willful deception can be unequivocally linked to specific bodily reactions, and about whether a device of this or any (known) scientific type can accurately measure and predict or proscribe results based on physical changes.Alder' [...]

    Reasonably good history and analysis of the uniquely American fixation with mechanical lie detection/guilt detection machinery, from phrenology and fingerprints, through polygraphs, to touch on functional magnetic resonance imagery techniques in current usage, and spends a lot of time discussing what exactly these systems detect: truth, guilt, perceived guilt, or the prejudices of the person asking the question. (One developer of early machines said it was very difficult to "use them on negros f [...]

    The chapter on Marston (the guy who wrote the Wonder Woman comic) was the most interesting part of the book in some ways, but completely unrelated to the main arc as far as I could tell. I thought the author did not do a good job of bringing it all together. It was just anecdotes of the few people who really were the force behind what the lie detector is today. It should have been more interesting than it was.

    A great read. Traces the history and development of the lie detector and tells you a great deal about the characters involved in its creation and promotion.

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