Video: Paul Ekman on compassion, deceit and facial recognition

Paul Ekman, a world-renowned behavioral neuroscientist and the inventor of the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) visited the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain last week. In this video, Clifford Saron talks to Ekman about his work on compassion and deceit, beginning with Ekman’s conversations with the Dalai Lama.

Watch the full video here.

Ekman’s work is the basis for the television series “Lie to Me,” starring Tim Roth.

An interesting nugget: At about 35 minutes, Ekman is talking about ‘sentient compassion’ for all living things, and notes that none of the Abrahamic religions have this as a moral value. The exception is Buddhism — and the same idea was put forward by Charles Darwin, before he had learned anything of Buddhism.

Andy Frank on Tesla, battery tech

A plane crash earlier this week may have dealt a severe blow to electric car maker Tesla Motors. The company currently sells the Tesla Roadster sports car, a little pricey at over $100,000, and is due to bring out a sedan selling for around $50 k in 2012.

Tesla at UC Davis

The San Jose Mercury News notes that Tesla is expected to face tough competition when Nissan rolls out its Leaf electric car. But UC Davis engineering professor Andy Frank, who has built both plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, told the Merc: “Making a business case out of new technology is always difficult, but when you’ve got 1,000 EV’s on the road, that’s 1,000 more than anyone else.”

Japanese consul speaks on political change

Contributed by Clifton Parker

Japan’s stunning political shift last summer is a reflection of deep-rooted angst within the Japanese people, a top diplomat of that country said.

Yasumasa Nagamine, the San Francisco-based consul general of Japan, told a campus audience Jan. 28 that he expects big adjustments ahead as a result of the Democratic Party of Japan’s landslide election in August 2009.

“A very dramatic change has taken place,” said Nagamine, who has worked as a Japanese diplomat for 33 years.

“The Japanese people feel a loss of direction and frustration about future planning and job security.”