Postalo Vleeptron / 1st Day Issue: Anosognosia / it stings like hell, but I'm invisible! / she says she's my wife, she probably is
First Day Issue
Have I posted a version of this stamp or anything about anosognosia before?
I had a hospital procedure the other day, and I'm so hopped up on dope that I can't remember. Also they used that Forget Drug -- I think it's called Versed -- in the anesthesia.
I'm pretty sure the woman who drove me home was my wife; she said she was my wife, anyway.
But things have been pretty fuzzy on Planet Vleeptron this week.
The two armed bank robberies were low-rent and ordinary. But with a difference: The robber wore no mask, no motorcycle helmet. He made no effort to disguise his face.
So the Pittsburgh police began their investigation with perfectly clear security camera video of the robber's face. A very short time later, they had their suspect in handcuffs. He seemed upset and confused.
"But I wore the juice!" he told the cops.
"What juice?" the detectives asked.
"Lemon juice! I rubbed it all over my face! It really stings, but it makes you invisible to the bank cameras!"
Of course he was too smart just to swallow a street rumor like the power of lemon juice to render the wearer invisible to cameras. He needed proof. So he tested it. He rubbed lemon juice all over his face, took a Polaroid snapshot of himself, and claimed that his face didn't show up on the test photo.
That was good enough for him. He was ready for bank heists.
David Dunning, a professor of social psychology at Cornell, was fascinated by the Tale of the Invisible Bank Robber, and, with graduate student Justin Kruger, published (in 1999) a research paper about an apparently common, but previously unreported disorder:
How Difficulties of Recognizing
One’s Own Incompetence
Lead to Inflated Self-assessments
Deconstructing from its Greek roots, it means, roughly:
Anosognosia seems to be both widespread and incurable.
But as a theory of intellectual disorder, it explains a great deal of human behavior that was previously mysterious and inexplicable.
Now, for the first time, it all makes sense.
The documentary filmmaker Errol Morris wrote about anosognosia in The New York Times. His remarkable essay begins HERE.