Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tagging Love and Affection: Part I

Oh, my baby cousin is all grown up and got married. The wedding was a fairy tale: the kind that they show in the last scene of a good movie where you then sit through the entire credits in hopes that your eyes are reasonably dried up by the time you walk out into the bright public space beyond the theater.

The picture shows the bride's foot. Maybe one would expect a glass slipper, but this is a galvanic skin response sensor that recorded throughout the ceremony so that the bride and groom can later transcribe a mutual emotional trajectory. The sensor records skin conductance, which is related to moisture, and the signal must have been off the charts -- it was a wonderful wedding and but it was also a beautiful sunny day. Sunny in the intense sense, where you gain an practical understanding of why the British royal family feels that weddings require large-brimmed hats.

The nuptial couple must have been perspiring at least lightly and I suspect their respective sensors registered one continuous high throughout the proceedings. And indeed: I wish them this for their married lives that their joint signal continuously reflects a wonderful life experience. Or, if it's not a continuous high, may they at least be gifted with the ability to recognize any large dips as outliers and ignore them.

Lasting love is a complex phenomenon and I suspect that the most reliable expressions of it are more under our conscious control. In the next post I relate it to ... picture taking!