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Learning Charisma March 2, 2012

Posted by bobv451 in ideas, movies, movies & TV, robot rights, weird news, writing.
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No, not Charisma Carpenter, though that would be interesting, but rather that unidentifiable trait that makes a person shine, sparkle (not in the vampire sense) and be the center of attention…even if they aren’t trying.

John Wayne had this star quality. He came onscreen and whatever else was going on didn’t matter. He wasn’t all that good an actor because no matter the role he was always playing John Wayne, unlike actors who act and become chameleons (Dustin Hoffman comes to mind). So there was something about John Wayne that commanded attention. Q: could Dustin Hoffman capture this quality in a character and *act* charismatic?

The answer is that it might be possible. Crafty scientists have made charismatic robot fish that become the leaders of their schools. Tail motion is the key. A stationary robot fish got no attention but when it duplicated the tail flicks of a leader, the real fish followed. It is likely the same thing is possible with humans.

Can it be speaking ability? Hitler enthralled an entire country into war, but John Wayne’s verbal delivery was never all that compelling to me. But I still couldn’t stop watching when he came onscreen even when he didn’t speak. Something about him made him a star. He had charisma. Watching Hitler’s speeches and not understanding German makes me think there is something about body motion, stance, confidence. Is there a human equivalent to the robot fish tail flip? Can we make a robot with human-attracting charisma? I am sure this will make the Japanese perk up, if it is possible since they are world leaders in robotic/human interactions

A while back I did a Magic: The Gathering book, Dark Legacy, that addressed whart made a charismatic leader, at least in part. After all these years, the notion still intrigues me. Rather than 15 minutes of fame, maybe we should all get 15 minutes of charisma?

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