RadioLab Show!

NPR RadioLab’s Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich recently did a fascinating show titled “Desperately Seeking Symmetry”, where they traveled through time and science and culture looking for the signs of symmetry, and in fact found just the opposite.  The full show is being podcast here: 

As part of the show, they interviewed me and the Hair Part Theory – basically covering the way I discovered the concept, the transformation that I experienced, and how i found the effects of right parting on other men was similarly a handicap – Jimmy Carter and Clark Kent are covered.  This part of the full show listed above is the Mirror Mirror Segment – I’m about 1/3 of the way in :

A couple of notes from the show:

   They covered how the True Mirror came into play – the mirror that doesnt reverse your image, and how it finally solved the strangeness of the mirror flip that had bedeviled me after realizing how i had been fooled my whole life.  But the show was about asymmetry – how even when we search for and value symmetry, it’s really hard to find.  Turns out the True Mirror accentuates them a lot, since they are on the opposite side from what you are used to.  Yes, some people (a lot actually), find this very disconcerting, which is the point they made on the show, but so many actually love what they see and embrace the new view because it’s so much more animated and reflective of our true nature.  just a minor wish for that point to be made on an otherwise fantastic show!

The other thing is that they have a picture of Lincoln on the web that if you click it reverses it.  More than a few web comments are saying they don’t see the big difference, enough to have the audience gasp when they saw it…I think it’s because in the live show, the picture was huge – a full movie screen size, and the overall effect of the flip was very striking.  if you can download this small picture to a larger monitor and flip it, it may be more striking

Other pictures are missing that were part of the live show that could help the radio audience…the Clark Kent flip and Jimmy Carter flip.  Both will be posted on this blog shortly.

Finally, one of the biggest things that I discovered when i first saw a true image in a medicine cabinet mirror combination, was that my face “works” there, and it gets very flat and strained backwards.  Turns out that the asymmetry is important for communication – our left may be stronger in expressiveness, but it belongs there.  When you flip the sides, your expressions stop matching what is real and you tend to fall into a stare.  When i show the True Mirror to people, that’s the best experience ever – when they see the light in their eyes when smiling and how it stays there and gets stronger!  This is a fundamental flaw in one of the most common household items  – every person is subjected to this flattening and deadening experience daily – is there any wonder that we all have issues?


About John Walter

A long long time ago when I was just 19, I discovered the effects of changing my hair part from right to left. The strength of the change - in my case from a social misfit to "Joe Popular" was amazing, and not only that, when I looked around, it was happening to others. The Hair Part Theory was the result of researching the effects and putting it into a more scientific framework and language. My sister Catherine Walter was instrumental in getting my vague handwaving theories into a great paper, including a slew of statistics to illustrate just how many leaders we have that are hair parters! A few years after discovering the Hair Part Theory, I discovered, or more accurately re-discovered a true image mirror - and recognized myself at a deep level. The full story is elsewhere on this blog (link coming), but suffice to say that the True Mirror (the trade name of my perfect version), reflects your hair part the way it actually is, and you can see exactly what you are matters!
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5 Responses to RadioLab Show!

  1. Pingback: Hair Part Theory

  2. sarah moses says:

    What about parting your hair in the middle?

    • John Walter says:

      middle is balanced, same as no part or bald. I think its the stronger part, because you are not emphasizing one side of yourself at the expense of the other. We are all right brained, left brained. the hair part influences people looking at you, so it shifts your interactions one war or the other even before you speak.

  3. kkopel says:

    Just heard the podcast and so intrigued! Would the medicine cabinet- mirror combo be another version of a “true mirror”?

    • John Walter says:

      yes, it is, in fact, that is how i first saw my true reflection. I was floored by the difference – namely that i looked happy and natural, vs strained and fake. I saw the spark in my eye! the True Mirror that i make has no line in the center – this is always present with two regular mirrors, which is why most times you don’t pay attention to it – the line goes right through your eyes.

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