The Eyes Know: Blinko, the Lie Detector

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Commentator Ken Nordine imagines a small device that can tell others if a person is lying by changing the way they blink their eyes. He says office-seekers would need to have it implanted.


Sound artist Ken Nordine has been thinking about a way to get to the bottom of things, the whole story, the facts, the truth.

(Soundbite of birds chirping and of music)


There was a guy who had a strange problem. Got hung up on truth.

Oh? What truth was that?

Well, the big truth.


The one you have to swear to.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

You see, what his problem was, his hang-up, was that he wanted everyone to tell the truth all the time, 'cause he had it in his head that when you know the truth, when you really know it, the truth will make you free.

What about the white lies?

Even then. No matter what, he wanted everyone everywhere to tell the truth.

The whole truth and nothing but the truth?

So everyone would be free.


You won't believe this, but he wanted to get the government to spend billions of dollars on his truth invention, a thing he called Blinko.


It was a pacemaker, a lie detector that he wanted everyone to have implanted, especially for the people running for high office.

What did it do?

Well, if you didn't tell the truth, Blinko would make your eyes blink funny...


`uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh,' and then everyone would know, because of the blinking, what was being said wasn't true. `Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh,' blink, blink, blink, `the whole truth, uh-uh-uh, and nothing but the truth, uh-uh-uh.'

Where's the guy now?

He's locked up. (Laughs) His hopes are still high. Someday, if Blinko is allowed, we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

SIEGEL: Sound artist Ken Nordine lives in Chicago.

(Soundbite of "Flight of the Bumblebee")

MELISSA BLOCK (Host): You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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