We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I actually have that problem. Rarely can recognize someone out of context, have trouble recognizing people in photos (even myself, especially if it's a candid shot I didn't know/didn't remember happening).
If I see someone I know from work at, say, WalMart, chances are I won't recognize them. Shoot, if I see someone from work outside our normal association area, like the cafeteria and I normally see them on the second floor, I draw a blank.
Although sometimes I recall the face but no specifics -- name, where I know them from, etc.
Maybe Dr Bliss can give a hint about this brain abnormality.
I don't think that's a brain abnormality. It's normal. There is a wide variability in the normal range of sensory ability and understanding. In my family, I am visually oriented, and can make all kinds of connections and never miss a beat, but my husband is more auditory, and while he can't recognize similarities between faces, he is way ahead of me with regards to anything musical, and I just don't have the auditory sensitivity that he and my children have. It amazes me.
It seems that the people we become familiar with when young (i.e., family, fellow students, playmates) form basic categories of face.
Thereafter, we pigeonhole people we meet in one of those categories. For example, New Guy looks like my brother Bob.
(The interesting thing is that associated emotions seem to be transferable. That is, if you hate your brother Bob, you subconsciously tend to dislike New Guy.)
This mechanism must be associated with exogamy, too.
If New Girl looks like your sister Bobette, you probably would be disgusted by the idea of sex with her.
I have the opposite problem. I remember faces fairly well, but struggle to remember where or when I last saw the face, and anything else related to the face. Names? Forget it!
Of course, several years of meeting 1000 or more new people per year at trade shows might have burned out that portion of my brain.
I can't even begin to remember the number of times a familiar face has walked up to me at a trade show and I've tried to peek at the badge to get a clue. Very embarrassing when you get caught, as often happens