Become a mind reader

Matilda: I became...
Hansel: What?
Matilda: Bulimic.
Derek Zoolander: You can read minds?

from Zoolander
A follow-up to the post on mindreading which referenced Steven Johnson's new book and Malcolm Gladwell's article from The New Yorker. Paul Ekman, one of the key figures mentioned in the Gladwell article, was interviewed in the NYTimes. Turns out Ekman's facial reading skills are in high demand from everyone from animators to the FBI.
Q. One of your most fascinating findings is that if a person merely arranges his face into a certain expression, he will actually feel the corresponding emotion. In other words, emotions work from the outside in as well as the inside out. Is happiness really as simple as putting on a happy face?
A. In a very limited way, yes. The trick with happiness is that while everybody can smile, most people can't move one crucial muscle around the eyes that must be moved to generate the physiology of happiness. With anger or disgust, though, everybody can make the right facial movements and turn on the physical sensations of those emotions.

I'm seriously considering purchasing the FACS training CD. Does anyone want to split the cost with me? Just think, we'll become gifted mindreaders, able to tell when people are lying to us. How many chances in life do you have to gain a superpower?
In Emotions Revealed, Ekman posits the existence of display rules. That is, while all humans are evolutionarily endowed with the same emotional expressions, different societies and cultures might teach them rules about when it's appropriate to use those expressions.
Ekman conducted an experiment in which he showed Japanese and Americans videos of surgeries and accidents. When they were alone, both sets of people displayed the same negative facial expressions, but when the Japanese were in the presence of a scientist they masked their negative reactions with a smile.
This makes me wonder whether or not my American upbringing has clouded my response to acting. I'm biased towards American actors, generally. On the whole, I think America has more good actors than other countries. But perhaps that's because I'm biased towards a more emotive school of expression. This may explain why I find so much of Asian acting to be too understated, or French acting to be too stern. It certainly makes it more difficult to critique foreign movies if one misunderstands why a character is displaying a certain expression in a particular context.
(Maybe Keanu Reeves is considered a great actor by some societies? Maybe the Wachowski brothers' fascination with Asian cinema explains why all the actors maintain a facial expression of zen placidity throughout The Matrix: Reloaded)
The universality of emotional expression reaffirms the utility of emoticons, also. It would be frightening to think that =) might be interpreted as anger by another reader. Someone should conduct a test like the "Eyes tell all" test, but with emoticons.