Personal Rapid Transit, Ecstasy-Induced Hallucinations, and Stephanie Tanner: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today we have the return of a TV child star, Ecstasy-induced panic attacks, an alternate future where we don’t drive anymore, and the meandering quest to save our collective attention.

Pacific Standard argued that scientists studying modern society’s attention problem needs a new focus.

I would like to suggest, instead of an economics of attention, that we think about an ecology of attention. We’ve already discussed “attention-as-resource,” an ecological framing of attention as a natural resource to husband and defend, rather like the rainforest, clean water, or breathable air. But to think of attention as a depletable resource is actually to think of it as a particular kind of private property, one that can be stolen from us, or be dealt out or cruelly withheld at will. It is to align attention almost completely with consumption.

Nautilus writer Kastalia Medrano interviews a psychiatrist about Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder, which turned a dose of ecstasy she took at a music festival into several months of recurring hallucinations.

The condition is often disturbing, even frightening. It can compromise vision to the point where you’re no longer comfortable driving or even going outside. But I didn’t mind—it introduced an explosion of beauty into the world at a time when I needed it. Two months later I got LASIK eye surgery, which I’d scheduled before that summer. When the procedure was over, the lights were gone.

Complex published a profile of Full House actress Jodie Sweetin, who hopes to find normalcy after two drug-addled decades by reprising her role as Stephanie Tanner on Fuller House.

Her twenties were—as she presents them—completely chaotic. These were the “fuck it” years, the lost years. Some child stars never survive them (see: Corey Haim, Brad Renfro, Jonathan Brandis, Ashleigh Ashton Moore, River Phoenix). There is something so dangerous about becoming famous so young: you can only do it if you have a unique talent, but then you become a person with a unique talent who has been boxed in for life. It’s the Mouseketeer Paradox; the Snick-22.

The Verge covers the failed dream of “personal rapid transit,” a radical alternative to traditional mass transit developed in the 1960s.

The system was designed to be everything that existing public transportation wasn’t. Pods would carry only as many people as an average car, guaranteeing a nearly private ride. Riders wouldn’t need to follow a timetable or wait for other people to enter and exit the system. Because the pods would only be dispatched on demand, cities could run service to many low-traffic areas without worrying about waste. There were no drivers to train or pay, and the pods could run quietly on electrical power instead of with fossil fuels.