Our pop culture mostly presents telepathy as a cartoony curse: The power arrives, the cascade of thoughts overwhelms the telepath, temple-grabbing and visual effects ensue. (Like other primarily mental superpowers, telepathy is a tidy figure for the hormones of adolescence that we pretend doesn’t follow us into adulthood.) In our narratives, only a few characters usually possess or gain the strength to wield their skills successfully; most dissolve under the flood.
Anyway, then some of the baby nerds raised on genre media grew up and made a giant real-life telepathy machine for all of us to plug into, and that’s been…illuminating.
Most of my internet sanity-retention tactics over the last couple years have been rooted in the assumption that the online roar of anxiety would lessen a bit, especially after the 2016 election. I did a few things to tune my experience, and they helped me stick it out. Then the worst thing happened, and now we’re facing down a whole ugly flock of existential threats, along with the usual systemic, ongoing wrongs. Terror blended with uncertainty is one of the mammal brain’s worst enemies, and the social internet—especially Twitter—is soaked in it. Read more ⇒