Links: Fiction and love and Bookslut, fusion power, weirdness as a personality trait, and more!

* “How fiction ruined love: Have representations of romance from ‘Madame Bovary’ to ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ ruined the real thing?” The piece is by Alain de Botton and is better than the title suggests.

* “‘I Just Don’t Find American Literature Interesting’: Lit-Blog Pioneer Jessa Crispin Closes Bookslut, Does Not Bite Tongue.” I like Bookslut.

* “Ted Cruz for Human President;” notice: “Ted Cruz is only one being and not several.”

* “Did This Couple Design the World’s Best Sex Toy?“, which is about more than its most salient, headline-forward point.

* The billionaire-backed plans to harness fusion; more good news.

* Why Were Early Psychedelicists So Weird?” More interesting than it sounds:

A 2011 study found that a single dose of psilocybin could permanently increase the personality dimension of Openness To Experience. I’m emphasizing that because personality is otherwise pretty stable after adulthood; nothing should be able to do this. But magic mushrooms apparently have this effect, and not subtly either; participants who had a mystical experience on psilocybin had Openness increase up to half a standard deviation compared to placebo, and the change was stable sixteen months later. This is really scary. I mean, I like Openness To Experience, but something that can produce large, permanent personality changes is so far beyond anything else we have in psychiatry that it’s kind of terrifying.

* Amtrak turns 45 today. Here’s why American passenger trains are so bad.

* Can SpaceX really land on Mars? Absolutely, says an engineer who would know.

* “There’s One Show That Could Fill All the Holes in Your TV Viewing: Penny Dreadful.” A show that oddly seems to get no press.

* “Economist ethnically profiled, interrogated for doing math on American Airlines flight.”

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