Exposure can be cumulative.
February 7, 2005 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Remember Shawn Woolley? In November of 2001, Shawn committed suicide. His mother blamed EverQuest. Others placed the burden on internet addiction. But nobody blamed his computer ...

Nobody, that is, except L K Tucker. According to Mr Tucker, the blinking lights on Shawn's computer triggered an episode of SPVP (Subliminal Peripheral Vision Psychosis ) -- and he may not be the only victim. SPVP could be the culprit behind other college suicides and student disappearances. It manifests in ICUs, yoga sessions and in airplane cockpits -- but rarely in the office. Why, you ask? Because of Cubicle Level Prevention, my friend. Cubicle Level Protection.
posted by grabbingsand (15 comments total)
The evil secret behind the old 'blink' tag.
posted by HTuttle at 10:42 AM on February 7, 2005

Very interesting..

As an admitted Everquest addict (5+ years and going.. so is my wife), I have felt no suicidal impulses..
As an admitted internet addict (9+ years and going) I have felt no suicidal impulses..
As an admitted computer addict (27+ years Hmmm.. when DID I get that Atari 2600?) I have felt no suicidal impulses.

Now HOMICIDAL!! That's different!!
posted by Balisong at 10:49 AM on February 7, 2005

I propose a class action suit against all animated web ads.
posted by HTuttle at 10:49 AM on February 7, 2005

That last Cubicle Level Protection link really got me thinking. I came back from a sabbatical to a new department, and the cubicle they gave me (supposedly temporary) was right on a corner of high traffic, and was missing a side wall and the back wall.

I swear I didn't get any work done while I was sitting there (a bit more than a month) because every movement around me was a distraction. I ended up quitting my job and have been looking for something new since. I wonder if these two things are tied together.
posted by furtive at 10:57 AM on February 7, 2005

To me, this seems like a massive restatement of the old truism, "Blinking sh*t sucks."

And my hatred for Macromedia Flash seems more and more justified every minute...
posted by afroblanca at 11:12 AM on February 7, 2005

So, should I start collecting the seizure inducing blinky banners so I can sue them for trying to make me commit suicide?
posted by fenriq at 11:40 AM on February 7, 2005

Yes, blinking sh*t sucks. I stopped watching most TV news after more and more channels went with that annoying news ticker at the bottom of the screen. And don't even get me started on the ever-more intrusive animations at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen right after commercial breaks.
posted by Triplanetary at 11:49 AM on February 7, 2005

So if you're one of the many peope who gets depressed during the winter holidays, you can now blame it on all those blinking Chrismas lights.
posted by pmbuko at 11:51 AM on February 7, 2005

Yeah, and who is this guy, again? Aside from the fact that his site is poorly designed, and his page on suicides doesn't even try to link them to his hypothesis in a meaningful sense, this guy has no credentials, nor does he cite the source of his "engineers created cubicles to solve this problem" theory.

Oh, and I always assumed that cubicles were just a low-cost way to create modular office configurations. But why accept the reasonable explanation? "It's the blinking lights' fault" is so much cooler.
posted by mkultra at 11:52 AM on February 7, 2005

This is one of my least-favorite genres of science fiction.
posted by elderling at 12:57 PM on February 7, 2005

"Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya? We've all got our switches, lights, and knobs to deal with, Striker. I mean, down here there are literally hundreds and thousands of blinking, beeping, and flashing lights, blinking and beeping and flashing - they're flashing and they're beeping. I can't stand it anymore! They're blinking and beeping and flashing! Why doesn't somebody pull the plug?!"
posted by sellout at 1:19 PM on February 7, 2005

Wow. WOW! That has to be the best-placed Airplane II reference I've ever seen. Ever. Double bonus points for quoting Bill Shatner.
posted by afroblanca at 3:14 PM on February 7, 2005

Gotta love those crazy theories. This has to be a crackpot. There's no other reference I can find to these theories, not to mention the sheer weight of gibberish he's decked out that site with.
posted by Rossignol at 7:40 AM on February 8, 2005

Blinking lights are dangerous, as anyone who's read or seen The Andromeda Strain knows.

God, what a fine movie. What a fun book. What a pity what happened to Crichton's brain.
posted by soyjoy at 8:13 AM on February 8, 2005

Do not fear. Tinfoil hats are an effective prophylactic against this menace.
posted by kcds at 2:37 PM on February 8, 2005

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