Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:25 am

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The Inficratic Oath: first, post no spoilers. Limit your I.J. discussion to only those events that take place on or before the page 981 (100%).



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 Post subject: Re: “Why Video-Phones Failed”
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 71
Back when I was first enchanted by this essay, I most closely tied it to the caller ID phenomenon: first, the phone companies offered, for a price, a caller ID option so one could identify who was calling; but then, if you wanted your identity blocked, you had to purchase an option to counter the caller ID option purchased by someone else; and then, customers were given the option of blocking calls from people who blocked the caller ID function; and also, there was caller ID trapping, where the recipient of a caller-ID blocked call could forward the call to a toll-free number (where caller ID could not be blocked) to get the info anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: “Why Video-Phones Failed”
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:48 am
Posts: 61
Definitely a favorite section and one that made me LOL several times. It's a shame we will never get to read a DFW essay on the Facebook/MySpace/Twitter culture and the facades that all entail. It would be interesting to see how he'd analyze the idea of being too isolated, i.e. spending excessive time at a computer terminal/cell phone/iPhone, versus being too public in the sense of having so much personal information that can be dredged up via the internet.


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 Post subject: Re: “Why Video-Phones Failed”
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:52 pm
Posts: 1
I never enjoyed talking on the phone except to exchange crucial information (What bar? What time?). When I read this section I had the "shock of recognition". You know, that drug that us biblioholics drool for. DFW revealed to me the illusion of telephone conversations that I felt but remained unarticulated until now. The attentive presence of the other person, despite peridoic uh-huhs and mmms, is not guarenteed. When talking with my girlfriend for example, ranting about how f***ing awesome IJ is, she yawns, rolls her eyes a few times and look for drying paint to watch, I can change the subject and save for it for another time or person. But if we are veiled by a phone line I might go on and on and on wasting precious oxygen while she files her nails or checks her facebook.


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 Post subject: Re: “Why Video-Phones Failed”
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:48 am
Posts: 61
Quote:
DFW revealed to me the illusion of telephone conversations that I felt but remained unarticulated until now.


This has always been one of the most enjoyable aspects of reading Wallace's work.... his ability to suddenly articulate things you;ve felt just below the surface but have been unable to put into words.


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