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TagDavid Foster Wallace

A group of people walking together through a bustling shopping mall. This image can be used to depict a busy shopping day or to illustrate consumerism and retail therapy.

The Crisis of Identity That Tech Doesn’t Help

Consumerism works well but leaves us empty

Writer and cultural commentator Aaron Renn wrote recently about the dissolution of identity in the United States, contending that if we don’t know who we are, we will never know what to do. Renn writes frequently on issues facing young men in America and the challenges of living well in the secular world. He writes, The reality is that a lot of people in top positions of our society act as if they want you living like Simba. They want porn available for you to watch. They want you betting on the big game on your phone. They want you focused on “experiences” and consumption, like hitting the latest hot travel destination or going to the new farm-to-table restaurant that Read More ›

Man praying on his knees against large smartphone

David Foster Wallace: If Screens Are Your Main Media Diet, You’re Going to Die

The novelist warned about the pitfalls of the online life

“If we ate like this all the time, what would be wrong with that?” So asks David Foster Wallace, compellingly played by Jason Segel, in the 2015 film The End of the Tour. Wallace is in the car with a Rolling Stone reporter, David Lipsky, cramming down sweets from a gas station when he says that. After Lipsky quips back about obesity, Wallace says, “It has none of the substance of real food, but it’s real pleasurable.” The End of the Tour is set in 1996 shortly after Wallace’s gargantuan novel Infinite Jest hit the literary scene and impressed the nation with its length, wit, tragedy, and insight. A massive book about loneliness, Infinite Jest takes place in a semi-futuristic Read More ›

Internet broadband and multimedia streaming entertainment

Infinite Jest Revisited

The 1996 book by David Foster Wallace saw the Internet explosion, and its effects, approaching fast
If Aldous Huxley were born a few decades later, he and Wallace probably would have exchanged numbers. Read More ›