David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel Infinite Jest imagines a not-too-distant future in which the equivalents of Hulu and Netflix streaming kill the advertising business to such an extent that the government decides to save the economy with "sponsored time": hence, a great deal of the novel’s action takes place in the "Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment." The book is deeply (if hilariously) pessimistic about people’s chances of connecting with one another in a culture built on one-way media consumption — this pessimism, of course, is represented most baldly by The Entertainment, a technology-enhanced movie so entertaining that anyone who once sees it becomes incapable of doing anything other than watching it over and over again. This panel will, broadly speaking, address the question of whether David Foster Wallace was or would have been a Clay Shirky fan. In other words, would (did) Wallace believe that the Internet is better for us than TV because we are active participants in the creation of Internet content? Why are the digerati enamored of Infinite Jest, and what can the book tell us about the Internet’s potential to help or hinder human connection?
Tagged with “internet” (3)
Vint Cerf takes his title of Internet Evangelist for Google seriously. He is knee-deep in several projects to bring the next versions of the "Internet" into the world, including IPv6 adoption and the creation of a new extraterrestrial Internet, the so-called "InterPlaNetary Internet." At the annual Digital Broadband Migration conference in Boulder, Colo., Vint sat down with Network World’s Julie Bort to discuss the future of IP, home networking, the Interplanetary Internet, cloud computing standards and other topics. (15:19)
In another holiday trip in the wayback machine, we bring you a 1993 discussion of some newfangled thing called the "Internet." That broadcast streamed live online, an unusual technology at the time. Carl Malamudand and Brewster Kahle joined the discussion.