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To The Best Of Our Knowledge
September 8, 2018

A Constellation of Wallace

We've been elbow deep in David Foster Wallace lore for this weekend's show, and I've struck upon a conspiracy.

First, I discovered that The Decemberists' "Calamity Song" is about the tennis game in Infinite Jest. That’s one of the songs on my biking playlist. Always wondered what the hell it was about. The video is pretty great.

That video was made by Michael Schur — creator of, among other things, "The Office" — who is a huge DFW fan and owns the film rights to “Infinite Jest." In fact, Schur named the recurring Dunder-Mifflin executive David Wallace after DFW.

DFW is also the favorite author of John Krasinski, who played Jim Halpert in “The Office.” Krasinski credits a stage reading of DFW’s “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men” with inspiring his acting career. In 2009, he made the film adaptation.

Krasinski is currently playing Jack Ryan (Tom Clancy’s spy character) in Amazon’s new series by the same name. DFW once listed a Jack Ryan novel (“The Sum of All Fears”) as one of his 10 favorite books.

Coincidence? I DON'T THINK SO.

—Anne

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Struggling To Read 'Infinite Jest'? There's An Entire Internet of Help For You

Colleen Leahy and Makini Allwood, hosts of "And But So."
David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece — Infinite Jest — is famously difficult to read. Colleen Leahy and Makini Allwood are climbing the literary mountain of a book, and sharing their experience on a podcast called "And But So."
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The Quest for the Master Algorithm

Code
Machines that program themselves are all around us and they get smarter every day. But are you ready for the master algorithm that can tell a machine how to learn anything?
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We Joke About Some Jobs Being BS. But Is There An Epidemic Of Pointless Work?

man walking to work
The anthropologist David Graeber says “BS jobs” are an epidemic. Especially in that circle of hell known as middle management.
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App Intelligence

Apps
App Intelligence? Santa Fe Institute president David Krakauer says we're on the verge of abdicating our free will to everyday apps.
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F*** Work

punch the clock
When we talk about reforming work, fixing work, creating new kinds of work — author and historian James Livingston thinks perhaps we’re not going far enough.
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