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232 comments

Netcraft confirms it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002223)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - David Foster Wallace was found dead in his Claremont home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the American community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to Society and true American patriotism. Truly an American icon.

Re:Netcraft confirms it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002905)

I wouldn't put "american patriotism" as a positive thing in 2008.

Re:Netcraft confirms it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002987)

For those modding up, this is a copy of a Stephen King troll.

Ok, it had to be posted: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002227)

I just read some sad news in the LA Times - writer David Foster Wallace was found dead in his Claremont home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

it is a LIE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002259)

there ARE cromulente programs in LASP who was a NEOCON

NAFTA (2, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002279)

I've referred to NAFTA as "The Sin of O.N.A.N." ever since reading Infinite Jest.

I'm sorry to hear of his passing.

Very Very sad (1, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002287)

It is a great loss. He will be missed.

Re:Very Very sad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002333)

Why would someone miss someone egoistic and ungrateful that he commits suicide not caring about anyone else but himself in his wasteful pity?

Re:Very Very sad (5, Insightful)

Szechuan Vanilla (1363495) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002423)

If you had, or knew anyone who had, an affective disorder that led to suicidal ideation or attempts, you wouldn't say that. Unless you actually are the ignorant, cold, and heartless ass your note reveals.

Re:Very Very sad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002593)

Apparently you never had anyone close to you commit suicide and therefor cannot understand why I consider people who take suicide willingly complete egoistic and ungrateful morons.

Those who commit suicide because they are mentally ill (schizofrenic, and such) and do not know right from wrong are excluded from this definition as they cannot possible be blamed for this utterly stupid and ultimate egoistic act.

Re:Very Very sad (1, Informative)

newr00tic (471568) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002673)

damn, you're a fucking idiot.

Re:Very Very sad (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002849)

You're a fucking idiot. When someone close to you commit suicide without any real reason other than they think to much about them self and don't ask for help then you can call me an idiot.

When you come home an realize someone you care about committed this act without letting you help, without letting you understand except that stupid letter that has no value. Then you can come here can call me an idiot. And I doubt you will, you will most probably not know what to do and ask yourself WHY did they not ask for help, why did they not confide in you, is it your fault. You will feel bad that you did not know, guilty that they had to deal with whatever they felt was that unbearable that they committed suicide.

Some people consider them weak and they are because they cannot handle that life sucks sometimes and they have not the strength to wait it out and do something about it. They just want out of their misery leaving everyone else who cares about them in even worse state instead of together overcome it.

There is rarely (if anytime) any good reason for anyone to commit suicide. The only time when someone should commit suicide is when they are like Bush, Stalin, Hitler, Sharon, Pol Pot and other mass murders.

Re:Very Very sad (-1, Troll)

BLAG-blast (302533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002969)

When you come home an realize someone you care about committed this act without letting you help,

Feeling guilty because you know deep down you missed some hints, some clues, your chance to stop it? Then just blame somebody else, and so it loudly, to drown out the crying inside you that you try to hide because you are complicit in their death.

Unless you meant, "help them commit" suicide, making sure they do it right first with minimum pain, in which case, carry on with the good work.

Re:Very Very sad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003131)

Those who commit suicide are to blame for their actions unless someone forced them to do so. If you feel pity the deceased but not those left behind then you are the inhumane one.

Re:Very Very sad (4, Insightful)

BLAG-blast (302533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003425)

Those who commit suicide are to blame for their actions

Blame? Whatever, we're not short on people, everybody should be allowed to kill them self. Only religious nut cases (i.e. the mis-informed) believe otherwise.

If you feel pity (for?) the deceased...

I'm so jealous, what could be easier?

Look dude, it's not your fault, you don't have to fight it so hard. They made their choice, you must let go, get on with your live, go and make your choices. You don't have to feel guilt for their death, you don't have project that guilt on to the deceased.

I see your pain, feel pity for you. I feel pity for you because you feel you deserve pity, and well that's kind of sad. I feel pity, because you feel so guilty about the death of your wife (this was your wife, right?), that you continue to blame her for your suffering longer after her last breath.

You must accept the the decision she made, not feel guilt, not feel a need to blame her. I get the feeling you lover her a lot, even if you're not the best husband in world.

Forgive you're wife, then forgive yourself. There is no point in wasting two lives over one death. Take care.

Re:Very Very sad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003557)

...I consider people who take suicide willingly complete egoistic and ungrateful morons.

...

When you come home an realize someone you care about committed this act without letting you help,...

Assuming you're the same anonymous coward in both posts, you wouldn't have been much help.

The general advice on suicide prevention websites is not to try to talk someone out of committing suicide. Listen, yes. Take them seriously when they say they are suicidal, yes.

But don't pile on the verbal abuse about how much they will hurt their family or how stupid they are. Chances are, low self-image is a big part of why they are suicidal.

All in all, you're lucky you didn't have a chance to try to talk them out of it - because then you would feel even more responsible than you already do.

Re:Very Very sad (5, Insightful)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002791)

Apparently you never had anyone close to you commit suicide and therefor cannot understand why I consider people who take suicide willingly complete egoistic and ungrateful morons.

Those who commit suicide because they are mentally ill (schizofrenic, and such) and do not know right from wrong are excluded from this definition as they cannot possible be blamed for this utterly stupid and ultimate egoistic act.

Okay Troll I'll bite.

As a survivor of having a close relative commit suicide I can easily say that by the time they commit the act they are already mentally ill.

In my experience it takes at least some serious mental instability to even consider suicide as an option.

Quick frankly you should be ashamed of yourself for holding the viewpoint you do. They failed and broke but know this - the people around them failed as well and many of us, myself included, will carry that failure to our graves with us.

And if I could find the bridge you live under I would drag you out into the sunlight with the rest of us and stake you out in it until you realize how important it is to help those around you.

'Scuse me now while I go shower to remove your nasty trollish smell from my presence.

Re:Very Very sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003115)

You're not a "survivor" if you were never in any danger. Claiming to be disgraces the memories of those who died tragically.

Re:Very Very sad (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003341)

You're not a "survivor" if you were never in any danger. Claiming to be disgraces the memories of those who died tragically.

Fuck you troll.

Ask more people than just the person in the mirror if they are "survivors" of someone close to them committing suicide and the answer is always the same - yes.

That death leaves something inside of you that is serious to deal with and I disgrace no one my claiming the title of survivor.

Re:Very Very sad (0, Flamebait)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003523)

Generally "survivor" is used to mean a situation in which ones death could easily have been foreseen. For instance. "I'm a survivor of the Iraq War" or "I'm a survivor of a horrible car accident", "I survived cancer" etc. People generally don't use survivor like this: "I'm a survivor of driving to work", "I survivor of my dad's heart attack", etc. I agree it's fucking pathetic to think you survived someone else's suicide. Talk about ego.

People who talk like would probably like to commit suicide but know that they'd fail at that like everything else in their lives.

You disgrace everyone who has actually survived something that was a serious risk to their life.

If you seriously think you are a survivor of this suicide, go to the nearest VA hospital and have a chat with those guys about surviving. Odds are you'll end up getting the shit beat out of you by people with no legs.

Re:Very Very sad (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003135)

You are judging the motives of suicides based on your own culture and ideals. Culturally and societally, there are reasons and causes for suicide that have nothing to do with mental instability historically and presently.

Personally, I view the act as an act of desperation, escape or destruction that can never be undone or repaired and should be avoided until absolutely all other options are explored and tested. There are times when I feel suicide may be appropriate, for example, in the case of the terminally ill. (My mother died of "natural causes" brought on by a degenerative nervous disorder and prayed for death and my own salvation for more than a year of unceasing misery before she finally died, choking to death in her sleep... presumably in her sleep... odds are good that she actually awoke while choking and dies of suffocation which I understand is actually rather painful.)

Suicide is a subject I have given a great deal of though and observation to. I find that suicides are too often unsuccessful, especially among women, and the chances of survival are too great. For this reason alone, suicide should be considered a very bad idea -- people just don't die the way they do in the movies. Hanging, for example, is a pretty horrible way to go -- you don't just magically die... and that death is ridiculously messy and disgusting.

There are a variety of other issues to concern one's self over and yes, some of them are rooted in family, society and culture. But generally speaking, people grow up within their own cultural ideals and beliefs. It is inappropriate to judge one culture, society or even an individual based specifically on your own ideals and beliefs. In it's own way, it is a form of prejudice as bad as any other.

Re:Very Very sad (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003389)

I was responding to the subject at hand which was a troll claiming that suicide and mental illness were not as synonymous as they are.

You are however correct in that I forgot about many other types of suicide such as for fatal illnesses and honor related suicides. However as far as I'm concerned both should be rare events.

Regardless the article is concerning a singular suicide and that's the subject I used to frame the discussion in my mind.

My apologies to all for feeding the trolls. I just have seriously strong feelings concerning this subject.

Re:Very Very sad (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003553)

It doesn't take mental instability to consider suicide. Stress of all sorts can encourage thoughts of suicide: some of them, such as the stress from terminal, painful, debilitating illness, are quite reasonable to consider suicide. Even the stress of the loss of loved ones can make suicide attractive, although that can usually be helped more easily.

Re:Very Very sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002751)

Why would someone miss someone egoistic and ungrateful that he commits suicide not caring about anyone else but himself in his wasteful pity?

As to "egotistical", I was under the impression that people who commit suicide generally have such a low self image that they believe the world is better off without them. Sort of the opposite of egotistical.

As to "ungrateful", if someone is so unhappy that they want to die, then the things to feel grateful for are going to be outweighed by some other really bad stuff.

I'm not saying that people who are suicidal wouldn't benefit from help, just that your characterization of the thought process of people who are suicidal is, in most cases, substantially inaccurate.

Low self image& better world (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003021)

You can't believe that the world would be better off with you dead - without giving yourself greater importance than EVERYTHING else in the world.
You are SO bad for the ENTIRE UNIVERSE that your death will cause a sigh of relief across the all of the existence.

Hell yeah suicidal people are egotistic!
They just express it differently than usually expected.

As for grateful... How about for being alive?
Yes. Its a pain and a constant struggle but sure beats the alternative.

Re:Low self image& better world (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003109)

Its a pain and a constant struggle but sure beats the alternative.

How do you know that? The only people who can say for certain that that is the case are dead people--and they ain't talkin'.

I asked them... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003249)

"Wouldn't you like to be alive?"

The silence of their approval was deafening.
I still can't hear very well with my right ear because of that.

Re:Low self image& better world (3, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003393)

You're arguing from a rational perspective here, but I don't believe people kill themselves while in a rational frame of mind. Instead it's an emotional choice, brought about either by events and an inability to deal with them, or a disorder that creates the belief that suicide is the only option.

Cool, rational debate isn't a feature of suicides.

Is it too early... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003103)

... to start thinking about the casting for the "Infinite Jest - the movie"?

I mean... Angelina and Brad are not getting any younger...

 

 
P.S. Yes. I am joking. Dark humor and stuff like that.

Re:Is it too early... (1)

Monsieur Canard (766354) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003215)

Truth be told, Angelina would make a pretty good P.G.O.A.T.

I'm not sure what role Brad would play though. Maybe Himself? That could work, especially after his work in 12 Monkeys.

Selfish bastard (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003621)

Whatever. I'm sure his wife really appreciated coming home to find her husband dangling like a pinata. Oh well, maybe now she can actually get dicked by a real man instead of a depressed, self-absorbed tool. Hell, he couldn't even try to stage it to look like an accident so that his wife could at least benefit from any life insurance that he might have had. Like I said - selfish bastard. One less of those makes the world a slightly better place.

RIP David Foster Wallace (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002313)

I had the opportunity to meet David at a book signing. He was an incredibly gracious and friendly individual who will be missed by many in the literary field as well as everywhere else.

I have only one question: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002329)

Why didn't he do it sooner? If you reply to me you will only make me stronger.

Re:I have only one question: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002833)

Come on you pussies, i'm waiting...

Re:I have only one question: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003477)

Power-Up!

With great genius comes great madness (1)

AngrySup (1003688) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002335)

'Nuff Said.

Re:With great genius comes great madness (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002353)

As opposed to "with idiocy comes no madness"? It's there regardless of how clever you are.

Re:With great genius comes great madness (3, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002587)

it's well documented that great artists, writers, and people with other forms genius have a much higher incidence of mental disorders than the normal population.

generally speaking, creative/artistic individuals have a greater disposition for bipolarism. conversely, the children of mathematically gifted parents are more likely to develop autism or Asperger syndrome. that's why there's such a higher concentration of kids with Asperger syndrome in Silicon Valley.

Re:With great genius comes great madness (4, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002743)

Or, the parents in Silicon Valley tend to be wealthy enough to get their kids diagnosed with Asperger's, and medicated/trained into being "better" students... just a thought.

I'm suspicious of how well documented this link really is; let alone, that any evidence is totally observational. Of course the randomized study would be grossly immoral, even if it were possible.

Re:With great genius comes great madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003133)

If it's well documented, please give us some references. It sounds like a (sub)urban myth to me - but I'm prepared to be proved wrong!

Re:With great genius comes great madness (3, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003583)

here's a list [wikipedia.org] from Wikipedia that cites several sources. here [autism.com] is an article discussing the relationship between Autism/Asperger and genius. here [psychologytoday.com] is an article on Psychology Today that discusses a growing movement within academic circles that views autism and similar disorders as just part of the spectrum of neurodiversity that our society is comprised of. and if you do a search for "Geek Syndrome" you can find a Wired article that i believe may have been on Slashdot a few years ago. i also recall reading something a few years ago on PubMed that discussed the correlation between genius and mental disorder.

another interesting paper i read on PubMed also discussed the evolutionary advantage of Bipolarism. basically, the author(s) argued that while Bipolarism/Manic-Depression may present an evolutionary disadvantage to the individual, the genes have been perpetuated because it fosters altruistic actions which coincide with kin selection.

all of this makes a certain amount of sense to me. i've always felt that bipolarism endows an individual with greater capacity for emotional experience. this can be a beneficial trait to artists/musicians since good artwork is defined by its ability to evoke strong emotions, and, likewise, good artwork is often inspired by emotional trauma in the artist's life. but greater emotional depth can also enable one to better empathize with others, which could potentially lead to altruistic behavior.

Re:With great genius comes great madness (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002605)

Is it madness that pushes us to end it all, or sanity in being able to see what it all really is...

Whoa dude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002871)

...you just blew my fuckin' mind.

/toke

Re:With great genius comes great madness (1)

jefu (53450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003431)

Both, I suspect.

There seem to me to be rational and completely reasonable reasons to commit suicide. The prospect of a life that is only painful to oneself and others, complete hopelessness, serious illness... But at the same time, suicide seems so far from our base animal behavior that it must also incorporate some kind of thinking that goes far, far against the norm.

Whichever is the case, I can only add my regrets that Wallace is gone.

Re:With great genius comes great madness (2, Informative)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002713)

This is a myth. For instance, Shakespeare was by most accounts a gregarious, sane and happy fellow.

Re:With great genius comes great madness (1)

Tpl2000 (1174767) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002865)

Perhaps a rephrasing is in order? With great madness comes great genius?

Re:With great genius comes great madness (3, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003461)

"most accounts?" There's hardly any information about the person William Shakespeare.

I prefer to think of it as tortured soul syndrome (2, Interesting)

VTEngineer (1033634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002787)

Most great artists please many, but inside are miserable. God's greatest gifts make the receiver miserable, but give pleasure to many. Kind of fascinating to me. Almost like their internal misery is the source of their genius.

Re:I prefer to think of it as tortured soul syndro (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003347)

"Almost like", nothing. I'm no genius, but I was a pretty decent writer when I was depressed. I managed to ride it out instead of offing myself, and actually got better--but I just haven't been able to hang a complete story together since.

Re:With great genius comes great madness (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002793)

"'Nuff Said."

I doubt this person was mad, depressed perhaps, or overwhelmed by sadness. But insults are the retreat of the ignorant against men they don't know and who's thoughts they don't or cannot understand.

good ridence (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002351)

fuck him. he's dead. i'm alive. he killed himself because he was weak.

Re:good ridence (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002439)

And I will kill you because you're an illiterate little weasel.

Re:good ridence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002531)

Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:good ridence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002617)

Henceforth, the part of David Foster Wallace will be played by Moe Szyslak.

From the Harvey Mudd student list (3, Informative)

Goobergunch (876745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002383)

Professor David Foster Wallace of Pomona College's English Department died tragically on Friday. Professor Wallace was a well-known writer and gifted creative writing instructor. Pomona College has planned two events to remember Professor Wallace's life. The first will be tomorrow (Monday) evening at 6:45 - a candlelight memorial in the Peter Stanley academic quad. The second - an informal opportunity to share thoughts - will be Wednesday, September 17 at 4pm in Smith Campus Center 201.

Infinite Jest one of the best books... (3, Insightful)

CandideEC (953336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002399)

Infinite Jest was an amazing book. Foster Wallace was an incredible writer. Very interesting and depressing. Time to read the jest again - ..

Actual quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002413)

"No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness." -- Aristotle

Re:Actual quote (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003101)

"No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness." -- Aristotle

I try to refrain from responding to ACs, but this one needs clarification in my mind:

It is madness if it remains within your perception of reality, and Genius if it exceeds them, forcing you to re-evaluate your place/stance.

am I the only one (-1, Offtopic)

nietsch (112711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002445)

Who read that as Stamford Wallace dead. I cheered. If you transform Spammers into non-humans, it is easy to cheer their demise.
Until I realised it was some guy I have never heard of. American Icon, true patriot? Maybe with his passing, you USians will need less of that.

Re:am I the only one (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002527)

Who read that as Stamford Wallace dead. I cheered. If you transform Spammers into non-humans, it is easy to cheer their demise.
Until I realised it was some guy I have never heard of. American Icon, true patriot? Maybe with his passing, you USians will need less of that.

He wrote a book that mostly makes fun of our dedication to corporatism and neo patriotism and all the things that have been wrong with our country in the past generation.

When they say 'true patriot' they mean the real one. Not a fox news patriot which are the worst kind.

Re:am I the only one (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003151)

Yessir, never let your ignorance get in the way of a good USA bashing. If you'd taken the time to read up on Wallace (by clicking on the convenient link provided in the summary) you would have found out that he was exactly the opposite of what you surmised from your misreading of a satirical troll.

And with it, finally (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002479)

The death of deconstruction and semiotics. Which is either terribly arch or exactly what it itself would have predicted.

A brief personal narrative (in the style of . . .) (4, Informative)

yourpusher (161612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002529)

(crossposted from Blacknell.net [blacknell.net] )

Sad [latimes.com] .1 David Foster Wallace2, along with perhaps only William Gibson, had a reader in me for everything he wrote. So dedicated was I to his Infinite Jest that I carried it in planes, trains, and autobuses over three continents.3 If you've never read any of his work, maybe you could start with this brilliant 2005 essay on political talk radio [theatlantic.com] .4

1And I say sad in some weirdly personal sense that comes from both finding his writing deeply compelling in itself, and identifying his work with a period of time in my life which is not missed, but stands out as significant in recollection.

2David Foster Wallace (or DFW, as he is popularly known among fans) also provided (albeit completely unknowingly) some of the reason that Blacknell.net exists today. The blog that inspired me to start my own was written by an alumnus of the law school I had just started in. He, in turn, had been motivated to write online (in a format once known as an "online journal") while he read Infinite Jest (nb. This same author once had an essay published in the same collection [amazon.com] as DFW). An early autobiography of this online journal community is available here [diaryhistoryproject.com] (it is amusing to consider how much energy was expended on the subject of diary v. journal, only to have blog become the accepted appellation).

3 A massive tome of a book with 1200 pages of writing to be relished and consumed (in addition to being read) I took two years to complete it, taking it to Panama [flickr.com] , Venezuela [flickr.com] , and Britain [flickr.com] . I've since reread it (in sections, while it wasn't lent out).

4Even though it isn't entirely representative [signonsandiego.com] .

(Ah, for want of a superscript tag . . .)

omg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002547)

a humorist? there is nothing funny about suicide..

This sucks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002603)

I think it sucks(1) that he(2) died.(3)(4) We (5) need more (6) like him.(7)(8)

(1)Here, literally, I'm, of course, speaking metaphorically. I don't mean it literally sucked (like, say, the 500 dollar an hour prostitute sucked the republican hypocrites shriveled cock), but rather figuratively sucked (like, say, the republican hypocrites bill to put you in jail for the same prostitution related behavior). Incidentally, by "it", I can't tell if I mean the whole universe or his dying or if those might not be one and the same.

(2)David Foster Wallace, a brave writer who broke open peoples heads. Understood grammar structures and larger similar consciousness effect on conventions he altering did have.

(3) Due to concern for his family, I won't mention the obvious fact that a cover up of his botched murder is already underway by the CIA agents who killed him to stop him from publishing his new book, which would of liberated minds beyond the power of the narrow imaginations of the CIA to control.

(4) Did you ever notice how we always are sad people are dead, even though that obviously shows no empathy. Look, first of all, it's not like there was a David Foster Wallace. Any ego is an illusory construct, his was no exception. There may have been a self referential feedback pattern that thought it was David Foster Wallace, but that no more makes there a David Foster Wallace then David Foster Wallace thinking he is a blue potato makes him a blue potato.

Second of all, if he really wanted to die, and was in that much pain, who are we to judge. Can you imagine being David Foster Wallace and having to deal with idiots like you people all day, every day? Maybe we should be glad such a great mind is finally liberated from the pain of dealing with stupid dumb fucks like us (well, OK, just most of you) every day.

Third of all, if this was maybe an epic fail at autoerotic asphyxiation, as some scurrilous, borderline slanderous, and definitely inappropriately timed comments wryly have hinted at, we shouldn't think it's sad. The same perverted streak is probably what caused Grandpa Wallace to poke Grandma Wallace in the ass while she was butchering a pig. Without that perverted streak, the drop of cum his dad's dna was in would have never dripped out his grandmas dirty ass, and we would have never had him in the first place. It's misplaced to hate an aspect of nature that is responsible for the creation of things we like.

(5) I mean, again, you stupid fucks, who don't know how to use your brains.

(6) If certain theories about reincarnation are true, maybe DFW stepped out when he did because, at the magical, metalogical realms he walked in, he saw it as an optimal time to reincarnate to the best effect.

(7) In the sense of writing and thinking like he did.

(8) If we want more people that brilliant, we need to do a better job making the world not suck. People of the internet, it's not good enough to sit around reading about tech and science fiction while smoking pot and jacking off. If you don't use your brain right while your are reading science fiction, smoking pot, and jacking off to the same perverted porn that lead your parents to the sex act that made you, you might as well be in a church on your knees praying to a God that doesn't exist, or in a university fighting for biosurvival tickets, with which to do ridiculous rituals that have as much to do with truth as catholicism in many cases, with memetically sophisticated domesticated primates who fight over their ideas long after they have been rendered obsolete, or raising your kids to be as dogmatic as you are, for all the good it will do yourself, your world, and the nothingness you arise in and return to. What does it say about us and where we are headed in the 21st century that someone as brilliant as DFW wouldn't stick around and experience it? Can we do better than this?

Let me be the first to say... (2, Interesting)

rhizome (115711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002649)

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

If you don't want to leap into "Infinite Jest," start with "Girl With Curious Hair."

a little personal irony (1)

cathector (972646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002785)

it's strange,
i was feeling a bit blue just a couple days ago, and was considering rereading IJ to cheer me up: it's a book which always puts things in perspective and makes me laugh, and i especially appreciate that it makes *me* feel smart and witty, as if DFW were loaning me a portion of his verve and charm for a while.

IJ is in my opinion the best novel in the english language,
and DFW's suicide at such a young age is a huge loss to literature.

my thoughts go out to his family, friends, students, and fans.

Re:a little personal irony (1)

jasonjacks0n (762945) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003195)

IJ is in my opinion the best novel in the english language,
and DFW's suicide at such a young age is a huge loss to literature.

I agree; IJ has meant a lot to me each time I've read it, although it especially blew my mind the first time. It's an amazing masterpiece.

I'm in my 30s, and this is the first "celebrity death" I've ever really been sad and upset about. Even Vonnegut's passing didn't affect me like this.. :-/

Footnotes (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002807)

The description of footnotes in Infinite Jest reminds me of Wilson by David Mamet. Would Wilson be considered "in the style" of Infinite Jest?

Good! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002811)

That's one less spigot for the nihilistic cooler-than-the-room crap that passes for modern literature today to flow from.

Wbat a sniveling little punk. I hope Wallace's face was purple and he had shit himself thoroughly when his wife found him hanging from the rope. That'll teach her to marry such a weak and pathetic loser.

Re:Good! (5, Insightful)

yourpusher (161612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002857)

Yet unlike you, he had the balls to sign his name to whatever he wrote.

Fuck off.

Re:Good! (0, Troll)

strelitsa (724743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002885)

In which telephone book can I find the name "yourpusher"?

You're not exactly showing a lot of bravery yourself, you cowardly little chickenshit punk. Identify yourself so I can beat your ass like you deserve - DO IT NOW!

Re:Good! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003025)

Why the hostility? Yourpusher sounded insulted, but you sound completely enraged.

Different Anonymous Coward

Re:Good! (2, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003157)

You're not exactly showing a lot of bravery yourself, you cowardly little chickenshit punk. Identify yourself so I can beat your ass like you deserve - DO IT NOW!

Wow, I can find out who yourpusher is within two clicks of his comment. As opposed to 'strelitsa'... who is only known to us as "technical writer, rouge, dab hand with soldering iron".

This is, what, the pot calling the china black?

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003369)

Bravo my good man!

Re:Good! (1)

yourpusher (161612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003459)

Welcome to the Internet. See those little underlined words? They're called hyperlinks. You can click on them for more information!

Just goes to prove.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002859)

hemp rope makes a lousy necktie especially when you tie it to the ceiling. Sorry, no sleep, 12 Red Bulls and three quad lattes later your sense of humor is heavily influenced by the caffeine related brain damage.

Glamorizing suicide (0, Flamebait)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002895)

All the coverage of this cowardly act seems to really implicitly glamorize suicide. When people kill themselves, they hurt families, loved ones, etc. Then there's all this fawning news coverage of the suicide... oh come on.

He took the cowards way out. No diagnosis of terminal cancer, his death doesn't somehow cleverly result in saving someone from some terrible fate, there's no apparent real reason for doing it other than just giving up.

Fine, your life is the only real currency you have any anyone should be entitled to make that one decision about when and where they go. But for the news to make such a big deal out of it is a disservice to all the writers whos passing went unannounced and sends a terribly mixed message to society about how we value folks more for their death than their life.

Re:Glamorizing suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003099)

And who says we don't value folks more for their death than their life? If anything, this points out a serious problem; it doesn't cause it. (For the record, Wallace was quite well appreciated for a guy who had only one big-name novel which was written only a little more than a decade ago; most writers don't even get what he got.)

As for him being a coward, who are you to say that? You clearly don't know his life well enough to judge him. His reason is simply not apparent to you; until you have all the facts, you can't say it was unreasonable.

And yes, families members get hurt. But some problems are harder to heal from than loss. If he was suffering from something that gave him excruciating pain and could not be cured, then the families' temporary pain over their loss could be justified.

You might not agree on that, given that you seem to be using the classic utilitarian argument, but since you can't measure anyone's suffering, that argument falls flat. Thus, it is just as possible that his suffering "measures" higher than his survivors' suffering than vice versa.

Re:Glamorizing suicide (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003191)

I take it you don't know that there are diseases and brain chemical imbalances that can cause pain which is of such a level that death is preferable.

It's easy to blame the dead, point fingers at them and heap scorn upon their bodies.

Fact is, you're not him, I'm not him, neither was anyone else. We don't know why, and will never know why.

Feeling sadness, I think, is a more appropriate reacting than slinging insults at the dead.

Re:Glamorizing suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003203)

Spoken like a real child. Or at least, someone who's life has been relatively easy and painless.

Everyone dies, get over it. A person's life is their own. Maybe he was in pain, or maybe he was just tired. What the hell do you know of his life, and who are you to judge?

Cowards way out? I salute him for having more courage than I do. Life is suffering, more or less, and it is only the fear of the afterlife, or lack of one, that keeps many of us here.

Re:Glamorizing suicide (4, Insightful)

yali (209015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003317)

I would draw a clear and bright line between what you say about David Foster Wallace ("he took the coward's way out") and others' reactions ("fawning news coverage"). The second point, I totally agree with you on. The first, I vehemently disagree.

We don't know why DFW committed suicide, and we might neverk now. But in the vast majority of cases, "cowardice" isn't even a relevant concept. Depression -- real, deep depression -- is not just about being in a crappy mood. Real depression (and other kinds of serious mental illness) messes you up so deeply that up seems like down and you cannot make rational sense out of yourself or the world. To call someone a "coward" implies that were faced with a choice and, with faculties intact, made a weak decision. Like I said, not a relevant concept for suicide.

And for the exact same reason, all the tributes making this into some sort of penetrating existential act of a man who saw the world too clearly... please! DFW was a brilliant thinker and writer, but his death is a tragedy and a loss. It is not an artistic act.

Re:Glamorizing suicide (1, Insightful)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003379)

Why would having terminal cancer change anything? I hate to break it to you, but we're all going to die. Everyone has terminal cancer. If that's going to convince you to commit suicide you might as well get it out of the way now.

You have no idea what his life was like, or what sort of distress caused him to do this. Maybe he was mentally ill, something terrible had just happened to him, and he just became overwhelmed. It happens.

So take you condescending attitude and fuck off. DFW contributed a great deal to our society, and he was obviously a person with great personal anguish. There's a slight, minuscule inkling of truth to what you are saying, but calling him a coward does nothing but make you look like the dick you are. We all know suicide is a pointless affair, that's why we're all still here.

Glamorizing apparent suicide (0, Offtopic)

cryptoluddite (658517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003483)

All the coverage of this cowardly act seems to really implicitly glamorize suicide.

Apparent suicide. A writer that questioned the patriotism of those who take away rights in the name of security and criticized McCain found dead. Somehow I think Jonathan Swift would have apparently committed suicide as well, if he were to have lived now.

I'm just saying that it seems like a lot of people are committing apparent suicide these days. This guy, the 'dc madame', the anthrax guy come to mind. Suppose there's a drug that pharmaceutical companies discovered doing normal drug research that makes people very suicidal and was kept secret by the man -- how would you know then even with no evidence of foul play if these people actually committed suicide under their own free will?

Seems to me the only fair thing to do is celebrate the departed's accomplishments regardless of how their death happened.

Re:Glamorizing suicide (4, Insightful)

thelexx (237096) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003511)

My uncle committed suicide a few weeks ago. All I'm going to relate is the position of his church implied by the words of the presiding priest. He used a quote (that I can't remember the attribution of) which went along the lines of, "When someone does this, it is no different than if they were set upon and murdered in the woods." My take on it was that the person had been overcome by some outside force. We don't have a problem who are physically overcome; we reserve our derision for people who are overcome mentally. Not very fair in light of the truth I learned in martial arts, which is that there is ALWAYS someone faster, stronger, or better trained than you. No matter how much we care to think nothing can overcome our will and clear thinking, it seems manifestly untrue in light of events like this.

Re:Glamorizing suicide (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003541)

Cowardice? Do you think committing suicide is easy? It takes real courage and hard determination, although that doesn't mean it's commendable.

Re:Glamorizing suicide (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003615)

Oh, no. Practice and the law of averages have caught up with many cowardly, poorly implemented suicide attempts of real wimps. Alocholism, and its cousin drunken driving, have been the means of many successful suicide attempts. So has arguing with somebody with a gun.

Glorifying suicide as 'courageous' leads to suicide bombers.

He also wrote an excellent popular math book! (5, Informative)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25002907)

No slashdot discussion of DFW is completely without mentioning Everything and More. In addition to his fiction, he wrote an excellent non-fiction book about the history of mathematical infinity. Unlike most popular math books, it was interesting and not condescending. He clearly taught himself a good amount of Analysis in order to write so well on the subject. If any slashdotter wants to see what made this guy great, you'd do well to start there. Not only is it excellent writing, it's technically coherent and you'll likely learn something.

Appropriate here may be what he had to say about the popular story of Georg Cantor going insane trying to understand infinity (specifically the distinction between the infinity of integers, and the "larger" infinity of the real line):

"To lament Cantor's failure to describe infinity, is like feeling sorry that St. George lost to the Dragon. It is both wrong and insulting." (paraphrased)

Of course no one is lamenting DFW's failures per se, but I can't imagine many accomplished postmodern writers caring to get the grip on modern mathematics that DFW did. He didn't go for the low-hanging fruit, this guy.

Re:He also wrote an excellent popular math book! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002965)

I forgot to mention the subtitle: A Compact History of Infinity, probably the best math double-entendre I've ever heard/read.

who? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002909)

I thought this was supposed to be news for nerds? From what I gather in the comments this guy was just some american writer, and as a non-america I have never heard of him. where's the nerd come into it? what contributions has he made to nerdiness?

I might as well break the news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25002997)

I just read some sad news in the New York Post - writer David Foster Wallace was found dead in his Claremont home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure a small minority of people in the Slashdot community will miss him - even though I didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture, which, as we all know, is destroying this country. Truly an American icon.

Depression ? (5, Insightful)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003037)

Depression is a horrible thing and it hits many without notice and can be a horrible experience. Many of you will look at this death as weakness but the reality is some of the greatest and strongest people alive (and dead) have suffered with the demon that is depression for years often with no help and in complete ignorance by those around the sufferer.

Re:Depression ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003123)

Exactly. Depression is a "weakness" as much as diabetes or cancer is.

Charlie Rose interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25003091)

Never heard of the guy. But this seems to be interesting.

http://www.charlierose.com/shows/1997/03/27/2/an-interview-with-david-foster-wallace

Suicidal Hanging? (2, Interesting)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003383)

If you want to kill yourself, fine, go right ahead. Your life, end it if you wish.

But why in the world would anyone commit suicide by hanging? There are plenty of other options to choose from. Especially when most suicidal hangings are done WRONG and end up taking loads more time to die than they had intended.

Don't do it. It's stupid. Pick something else.

It's too bad (1)

BlastOff (1111571) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003433)

I don't care why he did it. I don't care if he was depressed. I don't care if people think he was weak. All I know is that he was one of the greatest writers I ever had the pleasure of reading. It's a tragedy that he's gone. That's all. Just a god damn tragedy.

Consider the Lobster (3, Informative)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003441)

If you like David Foster Wallace or would like to get a good idea of his style without diving headfirst into a novel, check out Consider the Lobster and Other Essays. It has the full range of his work, from literary criticism to a hilarious essay describing his trip to a porn convention and various rambling thoughts on pornography's relationship with "regular" society and art. There's some really great stuff in that.

RIP DFW.

Sometimes the finest minds resort to it. (1, Interesting)

RiffRafff (234408) | more than 5 years ago | (#25003545)

"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun--for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax--This won't hurt" -- Hunter S. Thompson, suicide note.

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