Tuesday, March 04, 2008


now reading: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

I have just made a shocking discovery. Or at least what passes for one on MySpace. I have been using the illustrious social networking site to randomly peruse the profiles of people who list Infinite Jest in their "Books" category. Why? Just for fun and procrastination, mostly, and also to see what they have to say about it, if anything. OK, so when I did a search for "Infinite Jest" in books, I got 182 pages of results. Wow, right? Except it's pretty easy to skim through them, looking for people I might actually care to hear from, and ignoring the bands, the people who put fake ages (like 0, or 102), the people with pornographic profile pictures, the people who haven't logged in since 2004, etc. Still, 182 pages? Impressive.

Then I went and did some other things and then went back to peruse a bit more. Only this time I got only four pages of results. I looked to see if I had made sure to type "Infinite Jest" in the Books category search and not General Interest or something. I had - but then I saw that I'd typed it so quickly that I had left out the final 'i' and typed "Infinte Jest" and THAT had returned four pages of results. Can you imagine? I mean, I'm actually not all that surprised that a significant chunk of people leave/never notice typos in their profiles. But don't you think it's funny that there are that many people who made the same typo? FOUR PAGES of people who typed "Infinte." (By the way, I totally hear that in my head as a three-syllable word, like"infanty.") I think that's hilarious. And kind of less for what it says about careless profile-building then about the sheer number of people who like this book. Maybe I'll try leaving out other random letters, too, and see what happens. (No, I won't. But it was fun to ponder for a moment.)

No comments: