Law in the Internet Society
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Autonomy & Infinite Jest: "Children" & "Adults" in Pursuit of Pleasure


"But see that here it can't be a Fascist matter of screaming at the kid or giving him electric shocks each time he overindulges in candy. You can't induce a moral sensibility the same way you'd train a rat. The kid has to learn by his own experience how to learn to balance the short- and long-term pursuit of what he wants . . . He must be freely enlightened to self."

--Infinite Jest, p.429

David Foster Wallace's highly acclaimed novel, Infinite Jest, revolves around the unknown whereabouts of the master-copy of a film so seductive and pleasure-inducing that its viewers invariably lose all interest in anything other than its perpetual viewing (perhaps not entirely far-fetched). As a kind of psychological weapon of mass destruction, the captivating power of the film exposes a precarious tension between maintaining respect for freedom of "choice" in the Oh-so-American pursuit of happiness, hallowed on the one hand, and advocating for appropriate government interference on the other, i.e., when the choices of an orphan citizenry beg for parental guidance -- when by reason of undue influence or moral turpitude the citizenry is deemed incapable of choosing for itself. Salty snacks for example.



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r2 - 18 Jan 2010 - 23:41:11 - JonathanBoyer
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