David Foster Wallace – Commencement Speech at Kenyon

David Foster Wallace – Commencement Speech at Kenyon University. I read this every time I come across it. Most of the time writing is useless, but sometimes it brilliantly communicates much more meaning than the space and energy it takes up as information. I’m impressed, and more importantly moved to think, by information with a high meaning/space ratio. Of course meaning is a personal thing, so if you find meaning, give it a kiss, and then figure out what to do with it.

Remembering is hard. Changing is hard. Passing through intangible, wispy, perception-filtered mental barriers (why are they even there!) is a lifelong goal. I’ll claim to know what Wallace is talking about. The problem is, it doesn’t equate to happiness.

- read
- philosophy


Comment by LG on 2010-12-05 11:00:32 +0000

Making your life mean something may not make you happy, but wouldn’t knowing that you challenged yourself to think be satisfying enough to keep trudging through?

Comment by David on 2010-12-05 12:01:38 +0000

I’d presume making your life mean something would be higher on the happiness rung than thinking, namely because the former requires the latter. Wallace doesn’t mention meaning though, mostly just exploration and openness of thought. But to answer your question, no. And I’d like my life to exceed trudging 😉