"In Wallace’s book, a Canadian terrorist informant of foggy allegiance asks an American undercover agent a form of the question: “If Americans would choose to press play on the film Infinite Jest, knowing it will kill them, doesn’t that mean they are already dead inside, that they have chosen entertainment over life?” Of course vanishingly few Americans would press play on a film that was sure to end their lives. But there’s a truth in this absurdity. Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love."