Difference between revisions of "Pages 321-342"

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'''metatheoretical'''<br />
'''metatheoretical'''<br />
regarding a theory devised to analyze a previous theory
regarding a theory devised to analyze a previous theory
'''El Greco'''<br />
El Greco (Spanish for "the Greek") was the byname of Doménicos Theotokópoulos (1541-1614), a Greek/Cretan-Spanish painter. Presumably a "bad" El Greco, i.e., a bad piece of art by El Greco, would have the characteristics Hal considers in Pemulis's face.
'''spansule'''<br />
'''spansule'''<br />
A medicinal capsule containing many tiny beads of medicine that dissolve at spaced intervals for long-acting medication.
A medicinal capsule containing many tiny beads of medicine that dissolve at spaced intervals for long-acting medication.
'''El Greco'''<br />
El Greco (Spanish for "the Greek") was the byname of Doménicos Theotokópoulos (1541-1614), a Greek/Cretan-Spanish painter. Presumably a "bad" El Greco, i.e., a bad piece of art by El Greco, would have the characteristics Hal considers in Pemulis's face.
==Page 335==
==Page 335==

Revision as of 14:11, 25 April 2021

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☽ November 8th, YDAU - Interdependence Day - Eschaton

Page 321

Latin: Let Us Rejoice. The first line of (and alternative title for) the student song 'De Brevitate Vitae', often sung at graduation ceremonies.

Page 322

The name of the game is based on "eschatology" (from the Greek ἔσχατος, Eschatos meaning "last" and -logy meaning "the study of") which is a part of theology and philosophy concerned with what is believed to be the final events in the history of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world. Wikipedia

a sudden sense of excitement


Wilmington DE
a city 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia

vade mecum - Latin for "go with me"; like a reference handbook intended to be carried everywhere.


John Bunyan (1628-1688) was an English-Calvinist preacher and writer. You can read Pilgrim's Progress here.

a German brand of handgun

German for "union"; possibly forced annexation, involving occupation. Anschluss often refers to German annexation of Austria before WWII. [1]

The United States of America and other NATO nations

The Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations

The People's Republic of China

Libya and Syria

LIBSYR plus Iran and Iraq

India and Pakistan

Page 323

Mean-Value Theorem for Integrals
Learn it here. It should be noted that Wallace does not actually explain the theorem.

Endnote 123

Generosity in bestowing money or gifts upon others.

Extreme Value Theorem
This is explained here.

The proper plural is "data."

guns, cannon, artillery, weapons, arms, munitions, military supplies, materiel.

Page 323 (cont'd)

by way of summary

a popular parlor game played with dice

Endnote 124

Aapps Inc.
There is an actual company by this name, though whether this is the same company to which Wallace refers, I don't know.

Page 323 (cont'd)

a three-pronged outlet

Dürer's 'The Magnificent Beast'
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) was a German engraver, painter, and mathematician. You can see the work cited here.

a warlike disposition

Presque Isle ME
a city of Maine about 20 miles west of the border with New Brunswick, Canada

Chyonskrg Kurgistan
Assuming that (a) the name of the town is spelled correctly, and (b) the country is Kyrgyzstan, I can't find this town on a directory of towns in Kyrgyzstan.

Pliscu Romania
There doesn't seem to be a real city by this name either, though pliscu seems to be a word pertaining to the nose.

Military abbreviations

Page 324

Personal Computers

spin given to a ball in tennis causing it to rotate forward

recklessly extravagant

spreads like cancer

SUFDDIR - self evident
Suffered from Death, Destruction, and Incapacitation of Response

Ibuprofen/Advil/.. painkiller, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug class that is used for treating pain, fever, and inflammation


extravagantly ornate

the required minimum number of people required to carry forth a particular task

Page 325

Defense Readiness Condition, i.e., the measure of the activation of the U.S. Armed Forces in reaction to a real or perceived threat. The higher the number, the lower the threat; the numbers as used in Infinite Jest are used incorrectly, i.e., the higher the DEFCON number, the higher the risk.

here used as a military term for an area in which warfare is carried out

Endnote 125

people who (in this case) play tennis merely for amusement

Page 325 (cont'd)

Achilles' heel
This denotes a single weakness, taken from Greek mythology and the warrior Achilles, hero of the Iliad, who was made invincible to weapons by his mother dipping him in the river Styx. However, because he was held by his heel, he was vulnerable in this single place; Paris was able to kill Achilles by wounding him in the heel with an arrow.

goes tactical
enters the phase of using tactical nuclear weapons

an alternate spelling for the Xinjiang province of China

an archipelago of Islands stretching west from the coast of Alaska toward (and over) the International Date Line

a type of Soviet surface-to-surface (SS) missile

El Al
Israel's national airline

properly, Airbus, a European manufacturer of passenger aircraft of all ranges

both H'sseins
Hussein I (1935-1999), king of Jordan, and Saddam Hussein (1937-2006), president of Iraq

Ft. Chimo
another name for Kuujjuaq, Québec, in the Arctic Circle

the mainland part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland

Formerly known as Tsaritsyn and then Stalingrad, this is a city of Russia on the Volga River, downriver from Moscow.

a Russian brand of vodka

Endnote 126

small or trifling

triggering situations

Page 325 (cont'd)

Mikhail Gorbachev

American fighter jets

Cape Flattery Naval Base
It's not clear whether there is a naval base at Cape Flattery currently, but the town itself is in the state of Washington, about 140 miles west-northwest of Seattle.

a large city in Russian Siberia

Dzhugdzhur Range
a mountain range in far east Siberia

SOVWAR's bald and port-wine-stained premier
This is no doubt a reference to Mikhail Gorbachev (see right), the last head of state of the USSR, although he was never premier.

A colored fleshy lobe hanging from the head or neck of domestic chickens, turkeys, and some other birds. In this context referring to the loose neck skin of an aging man; likely George H.W. Bush given the context.

Endnote 127

a type of arachnid

Page 325 (cont'd)

Prince Albert in a can
An old phone gag explained in the Wikipedia entry for the popular pipe tobacco sold in the distinctive red tin can with its portrait of Prince Albert (later King Edward VII) on its obverse side.

a Russian island in the Pacific Ocean

Page 326

Portsmouth OH
a town about 90 miles due south of Columbus, Ohio

four kilgrams
about 8.8 pounds

Sixth Fleet
the fleet of the U.S. Navy that patrols the Mediterranean

Russian aircraft

Overcome with anger; extremely indignant, so much so that it could induce a stroke

"...only to be asked if his refrigerator's running..."
Another ancient phone gag: Prankster: "Can you check to see if your refrigerator is running?" Dupe (after a pause to check): "Yes, it is." Prankster: "Well, you'd better go catch it!"

Air Force One
technically, any United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the U.S.

Abu Kenal
probably meant to be the same as Abu Kemal referred to at 337

En Nebk
a city in Syria, not far from Damascus


sues for terms
i.e., sues for peace

a city in Lebanon; or the capital of Libya

Médenine Tunisia
a city in the far south of Tunisia

a city in the Czech Republic about 200 miles east of Prague

a large piece of artillery

National Security Agency

alternate spelling of Tianjin

Air Force Two
the designation of any aircraft carrying the Vice President of the United States

Provo UT
a city about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City

Page 327

Normally this word denotes an advertisement written to appear as if it's journalism, but here Wallace seems to mean bearing an ad.

contemplating death

expert players

Normally referring to the Talmud, here it means making fine distinctions.


A public affairs magazine that describes itself as the flagship of neoconservatism. It was founded by the American Jewish Committee and is still known for its coverage of Jewish issues.

a major city of Israel at the northern end of the Negev desert

Page 328

integrity or honesty

a bit over 1554 square yards


literally underground

Peoria IL
a city around 160 miles southwest of Chicago

descriptive of the altitudes of the land on a map

Interstate 74
This road runs from Davenport, Iowa, to Cincinnati

a type of missile

not a real word, though a frequent usage mistake

used because we're dealing with circular and spherical areas of damage

what looks weird to me is dividing by 1/surface: it is the same as simply multiplying by the surface.

Page 329

1,400,000 curies
A curie (Ci) is a measure of radioactivity, defined as 3.7×1010 decays per second. The more commonly used measurement in science is the becquerel. 1.4 million curies is equal to 59.2 million gigabecquerels.

having a tiny head

brand name of diethylpropion, a drug marketed as an appetite suppressant

Troeltsch's left eye is nystagmic. Nystagmus is an involuntary eye-movement characterised by the combination of a smooth pursuit, which usually acts to take the eye off the point of regard, interspersed with the saccadic movement that serves to bring the eye back on target.

oriented toward thinking

Page 330

The roentgen (R) is a unit of measurement for ionizing radiation and uses the units charge divided by unit weight (C/kg). The preferred scientific unit is the gray (Gy), a unit of absorbed dose (of radiation).

the capital of Belarus

still existing

Edina MN
a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul about 3 miles southwest

not irrational, but also not rational -- rather lacking the ability to tell one from the other

a type of fish

electromagnetic pulse

Page 331

A gander, as used here, is a look or peek.

finski undoubtedly a five-dollar bill, from its old nickname fin

St. John of God

Annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand

Decision Tree
a tool used in decision analysis

Here used as a verb for "to lead," an Imam is a Muslim cleric.

Page 332

According to Wikipedia, "Strip mining is the practice of mining a seam of mineral by first removing a long strip of overlying soil and rock." The implication here seems to be simply that Ingersoll is picking rather deeply.

ad service box
the box to serve into when an odd number of points have been played (so when one player or the other has the advantage, i.e. is ahead in points); as opposed to the "deuce service box" where one serves when an even number of points have been played (in particular when the game is tied at deuce).

Nota bene Wikipedia

to hold a discussion

Sierra Leone
a country of West Africa

a real brand of aspirin

Page 333

the largest city in Pakistan and capital of its Sindh province

proximity to reality, "Truth likeness"

eminence grise
French for "gray eminence," this is a powerful adviser or decision-maker.

Miles Penn
a combination of the names of two early British settlers of America: William Penn and Miles Standish (1584-1656), the military commander of Plymouth colony who traveled to Massachusetts on the Mayflower.

'It's snowing on the goddamn map, not the territory...'
This is a reference to the statement "the map is not the territory," i.e., the thing representing some other thing is not that other thing in reality -- just a representation of it. Count Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski (1879-1950), the founder of general semantics, coined the phrase. It's interesting that the term map appears so often in Infinite Jest, as in reference to suicide (eliminating one's own map) or when one of anhedonia's symptoms is described thus: "The world becomes a map of the world." (p.693) Clearly Wallace is doing something with this general idea.

Page 334


a way of restarting a game of rugby after a point has been scored

Arabian Sea
the part of the Indian into which the Persian Gulf (or Arabian Gulf) leads

regarding a theory devised to analyze a previous theory

A medicinal capsule containing many tiny beads of medicine that dissolve at spaced intervals for long-acting medication.

El Greco
El Greco (Spanish for "the Greek") was the byname of Doménicos Theotokópoulos (1541-1614), a Greek/Cretan-Spanish painter. Presumably a "bad" El Greco, i.e., a bad piece of art by El Greco, would have the characteristics Hal considers in Pemulis's face.

Page 335

paralytic thought-helix
Paralytic would imply that this "thought-helix" stops everything else both physical and mental in Hal's actions/thoughts. A helix is a spiral, so a thought-helix is a thought-spiral, which goes on and on but never really gets anywhere.

1.3 m.
about 4.25 feet

In economics or statistics, this is a quantity/quality to be maximized in decision making.

the hips, buttocks, and upper thighs

to think about something

Page 336

a catch-all term for the pre-Columbian cultures of what is now Mexico

Ivory Coast
the English name for Côte d'Ivoire

another nation in west Africa

a decision about a previous decision

a case for maps or plates made to look like a book

Page 337

total, e.g., the aggregate IQ of the people in a room would be all their individual IQs added together

not a real word; but of course equivocate means to deceive, so, perhaps "deceptive"?

Abu Kemal and Es Suweida
Abu Kamal is in eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border. As-Suwayda is also in Syria, near its border with Jordan. This is to say that Ingersoll is patrolling Syria's eastern frontier.

This is the third mention of characters dancing or pretending to dance the Charleston, the others being Steeply at page 94 and the Vaught twins at page 218.

hoofer's cane
the cane of a tap dancer (which is what a hoofer is)

de facto
As opposed to de jure, which would mean legally, de facto implies a situation is true even if not legally true.

One True Faith

inability to stick with a choice

Page 338

water made to rise by the motion of a boat

compromise Eschaton's map
which here would seem to mean that Lord may just kill Eschaton as a game

Page 339

something anatomically impossible
i.e., to go fuck himself, or perform anal-cranial inversion

having three parts

another name for vitamin B1

Nigeria and Chad
bordering nations in North Africa, just south of the Sahara, Nigeria being the most populous African nation

Page 340

dividing into triangles [More likely, homing in by successive approximation]

on point
furthest up front, as in military formation

pincer movement
a military maneuver whereby an enemy is attacked not from the front, but at both sides or flanks

Page 341

a type of nuclear strike (the nuclear device explodes when it contacts the target), discriminated from air-burst (the nuclear device explodes when it reaches a pre-programmed altitude above the target)

left cross
According to a boxing Web site, "the right cross is thrown in a straight line to the target and comes back in a straight line to the chin." The left cross is delivered with left hand.

gathering increasing amounts

Todd is trying to say "nose."


Asian subcontinent
Better known as the Indian subcontinent, it includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, & Sri Lanka.

Page 342

The colonial name for the continental portion of southeast Asia, camprising what is now Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, & (variably) peninsular Malaysia, & Singapore.

the line at the end of a tennis court, parallel to the net, that marks the boundary of play

a clasp for a door or lid

An acronym for modulation-demodulation, it is a data-transfer device.

the construction forming the sides, top, and back of a piece of equipment

the vertical axis

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