Why Didn’t Video Phones Take Off?

Excerpt from the novel “Infinite Jest.” “Videophone consumers seemed suddenly to realize that they’d been subject to an insidious but wholly marvelous delusion about conventional voice-only telephony. They’d never noticed it before, the delusion — it’s like it was so emotionally complex that it could be countenanced only in the context of its loss. Good old traditional audio-only phone conversations allowed you to presume that the person on the other end was paying com­plete attention to you while also permitting you not to have to pay anything even close to complete attention to her.”

Source: Ilxor
Published: Feb 1, 1996
Length: 11 minutes (2,864 words)
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