This is a very important email I wrote to David Lipsky, who I hoped understood David Foster Wallace as well as anyone.

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I'm Joe Puccio, one of the co-founders of Coursicle. This past week was probably one of the most important weeks of my life. My co-founder (and former girlfriend of 10 years since we were 17), Tara, just agreed to forfeit her 51% equity stake in Coursicle. For the past 3 months, the Coursicle lawyers, advisors, and employees have been trying to convince her to relinquish control of the company now that she's headed to law school and I need to be able to run it without her since she broke up with me 4 months ago. Last Wednesday, she finally relented (after, naturally, demanding millions of dollars we don't have, abruptly replacing me on the board with her dad to stop a coup the team had been planning for months, and a variety of other dramatic moves).

I'm reaching out to you because I feel like you might understand me better than most. I've never read his books, but I've always felt an intellectual connection with David Foster Wallace. Back in 2013, I watched a talk he gave and my friends who actually read (I only read textbooks) have told me a couple things about Infinite Jest. It was a couple of days ago, while I was trying to understand why, almost all of a sudden, the world looked so comically broken, so grotesque, when David Foster Wallace's name exploded into my head for the first time in years. I had begun to question my own reality: how was it possible that nobody else saw how comically broken the world had become?

As it turns out in retrospect, the relationship with Tara was emotionally abusive and was the cause of my paralyzing anxiety and the suicidal ideation I struggled with since 2018. According to her, I was almost always wrong. Arrogant. Naive. Selfish. Over the course of our relationship, my confidence eroded, totally, and her word became my truth. Then when she broke up with me and we stopped talking, I was all of a sudden without a set of axioms to build on. It was then that I saw the world differently. The absurdity of my new lover who has a full-ride to art school which is $70,000/year, having to skip meals because she can't afford Chipotle. The absent-minded greed of my mom who asked "Why don't you give me $7,000?" when I told her I was buying my best friend from high school a car so he didn't have to keep taking Ubers to his two bartending jobs in North Carolina.

I'm planning on doing more research to determine whether there's a neurological basis underpinning periods of "clarity" coming after severe mental anguish, but while I was quite literally pondering reality itself (I thought perhaps I had gone through with suicide and this was some sort of perfect afterlife where I was the prophet who was the only one who could see how disgusting capitalism and wealth disparity had gotten) something else sprang out of me: maybe David Foster Wallace's portrayal in Infinite Jest wasn't a warning of what was to come; it was how he saw the present. In fact, I realized, maybe nonconformists don't actually see the future, as I've thought for so long. They see the present for what it is, rather than they way everyone else sees it, which is through the distorted lens of the past. That's when I realized I should email you.

What Coursicle does isn't important (we're an app for college students, only half a million users), but what I'm using it as a vessel for is. A couple years ago a company was interested in buying us. Naturally, I was excited, because that's what our society touts as the end goal: money, and I was about to be a millionaire at 25. But for some reason (and I'm not sure why; I've been like this for as long as I can remember), I decided to question this next step and I realized: nobody is going to remember another old, rich, white dude. People remember you for changing the way the people think, so I decided we weren't going to go through with the acquisition.

It took me 2 more years and getting out of the relationship before I knew what those missions were:

Right now, I'm working on getting a movie made about what happened here (if you've got a connection to Sorkin or Fincher, give me a holler; I don't know anyone in the industry yet), because I think that'll be a good way to disseminate our missions here and what I'm trying to do. I've got a list of names of people (like you) who I think my story might resonate with and who I think can help me tell it, so you could also help by connecting me with someone else on that list. It's not going to take a David Foster Wallace to wake the masses, it's going to take 100. This is war, not a battle, and we're losing ground every day.

If you want a peek at all the documentation I've pulled together for the movie, here's the Google Drive: [redacted]