The fraudulence paradox was that the more time and effort you put into trying to appear impressive or attractive to other people, the less impressive or attractive you felt inside — you were a fraud. And the more of a fraud you felt like, the harder you tried to convey an impressive or likable image of yourself so that other people wouldn’t ﬁnd out what a hollow, fraudulent person you really were. Logically, you would think that the moment a supposedly intelligent nineteen-year-old became aware of this paradox, he’d stop being a fraud and just settle for being himself (whatever that was) because he’d ﬁgured out that being a fraud was a vicious inﬁnite regress that ultimately resulted in being frightened, lonely, alienated, etc. But here was the other, higher-order paradox, which didn’t even have a form or name — I didn’t, I couldn’t.
— David Foster Wallace, “Good Old Neon”