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I felt that if I couldn’t listen to the first movement of Charles Ives’ Third Symphony right away, I would be reduced to abject despair. Therein lies the supreme spiritual utility of the digital technology that has brought about what is without question the most radical transformation of daily life to take place in my lifetime: I screwed in my earbuds and clicked a few keys on my MacBook, and all at once my head was full of Ives.
Why, though, was it this particular piece that I craved? I’m sure it was because I’d spent an hour talking to my brother on the phone on Tuesday night…