NR Digital

City Desk

Thrill of the New

by Richard Brookhiser

Life is change. What could be more obvious? I grew up with a phone number that had letters in it: FIllmore 2-3769 (the number finally died when my father moved to his last nursing home). Now the only people who use the telephone are campaign robocallers and the phone company, dunning me to switch to their new wireless plan. Everyone else has migrated to the interverse.

A life of change also means a life of not changing enough. Who can keep up? During the last blackout I went to an Apple store in a still-powered part of town and asked one of the Eloi how to call up AOL. He smiled and said “No judgments!” before helping me; I felt like Homo erectus, asking him to clean the hard drive of my flint.

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