Stereophonic records contain two audio channels. A groove has two sides jutting up at 45 degree angles. One side of the groove carries the left channel and the other side carries the right channel. The music encoded on each side of the groove is an intimate stranger to the other. Stereo equipment has a pickup with two piezoelectric coils (at right angles to each other) so that each channel can be decoded and amplified separately, then mixed together.

As stereophonic sound achieved a mass audience at mid-century, so, too, did Norman Vincent Peale. The Power of Positive Thinking (1952) defined, and still defines, the contours of spiritual flourishing for many an imagination. Understood in terms of its reception history, The Power of Positive Thinking is a spiritual machine, a processing engine of the highest order. One could even argue that Peale’s frame filtered and retooled much of the utopian ontics of nineteenth-century America for the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries.