eLearning Forum Presentation

This Tuesday at 4:30 pm, I’ll be opening the monthly meeting of eLearning Forum in Menlo Park with a presentation entitled What Is Workflow Learning?

Eilif has asked me not to go more than twenty minutes, so I’ve boiled this down to 16 minutes. You can get a preview here via Breeze (cut on your speakers).

Here’s how I prep a new presentation these days. After thinking through what the audience probably wants, I choose a few major themes to explore. Whatever has been on my mind for that week is a heavy influence, so I don’t kid myself that this is all for them. Presenting helps me think things through and challenges me to make them explicit. Next I rough out a PowerPoint, scavenging slides from previous talks and making new ones when I need them. Thank heavens for Google Images; five years ago I had a large clipart collection that required continual updating.

The next day I go back through the PowerPoint, smoothing transitions and improving the graphics. When it holds together, I do a dry run. Then I record a practice into Macromedia Breeze and force myself to listen to it. This gives me the timing per slide for streamlining.

In this case, I’m presenting to a small group and don’t have much time. My recording was interrupted by phone calls and barking dogs, and I even neglected to narrate one slide. It’s rough but meets my standards. Take a look. If you have any problems (or suggestions), please let me know.

I’ll summarize the presentation in the next post.

Learning Games

Games that help people learn have long been a largely unrealized dream for enlightened designers and a spend-thrift, edutainment threat for corporate curmudgeons. Lately, I’ve been getting vibes that the enlightened crowd is winning.

Last month, Mark Oelert was raving about the Serious Games Summit and how the training industry looks moribund by comparison. Of course, Mark is such a fanatic that he totes around a laptop that weighs as much as a sack of bricks so he has sufficient horsepower to play whatever comes within reach. Mark gave me a copy of Raph Koster’s A Theory of Fun, which I’ve found quite refreshing.

“Fun, as I define it, is the feedback the brain gives us when we are absorbing patterns for learning purposes.”

Next month, my pal Clark Quinn’s book, Engaging Learning: Designing e-Learning Simulation Games, will hit the stores.

“Learning is at its best when it is goal-oriented, contextual, interesting, challenging, and interactive. These same winning characteristics also define the best computer games, which suggests that the most effective learning experiences are also engaging. Learning can and should be hard fun!”

Climbing Albany Hill yesterday, my alternative to cardiac rehab, I listened to an mp3 interview with an MIT professor lamenting the ignorance of gaming in the popular press (games generate as much revenue as movies). He said kids’ number one complaint about homework was that it was too hard; their number one complaint about games is that they’re too easy.

And then I just came upon this paper by James Gee entitled Learning by Design: good video games as learning machines.

“Good game designers are practical theoreticians of learning, since what makes games deep is that players are exercising their learning muscles, though often without knowing it and without having to pay overt attention to the matter. Under the right conditions, learning, like sex, is biologically motivating and pleasurable for humans (and other primates). It is a hook that game designers own to a greater degree – thanks to the interactivity of games – than do movies and books.”

“There are many good principles of learning built into good computer and video games. These are all principles that could and should be applied to school learning tomorrow, though this is unlikely given the current trend for skill-and-drill, scripted instruction, and standardized multiple-choice testing. The principles are particularly important for so-called ‘at risk’ learners, students who have come to school underprepared, who have fallen behind, or who have little support for school-based literacy and language skills outside of school.

[Some of] The Principles

Codesign. Good learning requires that learners feel like active agents (producers) not just passive recipients (consumers).

Customize. Different styles of learning work better for different people. People cannot be agents of their own learning if they cannot make decisions about how their learning will work. At the same time, they should be able (and encouraged) to try new styles.

Identity. Deep learning requires an extended commitment and such a commitment is powerfully
recruited when people take on a new identity they value and in which they become heavily invested – whether this be a child ‘being a scientist doing science’ in a classroom or an adult taking on a new role at work.

Pleasantly Frustrating. Learning works best when new challenges are pleasantly frustrating in the sense of being felt by learners to be at the outer edge of, but within, their ‘regime of competence’.

Information ‘On Demand’ and ‘Just in Time.’
Human beings are quite poor at using verbal information (i.e. words) when given lots of it out of context and before they can see how it applies in actual situations. They use verbal information best when it is given ‘just in time’ (when they can put it to use) and ‘on demand’ (when they feel they need it).

Skills as Strategies. There is a paradox involving skills: People don’t like practicing skills out of context over and over again, since they find such skill practice meaningless, but, without lots of skill practice,
they cannot really get any good at what they are trying to learn. People learn and practice skills best when they see a set of related skills as a strategy to accomplish goals they want to accomplish.

System Thinking. People learn skills, strategies, and ideas best when they see how they fit into an overall
larger system to which they give meaning. In fact, any experience is enhanced when we understand
how it fits into a larger meaningful whole. Players can not view games as ‘eye candy’, but must learn to see each game (actually each genre of game) as a distinctive semiotic system affording and discouraging certain sorts of actions and interactions.

Meaning as Action Image. Humans do not usually think through general definitions and logical principles. Rather, they think through experiences they have had and imaginative reconstructions of experience. You don’t think and reason about weddings on the basis of generalities, but in terms of the weddings you have been to and heard about and imaginative reconstructions of them. It’s your experiences that give weddings and the word ‘wedding’ meaning(s). Furthermore, for humans, words and concepts have their deepest meanings when they are clearly tied to perception and action in the world.

As if to echo Clark Quinn’s words above, Gee concludes that “When we think of games, we think of fun. When we think of learning we think of work. Games show us this is wrong. They trigger deep learning that is itself part and parcel of the fun. It is what makes good games deep.”

Read Gee’s article: it provides examples of these and other principles in games and in education. Compared to a doctrinaire treatise on instructional design or the minutiae of task analysis, this is a breath of fresh air.

The Annotated New York Times

DISCLOSURE: After Herb Caen died and the Hearst family took over the San Francisco Chronicle, I stopped reading the local paper. The New York Times arrives every morning, Sundays included, and I find it the best newspaper I’ve ever read.

The Annotated New York Times is the blogosphere’s response to what appears in the Times, “tracking 24,468 articles, 1,692 topics and 4,457 New York Times authors.”

An outfit called Blog Runner is behind the Annotated NYT and similar activities that seek to unite articles with commentary about them to form “conversations” about current topics. As they say, “Each minute, over 3,000 blog messages are injected into the Internet.
Overwhelmed? BlogRunner tracks breaking news stories and blog conversations as they propagate across the web.”

So? Imagine having something like this in-house, on your intranet. Self-policing. Cheap. Certainly worth exploring.


A Brief History of the Term eLearning and A Lesson for Portugal
Jay Cross, Internet Time Group

Special to Nov@ Formação magazine

People tell me I coined the term eLearning when I started writing about it on the web in 1998. In the spring of ’99, nine of the top ten links on Alta Vista for e-Learning connected to Internet Time Group.

At Online Learning that fall, CBT Systems, a pioneer in CD-ROM based IT training, renamed itself “SmartForce, The e-Learning Company.” This marked the first commercial use of the term eLearning. Greg Priest, the firm’s CEO, said e-Learning is what you get when you take an e-Business approach to learning itself. Greg’s vision of e-Learning embraced dynamic content, personalization that learns over time, rapid deployment, Internet and intranet delivery, interoperability with ERP, extreme scalability, top-tier security, and the ability to incorporate in-house programs. (DISCLOSURE: SmartForce was an Internet Time Group client throughout the transition period.)

“eLearning” was invented in the euphoria of web madness that swept through Silicon Valley in the wake of Netscape’s IPO. In October ’99, I explained that I had cooked up the term to win credibility more than to define a new approach to all learning:

“For twenty-five years, training departments and training vendors have tried to get the ear of senior management. Trainers change their titles to ‘performance consultant,’ training departments morph into corporate universities, and vendor brochures tout high ROI.

“At least nine out of ten of these efforts fail. Why? Because no matter what you call it, it’s still really training. Training’s a staff function, it always will be, and corporate management has other fish to fry. Would a mainstream corporate function really be satisfied with anything less than “Level 4” performance, i.e., making a difference?

“Perhaps e-Learning can change that. e-Learning is exciting. It’s Internet. It’s New Economy. Wall Street believes in it. The Fortune 1000 believes in it. Senior managers believe in it. e-Learning rides the e-Business wave.

“Traditional training has proven incapable of keeping up with today’s pace of change. Many managers feel they’ve squandered their investments in training to-date and they’re leery about being taken again. Perhaps the term “training” has outlived its usefulness.

“So let’s shutter the training department in favour of an in-house e-Learning start-up. Let’s adopt the can-do spirit of the Internet Age. Demand senior management commitment to the new order. Make learners responsible for their own learning. Hold managers accountable for providing speedy, convenient, effective access to it. Let’s go for it. Now.”

[Source: e is for Elephant, 10/99]

I envisioned eLearning as what corporate training could become:

* learning on Internet-age steroids: often real-time, 24/7, anywhere, anytime
* learner-centred, personalized to the individual & customized to the organization
* network-assisted, often assembling learning experiences on the fly
* a blend of learning methods — virtual classroom, simulation, collaboration, community, even classroom…
* the whole learning enchilada, from assessment through testing and sometimes certification
* online administration — handling registration, payment and charge-backs, and monitoring learner progress

[Source: TRENDZ, Training & Development magazine, November 1999]

In other words, eLearning takes advantage of tech but doesn’t require it. Unlike France, where the Académie must approve the official definition of any word deemed legitimate, America defines its terms by usage. Many people used eLearning to mean computer-delivered training.

Six months after SmartForce introduced the term eLearning at Online Learning, ASTD’s International Conference and Exposition met in Dallas. eLearning signs sprouted up all over the Expo floor. Obviously, the vendors had not re-tooled their content overnight. Instead, they were reverse-engineering the meaning of eLearning to fit their existing products. Email for lessons? Sounded like eLearning to some people.

Putting new labels on old bottles is hardly new in the training business. Vendors who claimed to have eLearning when in fact they did not fleeced a few suckers but the sham was otherwise benign.

Real trouble cropped up when semantic debates held organizations back from making decisions. HP spent six months wrangling about the meaning of eLearning. Defining eLearning became like the psychiatrist’s inkblot test: you see what you want to see. Pent-up backlash against computer-based training muddied the argument, as did instructors who feared for their jobs. VCs confused the matter by theorizing great ROI from automating the classroom. At one point, Cisco mandated that all its learning be eLearning.

Many organizations actually tried to implement computer-delivered training with no outside support, encouragement, follow-up, or management support. Guess what? It didn’t work. People stayed away in droves. The instructors kept their jobs. Luddites slept well.

The term “blended” was invented to cover over the short-sightedness of computer-only training. Instead of waking up to the idiocy of computer-only eLearning, one could adopt something new, “blended learning.” A mini-industry has grown up around defining, developing, delivering, and writing reports about blends. If this prompts designers of learning not to put all their eggs in one basket, it’s positive. Old hands in the industry scratch their heads and wonder what learning is not blended.

Today “eLearning” gets five million hits on Google. “e-Learning” gets more than ten million hits. (I dropped the hyphen in late 1999.) eLearning is a book, a magazine, a conference, a journal, an award category, a forum, a guild, a centre, a certificate, an alliance, an age, a guru, a foundation, a network, a solution, a FAQ, a community, a glossary, an academy, an initiative of the European Commission, and of course, a delivery system.

I don’t talk much about eLearning any more. Then again, I don’t focus on learning either. I’m still trying to focus the conversation on performance. Learning is but one of many streams feeding into performance.

The lesson for Portugal? Don’t get caught up in definitions the way we did in America. If it works, do it, regardless of what it is called. If it doesn’t work, don’t do it. In the words of DAU President Frank Anderson, “If you are riding a dead horse, dismount.”

I'll be brief

For the time being, this is the format of a Brief, my proposed alternative to the PDF white paper.

This is still Beta. I have several fixes and add-ons to apply. For one thing, video inserts would be cool.

The PowerPoint that generated this file is here.

Yes!!!! We call in Meta-Learning

Godfrey Parkin is singing my song. He segues from the importance of informal learning to what we have to do about it: “nurture and focus those aspects that can leverage what people do naturally.”

We need to start teaching employees how to learn. We need to create the culture that encourages innovation, experimentation, socialising, and networking. We need to make time for talking, and for dissecting failure without punishing it. And we need to start a movement, top-down, to dissolve organisational silos and the myopic tunnel-vision they produce, and to provide the facilities that make it easier for employees to engage with each other.

The Meta-Learning Lab is dedicated to increasing people’s capacity to learn, improving the performance of individuals and organizations.

Everyone has the capacity to learn but most people can do a much better job of it. Learning is a skill one can improve. Learning how to learn is a key to its mastery.

Learning is the primary determinant of personal and professional success in our ever-changing knowledge age. People and organizations that strive to succeed had better get good at it. Our goal is to help them.

The Meta-Learning Lab focuses on the process of learning – helping individuals learn how to learn and groups how to create optimal learning environments.

“Never underestimate the power of a small but committed group of people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

All alone

The business world is going through a lot of thrash these days. Bits move faster than atoms, too fast for our industrial-age models to keep pace. Yet top-down organization brought us the wealth we enjoy today, so it’s difficult to give it up whether or not it has passed its prime.

Networks are wonderfully self-organizing and democratic. (Let’s all share!) But when you want guidance, there may be no guide. The trends point to a future where we’re each our own person and we manage ourselves. We can’t blame the boss if he’s no longer there.

The new world order is that we’re all in this together. Instant communication puts us on equal footing.

I’ve been re-reading passages from Tom Malone’s The Future of Work and Tom Stuart’s Intellectual Capital. It’s sobering to realize how much knowledge erodes over time. I’d swear I never saw many of these pages before, but I know I read every word. Whatever.

Malone tells us the natural evolution of networks starts with nodes linking to a single authority (the king, the tsar, the instructor, the mainframe), and, as the cost of connections drops, the nodes reach out to one another to form dense connections, making the center no longer discernable (yielding the flat organization, business as ecosystem, and democratic governance).

Stewart, then a reporter for Fortune magazine, calls it a revolution, writing, “Information and knowledge are the thermonuclear competitive weapons of our time. Knowledge is more valuable and more powerful than natural resources, big factories, or fat bankrolls. In industry after industry, success comes to the companies that have the best information or wield it most effectively–not necessarily the companies with the most muscle.”

Work is fundamentally different now from what it was in, say, 1980. Back then there were rules, bosses, and roles to play. Most workers followed the script. Factory-era assumptions about organization (hierarchical, top-down), productivity (proportional to hours worked), assets (ownership is good), the workforce (on our payroll), and so forth were de rigeur.

These days most of us are knowledge workers. We have discretion in what we do. We interpret values instead of following rules. Hell, things change so quickly, nobody’s got time to write new rules. Most of the value added by business is intangible; we manipulate bits, not atoms. Global communication is instantaneous. Corporation missions morph overnight, like some sort of magic mushrooms. We of us finds our own path.

Learning has changed, too. I started my career upon graduating from college by driving to company headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, and studying programming in a motel classroom for six straight weeks. Not long after, I had to memorize — yes, word-for-word — a twelve-page script for demonstrating a ten-key adding machine and perform it in front of the dozen people I worked with. I never used any of these skills, so my new-found knowledge dissipated rapidly.

Wow! Can you imagine dedicating six weeks straight to learn anything? People don’t have time for 45-minute courses. Ten minutes is often too long. We want learning bites. How about trying to learn mainframe machine language by lecture? We weren’t allowed to see if our programs actually worked until the last week of the ordeal.

The company was NCR, and were we ever proud of our past. Company founder John Patterson bought the patent for the cash register, which no one thought they needed, and convinced just about every store, restaurant, grocery, and beauty shop in America they needed one. Our market share was something like 96%. We were taught that Patterson invented salesmanship. Patterson had his secretary record the sales pitch of his #1 salesman, Tom Watson, who went on to found IBM. Then every sales person had to memorize the script and demonstrate their capabilities at a company boot camp.

Two vignettes and then I’ll move on. One day my class of eighteen went to headquarters for a factory tour. We were ushered into an immense building. It felt like a dimly lit aircraft hangar. Working away were hundreds upon hundreds of machinists, each huddled over a partially-assembled cash register illuminated by a small, intense lamp. Row after row of workers were filing gears which would keep the day’s totals in the register. In the late sixties, I was whisked back for a vision of the Industrial Revolution. Factory thinking permeated the company culture. We computer guys rarely got along with the register guys and vice-versa.

We were in awe of our corporate leadership. Robert Oelman was chairman of NCR at the time. I was dating the hostess from the cocktail lounge at our motel, the Boom-Boom Room. (This was not as lurid as it sounds.) Oelman’s daughter was one of her best friends. I fantasized about meeting the Big Guy. It never happened, but I would rather have met the man than Brigette Bardot and Catherine Deneuve combined.

At NCR, we paid too much attention to the past. We were always out to score another monopoly market. Our goal was to install Total Systems, sort of an all-encompassing hydra that would envelope the customer’s operations and be competitively unassailable.

Now the pendulum of business may have swung too far in the opposite direction. It’s every man (or woman) for himself (or herself). Three or four years ago at TechLearn, Diane Hessan said that from here on, we each have to be our own instructional designers. Personally, I love the freedom, but I know the lack of direction is generating untold amounts of stress and unhappiness for workers who feel the game is changing while they’re trying to play it.

I’ve been thinking about informal learning a lot lately. Sometimes it’s ambient: you learn by doing something accidentally or by making a mistake. Sometimes it’s on purpose: you Google a needed answer. Often it’s social: you learn to be a geek by hanging with other geeks. Sometimes it’s by inspiration — Asked why he was an optimist, in spite of his negative writing, the author answered, “I’m an optimist because it works better.” I’ve been in his camp ever since.

Teachers and classes and workshops don’t figure in my personal learning much. I used to explain the learner-centric approach with a chart showing a learner in the middle surrounded by an instructor, courses, connections to peers, readings, and so forth. That’s obsolete. It’s not the correct context. Where was that person’s learning cockpit, anyhow? Not amid the cacophony of the office. Not in an isolation booth somewhere. And why is there only one person in the center instead of a handful of people? And wouldn’t it be more apt to think of the learner(s) simply interacting with the world rather than being cooped up in some “learning environment?”

Denham Gray has written a thought-provoking piece on redefining learning. Denham’s bottom line: “The key to learning is not the medium nor the message, it is the quality of the dialog with your peers that really matters.”

I take it one step further. It’s not just your peers; it’s the qualify of connections with anyone whose community is important to you. Learning means making better connections.

These thoughts were roaming around in my mind yesterday when I dropped by Half Price Books in Berkeley yesterday. I fully believe in serendipity. When I’m exploring a topic, I’ll often wander into a bookstore and find just the information I am looking for. In this case, Harlan Cleveland’s Nobody in Charge leaped out at me. I’ll return to this topic as I read it.

Anyone else thinking these thoughts?

I’m back. Just finished scanning Cleveland’s book. It didn’t provide the perspective I was looking for although it did make a passionate case against departmental silos on the campus:

…Vertical academic disciplines, built around clusters of related research methods, are not in themselves very helpful in solving problems. It’s all too noticeably true — no real-world problem can be fitted into the jurisdiction of any single academic department. But doesn’t the new knowledge environment place a much greater premium on integrative thought?

Tom Stewart

Prepping for a conversation with Tom Stewart this morning, I spent a couple of hours going over my notes on Intellectual Capital and The Wealth of Knowledge. Both books are brilliant in describing the shift to the knowledge economy. These should be required reading for all executives. A few of the quotes I loved:

Intellectual capital is intellectual material–knowledge, information, intellectual property, experience–that can be put to use to create wealth. It is collective brainpower.

What’s new? Simply this: Because knowledge has become the single most important factor of production, managing intellectual assets has become the single most important task of business.

“You cannot manage what you cannot measure” is one of the oldest cliches in management, and it’s either false of meaningless. It’s false in that companies have always managed things–people, morale, strategy, etc.–that are essentially unmeasured. It’s meaningless in the sense that everything in business–including peole, morale, strategy, etc.–eventually shows up in someone’s ledger of costs or revenues.

Stan Davis: Business people frequently confuse an organization with a business. Organizaitons are defined from the inside out: They are described bywho reports to whom, by departments and processes and matrices and perks. A business, on the other hand, is defined from the outside in, by markets, suppliers, customers, and competitors.

Now skill is mental, not manual. Knowledge workers are measured not by the tasks they perform but by the results they achieve.

The worker used to be one more interchangeable part. The man worked for the machine. Now the machine works for the man. Organizational intelligence–smart people working in smart ways–has moved from a supporting role to a starring one.

Accountants measure the form rather than the substance, “which is like the viticulturist paying more attention to the bottle than to the wine.”

The human resources director may know how much the company spends on formal training, but doesn’t know how much learning resulted from it.

Extreme Learning: Decision Games

by Jay Cross
CLO Magazine, April 2005

Sometimes failure is not an option. When a malevolent megalomaniac threatens to vaporize your empire, you send in your James Bond, not a raw recruit.

In business, when it’s vital to break into a complex new market, you send in a veteran who knows the territory to close the deal. You rely on an expert who has been there because he knows how to spot the signs and figure out what’s going on as if by second nature. Until recently, extensive experience was the only way to become an expert. It took decades to develop and hone one’s craft—you couldn’t teach it in a classroom. That’s about to change.

Several months ago, I talked with two knowledge management and research companies in Singapore: Straits Knowledge and Pebble Road. Straits Knowledge had earlier been commissioned to help small and medium businesses become experts in doing business in China. Now with Pebble Road they were developing wider applications for the methodology they used in that project.

Foreign businesspeople new to China have an extraordinarily difficult time learning to sense and respond to the culture’s complexities. They don’t need more information—they need to be able to read what’s going on so they will know how to use the information they’ve got. Until now, no one could figure out how to transfer the insight of experienced foreign entrepreneurs.

What separates novices from experts is the way they size things up. Experts assess a situation with less information than novices. In his new book, “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell calls this capability “thin-slicing” or “rapid cognition.” Designers started by teasing out the “thin slices” that experts pay attention to when making rapid decisions. They elicited narratives from China hands, focusing them on context rather than conclusions. The narratives fell into six themes: strategy, environment, people, culture, law and fraud.

Next, the designers conducted extensive, confidential interviews with seasoned professionals. They asked them to imagine challenging but typical scenarios and to display them on a table using small figures and props to represent roles and relationships (situational context). The experts explained the relationships displayed (social context). They also played the scenarios forward and backward, answering questions such as “Let’s imagine it turns out well/badly—what would the situation look like then?” (teleological context).

The designers poured this content into six shell scenarios. They included representative businesses going into China (trading companies, manufacturing companies, service companies), the situational themes and a variety of geographic regions. Narrative techniques created by Dave Snowden’s Cynefin Centre helped transform the raw material into realistic stories. Methods borrowed from screenwriting brought the stories to life. The result was a “game pack” of scenarios, each containing dozens of unfolding vignettes.

A half-dozen or more novices can work though the scenarios collaboratively, making individual judgments along the way and learning from what their colleagues deem important. One game takes a moderately experienced group three hours or more to complete, but the game is best played with diverse levels of experience. Forcing the group to agree on their reading of the situation before moving on requires them to explain their divergences, which in itself provides a high level of complex, highly contextualized knowledge.

These decision games, as pioneered by decisionmaking expert Gary Klein, repeatedly test a person¹s judgment and knowledge while allowing them to engage with business colleagues in a complex and ambiguous environment. While they are learning about a particular domain, participants also gain insight into the perspectives, styles and capabilities of their colleagues.

Think about it: Exposing novices to multiple ways of seeing and sizing up situations is how expertise is built. Switching the focus from teaching content to challenging contexts intensifies learning. Participants become so involved, they don’t even break for coffee.

Organizations need more savvy, can-do experts to deal with an increasingly complex world. In fact, decision games are a preferred method of developing experts in the U.S. Marines. These high-impact methods also accelerate the decision-making capabilities of high-tech sales stars.

CLOs recognize that training the corporate SWAT team takes more than plain old vanilla training. Expect to see more programs for high-potential performers that use thin-slicing to build expertise—fast.

Jay Cross is CEO of Emergent Learning Forum, founder of Internet Time Group and a fellow of meta-learninglab.com.

Break on through to the other side….

I just bought a really hip suite of software for manipulating words, sounds, and images for just over $500, and the vendor sweetened the deal by throwing in a full-fledged computer to run it.

Yes, I could resist no longer. About 15 minutes ago, I ordered a MiniMac from J and R Electronics. I couldn’t resist any longer.

The Apple mystique is a powerful draw. Apple fanatics define themselves with their computers much as Harley riders think they’re the meanest, toughest thing on two wheels. It’s almost as bad as BMW M-series drivers. If Apple brought out a car, people would camp out at dealerships for weeks in advance to earn the right to buy one. And you know what? I bet it would be one sexy car.

I’m in the midst of a fertile creative period right now, writing several hours a day, tripping over new insights one after another, enjoying great conversations, and gaining a clearer picture of how the world works. So I saved $10 or $15 by selecting UPS Ground Shipping. I’m certain I’ll enjoy the Mac, but I don’t need an immediate fix.