Stone Soup At Work

I was talking with one of my mentors recently about how things work at large corporations. He was telling me that when there’s a successful project at a bit company. He told me:

It’s NOT the person who had the idea who gets the credit
It’s NOT the person who executes the idea who gets the credit
It’s the person who’s best at taking credit for the idea who gets the credit

This reminded me of the old folk story of stone soup:

Some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making “stone soup”, which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, the stone (being inedible) is removed from the pot, and a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all. Although the travelers have thus tricked the villagers into sharing their food with them, they have successfully transformed it into a tasty and nutritious meal which they share with the donors.

Maybe I’m being a little bit cynical here. The story of stone soup is really one about how collaboration can get people to do more than they initially thought. But it still pisses me off when the guy with the stone claims to be the genius behind the soup.

“Our Genes Ourselves” OR Are Humans Monogamous?

Having a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old, it’s easy to ask the question “Why did you do that?” If I had super brilliant kids, they might respond, “My genes made me do it.”

There are a lot of things that we think we control or decisions we think we make that are really rooted in evolution. Take for instance this quote from Stephen Pinker’s How The Mind Works which could be titled “Oh Cheesecake, Why Do I Love Thee So … Even As You Pad My Belly With Fat?”:

We enjoy strawberry cheesecake, but not because we evolved a taste for it. We evolved circuits that gave us trickles of enjoyment from the sweet taste of ripe fruit, the creamy mouth feel of fats and oils from nuts and meat, and the coolness of fresh water. Cheesecake packs a sensual wallop unlike anything in the natural world because it is a brew of megadoses of agreeable stimuli which we concocted for the express purpose of pressing our pleasure buttons.

Cheesecake itself is not good for us, but each of the elements of cheesecake would have been strongly beneficial to our ancestors. Now that we’ve settled that one, what other questions can evolution help us with? How about this one, “Are Humans Monogamous?”

Robert Sapolsky, in his Great Courses Series, Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, uses biology to answer this question. Sapolsky divides species into 2 types: tournament species (polygamous) and pair bonded (monogamous). In a tournament species, males spread their genes by mating with any females around. Once they pass along their genes, they abandon their mate and look for someone new. Pair bonded males bond for life and are very paternal.

There are clear traits that call out how each species has evolved. In a tournament species, males are built for fighting. They are much larger than females, have huge canine teeth and much larger skulls (but not brains) than females. They often have weapons like giant antlers. Females, not looking for a fight, look very different from the males. In pair bonded species males and females look much more similar.

So what are humans? Based on the physical markers, males and females are relatively equal in appearance. Males have large canines but not huge. And men are bigger than women but not terribly so. So the biological answer is that humans aren’t polygamous or monogamous. The official classification for homo sapiens is “tragically confused.”

What is in a name?

Michael Schur, a writer on The Office and Parks and Recreation has put some very subtle jokes about names into his work on these shows. I learned about Schur from Mindy Kaling and Amy Pohler’s autobiographies.

Gwendolyn Trundlebed (The Office)

From The Believer:
I love crazy names. It comes right from Monty Python and Woody Allen—nothing in the world makes me giggle more than a funny name. It became a thing I started doing when I wrote. If a person came into a store and said, “How much is this apple?” that person would have an insane name. When I was writing on The Office, I wrote a character who literally didn’t have a line, but I made her name Gwendolyn Trundlebed. When I got to set to shoot the scene, I found out that the production team had run with it. They read her name and did their job—they imagined, What is the office of a woman whose name is Gwendolyn Trundlebed? The whole thing was pink, with unicorns everywhere. It looked like a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory set or something. I had to say, “Oh no, I’m really sorry. This is just a normal human woman, and she is named Gwendolyn Trundlebed because that’s a combination of two words that make me laugh.”

Wonderfully Named and Credited (but Not Speaking or Spoken of) Characters on Parks and Rec

From Variety: “I have this belief that most people you meet in life aren’t named Bill Smith,” Schur says. “From early on I thought, ‘Part of what’s going to make (the city of Pawnee) feel real is if people have weird names.’”

Over the years some of the silliest and strangest “Parks” names weren’t even heard on the show.

“There’s a whole family, the Lerpiss family,” Schur explains with delight. “You’ve never heard the name Lerpiss on the show, but there’s probably ten or twelve characters who have had the last name. It doesn’t play into any episode and there’s no plot that relates to it.

“If you look up Lerpiss on IMDb, we wrote character descriptions for them and how they’re related to each other. A lot of businesses in town are like the Lerpiss Moving Company or the Lerpiss Mortuary. There’s a whole other show about this very dynastic but also completely powerless family in Pawnee.”

Schur’s favorites:

  • Judy Zappossoppazzappossopaz
    Schur: “Originally it was Judy Zappos, and I was like ‘You’re gonna have to clear that.’ So I wrote Zappos backwards and it was Judy Zappossoppaz. Then I liked Zappossoppaz so much that I added that whole thing and it became Judy Zappossoppazzappossopaz.”
  • Officer Randy Killnose
  • Mona-Lisa Saperstein
  • Trodd Frankensteip
    Schur: “He comes back (in the final season).”
  • Tyrion Fonzarelli
  • Toni Toné Strunkfuster
  • Gretzky-Susan Pelligrino
    Schur: “I love hyphenates … and a lot of ‘k’ sounds.”
  • Typhoon Montalban
  • Ssassandra Ssassnorp
  • Summer Olé-Kracken Frogfrong
    Schur: “Probably my favorite. It comes right from Monty Python. We also created the opposit

Pictures at Weddings OR Experience the Moment Don’t Capture It

I just left a wedding and I saw the most amazing thing. The bride and groom made sure that people were not going to take pictures during the wedding. It’s mixing enormous amount of sense because:

  1.  They will be taking the world’s worst pictures of the bride and groom.
  2.  It’s also distracting to everyone who sits there.
  3. They aren’t really even experiencing the wedding there just spending a lot of time figuring out how to take the best picture.
  4. The bride and groom have hired a professional photographer

This also reminds me of a picture of how people change in the way that they experience life due to mobile phones. When the pope was chosen in 2005 everybody was there actively awaiting the decision. Also it must have been pretty a pretty wonderful experience. Everyone was probably talking to other and being in the moment and just having this wonderful communal excitement. In 2013 when the pope is chosen everybody had their mobile phones out my does it take a picture to post on Facebook. It feels like that moment was memorialized better but at what cost?

Nontransitive Dice

Nontransitive Dice are pretty amazing things. Basically, in these dice, when they are set up pairwise, one die will beat another 2/3 of the time. However, there’s no “best” die. Even though A beats B and B beats C, A DOES NOT BEAT C. I bought a wonderful pair of Efron’s Dice from the Museum of Math.  For the math nerd, you really have to get a set. They’re amazingly interesting and they really teach kids about probability in a wonderful way!

Without going into all the details, normally, when you play dice you assume transitivity:

  • If B beats A
  • And if C beats B
  • Then C beats A

Which sounds obvious; however, it’s not. take, for example, the game rock, paper, scissors.

Rock-Paper-Scissors from Wikipedia

In this case:

  • Rock beats scissors
  • Scissors beats paper
  • But rock DOES NOT BEAT paper.

A Man for All Markets by Edward Thorpe

I finished listening to A Man for All Markets. It’s an amazing book on a number of fronts.  Here’s a few of the impressive bits:

  1. There’s a lot of people who write memoirs like this that seem a bit over the top. But Thorpe is a bit of an over the top genius generally credited with the creation of card counting in blackjack, risk arbitrage and hedge funds and wearable computers.
  2. He might have won the Nobel prize but decided on a different path. Thorpe had to decide whether to be a businessman or a professor first. When he published his book Beat the Market he showed how to correctly price options. Instead of pushing this further, Thorpe decided to trade on his findings. Eventually others published what became known as the Black Scholes model for option pricing which eventually won the Nobel Prize..
  3. Thorpe seems to have known everyone in finance, from Warren Buffett to Bernie Madoff (who he knew was a fraud decades ago). He even talks about how Buffett used to challenge people to a game of dice with non-transitive dice.

Overall I really loved the audiobook. Thorpe narrates the book himself and does a pretty darn good job. This is from an 85 year old man worth about $800 million.


Let’s Get On The Same Page People! OR Great Ideas Need Great Communication

Have you been here? You have a great idea — an amazing and awesome idea that will completely transform your product. But it never quite took off. Why? One reason might be that you didn’t communicate the idea well enough. Communication is an incredibly important skill in an organization, though it’s very hard to do well. A lot of times an idea is totally clear to me and therefore I think it should be very clear to someone else. But the other person has a very different perspective.

In this post I’ll explain why communication is important, show some examples of communication failures and then present one useful way of thinking about communication

Why is Communication So Important?

As people move up in an organization, technical skills become less important and business skills gradually grow in importance.

  1. Technical Skills. When starting off in a job you are hired for your specific skills as an individual contributor. These are skills like creating a PowerPoint, or analyzing a spreadsheet or coding up a project in a programming language.
  2. Business Skills. As you get more senior in an organization, it’s more important to set direction and get everyone moving in that direction. That’s all about communication.

Examples People Being On Different Pages

  1. I remember one day a few years ago. It was a beautiful day. I was casually walking down the street smiling all the way. Then I noticed a thin blond woman around 40. She was in thin white dress with a small stroller next to her and this awful grimace on her face. She was shooting her hand up as she desperately tried to hail a cab.

    So I thought to myself “I’ll help her hail a cab because she looks like she needs lots of help.” So I put my arm up.

    Man, did she start screaming, “Don’t steal my cab! I just stepped on a piece of glass which is now stuck in my foot! I really need this cab!

    “When I look back, she obviously thought I was trying to hail a cab for myself — because I never told her what I was up to. Why would a person be hailing a cab for her without mentioning it? Instead of this being helpful I just made her life more difficult.

  2. This is a pretty amazing article that introduced Michael Lewis into the world of high frequency traders which he later wrote about in Flash Boys. It follows the case of Sergey Aleynikov who worked at Goldman Sachs. The way Goldman saw it, Aleynikov stole Goldman’s software code that was worth millions. Aleynikov thought he was just uploading open source software to an online repository. It’s a story about the hacker ethos vs. the Goldman ethos. Spoiler Alert: Goldman wins and Aleynikov ends up in jail.Here’s one example of the difference. Goldman thought Aleynikov was being nefarious because he was using a repository called “subversion” (i.e., he was trying to subvert Goldman). In reality, subversion is a repository for multiple versions of your code (“sub-versions” of your code).

  3. There’s a lot of comedy based on people coming at the same situation from different points of view. One of my favorites is Rowan Atkinson’s Fatal Conversations where the Principal at a boarding school is concerned about a student’s horrible behavior. The father, for some reason, is more concerned that the principal has beaten his son to death. The humor, of course, is the two different perspectives.

  4. Richard Feynman, the famous physicist had synesthesia, a mental difference where some things are seen as colors. From Surely You Must be Joking, Mr. Feynman: “When I see equations, I see the letters in colors – I don’t know why. As I’m talking, I see vague pictures of Bessel functions from Jahnke and Emde’s book, with light-tan j’s, slightly violet-bluish n’s, and dark brown x’s flying around. And I wonder what the hell it must look like to the students.”

  5. I could go on forever with examples. While I was writing this, I happened to listen to the an episode of Invisibilia called Frame of Reference where they talk about how one person can have two different points of view inside their own head.
  6. How Does Pixar Think About Communication?

    In the book Creativity Inc Ed Catmull wrote about the different mental models that people use to make sense of their jobs. Here’s a great one on communication:

    Katherine Sarafian, another Pixar producer, credits the clinical psychologist Taibi Kahler with giving her a helpful way of visualizing her role. “One of Kahler’s big teachings is about meeting people where they are,” Katherine says, referring to what Kahler calls the Process Communication Model, which compares being a manager to taking the elevator from floor to floor in a big building. “It makes sense to look at every personality as a condominium,” Katherine says. “People live on different floors and enjoy different views.” Those on the upper floors may sit out on their balconies; those on the ground floor may lounge on their patios. Regardless, to communicate effectively with them all, you must meet them where they live. “The most talented members of Pixar’s workforce—whether they’re directors, producers, production staff, artists, whatever—are able to take the elevator to whatever floor and meet each person based on what they need in the moment and how they like to communicate. One person may need to spew and vent for twenty minutes about why something doesn’t look right before we can move in and focus on the details. Another person may be all about, ‘I can’t make these deadlines unless you give me this particular thing that I need.’ I always think of my job as moving between floors, up and down, all day long.”

Silly But Makes Me Laugh — One of My Favorite Mike Royko Columns

When I was in college we used to have this big newspaper room (which they’ve since taken the newspapers out of). I used to love and go in and read random papers from around the country. My favorite was Mike Royko who wrote for the Chicago Tribune. Below was one of my favorite columns from 1996. It’s extremely silly but made me laugh. Hey, you can’t be too serious when you’re writing 4 columns a week. Note that the Chicago Tribune doesn’t seem to have it online so I’m putting the whole thing here:

By Mike Royko

13 Mar 1996

A man in Canada recently made a bit of news when he took legal steps to change his family’s name.

His name has been Arthur Lawrence Death. He wants it changed to Arthur Lawrence Deeth, which is the way it has always been pronounced, except by those who snicker and make wisecracks.

The request for a name change is understandable. But what is surprising is the large number of people born with unusual and potentially embarrassing names who choose to live with them.

By searching a national phone book program, I came across a wide range of names that could bring smirks from store clerks, bank tellers and traffic cops.

For example, there is a Martin Pecker, a businessman in Boca Raton, Fla.

He is one of several dozen Peckers scattered across the country.

Of his name, Pecker says: “Honestly, I love it. As a kid I got a lot of teasing for being a Pecker. But I grew up big–I’m 6-3 and 220–and my sons are big, so people are careful about what they say. And with women, I used to get flattering remarks.

“Here in Boca, I have a physician friend named Zipper. We were in a society page together once. Zipper and Pecker.”

Then there is James Pee of Birmingham, Ala., one of a few dozen Pees, who seem to live mostly in Southern states.

Laughing, Pee said: “I’ve had trouble with my name since I was a kid. Spent 10 years in the Air Force, so I got a hard time there too. I’ve had nicknames like Pee-Pee, Urine, Little Pee.

“Around Kosciusko, Miss., there are so may Pees that there is a Pee Cemetery.

“I never really thought seriously about changing it. And I asked my son, who’s in college, how he felt. He said that if I could get by being a Pee, he’d just as soon stay a Pee too.”

Paul Crapper of Lehigh Acres, Fla., one of numerous Crappers, said: “I’m perfectly happy being a Crapper. People make remarks, but I just pass it off or say something like: `I’m like Alka Seltzer, I bring relief.’ ”

Walter Crapp of Brownsville, Pa., feels the same way: “I never considered changing it. My grandfather came from Russia and had a long name. So I just decided to keep Crapp and drop the rest.”

Of her married name, Suzan Geek says: “I believe we are the only Geeks in North Carolina,” which might be a matter of debate.

“People sometimes laugh because they can’t believe someone could be a Geek. And when I order a pizza by phone, they almost always laugh. But I’m in real estate, and I assure you that nobody ever forgets my name.”

Among the more distinctive names are Murder or Murders.

Danny Murders, 51, of Russellville, Ark., has done considerable research on how the names came about.

“When my ancestors came to the New World in the 1700s, it was Murdaugh, with a Scottish brogue. They were farmers and moved West. Later, in Tennessee, the census takers spelled it phonetically so it became Murder or Murders. Around Hot Springs, there are about 26 families named Murders. There are four brothers known as the Murders Boys. As far as I know, none of the Murders have changed their name.”

A Killer named Christine, in Cheshire, Conn., says: “Oh, yes, it is a daily conversation piece. People will say things like, `You don’t look like a killer.’ And I’ve often been asked to show an ID because people don’t believe my name can be Killer. The name is of German origin. As for my being teased, not very often. Maybe they were afraid.”

Jack Ripper, 60, who runs a sign company in Detroit, says: “Sure, I get called Jack the Ripper about twice a day. Because of the Ripper name, people used to ask my mother, `Is Jack the Ripper your husband?’ And she’d always say, `No, but my son is.’ I like it. That’s why I put it on my business. People don’t forget a name like Jack Ripper.”

Peter Hitler, 54, of Mequon, Wis., says: “Well, it is interesting to say the least. Our family goes back to the 1700s in Circleville, in southern Ohio. There were a lot of Hitlers there. A Hitler Street, a Hitler cemetery.

“There used to be a lot more of us, but they changed their names around World War II. I was just a kid, but my older brother took a lot of flak. My parents took our name out of the phone book.

“There aren’t too many Hitlers left. I’ve run across three or four. I guess the name is outlawed in Germany.

“I’m in real estate and not a day goes by without someone saying, `Oh, my gosh,’ or `Why didn’t you change your name.’ Any time I present my credit card, someone makes a remark. But it is something you live with. I don’t think about it anymore.”

Which is what a New Yorker named Ben Mussolini said: “Hey, forget it. I’ve been through this before. I don’t feel like talking about it.”

And the woman who answered the phone listed for Jim Wierdo said: “The Wierdos don’t have this number anymore. But so many people keep calling. I don’t know why.”


Inertia or “How Did I Get Here?”

This is one of my favorite quotes from Nick Hornby’s book High Fidelity:

You see those pictures of people in Pompeii and you think, how weird: one quick game of dice after your tea and you’re frozen, and that’s how people remember you for the next few thousand years. Suppose it was the first game of dice you’ve ever played? Suppose you were only doing it to keep your friend Augustus company? Suppose you’d just at that moment finished a brilliant poem or something? Wouldn’t it be annoying to be commemorated as a dice player? Sometimes I look at my shop (because I haven’t let the grass grow under my feet the last fourteen years! About ten years ago I borrowed the money to start my own!), and at my regular Saturday punters, and I know exactly how those inhabitants of Pompeii must feel, if they could feel anything (although the fact that they can’t is kind of the point of them). I’m stuck in this pose, this shop-managing pose, forever, because of a few short weeks in 1979 when I went a bit potty for a while. It could be worse, I guess; I could have walked into an army recruiting office, or the nearest abattoir.

In the past I totally know what he meant. These days, I’m feeling pretty good!

Pixar’s Guide to Product Management

One of the hardest things about product management is dealing with the uncertainty of the job — when there’s no clear path forward and you have to make a decision. Another challenge is how to get everyone on board with your roadmap — when you have 3 different opinions and need to bring everyone together toward a common goal. This kind of uncertainty is also rife in the movie businesses. In the Book Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull, Pixar’s CEO talks how Pixar deals with creativity and ambiguity.

Though it looks straightforward at the end of the day, Pixar goes through a highly iterative process to make their movies. For example, the movie UP, in its final form, is a heartwarming movie about a friendship about an old man and a young child. The first iteration looked very different:

In the first version, there was a castle floating in the sky, completely unconnected to the world below. In this castle lived a king and his two sons, who were each vying to inherit the kingdom. The sons were opposites—they couldn’t stand each other. One day, they both fell to earth. As they wandered around, trying to get back to their castle in the sky, they came across a tall bird who helped them understand each other.

The people at Pixar (being movie people) tell much better stories about how to deal with uncertainty and collaboration. I thought it might be useful to take quotes from Creativity Inc. and frame them in terms  of product management.


Product Management is Taking Advantage of Uncertainty (Ed Catmull): Uncertainty can make us uncomfortable. We humans like to know where we are headed, but creativity demands that we travel paths that lead to who-knows-where. That requires us to step up to the boundary of what we know and what we don’t know. While we all have the potential to be creative, some people hang back, while others forge ahead. What are the tools they use that lead them toward the new? Those with superior talent and the ability to marshal the energies of others have learned from experience that there is a sweet spot between the known and the unknown where originality happens; the key is to be able to linger there without panicking.

Product Management is Driving Through the Uncertainty: Pete Docter compares directing to running through a long tunnel having no idea how long it will last but trusting that he will eventually come out, intact, at the other end. “There’s a really scary point in the middle where it’s just dark,” he says. “There’s no light from where you came in and there’s no light at the other end; all you can do is keep going. And then you start to see a little light and then a little more light and then, suddenly, you’re out in the bright sun.”

Product Management is Putting the Pieces Together as You Go: Bob Peterson described one of Andrew Stanton’s models this way. “You’re digging away, and you don’t know what dinosaur you’re digging for. Then, you reveal a little bit of it. And you may be digging in two different places at once and you think what you have is one thing, but as you go farther and farther, blindly digging, it starts revealing itself. Once you start getting a glimpse of it, you know how better to dig.”

Product Management is Climbing a Mountain: Michael Arndt, who wrote Toy Story 3, … compares writing a screenplay to climbing a mountain blindfolded. “The first trick,” he likes to say, “is to find the mountain.” In other words, you must feel your way, letting the mountain reveal itself to you. And notably, he says, climbing a mountain doesn’t necessarily mean ascending. Sometimes you hike up for a while, feeling good, only to be forced back down into a crevasse before clawing your way out again. And there is no way of knowing where the crevasses will be.

Product Management is Clarifying Uncertainty: When mediating between two groups who aren’t communicating well, for example, Lindsey feigns confusion. “You say, ‘You know, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t understand. I’m sorry I’m slowing you down here with all my silly questions, but could you just explain to me one more time what that means? Just break it down for me like I’m a two-year-old.’ ”


Product Management is Changing Colors: Lindsey Collins, a producer who has worked with Andrew on several films, imagines herself as a chameleon who can change her colors depending on which constituency she’s dealing with. The goal is not to be fake or curry favor but to be whatever person is needed in the moment. “In my job, sometimes I’m a leader, sometimes I’m a follower; sometimes I run the room and sometimes I say nothing and let the room run itself,” she says.

Product Management is Keeping Everything In Balance: One of our producers, John Walker, stays calm by imagining his very taxing job as holding a giant upside-down pyramid in his palm by its pointy tip. “I’m always looking up, trying to balance it,” he says. “Are there too many people on this side or that side? In my job, I do two things, fundamentally: artist management and cost control. Both depend on hundreds of interactions that are happening above me, up in the fat end of the pyramid. And I have to be okay with the fact that I don’t understand a freaking thing that’s going on half the time—and that that is the magic. The trick, always, is keeping the pyramid in balance.”

Product Management is Bringing People Together: Katherine Sarafian, another Pixar producer, credits the clinical psychologist Taibi Kahler with giving her a helpful way of visualizing her role. “One of Kahler’s big teachings is about meeting people where they are,” Katherine says, referring to what Kahler calls the Process Communication Model, which compares being a manager to taking the elevator from floor to floor in a big building. “It makes sense to look at every personality as a condominium,” Katherine says. “People live on different floors and enjoy different views.” Those on the upper floors may sit out on their balconies; those on the ground floor may lounge on their patios. Regardless, to communicate effectively with them all, you must meet them where they live. “The most talented members of Pixar’s workforce—whether they’re directors, producers, production staff, artists, whatever—are able to take the elevator to whatever floor and meet each person based on what they need in the moment and how they like to communicate. One person may need to spew and vent for twenty minutes about why something doesn’t look right before we can move in and focus on the details. Another person may be all about, ‘I can’t make these deadlines unless you give me this particular thing that I need.’ I always think of my job as moving between floors, up and down, all day long.”

Product Management is Guiding a Flock of Sheep: When she’s not imagining herself in an elevator, Katherine pretends she’s a shepherd guiding a flock of sheep. Like Lindsey, she spends some time assessing the situation, figuring out the best way to guide her flock. “I’m going to lose a few sheep over the hill, and I have to go collect them,” she says. “I’m going to have to run to the front at times, and I’m going to have to stay back at times. And somewhere in the middle of the flock, there is going to be a bunch of stuff going on that I can’t even see. And while I’m looking for the sheep that are lost, something else is going to happen that I’m not aiming my attention at. Also, I’m not entirely sure where we’re going. Over the hill? Back to the barn? Eventually, I know we will get there, but it can be very, very slow. You know, a car crosses the road, and the sheep are all in the way. I’m looking at my watch going, ‘Oh, my God, sheep, move already!’ But the sheep are going to move how they move, and we can try to control them as best we can, but what we really want to do is pay attention to the general direction they’re heading and try to steer a little bit.”