If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”

—Benjamin Franklin, American statesmanand entrepreneur

You have always dreamed of skydiving, imagining yourself in a free fall, high above the earth, parachute ready to open with the pull of a rip cord.

One day you decide to give it a try. You drive to the local airport and quickly spot the skydiving center at the edge of a wide airfield, far across a parking lot packed with cars. Along the facility’s roof are towering letters of blinking red and yellow neon: Skydive Today. You Can Do It. Do Not Delay!

You follow a throng of people into the center, where a clerk explains the two options available. The “Basic Option” includes a training program where you will pack your own parachute, ...

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