7The Experience Is Human

The only source of knowledge is experience.

—Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

The train was packed and humid as the overcrowded car crawled over the bridge. Raindrops showed up as diagonal lines on the window, where a foggy skyline provided a backdrop to traffic and taillights lined up next to the train tracks. At least we're going slightly faster than they are, Olivia thought as they passed a blue Mustang at a cyclists' pace. She looked out the window and then checked her phone. Hopefully there'll still be time, at this late juncture, to pick up morning coffee…

The train halted and was overtaken by the Mustang…Or maybe not.

Resigned, she turned her mind back to work.

A week and a half earlier, the commute had gone without a hitch as Olivia headed in to the office. On that day, there had been plenty of time to open the app on her phone and place her usual order at Coffee Place at One Technology Plaza, right on the corner where the station emerges onto the street, just a block from the Omen, Inc., office. Three minutes after placing the order on the app, she would exit the train, walk briskly up the stairs, head out onto street level, through the rotating doors of One Technology Plaza, and pick up her soy cappuccino and turkey bacon and egg sandwich from the stand.

On that day of the smooth commute, she'd swept in to pick up her order, and without stopping, pivoted away from the counter just as a man, also clearly in a hurry, walked straight into ...

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