Often the search proves more profitable than the goal.
—E. L. Konigsburg1
The future will be an awkward time for control freaks. Perhaps there was a time when linear or rigid thinking yielded something resembling competence or success. But that time has long since passed. This is a bittersweet transition in our cultural history. It’s bitter for those people who thrive on rigid planning and checklists and who still leaf through their circa Leave It to Beaver2 business school textbooks for operating procedure. But it’s pretty sweet for those who never were really any good at planning ahead of time—everything is changing so fast it wouldn’t have been that productive anyway. Just kidding—sort of.
In many fields, including biology, ...