Why I decided to go with the Refurb [...]

I've been looking forward to the new model MacBook Pro for close to two years. I made my last laptop purchase in 2011 and while that machine has served me well, it's time to hand it down in the family and purchase a new one for my business.

But my expected decision has changed since the keynote last week (October 2016). I'm going to be conservative and purchase a refurbished March 2015 MacBook Pro instead of this latest model with USB-C ports and the Touch function bar. I make my living traveling to customer sites. I have to have a full set of dongles to connect to anything - VGA, HDMI, though thank goodness I think I've seen the last DVI connector. I added up the cost of all the necessary dongles and the increased cost of the computer and realized I could save $1000 by going with last year's model. By the time I need to upgrade again, USB-C will either be the widely-embraced standard, or we'll be on to the next thing. Same with the Touch function bar. So while I will miss having TouchID on my laptop (especially for 1Password), the savings lead me to this decision.

Constructive Rebellion [...]

Rands in Repose shared the link to this excellent article about how conformity at the workplace has hurt us, and ways of encouraging constructive nonconformity.

My research also shows that going against the crowd gives us confidence in our actions, which makes us feel unique and engaged and translates to higher performance and greater creativity. In one field study, I asked a group of employees to behave in nonconforming ways (speaking up if they disagreed with colleagues’ decisions, expressing what they felt rather than what they thought they were expected to feel, and so on). I asked another group to behave in conforming ways, and a third group to do whatever its members usually did. After three weeks, those in the first group reported feeling more confident and engaged in their work than those in the other groups. They displayed more creativity in a task that was part of the study. And their supervisors gave them higher ratings on performance and innovativeness. (Source)