Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Sometimes "think different" can kill you

by Ted Welch Sat Oct 22nd, 2011 at 01:23:48 PM EST

It can also destroy communal values and was rejected when it was different to the way Jobs thought.

Steve Jobs Regretted Wasting Time on Alternative Medicine  BY RYAN TATE

jobs

Everyone else wanted Steve Jobs to move quickly against his tumor. His friends wanted him to get an operation. His wife wanted him to get an operation. But the Apple CEO, so used to swimming against the tide of popular opinion, insisted on trying alternative therapies for nine crucial months. Before he died, Jobs resolved to let the world know he deeply regretted the critical decision, biographer Walter Isaacson has told 60 Minutes. (NB for Americans, to be on CBS Sun Oct 23).

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7385390n

http://gawker.com/5851835/steve-jobs-regretted-wasting-time-on-alternative-medicine



As I was working on this I read the IHT, which just happened to have an article on a book about Jobs soon to be published. He was so used to imposong his way  to "think different" that he stubbornly ignored  other views, even about his own health. When he changed his mind and decided to go with medical science, acknowledging that he'd been wrong, he then tried to control this new direction:


Friends and family, including his sister, Mona Simpson, urged Mr. Jobs to have surgery and chemotherapy, Mr. Isaacson writes. But Mr. Jobs delayed the medical treatment. His friend and mentor, Andrew Grove, the former head of Intel, who had overcome prostate cancer, told Mr. Jobs that diets and acupuncture were not a cure for his cancer. "I told him he was crazy," he said.

Art Levinson, a member of Apple's board and chairman of Genentech, recalled that he pleaded with Mr. Jobs and was frustrated that he could not persuade him to have surgery.
...
When he did take the path of surgery and science, Mr. Jobs did so with passion and curiosity, sparing no expense, pushing the frontiers of new treatments. According to Mr. Isaacson, once Mr. Jobs decided on the surgery and medical science, he became an expert -- studying, guiding and deciding on each treatment. Mr. Isaacson said Mr. Jobs made the final decision on each new treatment regimen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/technology/book-offers-new-details-of-jobs-cancer-fight.html

But it was already too late. Gates recalled their final meeting:


Mr. Gates later recalled to Mr. Isaacson the two laughed that Laurene had kept Mr. Jobs "semi-sane" and that Melinda, Mr. Gates's wife, "kept me semi-sane."

ibid

But "semi-sane" isn't enough when dealing with cancer, though his wife tried to overcome his irrational attitude towards surgery:


His wife, Laurene Powell, recalled those days, after the cancer diagnosis. "The big thing was that he really was not ready to open his body," she said. "It's hard to push someone to do that." She did try, however, Mr. Isaacson writes. "The body exists to serve the spirit," she argued.
ibid


Asked by Kroft how such an intelligent man could make such a seemingly stupid decision, Isaacson replies, "I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking...we talked about this a lot," he tells Kroft. "He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it....I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/20/60minutes/main20123269.shtml

The very funny Dara OBriain on alternative medicine:

What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs

In the days after Steve Jobs' death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He's been hailed as "a genius" and "the greatest CEO of his generation" by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man's reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.
...
In the name of protecting children from the evils of erotica -- "freedom from porn" -- and adults from one another, Jobs has banned from being installed on his devices gay art, gay travel guides, political cartoons, sexy pictures, Congressional candidate pamphlets, political caricature, Vogue fashion spreads, systems invented by the opposition, and other things considered morally suspect.

Apple's devices have connected us to a world of information. But they don't permit a full expression of ideas. Indeed, the people Apple supposedly serves -- "the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers" -- have been particularly put out by Jobs' lockdown. That America's most admired company has followed such an un-American path, and imposed centralized restrictions typical of the companies it once mocked, is deeply disturbing.
...

Sweatshops, Child Labor and Human Rights

Apple's factories in China have regularly employed young teenagers and people below the legal work age of 16, made people work grueling hours, and have tried to cover all this up. That's according to Apple's own 2010 report about its factories in China. In 2011, Apple reported that its child labor problem had worsened.
...
http://gawker.com/5847344/what-everyone-is-too-polite-to-say-about-steve-jobs

Jobs tells Obama to make the US more like China - after arrogantly insisting Obama asks to meet him:


Jobs, who was known for his prickly, stubborn personality, almost missed meeting President Obama in the fall of 2010 because he insisted that the president personally ask him for a meeting. Though his wife told him that Obama "was really psyched to meet with you," Jobs insisted on the personal invitation, and the standoff lasted for five days. When he finally relented and they met at the Westin San Francisco Airport, Jobs was characteristically blunt. He seemed to have transformed from a liberal into a conservative.

"You're headed for a one-term presidency," he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where "regulations and unnecessary costs" make it difficult for them.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/20/steve-jobs-biography-obama_n_1022786.html

In Person and At Home

Before he was deposed from Apple the first time around, Jobs already had a reputation internally for acting like a tyrant. Jobs regularly belittled people, swore at them, and pressured them until they reached their breaking point. In the pursuit of greatness he cast aside politeness and empathy. His verbal abuse never stopped. Just last month Fortune reported about a half-hour "public humiliation" Jobs doled out to one Apple team:

See:   http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/25/how-apple-works-inside-the-worlds-biggest-startup/
...
Jobs had his share of personal shortcomings, too. He has no public record of giving to charity over the years, despite the fact he became wealthy after Apple's 1980 IPO and had accumulated an estimated $7 billion net worth by the time of his death. After closing Apple's philanthropic programs on his return to Apple in 1997, he never reinstated them, despite the company's gusher of profits.

It's possible Jobs has given to charity anonymously, or that he will posthumously, but he has hardly embraced or encouraged philanthropy in the manner of, say, Bill Gates, who pledged $60 billion to charity and who joined with Warren Buffet to push fellow billionaires to give even more.

"He clearly didn't have the time," is what the director of Jobs' short-lived charitable foundation told the New York Times. That sounds about right. Jobs did not lead a balanced life.

http://gawker.com/5847344/what-everyone-is-too-polite-to-say-about-steve-jobs

And what about the lives he helped change ?  


Those among us who have an iPod, Macbook, iTouch, iPhone or iPad have surrendered our powers of concentration and free time to this cult, not to mention our personal data. An entire generation will only be able to walk into its future so long as Apple holds its hand. They will only be able to commune with each other via their devices and a shared experience will only be truly shared through Facebook or Digg. Who talks with strangers on the buses today? You can't flirt with someone on a train if they are plugged into a two-hour shuffle of easy listening.

There's a reason why Apple put the ''i'' into its products and it has nothing to do with information. It cannily recognised that in a world of globalised products the consumer yearned to be recognised as an ''individual''.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/steve-jobss-apple-legacy-may-not-be-so-sweet-at-th e-core-20110830-1jk04.html

The same issue of IHT had this, on the need to move beyond an "I" orientated world to one that moves back to one in which the emphasis is on "we" - especially the 99%. The new technology can play a part in this, but it is a mens to something wider than the assertion of self - which can end up destroying that self, as in Job's case:


We know that what begins with giving the young voice, with telling them they can be what they wish to be, can end with children who abandon their parents in their final years and forget all that was given.

Of course, it will end in these ways only if nothing is changed, if we treat the experience of the West as a model rather than as a set of experiments.

For the tradition-bound world, this Me-centric modernity is an overwhelming temptation. And yet it is the Indias and Chinas and Nigerias of the world that have a chance to reimagine it as they make their own modernity. And as they do, they would do well to observe that, even here in the West, there are attempts under way to make community an essential part of what it means to be modern -- though community of a fresh kind: a smarter, lighter We.

You see it in the various people working on a "new capitalism": companies like SnapGoods that use new technologies to let people do what their great-grandparents once did -- borrow things rather than buy them for short-term needs; the multiheaded movement toward local, sustainable, ethically derived food, which seeks to use money to connect people to the community rather than alienate them from it; the explosion of social enterprise, which uses the means of business to pursue the ends of civic purpose."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/22/us/22iht-currents22.html

I would add -  using civic purpose to oppose the means and end of business as practiced in places like Wall Street:


"It's a dream-sharing," another young man said during a small organizational meeting, to general approval.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/dream-sharing-occupy-wall-street-spark-broad-based-195903945.htm l

demo-paris-Oct11-20116138

Display:
afew thought something was missing at the top; I had meant the title to run on to the main text, but to be clear have now added "It can also". I find that when I try to change things in edit mode it can upset formatting - the mere inclusion of a few words led to the Dara OBriain video link vanishing, so had to delete and paste corrected version.


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Oct 22nd, 2011 at 01:29:22 PM EST
Yea, a lot of things that needed to be said

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Oct 22nd, 2011 at 03:39:08 PM EST
When I saw titles to the extent that Jobs had been the da Vinci of his time I was nonplussed. What? To equate the (undisputable) success of a marketing ploy with da Vinci???

Just before his death I had been in a management course. Anytime we were asked for an example of a great leader several teams would just wax lyrical about Jobs. It was a quasi-religion. And the I was very present too: it was always "he" has done so and so. Yes, he personally developped the two points touch screen, didn't you know?
A funny thing was the explanations: a guy kept saying that he was a great leader because he had a vision, that everyone should own one Apple device. Indeed, what an extremely novel concept for a company selling consumer goods to want to sell some to pretty much everyone! Visionary!

It has indeed become really hard to talk to strangers. Although I must say that in one situation I used Apple to help me talk to someone on the Eurostar (who turned out to have a little fame actually) on the way back from the yearly meetup. Seeing her Ipad, I asked "do they at least sell them with a whole screen? Every single one I see seems to have a shattered one". To which she replied that it got broken 3 days after being purchased.

Admittedly, I only did it because Elwan was actively trying to grab the said Ipad but still ;-)

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2011 at 02:13:04 AM EST
I have a friend whose notepad still has a whole screen.

Of course, that's because he treats it as a laptop, not a clipboard.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2011 at 06:21:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Strangely, all our household iOS devices have survived a three and a half year old and assorted travel. I suspect Cyrille of being a iPad killing gnome, who travels with a very small hammer to kill them.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 01:30:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am inclined toward the small toffee hammer as a unifying symbol of protest against financial feudalism. It is a protest tool that can be easily concealed by normal citizens, though there any many perfectly legal reasons for having a hammer on a public street - don't be so .

My campaign to bring down the elite is based upon the fact that they have to travel from bubble to bubble in fairly identifiable cars on public roads, mostly in cities with horrendous traffic problems. Courageous pedestrians, possessed of a toffee hammer could, in passing behind such a resented vehicle, deliver a small dent in the coachwork - and walk on unhindered into the crowds. Deliver enough small dents and it'll drive the elite crazy. Their journey's among the hoi polloi will become nightmares of anticipation, not to mention insurance, panel-beating and loss of status. After an initial 3 weeks' hail of hammers, possibly less, further denting will be unnecessary - merely flourishing the hammer will have the same effect.

And if the elite don't behave, further campaigns can be quickly organized. I'd buy shares in the Chinese toffee-hammer industry if I could.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 02:32:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crankin' your IWW

volume up a couple of notches?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 07:04:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be difficult to campaign in countries where pedestrians are almost unknown. The toffee RPG launcher might be useful in the States.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 01:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sabotage in the American Workplace: Amazon.co.uk: Martin Sprouse, Tracy Cox: Books
An expose of the way America works. First hand accounts gathered from all over the US show that the majority of employees view the stealing of time, company property and profits as a remedy to the daily frustrations of earning a living. This book is the antithesis of the employee training manual.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 02:22:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"You pretend to pay us and we pretend to work" is applicable to any system of exploitation.  US workers are not receiving the benefits of the wealth they produce from their workplace so they are grabbing what they can, as they can.

TPTB broke the underlying Social Consensus and now they are reaping the results.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 02:28:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to own a copy, but  I lent it to someone and never got it back. perhaps I'm an employer and don't know it

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 02:44:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly why I don't lend books.  People are welcome to come, sit in the house, and read in the library.  They are not welcome to take my books out of the house.

Motto:  If you don't ask to borrow a book I won't have to say, "no."


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 03:00:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it was 10 years ago. nowadays you have to sign in blood

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 03:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same thing with money. I don't "lend" money or books to friends. If they need money or want to read a book, I just GIVE it to them. If it comes back to me, well, what a nice surprise.  Saves a lot of bad blood being created.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Oct 27th, 2011 at 04:43:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
During communism we had saying:
"you can never pay me as  little as I can work as little" (bad translation, sorry).But you get it...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Oct 27th, 2011 at 07:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the increasing social and economic discombobulation in the US I wouldn't be surprised if the fer real RPGs were broken-out, Any Moment Now.

Whether the US elites grasp the depth of anger and desperation here is an open question.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 02:39:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...Then a Frenchman created a statue that embodied their hopes and dreams. And it embodied America's promise as well. "Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free..."

As I wrote today in another context "Art is not dead, it's just sleeping."


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 02:48:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The weird thing about predatory capitalism is the constant claim to foster innovation and creativity while (almost) everything they do actively discourages innovation and creativity.  

It's like they have no clue what the words mean.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 03:04:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 03:47:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Orac weighs in on the medical issues. The closing paragraph:

Unfortunately, aparently Jobs had his own medical reality distortion field that allowed him to come to think that he might be able to reverse his cancer with diet plus various "alternative" modalities. Ultimately, reality intruded, and Jobs realized he had made a mistake. It's not clear whether his time in the medical reality distortion field ultimately led to his demise or whether his fate was sealed when he was first diagnosed. There's just too much uncertainty ever to know, and even if he did decrease his odds of survival it's impossible to say whether delay meant the difference between life and death in his specific case. What is clear is that no reality distortion field can long hold cancer at bay. Reality always wins.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2011 at 06:02:09 AM EST
An important is that Jobs himself, after turning to medical science and trying to make himself an "expert" in the relevant area, felt that he had previously been relying on "magical thinking" and wished he had had an operation earlier:

Asked by Kroft how such an intelligent man could make such a seemingly stupid decision, Isaacson replies, "I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking...we talked about this a lot," he tells Kroft. "He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it....I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/20/60minutes/main20123269.shtml



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2011 at 07:20:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's kind of complex topic and at first I did not like it because it cuts too deep in man's privacy... OK he was kind of "celebrity" so no right for privacy but still...
About cancer...as I have heard "pancreatic cancer" is really hard to beat anyway. He had like 8 years after diagnoses which is pretty good.
I had friend who was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer (metastases on spine) and was given about a year to live. He did go with medical treatment but he also tried "everything on Earth" (even went to Mexico for some alternative treatment at some point). He lived for another 6 years (and what's more important he had pretty quality life almost to the end).He died after chemo that actually destroyed his kidneys and liver, not of exact cancer...
This was Jobs fate...nothing really that could be done. He was pretty young to die and that is a pity but we all will probably die from cancer or infarct. It's a fate of a modern man. Medicine advanced but just to the point that it may give us few more years after diagnoses. There are few people that actually managed to beat cancer and mostly because type of cancer and early diagnoses.
It must be very very hard for anyone to face cancer and live with it but it specially must be hard for people in some kind of power who suddenly have to face powerlessness.
I do not know much about him, I read a little lately but it seems that he didn't have easy ride in his life. He was adopted as a child...No one's life is actually easy even if seeing it from outside we sometimes think that some people have easy ride. There is no such a thing.
As a boss it seems to me he wasn't that different than others in his position. He had a vision and to make that vision reality is not an easy task.
Part of your diary that talks about what technology as such has done to all of us is intriguing. Yes we are pushed in "I" culture and we became insensitive to what once used to be "we" but I do not see how we can stop it or change it. It seems like ONLY when we are in trouble we seem to remember that once we had circle of relatives and friends to lean on. Trouble is coming our way so it may be part of the "plan" to take us back to our senses.
I read somewhere that he believed in God. If so it was easier for him to understand his fate. There must be our numbers "somewhere in a pool" and his was drawn now. Nothing to be done there.
A year ago I have lost my 28 years old relative who died in motorcycle accident. He needed to go in so many other directions that specific day but his destiny took him on that road in that specific second where he lost his life. No matter how hard it is for us to understand it but we are not in charge in this matter.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 23rd, 2011 at 08:11:46 PM EST
Pancreatic cancer is often very hard to face, but in his case was diagnosed at a stage that gave a 95% chance of total recovery if he went with the normal medical treatment.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 01:38:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As one might expect, he was probably getting very thorough regular screenings to detect pancreatic cancer at such an early stage. The pancreas is buried deep in the body and symptoms of cancer there rarely show up until the disease is advanced and metastasized. That's why it's usually fatal.
His wealth and the medical services it bought didn't help him overcome the weak link: his own arrogance.
by Andhakari on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 04:16:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't go with the "fate" thing. It's not because I'm an atheist as much as it's because I feel that if there were a God, and our deaths were so predetermined, there'd be no point in planning anything, in taking care of ourselves or those for whom we're responsible, or in punishing those who murder others, for they'd just be instruments of God.

And I've had a bad boss and good bosses. All had "visions" but one was an asshole that finally drank himself to death.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 07:25:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's OK to be atheist, it's ok to believe that you are the only one determining your own destiny. It's OK to believe whatever one finds fine to believe so one can live with it easier.
I happen to believe in fate...He, as I read ,believed in God. How we understand life and death is a matter of really long and futile conversation that I do not want to start this time.
I just expressed how I feel about his case.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 07:46:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See how it works is - you do the diet and the yoga and the acupuncture before you get the cancer.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 02:32:03 AM EST
I wonder how much the public persona of Genius, founder of Apple affected the self-perception of the man Steve Jobs. In effect, was he that arrogant all the time, or did he start to believe his own hype?

In a similar way I wonder how it will affect the organisation Apple to have lost that big chunk of the companies PR-profile. When you market things as the genius idea of one single person, how do you transit when that person is dead? Will they market stuff as "the idea Steve Jobs died working at"? And if so, for how long will that work?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 08:49:41 AM EST
He's left them enough of a myth to carry them some distance, I suspect.

It's inevitable that he began to believe his own hype, to some extent.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 08:50:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty early:


The high point of Jobs' first term at Apple was clearly the Macintosh, the first popular computer to sport a graphical user interface. This is when Jobs solidified his reputation as a demanding, obsessive, high pressure boss. Jobs segregated the Mac team into a skunkworks operation that saw itself as rebelling against the relative cost and bloat of the competing Apple Lisa project. Jobs applied ruthless pressure to the crew, insisting not only that the machine function with a paltry 128k of RAM but that the machine's interior circuitry be as elegant and beautiful as its plastic and glass shell, and that it ship with absolutely no interior expansion slots (a facility for RAM expansion was slipped under his nose).

Jobs was forced out in 1985 after a clash with CEO John Sculley and with his board. Some said his eccentricities -- putting his bare feet up on desks, cursing at subordinates, that kind of thing -- finally got to be too much for the company's other overseers.

http://thejackalnews.com/living-news/living/1128-steve-jobs-the-arrogant-and-flawed-genius-is-dead

It's not just because I'm a Brit that it irritates we that in the various tributes to Jobs which I saw, I don't remember one mentioning Jonathon Ive:


Jonathan "Jony" Ive, CBE (born February 1967) is an English designer and the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple Inc. He is the leading designer and conceptual mind behind the iMac, titanium and aluminum PowerBook G4, G4 Cube, MacBook, unibody MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Ive



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 11:33:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - I remember a magazine feature from the early 90s in which various Apple people said they deliberately set out to create a 'religious experience' in their users.

Those were the words they used. Not 'like a religious experience'.

I'm not sure if Apple invented product evangelism as a concept, but I know it was much more common in the late 90s than it was in the early 90s.

If you deliberately set out to create a religious frame around your sales pitch, I suppose it's not a surprise that the focal point of that pitch is going to be canonised after his death.

Although in fact my suspicion is that Jobs has been canonised (probably temporarily) for being one of the most high-profile evangelists for the Century of Self religious framing of late boomer capitalism - of which Apple is one instantiation.

The Jobs 'vision' was that you don't sell technology as technology - you sell it as a participatory sacrament, a power-object, and a promise.

Unlike Ives, who is just an industrial designer (albeit one of the best industrial designers in the world) Jobs became the high priest of the sacramental experience. He not only represented it and evangelised it, he appeared to live it and make it persuasive.

It would have been interesting to see how the Apple pitch changed if he'd pulled himself back into rationality much earlier.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 11:54:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the Macintosh part of mid-80's Apple even had positions entitled "Evangelist." Guy Kawasaki was one i'd met, perhaps there were others. I'd never heard that before.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 04:05:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Technical people are bad at self-aggrandizement.  

My favorite example is Edgar F. Codd who is arguably THE most important person in the second half of the 20th century with respect to computer science and computer engineering.  He derived the Relational Data Model without which the modern cybernetic world, As We Know It, wouldn't exist.  Products based on his work has, conservatively, generated over $1 trillion in economic return for IBM, Oracle, SAP, & etc.  Current programming languages are squarely based on his work.

One could go on and on.

He was way more importantly influential than Jobs yet his death in 2003 passed with scarcely a mention.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 12:00:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The advantages of monopolizing the  media and supplying their equipment

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 12:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(With apologies to Sven ...)

PR has a strong element of "making shit up."  

Something you don't engineers working on, say: bio-medical equipment, doing on a regular basis.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 01:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PR today is much more about steering the audience around the shit, rather than making it up.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 03:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if Jobs was arrogant all the time or not, but I do remember a story that circulated about that on the first day he returned back to Apple, after having been fired by Sculley, he was roaming the halls when he came upon a woman in a cubicle and demanded to know "what have you done for me today?," to which she was unable to give a suitable reply and was summarily canned on the spot. Not exactly the type of boss most of us would like to work for, to say the least.
by sgr2 on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 12:00:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was arrogant 24/7 which led to his "hard of listening" problem.  I find the sequence of events leading to his death entirely in character.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 12:05:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Let us turn in our hymnals to the gospel of Steve to the Stanfordites, in which he urged mass uniqueness:

Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love...Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

Whether we're talking about finding a job or finding a spouse, this is spectacularly poor advice for most people. (See, for instance, economist Robin Hanson.)

Holding out for the perfect and drifting restlessly from one bed/desk to another only looks smart from the top down, after you've made it to the CEO suite (or married Heidi Klum). If you're just starting out, what you need to hear is something much more prosaic: Be reliable, work your way up and always be learning. The odds are against your founding one of the biggest brands on earth in your mom's garage at age 20.

Jobs' Stanford advice is not just trite, misleading and foolish, it's also a symptom of a deeper problem with Generation Apple. They venerate great individuals without understanding that not everyone is great. Even those who are rarely get to call all the shots -- no man is an iLand.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kylesmith/2011/10/12/steve-jobs-was-a-lousy-role-model/



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 12:02:16 PM EST
You've got to find what you love...

True for everyone, in my opinion. Or a worthy goal anyway.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.

This is true only for people with his personality type, but unfortunately it's a cultural more as well. That is much of the reason he is venerated to a religious degree, or at least provided the basis for the PR hacks to promote him as such.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 06:37:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well said. His advice would work in ideal world. World is not even close...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 08:56:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my experience, all corporate executives have the same underlying approach as Jobs, although some are slightly more personable.

The real issue is that the "open" approach to computing is seriously broken from the viewpoint of integration between platforms and from the viewpoint of security. We, everybody, have a crying need for a global solution to these problems. Microsoft could have done it a couple of years ago. Google isn't even close. Or the open software people.

Computing has moved into the area of "natural monopoly" comparable to telephone or electrical power. One way to get that is to have an actual monopoly, and another way is to have a heavily regulated set of suppliers. As it is right now, the world of computing is chaos. Apple offers one way to avoid that chaos, with some degree of automatic interoperability between devices and some assurance of security. It doesn't NEED to be done the way Jobs set it up, but in the absence of government oversight of any sort whatsoever, that's the best approach.

by asdf on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 10:42:22 AM EST
Well, both the Open Software people and Apple have settled on Unix variants...

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 11:00:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but that is almost irrelevant. What is needed is a system where I can buy a handheld device ("iPod"), a tablet, a computer, a phone, a backup environment, a camera, a music account, a video account, and a "cloud," and have them all work together seamlessly and with security. It needs to be like plugging in a toaster without converters.
by asdf on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 11:17:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Those among us who have an iPod, Macbook, iTouch, iPhone or iPad have surrendered our powers of concentration and free time to this cult, not to mention our personal data. An entire generation will only be able to walk into its future so long as Apple holds its hand. They will only be able to commune with each other via their devices and a shared experience will only be truly shared through Facebook or Digg. Who talks with strangers on the buses today? You can't flirt with someone on a train if they are plugged into a two-hour shuffle of easy listening.

There's a reason why Apple put the ''i'' into its products and it has nothing to do with information. It cannily recognised that in a world of globalised products the consumer yearned to be recognised as an ''individual''.


Like a lot of the coverage, and most of the discussion, that article is mildly hilarious. Apple invented the Walkman, right? How come Android phones or Dell laptops don't have the same effect? Because they don't sell newspapers or get web hits when you write about them, that's why. Everyone's playing iPhone bingo.

Apple products are famously difficult to customize: it's very much their-way-or-the-highway. They don't even do lots of models. A few iPods, a few laptops, a few phones, a few desktops, with a small number of CPU, RAM and storage options. Some color options.

If anything is going to reduce atomization it's precisely the always-on communications of smart phones and the like. (Wait, that's not real communication, not like in the old days. Says a journalist. On a web-site. For discussion on the internet.)

Apple do not control the content on the iOS devices - you can access any website and install any HTML5 web app - just the content they actually sell in the App Store.  There's nothing in the list given that you can't provide to an iOS device.

We've now reached the point where Jobs was solely responsible for anything nasty Apple did while he was in charge and completely uninvolved in anything good they did. Which they didn't.

The rest is old people complaining about the decay of the young people, since they have since the beginning of time ("OH, NO, THINGS ARE DIFFERENT!") and the individuals being individual by all being opposed to nasty Apple together.

And my opinion here is, of course, worthless since I'm typing on an Apple device and gave up wasting my time trying to bang together rocks and building my own tools from pieces of string and raw sand. Now, I'm off to sing a few hymns to the Jobs.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 01:29:42 PM EST
Who talks with strangers on the buses today? You can't flirt with someone on a train [...]

Which means that Henry Ford was to blame, not Steve Jobs....

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 01:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have just succumbed to the iPhone cult. The 4s is released here tomorrow. Mine should be in the post soon. I've tried to be non-conformist, but in the end Macs help me do the media stuff I do much better, and I need a phone/system that makes it easy to back up the day-to-day logistics of calendars, calls, messages and contacts. Plus the stills and video.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 04:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regardless of Jobs' many shortcomings, I have to say that I've always loved owning Apple products (except maybe the original '84 Macintosh which to me looked funky and didn't fit the decor) because they look slick, feel good to the touch, and function properly.
by sgr2 on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 04:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the original '84 Mac could be picked up and moved to another location so easily, that in those days such versatility was anything but clunky.

The main point is simply that the system is seamless. Brilliantly seamless.

That there are glitches interacting with other systems is not always Apple's fault (see Flash).

Even the brilliance of the Apple system means you have to compromise, which is not always worthwhile, except that the only other possibilities are so inferior. (I know something about this, having spent two years hanging out with the hacker who wrote the basis for Boot Camp. In 'Schland, no less.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 at 07:20:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh right you are. I remember many occasions when the "funky" (I never said "clunky") offending apparatus was picked up and moved to another location where it wouldn't be seen. That was a nice feature come to think of it. Even in the early days they put the needs of the end user first. ;-)

 

by sgr2 on Thu Oct 27th, 2011 at 10:16:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a link to the eulogy given for him by one of his sisters.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opinion/mona-simpsons-eulogy-for-steve-jobs.html?_r=1&pagewant ed=all

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Oct 31st, 2011 at 04:51:19 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries

Smudges

by Oui - Sep 23
9 comments

2034

by Frank Schnittger - Sep 10
5 comments

Faux Accompli

by Cat - Sep 14
14 comments

Civic Self Defense Resources

by gmoke - Sep 19
1 comment

Recent Diaries

Smudges

by Oui - Sep 23
9 comments

Civic Self Defense Resources

by gmoke - Sep 19
1 comment

Faux Accompli

by Cat - Sep 14
14 comments

2034

by Frank Schnittger - Sep 10
5 comments

The Focus Group

by THE Twank - Aug 31
10 comments

Labour grows up?

by Frank Schnittger - Aug 27
57 comments

Exhibit 1

by Cat - Aug 22
22 comments

EU Position Papers

by Cat - Aug 22
25 comments

PACER

by Cat - Aug 18
5 comments

More Diaries...