back to article How Jobs bent reality with LSD, Apple hype

Out today on iTunes and Amazon, the highly anticipated Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson has had a level of hype normal for a new Apple product. OK, there was no keynote speech and we already knew the specifications - £25*, hardback, 656 pages - but the media, amateur and mainstream, has been going bonkers over Steve Jobs …

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Yag
Joke

So iPhones are laced with LSD...

This explains a lot!

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The iPad is hippy technology? Hardly fits my preconceived notions of 'hippy'.

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656 pages? Surely he could have written an extra 10?

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Anonymous Coward

@ Wyrdness

The Apple I was priced at $666.

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Anonymous Coward

I think it was ...

$666.66 to be precise.

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Devil

And 66 cents

So $666.66 is obviously nothing to do with the number of the beast, unless the 666 is more of a rounding error and was always meant to be 667.

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Devil

667

667 is actualy the NEIGHBOR of the beast

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<pedantmode>

40 fewer?

</pedantmode>

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Devil

667

664 and 668 are the neighbours of the beast, 667 lives on the other side of the street.

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Trollface

Technical hitch...

I tried getting it from Amazon and reading it with "Kindle for Android", but there's a distracting rumbling and revolving noise in the background. Seems to be coming from deep underground.

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Dead men tell no tales.

"His ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything, to bend any fact to suit his purpose. "

Speaking as a friend of Steve's for over a third of a century, may I point out that he knew damn well when he was pulling the wool over people's eyes? I know it's politically incorrect to TheSectOfJobs, but trust me ... he never believed a word of his own marketing bullshit. Neither did I ... which is why I'm not a single-digit badge number Apple employee. More fool me, perhaps, but at least I held onto my ideals & scruples ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Steve's hyperbole, bending of the truth and outright lies never bothered me too much, I've always regarded him as the P.T. Barnum of the tech industry, but lacking in Barnum's good qualities. What really bothered me though was the fact that so many people actually believed him. That just shows the high levels of gullibility and/or stupidity among the masses.

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Bending facts

Did anyone else think of the distorted Galaxy Tab submission when they read that bit?

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:s/masses/classes

According to Tramiel, at least.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Jake

"Speaking as a friend of Steve's for over a third of a century, may I point out that he knew damn well when he was pulling the wool over people's eyes?"

No you may not.

If what you say was true then he'd have had no reason to bitch about Android stealing ideas from Apple when he's openly said in the past stealing ideas is a good thing.

It would be a logical fallacy for both Jobs to have said this (which he did) and for him to not believe his own bullshit, thus, he must have believed his own bullshit.

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Facepalm

he never believed a word of his own marketing bullshit

And that is supposed to be good?

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@Thad

"And that is supposed to be good?"

Nope. But good or bad, Jobs built a company on it. Twice. Thrice, if you include NeXT.

Marketards are professional liars, nearly as bad as politicians, and somewhat worse than lawyers. Steve was the best marketard I ever knew.

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@AC11:57

Do you honestly not see where your comment backs up my statement?

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Facepalm

Diet cures cancer. WTF?

The most interesting thing I've learned is that for a year Steve Jobs tried to treat his pancreatic cancer with diets, fruit juice and acupuncture, and refused surgery.

This is much more revealing than the fact he didn't wash when he was an 18 year old? Very few do. But I suppose we can't have people thinking The Deity was a bit of a dingbat Jehovah's Witness.

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"Diet cures cancer. WTF? → #"

macrobiotic foods have been used to battle cancers for a long long time, they can help reduce the spread of certain types and prolong the life of sufferers.

A cousin of mine is currently using a combination of macrobiotic foods and chemo to deal with an inoperable brain tumour. For some one who was given 4-6 months... 28 months later she's still fighting it.

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Ah, but

was the pancreatic cancer inoperable too?

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Meh

Slight difference...

"A cousin of mine is currently using a combination of macrobiotic foods and chemo to deal with an inoperable brain tumour."

Notice the "and chemo" part. That's why it works, it isn't replacing the other stuff and actually helps the chemo process. Jobs not only had an operable thing, he neglected everything for his diet stuff. Having already lost someone near to our family to "switch chemo for naturist solution", I know that anyone doing this switch is probably a Darwin Award nominee.

Doing the naturist stuff + chemo does seem to work. But don't cut the treatment!!!

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Alert

@Daniel B

"Doing the naturist stuff + chemo does seem to work. But don't cut the treatment!!!"

Wow, you mean running around nekkid also helps cure cancer? "No, officer, I wasn't flashing at the kiddies - it's just part of my treatment."

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@I Like Heckling

You post an argument backed up by a single unit of irrelevant anecdotal evidence HERE? Good luck to ya buddy.

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FAIL

Except not.

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re: Ah, but

According to the interview that Isaacson did for 60 minutes (available on YouTube), doctors told Jobs that he had “one of these very slow-growing five percent of pancreatic cancers that can actually be cured.” Jobs delayed surgery for nine months, by which time the cancer had spread.

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Reality Distortion Field

Jobs goes on record in this biography, saying he felt so strongly about IP "theft" that he would be willing to, effectively, bankrupt Apple to destroy Android because they "stole" his ideas, while neatly forgetting that it was he, himself who is on record as saying "Good artists copy, great artists steal. We have been shameless about stealing great ideas."

That is one *hell* of a big RDF

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Megaphone

And this just goes to show...

...what a lying sack of poo this creep was.

As long as what he stole benefitted HIS cause/company/pocketbook...that was OK. But if the tables were turned...all of a sudden he has his bowels in an uproar, and wants to sue as many people as he can find.

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Xerox alto and 'Mother of all Demo's' ( NLS system)

'nough said...

coat please ...

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Unhappy

Reality distortion field

It's the RDF that really pisses me off. Apple makes quite nice products for the well off and nearly bugger all for everyone else. Yet people who have very little money are brainwashed into believing that buying an Apple product will significantly make their lives better. It's mainly "media types" and a few tech jorno's i.e. Jon Honeyball etc who are the worst offenders. A brief trawl through Twitter during IOS 5 download day showed what a bunch of sheep these people are.

Some of them make me feel sick. I used to follow Rob Brydon on Twitter until he caught the Apple bug. He recently did a reading of his new book (I wouldn't bother it's crap) at the Apple store which he called his "spiritual home". WTF! That was it, a swift unfollow occurred before I threw up over my keyboard.

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Anonymous Coward

I used the Alto as part of the development team on Xerox' Janus project that ultimately resulted in the 8000 series of products. The 8010 workstation incorporated a bit-mapped display, a mouse, Ethernet, WYSIWYG editor, etc. and was far ahead of anything on the market. But Xerox was focused on the Fortune 500 as its target market.

When we learned that PARC had given Jobs the demo that resulted in the Macintosh we were stunned. And finally disgusted when management didn't sue Jobs and Apple for theft until 10 years after the Macintosh appeared. Xerox could have been bigger than Apple and IBM combined.

Shakes head, walks away...

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Unhappy

Yes but...

... what a lot of people seem to have forgotten about the threat that Jobs made about spending all the money Apple had to defeat the "theft" of Apple's IP is that it was not his money to spend as he saw fit. It was the shareholders'.

What did he think Apple was, a piggybank?

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@ Slartybardfast

He must have been got at by that Apple Svengali, Fry.

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<pedantmode>

"Lesser artists borrow - great artists steal" Igor Stravinsky. But I don't think he ever attributed the quote, so that must make him a great artist.

</pedantmode>

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Unhappy

@"the threat that Jobs made about spending all the money Apple had to defeat the "theft" of Apple's IP"

Worse still, I very much think Apple will unfortunately keep that same hostile course of action against other companies, even though Steve Jobs is now dead. The problem is when a corporation has a major figure head leader, the new corporation leaders cannot easily break free of any part of their founders mindset. In the case of Apple, that Steve Job mindset was so extreme that no one wants Apple to break out of the Steve Jobs ruthlessly minimalist design ethic on all his company released (which is ok, they can keep that), but the problem is, how does his company separate that from also following Steve Jobs extremely hostile mindset towards other companies. Unfortunately I very much think they will continue this hostile course of action against other companies.

Steve Jobs very evident hostility towards other companies (and even hostility towards members of his own staff) combined with his extremely well documented control freakery, combined with his profoundly arrogant self-delusional state of mind doesn't exactly make him sound like the kind of person I would have wanted to work with. He sounded like he was more than a bit of a self-deluding tyrant, its just that his ruthlessly minimalist design ethic towards all his company released allowed his company to produce easy to use products. If it wasn't for that, he would have be very much like any other corporate director bully.

I just hope his company won't keep on with the bullying, because they need to be focusing on new products, not continuing this arrogantly delusional fight. But you just know they are going to continue this incessant hostile fight. :(

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Anonymous Coward

"Forget operating systems as a significant part of the story, they are just a detail."

Vincente, the majority of the work done by PARC on the Alto was itself "stolen" from Vannevar Bush's essay on Memex from 1945, it's certainly not as original as you and many here seem to think. It also heavily influenced Engelbart and Sutherland, whose work *also* influenced Xerox and others and is often overlooked. In fact look at Engelbart's NLS UI in his demo and look at the Alto UI and ask how much Xerox paid SRI ($0.00). At least Apple paid Xerox!

It's worth reading the articles published and available online for a number of years from Jef Raskin and Bruce Horn, both of whom were, y'know, there (http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~saul/wiki/uploads/HCIPapers/horn-raskin-apple-recollections.html). Sure, they disagree on a few points, but you can get a picture of the state of things as they were. That is of course if you are interested in having your world view mended.

Using Engelbart is a good example, but holding Xerox up as a paragon of virtue when they basically did exactly what Apple did, but without paying, is wilfully misrepresenting fact to service a trite point. It's never is a simple as you make out. And it still will never change the fact that Bill stole from Apple.

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Boffin

Haven't read the bio,

so I can't be certain that rumours to the effect that Mr Jobs was a Buddhist are true, or more reality-bending hype. If, indeed, they be true, then what a pity it was that he never read - or if he had, never understood the import of the great Japanese writer Akutagawa Ryūnosuke's brief short story, «Kumo no ito» (a .pdf file of the Japanese original is available at http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000879/files/92_14545.html), in which the Buddha allows a spider to spin a thread all the tens of thousands of kilometres from Paradise to the Lake of Blood in Hell, in order that the murderer, arsonist, and master thief, Kandata, whose single good deed in life was to refrain from stepping on a spider, might use it to pull himself out of Hell and into Paradise. Kandata comes half-way, and all seems well until he looks down and notes that countless other denizens of Hell have begun to climb the thread. Fearing it will break, Kandata curses the other climbers and shouts to them to get off the the thread. At which point, of course, it does break at a point just above his hands, and Kandata is sent plunging back into the Lake of Blood....

Bankrupt Apple to destroy Android ? Somehow I doubt that Mr Jobs is going to make it out of the Lake of Blood in which he finds himself....

Henri

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Headmaster

@John H Woods: That quote has been attributed to Pablo Picasso. It's thought that both 'borrowed' it from T S Eliot; "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different." Whether or not Stravinsky and Picasso improved upon the dictum I'm not sure, they certainly expressed it more succinctly.

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He wasn't lying.....

@AudiGuy:-

He wasn't lying, that implies he either wasn't telling the truth when he said he believed that "stealing" was OK, or when he complained about it. What it shows is complete arrogance in his belief that stealing is great as long as its Apple doing the stealing.

I would have thought the owner/driver of the premier Twatwagon could appreciate the concept of arrogance arrogance ;-D

Apologies if you either don't drive an Audi, or are one of those rare Audi drivers that don't think they own the entire road.

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WTF?

No I DON'T think I "own the entire road"...

...yes I do own an Audi. I also own 4 SAABs. So what?

And I also DON'T put people into boxes predicated on the type of car they drive...or the type of ANYTHING they own.

There are plenty of ignorant & arrogant ar$eholes who don't drive Audis. Take you for instance.

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FAIL

I see....

You have the usual Audi driver's sense of humour, too

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Anonymous Coward

And you are brain dead.

How pathetic.

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Coffee/keyboard

Ummmm, Stravinsky (apologies to Homer Simson)

I once saw "The RIte Of Spring" exquisitely danced to the choreography of Ballanchine. Neither of them actually danced of course. It was a double-bill in fact w/ L'Apres-midi d'une faune.

Oddly, no one sued, or threatened to sue anyone near as I can tell.

"Standing on the shoulders of Giants", indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

@AudiGuy: <sarcasm>That last post was classy and totally disproved Eponymous Cowherd assertion about Audi Drivers</sarcasm>

@Downvoters: Why the down votes for my post about Xerox not being whiter than white? Am I factually wrong (I'm more that happy to be corrected), or do you merely 'disagree', in which case you'll probably miss the irony of ignoring the facts as they are?

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Anonymous Coward

Amazon price

£12,50 for the hadrback book on Amazon, £12.99 on your Kindle.

It's got to be worth £12.50. Shame the profit from the book isn't going to a cancer charity.

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Last time we had anybody like Steve...

...he started a World War!

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Facepalm

Oh come on.. .

Peewee Herman did not start a war!

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Blasphemy

Burn all copies of this book (Including digital copies)

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You gotta buy 'em...

...to burn 'em

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Anonymous Coward

Amazon price

Not that it particularly matters, but the book has been priced at £12.50 by Amazon for the last 2 or 3 days, prior to that it was £12.

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