"WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, MR. WOZNIACK?! II THOUGHTFULS, TURN THEIR SHUT-OUT EYES TO YOU! OOOOHHHH, OOOOHHHHH, OOOOHHHH..."

4 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Oct 10 2011
Posts: 25

Greetings, Fritter II Folk, &, too, Fritter Folk-at-Large --

I just finished the Steve Jobs biography by Isaacson.

Upon closing the book, I suddenly was haunted by a line I thought of which, accompanied by the musical emotion evoked by its Simon & Garfunkel inspiration: (Mrs. Robinson); (actually, come to think of it, the same maudlin musical mood evoked by all of S&G's songs sans, mind you, their one stab to Think Different in a single uncharacteristic doozie, when, noticing that poetic, witty depressiveness was not necessarily luring the lovely ladies in the intimacy of their respective post-concent hotel beds; viz., Cecilia), captured for me one major thread that the SJ bio tracked throughout Apple's often tumultuous decades.

Cheers-- (Frasier was even better)--

__________________

applefritter

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
bengi's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 2 2005
Posts: 70
Re: "WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, MR. WOZNIACK?! II THOUGHTFULS, ...

The Italian translation is horrible. Is the original version of the book, the one I guess you have read, good or does it seem published in a hurry?

Ben

__________________

PB: 100, 160, 180, 180c, 190, 190c, 5300cs, 5300c, 5300ce B/W 5300ce, 1400c 166, 3500, WS 500 MHz, Aluminium 15: 1.25, 1.5 Hi Res display, 1.67 DL, iBook G3: 12" 500, 800, 14" 900, G4 14" 1.33, MacBook white unibody, Classic: 40MHz 68030, Classic II, Color Classic, SE, SE/30, LC, II, 475, 575, 630, Quadra 700, PowerMac 4400, 7600 G4 1000 MHz, PowerMac 8600 G4 450, PowerMac G3 700 MHz G4 (custom), PowerMac G5 2.0, 2.7 LQ, MacPro 3.2 GHz, MacBook Pro 2013

Offline
Joined: Oct 10 2011
Posts: 25
Reflections on Isaacson's Recent Biography of Steve Jobs

Hi Ben,

Interesting question.

I found Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography to be a faster-paced read than I had anticipated, as other people I've talked with who read it just before me also noted.

Do you mean that publication you read of it that was translated into Italian seemed slapped together in a way that seemed difficult to follow, or poorly organized? I wouldn't say that I found it to have those characteristics.

There did seem to be a certain lack of reflection (either by Steve Jobs himself, as portrayed, or by Isaacson himself), after various chronological anecdotes were described, offering an insightful "round-up" of what the reader had read so far --- leaving the string of actions and anecdotes that Isaacson portrays as capturing Steve Jobs' life --- up to the reader to make their own inferences about the larger meaning of what was revealed.

Like, it was so obvious to me that there were themes throughout Steve Jobs' Isaacson-portrayed life, indicating (as one woman -- a psychologist of interest to him [but not vice versa]) that Jobs had unusually plainly-manifested in his external actions/work products issues that could have benefited greatly from his going into weekly psychotherapy (which the biography makes no mention of).

Ultimately, it seemed to me as though, ironically, many of the beautifully simple aesthetic infused into Jobs' 21st Century "i" products were a happy accident that really was the result of pathological thinking -- an unhealthy need for excessive power, control, closed-ness, distrust of the public to experiment with "his" devices, etc.

On the issue of aesthetics in this biography, I found it kind of humorous that, in the early days, in search of an initial CPU case that he thought most customers would want (as he and Woz transitioned from the Apple I to the Apple II), he was inspired by a store with, to me, aesthetically nothing-special household appliances. And based on this (to me) odd inspiration when searching for aesthetic beauty for an Apple II computer case, he designed/approved of the basic form factor for the CPUs of the Apple ][, ][+, and ][e.

While I find that ][, ][+, and ][ CPU form factor to be nostalgic, quirky, functional to place components on top of, and (as much as I am partial to the IIgs) the quintisential design that comes to mind when someone mentions "Apple II", I can't say that there's anything that I find inherently sleek, sexy, or aesthetically pleasing about that boxy, drab-beige (white for the ][, but not a radical overall aesthetic departure), design.

I think also that there's a *huge* irony, now that I understand much more about Steve Jobs' life, that he viewed the 1984 introduction of the first Macintosh computer's spirit to be best captured in marketing through a Superbowl commercial portraying all of the other competing computer companies at the time (e.g. IBM) as "the forced on the public status-quo", much like the artificially controlled and filtered worldview imposed on citizens in George Orwell's "1984", and Apple's Macintosh as the out-of-the-blue hero that would somehow be the opposite of that artificially controlled, highly government monitored environment. When if there were any computer creator and subsequent "post-pc" device creator who could be charged with Orwellian-style attempts to monitor and control customers within an artificially constrained (but apparently to the customer, free) world, it was Steve Jobs himself!

It's like a dictator of a country denouncing the *concept* of a dictatorship government; and on that basic premise, simply ousting the current, more passive dictator for his more *active* dictator-like, controlling style. Did Jobs recognize these ironies in his stated marketing messages for Apple? But just think they were a cleverly deceptive way of deceiving Apple customers into thinking that Apple = Freedom? Or was he, in that psychologically-relective sense, not all that astute?

Regards -

P.S. Based on the Biography, it's a good thing that Steve Jobs didn't see that list of Macs that it looks, from the AppleFritter posting footer as though you have! Had he seen a list like that, far from feeling flattered or honored by your interest in collecting computers from "his" company, Jobs would have flown into a rage, chucked all of those listed models out the window, and further startled you by drawing a stark, 4-box grid within which he would demand that, (disregarding your nostalgia or any special interests or eccentricities), you define clearly, citing no more than 4 computers, exactly what your intentions were!

As in the Orwellian 1984 (against which Jobs hypocritically claimed that his Macintosh's philosophy would emerge as a powerful, counter-attacking mold-breaker), "The past doesn't exist. Things always have been the way that they are now. Nostalgia is meaningless. Forward motion, ruthlessly discarding the past, is all that matters. 'Oh and one more thing... Profit!'" - SJ, concluding a post-CEO-reinstatement Keynote backed by the 1st profitable financial quarter that Apple had experienced in years -- and, apparently, just barely in time to save the company from bankruptcy!

__________________

applefritter

bengi's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 2 2005
Posts: 70
Re: Reflections on Isaacson's Recent Biography of Steve Jobs

Basically the whole book is a bit confused, quite often the reader has to ask himself wether we are im1976 or in 2000 or in 2010. -Probably too many flash back and flash forward without a well structured plot.

On top of that the italian translation with bad use of tenses and conscutio temporum ().

Indeed my growing collection of macs is definitively linked to the past!

__________________

PB: 100, 160, 180, 180c, 190, 190c, 5300cs, 5300c, 5300ce B/W 5300ce, 1400c 166, 3500, WS 500 MHz, Aluminium 15: 1.25, 1.5 Hi Res display, 1.67 DL, iBook G3: 12" 500, 800, 14" 900, G4 14" 1.33, MacBook white unibody, Classic: 40MHz 68030, Classic II, Color Classic, SE, SE/30, LC, II, 475, 575, 630, Quadra 700, PowerMac 4400, 7600 G4 1000 MHz, PowerMac 8600 G4 450, PowerMac G3 700 MHz G4 (custom), PowerMac G5 2.0, 2.7 LQ, MacPro 3.2 GHz, MacBook Pro 2013

Dr. Webster's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1687
Re: "WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, MR. WOZNIACK?! II THOUGHTFULS, ...

The book seemed fairly cohesive and timeline-oriented until the part where it described how Jobs started NeXT. Remember that the original publication date for the book was supposed to be in the spring of 2012, and was bumped earlier twice. My suspicion is that, during the summer, Jobs finally realized that the end was near and relayed such thinking to Isaacson. Obviously the publisher would want to release the book shortly after Jobs died, so I'm sure Isaacson was under great pressure to finish the book as quickly as possible, and thus its fairly "rushed" feel in the second half.

__________________

Applefritter Admin