The Book of Jobs | The Great Debate
teve Jobs, the book, is very much a product of its time, which is to say, a product of its subject’s fastidious narcissism and the broader culture’s limitless capacity for nurturing it. With any luck future generations will saddle Steve Jobs, the brand, with the blemish of all the jobs (small “j”) a once-great nation relinquished because of brand-name billionaires like Jobs. But we are not there yet.
Arriving in stores all of a fortnight after his death, the book was instantly deemed by the New York Times as “clear, elegant and concise enough to qualify as an iBio.”
In truth Steve Jobs is the antithesis of concise, but words have a way of inverting meanings in the reality distortion field. Surely Isaacson might have dropped one of 92 references (according to Kindle) to Bob Dylan.
Sometimes the repetition serves a purpose: The drug LSD, referred to 33 times, is clearly important to Jobs. (The FBI thought the same, according to documents released this month.) “How many of you have taken LSD?” Jobs taunts an audience of Stanford business school students. “Are you a virgin? How many times have you taken LSD?” he demands of an Apple interviewee. Bill Gates would “be a broader guy if he had dropped acid.” Tripping was “one of the two or three most important things he’d done in his life.” People who had never dropped acid “would never fully understand him.” The generations that followed his own were more “materialistic” and less “idealistic” for not having tripped; also, they all looked like “virgins.” In the binary world within Steve’s reality, having consumed LSD was the key determinant of whether a colleague or employee was deemed “enlightened” or “an asshole.”
To iSummarize: Steve Jobs had a litmus test for evaluating workers: It was a lot like a literal litmus test.