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March 14, 2024 82 mins

Ed and Robert conclude the epic story of Steve Jobs with a look at how his peculiarities determined the shape and horrible abusive nature of much of the modern consumer electronics industry.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media, Hello Hello.

Speaker 2 (00:08):
That was not a U two reference. I don't. I
don't like that band enough to make it make a reference.
I don't dislike them enough to really shit talk them either.
Too many people have done that, so I'll just say bono. Uh,
I don't know, Sophie, how do you feel about the
title I've got on this on this on this episode

(00:29):
for us? Should I read it out to the audience?
Should they know?

Speaker 1 (00:32):
I mean? I could go with or without?

Speaker 3 (00:35):
Okay?

Speaker 2 (00:35):
Well? She Sophie has like chat on all of the titles.
The original title for this series was Steve Jobs, the
Hitler of Computers, Sophie said was not appropriate.

Speaker 1 (00:46):
It's not that I said it was appropriate. I said
it could very much be taken out of context, which
could be damaging to not.

Speaker 3 (00:53):
So, I would like my name not to associated with
the word hell yeah, to.

Speaker 4 (00:56):
Be to be to be safe for you know, just you,
but also all the lovely people that we are able
to employ.

Speaker 2 (01:04):
I've made peace that my name will always be tied
to Hitler. Sophie. You know, I'm like Germany in that regard,
but for a very different reason, mainly podcasts. For me Germany,
it was some other things but I think my other
title is problematic free, right.

Speaker 1 (01:20):
I mean it was just kind.

Speaker 2 (01:22):
Of Steve Jobs for Electric Google lore. That's not bad.

Speaker 1 (01:27):
That was not the title I vetoed. I vevoed Sieve
Job sucks or something dumb.

Speaker 3 (01:32):
That was, well, that's the human experience with that one.

Speaker 1 (01:36):
Yeah, I mean, like you can do better than that.

Speaker 5 (01:38):
It was one thirty pm. I've just gotten up, you know,
I haven't had coffee yet the k noon. So we're
going to talk for a little bit before we get
into the last great act of Steve Jobs, the stuff
that everyone actually knows him from, right, Like, obviously people
in the eighties and nineties knew him as the Apple guy.
But when people talk about him now, very few of
them are thinking of like the Apple too, or even

(02:00):
if like the original Macintosh. They think about the iPod,
the iPhone, the iPad, the app store, like everything Apple
is today. Right, So first I want to I want
to get into before we talk about how he got
to all that shit. I want to talk about part
of why Apple fell to pieces after he left. We've
talked a lot about his mistakes, his misjudgments, and it's

(02:21):
important to note he was not very good at guiding Apple,
no one else was either, So in early nineteen ninety one,
not long after Steve left, the idea of a handheld
personal digital assistant was pitched to CEO John Scully on
an airplane. He's on some private flight and some guy's like, hey,
you see these like palm pilot things people are starting

(02:43):
to carry. What if we've made an Apple one?

Speaker 3 (02:45):
Right?

Speaker 2 (02:46):
I don't even think palm pilots are this Sorry it's
ninety one. Yeah. So he's like, you know these things
that are kind of evolutions of the beeper that people
have started to carry, that can keep a calendar, maybe
you can take some notes on it, but they're pretty primitive.
Someone tells them like, hey, this could be you know
what saves Apple jobs. Had been out of the company
for like five years at that point, and I think

(03:07):
it's one of those things. If this had been introduced
when he'd still been there, I think he would have
fought like hell against it because it was a bad
idea and it was obviously not where computing was going right.
People don't want like a personal digital assistant is It
may seem like a smartphone, but the vision is kind
of fundamentally limited. These are not connected devices, right, These

(03:28):
are basically fancy calendars that people carry with them, And
so it's really different from the kind of idea. It
seem as like an executive assistant effectively, more than it
is like something that one hundred million people are going
to keep in their pockets at all times. Because it
is kind of a tablet computer, there's a tendency for
some people to see it as being ahead of its time.

(03:48):
I don't really know how much I agree with that,
because it's dogshit. It does not work for fuck right.
As envisioned. The Newton would have let people take notes, right, Like,
you're supposed to be able to write with your handwriting,
and it was going to train translated.

Speaker 3 (04:00):
And all of these devices for like ten years, all
of them promised this, and yeah.

Speaker 2 (04:05):
They could not do it. It was like, by modern standards,
dog shit right.

Speaker 3 (04:10):
A while too. It took him like twenty years.

Speaker 2 (04:12):
Yeah, it takes them a bit. They improve the Newtons.
Some people will say they made it pretty good, but like,
I don't know that it was ever good enough that
people would want to use. And when the Newton came out,
the fact that the handwriting feature is borked on it
is like such a news story that Gary Trudeau of
Doonesbury spends a full week making fun of it. He
hadn't even like used in Newton, but he'd read bad

(04:35):
reviews and he was just like the guy, yeah, Dunesbury
Manah yeah, if you want to fight the Doonesbury guy
in nineteen ninety one, you'd best come correct. That was
his that was his apex Jesus. So part of the
failure came down to the fact that Scully was obsessed
with the idea that this device should fit easily in

(04:57):
his pocket, and they were like behind the scen people
are joking about, like should we just buy himp shirts
with bigger pockets? Like he's doing the same thing. He
took too much from jobs where he's like, I'm just
going to lay down the aesthetics but not really care
about how possible or impossible that is. But that's not
really why this fails. It's just that PDAs are not
something people wanted, right. They wanted a connected device, and

(05:21):
that's key to what a smartphone was. But like a
Palm pilot type deal you're playing your music on it.
That might have gotten it to sell. They were kind
of big. They were just like there were toys for
rich businessmen to impress less rich businessmen with. Right, that
was the primary use category. So you can understand how
a guy like John Scully could get sold on the idea.
But it was a very bad way.

Speaker 3 (05:41):
We don't do real work, yes, yes, was yeah, like
these people had assistance as well, So the actual point
of this thing was well.

Speaker 2 (05:51):
Yeah, it was to boys.

Speaker 3 (05:52):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (05:53):
Jabs himself took joy in insulting the Newton in public
and his new rifle. John Scully his old friend, and
Apple bought Next in nineteen ninety six, and he returned
to the company in nineteen ninety seven. He expressed particular
distaste for the stylus. Isaacson writes, God gave us ten styluses.
He would say, waving his fingers, let's not invent another.

(06:14):
And that is like, this is you know, he's being
a dick about it, but he's got a legitimate insight. There.
There's a lot of debates.

Speaker 3 (06:21):
The biggest wanka way of saying he.

Speaker 2 (06:23):
Did he did. He's to to his new the people
who work at the company, right, that is kind of
you might want to be a little more artful than that.
But styluses were bad ideas, right, we can all agree
on that he is right. We want like, in order
for this to be a universal device, it has to
be something that you just fucking touch. So Scully would
later argue that the Newton helped save Apple, and this

(06:46):
is kind of true, but like not in a way
that matters for him. Basically, to build the Newton, Apple
had to help fund the design of the ARM processor,
and Apple was eventually able to sell their interest in
ARM for like a billion dollars, right, so that's kind
of what saves Apple, which is like, not really the
Newton saving Apple, You got lucky. This is like fucking

(07:09):
Sam Bankman Freed investing in Anthropic and making a bunch
of money after losing his shirt on everything else. It's like, yeah,
technically everyone might get made a whole, but you didn't
know that was gonna happen.

Speaker 3 (07:20):
Bro, That is kind of funny that everything good that
Apple managed to do seemed to be by accident, or
at least Steve Jobs.

Speaker 2 (07:29):
Yeah up to I mean, I mean this one that's
a John Scully win. I'll give that one to him.
But like this is an example of the being similar
to Steve Jobs yeah, yeah, I mean he hates Scully
after this point, at least for a very long time.
Maybe he made peace with him at the end there.
I don't know, no, But in general, the instincts that
Jobs had had up to this point in his life

(07:50):
towards simplicity, restricting user control, curating the ecosystem, these are
all the impulses that in the twenty first century would
lead Apple to staggering success. The iPod, the Mac G three,
which I actually think comes out in ninety nine, and
the iPhone all received criticism and still do because of
how lockdown they are. Right when the when the iMac
comes out, you can see inside the guts of this thing,

(08:11):
but you're not meant to fiddle with it like you
do with a PC.

Speaker 3 (08:14):
Right.

Speaker 2 (08:14):
It's not like my dad opening up our box and
throwing in some extra ram. You're not really going to
be doing that with an iMac. Right, Yeah, unless you
really know your shit, I guess, and Apple. Apple's gonna
make it as hard as possible to like do that
even if you do know your shit. When Jobs first
returns to the company, he holds a meeting with the
top designers and executives, and he tells them the problem

(08:36):
with Apple today is that none of our products have
any sex. His solution, bafflingly is the iMac, which, sorry,
it comes out in ninety eight, and I guess people
do think it's sexy. I think it's more than it's cute,
that it's something like your grandma.

Speaker 3 (08:47):
You get fucking iMac.

Speaker 2 (08:48):
Yeah, you'd fuck you could fuck I fucking iMac. That's
the Apple campaign we never saw.

Speaker 3 (08:53):
It's just like a bunch of.

Speaker 2 (08:55):
Dudes looking at an Imax being like, yeah, fucking iMac. Good.

Speaker 1 (08:59):
You're not gonna the fucking dune popcorn bucket ear Robert.

Speaker 2 (09:03):
No, but I I mean, look, Sophie, it now capable
of more than one love in our life, you know.
Oh okay, So the Mac was one of the most
limited personal computers on the market, but it was friendly
and eight hundred thousand sold in the first five months.
This is so, this is like, this does even like
about as well as you'd actually hope the original Mac
would do. Right, and Apple turns its first profit since

(09:24):
nineteen ninety five. Now, one of the first things Jobs
does when he gets back is he reaches back out
to Lee Klow and like the team at chaiat Day
who'd done that nineteen eighty four campaign, and Jobs is like, hey,
please come back and make a special pitch to the
Apple board, going against like your usual practices, right because
like Klow's a big enough Naneity is like, I don't

(09:46):
pitch to companies. If they want me, they come to me, right.
But Klow agrees for Jobs to do this, and Jobs
cries like remembering this moment years later to Walter Isaacson,
which is such an odd moment to get choked up over,
given you know his daughter loved my brand. Yeah, this
chokes me up. This really chokes me up. It was

(10:06):
so clear that Lee loved Apple so much. Here was
the best guy at advertising, and he hadn't pitched in
ten years. Yet here he was, and he was pitching
his heart out because he loved Apple as much as
we did. He and his team had come up with
this brilliant idea, think Different, and it was ten times
better than anything the other agency showed. It choked me
up and it still makes me cry to think about it,
both the fact that Lee cared so much and how

(10:26):
brilliant his think Different idea was. Every once in a while,
this is where it gets really funny. Every once in
a while, I find myself in the presence of purity,
purity of spirit and love, and I always cry. It
just reaches in and grabs me. That was one of
those moments. There was a purity about it that I
will never forget. I cried in my office as he

(10:46):
was showing me the idea, and I still cry when
I think about it again. This man, his daughter wasn't
his daughter for years. But it's like I weep at
the beauty of Lee Klaus.

Speaker 3 (10:58):
That loved much. I love brands.

Speaker 2 (11:03):
I feel nothing in the face of my own blood.
But like Campaign, my god, yeah, a fucking idiot, and
it's it's you know, I remember as a kid, I
was like a snotty PC gamer right there used to
be a it's less of a thing. Now there's a
big PC MAC divide.

Speaker 3 (11:20):
And one of the things I used to work at
a PC gaming magazine, I know.

Speaker 2 (11:23):
Yeah, And one of the things people would bring up
that was valid is a critique of Max is that, like, well,
most games don't even work on them right because you
have to like specifically make it to work on the
kind of architecture they had, right. This is in part
because Max are so big now, like most really big
companies that are making games for a PC are making
like a mac poort now. But like that was not

(11:44):
really the case with well, it.

Speaker 3 (11:46):
Was with the Intel processes, but now anyway.

Speaker 2 (11:49):
Yeah, I'm not anyway. It used to be much more
of a thing. And I think a lot of people
I remember at the time seeing this campaign, I was like, well,
how are you thinking differently if you can't even like
modify your own machine. But those of us who got
snotty at the inconsistencies and the message of this campaign
versus Apple's actual products, we're failing to see something important
that was not lost on Steve Jobs. The future market

(12:11):
for these machines. It was not people who like technology right.
The think different campaign was not based on selling people
on like, here's the hardware, here's what you can like,
here's what games this will play, right, here's how well
you can like do this or that. It was based
on the feeling of creativity right, and making people think
of great creative minds from the past and kind of

(12:32):
see themselves as maybe I could be like that too,
if I have a creative enough machine. Right, and Jobs,
this is a legitimate insight. Right, We're not going to
dwell on processor speed, We're not going to throw much
of stats out. We're going to relate these stories of
great artists and geniuses from history, and we're in order
to embrace a vibe. Right, That's how we're going to
make our case for the for the iMac is the vibe. Right,

(12:53):
this is a vibe based computing system, and that makes
so much fucking money, it's crazy, Like that's a super
It's a very good way to sell a computer, it
turns out.

Speaker 3 (13:02):
But also there was a stinky vibe to computing. It
was still even there was a fringe nature. You either
used one at work and maybe looked at the inenternet.
So we're talking like the late nineties right now.

Speaker 2 (13:14):
Yeah, yeah, it was still.

Speaker 3 (13:16):
Yeah so you I mean I played EverQuest back then.
I used PCMIA, card Play Ultimate Online before that. Yeah,
gaming and PCs in general were very much work. It
wasn't really there was personal computing, but it wasn't like
it wasn't to the extent it is now yeah by
any yesha.

Speaker 2 (13:34):
And the iMac is definitely like a sizable movement in
that direction, right, And you know some of this is
that like a lot of the success comes down to
Jobs understanding both what the market actually does want and
understanding when someone has a good idea for how to
market it. Now. Thankfully they didn't go with their entire
original concept for the Think Different ad. It was initially

(13:56):
set to the Seal song Crazy because Jobs viewed him
as one of our greatest living artists. The next version
included a reading of a Robert Frost poem, The Road
Not Taken Steve himself. This is the funniest part to me,
Steve Jobs. The suggestion for the Thing Different at is
we should have all of the text be cut up
pieces of speeches from Robin Williams's character in Dead Poet

(14:18):
Society felt so hard for that movie.

Speaker 3 (14:25):
Guys, this guy is like the average Instagram user. It
is really, that's so basic, a very vile, paper thin
kind of philosophy. Yeahs important like William Blake or some
shit like not trying to be like Flower with Shakespeare. No,
he's just like I saw a movie once.

Speaker 2 (14:44):
Yeah, yeah, the.

Speaker 3 (14:45):
Advertising guy made me cry because it was beautiful. How
you Think Different?

Speaker 2 (14:50):
Yeah, he taught me how people should be encouraged to
embrace their special gifts I'm going to yeah, tend to
go be really abusive to a bunch of.

Speaker 3 (15:01):
Yeah, I'm so inspired.

Speaker 2 (15:04):
So eventually Apple opted to write their own or the
ad team opted to write their own original piece for
the Think Different ad, which wound up being titled Here's
to the Crazy Ones. And I don't want to read
the text of all this, I will tell you it
ends on the lines. And well, some may see them
as the crazy ones, we see genius because the people
who are crazy enough to think they can change the

(15:26):
world are the ones who do. Steve wrote some of it,
including a line about how like some people are the
ones who pushed the human race forward, and he clearly
is thinking about himself here right like, this is clearly
he this affects him because he sees himself as one
of these misfit, rebel trouble makers who saw things differently
and move the world forward, and definitely saw things differently

(15:49):
some things and definitely moved to the human race. Yeah,
I'll give him that forward. Well, some of that's debatable,
I guess, well, it depends on how you feel about
some of the stuff.

Speaker 3 (15:58):
Are going to do really funny though, everything you're saying
about this guy is he was actually very standard. He
thought he was this big daring He had some he
clearly was able to like notice trends and whatever.

Speaker 2 (16:09):
He had a couple of like legitimate insights. But he
was like very very conventional in a lot of ways.

Speaker 3 (16:15):
And I really think different in the sense that I
try and sell something for a profit, and I also
hire the fucking pepsi marketing guy so we can do
the thing that everyone else is doing. And my vibes
come from movies.

Speaker 2 (16:27):
Yeah, he's the same as everyone else when it comes
to like, yeah, let's lay off some people, a bunch
of people when we don't need to to boost the
stock price. Yeah, let's bring in a marketing guy to
run things, because obviously running a company is all about sales,
you know, like a lot of these kind of basic
corporate things. He's the same as everybody else, and he's like,
to an extent, the same as every other stingy rich

(16:48):
guy in a lot of ways. He has this sense
of aesthetics, right, both in terms of how to market
things and in terms of like what do people want
a device to look at? That is like that's his
real That's the thing that I think it's responsible for
a lot of his success and unlike the nineteen eighty
four ad this he used to the crazy One, ADS
moves a shitload of computers right. Isaacson's book gives an

(17:10):
amusing description of the struggle to find a narrator for
this quote. In order to evoke the spirit of Dead
Poets Society, clown, Jobs wanted to get Robin Williams to
read the narration. His agent said that Williams didn't do ads,
so Jobs tried to call him directly. He got through
to Williams's wife, who would not let him talk to
the actor because she knew how persuasive he could be.
They also considered Maya Angelou and Tom Hanks. At a

(17:32):
fundraising dinner featuring Bill Clinton that fall, Jobs pulled the
president aside and asked him to telephone Hanks to talk
him into it, but the President pocket vetoed the request.
They ended up with Richard Dreyfus. Oh God, I like Dreyfus.

Speaker 3 (17:46):
But like yes, ever step down.

Speaker 2 (17:48):
Though it is funny that like Robin Williams's wife gets
a call from Steve Jobs, He's like.

Speaker 3 (17:54):
No, do not know this.

Speaker 2 (17:55):
It was a funny room with Steve Jobs. It's no
one that's love, right, that's that's someone who legitimately is
looking at for your best interests.

Speaker 3 (18:08):
I'm also like Robin Williams, a horrifying depression. I won't
put Steve Jobs anyone near him. No, no manipulative criton.

Speaker 2 (18:15):
I think Tom Hanks could have given him what for,
but that's probably why Tom Hanks had no interest in
working with him. I would have been fun seeing him
and Maya Angelou have a conversation, though, My god. So,
speaking of Jobs's friendship with Bill Clinton, you probably will
not be surprised to hear that our former president reached
out to his buddy, Steve masterful manipulator of the media,

(18:38):
for advice on a little problem he was having. Here's
Business Insider quote. In the middle of the Monica Lewinsky scannal,
President Bill Clinton called Steve Jobs to ask him what
he should do about it. Steve Jobs reportedly gave Clinton
this advice, I don't know if you did it, but
if so, you've got to tell the country. There was
apparently a long silence on the other end of the line. Later,

(18:58):
when Chelsea Clinton was a Stanford Steve Jobs loan, the
Clinton's country house nearby so he could spend time with her.
What a fascinating relationship. I call you and I've I've
cheated on my wife publicly in front of the entire country.
You give me a house when I want to hang
out with my daughter.

Speaker 3 (19:16):
Great?

Speaker 2 (19:17):
Mm hmmm.

Speaker 3 (19:18):
What strange relationship? Not problematic, nothing weird happen in that.

Speaker 2 (19:24):
I don't know how much because this is I think
comes from Jobs talking to Isaacson a lot of this,
but like, I don't know how much. I guess I
don't disbelieve that Bill Clinton would call Steve Jobs for
advice on infidelity. I kind of I kind of don't believe. Jobs'
first response was, if you did it, you've got to
tell the country yea, to.

Speaker 3 (19:42):
Do the right ste Jobs also, good lord. The conspiracy
theory is tearing this kind of stuff much be going nuts.

Speaker 2 (19:50):
Yeah, it is really funny, Like this is like the
elite talking. Yeah, yeah, this is the elite, and it
it's always framed as being so like much more sighting
than it is. Like they're they're definitely like both people
who have done some damage, but their conversations are about
like shit, shit, everyone caught me cheating what do I do?
And him being him everything else and then lying later

(20:14):
that he said to tell the nation.

Speaker 3 (20:16):
Well, Steve Jokes probably said was well you're fully justified
first of all. First of all, if you tried just
like about his soul.

Speaker 2 (20:23):
Yeah, yeah, let me tell you you had I murdered.

Speaker 3 (20:26):
Yeah, you're the person you could do that, right.

Speaker 2 (20:29):
No, no, no. It is interesting to me that Steve
was willing to lend Bill and Hillary a house so
they can see their daughter where she's at Stanford. He
he has a very different reaction to Lisa. She gets
into I think Harvard, and Steve is angry at her
because like she wants to go to college, and she's

(20:50):
kind of like, well you're rich. I feel like you
can pay for it, right. He's like, I'm a dropout.
Why don't you become a dropout. Then he takes it
to Hawaii on like a trip with his family and
repeatedly is like, hey, sure would be better to just
have a vacation every year than pay for your college. Huh.
Don't you just want to go on vacation every year
instead of go to college? Like he kind of tries

(21:12):
to bribe her with trips to Hawaii if she'll drop out.

Speaker 3 (21:16):
How about we do both? You rich?

Speaker 2 (21:17):
Fuck yeah, come on, man, you are Steve Jobs.

Speaker 3 (21:20):
I had to eat out with the trash as a child,
when you humiliated being a dave. And Buster's like, fucking like,
I should go to Hawaii and go to college.

Speaker 2 (21:31):
It'd be one thing if he had like a principled
I'm not gonna, you know, pay for you once you're
an adult or whatever, but like what he does instead,
as he starts paying for her to go to college,
and then in like her second semester, he cuts her
out and she has to find out about it when
the school calls her, and he's, what tells you about this?
So Steve has some neighbors, his mansion's neighbors who were
like some of his friends. But they meet Lisa and

(21:54):
they see how he treats Lisa and it kind of
turns them off of Steve. And when she she just
comes to them because she doesn't know what else to
do when he's like refusing to pay for her tuition,
and they're like, well, you could just live with us
outside of school and we'll pay for your tuition because
we're all so rich, and this isn't really that much
money to us, my god.

Speaker 3 (22:13):
Which is like, yeah, everyone wipes Steve Johnson's ass for him,
keep on the smell of it. He didn't do it
for himself.

Speaker 2 (22:19):
A lot of ass wiping goes on for this man.

Speaker 3 (22:23):
Yeah, this guy would have been just a failure had
these had like one person just not know.

Speaker 2 (22:28):
No fuck it. Yeah yeah, so yeah. A huge part
of the new Apple is the industrial design genius of
Johnny Ive. As Chief design Officer for Apple, I was
largely responsible for the look and feel of the iMac, MacBook, Air, iPhone,
and iPod. Because the whole tablet and smartphone ecosystem today

(22:50):
is made in the image of Apple products, it can
be easy to forget what a sea change they were
from what had come before. I was one of those
weird nerds who had a friend of mine that gave
me there. It was some sort of micro Soft running
PDA like a year or two before the iPhone came out,
and all I could really do with it was like
take notes and I could play like a like a
fucking eight bit version of Heroes of Mit and Magic three,

(23:11):
which is all I had ever wanted from a computer
to that point in my life. And I was very
happy with this thing. But people didn't like this stuff.
It was like heavy, It couldn't communicate with anything. It
was just kind of a real pain in the ass.
And they all you all had to like use a
stylist input commands, You had to like learn a gesture
language with the stylust. It wasn't like intuitive or whatever.

(23:32):
And I've kind of one of the things that makes
him important is he's got this like sense of what
do people want to hold in their hand, what feels good? Like,
what is the kind of thing that people will not
just use but adopt as part of their life and
fucking line up outside of a store in order to
get the latest model of right and Jobs falls in
love with Johnny. He calls him his spiritual partner and Jobs,

(23:55):
his wife would later tell Isaacson most people in Steve's
life are replaceable, but not Johnny.

Speaker 3 (24:01):
Stave forgot an idea for a new watch, Like he
must have just called him later on Steve got a
new idea.

Speaker 2 (24:08):
Yeah, he's the only guy Steve would pick up the
phone for. And it's very funny to me that his
wife is like, he could replace all of us, but
this man, yeah, this man who makes a good phone.
Steve Jobs is only real love the man who was
nice at making phones out of metal. Now, the success
of the new Apple also owed a lot to Jobs's gut.
His appreciation for the way I've designed products was part

(24:30):
of it, but his dog and understanding of what people
didn't want to hold in their pocket was part of it,
a big part of the iPhone's initial success. Jobs again,
he's certainly he was kind of beyond his technical capacity
when Wozniak was building the Apple, too.

Speaker 3 (24:45):
He is well.

Speaker 2 (24:46):
Beyond it for the iPhone. A lot of his job
with the iPhone is like looking at the different iterations
of it before market and being like, it's not ready yet.
It's not ready yet. It's not ready yet. And I
don't know how to judge that on an objective lens
other than that the iPhone sells like the iPhone right,
Like clearly he was right, you know.

Speaker 3 (25:04):
But also that's one thing that Jobs jobs really, it's
his one thing he really had, which was he knew
when something was ready. Vision probably wouldn't have gone out
under his works. I don't think so, No, no, And
honestly that is the big change upon Apple. They'll shove
shit out the door.

Speaker 2 (25:20):
Yeah, and they'll even they'll start like the Apple. The
news right now is they just cancel their self driving car.
I don't think Jobs ever starts that program because I
think he might partner with an automotive company. Sure, but
like get into the car business. Like, no, man, I
don't think that's really something.

Speaker 3 (25:36):
If he would have got into it and then had
to cancel it, he would have laid off the people
in a much more literal sense.

Speaker 2 (25:43):
Yeah, I think we would have learned if he'd lived longer,
a lot about him because he he didn't live past
the era of his competence, right. He understood smartphones and
tablets and computers and what people wanted out of them,
how they wanted to use them, what the future was
of that. Once we moved, we're watching the industry scramble.
It's why shit like AI and before that fucking NFTs

(26:05):
and before that, you know, self driving tech and all
this shit has these different like periods of like absolute
obsessions because nobody really knows what the future. AI is
the thing that feels most like it, right because it
impressed people so much when they saw how far chat
GPT was, So everyone is jumping on that bandwagon. We
would actually have learned a lot about Steve's actual level

(26:27):
of brilliance if he'd gotten to this point, because I
do wonder would he have been like, no, NFTs, clearly
bullshit self driving tech. It's not going to get there
as past fast as people. He wouldn't, you know, he
wouldn't have.

Speaker 3 (26:38):
Liked crypto enough. He didn't own the ecosystem.

Speaker 2 (26:40):
I suspect he would not have fallen like he would.

Speaker 3 (26:42):
Not have touched anything where he did not control the
entire end to end process. He would have been like,
what the fuck? People can own part of a thing
I built?

Speaker 2 (26:51):
But uh, I think there is a maybe a version
of him where he's kind of doing the Musk loop,
where he like follows Musk to try to make an
electric car when he sees how well test. I don't
know that that's the case. I can't. Maybe it's more
likely it wouldn't have, but we don't. I mean, he
doesn't get enough for us to know when he's finally
passed his depth of understanding. Would he have just scrambled

(27:11):
like everyone else for bullshit or would he have been like, well, fuck,
I don't know what to do. He chose to jump
on every bad wagon. Yeah, he made the decision today,
he did. Actually, it was all his choices. Yeah, we are.
We are building to that, thankfully. So while the iMac
was a successful product, it was the iPod that first
made a massive impact on daily life outside of the

(27:32):
world of computing for Apple. Right, and you young listeners
might not remember this, but back around to the turn
of the century, there was this big kerfuffle over piracy
and the recording industry. Right, most cool people like me
were stealing all of their music and occasionally the IRIA
would catch one of us and send us to fucking
prison for the crime. Fresh Box twenty albums right related

(27:55):
prison sentences. Yeah, yeah, and people responded to this largely
pirating even harder. Jobs. Part of his conception of iTunes
is I'm going to put a stop to that, right,
and he does to a significant extent, Like the iTunes
is kind of what kills piracy as it had been
as like this thing that all young people are doing.

(28:15):
And it's because Jobs understands the people who've been arguing
for piracy are right. The big thing piracy advocates would
always say is we're not stealing from artists. We're fucking
up the recording industry, but they fuck over artists, and
by for free spreading the music these people are making,
we're overall benefiting them. Right now, that's not been it,

(28:36):
that's debatably true. Right, There's a lot of ways in
which artists have been heard, especially with the era of Spotify.
I'm not papering over that. But what was accurate about
that that job saw is that, like, well, they are
right that if people have really easy, if they don't
have to buy like a thirty dollars album or whatever
to get one song, people will buy more music overall.

Speaker 3 (28:55):
Right, And that was the other thing in England, at
least albums will like twenty quick like yeah, I remember
thinking about listening to Dark Side of the Moon, an
album I'd never heard of. I went to HMV and
it was twenty five quid. Yeah, oh, same album, like,
same size album, whatever, And it was just I did
not hear that album for years and years and years,

(29:15):
because yeah, I don't know if I'm gonna like any
of this. Nobody on you owned it. Yeah, And so
being able to buy a song was actually pretty cool.
And also CD's a big and annoying.

Speaker 2 (29:25):
And jobs the way I mean, he has a big
role in this, Right, This isn't just a thing that
happens by coincidence. He personally negotiates a deal with the
record companies where he can offer songs for ninety nine
cents apiece, which makes them for the first time a
song is cheap enough to impulse by. And this is
what fucks up piracy, right is because piracy advocates had
been kind of right, people would buy music if it

(29:46):
was less of a fucking ripoff, right, and jobs kind
of proves that because they do now this devastates a
lot of the music industry, and particularly because record companies
are record companies. They don't lose their shirts, but they
do fuck over artists worse.

Speaker 3 (30:01):
Right.

Speaker 2 (30:01):
I'm not saying we're at a worse period now or better,
but like the ways in which artists get fucked over
has certainly changed as a result of iTunes, right, and
iTunes led directly to the era of Spotify and other
music streaming services. One of the things that's happened in
that world is that musicians can basically just make a
living touring now, right, he don't make the kind of
money from album sales or from people listening to because

(30:24):
we don't even sell albums anymore. People just like you Spotify,
and that doesn't bring nearly the same amount of money.
And you can't blame Jobs for all. He was not
orchestrating that whole process. But there's a good article on
the subject on the impact his decisions have on the
music industry by John Naughton, who writes music played an
outsize role in the evolution of the Internet. As Larry

(30:45):
Lessig put it in Free Culture, file sharing music was
the crack cocaine of the Internet's growth. It drove demand
for access to the Internet more powerfully than any other
single application. Jobs became the first licensed dealer in that drug,
and iTunes provided the saddle that abled Apple to write
the Tiger. And that's a very apt way of reading it.
Right then, that is more or less what happens with

(31:07):
the iPod now. The birth of the smartphone era coincided
almost perfectly with the start of the Obama years, and
by the time Barack Obama was inaugurated in two thousand
and nine, Android smartphones had started to creep out onto
the market, and the iPhone had rapidly gone from a
thing rich people you know, bought because who else can
afford five hundred dollars for a phone? Am I right
to the hottest tech product in history? And Steve had

(31:29):
an odd relationship with Obama. Right. The Obama years and
the early smartphone years are very directly tied together. And
it's hard to remember now, but people were excited about
smartphones at one point, and people were also excited about
Barack Obama. Right. There was this belief that he was
going to be this historically progressive candidate, and there was
also this belief that he was a literal communist who

(31:49):
was going to like turn the world into communist China.
And I want you to guess ed where was jobs
closer to on that, I.

Speaker 3 (32:00):
Guess he was more towards the capitalist side.

Speaker 2 (32:02):
He was, in fact, more towards the capitalist side. Like
a lot of boomers, he seems to have grown a
bit more conservative as he aged. I don't fully get
his I think he was at least frustrated with Obama,
but because of his perception the president was like anti business,
which is a wild thing to accuse Barack Obama of being. Yeah,
not at all accurate. In the fall of twenty ten,

(32:24):
Steve's wife, who was a major donor to the Democratic
Party told him that the president was really psyched to
meet with him, and then Obama had reached out to
her and he was like, we'd love to have Steve
come by, and Jobs is like, look, if you invite
me personally, then all come by. But it's got to
be an invitation from like the president for me to
meet with.

Speaker 3 (32:41):
Him, from Barack Obama at White House dot Gov.

Speaker 2 (32:44):
Yeah, yeah, And eventually Obama does it, right, that does
show you somewhat of like where his social position is
at this point that he is able to make that happen.
And when they finally did meet, he unleashed a rant
at Obama that would not have sounded entirely out of
place on The Rush Limbaugh Show. Atacked the education system
and claimed it was crippled by unions. Quote until the teachers'
unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform,

(33:07):
he said, And what did he mean by that? Well,
one proposal he made was that principals should be able
to hire and fire teachers at will school should be
open until six pm for eleven months of the year.
And it's like, it's always fun to me when people
make proposals like this after bragging about how they dropped
out of school early. I'm not saying there are other
countries that keep kids in school longer.

Speaker 3 (33:29):
How does he feel about principles being allowed to kick
kids out who blue stuff up?

Speaker 2 (33:34):
Yeah, well right, right, shouldn't be able to kick kids
out for setting off explosives. Fucking But also, like, it's
such a fraud thing when you're the guy who's always like, no,
why would you want to go to college. People don't
need to go to school. You learn everything you need
to know from the world and intuition to like kids
need to be locked in school eleven months out of
the year, never let them free.

Speaker 3 (33:57):
Oh so this guy who's full of like mysticism and
philosophical thoughts and all of these grandiose ideas turns out
to just be a very fucking boring conservative guy.

Speaker 6 (34:08):
Yes, like that is kind of one of this mystified
technological figure whoeveryone has given this godlike sense and he's
just a boring conservative man.

Speaker 2 (34:19):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (34:21):
It's kind of like Barack Obama in that he appeared
to be appeared to be kind of like center left, like, oh,
fighting for the consumer, but really just working for the establishment. Jeez,
and lending the establishment house. Yeah, when we need to
establish and lend him.

Speaker 2 (34:38):
Yeah, we need to. Like the guy who does the
nineteen eighty four commercial is like, schools need to be
more like factories. I could go into like a there's
a lot of debate over what is good for schools.
That's not this podcast. I just think it's funny how
it's inconsistent with some of the shit jobs was saying
out in public. But you know, it is consistent the
quality of the advertisers of this project product podcast, whatever

(35:03):
we call ourselves. Anyway, here's some ads. We're back. So
when Steve is having this meeting with Barack Obama, the
most pressing issue that he presented to the President was
the USA's troubling lack of skilled engineers. This, he says,

(35:24):
is what has forced him to outsource Apple's manufacturing to China.
He's like, look, the number of workers we need to
make all these products. You got to have thirty thousand
engineers to support them, and the US simply cannot graduate
that many people with engineering degrees. So that's why I
have to make everything in China. That's a very funny

(35:46):
thing to say, and this article. Quote from an article
in the Huffington Post continues, You're headed for a one
term presidency, he told Obama at the start of their meeting,
and insisting that the administration needed to be more business friendly.
As an example, jobs describe the ease with which companies
can build factories in China compared to the United States,
where regulations and unnecessary costs make it difficult to them.

(36:08):
So I want to see what does he mean by this,
because he's saying, I would love to make these things
in America, but we don't have enough smart people and
we're too tied down by regulations for me to have
factories here. So let's talk about how Steve's ideal factory works.
It is true that by twenty eleven, Apple employed something
like seven hundred thousand people in China, and because a

(36:28):
workforce that large needed about thirty thousand engineers, China was
maybe the only place to produce Apple products. Isaacson probably
focuses a lot on this part of the claim and
less on what was an equally large reason why it
had to be China, which is that China does not
enjoy the same safety in union and basic quality of
life considerations that we have in the United States for

(36:49):
this kind of work, right, The kind of minimal guarantees
we have of worker quality of life are too much
for an Apple factory to meet and still have an
affordable product. The reality is that a lot of modern
consumer technology cannot function without cities worth of abused workers. Right.
This is not just an Apple thing. This is every

(37:10):
tech product. We all know this. This is our This
is our tied up child and abasement at omeloss.

Speaker 3 (37:15):
Right.

Speaker 2 (37:15):
Although we don't live in ome loss because everything still
sucks in we're doing this. But that's a separate question.

Speaker 3 (37:21):
Are we the bostards?

Speaker 2 (37:23):
Are we the bastards? Yeah? Yes, always. But a big
part of like why this is the way the tech
industry works, why you have so much churn in products,
why products have to be produced at the rate that
they are produced, is not organic entirely. It has to
do with decisions made by Steve Jobs and made when
he was kind of inventing the foundations of what we

(37:45):
now call the consumer electronics industry, which to a significant extent,
he did a lot of what we just consider consumer
tech today is shit that Apple started doing. Right. Part
of that is like the way products get released, you
know how you have these like big showy releases and
like you have to be able to sell a bunch
of stuff at once, right right after. Like so much

(38:06):
of Apple's business gets formed from the idea of every
time we have a new product on the market, fans
are going to line up at the door to get
the new model, and we will get a bunch of
free coverage from the news on that, a bunch of
pr from that will get a stock retuch from that.
When you do that, there's a cost to the workers
to make that possible.

Speaker 3 (38:25):
Right.

Speaker 2 (38:25):
That was not inevitably the way that the company was
going to be structured. It was structured this way because
of things that jobs did. These consumer frenzies are a
big part of like why what made Apple apple? And
another big part of what made Apple apple was planned
obsolescence and this gets worked into the rest of the
industry too. Certainly some people would have always done that,

(38:45):
but the fact that Apple does sets a precedent. Right,
the Apple too, and it's not a precedent that was
in Apple's DNA. The Apple too had been anti fragile.
This is a product that is considered good for thirteen
years that's unimaginable from modern computing, right, with fairly minimal
changes in terms of like the actual structure of the thing,

(39:06):
and people can upgrade it themselves so that you can
use it longer. Right. It's a great product because you
can make it what you need it to be and
keep it relevant. And Jobs hated that he wanted disposable technology,
and Apple embraced a policy allegedly. I say allegedly because
there are lawsuits about this around planned obsolescence. This blew

(39:26):
up in a big way in twenty seventeen when Apple
was apparently caught throttling battery performance on older phones. They
claim this is to prevent shutdowns on aging phones. It's
a safety. We have to do this basically, right, It's
the only way to make it work. But it also
happened to push people into buying new phones early, not
just because Apple's throttling the battery. Perhaps they did have
to do that to prevent a shutdown, but because they

(39:49):
made it impossible to swap in new batteries. If you
could easily replace the battery, you can keep the iPhone
going longer. But it makes it a lot uglier and grosser,
seeming to Steve, even though the amount of waste generated
from swapping a battery is vastly less than swapping an
entire phone. Apple has faced numerous lawsuits over planned obsolescens,

(40:09):
including in France and Italy over their process of serialization,
which links spare parts to specific years of iPhones via
serial numbers in such a way that it stops independent
repairs from fixing them using generic parts. And when you
bring this stuff up, it can just seem like, well,
Apple is like a company like any other, and they
all do some stuff that's fucked up. It's important to
note I think when you cover him, the way we

(40:31):
have all of this is ste This is very consistent
with how he's always thought about these products. You shouldn't
be in there, you shouldn't be meddling with them. You'll
buy what we give you, and you'll buy a new
one when it gets.

Speaker 3 (40:42):
You'll be thankful for the chance.

Speaker 2 (40:43):
Yeah, and you'll be thankful for the chance. That's a
twenty something year plan for this man. This is not
just something that evolved at a cost cutting because it
made sense. This is part of his overall vision for
how much computing should work right. And I don't think overall,
all the whole body of allegations and lawsuits and like,
is this really planned obs lescens or is it something

(41:05):
less severe? I don't think all that's meaningful. So as
you will understand basically what's happening here, what is worth
laboring over are the consequences towards Apple's policy. The fact
that these machines are largely disposable and that they are
kind of pushing you to upgrade regularly means you need
a fuckload more of them being made, And the means
that you need to be able to make a lot

(41:26):
of them in a very quick span of time, and
the only way to do that is by really hurting
certain people. In twenty ten, fourteen workers for Apple's biggest supplier,
Fox Con committed suicide at work. Several more employees attempted
suicide by throwing themselves off of massive high rise dorm towers.
These are places where they live that are factory towns

(41:47):
built into the factory right. Another twenty workers had to
be talked down from committing suicide by management. Now, the
fact that all of this happens within the span of
a year creates a sensation in the news and subsequent
reporting detailed how fox Con policy was to publicly humiliate
workers for poor performance and forced hours of unplayed overtime.

(42:07):
I want to read a quote from a fox Con
worker interviewed by Brian Merchant in twenty sixteen.

Speaker 3 (42:12):
Quote.

Speaker 2 (42:13):
Zoo and his friend were both walk on recruits, though
not necessarily willing ones. They call fox Conn a foxtrap,
he says, because it tricks a lot of people. He
says fox Conn promised them free housing, but then force
them to pay exorbitantly high bills for electricity and water.
The current dorms sleep eight to a room, and he
says they used to be twelve to a room, but
fox Con would shirk social insurance and be late or
fail to pay bonuses. And many workers sign contracts that

(42:36):
subtract a hefty penalty from their pay if they quit
before a three month introductory period. So this is like
a vile situation. It's the only way to get as
many people as you need to have for this right
without paying too much for the devices themselves that people
would be willing to pay. Maybe then people ought to
be pay right Apple. You know when there are all

(42:57):
these suicides in twenty ten, it causes a ton of
bed priss for hours, and Apple puts a lot of
pr behind. They set out a list of standards for
the humane treatment of their factory workers, and anyone who
wants to make products for Apple has to abide by
these rules, right, and even move some of their production work.
Now they just shift it to other factories mostly not
all that far away. Are they better? Maybe a little bit?

Speaker 3 (43:17):
Who's gonna know? The Chinese media, well.

Speaker 2 (43:20):
Exactly, And so the international media does start to investigate
this stuff, right. That's where Brian Merchants twenty sixteen, History
of the Ifi one Device comes in. Yeah, and it's
a really interesting book, really good book. That's why we're
going to quote from it here. But Brian describes how
Jobs personally responded to the news hoopla over this rash
of suicides and all of the human shrapnel from his

(43:42):
dream quote. Steve Jobs, for his part, declared, we're all
over that. When asked about the spate of deaths and
pointed out that the rate of suicides at fox Conn
was within the national average. He actually he like compares
the factory to an American town and like, is ev
one of our towns will probably have this suicide, right,
and it's like one thing, man, we've got.

Speaker 3 (44:02):
Guns people off themselves all the time.

Speaker 2 (44:04):
People are fleeing themselves off buildings.

Speaker 3 (44:07):
Like yeah, oh my god.

Speaker 2 (44:10):
It's also it's worth noting he's saying, well, if you
compare it to the national average, Well, if you compare
it to like the average of an entire country with
people of all age ranges living and working and having
relationships in their regular lives, maybe it does. But this
is a building full of extremely young gig workers who
are mostly there planning to do a job for six months.

(44:31):
I don't think they're suicide rate is naturally as high
as you've made it.

Speaker 3 (44:36):
I just also, would you trust those numbers?

Speaker 2 (44:38):
No, of course not. That's the other thing, Like.

Speaker 3 (44:43):
No, Layah has lied, Like yeah, and even then, is
it He's basically saying, you can have a little bit
of suicide if you'd like, yeah, it's okay, just people
kill themselves.

Speaker 2 (44:54):
Some people are going to kill themselves at our murder factories. Yeah, yes,
it's I mean, it's it's one of those things like
Fox High has to put out anti suicide nets and
like invest in like massive surveillance to try to like
catch people before they do this. Which like, maybe you
would have gotten a better response from just making work
less miserable. Maybe that was the problem. But no, the

(45:16):
nets sound good, then nets sound good.

Speaker 3 (45:18):
Need more phone? Phone good?

Speaker 2 (45:20):
Now you Americans need more phone and we desperately want
your money. Yes, yeah, it's all good, it's great. I
love that this is behind every line outside of an
Apple store. But also when I start taking out my
own ass about that this is behind whatever phone I
have right now, right like one way or the other.
Maybe do less of an extent with some companies, but
not much. Yeah, I think the problem here there's always

(45:46):
going to be some level of like fuck upedness somewhere
in the line of a product, even one that you need,
and we do need smartphones. They could have been from
the beginning easier to repair and modify in a way
that reduced this cost, and that didn't happen to an
extent because Jobs didn't want it to happen, because even
before the smartphone was a glimmer in anybody's eye, he

(46:07):
wants devices you can't fiddle with. Right, We've talked a
lot about suicides at Fox confactories, and I think that's important.
I'm sure most of you were aware that this was happening.
I want to drill a little bit into how the
work directly is involved with that, and some of it
has to do with policies at FOXCN that encouraged the
humiliation of workers who make mistakes. One employee interviewed by

(46:28):
Merchant explained, when the boss comes down to expect the work,
if they find any problems, they won't scold you. Then
they will scold you in front of everyone in a
meeting later. It's insulting and humiliating to people all the time.
Punish someone to make an example for everyone else. It's systematic,
and Brian continues. Zoo says there was another suicide a
few months ago. He saw it himself. The man was
a student who worked on the iPhone assembly line, somebody

(46:51):
I knew, somebody I saw around the cafeteria. After being
publicly scolded by a manager, he got into a quarrel.
Company officials called the police. So the worker hadn't been violent,
just a He took it very personally, Zoo says, and
he couldn't get through it. Three days later, he jumped
out of a ninth story window and jobs. I don't
believe he instituted this policy. I'm certain he wasn't specifically

(47:14):
aware of it, right, This is much lower on a level,
and I think he would have paid attention to it.
Is interesting though, that this is exactly how he would
run a factory. Yes, because this is a factory, right
he did racing work as is kind of his m Yeah, yeah,
this is completely I don't think he had any other
than like, in making this business exist and in pushing

(47:35):
for a company that would need to be this way
to meet his quotas. I don't think he had a
direct role in this, but it is consistent with how
he treated people. That Brian Merchant book is pretty fucking devastating.
There's a bit in it after this where he's like,
he's trying to answer the question of like, why didn't
you know I heard about some of these suicides? Why
didn't I hear about this suicide? To like that you
just like reported to me. Zue and his friend look

(47:57):
at each other and shrug. Here's someone dies. One day later,
the whole thing doesn't exist. His friend says, you forget
about it. Jesus Christ, damn if that doesn't sum up
the twenty first century in a nutshell right there, Like
oh god, yeah, you care the first time, then it
keeps happening and you just kind of get used to it.
You know. That is how all these people have like
hacked our brains as they realize that, like, if you

(48:20):
just pushed through with the evil and keep doing more evil,
eventually we get tired and go home.

Speaker 3 (48:25):
Elon Musk is a reprehensible human, don't get me wrong.
But Steve Jobs was behind some truly awful human rights things.

Speaker 2 (48:33):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, And people are rightly angry at like
some conditions from Tesla factories they ought to be. Yeah,
and this is the same kind of thing. It's on
a grander scale because he's been much more successful.

Speaker 3 (48:43):
Guy's killed themselves so often that you're kind of like, oh,
I'm sorry, which suicide are you referring to?

Speaker 2 (48:49):
Yeah, exactly. Jobs of course saw nothing to be concerned
with in the situation. He tells one reporter after a
rash of suicides. Foxcott is not a sweatshop. It's a factory.
But my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theaters. He's like, look,
it's it's nice, so it can't it's not even a swash.

Speaker 3 (49:06):
Its conditioning.

Speaker 2 (49:09):
Idiot, And one of the things I love about Brian
Merchant is he like basically breaks into a fox Con
factory while it's like in operation to look at it,
like just just to like walk around and get a feel.

Speaker 3 (49:19):
For Honestly, he Brian Merchant, he's pretty cool.

Speaker 2 (49:24):
Against him, yeah, at least based on God. Every time
I say I've had nothing against someone, someone's like, actually,
did you know that a dog in nineteen eighty nine?
I don't know. Man, don't tell me if he did
a bad of capitalism. There's there's there's too many bad
people out there for me to get all that, all
that burnt out of shape about every one of them.
I'm just going to pretend everything's fine forever now. That

(49:47):
same year, one hundred and fifty were employees at fox
Conn got together on the roof of a factory and
threatened to commit mass suicide. This was a month or
two after Tim Cook had visited Lungwa to meet with
suicide prevention experts about conditions and Apple factories. But workers
argued that no changes had really been made and they
saw threatening mass suicide. It's the only leverage they had

(50:09):
to force Apple to act. And these guys are to
be fair They're like, we don't blame Apple, we blame
Fox con but we know that making a big public
stick is the only way to make anything happen. The
more damning case to make against Jobs in particular and
Apple in general, because it's made in his image, is
that his vision of mass consumer pocket computing necessitated factories

(50:29):
like this in a way that even other handheld device
manufacturers did not. Some of this was due to Apple's
quality control standards, which were high, but others have to
do with the fact that he was obsessed with secrecy.

Speaker 3 (50:41):
Right.

Speaker 2 (50:41):
Part of why these factories can't just be normal factories.
They need to be closed loops, right, is that he
is obsessed with nothing getting out about what's coming in
the future, what the next Apple product is going to be.
Jobs's whole vision was that the first time anyone knows
what we're really making, I am a bouncing it on
stage and it's ready to go. There's no drip drip

(51:03):
of information. You get it all at once, and then
the fucker's on sale and you go stand out in
front of a store to buy it.

Speaker 4 (51:08):
Right.

Speaker 2 (51:09):
This strategy, this is a legitimate strategy. It works for Apple,
but it necessitates kind of being crazy people about keeping
what you're working on under wraps. And I found this
right up from a former employee describing his experiences in
Apple in the United States.

Speaker 1 (51:26):
Right.

Speaker 2 (51:26):
Having been at Apple and also at a large defense
contractor where I would routinely walk by areas that said
top secret clearance required, I can say that Apple simply
put more effort into making secrecy part of the culture.
A few things I noticed at Apple code names for
every product. No one referred to products any other way.
Team members who are also on special teams don't tell
their coworkers what they do. Black windows and frosted curtains,

(51:49):
trash bins were monitored, and you get stuff like that.
Apparently if you were on the iPhone at certain points,
you're basically working in like a black box in an
air gapped room, Like this is CIA shit, right.

Speaker 3 (52:01):
And I don't resent them for that.

Speaker 2 (52:03):
What?

Speaker 3 (52:03):
No, what's that for? Are you going to get to
the Jason Chen iPhone force situation?

Speaker 2 (52:08):
Oh God?

Speaker 3 (52:09):
Was that the guy who who found he got an iPhone?
That's for that? Someone left in a bar and Steve
Jobs had the police fucking raid his house and he
called him. He's like, get me the phone, get a phone.

Speaker 2 (52:21):
This was like a huge article in early tech journalism.
I remember how jealous we all were. And then yeah,
Chin gets fucking raided by the police basically ruined his life.
Yeah oh really, I wasn't actually aware of this. I
should have dug any anymore.

Speaker 3 (52:33):
They just they tore through him in his life. There
was like legal consequences, but thankfully Gizmono got cleared of
But it was just they treated it like he'd stolen
Steve Jobs's kid, which we all know he would have
treated with less seriousness than this in the iPhone.

Speaker 2 (52:48):
Great guy. And it's obviously if you are being paid
what these Apple engineers are being paid, and you know
the job is crazy secrecy and compartmentalization, that's your choice,
you know, being abused, right, you can set that standard
at your company, and I don't think that is unethical,
but it does. The fact, the way that this translates to,

(53:09):
I want our shit to be made in places where
the employees we can lock them down and have control
over them. That is part of why again Fox kind
would have been doing some messed up shit without Apple.
But like Apple's need for secrecy has a big impact
on how they treat their people right, and it's key
to Jobs as visions. So he is an integral part

(53:30):
of this really ugly system at its foundation. Now, to
understand why Jobs was so obsessed with secrecy, you have
to understand that Jobs put a lot of effort into
making Apple seem fundamentally different from the rest of consumer tech.
Every one of their competitive We've done coverage of the
of the of cees, the Consumer Electronics show you know
here at cool Zone. I used to go to Mobile

(53:52):
World Congress and Barbolona. Apple never went to that.

Speaker 4 (53:56):
Shit.

Speaker 2 (53:56):
These are where like every Lenovo, you know, fucking Microsoft.
They yeah, oh wait, no, you're right, len I've always
done well. They did private meetings this year.

Speaker 3 (54:06):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (54:06):
But most big tech companies, at least especially during this
period of time, would do their releases around one of
these conferences. Apple never did, and they would they did
their own shows they had like Macworld and shit. And
that element of surprise is such a central part of
how Apple operated under Jobs and still does today that
it has a name Surprise and Delight. In one internal

(54:29):
twenty fifteen presentation, someone at Apple wrote, our surprise and
delight business model requires a huge volume of labor for
only a short period of time as we ramp products.
In other words, because the goal is to surprise the
consumers to send them scrambling to line up outside of
Apple stores. To create the kind of unhinged buds that
help them sell their products, they needed a highly restricted
workforce that was available for limited periods of time. In China,

(54:53):
this necessitated the huge hiring of numbers of workers of
what are called dispatch labor. Right these are productction pinch hitters.
These are guys who are shipped out to factories on
short notice in order to deal with surges in demand.
And because they're basically folks you're pulling in off the
street or whatever to like help you meet a deadline,
they don't benefit from pay and worker protections like regular employees.

(55:16):
This becomes such a problem in China because of Apple's
need to hit these targets that in twenty fourteen, China
enacts a new law to crack down on the process,
which was seen as part of why these jobs are
so miserable. You don't have nearly the kind of protections
you're being lied to off and you're generally being stolen
from And it's known that You're only going to be
there a couple of months, right, so they can fuck
you over. So in twenty fourteen, China mandates that only

(55:39):
ten percent of a factory's workforce can be temps, and
an internal memo Apple notes that this is basically death
for them. Our surprise and a Light business model requires
a huge volume of labor for only a short period
of time. We are making it difficult for our suppliers
to comply with this law, as ten percent dispatch is
simply not enough to cope with the spikes in labor
demand we are putting during our ramps. So all of

(56:01):
this what I've just quoted is after jobs passed. But
this is all starting under him, at his direct at
his direction, and it's all being continued by his protege,
Tim Cook. Apple commissions a two year study with Pegatron
around this point, one of their manufacturers, and it shows
that regular employees have better working conditions and are like
you know, less likely to be suicidally miserable, and that

(56:24):
if Apple keeps releasing products by this Surprise and Delight model,
they're not going to be able to meet China's legal
requirements and they're going to have to imserate more workers.
An article by Wayne maw for The Information sums up
what happens next. Apple weighed the pros and cons of
pushing suppliers to comply with the law. If Apple forced
suppliers to cut dispatch labor, it would eliminate regulatory risk,

(56:46):
but drain resources, create costs, and delay product launches. On
the other hand, Apple could continue to do nothing as
long as local authorities didn't enforce the law. Apple executives
decided to push facilities to reduce their use of dispatch
labor only if it came a problem with local authorities.
So they're just like, we just break the law and
see if it's going to be a problem, and it wasn't. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

(57:12):
I mean again, at a certain point, you can't blame
a shark if you throw a bunch of chum in
the water, right, Yeah, I mean you can because these
are people.

Speaker 3 (57:24):
In human rights abuses. Though you've got to give him that.

Speaker 2 (57:27):
He helped a lot of people innovate human rights abuses
in some ways that are beautiful. And you know who
else is innovative, maybe in the same way, maybe not.
I don't know who's going to be the advertiser that
comes on after this, We're back. Here's to the crazy ones.

(57:49):
I want to see that recut to be about like
raytheon Lockheed Martin show, like a fucking barrel bomb hitting.

Speaker 3 (57:55):
Yeah, yeah, that rock that's not actually a rocket, it's
got knives in it.

Speaker 2 (58:02):
Hey, the knife missile, Yeah, redo the old apple, think
different ad But for the knife missile, just.

Speaker 3 (58:09):
As it's about to blow up, the knives come out.

Speaker 2 (58:11):
Ohoh, I mean that is thinking differently. It's the first
defense product that was like, what if we didn't kill
everyone's kids all the time, but what if.

Speaker 3 (58:19):
The people we killed we really fucking killed.

Speaker 2 (58:22):
Yeah. I want to see like some fucking weapons cellared
in like a Steve Job's turtleneck being like just one
more fixtures of like buses blowing up the several knives.
What if we could kill fewer kids.

Speaker 3 (58:35):
But instead of exploding, there were seven knives. Oh, everyone's clapping.

Speaker 2 (58:40):
Yeah. The other day I was stabbing a man to
death out in front of my house and I felt,
what if we did this for politics? Internationally?

Speaker 3 (58:48):
I had a man stabbed the other day and it
really made me think about the way we do business.

Speaker 2 (58:54):
The Greeks knew that the knife was the most efficient
shape in nature, and so I put seven of them on
the end of this rocket.

Speaker 3 (59:01):
But that's exactly like it is.

Speaker 2 (59:07):
Oh boy, So yeah, I hope I've made the case
about Steve Jobs. It's like the actual long term, significant
human consequences that he has. He's not the whole part
of this, but he is Steve Jobs. He is a
foundational person and like how consumer tech looks. So when
we look at things that are now broad evils across
all of consumer tech, it's important to note he has

(59:27):
a big role in why those evils exist the way
that they do. I'm not going to say that consumer
tech would have ever been like a moral paragon, but
that doesn't get him off the hook for his role
in this right right, and I don't I don't know.
Maybe you want to say it's inevitable anyone else would
have made similar decisions. I don't know that not out
of the don't know if they.

Speaker 3 (59:48):
Would have.

Speaker 2 (59:48):
Yeah, yeah, he was kind of. He had to fight
a long time to get anyone to embraces the customers
shouldn't be able to make any changes at all, and
it should be a close ed loop idea that was
the thing he got attacked for for a while before
being right, And yeah, maybe if he hadn't fought for it,
there's some ugliness we could have avoided. We'll never know,

(01:00:09):
But that doesn't remove his culpability here, right, So that's
the long term evil stuff. Obviously, people are going to
note that we're leaving out some of his brilliant business decisions.
The establishment of Apple stores, right, which was a hugely
influential move. A lot of people argued that it wouldn't work.
It did, the launch of the iPad, the app store.

(01:00:30):
But this is not a podcast where we list the
achievements of billionaires at length, right. What's worth saying is
that the period where Jobs helmed Apple after he came
back was historically a good run, not just for Apple
but for any company of any kind. And it was
such a titanic success that when his cancer diagnosis came out,
a New York Times reporter fretted that Apple was jobs

(01:00:52):
and Jobs was Apple. Basically, this could tank a big
chunk of the tech industry, right, And it didn't. By
the way, Apple, they've made some bad calls, but have
a lot of money at hand. They're doing all right.
You don't need to worry for them, And maybe the
fact that they have been so relatively successful in the
period after his death is probably, at least when it

(01:01:13):
comes to evaluating him as a businessman, something you should
keep in mind. I think it's probably fair to say
he was the most successful tech CEO of his generation.
Maybe absolutely, Yeah, Like, it's kind of hard to argue
with that, right.

Speaker 3 (01:01:25):
And he also managed to turn journalists into just drooling idiots.
He had a not a high effect on journalists. I
just want to read you something from o'malik that was
published the day after the day that Steve Jobs died.
I was going to read you a section because this
whole thing fucking sucks. Mac iPod and iPhone they are

(01:01:48):
like Silicon Valleys, Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker and eating life changing.
And perhaps that is why I didn't want to meet him,
interview him, or even talk to him. I had the
opportunity on numerous occasions when I was attending Apples events,
but I decided not to. To me, just the idea
of Steve was powerful enough. The idea of Steve led
me to follow my heart, make tough choices, be brutally honest,

(01:02:10):
with myself and sometimes annoying people I love and always
remember that in the end, it's all about making your
customers happy. There are simple ways to get along with everyone.
There are easier ways to get things done. There are compromises.
But to me, Steve Jobs meant try harder, damn it.
Your customers, brackets, readers, expect better than that. Steve Jobs

(01:02:31):
taught me to care about the little things because in
the end, little things matter. Steve Jobs was my muse.
Trust me, he is the secrets to many of us
in the valley, Mark Zuckerbug, Jeff Bezos, Dave Morin, Jack Dawsey.
We're all part of the tribe called Jobs. There's a
whole generation of entrepreneurs who ask themselves this one question,

(01:02:52):
what will Steve do? Natch? What would have Steve done?
This is meant to be someone who was a critic
of the tech industry.

Speaker 2 (01:03:00):
Yeah, he is right that that is how all of
these founder guys see it. But saying you feel that
way too, and pretending to be a journalist is so embarrassing.

Speaker 3 (01:03:12):
Also so funny to be like, I won't talk to
him because I'm too scared.

Speaker 2 (01:03:16):
Yeah, yeah, that's just anti actual journalism. Whoom, don't speak
truth to power, because then truth might not think you
might think you're dumb and you have a picture of
truth up above your bed and you really want to
I mean, I feel that way. I have someone who
is my muse that I feel that way about, and
it's Werner Herzog. But when I say that purely because

(01:03:37):
I want to cut someone's leg off with a chainsaw,
that's the only part of his legacy I want for myself,
I would also like to remove someone's leg with a chainsaw.
So if you need a leg removed out there, listeners,
hit me up.

Speaker 3 (01:03:50):
I got some inspiration.

Speaker 2 (01:03:52):
Yeah, every day I think is now the time to
cut somebody's leg off with a chainsaw? And so far
it hasn't been. But maybe that's what'll take us to
the next level, Sophie. Sophie approves. Okay, I'm gonna I'm
gonna start making.

Speaker 1 (01:04:07):
Some interesting My head off, Mike.

Speaker 2 (01:04:11):
So, Sophie, I'm gonna I'm gonna expense one of those
battery powered ones. I've got a big Huskvarner right now
and it's it's it's pain in the ass. Yeah, Yeah,
we'll get something real convenient for taking off a leg.

Speaker 3 (01:04:24):
Imagine taking off a leg, but with a portable mechanism.
The lelsy to enjoy the leg separation process.

Speaker 2 (01:04:32):
So, speaking of medical procedures that are ill advised, in
two thousand and three, doctors found a shadow on Steve
Jobs's pancreas during a CT scan. This turned out to
be pancreatic cancer. And I would never make fun of
somebody for pancreatic cancer. That's how my mom died. It's
it's one of the worst ways I can imaginifying. It

(01:04:53):
fucking sucks ass, right, and for most people who get
that diagnosis, it is a guarantee of death. I had friends,
two doctors, and I called both of them right after
my mom's diagnosis, and both of them, and I'm glad
that they did, said the same thing, which is, like,
for whatever reason, we've just never gotten a good handle
on this shit. There's not really any hope. And that's

(01:05:13):
how I went into it, right, And that's how most
people have to go into having pancreatic cancer. For one thing,
By the time it gets discovered, you're usually in like
stage four, right, like it's terminal. Jobs gets really lucky,
he gets crazy lucky. He has pancreatic cancer, but it's
a form of pancreatic cancer that only five percent of
pancreatic cancer sufferers have that's actually really easy to treat.

(01:05:35):
Like he gets the fucking golden ticket pancreatic yankey, he
gets really lucky, the kind that's totally totally survivable if
you just do what your doctors say right away. Right,
you do want to get in there quick. But it
was found early, so it's they're almost a very good chance.
Given the kind of doctors he could afford, that he
would have made a full recovery. But this is Steve Jobs,

(01:05:58):
and Steve Jobs did not trust his doctors, So for
nine months he delays taking any kind of real treatment
and tries a quack diet to fight his cancer instead.
He later tells Isaacson, I didn't want my body to
be opened. I didn't want to be violated in that way.
And like Bro, I get it's said that I've heard

(01:06:20):
it said at least that like a lot of oncologists
will often turn down chemo because if it's like a
rough cancer or whatever, even if your chance is like
you know, okay, it might not, you might not consider
it worth it. I don't know. I'm no one to
tell people what they should or shouldn't do there, but like,
that's not what we This is like one of those
things where his doctors are like, look, man, you can

(01:06:42):
survive this thing. Nobody survives. If we act right now.

Speaker 3 (01:06:45):
You will be fine.

Speaker 2 (01:06:46):
Now I'm fit comfortable with letting somebody cut into me,
and he spends he tries to like eat fruit and
cure his fucking cancer for nine months. Isaacson puts this
down to a fatal case of Jobs's reality distortion feeling, right,
he uses this ability to talk other people into fantasies
on himself and it works, and it kind of is

(01:07:07):
what kills him, and that may in fact be what happened. Right,
I think it's possible that that actually gives Jobs a
little bit too much credit, that that is still viewing
him as this almost super powerful figure, because what we'd
say for anyone else is he read this fucking quack
book by a fucking liar when he was a young man,

(01:07:28):
and he never got over it, and he was never
he was never able to like objectively look at reality
and recognize that like nothing else he'd try to do
as a result of this diet had worked. He got
caught up in a fucking a little bit of like
a cultic belief system, and he couldn't shake himself from it,
and that's what killed him. We would say that about
anyone else who refused a very treatable cancer that they

(01:07:51):
could easily afford to treat because they believed that some
shit about eating fruit would cure it. For jobs. Were like,
he used his reality distortion field on himself. Helf this time.

Speaker 3 (01:08:00):
I don't know, he was just a dip shit.

Speaker 2 (01:08:03):
Well, he was a you know what, I'll even sell
This happens to perfectly decent people in a bunch of ways.
He fell for a con, That's what it is. He
fell for a con. Yes, it happens. And by the
time he decides to submit to surgery, the cancer had
spread to his liver. And I was just saying, I'm
not going to say falling for a con is a
bad thing to do. What he does next is kind

(01:08:24):
of evil. So he has liver cancer. His cancer has spread,
his pancreatic cancer is no longer easily treatable, and the
first thing he finds that's like going to kill him
is that his liver is failing on him. Now, liver
transplants are rare. People who need them usually have to
wait a year or more, and only about a third
of the people who get put on the liver transplant

(01:08:45):
list actually receive a liver. Right. It's a tough thing
needing to get a liver. There's not enough in fucking circulation,
and so if you get a liver, someone else is
not getting one. Now, obviously, I don't think that's math.
Anyone who needs a transplant should generally be concerned with. Right,
everyone's life is valuable, give it a go. There's no

(01:09:05):
way to make But Jobs number one is not normally
a guy who would have gotten the transplant in this situation.
He still has cancer spreading through his body. He has
a low chance of surviving.

Speaker 3 (01:09:15):
Right.

Speaker 2 (01:09:16):
This is a case where I think responsible you'd be like, look,
there are some people who could easily survive with this liver.
You have let your cancer get so bad that there's
really nothing we can do for you. But Jobs is
rich and able to game the system. And the gist
of what he does is that there are one hundred
and twenty seven centers in the US that do liver transplants. Right,
and each has its own waiting list, and so the

(01:09:37):
waiting list where he was was super long. It was
in most places. But he was able to pay someone
to find a center in Tennessee where there wasn't much
of a waiting list, and he gets his transplant in
three months. This is not illegal, though the rules I
think some rules have changed as a result of what
Jobs did, but it is unethical. For one thing, again,
he would not have needed the liver if his doctor,

(01:09:57):
if he had taken the treatment. His doctor and his wife,
in his sister and whatnot are all telling him from
the beginning get treated. Because he doesn't listen to them
he needs a liver, he winds up destroying his liver,
and then he takes a liver that might have saved
someone else's life and he dies anyway because his cancer
had already gotten too advanced. And that is kind of

(01:10:17):
killing another person. That's at least like negligent homicide when
it's directly there, not like getting a transplant. But when
number one, your need for it is directly the result
of your own irresponsibility of like you specifically engineering a
situation that was avoidable. This isn't even like, yeah, you
had like a period of time where you were addicted
and so your liver got fucked up later in life. Like,

(01:10:38):
I don't blame anyone for that. We all have you know,
people get second chances and shit, this is you had
a treatable cancer and you didn't and so now you
need a liver and you stole one kind.

Speaker 3 (01:10:49):
And I think, thinking about it for a second, I
think it isn't that he has a reality distortion field.
I think he just cannot admit that he's not smart
enough than some things. Yeah, he tried to outsmart the
California welfare system. Yeah, he tried to outsmart cancer and
it did not work, and he very nearly did be

(01:11:09):
other than the fact that his body had been wrecked.

Speaker 2 (01:11:12):
Yeah, yeah, by just the sheer the horrors of fighting it. Yeah,
it's rough. One thing I'll say for the Steve Jobs story,
it's very rare in that you have a guy who
is a bastard and not only does he get his comeuppance,
but he gets his comeuppance in a way that is
his fall is directly tied to his hubris. Right, It

(01:11:32):
would not be very funny if like, and then he
just got a cancer that was untreatable and he died horribly. Right,
that's just like, well, a guy who sucked died in
a horrible way. Okay, It's almost like the universe gave
him a chance.

Speaker 5 (01:11:45):
Yeah, like, let's see how smart you are on the
fuck couple yourself a little to save your own life,
and he doesn't, and he has to spend the remainder
of his life knowing he'd fucked up.

Speaker 2 (01:11:56):
People who are around him I have heard in a
number of times were like, yeah, he was like powerfully
regretful of fucking up.

Speaker 3 (01:12:03):
He also looked like he was dying of a horrifying disease. Yeah,
and no amount of money could stop that, No amount
of fame could stop that. The universe very much humbled
and then killed him.

Speaker 2 (01:12:16):
Well, it's no amount of power or wealth or fame
could have stopped that. Listening to his wife could have.

Speaker 3 (01:12:22):
Yes, you know, listening to another person admitting someone else
was right.

Speaker 2 (01:12:26):
And that is kind of we get this almost like fable,
like moral lesson, very dark moral lesson. At the end
of this, like you were given one chance to avert
your horrible fate, and it was listened to the women
in your life, and you couldn't do it, and so
maybe that's a little, a little satisfying right. More importantly,

(01:12:48):
by the end of his life, it is kind of
worth noting he came to accept how awfully he'd treated
Lisa in her childhood. He expresses this to Isaac Sinnet's
a lot. It's the only thing he repeatedly. He seems
to have genuinely gone out of his way to be like,
I was very wrong in what I did here. And
she spends some time with him near the end of
his life, and he's very apologetic. And I want to

(01:13:10):
close this by quoting for you how she describes one
of their final conversations when he is on his deathbed.
I want to say something. You were not to blame,
he started to cry. If only we'd had a manual,
if only I'd been wiser, But you were not to blame.
I want you to know you were not to blame
for any of it. He'd waited to apologize until there
was hardly anything left of him. This was what I'd

(01:13:31):
been waiting to hear. It felt like cool water on
a burn. I'm so sorry, Liz, he cried, and shook
his head side to side. He was sitting up, cradling
his head in his hand, and because he had shrunk
and lost fat, his hands looked disproportionately large, his neck
too thin to hold his skull like one of the
Rodean sculptures on the burghers of Calais. I wish I
could go back. I wish I could change, but it's

(01:13:51):
too late. What can I do now, It's just too late,
he cried, and his body shook, his breath caught on
his sobs, and I wished he'd stop after that, he
said it, And I owe you one.

Speaker 3 (01:14:03):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:14:03):
Sorry.

Speaker 3 (01:14:04):
I'm glad that woman got that closure.

Speaker 2 (01:14:07):
I'm glad she got that closure. And I'm glad he's
he got that moment of knowledge of how bad.

Speaker 3 (01:14:13):
But I also question whether he would have got there
without this much pain.

Speaker 2 (01:14:18):
Oh yeah, I mean I don't know that.

Speaker 3 (01:14:19):
Yeah. Yeah, I think if he had been healthy and
lived to a grand old age, he would have probably
been unapologetic to the fucking end.

Speaker 2 (01:14:29):
Yeah. Maybe.

Speaker 3 (01:14:30):
And if I'm being presumptuous, I'm sorry, this guy's a
piece of shit.

Speaker 2 (01:14:34):
We'll never know, but it is kind of satisfying to
of all of these guys, he got the ending you'd
hope for all of them. Yeah, where they are brought
low in their hubris. The universe forcibly shows them. Your
wealth and your ingenuity have limits, and you cannot confront
or surmount them. Right if they had been shown, if

(01:14:56):
they all would be shown that at the end and
have a chance to really regret the cruel things they've
done in their lives, that's what we all want for them,
is for them to have a blinding moment of awareness
and horror and then go out right. Yes, And Steve
got more of that than most of them do, and
is not on a moral thing on his part. It's

(01:15:18):
not like he spent the last of twenty years of
his life working to undo his horrible crimes or anything.
But there's at least a little bit of a satisfying
arc there, So there you go.

Speaker 3 (01:15:28):
People still believe his suffering was not enough for the
suffering he caused. Oh yeah, but maybe it was. Maybe
that is enough. Maybe that's what these people deserve, because
it wasn't just the pain cause than the suffering cause,
but the fact that he really had to sit and
suffer with its things thing of beauty. And I'm sorry
if that sounds cruel, but I'm a father and the

(01:15:50):
idea of dressing down a child. The juty of a
parent is to raise a child. You have a juty
to them. They don't have one to you. And for
a man with this much power of money to be
this reprehensible to child of any age, let alone a
fucking seven year old, is just disgusting.

Speaker 2 (01:16:05):
Yeah, it's nice that he had that feeling, and you
nailed it there of being powerless, because so much of
what made him him, of the way he treated people
was wanting them to feel powerless. Right dressing down one
employee in a room full of them, right fully fully
luxuriating in the fact that like I am the founder,
I am the I am your boss, and whatever I

(01:16:28):
say to you, I can say to you, I can
treat you like garbage. You are here at my pleasure
and you mean nothing to me.

Speaker 3 (01:16:34):
Right.

Speaker 2 (01:16:34):
That was clearly something that was very important to Steve
to feel and express in his moments of anger. And
then the universe said that to him, like, Oh, you
don't really matter all that much. You're done fucked up.

Speaker 3 (01:16:46):
By is one chance, one chance to admit that you're fallible,
one chance to give some to be vulnerable and let
the world dictate your path. He's like, no, I will,
I will eat my berries or whatever.

Speaker 2 (01:16:58):
It is such a face. It's like a Greek myth, right,
it is. It's such a narratively satisfying downfall that you
really never get those.

Speaker 3 (01:17:09):
And for such a big piece of shit. But you
know what, the thing that really I'm not being in
the tech industry since two thousand and eight and kind
of earlier because I was writing about video games for
this entire time, I thought Steve Jobs was kind of
a bad guy. I had no idea the extent. And
it makes me disgusted that the people who wrote so
fondly of him at the time, because I refuse to

(01:17:30):
believe that these stories that were new, that they just
I'm sure tons of these were going around. But also
even if they didn't know at the time, where's the
fucking outcry? Now? Everyone should be so deeply ashamed of
this man. This man is disgusting. The fact that this
is the architect of modern technology is such a black

(01:17:52):
mark on everyone. Everyone who appreciated him. What Mosburg should
be ashamed of himself? The Wall Street Journal guy who
so often talked about how great Joe's was and used
to get calls fro him, and Steve has given me
a new thing. He's doing a willing and able press
operative for Apple.

Speaker 2 (01:18:12):
Yeah, they all had to buy into this image that
Jobs had of himself, and I guess the benefit is
they all did help to kill him in that right
by like crafting that that feeling of like almost prophetic
infallibility in the man.

Speaker 3 (01:18:28):
It is.

Speaker 2 (01:18:28):
It is like a black mark on the discipline as
a profession, but it did, it did help take him
the rest of the way over that line. I guess. So,
I don't know where to go. Maybe if we all
maybe if we all get really agreed it's been like
three years really really going hard for Elon Musk to

(01:18:48):
just absolutely drive him past the point of sanity. We
can get him to I don't know, to try to
turn his car into an actual spaceship and shoot himself
into the sky.

Speaker 3 (01:19:00):
I mean, if you think about it, Yeah, this kind
of fate might be what a white seal. I'm not
talking about driving anyone's suicide. Don't don't want to punt
his fight in such thing. However, mister Musku is the
kind of guy'd be like, actually, the only correct way
to solve my cancer is to use a computer algorithm
that I will make. Yeah, and the algorithm is just like,
take a bunch of ketamine.

Speaker 2 (01:19:20):
Yeah, yeah. His AI tells him to treat his lymphoma
with ketamine, and Grok is just like, oh boy, why
begin take a bunch of cat We're all really reliant
on Groc to make the right decision there. I mean,
I do hope a downfall like this for all of
these moguls right where they are brought low by their
own their own personal weaknesses. I think the worst thing

(01:19:44):
about a guy like Bill Gates, right, who's got his
own share of bad things, is that Gates would never
be this man. Bill Gates hires the best doctors in
the world and then he listens to what they say, right, Yes,
so he doesn't die, Yeah, yeah, he doesn't any die. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:20:02):
It's just it's great. It really has made me deeply
reflect on that time in the tech industry because but
there were people posting about crying when Steve Jobs died.
Multiple people.

Speaker 2 (01:20:13):
Yeah, I mean I was reporting. I was bummed because,
like Apple was exciting to report about. We'd had a
couple of really exciting years, and I was like, oh,
that's a bummer. You know, this guy who ran a
company that I thought was really interesting to write about
is dead. But I didn't know much about him personally.
You know, I had started to because I had read

(01:20:35):
Infinite Loop by that point, which I think is like
the first really critical piece of big reporting on Jobs.

Speaker 3 (01:20:42):
Yeah, I remember, I was in the gym. I was
living in Brooklyn at the time. I said, oh, fuck,
Steve Jobs died, and none of the guys looked up.

Speaker 4 (01:20:51):
I actually went to the Apple store of the day
that he died because my fucking phone battery stopped working.

Speaker 1 (01:20:57):
Wow, I'm so surprised.

Speaker 4 (01:20:59):
And they had this like giant, like shrine like photo
of him on all the screens, and people at the
Genius Bar were crying.

Speaker 2 (01:21:09):
Ah, Sophie, your phone died at the same time Jobs did.
That means your new phone has his spirit in it.

Speaker 3 (01:21:17):
It's the spirit of jumps inside whatever phone you had
backs while your phone just doesn't listen to you all
the time because you're a woman.

Speaker 2 (01:21:22):
Refuses to work.

Speaker 4 (01:21:24):
There were We're very incompatible to that.

Speaker 3 (01:21:27):
Face ID just doesn't work.

Speaker 1 (01:21:29):
We're incompatible. But yet I can rock a turtleneck.

Speaker 2 (01:21:33):
Mm hmmmm hmm. Speaking of turtlenecks, hopefully fucking Mitch mcconnad
dies next, fingers crossed, everybody all right ed? Where can
folks find?

Speaker 3 (01:21:43):
You can find me at better offline dot com. You
can find a podcast on my newsletter. You find me
on Twitter, It's zitron, zitron dot, Besky dot Social on
Blue Sky, and I'm technically on threads. But who gives
a ship?

Speaker 6 (01:21:55):
Right?

Speaker 2 (01:21:56):
Yeah? Exactly who gives a ship? And who gives a
ship at.

Speaker 3 (01:22:02):
You?

Speaker 4 (01:22:02):
I do?

Speaker 2 (01:22:03):
I love you. I'm the only one who will ever
love you. Please continue listening to podcasts.

Speaker 1 (01:22:12):
Behind the Bastards is a production of cool Zone Media.
For more from cool Zone Media, visit our website Coolzonemedia
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