steve jobs

Steve Jobs: Fox News has become an incredibly destructive force in our society

I remember reading this story where Steve Jobs was apparently friends with Rupert Murdoch, and Jobs tried to tell Murdoch that Fox News had become a destructive force in American society, and this might be Murdoch’s legacy.

It reminds me that when I first became a consultant, I was supposed to help sell a product named UnixWare from a company named Novell. Over time I learned that the product was crappy, and I didn’t want to sell it to anyone. So I learned the lesson, “Beware anyone that is trying to sell you something; if their morals are compromised, who knows what they’ll sell you.”

If you’re to believe Steve Jobs, this makes me wonder why Fox News would want to a destructive force in society. And like social networks, Fox News viewers are the product and their advertisers are the customers. (To be continued...)

All adopted: Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Ellison

Fact of the day: Billionaires Larry Ellison of Oracle, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon were all adopted.

Jobs met his biological mother and sister in his thirties. He would later meet his biological father once in passing at a restaurant, and they even shook hands, but they didn’t know they were father and son.

Bezos grew up with his biological mother. He says he doesn’t remember his father, who he last saw when he was three years old.

Ellison would meet his biological mother at age 48. (That’s all I know about him.)

Steve Jobs: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon”

In terms of being a nice person, Steve Jobs may have been the worst Buddhist in the history of the world, but he captures the Zen/Buddhist essence in this quote:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Photo from forbes.com, words from Steve Jobs.

Pulled a Steve Jobs and canceled my own project

I’ve been working on a Kotlin book on and off for the past few months, and this morning I pulled a Steve Jobs on myself and canceled the project, even though it’s about 75% complete (by chapter count).

The problem with the book is that at this point it doesn’t contain anything unique, although arguably my way of explaining things might be better than other approaches. Unlike the Scala Cookbook, which provides solutions to common Scala problems, and Functional Programming, Simplified, which provides a unique approach to explaining functional programming in Scala, I don’t feel like there’s anything new here.

So, in short, without getting into the details of what’s next, the “vision guy” part of me decided that there are better things to do with my time. (And if you’ve ever been on a project that was canceled and you thought it was hard to take, imagine canceling your own project.)

He who lives to see two or three generations ...

“He who lives to see two or three generations is like a man who sits some time in the conjurer’s booth at a fair, and witnesses the performance twice or thrice in succession. The tricks were meant to be seen only once, and when they are no longer a novelty and cease to deceive, their effect is gone.”

~ A quote from Arthur Schopenhauer,
read by Steve Jobs,
as found in the book, How Google Works

Walter Isaacson sees a common thread between Franklin, Einstein, Jobs, and da Vinci

Heleo.com has a nice interview with Walter Isaacson, who has written terrific autobiographies about Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs. He also wrote The Innovators, a terrific retrospective of the invention and use of computers, and recently released a biography of Leonardo da Vinci.

In the article he says that a common thread of all of these great people is curiosity across disciplines.

On deleting a chapter from the Scala Cookbook

In an effort to “Get rid of the crap,” I asked my editor if we could delete an entire chapter from the Scala Cookbook, and she said yes. I didn’t know if they’d allow that since the advance they paid me is based on a proposal of X chapters, but they’re all-in on just trying to create a good book, which is nice.