When Bullshit Walks

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

When bullshit walks, dear worstReader… Money talks.

Finally finished it. Was it torture? Well… Started reading it but then put it down and realised two weeks later that I’d better get back on it or I’ll forget it completely. With that in mind, this book, this biography, can be summed up in one worst-word: Bullshit. Indeed. Where would corporate American’t be without bullshit? Parts of this book were OK but I expected more about technology, more about Jobs and especially more about what killed this guy. I do not believe for a second Steve Jobs just got cancer. Something made him sick, something that he did in his life caused his sickness, and since he’s part of the American’t system of corporate dysfunction, since he pranced around as though he was a god–as opposed to being just another witty, in the right place at the right time, lucky tech guy–worst-writer thinks some questions should be answered. At least give us some input about the substances he abused. And. Please. Leave the bullshit where he admits to dropping acid in the footnotes. But I reckon none of that matters anymore. He’s gone. And Steve Jobs is nothing more than another CEO that represents our lust for fail-upwards success… and drugs.

Apple and Jobs most certainly changed something. Whether or not they changed the world–as Jobs so ungraciously and publicly pondered out-loud–is at best questionable. His only real achievement, in worst-writer’s humble opine-yon, is the perfect mix of bullshit marketing and design over function that so many naive consumers lap-up. But I will give him credit where it is due. When given the choice, which usually ONLY equates with if I can afford them or not, I buy Macs. And each time I do buy one of his products, I cringe and swallow the lump in my throat and keep telling myself: it doesn’t matter, Tommi, this is a cabal industry anyways, all these devises are still nothing but glorified typewriters, copies of something else, shinier than aPCjr.

It took me over fifteen years after the introduction of the Macintosh to be able to afford one of Jobs’ overpriced devices. By that time I considered myself to be a few steps above novice regarding computing–not thanks to Apple. So I will never forgive Jobs for how much he wanted to maintain the Mac as 1) a closed, monopolistic product and 2) price gouging. In other words, Steve Jobs, from the get-go, did not want you messing with anything he built. He hated the fact that PC users could modify the machines they bought. He even had the gaul to put special screws in the case of the original Mac so that those who bought and owned it couldn’t open it to modify it to their needs. Of course, there were ways to get around his tyranny. But the fact that he thought he could do such a thing is turn-off enough. Jobs’ attitude also provided him the ability to artificially maximise the price of computers and thereby avoid any kind of “market” valuation. He was to his core a monopolist. Nomatter. When Jobs was ousted from Apple I laughed and thought he deserved it. Quickly thereafter Mac Clones entered the market and I was able to buy my first brand new Mac from a company calledPower Computing. I used that device for the better part of eight years. After that Apple returned to its monopoly ways and once again I couldn’t afford an original branded Mac for years. So I switched back to Windows. Which was perfectly fine. As of 2010 I’m back to Mac but I still only buy them if I catch a good sale or there’s extra inventory, which means I never own their newest products. And btw, I do not buy Macs because of the bullshit marketing and bullshit design. I buy them because of 1) developers and 2) because Apple computers are only a tad better than an industry that is horrible. Seriously. We’ve had the PC industry for how many years now? And the only new thing they can come up with are “tablets”. Please!

Speaking of which… Steve Jobs’ obsession with controlling and gouging customers finally came true and that truth is his legacy. The iPad is everything Steve Jobs wanted the original Macintosh to be. It’s totally closed and dependent on Apple. In order to open it and modify it, you’d have to break it and then you could never really put it back to together again. It has no input interface and no way to increase memory. It’s practically made out of glass, which means if you don’t watch exactly what you’re doing with it, you’ll break it and Apple doesn’t warranty glass. In order to get software for it you have to go through Apple, and since Apple charges developers to develop, it makes money when you buy software and even if you don’t buy software. And don’t get me started on the bullshit of having to use iTunes together with this krapp. While we’re on Apple’s great achievement of perfecting corporate greed… I laughed once again at Jobs during the recent trial where Apple was found guilty of e-book price fixing. Steve Jobs’ name was mentioned numerous times during the trial. Yeah, obsessed with control, obsessed with authority, Steve Jobs legacy as a California hippy that made it big is bullshit. He’s no different than any other selfish, arrogant, psychotic, greed-mongering CEO that ever was. And remember. Nothing is made in America anymore and the company that best represents that is Apple. All that’s left is to stamp “Designed in California” on whatever and leave out the part about slave labor in China to build it. Yeah, baby. Long live the bullshit.

Rant on.

-tgs-