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I just got a hold of the transcript from tonight's two-part "60 Minutes" interview with Walter Isaacson, which (via recordings) is as much an interview with Steve Jobs as it is of the author.

Here's a beautiful section in which Isaacson talks about Steve Jobs' thoughts on the afterlife. Even on this spiritual topic, Jobs can't help but think about product design:


HE SURVIVED NEARLY EIGHT YEARS WITH HIS CANCER. AND IN THE FINAL MEETING WITH ISAACSON IN MID-AUGUST, STILL HELD OUT HOPE THAT THERE MIGHT BE ONE NEW DRUG THAT COULD SAVE HIM.

WALTER ISAACSON He asked me at one point. He said, "There are going to be things in this book I don't like, right." And I kind of smiled and said, "Yep." (LAUGHS) "You know, there'll be probably things you don't like. He said, "That's fine, that's fine. I won't read it when it comes out. I'll read it six months or a year from now."

STEVE KROFT: Did you have any discussions within that day or at any other time about an afterlife?

WALTER ISAACSON: I remember sitting in his backyard in his garden one day and he started talking about God. He said, "Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don't. I think it's 50-50 maybe. But ever since I've had cancer, I've been thinking about it more. And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of-- maybe it's 'cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn't just all disappear. The wisdom you've accumulated. Somehow it lives on. The he paused for a second and he said ‘yeah, but sometimes I think it's just like an on-off switch. Click and you're gone.’ He said—and paused again, and he said, "And that's why I don't like putting on-off switches on Apple devices."
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26 comments
 
Wow.. he truly devoted the entire life on one single thing. Not sure if it is inspiring or putting me off.
 
I like it. It shows reality. What people are really thinking. So many people in his position can't afford to show cracks or soft spots. It's nice to know that he's like the rest of us in some ways ;)
 
I pray he believed in the Lord. It would be terrible for him to create all of that great technology and change the world, and give away his soul
 
Pharmaceutical companies would probably make more money with the medicine that is out on the market right now, rather than release a drug that would cure cancer.
 
We could still pull the plug. This interview will add to our understanding of the "unbalanced" life. Steve Jobs is tech and design. That's why he was so rare.
 
Well ok, if you live and breathe a subject, of course you're going to relate a lot of other things back to that subject. That's what we humans do -- we draw connections between things that may not seem very similar.
 
At least he could see his wishful thinking about the afterlife for what it is. He used that kind of magical thinking to convince himself to delay his surgery. He might still be here if he hadn't made that quack decision about his health. Really sad.
 
Iv'e read the other biographies Isaacson has done. His book on Einstein was a pleasure. I wonder though, how much control he gave up to Jobs? Looking forward to the book in any case.
 
Also looking forward to reading it, I preordered last spring when I first heard about it.
 
+Steven Gilbert The book says Jobs told Isaacson to write whatever everyone said about him and he didn't want to know or change anything.
 
I got the biography about 4.5 hrs ago.
 
The sole is in the chips, and like them there will always be an upgrade. 
 
Create the beautiful, The simple, The unencumbered that works. This is my impression of Steve's philosophy .
 
Not that anyone has ever questioned the huge amount of foresight that Steve Jobs had; but the fact that even if he remained optimistic about his future, he knew it was time for this book to be written says as much about his vision as any of his many achievements.
 
I found his fathers comment about him being a good tipper kinda funny, being that he didn't know. It's funny that Jobs could remember years later meeting him and shaking his hand and all, but sad that he never went after he knew.
 
It would have been nice if the delay to shut off was 2-3 seconds instead of 4-5. That was one thing I didn't like about computers since ACPI is a change from sturdy on-off switches to holding five seconds. I don't want devices that don't want to "die". A device is an inanimate object, my philosophy of treating inanimate objects is different from animate ones.
 
Jobs, Apple know how to encourage emotional attachments to their products, nerds may not want that but they don't care what that minority wants. And it works, my wife and I just got iPhones, her going from a flip phone and I have seen her caressing it lovingly when no one is looking. That's not a matter of chip speeds, that's a whole package that encourages you to anthropomorphize and love it at every step.
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