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."