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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sneaky-Peeky Sundays: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson


As part of the Sneaky-Peeky Sunday here at The Book Worm, here's the page from the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson that I am currently on....Its a huge book and I am reading this in between reading other books, so Im sure you'll keep reading a few more extracts from this book in the days to come :)

'....only real fight I ever got in with my dad," he said. But his father again bent to his will. "He wanted me to promise that I'd never use pot again, but I wouldn't promise." In fact by his senior years he was also dabbling in LSD and hash as well as exploring the mind-bending effects of sleep deprivation. "I was starting to get stoned a bit more. We would also drop acid occasionally, usually in fields or in cars."

He also flowered intellectually during his last two years in high school and found himself at the intersection, as he had begun to see it, of those who were geekily immersed in electronics and those who were into literature and creative endeavors. "I started to listen to music a whole lot, and I started to read more outside of just science and technology - Shakespeare, Plato. I loved King Lear." His other favourites include Moby-Dick and the poems of Dylan Thomas. I asked him why he related to King Lear and Captain Ahab, two of the most willful and driven characters in literature, but he didn't respond to the connection I was making, so I let it drop. "When I was a senior I had this phenomenal AP English class. The teacher was this guy who looked like Ernest Hemingway. He took a bunch of us snowshoeing in Yosemite."

One course that Jobs took would become part of Silicon Valley lore: the electronics class taught by John McCollum, a former Navy pilot who had a showman's flair for exciting his students with such tricks as firing up a Telsa coil. His little stockroom, to which he would lend the key to pet students, was crammed with transistors and other components he had scored.

McCollum's classroom was in a shed-like building on the edge of the campus, next to the parking lot. "This is where it was," Jobs recalled as he peered in the window, "and here, next door, is where the auto shop class used to be." The juxtaposition highlighted the shift from the interests of his father's generation. "Mr. McCollum felt that electronics class was the new auto class."

McCollum believed in military discipline and respect for authority. Jobs didn't. His aversion to authority was something he no longer tried to hide, and he affected an attitude that combined wiry and weird intensity with aloof rebelliousness. McCollum later said, "He was usually off in a corner doing something on his own and really didn't want to have much of anything to do with either me or the rest of the class." He.....

- Debolina Raja Gupta