Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

Summary: On 60 Minutes, Walter Isaacson recalled Jobs' and the worry that his knowledge would just switch off.


Steve Jobs toward the end of his life was hoping that the wisdom he acquired would somehow live on. Jobs didn't like the off switch on Apple products and certainly didn't like them when it came to his time here.

The 60 Minutes interview with Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson didn't reveal much we didn't already know. The interview covers Jobs' lack of a relationship with his biological father, his flaws and the decision to put off cancer surgery. Isaacson's biography, published by Simon & Schuster, a CBS company, of Jobs lands in a few hours.

At the end of the interview, it was clear Jobs' last days were consumed by Apple product plans, the afterlife, family and reflection. Isaacson recalled Jobs' and the worry that his knowledge would just switch off. He said:

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, but sometimes I think it's just like an on-off switch. Click and you're gone." He said-- paused again, and he said, "And that's why I don't like putting on-off switches on Apple devices."


60 Minutes: Jobs on his biological father

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Topic: Apple

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  • The authorized biography hits the streets tomorrow 10/24/2011

    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
  • He lives on in the Cloud

    When my wife's father died, he would visit her in his dreams. Strange dreams too, for example she dreamt she was bringing him food up the top of the Eiffel Tower, where he worked.<br><br>It was her brain running a simulation of him based on the memories of how he was. I think she has fond memories of bringing him his lunch at work and always wanted to show him Paris and combined the two. He 'visited' others in his dreams too.<br><br>If you think about it, he could no longer run the program Dad 2.0, but the cloud ran it for him.

    I think Steve Jobs is running in the cloud.
  • Now I get it. I'm not completely sure Steve did.

    No doubt, at least from what I'm reading here, Steve Jobs had a lot of thoughts about the nature of life and of death and what it means for all of us. Its a deep subject for deep thinking minds. It certainly has given me more in site into the thinking of Steve Jobs a lot more then many other articles I have read about him. <br><br>But, while I get Steve's connection to the on off button issue, it seems to me he lost a little of the over all human connection to technology. While on the one hand he disdains the "ultimate off button" living things have built into them, he fails to find the importance of technological devices having an off button. And he doesn't seem to grasp the importance of humans having full and easy control of the off button on technology. <br><br>It seems to me that should almost be a human right.<br><br>Its almost like watching any one of countless dozens of science fiction movies or the hundreds and hundreds of similar novels that have warned us about the endless "creep" of technology to the point where humans relinquish the "off button" and let technology do for itself what it will.<br><br>Steve; if you can hear us out there; there was and always will be a reason for the off button. For everything.
  • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

    If he hadn't been so obsessed with hoarding and controlling information he might have been less worried about the extinction of accumulated wisdom.
    Eventually, we all need or want to put out the light, without worrying that the world will come to an end.
  • Sorry Steve, But You Have Been Permanently Switched Off

    There is no "reboot" option for life. You get one go-around and then you are gone.

    • Steve Jobs is not gone.

      @sismoc Whether you believe in God or an afterlife is irrelevant. You live on in the hearts and minds of those you touched during life. Steve touched a lot of people and left a legacy that permanently carved his name in the culture of modern society.
  • Imagine his surprise

    Imagine Steve Job's surprise when he finds himself in the afterlife.
    • Not so surprising.

      @kabrsa Even Steve said he believed in God a little over 50% of the time. That is actually a pretty good ratio. I think Steve won't be too surprised, just pleasantly surprised.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

        @ddorrity Not if he goes where his ethics deserve, he won't be.
    • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

      @kabrsa Rather hard to imagine something so silly.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

        @jgm@... Silly? I can assure you it is not silly.
  • Someone has to ask ...

    If there had been no i-pod, i-phone and i-pad, would have the human race really suffered hunger, disease and deprivation?

    Nice stuff, but not in same league as penicillin, refrigeration, electric light, automobile, The Haber-Bosch process for making fertilizer, and the list goes on and on.

    It is really nice stuff, but the world would have done just fine without it.

    Steve Jobs did not even personally invent even the lowly mouse... Of course i-stuff doesn't need that device...

    Come on, be happy, don't be angry. They want you angry... They are winning.

    And yes, the original Mac Computer was a real innovation.
    • Hey, you just described a &quot;post-Jobs&quot; world, which is essentially,

      the same as a "pre-Jobs" world, where, if he hadn't existed, the world would have continued turning, and he wouldn't have been missed.

      But, he did make his contributions, and the world is enjoying those contributions. But, his contributions weren't really that significant in the overall scheme of things. The technical contributions from the people at his company (and even before that, with Steve Wozniak), were a lot more significant than what Jobs contributed. If it were not for Wozniak, Jobs would probably have ended up as just a car salesman somewhere. Jobs happened to be at the right place, at the right time, when he met Wozniak and Wozniak's work with computers.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch


        Funny, that's not what Woz says (and I think he should know better than you.)
      • deusexmachina: Woz is a nice guy and a diplomat and he's not going to

        bad mouth his friend, but, I still say that Jobs was "made" by Wozniak's inventive mind.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

        And yet they were still friends.

        You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. And your statements are contradicted by all available evidence. But what's evidence matter on the internet?
      • Deux: Are you not able to understand English?

        I'll state it again:

        Woz and Jobs were friends, and Woz is not going to diss on his old friend.

        But, the fact still remains that, without Woz's genius with computers, Jobs would probably have never been heard about. But, he probably would've made a very good pitchman for products on TV, or as a car salesman or even a car dealer. ;)
      • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

        @adornoe@...<br>Newsflash: stating it multiple times does not make it true.
        And again, you know nothing about the history of development of Apple products. For one thing, Woz had all but NOTHING to do with the Mac or LISA
    • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch


      Narrow minded much? Give it more thought, then get back to me.
      P.S. we would be fine without cars...doesn't diminish its importance.
  • RE: Steve Jobs: In the end, he didn't like the off switch

    There is no off switch but you can build a legacy. In the end his arch rival, Bill Gates figured out that the "only a fool is buried with his money" adage and started doing something about it.
    Here you have a money who simplified technology for the masses and created great products for people with money. He emphasized the emotional connection between people and machines. But, he never ever put his talents more than being a "tech guy". He never applied his talents, his connections, or his focus to making a massive global population that suffers in poverty better.

    On one end you have Bill and Melinda Gates, who gave a speech and toured an old DC school, trying and experimenting with using tech and innovation in education, fighting malaria, or ending polio. I can tell you first hand that they have made a difference in people's lives that no ipod or xbox etc would ever come close to having.