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Brad Wardell on Freakonomics Podcast–Talks About Steve Jobs

By on July 20, 2012 9:18:54 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

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Brad Wardell has appeared on the latest episode of the Freakonomics radio podcast.  Brad talks about the death of Steve Jobs and how it has changed his work habits.

http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/07/19/legacy-of-a-jerk-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

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July 20, 2012 3:03:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Thanks for the pointer, to this Freakonomics Podcast, on the subject of "jerkitude" ( "Legacy of a Jerk" ), which includes Mr. Wardell's comments on lessons to be learned, from the life of Steve Jobs.

I've always liked the Freakonomics books by Levitt and Dubner ( Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics ).  However, I wasn't aware that Stephen J. Dubner also had an InterNet site in which he addresses other "hidden economics" issues, or other issues of interest to him.  Finding out about this site is a pleasant discovery for me.  Thanks, Island Dog !

In addition, the short appearance by Mr. Wardell in this podcast is pretty interesting in itself.  (Fair warning, Mr. Wardell's contribution to the podcast only starts at about minute (milepost) 39:00, out of this 44.24 minutes podcast.)  Kinda gutsey too; since Mr. Wardell offers some personal views, that some other people might have been less comfortable in revealing.  Anyways,  "Good on him !" , for contributing to the subject; and making the whole subject more interesting ...

Of course, Steve Jobs means so many things to so many people!  Personally, I shall miss the fact that he is no longer among us.  I was not one of his great fans; by any means, but it is impossible not to recognize his contributions to technology (and the larger society) in the last 40 years.  I think we have lost a Giant!  Perhaps just as significantly, I think there are a lot of people who have felt this personal tie, or even spiritual kinship, to Steven Jobs.  Who wouldn't want to be rich, famous, hugely successful, Iconic, and considered to be one of greatest geniuses of a given century?  This guy moved mountains, and has changed our world! 

On the other hand, Steve Jobs wasn't a perfect person; and his own driving personality encompassed a number of serious liabilities.  In a lesser person, they would have been nearly unforgivable.  (Fortunately, we now have Walter Isaacson's seminal biography of Jobs (on which he provided full cooperation) that was just published in the last couple months, for anyone who wants the whole story.)  The point is: there  ARE  myriad lessons that can be learned from the life of Steve Jobs; and they are not limited solely to: technology, or business, or leadership, or creativity.  There are also some simple lessons about leading     "a life well-lived".   There is a lot of  Good Stuff  to be gleaned from Isaacson's book ... and also some from this Freakonomics Podcast.    Nice of Mr. Wardell to have added his  "two gildar" ...    

 

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July 21, 2012 9:02:29 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Brad, I'm really glad you read Steve Jobs' book.... it's wonderful to work hard and build a great lifestyle and security for your family, but if you don't know your family, you're both huge losers.... and you can't wind the clock back for those moments lost... just be glad you woke up to making the most of the present...and building a richer future..

..love the description of you organising the chores/reports/assessments etc...  bet you were first to be 'voted off the island'...  

 

Quite some time back I was looking at the cover of  a magazine that promoted an interesting/unusual story..... I read that story, acted on it and it quite literally saved my life...

It's strange where life's direction changes can come from...

 

 

thanks for the link ID... 

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July 21, 2012 1:12:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks guys.  I still do MS Project like chore lists for the kids and such but I've stopped making them write reports.

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July 22, 2012 8:17:29 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Nice podcast. I'm still reading the Steve Jobs book, he is a icon in the tech world and really changed the way I work.

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July 22, 2012 8:54:29 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, but not necessarily a great one.

Why the outsourcing of Apple products to a slave labor factory in China? They couldn't be made here in the USA?

Another CEO, with a bottom line attitude..IMHO.

Steve (where are the) Jobs.

From what I understand Bill Gates is much more of a humanitarian as far as giving back to society.

Just because a man passes away at a unfortunate early age doesn't make him a saint.

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July 27, 2012 6:58:29 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Every time an American buy something made in China they are outsourcing.

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August 19, 2012 5:51:09 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Why the outsourcing of Apple products to a slave labor factory in China? They couldn't be made here in the USA? Another CEO, with a bottom line attitude..IMHO. Steve (where are the) Jobs.

 

I recall an interview where he explained he was against outsourcing but with all his competitors already doing this and the US factories so poorly invseted in he had little choice. Would you buy an iPhone if it cost $2000?

 

Western politicians are to blame. Taxes and regulations place an unfair advantage on imported goods - the correct solution is to place commensurate trade tarrifs on these to create a level playing field. That's what we need to lobby for.

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August 19, 2012 11:31:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting OrionM42,
I think we have lost a Giant! Perhaps just as significantly, I think there are a lot of people who have felt this personal tie, or even spiritual kinship, to Steven Jobs. Who wouldn't want to be rich, famous, hugely successful, Iconic...

 

That's not called a spiritual kinship, mate.  That's called envy of power and money.   Hell, I'd want his money, too.  Nothing wrong with that.

On the other hand, Steve Jobs wasn't a perfect person; and his own driving personality encompassed a number of serious liabilities. In a lesser person, they would have been nearly unforgivable.

 

I've never been too comfortable with the idea that people who make a lot more than all of us are therefore able to get away with acting like utter assholes, or whatever you want, because we're less than them, and they're somehow innately better ("forgivable") because they have more power.  The British upper class pushed this idea for centuries, but when you sweep away all the words that appeal to sentiment, it comes down to "I can run roughshod over you because I've got more power than you.  Shut up, lie down, and take it."  Remember, that kind of distinction between people with a great deal of power and people with very little is good only if it means you and me belong in the first group, and not the second.  Otherwise, we're screwed.

 

Jobs was a very savvy, intense guy who saw what the PARC team was doing with a graphical user interface, thanks to idiots in Xerox's then-management side--and he wasn't even under non-disclosure for it.  So he ran with the idea, and hired some of the tech people Xerox had already pissed off mightily.  He was smart, but arguably someone else who actually worked for Xerox and left would have decided to do what Jobs did.  I'm second to no one in admiring his cash, though, and I mean that.  It's clean, shiny, and buys a lot of things.

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August 19, 2012 11:48:59 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Draginol,
Every time an American buy something made in China they are outsourcing.

Absolutely.

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August 19, 2012 4:26:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Interesting observations, Glazunov1 ... and I can't say I entirely disagree with them. 

I can't see how anyone could really have liked Steve Jobs, as a person ... although Steve Wozniak (for one) has suggested that he both did like Jobs (at times) and distinctly dis-liked him (at other times). 

But even granting that; I will  miss  Steve Jobs in the years ahead.  I think he made our world a much more interesting place!  I even think the human race benefits, on balance, by having a few strange people, like Steven Jobs, in it.  He was like a Henry Ford, or a Charles Lindburgh -- people who had distinct flaws -- but people who still had an immense impact (much of it, positive) on many of the rest of us.  I just don't see how you can discount that ...

 

Quoting Glazunov1,
                                                            o   o   o

I've never been too comfortable with the idea that people who make a lot more than all of us are therefore able to get away with acting like utter assholes, or whatever you want, because we're less than them, and they're somehow innately better ("forgivable") because they have more power.  The British upper class pushed this idea for centuries   ...  

Fair enough.  Money (in particular) should never be confused with vision, wisdom, or nobility.  But there are some people in the course of history, who have had a disproportionate effect on the rest of us, based upon their talents, obsessions, drive, or vision.  After dropping the truly evil ones (think: Stalin), we are left with the interesting ones  ... People are going to be studying, and debating, the life of Steven Jobs, for years to come  ... 

Incidently, did you listen to the whole Freakonomics Podcast ?  I thought it was fascinating.  Who knew (for example) that Ty Cobb may  NOT  have been the monstrous asshole, that he is commonly portrayed as being?  He may just have been given a particularly bad rap, by one sportswriter who hated him  ...    

 

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August 23, 2012 12:09:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Simply put, people who are assholes that have a lot of money and power to stay on top will remain a feature of the landscape, just as will decent people who have a lot of money and power--and who remain virtually invisible, because they don't try to draw attention to themselves.  Jobs sold himself, endlessly, but much of what he "accomplished" was a matter of luck (Xerox's management screwing up big, and handing him in effect the GUI), and shrewdly leveraging what others knew.  Why should I miss him?  There are plenty of other rotten bastards around who don't think about others, and do whatever they want.   Vision, leadership, teamwork, and creativity are qualities that often manifest apart from treating everyone who works for you like shit.

 

And now, a moment of solemnity:

 

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/andrewaghapour/6321/steve_jobs_reincarnated_as_divine_half-yak/

 

For Apple fans still recovering from Steve Jobs' untimely death last year, there is some hope yet. According to Phra Thepyanmahamuni, the abbot of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Thailand, Jobs was reincarnated into a divinity "of middle rank – half a Witthayathorn, half yak.”

 

I have several Buddhist friends who assure me that the Wat Phra Dhammakaya are scam merchants disguised as Buddhists.  Even so, I find the idea of a Steve Jobs yak as the God of Verbal Abuse rather appropriate.  If this had actually happened long ago and his Jobs persona was only a disguise, I suppose it would explain quite a bit.

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