Friday, April 3, 2015

Two Sides Of The Coin

Steve Jobs was alive when he handpicked Walter Isaacson to write his authorized biography. He told Isaacson, who had written biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, he wanted his children to know about their father, warts and all: "But I don't have any skeletons in my closet that can't be allowed out". He encouraged the people he knew - scores of people fired, abused, abandoned, or otherwise infuriated - to speak honestly. His own wife said, "There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that's the truth. You shouldn't whitewash it".

Jobs probably knew he may not live long enough to see the finished book, released on October 24, 2011, by Simon & Schuster in the United States. Jobs died on October 5, 2011.

One of the unpleasant tales related to how he shortchanged co-founder Steve Wozniak of the bonus money for a game design for Atari. It would be 10 years later before Wozniak read about it in a history of Atari titled "Zap". When Jobs learned the story was published, he called Wozniak to deny it. But Atari's Nolan Bushnell confirmed there was a bonus paid for for each chip that was saved in the circuit board design. Wozniak cried.

Steve Jobs’ acolytes say a new book "Becoming Steve Jobs" by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli paints a more fitting picture of the Apple founder than Walter Isaacson’s 2011 best seller, “Steve Jobs”. Jobs’ former colleagues and friends have taken sides, speaking out against the old book and praising the new one. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO and Jobs’ successor, has said that Isaacson’s book depicts Jobs as “a greedy, selfish egomaniac.”

But who did get it right? Even authors Schlender and Tetzeli had to stop and ask: “How could the man who had been such an inconsistent, inconsiderate, rash, and wrongheaded businessman ... become the venerated CEO who revived Apple and created a whole new set of culture-defining products?”

Closer to home lies another interesting question. How could a man who who would rather be feared than loved ("If nobody is afraid of me, I’m meaningless”) whip up such an orgy of adulation? TIME  magazine (April 6, 2015) suggests one clue:
“Whether Lee intended it or not, his template for Singapore became a model for many authoritarian governments that saw its success as an example of how prosperity could be achieved while controlling freedom.”

17 comments:

  1. That's history. What happens now and in the future will determine how we remember the old man.

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    1. That may be history but the importance is not how we may remember the old man. The powers that be are intent, for political purposes, to rehash, burnish and repeat the old man's auto-hagiography (as one astute writer called his book, The Singapore Story). The cyber lynching of young Amos Yee and Catherine Lim is testimony to the ugly results of this orgy of adulation.

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  2. "Whether Lee intended it or not, his template for Singapore became a model for many authoritarian governments that saw its success as an example of how prosperity could be achieved while controlling freedom.”

    Is this what people say is called making a deal with the devil.
    Selling our freedom and soul in exchange for high HDB prices (asset enhancement) ???
    So how's that working out for you?

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    1. He is unashamed Machiavellian.

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  3. The Man was beautified many times over alive and more so dead.

    History is neutral most of the Time with evidences of deeds and not impression and opinion.

    So, what will History record about the Man?
    Think there wont be beauty or ugliness but facts.
    For good or bad, the Man had Sinkies ruled by his irons fists fitted with knuckle dusters and armed with a machete.

    patriot

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    1. Apology

      'irons fists' to be corrected
      to 'iron fists'.

      patriot

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    2. "Beautified"=>" beatified "

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    3. Did You mean

      beastify?

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  4. Still usefull for many years beyond.

    His name will be invoked to justify many policies whenever there is resistance.

    History as it is said is written by the victors.
    Losers' stories are unheard.

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  5. His story is that he came across a mosquito infested village in a swamp and built a city over it. Anybody contradicting that will be persecuted or sued by Chia Boon Teck.

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    1. He also claimed to have invented the internet. Oops, sorry, Al Gore beat him to that.

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  6. I still don't understand why he had to close Nanyang University (Nantah) at that time. If the University is really infiltrated by communists, wouldn't it be more proper to out them instead of closing the University for good ?

    Remember at that time the University was entirely funded by the Chinese Business Community as well as from donations seeked from the common people.

    Why was he so ruthless until he had to close down Nantah only to come up later with a fabricated NTU to represent the Nantah spirit ?

    Is it true that the real reason was because the Nantah students were supporting the opposition Barisan Socialis and not PAP ? Can someone familiar with the history give us some background behind Nantah's closure ?

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  7. "Job Hopping - The Fastest Way To earn More Money

    SOURCE:
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/job-hopping-fast-way-earn-040400494.html

    How about voting Opposition?
    Is that the fastest way to squeeze more goodies from a stingy government?

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  8. When you write your own story, the coin has only your head on both sides. And that's the Singapore Story and the Hard Truth.....which a 16 year old kid dares to challenge.

    Don't expect things to be different under the princeling, that the iron fist will change to velvet gloves. Wordsworth said that the child is the father of the man. But who is the father of the child? Like father, like son, so it is said.

    After all the adulation and hoopla have died down, reality will eventually take over. In the words of the Bard: "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."

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    1. SPH will never allow that to happen... every now & then, booster shots will be administered.

      Class 95FM... hear only the good stuff.

      Over time, all negative aspects will be so muted that no one ever remembers.... unless....

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  9. For Nantah, read this website written by scores of ex-Nantah (in Chinese of course): http://www.nandazhan.com/index.htm

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    1. There are some posts in English, such as this one (http://www.nandazhan.com/zf/u2prison.htm):

      “Have you recalled what you and your society had done illegally in the past?”

        “...” I was silence for a minute, then I tried to argue and I said, “I knew there was a Wang GengWu report for restructuring Nanyang University; and I was told a memorandum and a condemnation letter were submitted by the societies to the department concerned. It was not an illegal activity. Any way, I was not involved.”

        “Then, what were you doing in your society?” He raised his head and looked me full.

        “I was ordered to pin the news letter of our society once in a year."

        “That's all?”

        “That's all I know!”

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