THAT RARE AND WONDERFUL THING—CLARITY OF MIND
I watched STEVE JOBS: The Lost Interview last night on Netflix—and was hugely impressed by the sheer clarity of the man’s mind. Most of us don’t think too clearly, and many of us don’t seem to think at all—except in the context of what we need to do to survive.
Jobs not only thought clearly, but could also explain his reasoning simply and succinctly—and entertainingly. He may have been difficult to work for—most people of caliber are—but he was a singular talent.
The whole interview made me wonder why we don’t, as a society, devote more attention to finding and utilizing clear thinkers. I suspect that since most of us are fuzzy thinkers, we are afraid of them. Mediocrity tends to prefer mediocrity.
Jobs made many insightful comments during the interview. I particularly liked his comment that computer science was one of the liberal arts—and that everyone should learn to program. I had a classical education, but think he was entirely right in that regard.
He was both complimentary and amusingly brutal about Microsoft. He praised them for their opportunistic skills and endurance, but was scathing about their lack of taste. He also referred to Microsoft as McDonalds. What a perfect description!
I followed the computer evolution with keen interest, but was hampered by my lack of computer knowledge. I was looking for a tool which would compensate for my dyslexia and the other inadequacies of my mind. I knew I would never research, think and write the way I wanted to unless I was successful in that quest. It was an obsession and I have put huge effort it over many years. Accordingly, I regard the way the young take computers, tablets and similar devices for granted with wry amusement.
The pioneering phase was tough, let me tell you—and frustrating beyond belief—but it was also fascinating.
Have I been successful in my quest? Not quite.
“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. ”
― Chinese proverb