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Is it Time to Rethink Steve Jobs?

Alex Gibney s The Man in the Machine Is it Time to Rethink Steve Jobs The Atlantic


All of which makes it tempting to ignore another thing about Steve Jobs: He could be, on top of so much else, a terrible person. Not just a jerk, occasionally and innocuously, but a bully and a tyrant. (“Bold. Brilliant. Brutal,” The Man in the Machine’s tagline sums it up.) Jobs regularly parked his unlicensed Mercedes in handicapped spots. He abandoned the mother of his unborn child, acknowledging his daughter only after a court case proved his paternity. He betrayed colleagues who stopped being useful to him. He made the still-useful ones cry. This is on top of the apparent disdain for charitable giving and the Gizmodo fiasco and the stock fraud suit and the many horrors of Foxconn.

Those things—and the many other ones that live under the broad category of Steve Jobs’s Personal Failings—are well-documented, in blog posts written both before and after his death, in in-depth biographies both authorized and not, and in Jobs, the feature film released in 2013. Some of those takes treat his shortcomings as mere inconveniences, justifying them away as the common costs of uncommon genius. Others insistently minimize them, seeming convinced that the flaws will tarnish the sheen of their beloved universe-denter.

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Good things sometimes come from bad people. 

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