October 21, 2011

"The big thing was that he really was not ready to open his body," said Steve Jobs's wife...

... attempting to explain why Jobs avoided surgery for the cancer that ultimately killed him.
“It’s hard to push someone to do that.” She did try, however... “The body exists to serve the spirit,” she argued.

When he did take the path of surgery and science, Mr. Jobs did so with passion and curiosity, sparing no expense, pushing the frontiers of new treatments.
Notice the consistent theme: avoiding the conventional. (The Apple slogan was "Think Different." )

Just getting the obvious surgery... that's for drones... that's for... a garden of pure ideology... secure from the pests of any contradictory true thoughts... Our Unification of Thoughts... ordinary people who don't use Apple products....

Accordingly, first the diets and acupuncture and then pushing the frontiers of medicine...

Normalphobia.

I love the products that flowed from that fear, but cancer has its own ideas.



It can kill you.

45 comments:

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndspinelli said...

Not a lot of libertarian in our good professor.

MayBee said...

It surprises me how many people avoid conventional health care but embrace unconventional ideas. From a policy standpoint, it really complicates the argument that people don't seek treatment because they don't have insurance, or that insurance will make people seek preventative care.

Dustin said...

Well that wasn't a very nice thing to say.

Titus said...

What about the "minder" who had to remind him to bathe.

He sounds like Howard Hughes.

cassandra lite said...

Think arrogant.

Titus said...

I work in HR and have had to tell people that they literally stink and recommend soap and deodorant.

DADvocate said...

Normalphobia

There's more of this going around than you think. I used to think that way until a brief conversation made me realize the stupidity of eschewing normalcy. Wish I could remember exactly what he said.

The New Age bull crap cost Jobs his life.

spinelli - you need to look up the definition of libertarian. The Prof didn't say a word about needing any kind of government action. Encouraging intelligent action is not forbidden in libertarianism.

Moose said...

So does anybody remember what Lee Iaccoca did after his insanely successful bit at Chrysler? No?

Electric bikes. Massive fail.

People that "think different" usually do well at one thing and then spend all their time wondering why they suck at other stuff. As Jobs found out.

mariner said...

Conventional therapy sometimes kills people, too.

Jobs made his own decisions about his own life, took responsibility for them, and lived (then died) with the consequences thereof.

The essence of freedom is being left alone to make one's own decisions about one's own life, even when others disagree.

Titus said...

You should see the "pharmacy" in India.

They are basically a store front and you walk up and tell the guy what makes you sick and he gives you some herb.

All natural natch.

My husband unfortunately believes in that shit.

Richard Dolan said...

This narrative imposes a reductive logic that distorts reality. What's missing is the role of doubt and uncertainty.

Psychedelic George said...

Don't follow leadahs. Watch the pahkin' metahs....

Above all else, Trust Yourself.

blake said...

I could see myself making a similar choice.

Kit said...

mariner, that's my take, as well.

edutcher said...

The Whipple was what killed him, but The Blonde is of 2 minds about conventional and alternative.

She says a lot of alternative can be good, as long as you don't get into the way-out stuff. Also, that conventional, if not done well, is just as dangerous. Exploratory surgery can make a bad situation worse by exposing the cancer to the air.

PS Love this from the article, "They fell in love and she moved in with him. But his behavior could be maddening. On the first day of 1990, he proposed, and never mentioned it again for months".

He sounds like some British army officer or old whaling skipper from the 1840s.

Women.

I'll get around to them after I explore Pago Pago.

SMGalbraith said...

Gosh, I'd try the opposite approach: conventional first and then experimental. Makes more sense to me.

I think Steve McQueen did that - conventional and then unconventional. After doctors said they couldn't do anything he went to Mexico and tried laetrile and coffee enemas and all sorts of experimental treatments.

DADvocate said...

Conventional therapy sometimes kills people, too.

The success rate for conventional therapy for the type of cancer Jobs had is virtually 100%. But, noooo, I'm trying something else.

traditionalguy said...

The masters in their fields of knowledge are the most stubborn clients in the world to try to help.

With a rare exception, they want to ask questions until they can control things themselves. It takes us 30 years to get our instincts and knowledge, and we cannot down load it in a few hours.

But knowing a professional to trust is life saving knowledge. A network of friends is a good place to get an expert referral.

An institution with the best minds is also a good place to look. In Atlanta Emory is ahead of the others in medicine. Robert Woodruff insisted on that, (and Herman Cain's daddy drove him there.) Along the way he rewarded us all by donating 300+ million to get expert medicine firmly established there for us all.

Those super rich corporations do lots of good far beyond most government programs.

phx said...

Cancer has been known to kill even normalphiliacs.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

The way I look at it, what matters is not how little from others has guided one's understanding, but rather how much from oneself has guided it. If I feel like others are probably right about something I feel I can not easily get good or interesting insight into, I'll often just believe on faith. This frees me to be more true to the best most insightful parts of myself, which have no shortage of things to figure out that I am more interested in, and which I more feel am in the right stage to understand, given my abilities. The important thing is to be true to the best most special parts of oneself, which can better happen if one does not so much tie oneself up by indulging the other parts by being ridiculously skeptical about everything.

ricpic said...

So Jobs feared going under the knife. That's something to be snarky about?

The Crack Emcee said...

You left out the psychics he visited. Everybody leaves out the psychics. Life, for me, has become to seem like one big psychic protection program.

Why doesn't anybody mention the psychics?

The Macho Response.

P.S.

And don't get me started on what this does to families,...

blake said...

Because, if we were psychic we would already have kno--

No, wait, that doesn't work.

blake said...

The psychics go without saying now, don't they?

Like the roads. And the aqueduct.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

That looks like a Hooters commercial, right?

Ann Althouse said...

"Why doesn't anybody mention the psychics?"

I'm relying on the NYT report of what's in a book that I can't yet buy.

Methadras said...

This is what NewAge nonsensical beliefs bring to the forefront and no one is immune from them. It probably cost him valuable time to really help him with this pancreatic cancer.

J said...

Yeah Jobs was essentially another bay area new-age quack--not even as skilled as the Google crime family (from Steinford, as well--now, you don't fuck around with SU).

J said...

Speakingof bay area ..basura..it's.... the Amazing Cracki.

The Crack Emcee said...

What bothers me most is there will be no follow-up on this. No dissection of how many people die this way. Who is trying to convince others to go this route. The cultural signals that encourage it - nothing.

NewAge just claimed the life of one of America's best, and it will go on to claim others, and nothing - nothing - will be done to stop it.

That's the nightmare I live with.

Lift up that rock and peer underneath with me. That's all I ask. You don't have to agree with my conclusions - just look, for real.

I think that's where the death of everything we currently know originates and resides.

J said...

Guru Jobs should have consulted with Dr Cracki,eh.

Lucius said...

Was Steve Jobs's wife talking about surgery or pegging?

Eric said...

When he did take the path of surgery and science, Mr. Jobs did so with passion and curiosity, sparing no expense, pushing the frontiers of new treatments.

Sparing no expense, eh? That's sort of SOP for someone worth seven billion dollars. I'll bet he spared no expense on tea, and spared no expense on shoes.

Strelnikov said...

As Warren Zevon said shrotly before his death from lung cancer, "I guess not going to the doctor for 25 years was just one of those phobias that did not pay off."

Ralph L said...

Lucius, that's really crass. Wish I'd thought of it.

Eric, some people with money are really cheap.

Martha said...

Good thing Jobs was not born female. Would the female Jobs have allowed a Caesarian section --definitely an aggressive opening of one's body--if it was required to safely deliver a baby?

I had an emergency C-section and the doctor did not really ask me if I minded having my body "opened".

Ann Althouse said...

"Good thing Jobs was not born female."

The whole "not ready to open his body" thing sounds like a fear of penetrative sex... quite apart from surgery.

Ken said...

Just because you're unique doesn't mean you're useful.

jamboree said...
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Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

He didn't have to open his body - he could have hired a surgeon to do that for him. That's what I did when I got my heart operated on - talk about exploratory!

Bah. Real men take care of this kind of thing without bothering anyone else.

Michael Haz said...

My choice made twice: Open me up!

Worked both times; I would not be alive had I decided otherwise.

Jobs had a wife and kids. Their need to have him alive longer should have overrode his self-absorption over not having himself "opened up."

He was selfish. He willfully deprived those who loved him of more of his earthly time.

E.M. Davis said...

Sparing no expense, eh? That's sort of SOP for someone worth seven billion dollars. I'll bet he spared no expense on tea, and spared no expense on shoes.

He wore New Balance tennis shoes. The Made-in-the-USA versions run about $135/pair. The regular ones made in Viet Nam and/or China run about $60.

The Crack Emcee said...

Spellbinding (You've GOT To Get Out Early)