October 30, 2011

"Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."

The last words of Steve Jobs, recounted by his sister, the novelist Mona Simpson, in her fine eulogy.

64 comments:

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

He saw the light.

Thomas Edison’s last words were: ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’

Maybe Steve and Tom are sharing some moments together.

/shrug.

We will all get to find out sometime.

rhhardin said...

Thoreau: Moose... Indians

Goethe: Mehr Licht (more light)

Nelson: Kiss me, Hardy

Einstein: (Something. The nurse didn't speak German)

Peter de Vries recommended prearranging a report of your last words, in case you're not up to it at the critical moment.

Which probably happened here, in an overlong essay.

"Let me pull out all the beautiful writing stops and show off a little."

Kit said...

That's a beautiful story

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

What were the last words of the people on flight 11?

traditionalguy said...

Steve Jobs saw the ultimate designer and code computer called God.

God is said to be indescribable light that wants a relationship with weak humans enough to become one.

The arisen, Glorified Christ is said to have a face like the sun shining in its brilliance and He says, " I was dead, and now look I am alive forever and ever. And I hold the keys to Death and Hades."( Rev. 1: 16 & 18)

edutcher said...

Doc Holliday did better.

traditionalguy said...

Edutcher ...And Thomas Jonathan Jackson said, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."

Stonewall was the feistiest Presbyterian ever predestined to kill Yankees. But God took him home so that Lee would lose at Gettysburg.

jamboree said...

Yeah, brothers are just the greatest thing - they really do make up for fathers if your father happened to be a creep. I wish I had a zillion of them.

rcocean said...

"But God took him home so that Lee would lose at Gettysburg."

God had some help from a couple of Confederate soldiers. BTW, just got through with Hemingway's "Across into the Trees'.

2nd Hemingway - but still better than 1st rate anybody else.

rcocean said...

I've never understood this fascination with Billionaires. I'm sure there are a thousand IT Execs who are just as smart and hard working as Jobs, they just never had his opportunities.

In any case, why should I respect someone who -after they've made a $100 million -can't do anything better with their life then make another $100 million?

There's more to life - politics, art, charity, etc.

And as shown by Jobs death, a lot of these guys are idiot savants, they know how to make money and nothing else.

And no, I'm not jealous.

cassandra lite said...

I'm feeling suspicious about her reporting of events and attitudes, if only because she cites 1985 as the year she met Steve and he informed her that he was working on creating a computer that was "insanely beautiful." Well, 1985 would've been at least one full year since the "insanely great" Mac's debut.

And anyone who didn't know about Mac at that point, given the hoopla over the 1984 Super Bowl ad, must've never left that little closet she claimed to be working in at the time.

Seeing as how she's a UCLA professor, I'm giving her an F for verisimilitude.

John M Auston said...

Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.

Nope. I don't believe it.

michaele said...

The breath not taken after the final breath is so profound in its finality. It's a very moving thing to experience in person.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Stonewall Jackson:

"Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."[

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Oh, darn it tradguy.

TWM said...

"I've never understood this fascination with Billionaires. I'm sure there are a thousand IT Execs who are just as smart and hard working as Jobs, they just never had his opportunities."

I'm no fan of Jobs and I'm actually hoping these kind of lame final words will be the last we hear of him for a while, but . . .

I'm pretty sure Jobs made his own opportunities and didn't just sit back and wait for them, which is what a lot of smart people, including that thousand IT execs, do.

jamboree said...

Who is "his sister Patty" mentioned at the end? I assume "Patty" is Mona? Or is Patty someone else?

rcocean said...

"I'm pretty sure Jobs made his own opportunities and didn't just sit back and wait for them, which is what a lot of smart people, including that thousand IT execs, do."

The point is: You can't be Patton or US Grant without a War, and you can't a Billionaire without luck and lot of opportunity.

Go into the auto industry in 1900 and you might be a Industrial Giant Ford. Go into the Auto industry in 1930 and maybe you'll end up head of GM in 1960, who whoever that was.

You don't make your own luck.

Roger J. said...

as a non-philosopher/great figure in history, I am much more inclined to believe most peoples' last words will be along the line of "aw shit."

Kansas City said...

It was a eulogy that really compelled me to keep reading, although I can't explain why since I have no particular feelings about Steve Jobs.

Is it strange to have a private burial service and then publish the eulogy? I'm not being critical, just curious.

edutcher said...

traditionalguy said...

Edutcher ...And Thomas Jonathan Jackson said, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."

Stonewall was the feistiest Presbyterian ever predestined to kill Yankees. But God took him home so that Lee would lose at Gettysburg.


And don't forget Uncle Robert's, "Strike the tent! Strike the tent!".

For a soldier, dramatic and apt.

PS I thought it was Thomas Joseph.

ricpic said...

I'd imagine most humans who are up to it scream in terror as they die.

Ribby said...

Patty Jobs is his other sister. She was also adopted by Jobs' parents.

traditionalguy said...

edutcher...I remembered the Jonathan middle name from a 1956 biography that I spent all of my 11th birthday money to buy in hardback. I saw that book again when we moved the books, but the cover is worse for wear after 10+ moves over 46 years.

The usual reference is to T.J. Jackson.

I don't know why he had a deep appeal to me. They say he had grey eyes that glowed a deep blue when going into battle.

I bet Steve Jobs i's glowed an intense something. Both men wanted to control armies of men and defeat armies of lesser opponents to the point that they had little personal warmth.

John said...

Rocean said:

"Go into the Auto industry in 1930 and maybe you'll end up head of GM in 1960, who whoever that was."

Unless you happen to be Walter Chrysler. Born poor on the wrong side of the tracks (literally)started out as a locomotive mechanic, worked his way up to an impressive position with a railroad, decided cars were the coming thing, worked for a number of car companies.

In 1925 he founded the Chrysler Corp to build cars.

He did well enough that he built the Chrysler Building in NY with his, not company, funds.

We do make our own luck.

We can sit around pissing and moaning about how others are so lucky.

Or we can go out and accomplish something.

Most of us do the former. A few, like Jobs, Edison, Ford, Chrysler and, yes, even Warren Buffett do the latter.

John Henry

John said...

BTW: At the time that Walter Chrysler decided to start an auto company, Ford Motor Co. had about 75% market share. GM had much of the rest.

Again, most would bitch and how if they had only gone into the business earlier.... If Ford didn't have the market locked up... and a thousand other excuses.

We make our own luck.

John Henry

John Henry

traditionalguy said...

ricpic...Dying is peaceful. It is a different level that separates us from the million and one worldly concerns. It is also the great equalizer when God wins and we rest in Him. And you cannot take the money or the debts with you.

jamboree said...

@Ribby

Thanks for the info.

rcocean said...

"We can sit around pissing and moaning about how others are so lucky."

Who does that? And what does have to do without I'm saying about millionaires and billionaires. According to Ike the best soldier he ever knew was "Fox" Connor. Ever heard of him? Probably not, because he was too old to fight in WWII. Ever hear of C.S Smith? He died of an injury after Shiloh. Per Sherman AND Grant, if C.S. Smith had lived, you never would've heard of US Grant.

Who was Gates' partner? Remember him? Remember Jobs' partner? Remember the names of the IBM execs who handed Gates a Billion dollars on a silver platter or refused to quash "Apple" like a Bug in the 80s? Remember all the smart tech guy who actually invented all the stuff that Jobs sold?

So yeah, if you're a small businessman you may be able to "Make your own luck" but it doesn't apply after a certain point in business and it apply to a lot in life. I'm talking about success and uber-success. Kindergarten philosophy doesn't apply.

Audie Murphys Mom said...

Dutch Shultz last words:
Be instrumental in letting us know. They are English-men and they are a type I don't know who is best, they or us. Oh, sir, get the doll a roofing. You can play jacks and girls do that with a soft ball and do tricks with it. I take all events into consideration. No. No. And it is no. It is confused and its says no. A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim. Did you hear me?


Q. (By Detective) - Who shot you?


A.- I don't know.

rcocean said...

Dutch Shultz just didn't try hard enough. Instead of 'pissing and moaning' he should have just walked it off.

Most people with gunshot wounds make that mistake.

Quitters.

m stone said...

Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.

Don't read too much positively into this. Having been with the dying at last breath, two responses can occur: one of which is some figment of an event in the past with no relation to death. "What is the soup for dinner?"

The second, I believe, is a real glimpse into the spirit world. "Oh wow" could be interpreted as joy OR profound sadness at a life unfulfilled by God's standard that each of us is shown at some time.

Heart_Collector said...

Alex said...
What were the last words of the people on flight 11?

10/30/11 5:46 PM



"Fuck Islam"

John said...

Rcocean

Job's Partners were Wozniak and Markel(Name?)in the early days of Apple.

What happened to them? They left Apple. They either didn't see what Jobs saw as the possibilities or didn't have the fire that developing those possibilities requires.

They both left the company. Woz seems very happy to have done so. He was always more interested in the engineering than the business side of it. He wrote a good bio with Gina Smith, BTW "Woz".

Don't know what happened to the other guy. Don't really care enough to look.

So why can't you be the next Steve Jobs, RC? What is it that you are missing that prevents you?

Come up with a great idea, devote every waking minute to making it happen, overcome adversity and so on.

When you fail, start all over again and keep doing that until you succeed.

You seem smart enough.

Caveat: the people who have the drive (and ability) to do this seem to be obnoxious SOB's in many cases. Jobs is just one example. Your kids will hate you, your wife will be distant, you will have no social life and may generally be deeply unhappy.

But you will be rich.

Is it worth it? Each of us has to decide for themselves.

John Henry

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

"French-Canadian bean soup. I want to pay. Let them leave me alone."

Some of the many last words of Dutch Schultz. And if you don't believe me.

TWM said...

"and you can't a Billionaire without luck and lot of opportunity."

Or, billionaires make their own luck and see/take opportunities that others do not. Jobs appears to have done this. Gates as well. Zuckerberg also. And the list goes on and on.

E.M. Davis said...

Some of the many last words of Dutch Schultz.

I am writing a screenplay about Dutch Schultz's death bed "confessional."

It's a dark comedy.

Robert Cook said...

"And anyone who didn't know about Mac at that point, given the hoopla over the 1984 Super Bowl ad, must've never left that little closet she claimed to be working in at the time."

I didn't know about Mac at that time, or Microsoft, either. Personal computers were not common in the average household at that time, and were used primarily by tech geeks or those with specialized needs that pcs would fulfill. Office work stations of that era were mostly--or probably wholly--still just terminals connected to mainframe computers kept in refrigerated rooms, where the software and data were stored on reel to reel tapes.

The emergence of the pc revolution has happened so swiftly it is hard to remember how recently it has been since it was very much a niche market. (Heck, I started a job in 1989 and the accounts were still being kept by hand entry in ledgerbooks!)

Robert Cook said...

Steve Wozniak stayed at Apple until 1985 or 86...he left at roughly the same time as did Jobs. He was not an early departure. As did Jobs, Wozniak became and remains very rich.

The third founding partner was older, risk averse, and not keen to take on the financial liability of a failed startup. He disposed of his ownership shares and severed his relationship with the company within a couple of weeks of Apple's founding.

I believe Woz still receives a paycheck from Apple to this day.

814659a2-986c-11e0-98c3-000bcdca4d7a said...

>>> "Remember all the smart tech guy who actually invented all the stuff that Jobs sold?" <<<

@rcocean: You really understand very little.

Alex said...

Steve Jobs was great at partnering with technical geniuses. First Wozniack, then Johnny Ive. Oh and buying out innovation companies like Siri.

rcocean said...

"Remember all the smart tech guy who actually invented all the stuff that Jobs sold?" <<<

@rcocean: You really understand very little."

I understand what I wrote was true and right. I assume by "understand very Little' you mean "Understand correctly".

edwardroyce said...

"Thomas Edison’s last words were: ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’"

The last time I had a near death experience, three and counting so far, it was very beautiful.

IMO don't fear death. Dying is a bit on the messy side. But when you reach the other side and a deep voice encourages you to fly, do so.

rcocean said...

Here's what TR said about 'mere money making':

"It is a bad thing for a nation to raise and to admire a false standard of success; and there can be no falser standard than that set by the deification of material well-being in and for itself. The man who, for any cause for which he is himself accountable, has failed to support himself and those for whom he is responsible, ought to feel that he has fallen lamentably short in his prime duty. But the man who, having far surpassed the limit of providing for the wants, both of body and mind, of himself and of those depending upon him, then piles up a great fortune, for the acquisition or retention of which he returns no corresponding benefit to the nation as a whole, should himself be made to feel that, so far from being a desirable, he is an unworthy, citizen of the community; that he is to be neither admired nor envied; that his right-thinking fellow-countrymen put him low in the scale of citizenship, and leave him to be consoled by the admiration of those whose level of purpose is even lower than his own."

Imagine Obama saying such a thing about our Billionaires!

Lem said...

I started reading the article and when I reached what I thought was the end I saw 1 2 3..

..and Obama gets a bad rap for wanting another Jobs stimulus ;)

Ralph L said...

for the acquisition or retention of which he returns no corresponding benefit to the nation as a whole
Unless he's a crook or rent seeker, how does he do the first without doing the second?

mythusmage said...

Evidently he saw something that really got his attention. :)

WV: Sines

Sine, sine, Everywhere a sine

Lem said...

Evidently he saw something that really got his attention.

And the girl wasn't there to take notes ;)

cassandra lite said...

Robert Cook,

My point, which I apparently didn't make clear enough, was that I don't believe the sister's story about Jobs telling her, much more than a year after the Mac had been introduced, that he was about to debut an "insanely beautiful" computer. He'd already done it, and none of the subsequent Macs--the plus, the SE, the Classic, etc.--were referred to as "insanely great." After all, he was himself soon to be an ex-Apple employee. I'm not sure whether he even used that term until the iMac's intro, after his return to the company, in '97. It's irrelevant whether much of the country was using PCs or not in '85. Her story doesn't hold water.

Quaestor said...

Evidently he saw something that really got his attention.

He saw God's workstation boot Linux in 3.4 seconds.

Almost Ali said...

The sister's situation (luck) reminded me of this:

Lilly Heir Makes $100 Million Bequest to Poetry Magazine
By STEPHEN KINZER
Published: November 19, 2002

An ailing heir who tried but failed to have her poems published in a small literary journal has given that journal an astonishing bequest that is likely to be worth more than $100 million.

Ruth Lilly, 87, an heir to the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical fortune, submitted several poems to Poetry magazine in the 1970's and was rewarded only with handwritten rejection notes from the editor, Joseph Parisi. Evidently she did not take the rejections to heart. Mr. Parisi announced her gift at the magazine's 90th-anniversary dinner on Friday.

Almost Ali said...

Link re previous post.

Miva said...

Found this awesome bio on Mona filled with pics, video where she talked about Steve right here--->http://fandaily.info/?p=5742

J said...

Oh, darn it tradguy

You mean you, Tyrone-Trad-guy?
Same type of sentimental-colloquial brainfart--and
no blog, no profile, no info. Yep The troll-terrorist MO.
And...referring to a confederate hmm.
and add another!"EM Davis" tothe Byro-Tyrone phony fle I am writing a screenplay about Dutch Schultz's death bed "confessional."

It's a dark comedy.

YOU phony bag of shit--yr not writing anything retard.You can't write. Actually you can't even plagiarize correctly.

Robert Cook said...

Cassandra Lite, rather than assuming Mona Simpson's story "doesn't hold water," which is to say, rather that for you to assume she's fibbing, it's much more likely she simply got the date wrong.

David said...

Did she speak these words? How did she ever get them out?

"In that most important way, Steve was never ironic, never cynical, never pessimistic."

Which is why he towered over all the others.

Mick said...

That's good... right?

Paul Zrimsek said...

When Jobs was a kid he had a sled called "Oh wow".

cassandra lite said...

Robert Cook,

Mona Simpson may very well have gotten the year wrong, and that would be that, except for her mention of Cromemco as the computer she was interested in getting. This is somewhat of a tell, in my opinion. Literally no one back then who otherwise knew nothing about computers, as she said she did, would've known Cromemco. They made high-end systems, not PCs, and the chip they used was the Motorola 68000...which is what Macs would use. Jobs and Wozniak, as it happens, visited the Cromemco lab/factory in 1983.

Indigo Red said...

Many people who've had near death events reports single or multiple bright lights, flashing colors, swirling lights and colors, all of which can be attributed to oxygen deprivation as brain cells die. The descriptions are reminiscent of tripping on LSD which Jobs did on occasion. His "Oh, wow! Oh, wow! Oh,wow!' might simply have been a flashback as his brain cells died. His body continued on for several hours before death.

Indigo Red said...

BTW, my father's last words were, "Take the damned socks off my feet."

cassandra lite said...

Robert Cook,

I've been reading Isaacson's biography of Jobs--and yes, you're right that she got the year wrong. Alas, Isaacson says it was 1986, which would be a year after she said in the eulogy.

Further, re my sense that she was engaging in imaginative remembrance, there is a story told that, upon hearing how she was the "sister" of a rich and famous Californian, one of the people at Paris Review, where she was working, joked that maybe it was "one of those guys" who invented the Macintosh.

All of which is to say that there is now little reason to believe that the final words of Steve Jobs were "Wow, wow, wow."

Personally, I much prefer the purported final words of Jack Kerouac: "Shut up and live!"