Oct 7, 2011

Steve vs. Billy

I'd just finished reading Slaughterhouse Five when Steve Jobs died, and the contrast between the Apple CEO and Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim could not have been more pronounced.

"Here's to the Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - are the ones who DO!" ~ Apple Computer

Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, present, and the future. ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five, pg. 77
Steve Jobs was perhaps the most ego-driven man on the planet, certainly the most successful. Like Midas, everything he touched turn to gold. Driven by a fear of not accomplishing anything of note before he died, Steve rather over-shot his goal, changing everything.

Billy Pilgrim, on the other hand, is perhaps the most ego-less character ever invented, seemingly pulled this way and that by fate, with no hands on the wheel whatsoever. Despised by his peers, always playing a hopeless fool, Billy doesn’t even seem to try. He has a secret reason for not trying though; he is a time traveler, and he knows every moment in time has already happened, even the ones in the future.
“It means your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one, both of you. ~Dr. Emmet Brown
Pilgrim might not agree. Free Will vs. Pre-destination, ego vs. Id, the eternal debate goes on.

In this world, there are very few of us who achieve our egoic dreams. Those who do probably think we losers just didn’t try hard enough, didn’t want it badly enough. Steve’s ego dreams were better than most, he was smarter than most. He realized he could get what he wanted by giving everyone else what they wanted, or at least a 99¢ song about it.

But now Steve’s dead, and you can’t take it with you. Though maybe you can leave it behind. Steve’s parting gift is the iPhone 4S, a little critter gifted with the first mass-market Artificial Intelligence - Siri.

Siri (Iris, the “illuminated eye phone”) is connected to all his other selves via the iCloud, a central database accessible through a wireless network. The iCloud goes “live” on October 12, 2011. It sounds pretty fabulous, what could possibly go wrong?


The first Apple computer went on sale for $666.66

In Occupy Wall St., we're all demanding jobs.

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive an Apple ID on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell in the app store unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

The Apple of Discord.

This page written on a Mac.


John said...

"S" in Japanese is usually pronounced 'sh,' and "shiri" means "buttocks." Don't think the Japanese haven't noticed... :-D It certainly seems AI is flushing us wet-ware types straight down the toilet...

Michael said...

Ha! Reminds me of the Chevy Nova, which means "no go" in espanol. That said, I feel it too. The Facebook "friend" simulacrum supersedes the real thing.

However, I've recently been thinking about Newton's Law of Motion, and how every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

DarkStar888 said...

Hi Michael,

Here’s a couple of interesting numbers, courtesy of a professional in the trading business in Chicago: (Quote)

“Interesting to note that many articles are listing Apple’s stock market capitalization at the time of Jobs’ death at 322 billion, despite the fact it is higher than that. Also, according to Yahoo business, the average daily trading volume of Apple is
22,448,800.” (End quote).

The number 322 billion relating to the Skull and Bone Secret Society number and the 22,448,800 relating to the Union (22), the Sphinx Lion King Lincoln (44), Control and the Flood (88), and Double in-TEN-sity (00).

Sibyl Hunter said...

Nice post. It's hard for me to balance my admiration for Jobs' technical ingenuity with my desire to move away from the ego-maniacal paradigm he embodied.

John said...

Ten years ago we had:
Steve Jobs
Bob Hope
Johnny Cash

Now we've got:
No jobs
No hope
No cash

That "equal and opposite reaction" will likely play out in an unexpected direction.


Michael said...

Dark Star: great input, thanks. the numbers, they are always interesting, no?

Sibyl: Yea, I know. The balance, the edge, between the two sides of the brain.

John: Clever. Though now that Jobs is gone, perhaps there is a new position available?

Anonymous said...

"In Occupy Wall St., we're all demanding jobs."

Is that what "we" are doing? Damn good thing I dumped TV and pay zero attention to online "news", then.

I hope I'm not the only one who does not wanr a "job", who does not want to be employed, i.e. "used".

Sectre said...

All out of jobs? There's an app for that! :D

Devin said...

Michael - I think people like Kurzweil and now so many others onto the A.I. bandwagon think that they will live as code after their 'souls' are uploaded into some digital universe-the push for them to do this is fascinating to me as I think it is completely rooted in the fear of the unknown -Death -well who is to say they wont succeed - but to do this they MUST actually find out what a Soul really is!

it is also interesting to me in that some 'digital' physicists think our reality is already a digital reality-and that physics has already found the pixels so to speak!
great stuff as always,
atb, Devin

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