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Fig.1. Steve Jobs in Isaacson (2011).
‘If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away’.
Apple haven’t created a Steve Jacobs APP to bring him back to life virtually, rather they have created a University within Apple to teach the Apple Way as a management and leadership programme akin to an MBA and run by the former Dean of Yale Business School. Joel Podolny
Jobs quoted the hockey star Wayne Gretzky’s maxim, “Skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.” Isaacson (2011).
“Steve prefers to be in the moment, talking things through. He once told me, ‘If you need slides, it shows you don’t know what you’re talking about.’” Jobs said. Isaacson Isaacson (2011. p. 387).
Bell and Gemmel get it wrong on lectures. (2009. p 117-118) They make assumptions about the value or otherwise of watching a live lecture in favour of a recorded one.
Whilst this might replace sitting in a class it doesn’t mean that by replaying the video repeatedly the student will be any the wiser or even recall what has been viewed.
Viewing video is a passive exercise, ‘sit back’ rather than ‘sit forward’, Far better that the video is offered as an e-learning module, broken into a dozen pieces, each one different, each one challenging the student in different ways, obliging them to think, to construct, to research, to discuss with others, to answer questions.
I’d like to read this research, understand the way it was undertaken, and how the conclusions were drawn. I’d like to know what other research has been done in this area to get the fullest picture.
On p119 we are given the story of a 7th grade field trip in which students identify leaves of different plants in a forest and we then are asked to imaging 40 years later this 50 year old needing to call upon a digital recording of that event in order to show it to his child. His child, far preferring the psychologically better and warm lesson from her father would feel rejected if made to watch the video.
What is more, the learning, through communication isn’t purely as a result of looking at an object and hearing or being told what it is – the lesson is largely recalled for the emotional impact of delivery from the teacher – how they speech and their body language – were the enthusiastic or bored by the information they had to impart?
My biggest concern about the assumptions of Bell’s lifelogging is that if I take a self-drive car from A to B, a 45 minute journey, will I ever, if called upon be able to drive this route myself
- if I have never driven myself
- if I’ve never made the choices that would take me this way?
A lifelogging device is akin to driving on autopilot, there is no need to concentrate and without that there is no memory creation – so yes, you would need a recall device. And if you are behaving as if you are not there, why be there? Indeed, to fake it college students might hand their lifelogging devices to one student who would then attend the lecture on everyone else’s behalf.
Bell, G., and Gemmel. J (2009) Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything
Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography (Kindle Locations 3421-3422). Hachette Littlehampton. Kindle Edition.
Mayer-Schönberger, V (2009) Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age
- Why lifelogging as total capture has less value that selective capture and recall. (mymindbursts.com)
- Book reveals complex nature of Steve Jobs’ success (minnesotatransplant.wordpress.com)
- A New Mixed Media Work…….”Muddle and Gabble” (burgessart.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: Steve Jobs – by Walter Isaacson (booksesinboxes.com)
- The memory is the mind process happening in your brain, it can never be the artefact that plays back footage of an experience. (mymindbursts.com)
- What does a business genius look like? (hiscoxusa.com)
- Apple co-founder: Steve Jobs film is ‘very wrong’ (itv.com)
Read cover to cover yesterday, into the evening and small hours. I’m now onto the second read, with various notes to add, references to pursue and further research to undertake.
Yet to be published, I’ll give detials in due course of how to get your hands on a copy.
Why read ‘A Life Remembered’ ?
It’s a fascinating life story from surving the Warsaw Uprising as a teenager to achieving as an Academic and educator in England, Scotland then at various leading universities around the world while pursing various interests and causes with passion and dogged determination. A life lesson? I think so.
Buddhism and the importance of intuitive thinking. Isaacson (2011:35)
Isaacson, W (2011) Steve Jobs : the exclusive biography.
The module ended 10 days ago so what am I doing having a dream about the thing?
And given the course, ‘Creativity, Innovation & Change’ then once again, despite my best efforts, I can share with you that ‘Working with Dreams’ is a tricky one for the office.
The dream was about collaboration, not in teams, but in partnership. I’m re-reading the Walter Isaacson biography and tossing notes onto Twitter and Facebook.
My thoughts dwelt on the nature of close collaboration, how likeminds may be LESS useful than minds where there is conflict. The key is to have a common goal, indeed, very different ‘personalities’ by type, experience, background, response are beneficial so long as the ‘GOAL’ is a significant motivation that overrides everything else.
For anyone caring to join in I’ve set up a Steve Jobs: Walter Isaacson discussion group on Linkedin.
Currently I am talking to myself (was it not ever thus).
P.S. My bloods have come but negative, so I feel like taking a cold shower and changing scenes.
‘I’m going to be in meetings 24/7 for probably two days and I want you to be in very single one because you’ll learn more in those two days than you would in two years at business school’. Isaacson (2011:521)
‘You’re going to be in the room with the best people in the world making really tough decisions and get to see how the sausage is made’. Isaacson (2011:521)
Isaacson, W. (2011) Steve Jobs
Calling my in-laws to thank them for the Steve Jobs biography, stood on a nail and had to be run to the Radcliffe Hospital. Such anecdotes are common as ZAP taught some great young minds; we’ve just been celebrating his 50th Wedding Anniversary and 85th birthday.
I am also working my way through something called the ‘Techniques Library’ from an MBA module with the OU and Stumbleupon a piece about ‘Keeping a dream diary’ which I feel certain I was introduced to some 35 years ago by my older sister.
I have put some of these dreams online at so that others might learn from the technique. I trust I’ve not disclosed anything too personal nor confidential.
There’s always the danger that people believe what you dream is what you think, whereas I believe they indicate how you feel.