Lynch is a genious. If you get his movies this book should be fun to read. If you heard him speak, it's going to be easy to imagine him reading this t...moreLynch is a genious. If you get his movies this book should be fun to read. If you heard him speak, it's going to be easy to imagine him reading this to you, and that alone is entertaining. I didn't know him to be such a positive person, nor did I know that he practiced transcendental meditation for his whole career as a filmmaker. He credits that as his main source of inspiration. I think he makes a good case for meditation: looking within yourself for inspiration makes sense. He also remains pragmatic, which in a way it's kind of obvious. I didn't know Kubrick's favorite movie was Eraserhead! I loved his thoughts about music in films. How he works with Angelo Badalamenti. The concept of films as places (e.g. Rear Window).(less)
Deludente. L'unica parte che parla veramente di come scrivere bop consta di 15 pagine in tutto. Il resto sono brevi scritti inediti di Keruac, sulle o...moreDeludente. L'unica parte che parla veramente di come scrivere bop consta di 15 pagine in tutto. Il resto sono brevi scritti inediti di Keruac, sulle origini della scrittura bop e della Beat Generation. Il libro parte bene, con un elenco di dottrine brevi. Poi si espande facendo un parallelo tra scrittura e musica Jazz, gli assoli improvvisati, il tempo che scorre, molto interessante e ispirato. "Soffia! ora! Mai ripensarci per "migliorare" [uno scritto]" Poi pero' si perde... Forse alla fine non c'é molto da dire. Il resto del libro ho fatto fatica a leggerlo, alla fine non m'é rimasto molto. Ho trovato i vari aneddoti (o presunti tali) piuttosto faticosi, quasi forzati. Ah, una cosa e' bella: il significato della parola "Beat" in "Beat Generation". Significa "beato", essere in uno stato di beatitudine, cercare di amare tutto e essere sinceri sempre.(less)
Compelling and touching biography inside the mind of a truly unique man. A must read for anyone interested in design, music, management, computers, re...moreCompelling and touching biography inside the mind of a truly unique man. A must read for anyone interested in design, music, management, computers, retail, art and in making "insanely great" products. Jobs touched -- and for the most part made a huge dent in -- all those fields, like noone else ever did.
After reading this book it becomes clearer how Jobs was able to make his products superior to anyone else's: the passion and dedication he put into them often reached the realms of obsession. Even I, one who claims to know Apple's history fairly well, had underestimated how much time and effort he was willing to spend on a product. The first iPhone is a good example. They had a fully designed prototype based on a case much different from the one that actually got released. They were close to be ready to ship, but Jobs -- who had approved such design initially -- realized there was something wrong about it, and had the balls to say to his employees (paraphrasing), "sorry guys, we failed at this, and we have to redo it." And sure enough, many month later the "real" iPhone came out and took the whole world by storm. That blew me away. I can't imagine a single company today that would not compromise a bit and just sell what they had made after all that hard work. I did know he didn't settle for anything less that excellence but I didn't know he could go this far.
Jobs' tendency to divide everything in a manichean fashion comes out a lot from this biography. Infinite Loop made it clear that that was the case for the products he was involved with, but it was interesting (horrifying, at times) to see that facet of his personality spread to every aspect of his life, often with terrible consequences for the people around him. Which brings me to another point. Even if many people perceived him as a selfish dick, it seems pretty clear to me that it was more akin to an autistic person being unable to behave like most people. This is a constant theme that emerges from all over this book and I didn't realize it before reading it here.
The role of Laurene Powell particularly comes to the forefront, also. Her calmimg influence and support had a much bigger impact than I could imagine. She filled a void in Jobs' life and provided a baseline of serenity that prevented (e.g.) the iPhone project to become another NeXT. And speaking of NeXT, I particularly enjoyed its chapter as well as the many mentions around the book. I always loved the insanity instilled inside that computer, that's what made me understand (way back then in my teens!) that computing could actually be a form of art, just like any other. Noone has ever created a computer more perfect, absurd and beautiful than the NeXT cube, and reading about it just made me smile at how much crazier than I thought its development was. The story of the logo is just priceless.
Isaacson reveals some of the fucked up things that Jobs did, too. Some of them were completely unknown to me. One in particular had no redeeming quality whatsoever: I'm talking about how he screwed Daniel Kottke, his long time friend, when Apple went public. That was pretty sad to hear. It was uncalled for, and totally unneeded.
What i didn't like about this book is that a little too often it just feels like a history of Jobs' professional achievements. I understand you can't avoid that, but I wish there were more chapters like "Music Man," for instance, where his passion for music is discussed. Incidentally, that's perhaps the most intimate chapter in the book, and one of my favorites. You can say a lot about a person by looking at its record collection (or iPod contents) and Jobs is no exception. You can feel the excitement he must have had speaking with his hero, Bob Dylan. And Isaacson does a particularly great job at narrating his music listening session with Steve. I think that chapter alone makes the book worth reading.
Despite my criticism above, Isaacson is very well researched and overall portrays this one-of-a-kind man in his brilliancy as well his dark sides. I enjoyed his writing style very much, a weird balance of intimacy and detachment that I think it's kind of hard to achieve. For instance, the already cited Infinite Loop often sounded too informal, either too enthusiastic or needlessly polemic at any given time. Isaacson, instead, has a more authoritative cadence that is also able to break down to warmer tones when needed, without sounding cheesy.
I think there was a reason why as a kid I was mesmerized by the elegant black and white graphics of the first Mac, seen on some random Italian computer magazine. Or why I still remember the excitement in the eyes of a teen-age friend who had actually seen the NeXT in action, the bastard, at a show I couldn't go to. Those products were just dreams back then, but that's it: they were so good you could just stare at them and admire them like works of art. And twenty something years later I did, at the MoMA in SF. It doesn't happen frequently, I gotta say.
One of the most enlightening book about logic, logical thought and the limitations of logic. The Tractatus is tough. It's really inspiring how each se...moreOne of the most enlightening book about logic, logical thought and the limitations of logic. The Tractatus is tough. It's really inspiring how each sentence is analyzed and dissected and reconnected to other facts. But for me a subtle beauty of the Tractatus is that despite the fact it claims to rule out everything that "one cannot talk about", snippets of beauty and poetic elements sneak into it, directly and indirectly. (less)