Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Right Would Have Mocked the Young Steve Jobs

I didn't know this until this morning, but Steve Jobs' time in college consisted of one registered semester at Reed College in Portland (OR), and three unregistered semesters spent auditing classes there. Reed is a great school and quite bohemian (if tilting towards the upscale), and Jobs' time there was in the same spirit:
"Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, while sleeping on the floor in friends' rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. Jobs later said, 'If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.'" (Stanford Report via Wikipedia)
Jobs later traveled to India and came back a Buddhist with his head shaved and wearing traditional clothing.

Of course, these are exactly the kind of people conservatives like to deride and mock, both here in Portland and with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. But today Jobs is being heralded by all as one of the most creative and visionary businessman in American history. In the same manner, the right mocks places like San Francisco and Massachusetts, without seeing the irony that the first is the center of one of the most innovative episodes in world history and the latter home to some of the best universities in the world (and with them great scientific results, great medical research and hospitals, and its own record of technological innovation as well.)

The Huffington Post has a slide show on this today: Colleges for Visionaries. And this is a bit tangential, but last night's Daily Show was spot-on as well:

No comments: