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Steve Jobs interview
October 15, 2009 11:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm 100% sure that if it hadn't been for Mrs. Hill in fourth grade and a few others, I would have absolutely ended up in jail. A timeless and fascinating 1995 interview with Steve Jobs.
posted by erikvan (22 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
In which case he'd be a much bigger fan of jailbreaking.

(Sorry.)
posted by rokusan at 1:04 PM on October 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


Thanks for posting this.
posted by jsonic at 1:09 PM on October 15, 2009


Good interview. I now have disrespect for this man. Thanks.
posted by peppito at 1:46 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can the mods add quotemarks around the quote?
posted by ardgedee at 2:44 PM on October 15, 2009


This is way better than 4 comments lets on.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 3:02 PM on October 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


I now have disrespect for this man.

Why?
posted by Garak at 3:12 PM on October 15, 2009


"We are finishing up making the world's first computer animated feature film. Pixar has written it, directed it, producing it. The Walt Disney Corporation is distributing it and it's coming out this year as Walt Disney's Christmas Picture. It's coming out November 11, I believe, and its called 'Toy Story.'"

I wonder how that worked out?
posted by fairmettle at 3:32 PM on October 15, 2009


This is a brilliant interview; thanks for finding it!
posted by adrianhon at 4:27 PM on October 15, 2009


I think the work speaks for itself. I think people could choose to do things if they want to but we're all going to be dead soon, that's my point of view. Somebody once told me, they said "Live each day as if it would be your last and one day you'll certainly be right." I do that. You never know when you're going to go but you are going to go pretty soon. If you're going to leave anything behind its going to be your kids, a few friends and your work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:03 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that he supports school vouchers.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:38 PM on October 15, 2009


Not too surprising to me that he supports vouchers and hates unions. It's a pretty common Silicon Valley view that competitive meritocracy is the answer to most things (and I'm guessing Jobs is part of why that view is so popular here).
posted by wildcrdj at 6:30 PM on October 15, 2009


"The problem there of course is the unions. The unions are the worst thing that ever happened to education because it's not a meritocracy. It turns into a bureaucracy, which is exactly what has happened. The teachers can't teach and administrators run the place and nobody can be fired. It's terrible."

I guess if you're successful in one area, you automatically gain the authority to expound on anything you want. I have a neighbor who runs a successful restaurant who is also an expert in many different areas. I feel sorry for poor people, who can only be authorities on trivial things.
posted by mecran01 at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I believe very strongly that if the country gave each parent a voucher for forty-four hundred dollars that they could only spend at any accredited school several things would happen.

So the argument he is making that people have the idea school is "free" and that there's no comparison shopping when it comes to education. Thus he supports the idea of vouchers.

I am not sure why school vouchers is a bad idea, or why people are against it. If every American family is given the same amount of money for school vouchers, based on the number of school aged children they have, how would this be a bad thing?
posted by thisperon at 10:03 PM on October 15, 2009


If every American family is given the same amount of money for school vouchers, based on the number of school aged children they have, how would this be a bad thing?

One reason is that we already have an epidemic of religious intrusion into public services and laws. At least with public schools, though there may be bureaucracy, there's at least some possibility of oversight, and some potential to educate children so that they become adults with fewer superstitions and irrational hatreds than their parents. That's a worthy goal.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:54 PM on October 15, 2009


The problem of school vouchers is that (a) schools dont make or break education, teachers do; and (b) there are significant overhead costs.

A voucher-based school system, then, both costs significantly more in lost economies of scale, but also doesn't necessarily give you any benefits because there's little direct correlation between your market actions and the resulting benefit; this is particularly true because class size is an important factor in education quality, so as kids leave to go to the school with half a percentage chance higher of getting a "good" teacher, the quality at the lower school will improve by operation of the increased ability to spend time on each child, leading to a static, non-competitive market equilibrium.
posted by jock@law at 10:58 PM on October 15, 2009


That, or you could use a public debate about the future of our country to opportunistically slander religious people.
posted by jock@law at 11:00 PM on October 15, 2009



One reason is that we already have an epidemic of religious intrusion into public services and laws. At least with public schools, though there may be bureaucracy, there's at least some possibility of oversight, and some potential to educate children so that they become adults with fewer superstitions and irrational hatreds than their parents. That's a worthy goal.


I don't see how this changes if schools are on voucher systems, though. If schools are given money via the federal government, it would seem they would still need to adhere to some standard, since they are still a public institution.

I mean, what is stopping the religious intrusion in our current day public schools? Why wouldn't this force also be applicable to voucher-based schools?
posted by thisperon at 11:08 PM on October 15, 2009


The problem of school vouchers is that (a) schools dont make or break education, teachers do; and (b) there are significant overhead costs.

I can understand point (a). It seems to me our current public school system really drives away what might some creative and talented people who would make amazing teachers. It does not seem that money is the root of the problem either (although that is an important part of it). It seems there's so much that teachers are NOT allowed to do, and many of them burn out extremely quickly. Why is this?

As for (b), what overhead costs are there to a voucher system that aren't currently also part of the overhead of our current school system?

I am not a gungho voucher supporter (I'm neutral to the idea as I currently understand it), but I'm curious as to why so many are so vociferously against the idea. I would certainly like to see more flexibility in the way good teachers are allowed to handle a class, rather than less.

Incidentally, if this article sheds any light, it sounds like there MAY be a problem with the way in which teachers are paid by seniority, instead of performance.
posted by thisperon at 11:32 PM on October 15, 2009


Quite a find! Thanks for the post.
posted by churl at 1:58 AM on October 16, 2009


As for (b), what overhead costs are there to a voucher system that aren't currently also part of the overhead of our current school system?

Well, as a first -- more obvious but less meaningful -- point, there's the administration of the voucher system.

But also, you can't compete between schools unless there's more than one school in a market. That means that the communities are responsible for building, maintaining, and staffing more schools. Many communities are struggling to keep the ones they have from falling apart.

(Yes, I know that many of the entrants to the market would be private schools - but they would still be funded by public money in a voucher system, so they'd still be supported by the community.)

Since building, maintaining, and staffing a school that can take 2,000 isn't as expensive as building, maintaining, and staffing four schools that can take 500, a publicly-funded (directly or by voucher) multi-school market has inefficiencies of scale. Furthermore, because the identity of the school has little bearing on a student's success, it's likely to be counterproductive, or at least ineffective.

Competition at the granularity of teachers is a better solution. It would be almost opaque to the students, because students switch teachers every year anyway. But more importantly, the market for teachers is the one with the least efficiency (because of union contracts as your boogeyman, but also for other significantly good reason that the talking-head libertarians like to ignore, like, oh, the inability of a lot of students to accurately judge the value of goods received), the best outlook for change, and the most impact on educational success.

(And let's leave aside the question of the market that would spring up to help parents choose the best school in a voucher system. Do we really need helicopter parents obsessing over their eight-year-old with a copy of U.S. News & World Reports 100 Best Southern California Third Grades? Way to absolutely kill any intellectual spark any kid might have.)
posted by jock@law at 6:40 AM on October 16, 2009


But also, you can't compete between schools unless there's more than one school in a market. That means that the communities are responsible for building, maintaining, and staffing more schools. Many communities are struggling to keep the ones they have from falling apart.

So what's the big deal if there's only one school in the market? That school gets all the money, like it does now. No change.

Since building, maintaining, and staffing a school that can take 2,000 isn't as expensive as building, maintaining, and staffing four schools that can take 500, a publicly-funded (directly or by voucher) multi-school market has inefficiencies of scale.

What if that 2,000 student school also has to support several layers of administrators and bureaucrats that the smaller school doesn't? What if the larger school spends a good chunk of its budget on intramurals, and the smaller school doesn't? What if the pubic school has to deal with a teachers union, and the smaller school doesn't? This isn't a theoretical question; we have public school and private school now, and the private schools usually spend less money. In Washington, D.C., for instance, the total amount spent per student in public school is around $25,000 a year, and the average private school tuition is around $10,000. Few people would say that the public schools offer a superior education for the money.

(And let's leave aside the question of the market that would spring up to help parents choose the best school in a voucher system. Do we really need helicopter parents obsessing over their eight-year-old with a copy of U.S. News & World Reports 100 Best Southern California Third Grades? Way to absolutely kill any intellectual spark any kid might have.)

Again, we have this already—for rich families who can afford the tuition. "Best Private Schools" is a regular feature in most regional parenting magazines. I fail to see how this would "kill any intellectual spark."

My only concern with a voucher system would be that the existing exclusive private schools would probably just raise their tuition by the amount of the voucher, based on our experience with tax credits for college tuition and mortgage interest. But new schools would inevitably appear as well, and if they sucked, people just wouldn't send their kids there, so what's the harm.
posted by designbot at 10:08 AM on October 16, 2009


Why wouldn't this force also be applicable to voucher-based schools?

I don't think private and religious schools would cotton to public interference, even if they'll be happy to take the free public money.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:01 AM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


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