Smithsonian Oral and Video Histories: Steve Jobs

Overlook, if you can, the appalling transcription of this otherwise transfixing Steve Jobs interview. This is Steve pre-Toy Story, pre-return-to-Apple, pre-iPod, but it still reads fresh. The benefit of being a visionary, I suppose. Jobs is right up there with Lincoln on my fantasy dinner-party guestlist.

Alot of times we think “Why is the television programming so bad? Why are television shows so demeaning, so poor?” The first thought that occurs to you is “Well, there is a conspiracy: the networks are feeding us this slop because its cheap to produce. It’s the networks that are controlling this and they are feeding us this stuff but the truth of the matter, if you study it in any depth, is that networks absolutely want to give people what they want so that will watch the shows. If people wanted something different, they would get it. And the truth of the matter is that the shows that are on television, are on television because that’s what people want. The majority of people in this country want to turn on a television and turn off their brain and that’s what they get. And that’s far more depressing than a conspiracy.

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