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The Downside of Openness

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorOctober 22, 2011 1:18 AM


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Chris Mooney finds much to admire with this list of Steve Jobs revelations, leaked from Walter Isaacson's forthcoming biography:

He gave up Christianity at age 13 when he saw starving children on the cover of Life magazine. (AP) * He was returning from an apple farm on one of his fruitarian diets when he chose the name of his company (AP) * He told John Sculley (the former Pepsi exec who ousted Jobs) that if he hadn't started Apple (AAPL) he might have been a poet in Paris (Huffington Post) *He told Barack Obama he was headed for a one-term presidency (Huffington Post) *He offered to create Obama's ad campaign but became annoyed because Obama's strategist David Axelrod wasn't sufficiently deferential (HuffPo) *Gates was fascinated with Jobs but found him "fundamentally odd" and "weirdly flawed as a human being" (HuffPo)

Oddly, Mooney didn't include this nugget:

He [Jobs] came to regret having delayed surgery when his cancer was first diagnosed -- turning instead to fruit juices, acupuncture and herbal cures, some of which he found on the Internet.

Anyway, Mooney goes on to write:

I've been thinking a lot about Apple's success, and the Jobs phenomenon, from the perspective of the study of human personality. And I'm willing to bet that Jobs was a person who would have scored very high on the trait Openness to Experience"“fractious, rebellious, innovative, intellectual, unconventional, determined to change the world and be noticed.

Umm, yeah, and opennessto woo might have ended up killing Jobs prematurely. Kinda odd that science blogger Mooney didn't have anything to say about that.

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