Newton's Apple and Jobs's Apple: Their Dual Trajectory
by Gary North: God,
Gold, Groceries, and Guns
We all know
about the apple that Isaac Newton supposedly saw fall to the earth,
thereby causing him to come up with the mathematics of gravitation
the most important and unbreakable law governing physical
objects, and still unexplained. (Why should masses attract each
other at a distance in a vacuum?)
What goes up
eventually falls . . . unless is disappears into outer space and
becomes statistically irrelevant. Gravity overcomes the inertia
of upward movement. What goes up always falls.
descent to earth is inevitable. I can prove it in 15 words.
Here are the
first four: regression to the mean. There is no way around
this. This is the law of social gravity.
What kept this
from happening earlier was the fact that Steve Jobs was a creative
genius, like few other men in history. He also had this advantage:
he was called back to save the company when its share price was
$5. Without both roles genius and savior Apple would
barely be visible. It might have gone bankrupt.
who replaces him will be a corporation man. He will not be a creative
genius. He will also be someone who came up from the ranks as a
Steve Jobs flunky.
Here is Apple's
plight: everyone in the outfit is Steve Jobs's flunky, and everyone
else knows it. Everyone bent low whenever Jobs entered the room.
This position was not always in the form of a bow.
was a mean-spirited, foul-mouthed, intolerant man. He
told people publicly their work was "crap." He humiliated subordinates.
That was his style. He was a personal SOB. He is beloved in death
only because he turned out to be right in the marketplace, over
and over, but only in the post-1996 period. Before that, the technology
was not there to let him implement his vision.
is that inconsiderate, that much of a personal jerk, can get the
cooperation of highly skilled people unless he makes them a lot
There is no
one to follow him. There will never be another Steve Jobs at Apple.
Apple now faces
the Bao Dai phenomenon.
have never heard of Bao Dai. Wiki
tells us who he was.
Bao Đai (lit.
"keeper of greatness", 22 October 191330 July 1997) was the
13th and last ruler of the Nguyen dynasty. From 1926 to 1945, he
was king (or emperor) of Annam under French 'protection'. During
this period, Annam was a protectorate within French Indochina, covering
the central two-thirds of the present-day Vietnam. Bao Đai ascended
the throne in 1932 at the age of 19. The Japanese ousted the French
in March 1945 and then ruled through Bao Đai. At this time, Bao
Đai renamed his country "Vietnam". He abdicated in August 1945 when
Japan surrendered. He was the chief of state of the State of Vietnam
(South Vietnam) from 1949 until 1955. Bao Đai was criticized as
being closely associated with France and spending much of his time
outside of Vietnam. Prime Minister Ngô Đ́nh Diem ousted him in a
referendum held in 1955. . . .
was widely regarded as fraudulent, showing an alleged ninety-eight
percent in favor of a republic. Bao Dai abdicated once again and
remained in exile for the remainder of his life in Paris, France.
With the emperor
gone, no leader had legitimacy. Every leader faced resistance from
the other pretenders. "I'm as good as you are. Better, even." This
led to the inevitable escalation.
Over the next
20 years, the leaders fought it out, with the USSR and the USA using
its side as a surrogate.
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North [send him mail]
is the author of Mises
on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com.
He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An
Economic Commentary on the Bible.
2011 Gary North
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