A lot of people think Steve Jobs was not that smart after all. First diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2003, he waited a full nine months before he had a secret operation in July 2004. He put off the surgery advised by doctors, friends and family, and instead explored macrobiotic diets and other options, including going to “spiritualists.” When he finally agreed to the operation, his cancer had spread beyond his pancreas, hastening his impending death.
So what do you think?
What you think depends on one thing and one thing only: whether you are among those who've been very ill or not.
There is a huge chasm between the sick and the well, as big as the chasm between the 1% of rich people who run our country and the 99% who have no say and are at the mercy of the 1%.
It's about as big as the one between the quick and the dead. The quick have plenty to say about the dead, but the dead can't hear or talk back.
Number one: if you're well, the chances are good that you'll feel as ready to blame sick people for their illnesses and their choices about it, as Republicans are at blaming poor people for being poor.
Number two: if you're well, you have no idea what a person goes through who is faced with a life-threatening illness, and you can easily muster the arrogance to judge their choices.
Number three: if you're well, you're just plain lucky in your genes, environment and circumstances, and you'd do well to STFU when to comes to having opinions about others not so fortunate. You're a little like those arrogant men — Romney, Perry, Santorum, etc. — who think they have the right to decide for an entire gender, not their own, whether that gender should have a choice to abort a pregnancy or not.
Told of Jobs' choice by biographer Walter Isaacson, 60 Minutes interviewer Steve Kroft asked this question: “How can such a smart man do such a stupid thing?”