“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”
–Albert Einstein


Have you ever received a gift propelling your brain to whiz around like a kaleidoscope? 

I have.

My uber creative sister Amy gave me Quotable Wisdom: Steve Jobs, edited by Carol Kelly-Gangi. I have read and reread the book. Given that this blog is named after an Albert Einstein quote on creativity, I’ve invented a conversation between the two genius thinkers.

Steve Jobs had a lot more in common with Einstein than the Apple Think Different ad campaign of the 1990s featuring the physicist.

Through my research, I’ve discovered their similar outlooks on life. What a joy it’s been to create a conversation they may have had on love, gravity, death, god. I could feel my temporal lobe warming as I immersed myself in their words. 

I hope you enjoy my fictitious dialogue as much as I enjoyed creating it.

On Education

EINSTEIN: There is too much education altogether in American schools. The only rational way of educating is to be an example of what to avoid…Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

Photo by L.A. Cicero in article by Michael Pena about Jobs' 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address (Stanford website)
Photo by L.A. Cicero in article by Michael Pena about Jobs’ 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address (Stanford website)

JOBS: The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting…I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to [create the letters]. It was beautiful. Historical. Artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture…And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with great typography.

EINSTEIN: It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

JOBS: I know from my own education that if I hadn’t encountered two or three individuals I would have been in jail.

On Success

Triangles_150_SM_YelJOBS: I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

EINSTEIN: You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.  [But] try not to become a man of success but rather try to be a man of value.

JOBS: I was worth about over a million dollars when I was twenty-three and over ten million dollars when I was twenty-four and over a hundred million dollars when I was twenty-five, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for money.

On Music

EINSTEIN: Life without playing music is inconceivable for me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music…I get most joy in life out of music.

JOBS: I think of most things as either a Bob Dylan or a Beatles song.

On Love

Einstein and his first wife Mileva Maric, a Serbian physicist.

JOBS: I was in the parking lot, with the key in the car, and I thought to myself, “If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman?”

EINSTEIN: Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.

JOBS: Here—Why does that fall? You know why? Nobody in the entire world knows why that falls.

EINSTEIN: Gravitation is not responsible for falling in love. When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.

On Humanity

EINSTEIN: It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

JOBS: I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.

EINSTEIN: We appeal, as human beings, to human beings: Remember your humanity and forget the rest.

On Time, Death and God

EINSTEIN: The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.

JOBS: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

Triangles_150_SM_BluEINSTEIN: I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

JOBS: Sometimes I believe in God. I think it’s 50-50 maybe. But ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about it more…I kind of—maybe it’s ‘cause I want to believe in an afterlife…Yeah, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone. And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.

EINSTEIN: Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.

JOBS: Death is the destination we all share, no one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life.

Mr. Jobs’ quotes are from Quotable Wisdom: Steve Jobs, edited by Ms. Carol-Gangi who herself cited myriad sources. Mr. Einstein’s quotes are from sources including his book The World As I See It, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein and brainiac.com.

Sally-Ann O’Dowd is the founder/CEO of Sally On Media, a communications and content marketing company.

2 thoughts on “Jobs and Einstein Talk About Cars, Girls and God by Sally-Ann O’Dowd

  1. Amy &Ruthie says:

    We think your blog is brilliant! Really intriguing thoughts that will stand the test of time..,just like the discoveries of Einstein and Jobs. Well done.

  2. Arthur says:

    A pleasure to imagine the conversation between two fascinating people. Yes I indeed enjoyed reading it as much as you must have in creating it.
    Thank you Sally

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