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In the end Steve Jobs’ contempt for human life did not exempt his own. He sacrificed himself thoughtlessly in one final and meaningless act, an act of radical branding so brave and revolutionary the media listed the cause of death as pancreatic cancer.

Of course, as we learn in Steve Jobs, to attribute Steve Jobs’ death to pancreatic cancer is to libel the cancer. In 2003 Steve Jobs had a pancreatic cancer scare that turned out to be a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, an extremely rare and slow-growing condition that accounts for only 1 percent of pancreatic cancer cases. It was the best-case scenario. His wife told Isaacson she remembered his doctors “tearing up with joy” when they learned the good news.

But then Steve Jobs refused to have surgery, once again putting all his faith and bullying, reality-blind certitude into his insufferable brand of sanctimonious veganism. This wasn’t a matter of passing up radiation and chemo; this was a matter of passing up every cancer patient’s dream of not even having to go through radiation and chemo.

“The big thing,” his wife explained to Isaacson, “was that he really was not ready to open his body,” as if such a move might jeopardize his manufacturer’s warranty. Then, burrowing into the depths of reality distortion, she added: “It’s hard to push someone to do that.”


Published inCurrent Events