[conspire] OT: On cultivation of survival traits
rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Oct 6 16:57:33 PDT 2011
Circa 1975-1976, I was a member of a local group called Homebrew
Computer Club with (among others) a couple of guys named Steve, who
were just a few years older than my scrawny high-schooler self.
Subscribers who've not been living in a coal mine are probably aware
that one of them died yesterday. (One of the Steves, I mean. I'm not
dead yet. Cranky PostScript routines are tough to kill off entirely,
and there's always the hand-hacked UCSD p-code.)
Having known the late Mr. Jobs in a passing fashion, even with vast
differences of views concerning licensing, DRM, HIG fascism, and a
number of other things, I still greatly mourn his loss, as he was a
uniquely creative, inspiring, and _enormously_ talented person. Even
his failures at Apple and NeXT were greater, more groundbreaking, and
more influential than just about everyone else's successes.
So, his illness and early death were all the more tragic for having been
avoidable. And thereby hangs my point to you-all: That great man died
young because of a foolish, tragic error.
In October 2003, as the computer world buzzed about what cool new
gadget he would introduce next, Apple CEO Steve Jobs - then presiding
over the most dramatic corporate turnaround in the history of Silicon
Valley - found himself confronting a life-and-death decision.
During a routine abdominal scan, doctors had discovered a tumor growing
in his pancreas. While a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often
tantamount to a swiftly executed death sentence, a biopsy revealed that
Jobs had a rare - and treatable - form of the disease. If the tumor were
surgically removed, Jobs' prognosis would be promising: The vast
majority of those who underwent the operation survived at least ten
Yet to the horror of the tiny circle of intimates in whom he'd confided,
Jobs was considering not having the surgery at all. A Buddhist and
vegetarian, the Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) CEO was skeptical of
mainstream medicine. Jobs decided to employ alternative methods to treat
his pancreatic cancer, hoping to avoid the operation through a special
diet - a course of action that hasn't been disclosed until now.
For nine months Jobs pursued this approach [...]
In the end, Jobs had the surgery, on Saturday, July 31, 2004, at
Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, near his home.
People: If you ever have even a hint that you might need medical
screening, get to a competent doctor and have it done. Then, if
a problem is found, get the best available advice about what to do
to fix it, and DO IT RIGHT THEN.
I've gone through my own severe medical problem, and have competent
medical help and DOING IT RIGHT THEN to thank for being still alive to
write this plea to others.
You live in the industrial West. We have real medicine. You don't have
to sit on your ass and trust to funky vegetarian diets recommended by
your naturopath at times when your doctors are saying 'Hi, there's a
small mass of cells in your pancreas that are growing out of control and
trying to kill you. You should have surgery now, before they get bigger
and invade other organs.' Go see your naturopath, your homeopath, your
Reiki therapist, your Huna healer, your osteopath, or your witchdoctor.
But _also_ see good competent doctors, get the best available medical
advice, and DO IT RIGHT THEN.
Everybody dies. But you don't need to die from a foolish mistake.
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