Forbidden Fruit: Thirty years of oppressive spiritual cultivation at Apple (Part II)

Inside the Church of Apple and the living word of Steve Jobs

Cher Scarlett
Published in
21 min readFeb 14


Part two of a five-part series. New here? Read Part I: Welcome to Apple.

The Garden of Eden With the Fall of Man, c1615 and Apple’s first logo. (Fair use!)

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.

Sir Isaac Newton, Untitled Treatise on Revelation

I’ve always found this quote somewhat confounding. Truth’s simplicity always felt dependent on the context! If you remove enough information from a statement, it can sound authoritatively true, despite its inaccuracy. Was Newton mad as a hatter? Nay. Newton was a man of God. He goes on to write:

…It is the perfection of God’s works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity. He is the God of order & not of confusion. And therefore as they that would understand the frame of the world must indeavour to reduce their knowledg to all possible simplicity, so it must be in seeking to understand these visions.

And they that shall do otherwise do not onely make sure never to understand them, but derogate from the perfection of the prophesy; & make it suspicious also that their designe is not to understand it but to shuffle it of & confound the understandings of men by making it intricate & confused.

An ironically intricate and wordy way to communicate seeing the natural order within the chaos. Euclid and Fibonacci, the ancient ‘giants’ who laid the ground work for algebra, mathematically described the proportional divinity they observed in living things. Newton’s message was a warning about snake oil: those who reduce complexity without the intent of preserving principle meaning serve a suspicious purpose. It is the simplest form of truth that is beautiful — a simplified equation to describe a snail’s sparkling shell must reproduce the shell when solved.

A history of Apple logos.

A Fortress of Secrecy and Spirituality

The original logo of Apple was a far cry from the ‘focus and simplicity’ mantra Steve Jobs preached. Newton is sitting under a tree below a glowing Apple, ready to knock the Eureka right into him. The ‘Aha!’ lightbulb moment that would later become the law of gravity is a case of hyperbole gone wild: nothing fell on Newton’s head. He was taking tea during a stroll in his garden and realized something he’d seen day after day, summer after summer, for most of his life. He thought, ‘Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground?’ Apropos for Apple to draw on a myth for its first imagery.

The Evangelist St. John my patron was:
Three Gothic courts are his, and in the first
Was my abiding-place, a nook obscure;
Right underneath, the College kitchens made
A humming sound, less tuneable than bees,
But hardly less industrious ; with shrill notes
Of sharp command and scolding intermixed.
Near me hung Trinity’s loquacious clock,
Who never let the quarters, night or day,
Slip by him unproclaimed, and told the hours
Twice over with a male and female voice.
Her pealing organ was my neighbour too;
And from my pillow, looking forth by light
Of moon or favouring stars, I could behold
The antechapel where the statue stood
Of Newton, with his prism and silent face,
The marble index of a mind forever
Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.

–William Wordsworth, The Prelude

In the framing is an improperly truncated quote from an autobiographical poem comparing the solitary life of the recorder to the statue outside his Cambridge dormitory window. As a philosophical witness of life, it can feel like the whole earth is moving busily about you, and you’ve no choice but to watch it pass. Even at night, when Wordsworth longed for the rest of a quiet mind, he was damned to eternally ruminate through strange thoughts of observation, while college-life buzzed around him.

It’s reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch painter who reduced seemingly mundane things into vivid, strikingly beautiful interpretations grounded in a loyal discipline to their true form. He drew strength from the humility in simple graphite drawings and comfort from interpretative painting using minimal, harmonizing colors. The result was masterpieces like The Starry Night.

Perhaps the sentiment imprinted on the logo was how Jobs imagined himself — a solitary inventor. Did he see Newton, a scientist, as a loner? His stone likeness may have been a stoic soloist, but the Knight himself was the opposite. While he was at Cambridge, he and his colleagues established the Royal Society, an ‘invisible college’ that enabled more broad peer review. Their motto is the latin ‘Nullius in verba, or, ‘Take nobody’s word for it’.

Cherry Corporation, the popular computer hardware company (1953-current)

The sophisticated, simplistic logo was designed by Rob Janoff with specific requests from Jobs. Rainbow coloring to ‘humanize’ the company and a bite out of the Apple to avoid confusion with Cherry. Janoff inferred the rainbow represented the counterculture hippie movement — freedom.

Let us SPEAK thereof, ye wisest ones, even though it be bad.
To be silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Why fruit? I heard a tale that he subconsciously related to Alan Turing, the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Turing was arrested for homosexuality, and criminalizing his identity with an ultimatum of silence and suppression killed him. He was chose to be chemically castrated over physical imprisonment. Realizing a year later it was still a kind of prison, he opted for freedom: he took a bite of a poisoned apple and ended his life. He also loved apples and ate one every night. He was fascinated with the ambiguity of the poisoned McIntosh apple in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It just so happens that the 1980’s Apple project code-named ‘Seven Dwarfs’ was actually named the Snow White design language. A malus is still a malus. The symbol is shared, but not the source.

Steve Jobs said he picked Apple after a stroll through an orchard in Oregon. He was on a fruitarian diet after he returned from his pilgrimage to India. At a 1981 press conference he explained:

I love apples and like to eat them. But the main idea behind Apple is bringing simplicity to the public, in the most sophisticated way, and that’s it, nothing else. The fruit of creation. Apple.

Steve Jobs

A funny anecdote: I threw out the first thing I wrote for this piece. I reduced it to a small reference to Newton’s Apple, editing out several paragraphs comparing Apple’s culture to Einstein’s theory of general relativity. If the shape of the message doesn’t change, simplify. Jobs recognized how important it is to not make things too complicated.

Steve Jobs with his father

Steve Jobs struggled socially in school; he was bullied, jeered as a ‘loner’ and a ‘cry-baby’. His teachers said he was mouthy and inattentive. His parents called him ‘temperamental’ for endangering himself. He drank poison and jammed bobby pins into an electrical socket, but he also spent his free time tinkering in the garage. He learned to build electronics with Heathkits, the packaged Do-It-Yourself technology.

When he refused to do homework, his father blamed the school for not challenging his gifted son. When he skipped ahead a grade, one of his teachers in middle school had to bribe him into studying with her own money. In seventh grade, he demanded his parents transfer him schools. They spent their life savings on a home in Cupertino’s school district, an area with a lot more money — right around the corner were acres upon acres of freshly bulldozed orchards, the tilled soil for the future cultivation of Apple and the rest of Silicon Valley.

Young Steve Jobs on the right.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

William Gaddis, The Revelations, misattributed to Vincent van Gogh (likely due to a few pages later the mention of Van Gogh’s simplifying use of ‘color consonance’), also misattributed to Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was adopted away from the college graduate parents of his successful novelist sister, Mona Simpson, to a disadvantaged, yet indulgent life with a pair of Lutherans: a blue-collar high-school dropout and his wife. His mom worked at one of the first high-tech companies in Silicon Valley as a payroll clerk. Walter Isaacson, Jobs’ biographer, drew parallels in his behavior and internal drive with a profound sense of abandonment and a narcissistic adversarial attitude when he felt crossed.

Jeff Goodall wrote in Rolling Stone that the same underlying trauma gave him a deep desire to prove he was worthy of love. Underneath all his debatably fallible self-aggrandizement — chutzpah, as he’d put it — was a petulant child trying to find his place. Was he petrified of failing in front of the entire world? His oscillating behavior, to him, was his own sect of Buddhism —a spiritual practice borne of his primal journeys studying psychedelic psychologists like Arthur Janov and Neem Karoli Baba. He struggled with overcoming bouts of depression. For all his faults, Steve Jobs was just like many of us, a product of unfair circumstances with a relentless will to thrive.

A young Steve Jobs

Many people referred to him as ‘binary’; he had polar opposite sides. If you could teach him something, or spark his epiphany, you would almost certainly be ushered into his clique of innovators. He could also reduce you to a pool of tears. His long-time friend John Patrick Crecine, the former Dean of Carnegie Mellon, said that it wasn’t cruel: just a manic zealot hyper-focused on his pursuit of excellence. The unification of technology and humanity with an ever-shrinking bridge.

Apple Start New Employee Toolkit We’re so happy you’re joining us. And we want to help you get started, right from day one. This is your guide to getting set up at Apple. Whether you’re brand new, switching roles or locations, or coming back after being away, this toolkit is for you. It has tips and training you can work through at your own pace — from your first day through your first year. Let’s get started.
Apple Start — Corporate. (2020)

I should have seen it coming. The first things I read in onboarding were How Apple Works:Who you know here matters — a lot” and “Confidentiality is an important part of Apple’s culture.” I was directed to Apple University’s column Thoughts Between Classes to learn about Apple’s culture, such as the “unwritten rules” and the “importance of telling the truth”. I’d half-considered enrolling up until I got to a page that was devoted entirely to writing emails like Steve Jobs.

Suppression of speech in social situations leads to isolation: a desolate, alienated emptiness. In retrospect, I can see how Apple’s culture turned my colleagues against me. Even another activist was flipped upside-down. My own manager alerted me of a tweet about workplace culture ending up in the hands of what he referred to as “Public Enemy Number One”, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Who knows who these people would be without close to a decade’s worth of the colonizing madness within the confines of Apple’s Area OS X.

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

— Joseph Fort Newton, Adventures of Faith, misattributed to Isaac Newton

When Apple introduced Slack in 2019, there had not been an open collaboration tool for employees to gather without Apple’s complete control in three decades. The team I worked on added compartmentalized secrecy to Slack. Like a badge at the door of a glass room in Infinite Loop, entrance was guarded by your Apple identity and disclosures. In the early years, the culture wasn’t oppressive, even though it was no secret that Jobs could be a hot-headed jerk.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

In other words, it wasn’t always like this. Apple version 1.0 had run-of-the-mill embargoes and a healthy sense of community. Apple had evangelists, tasked with promoting Apple’s products and services.

Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s first Chief evangelist explained that his job was to proclaim the good news that the Macintosh would make everyone more creative and productive. The Greek etymology of evangelist is ‘bringer of good news’. Guy’s role wasn’t just to sell the Macintosh, it was to convince people that it made his life so much better that they needed it.

Apple was uniquely popular among the minoritized thanks to progressive company policies and services, like a free daycare center. Women made up nearly half of its workforce. The evangelism extended into employee relations: Apple made tech’s ‘discards’ feel welcome, while the rest of the industry was condensing into a sea of white men.

Colleagues connected on internal applications like AppleLink, trolled each other anonymously on Rumor Monger, and spoke to journalists about the workplace. They openly expressed concerns around the company’s lack of women in leadership — specifically that women weren’t getting promoted even a tenth of the time the men were. Discussions involved other familiar concerns like remote work, contribution recognition, and work-life balance. Less familiar issues, like smoking on campus, ground you firmly into the 1990's.

Apple’s free day care center (from the 1990’s) — available by lottery for 74 children.

Every so often, employees prepared a document for the executives titled What Employees Want. The cooperation between management and employees was apparent: together they developed the company’s recycling and commuting-alternative programs. During the summer of 1991, the group named themselves “Employees for One Apple”. After a change in profit-sharing and layoff announcements, the 500 employees considered unionizing, resulting in an official, but informal group of 15 employee delegates that met quarterly with leadership to discuss employee concerns.

When Jobs returned from a 10-year hiatus, he trimmed everything that didn’t serve the business. Employee connections moved to sanctioned, disjointed groups organized by project. To join a conversation, you’d need to be ‘disclosed’ — management decided who was ‘need to know’.

How did we go from openly ‘bringing good news’ to oppressively ‘preaching the gospel’? Just as guitar-riffing rebel Steve Jobs was finding his self-confidence as Apple’s benevolent chauffeur, navigating to a successful home in the land of the tech giants, he abruptly veered off the information superhighway into a humiliating crash. With the world watching, Steve Jobs was living his nightmare: failure.

The Macintosh was sort of like this wonderful romance in your life you once had — and that produced about 10 million children. In a way it will never be over in your life. You’ll still smell the romance every morning when you get up. You’ll see your children around, and you feel good about it. And nothing will ever make you feel bad about it.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was asked to step into a product visionary role where he was not in charge of operations. This was due to his ‘toxic jerk’ management style. Inside Apple, I was told it was due to his girlfriend’s pregnancy. It was too controversial for the brand, which at the time, was a big part of elementary-level education. The fable seems unlikely, given he denied paternity, rarely saw her, and by the time he was ousted, she was seven. It strikes an odd chord that he named a computer after her.

Either way, Jobs was furious and did not want a role without any authority. He left. There’s debate whether or not he was constructively discharged, given that they probably knew he would not accept a position without an aspect of decision-making. He started a new company, NeXT Computers, defiantly building rival personal computers, while still acting as the chairman of Apple’s board.

Steve Jobs presenting the MacBook Air. (2008)

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Dan Anderson, The Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous, misattributed to Albert Einstein

Steve Jobs’ plan was to build “the perfect company” to show up Apple. He took five employees with him and Apple promptly sued him for dereliction of duties. They dropped it when Jobs agreed to a non-compete clause and a six-month moratorium on hiring their employees. The somewhat prophetic culture Steve Jobs created at NeXT after traveling around Italy and the Soviet Union was admirable, he experimented with progressive ideas to foster a sense of belonging and equality. He referred to the workplace and the employees as a “community” of “members” and built his office with an open floor plan.

At NeXT, the siloed internal secrecy didn’t exist. He insisted the internal openness would continue until the first leak of a product. He tried to foster transparency with pay by giving all employees access to the company’s payroll. Jobs was a pioneer of experimenting with socially-responsible programs, too, including offering health insurance plans to unmarried couples, including same-sex couples — until insurance companies put an end to the latter. (We’ve come a long way as a society.) In spite of having seemingly the perfect corporate culture, and pioneering the next phase of software development, NeXT was a disastrous failure.


Without Steve Jobs, Apple was also failing. It had the hardware, but something was missing. Steve Jobs convinced Apple to buy his operating system and they released the next computer with OS X. The missing spark of Apple reignited the trailblazing company, with its rightful tending CEO. The resurrected father of the Mac endeavored to show everyone he was salvation; he’d been reincarnated into a better leader.

The early cultures at NeXT and Apple became relics of the past. While employees found him more prudent, he was still callous and emotionally explosive. Imperfection was the worst kind of failure; to him, anything less than excellent was ‘shit’ — and he wanted you to know about it. Apple folklore would have you believe you could get fired for the wrong kind of eye contact if you stepped into an elevator with the man, leading employees for the decade of his authoritarian rule to look at the floor when unexpectedly sharing a small space with him.

After the launch of MobileMe, and Walt Mossberg’s critical piece about in The Wall Street Journal, he verbally abused the group in the Town Hall auditorium and told them they should hate each other for the garbage they’d created and the executive replaced. By the time an employee uprising erupted a decade after his passing (#AppleToo, from 2021), loud dissent was fabled to be one of the items that could get you “Steve Jobs’d”. In death, the man became a surly verb.

Anya Major as Macintosh, the heroine that saves us from Big Blue. (1984)

During the era of Steve Jobs 2.0, his ‘reality distortion field’ enveloped the rapidly-expanding and evolving Apple culture like an elastic fabric. The reality distortion field is an Appleism borrowed from Star Trek.

Have you heard that Apple Computers was started in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage? In 2013, the modest Palo Alto, California home was designated as a historic site because it was ‘where a young Steve Jobs built the first Apple computers in the mid-1970’s. It became a part of Disney’s Florida theme-park. An incredible rags-to-riches story not only of Steve Jobs, but of Apple itself. It would be very inspiring if it weren’t wildly far from the truth! No computers were even conceptualized in Steve Jobs’ garage. It’s just where they hung out sometimes. Steve Wozniak alone designed and built the Apple I kits. Not in a garage. Ironically, Apple’s first employee, technician Bill Fernandez and Wozniak assembled early computer prototypes together in Fernandez’s garage. That’s the reality distortion field.

Bud Tribble, one of Apple’s very first developers of the Macintosh project chose the allegory. From the words of a man in the midst of an MD-PhD program who knew Steve Jobs from the beginning, cautioning a newly hired Andy Hertzfield, another early key engineer:

The best way to describe the situation is a term from Star Trek. Steve has a reality distortion field… In his presence, reality is malleable. He can convince anyone of practically anything… If you tell him a new idea, he’ll usually tell you that he thinks it’s stupid. But then, if he actually likes it, exactly one week later, he’ll come back to you and propose your idea to you, as if he thought of it.

Bud Tribble

In Star Trek, the science fiction is that inhabitants of a strange planet, Talos, superimposed simulated realities in the minds of other beings. Hertzfield described it as “their own new world through sheer mental force.” He went on to describe Jobs’ power:

The reality distortion field was a confounding mélange of a charismatic rhetorical style, indomitable will, and eagerness to bend any fact to fit the purpose at hand.

Andy Hertzfield

Steve Jobs’ publicist, Andy Cunningham, said he described it to her as the belief that the impossible was possible and transferring that belief onto others. She said he used the reality distortion field to enhance Apple’s brand. He made people believe what he wanted them to believe.

Steve Jobs had a deep understanding of himself and people. Jobs may have dropped out of college, but, for all intents and purposes, he was a psychologist, perhaps even a theologist or philosopher. Through seeking enlightenment, he learned that we are emotional, irrational beings who use cognitive shortcuts to survive. Immersed in the anxiety of an increasingly complex world with an inherent desire for relief, we crave simplicity and familiarity. That’s why we get to the grocery store and reach for the Kellogg’s over the cheaper nameless store brand. The boxes may contain the exact same contents, we pick the brand name because of trust.

I think that sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game, misattributed to Alan Turing

Why would anyone trust someone inside of a reality distortion field? Steve Jobs didn’t tell his developers he could do the impossible, he told Hertzfield and Tribble they would do the impossible. They believed him because they wanted to. Self-efficacy is the power of believing in yourself. It’s innate. Psychologist Albert Bandura referred to this as “people’s beliefs in their capabilities to produce desired effects by their own actions.” Bandura said that collective efficacy is even stronger: if a team believes that can do the impossible through their unified efforts, they are more creative, productive, and effective.

Stress aids in our ability to accomplish these impossible tasks. You’ve heard of the mom who lifted her son’s 3,500-pound 1964 Chevy Impala off of him to save his life? It’s not a myth. The fables of mom super-strength are real. The will to survive makes us capable of seemingly impossible things. (In all things, moderation: chronic stress destroys us mentally and physically.)

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Sir Isaac Newton, borrowed from Bernard of Chartres

When the impossible is achieved, that ‘I think I can, I think I can’ sense is reinforced. With failures and laborers concealed behind a glittering invisibility cloak, Steve Jobs became Apple’s messiah — the man could predict the future! The reality is that given enough time and resources, every puzzling possibility will materialize. Murphy’s Law.

Biologist Lewis Wolpert calls these powers the ‘belief engine’ in his book Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast. He argues that this drive and capability to do impossible things — unique to humans — comes from our ability to think critically and reflect: to consider cause and effect. It’s all about survival: all for one and one for all.

If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there.

Imagination is the only weapon in the war with reality.

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

In Alice in Wonderland, an uncertain young girl cannot trust her reality as she follows the white rabbit, anxiously and urgently making her journey to solve the Caterpillar’s riddle: ‘Who are you?’ In a meeting with the Queen of Hearts, Alice laments at the impossibility of slaying the Jabberwocky. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things,’ to which the Queen responded, ‘Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’

The author, Lewis Carroll, was a bit of a mystery. Lewis Carroll was a pseudonym, his real name was Charles Dodgson. He was so philanthropic that he died with an overdrawn bank account — he was partial to charities for women. Alice in Wonderland is often associated with dropping acid, perhaps because of the time period, but Carroll struggled deeply with his identity and there’s no evidence he was a drug user. ‘Alice in Wonderland syndrome’, is a psychoneurotic phenomena disturbing the perception of the size of objects. It is not dissimilar to hallucinations, but can also be caused by venereal disease and migraines, the latter of which Carroll experienced.

Lewis Carrol was a brilliant mathematician and a committed member of the Church of England. He had a wretched childhood in a religious boarding school — where it’s been inferred he was molested. An ordained Deacon with Mathematics and Arts degrees, Carroll’s course The Beauty of Mathematics at Oxford taught students to choose to see the beauty in the world.

Literary critic Karoline Leach wrote that Carroll viewed the pursuit of beauty as a “means of retrieving lost innocence.” As a deeply devout man of faith, innocence was what was lost in Eden when Adam and Eve took a bite of the Forbidden Fruit. In the 12th century, Christians made that fruit the Latin malus from the pagans which means both ‘evil’ and ‘apple’, a perfect double entendre for a fruit that keeps the doctor away but also results in banishment from paradise.

When you’ve understood this scripture, throw it away. If you can’t understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom.

Jack Kerouac, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, misattributed to Lewis Carrol (The Cheshire Cat)

For Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel, Temptation and Fall, he ignored the propaganda about the malus. Instead, he painted figs. One of the first fruit trees to be cultivated, figs represented fertility and agriculture: depicted by the Greek goddess Demeter. In the 16th century — when Michelangelo painted the ceiling, it was already slang for women’s genitals, used as a pejorative. The language evolved into the word sycophant, etymologizing from ‘informer’ to ‘slanderer’ finally ending with ‘a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage’.

Millennia before the Greeks dreamt of Demeter, the fig belonged to another goddess, Isis. In Egyptian literature, the amount of written word from Isis eclipses that of any other deity; she is said to have been “more clever than a million gods”. In Egypt, women were revered for nurturing wisdom. The fig was a symbol of knowledge.

Scholars have toiled over Michelangelo’s artworks to find the necropsy hobbyist’s secret message. They argue over his depictions of anatomy — are they hidden brains or uteruses? We are naturally driven by a crusade for hidden meaning; we see serendipitous patterns everywhere. Uterus or brain, the message is the same: life is a gift. People see both of these organs because Michelangelo painted figs.

Courtesy of Anne Chun.

Forbidden Figs did not catch on. By the time John Milton wrote the poem Paradise Lost in the 17th century, the garden of Eden’s trees were filled with Christianity’s chosen fruit of creation. Apples, literally with a capital ‘A’.

These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.

William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

In Shakespeare’s Othello, when Iago exclaimed “Blest fig’s end!”, the meaning was describing women as evil, seductive sirens. Apparently the language crafters of the last few hundred years missed where Emilia declared men ‘are all but stomachs, and we all but food’.

The only Black character in the play is Othello, who marries Desdemona. The couple does not care about their racial differences, but society tears them apart by making Othello believe Desdemona is unfaithful. The play’s driving force is the quest for a universal moral principle. At its core, the play is a hyperbole of authoritarian, misogynistic, and racist propaganda.

Othello is a pious man and Iago scoffs at his relationship with Desdemona, claiming it would ‘renounce his baptism.’ Iago paints Desdemona as a harlot; a sycophant using her body to woo Othello to align with his status. Othello obsessively pursues affirmation she’s not the ‘cunning whore of Venice’. Yet when faced with such evidence, he smothers his wife with a pillow. Society has brainwashed him and the only way out of his mental turmoil was total annihilation. No proof could unravel his false reality; only in the tragic pain of grief did he realize the truth.

This message transcends across Shakespeare’s entire body of work.

‘Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid’s archery,
Sink in Apple of his eye’.

When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Forbidden Fruit theory postures that the more unavailable something seems, the more desirable it is. Prohibition increases demand, it does not reduce it. It’s why artificial scarcity creates so many successful frauds in the digital universe of blockchain commodities of virtual real estate, cryptocurrency, and non-fungible token art (colloquially known as ‘web3’).

The Apple of one’s eye is of the utmost value. Shakespeare was a master of depth of meaning: by dropping the potion into Lysander’s pupil, Helena would become the love of his life.

Choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.

George Lucas, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Steve Jobs brilliantly selected the Apple as a brand for its deceptive simplicity. New York, ‘the Big Apple’, was the most populous city in the nation by two-fold. Apple would become the most popular brand by at least that margin.

After two overt failures, he resolved to learn from his mistakes. The genesis of the perfect company would need a return to basics. Forbidden Fruit theory would propel his creation, Apple, and thus society, to the next level.

Courtesy of Joel Latto.

The result? Everyone was on the edge of their seats with anticipation. ‘Oh! To be behind the velvet curtain to see what Apple is doing to change the world!’ But there are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth. Backstage, hidden behind the allure of the Star was a dying crew running the show.

Part III in this series about Apple drops tomorrow

Each day this week, at 5am PST, the next part of this series will be published. The massive bibliography will be posted on Friday with Part V. Missed Part I? Read it here.

Anthropologists and journalists agree that Apple is a religion, backed up by the neuroscience that confirms Apple’s fans have a religious experience when they see imagery associated with the brand. Academics and cultural historians have labeled Apple a cult. Leander Kahney didn’t title his book The Cult of Mac for nothing. Some fans fight till they die, over what? Over iPhones!

Thirty years of oppressive spiritual cultivation at Apple: Part III

Join me in tomorrow in Part III as we travel deeper into the center of the labyrinthian Apple, unraveling the mysteries within the puzzle box Steve Jobs left behind. Get a glimpse below a shiny Apple’s terrible depth from an insider who has been face-to-face with what lies beneath — Tim Cook’s globalization. Read it here.