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tv   After Words  CSPAN  February 21, 2015 10:53pm-11:01pm EST

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change our lives and he evidently had a tremendous impact on yours. wes it's been great. you are amazing. i can't wait to see the rest of the chapters of your life and i hope you'll continue to share with us in your great literacy right and my best to your wife and her two children. thanks so much. this has been the best part of my week. >> guest: thank you, you too. >> that was "after words" that was "after words" booktv's signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policymakers and others familiar with their material. "after words" airs every weekend on booktv at 10:00 p.m. on saturday 12 and 9:00 p.m. on sunday and 12:00 a.m. on monday. and you can also watch "after words" on line. go to and click on on "after words" in the booktv
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series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> sally wright did not grow up up -- back then the job was not available. she was born in may of 1951. the united states space program was a men's club, a white man's club restricted to fighter pilots and military men. a few women who did apply and keep in mind we had a lot of very qualified women pilots in those days in the early to middle 50's out of world war ii and the work they had done. but all of these talented women were summarily rejected. women were considered too weak, too unscientific, too womanly to fly in the space program. one newspaper editorialized that a female in the cockpit would be and i quote a nagging backseat rocket driver. thank you very much.
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another newspaper columnist who ridiculed the prospect of women as astronauts by calling them gnats. sally ride love science as a kid but her interest in nasa was a spectator. like kids from that era and certainly some of you she watched those early lift outs when the teacher will then have big black-and-white tv set with rabbit ears into the classroom and watched john glenn and everybody else take off. as a child sally ride play tennis and she was so accomplished and so good on the junior circuit and the women's circuit that she couldn't consider turning pro. she dropped out of college for a few months to give it a try. she realize she would never be one of the elite of elite and that is all she would have settled for she decided that was not the place you needed to be. years later when she would be asked what was that it stopped her from her tennis career sally always said it was my forehand.
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but it never stopped her forward progress. when tennis did work as she pivoted back into science went to stanford university for undergraduate and her masters and her doctorate in astrophysics. i should also point out let's say she was not an underachiever. she was a double astrophysics major when she was an undergraduate. sally was in the midst of writing or postgraduate school applications one morning in 1977 1977 january 1977 when she wakes up in the morning and she goes to the stanford student union to get a coffee and a sweet roll to wake up before class. she picks up the stanford daily and never gets beyond the front page. the headline was just at the fold and it read nasa to recruit women. sally's future had just dropped into her lap.
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>> would the smarty right? not exceptionally. >> guest: i compare and contrast him as an absolutely
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wonderful smart guy of course to bill gates and bill gates had more of what you would call conventional mental processing power. and i would would marvel and watch bill gates take large amounts of information sometimes two screens on his desk and screens with four windows on onto him and he would process the information and the absolutely brilliant. steve was not brilliant in that way. he didn't have that analytical processing power. what he had with an intuitive genius. he could have a feel for things a feel for what people would like, feel for beauty, a feel for what would work so to me that is what i meant by genius. and albert einstein who i wrote about. albert einstein was not the best physicist in 1905. in fact he was a third class patent examiner because he couldn't even get his ph.d..
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they kept rejecting his thesis pretty couldn't get a job at the university. he wouldn't say he is by conventional standards the greatest physicist mind of 1905. but he was the greatest genius. he was able to make imaginative and intuitive leaps. i would never nor would steve jobs put them in the same quantum orbit as albert einstein but there was a similarity which is that the genius of steve jobs came from making intuitive leaps imagine gently questioning received wisdom. that is what ben franklin did and that is what albert einstein did. question things that you and i might say question the perceived wisdom of newton writing that time marches along second by
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second irrespective of how we observe it. and this patent clerk albert einstein, how would we test that and take two clocks and try to synchronize them? likewise with steve jobs people didn't know we needed 1000 jobs in our pocket. we had walkman and mp3 players that were big part of our lives but steve was able to have a feel for beauty a feel for customer experience that to me made him the greatest intuitive genius of the digital age. that is what i meant by the that. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible


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