October 13, 2014 - Walter Isaacson

  • 10/13/2014

Michelle Obama flubs a candidate's name, South Dakota's Senate race heats up, Stephen prepares for his final 32 episodes, and Walter Isaacson discusses "The Innovators."

(EAGLE CAW)>> STEPHEN: TONIGHT, THE

MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARE ONNOVEMBER 4TH.

OR IF YOU'RE A DEMOCRAT,NOVEMBER 7TH!

(LAUGHTER)THEN, AMERICA REACHES A

MILESTONE.

THOUGH IT HAD TO USE ONE OFTHOSE REACHER-GRABBERS.

(LAUGHTER)AND MY GUEST, WALTER ISAACSON,

HAS A NEW BOOK ABOUT THE HISTORYOF YOUR COMPUTER -- IT HAD TO BE

YOUR HISTORY BECAUSE I ALWAYSCLEAR MINE.

(LAUGHTER)NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR LAUNCHED 20

YEARS AGO TODAY, AND IT HAS JUSTNOW FINISHED LOADING.

(LAUGHTER)THIS IS "THE COLBERT REPORT."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)♪♪

SOUTH DAKOTA WAS SUPPOSED TO BEAN EASY PICKUP FOR THE

REPUBLICANS ON THEIR WAY TO ASENATE MAJORITY.

BUT NOW IT'S A DEAD HEAT BETWEENTHESE THREE CANDIDATES, WHO ARE

MAKING THEIR FINAL PITCH FORCAMPAIGN CASH -- OR WHATEVER

CURRENCY THEY USE INSOUTH DAKOTA -- I BELIEVE IT'S

CRUSHED SOUVENIR PENNIES FROMWALL DRUG.

(LAUGHTER)AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST POLITICAL

FIGURES IN THE STATE IS READY TOWEIGH IN.

JOINING ME NOW WITH ANENDORSEMENT THAT COULD SWAY THE

RACE IS SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNORDENNIS DAUGAARD.

GOVERNOR DAUGAARD, THANK YOU FORJOINING ME.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> STEPHEN: NOW, SIR, IT'S A

TIGHT RACE.

I UNDERSTAND YOU'RE HERE TOANNOUNCE WHO YOU'RE BACKING.

CORRECT?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

I DON'T THINK IT'LL SURPRISE ANYSOUTH DAKOTANS TO HEAR THAT I'M

ENDORSING MIKE ROUNDS.

>> STEPHEN: OKAY.

REPUBLICAN MIKE ROUNDS.

WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT, SIR?

>> WELL, HAVING SPENT EIGHTYEARS AS A LT. GOVERNOR UNDER

MIKE, I CAN SAY THAT HE HAS THELEADERSHIP AND VISION WE NEED IN

WASHINGTON.

NOT TO MENTION, HE'S A HUNTINGBUDDY.

>> STEPHEN: THERE YOU HAVE IT.

BY THE WAY, GOVERNOR, HOW DOESIT FEEL TO HAVE YOUR STATE'S

POLITICS THRUST INTO THENATIONAL SPOTLIGHT?

>> IT'S THRILLING.

MOST PEOPLE CAN'T IDENTIFY ASINGLE POLITICIAN FROM

SOUTH DAKOTA.

>> STEPHEN: I KNOW.

THAT'S WHY I JUST HIRED YOU, ALOCAL ACTOR, TO PLAY THE

GOVERNOR OF SOUTH DAKOTA BECAUSEI KNEW NO ONE COULD TELL THE

DIFFERENCE.

(LAUGHTER)(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

BY THE WAY, CAN I LEAVE THISHEAD SHOT WITH YOU?

>> STEPHEN: ABSOLUTELY.

TOM CREEL, EVERYBODY!

HE'S FANTASTIC!

IT SAYS HERE, UNDER SPECIALSKILLS, HE CAN JUGGLE!

(LAUGHTER)(APPLAUSE)

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

>> STEPHEN: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY!

FOLKS, THERE ARE SO MANYIMPORTANT STORIES OUT THERE

RIGHT NOW -- I.S.I.S., UKRAINE,EBOLA.

TONIGHT WE EXPLORE THE MOSTCRITICAL STORY OF ALL -- ME.

BACK IN 2005 WHEN I STARTED "THECOLBERT REPORT," IT WAS FOR AN

INITIALLY FOR AN EIGHT-WEEKTRYOUT.

IN OTHER WORDS, 32 EPISODES.

AND AS OF TONIGHT, THERE AREONLY 32 EPISODES OF THE "THE

COLBERT REPORT" LEFT.

(AUDIENCE AWWW'S)DON'T WORRY, NATION.

EVEN THOUGH MY SHOW WILL BE OFFTHE AIR, I'LL STILL BE IN HERE

PROVIDED YOUR HEART HAS A D.V.R.

(LAUGHTER)THERE'S JUST NOTHING LEFT FOR ME

TO ACCOMPLISH.

I PROMISED I WOULD CHANGE THEWORLD, AND I DID -- AFTER ALL,

IN 2005 YOU DIDN'T HAVE IGGYAZELIA, SNAPCHAT OR AMERICONE

DREAM ICE CREAM.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)I FREED YOU FROM THE TYRANNY OF

HAVING TO FUDGE-COAT YOUR OWNCHUNKS OF WAFFLECONE.

THAT SAVES TIME.

TIME YOU CAN SPEND WITH YOURFAMILY.

MM-MMM!

EVEN THE LID TASTES GOOD.

(LAUGHTER)BY THE WAY, I MAY BE LEAVING,

BUT THE ICE CREAM IS GOING TOSTAY.

YET ANOTHER WAY YOU CAN KEEP MEIN HERE.

'CUZ THIS IS GONNA GUM UP YOURAORTA.

(LAUGHTER)AND I GUARANTEE THAT EACH OF THE

REMAINING EPISODES WILL BECOMEINSTANT CLASSICS, TREASURED BY

GENERATIONS FOR THEIR DEEP,POETIC THOUGHTS, HEAVY-HANDED

SYMBOLISM, AND MASSIVEFORESHADOWING.

ISN'T THAT RIGHT, GRIMMY?

(LAUGHTER)(AUDIENCE REACTS)

HMM...

WHAT COULD THAT MEAN?

(LAUGHTER)YOU'RE BY FIRE, YOU'RE

POINTING AT AN HOURGLASS -- OOH,STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE!

(LAUGHTER)YOU LIKE MY PAINTING, AND

YOUR NECK IS ITCHY.

(LAUGHTER)SKULL AND CROSSBONES...

THEY'RE MAKING "PIRATES OF THECARIBBEAN 32!"

(APPLAUSE)OF COURSE, THE BIGGEST QUESTION

OF ALL REMAINS, HOW WILL MYFINAL BROADCAST CLOSE?

WILL I WAKE UP NEXT TOSUZANNE PLESHETTE IN A SNOW

GLOBE AFTER RACHEL GETS OFF THEPLANE TO BE WITH ME WHILE B.J.

HONEYCUTT WRITES OUT GOODBYE INROCKS, UNTIL WE CUT TO BLACK IN

THE MIDDLE OF A JOURNEY SONG?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)OR WILL I JUST GET SUED FOR

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT?

TUNE IN TO FIND OUT!

BUT REST ASSURED, NATION, UPUNTIL THE VERY END, I WILL

MAINTAIN MY JOURNALISTICSTANDARDS BY BRINGING YOU MY

TAKE ON THE STORIES THAT MATTERTO YOU.

SO LET'S GO STRAIGHT TO THEBREAKING NEWS OUT OF

SOUTH KOREA.

A CHIHUAHUA IS READING AMAGAZINE WHILE GETTING A NECK

MASSAGE!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)♪♪

YO QUIERO PEABODY AWARD.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

>> STEPHEN: WELCOMEBACK, EVERYBODY!

MY GUEST TONIGHT HAS A NEWBOOK CALLED "THE INNOVATORS"

ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THECOMPUTER.

IN THE EARLY DAYS, YOU HAD TOWATCH PORNOGRAPHY ON PUNCH

CARDS.

PLEASE WELL COME WALTERISAACSON!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

WALTER, THANKS FOR COMING BACK!

NO NEED TO GET UP.

YOU'RE ONE OF MY MORE IMPRESSIVEGUESTS -- AND I'VE HAD

PRESIDENTS AND POPES ON HERE.

YOU'RE THE C.E.O. OF THE ASPENINSTITUTE, WHICH MEANS YOU'RE A

BOND VILLIAN, FORMER CHAIRMAN OFCNN, FORMER EDITOR OF "TIME

MAGAZINE," WRITTEN ABOUT STEVEJOBS, EINSTEIN, BEN FRANKLIN,

AND YOU HAVE A NEW BOOK CALLED"THE INNOVATORS," HOW A GROUP OF

HACKERS, GENIUSES AND GEEKSCREATED THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION.

HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE BETWEENHACKERS AND GENIUSES AND GEEKS?

>> A HACKER HAS A WHOLE LOT OFFUN.

WE SORT OF MISUSE THE WORDHACKER TODAY.

>> STEPHEN: THEY'RE DANGEROUSPEOPLE, LIKE CYBERTERRORISTS,

AREN'T THEY?

>> NO, THEY KNOW HOW TO DOPRANKS AND SHORT CUTS ON

COMPUTERS.

I'M TRYING TO RESURRECT THEIDENTITY OF HACKERS.

AND GENIUSES, YOU KNOW WHAT AGENIUS IS.

>> STEPHEN: IT'S THAT GUY WHOSHAVES ME EVERY MORNING.

>> AND GEEKS.

>> STEPHEN: WE TALKIN DWEEBS?NERDLINGERS?

YEAH, AND THEY COULD TAKE OVERTHE WORLD. IT'S A COOL THING

THE GEEKS ARE GONNA INHERIT THEEARTH.

>> STEPHEN: OKAY, SO NOW STEVEJOBS IS ON THE COVER.

LET'S SEE WHO'S ON HERE.

STEVE JOBS IS ON THE COVER, THENBILL GATES, ALAN TOURING DOWN

THERE?

AND THEN YOU'VE GOT LIKE A NAKEDLADY UP THERE.

IS THAT CHERYL SANDBERG?

>> CHERYL SANDBERG'S PATRONSAINT.

>> STEPHEN: ADA LOVELACE.

YES!

>> STEPHEN: WE'RE HUGE ADALOVELACE FANS AT THE REPORT.

WHO IS SHE AND WHY DO I LOVEHER?

>> SHE WAS LORD BYRON'S DAUGHTERBUT HER MOM DIDN'T WANT HER TO

BECOME A ROMANTIC POET, IF YOUKNEW LORD BYRON YOU'D

UNDERSTOOD.

>> STEPHEN: 'SHE WALKS IN BEAUTYLIKE THE NIGHT,' YES

>> VERY GOOD.>> STEPHEN: GENIUS.

BUT SHE FELT THAT-- NO, NO, NO...

(LAUGHTER)BUT SHE FELT THAT HER MOTHER

WANTED HER TO BE A GREATMATHEMATICIAN, HAD HER TUTORED

MAINLY IN MATH AND SHE COMBINEDPOETRY --

>> STEPHEN: DID THE LADIES DOTHAT BACK THEN IN THE 1840s?

>> NOT OFTEN, BUT THAT'S ASHAME, BECAUSE ADA LOVELACE WAS

A PIONEERING MATHEMATICIAN ANDSHE HAS A FRIEND CHARLES BABBAGE

MAKING A CALCULATING MACHINE ANDADA SEES THE PUNCH CARD DOING

THE MECHANICAL LOOMS ANDBEAUTIFUL TAPESTRY AND SHE

SAYS WITH BABBAGE'S MACHINE, YOUCOULD USE PUNCH CARDS THAT

WOULDN'T JUST DO NUMBERS, ITCOULD DO WORDS AND MUSIC AND

ART AND COMES UP WITH THECONCEPT OF THE GENERAL COMPUTER,

WHICH IS VERY COOL.

>> STEPHEN: HOW MUCH OF THISBOOK IS JUST SOMETHING THAT

WOULDN'T FIT INTO STEVE JOBSBIOGRAPHY?

YOU SAY DAMN IT, I'M GOING TOTAKE A VACATION AND BIND IT UP

PUT IT BETWEEN TWO COVERS ANDCALL IT SOMETHING ELSE.

>> WELL IT IS THE STORY OFHOW STEVE JOBS HAPPENED.

HE DOESN'T HAPPEN IN A VACCUUM.IT'S ALL THE THINGS

THAT LED UP TO HIM AND ALL THETHINGS THAT CAME OUT.

>> STEPHEN: WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

STEVE JOBS, HE'S ONE OF THEGREAT INNOVATORS.

>> HE IS ABSOLUTELY A GREATINNOVATOR.

ONE OF THE THINGS I FOUNDINTERESTING ABOUT STEVE IS WE

THINK OF HIM AS SORT OF A GREATSINGULAR ROMANTIC HERO.

>> STEPHEN: HIM IN A GARAGE,RIGHT?

HIM IN A GARAGE.

BUT ACTUALLY, HE'S GOOD ATFORMING TEAMS.

EVEN THOUGH HE'S A PRETTY STRONGTOUGH LEADER, HE BUILDS LOYAL

TEAMS AROUND HIM AND ONE OF THETHEMES OF THE BOOK IS IT'S NOT

JUST THE LONE INVENTER SITTINGIN THE GARAGE HAVING A LIGHT

BULB MOMENT, IT'S PEOPLE THATCAN ACTUALLY EXECUTE.

VISION WITHOUT EXECUTION IS JUSTHALLUCINATION.

STEVE ISRABLE TO SIT THERE INHIS GARAGE WITH WOZNIAK AND

OTHERS AND FORM THE COOLESTTEAM.

>> STEPHEN: SO THE GREATESTINNOVATIONS ARE COMING ABOUT

WITH PEOPLE WORKING TOGETHER.

>> COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK.

>> STEPHEN: HOW COME THERE'SONLY ONE NAME ON THIS, AND IT'S

WALTER ISAACSON, OKAY?

(APPLAUSE)>> I WILL TELL A STORY WHICH IS,

WHEN I WAS DOING THIS, I WASTHINKING ABOUT COLLABORATION,

WHICH IS WHY THE INTERNET WASINVENTED, SO I TOOK CHAPTERS OF

THIS BOOK AND PUT THEM ONVARIOUS TYPE OF WIKI SITES

ONLINE WHERE PEOPLE COULD PUTMANY OF THEIR STORIES SO MANY OF

THE STORIES IN THE BOOK CAMEFROM AN INTERNET COLLABORATION,

THE PEOPLE LIKE DAN BURKLANDWHO DID VISICAL SAID HERE'S HOW

WE DID IT, SO I PUT THAT IN THEBOOK, BUT I GOT TO PUT MY NAME

ON IT(LAUGHTER)

STEPHEN: NICE WORK IF YOU CANGET IT

NO, AT SOME POINT WE'LL HAVE TOMAKE IT COLLABORATIVE, BUT THERE

ARE GREAT LONE GENIUSES ANDVISIONARIES, NOT ME, BUT I WROTE

ABOUT EINSTEIN. YOURSELF

>> STEPHEN: BETWEEN GATES ANDJOBS BECAUSE THEY'RE THE TWO

TOWERING FIGURES OF OUR MODERNTECHNOLOGICAL AGE, WHO IS

ACTUALLY THE NICE GUY?

OR ARE THEY BOTH?

>> THEY'RE BOTH GENIUSES INTHEIR OWN WAY.

STEVE JOBS IS VERY INTUITIVE,HAD A SENSE OF BEAUTY, HAD AN

INTUITIVE FEEL TO MAKE PROJECTSGORGEOUS.

BILL GATES IS ONE OF THE GREATBUSINESSMEN AND BUILT A GREAT

CORPORATION AND ALSO AGREAT SOFTWARE CODER.

JOBS WAS NEVER REALLY A SOFTWAREENGINEER.

>> STEPHEN: I HEARD THEY STOLEIDEAS FROM OTHER PEOPLE, THOUGH.

WHO WAS THE BIGGER PIRATE?

>> STEVE JOBS PUT A PIRATE FLAGON TOP OF THE ORIGINAL MCINTOSH

BUILDING AND SAID GOOD ARTISTSBORROW, GREAT ARTISTS STEAL.

BUT EVERYONE TOOK IDEAS FROMEACH OTHER AND THAT'S A PROBLEM.

YOU COLLABORATE, YOU TAKE IDEAS.STEVE JOBS TOOK THEM FROM XEROX.

AND BILL GATES TOOK THE GRAPHICINTERFACE WE HAVE ON COMPUTERS

THE TRASH CANS AND ICONS FROMSEEING THE ORIGINAL MCINTOSH.

>> STEPHEN: AND I UNDERSTAND ALOT OF HIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN ON

WIKIPEDIA.

>> EXACTLY, AND THAT'S THE GOODTHING ABOUT COPY AND PASTE

IT'S ONE OF THE GREAT INVENTIONSOF OUR TIME

>> STEPHEN: WELL WALTER, THANKSSO MUCH. WALTER ISAACSON,

THE BOOK IS "THE INNOVATORS"!WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK!

>> STEPHEN: THAT'S IT FOR "THE

REPORT," EVERYBODY!

GOOD NIGHT!