At the root of the reality distortion was Jobs's belief that the rules didn't apply to him.
He had some evidence for this; in his childhood, he had often been able to bend reality to his desires.
Rebelliousness and willfulness were ingrained in his character.
He had the sense that he was special, a chosen one, an enlightened one.
"He thinks there are a few people who are special— people like Einstein and Gandhi and the gurus he met in India
and he's one of them," said Hertzfeld.
"He told Chrisann this. Once he even hinted to me that he was enlightened.
It's almost like Nietzsche."
Jobs never studied Nietzsche,
but the philosopher's concept of the will to power and the special nature of the überman came naturally to him.
As Nietzsche wrote in Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
"The spirit now wills his own will, and he who had been lost to the world now conquers the world."
If reality did not comport with his will, he would ignore it,
as he had done with the birth of his daughter and would do years later, when first diagnosed with cancer.
Even in small everyday rebellions, such as not putting a license plate on his car and parking it in handicapped spaces,
he acted as if he were not subject to the strictures around him.
Another key aspect of Jobs's worldview was his binary way of categorizing things.
People were either "enlightened" or "an asshole."
Their work was either "the best" or "totally shitty."
Bill Atkinson, the Mac designer who fell on the good side of these dichotomies, described what it was like:
It was difficult working under Steve, because there was a great polarity between gods and shitheads.
If you were a god, you were up on a pedestal and could do no wrong.
Those of us who were considered to be gods, as I was,
knew that we were actually mortal and made bad engineering decisions and farted like any person,
so we were always afraid that we would get knocked off our pedestal.
The ones who were shitheads, who were brilliant engineers working very hard,
felt there was no way they could get appreciated and rise above their status.