But it was in fact a more complex form of dissembling.
He would assert something—be it a fact about world history
or a recounting of who suggested an idea at a meeting—without even considering the truth.
It came from willfully defying reality, not only to others but to himself.
"He can deceive himself," said Bill Atkinson.
"It allowed him to con people into believing his vision, because he has personally embraced and internalized it."
A lot of people distort reality, of course.
When Jobs did so, it was often a tactic for accomplishing something.
Wozniak, who was as congenitally honest as Jobs was tactical, marveled at how effective it could be.
"His reality distortion is when he has an illogical vision of the future,
such as telling me that I could design the Breakout game in just a few days.
You realize that it can't be true, but he somehow makes it true."
When members of the Mac team got ensnared in his reality distortion field, they were almost hypnotized.
"He reminded me of Rasputin," said Debi Coleman.
"He laser-beamed in on you and didn't blink.
It didn't matter if he was serving purple Kool-Aid. You drank it."
But like Wozniak, she believed that the reality distortion field was empowering:
It enabled Jobs to inspire his team to change the course of computer history with a fraction of the resources of Xerox or IBM.
"It was a self-fulfilling distortion," she claimed.
"You did the impossible, because you didn't realize it was impossible."