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Apple’s Steve Jobs: Not a God

Posted on the 07 October 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Apple’s Steve Jobs: Not a God

Steve Jobs tribute picture on Apple website

As tributes to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs continue to pour in, a few hard-headed commentators have begun to question whether Jobs’ genius is being a touch over-played by public figures, the media and Apple devotees. While few contest that Jobs was a visionary CEO who contributed greatly to the way in which the world communicates, there are some politely pleaded that all sense of perspective not be lost in the appreciation of Jobs’ life and work.

“Brilliant, yes, but he wasn’t an Einstein”, argued A N Wilson at The Daily Mail’s Right Minds comment hub, who referred to Jobs as “a clever backroom boy who got lucky.” “But able though he may have been, did Steve Jobs really deserve the kind of veneration he has received from his fans and a fawning media?” questioned Wilson, “or does his elevation to near sainthood say everything about the modern world and our obsession with needless gadgets?” Wilson took issue with Stephen Fry’s insistence (delivered via Twitter earlier this year) that “’There are few more important people on this planet.’” “Steady on! What about Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu who helped to bring apartheid to an end in South Africa?” Turning to comparisons with Einstein, Wilson urged people to think again: “Einstein fundamentally altered how we look at the universe. Jobs merely developed nice-looking gadgetry which enabled us to do things we did already – listening to music, sending messages and garnering information … Yes, Steve Jobs made shopping online easier and more attractive. But it is still only shopping.”

“Steve Jobs Was Not God”, reminded Hamilton Nolan at Gawker, who urged everyone other than Jobs’ close friends, family aswell as Apple executives and shareholders to “calm down.” “Everyone deserves to be mourned, and well-known people will inevitably be mourned more loudly than others”, accepted Nolan, “but it is actually important to keep our grief in perspective. When we start mourning technocrats as idols, we cheapen the lives of those who have sacrificed more for their fellow man.” Nolan noted that Jobs was “great at what he did”, but stated that he “did not meaningfully reduce poverty, or make life-saving scientific discoveries, or end wars or heal the sick or befriend the friendless. Which is fine – most of us don’t. But most of us don’t provoke such cult-like lachrymosity when we pass on.” Nolan concluded be insisted that products “do not have souls. They are not heroes, and neither is their creator, no matter how skilled he may have been. Let’s mourn Steve Jobs as we mourn the passing of any other good man – modestly, privately, and quietly. Those of you whose remembrances have already taken on a quasi-religious tone: seek help.”

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