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on the death of Steve Jobs

I decided against calling this “a reflection on a reflection on the death of Steve Jobs,” because it’s wordy and poncy, but that’s basically what this is.

I don’t have anything to say about Steve Jobs. I think it’s poor form to speak ill of the dead, especially the newly dead, and I’d hate to be the guy who in an uncareful moment became fixed in someone’s memory as they guy who metaphorically stuck a post-it on the Gandhi painting [link]. By the same token I don’t think I can add anything to what’s already been said online in praise of Jobs’s maverick spirit, etc. Several years ago when Cyrus Vance died, I heard CNN lead off their obituary with “Cyrus Vance was a good man…” and it made me cringe. So I’ll do my best this one time to leave the cringeworthy comments to others.

Jason Calacanis posted a tribute to Jobs on his blog yesterday [link]; this one quote gave me pause:

Of all the amazing things Steve said, the one that will always stick with me, was a quip in a 2 a.m. email to one of the meaningless critics, from one of the many meaningless publications that traffic in cynicism, criticism and hate in the name of pageview growth — and that most of us subject ourselves to daily.

“By the way, what have you done that’s so great?
Do you create anything, or just criticize other’s work
and belittle their motivations?”
— Steve Jobs

It gave me pause because blogging so easily lends itself to cynicism, criticism, hate, and belittling generally, and because I deal with sensitive issues here (namely, religion and occasionally politics) that this is a temptation I constantly face and don’t always resist.

I prefer to think I’m looking for case studies, trends, and guidelines, and I’m less interested in condemnation (“I think Kenneth Copeland is a crook; I think Chris Rosebrough is a blowhard.”) than in analysis (“Watch how Kenneth Copeland Ministries relates to secular authority; listen how Chris Rosebrough argues by illustration.”) but sometimes it’s hard for a casual reader (or even the author) to tell the difference.

  1. October 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I’ll say it for you, since I haven’t been critical of anyone all day. Kenneth Copeland is a crook.

  2. October 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Not a fan of Steve Jobs over here…not after researching his record and Apple’s record with regards to their practices and sourcing in China etc. Apple has more cash than the US Govt., the Stock Price is north of $400 a share…and there’s a Correlation and Cause / Effect Relationship to those lofty numbers. Unfortunately, it’s on the backs of the Avg. American worker (losing “jobs”…I’ll nickname Steve “Lost US” Jobs) and exploitation of the Avg. Chinese worker. Jobs was a brilliant money-maker…shrewd, greedy, etc. I don’t think he is much more than an intelligent Robber Baron who worked our System with maximum efficiency, protecting patents and platforms, etc (despite his 1984 TV Campaign that derided his competition for the same), offshoring jobs and factories to China with a TERRIBLE Environmental and HR Record (employing child labor, worker suicides, toxicity leading to death and illness, etc)…yet, Apple and Jobs touts being a “Green Company”. Well, if “Green” means Cash…they’re right, they’re a REALLY REALLY GREEN Company, loaded with green cashola.

  1. October 12, 2011 at 12:19 am
  2. October 12, 2011 at 12:19 am

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