Grieving for Jobs’ loss
Yesterday the blogosphere was awash with tributes to Steve Jobs, and today the print media will be the same. Many people for more erudite than I will encapsulate his particular contribution to the interface of humanity and technology. As we often do when remembering, they will screen out the more unfortunate aspects of his autocratic personality, which is only natural.
That said, I have been troubled by the openly hagiographical nature of some of the writing. Steve Jobs was a brilliant innovator and a relentless visionary, but he was not any kind of saviour, surely? Vast numbers of human beings in poorer parts of the world will have been untouched by either his life or death. Perspective is under threat as the wave of Apple nostalgia rolls down, I fear.
Of the many pictures yesterday, the one below is the one which troubles me most. I’m not quite sure why, but here are some thoughts:
- It looks like a shrine, of the type that we reserve for religious veneration or remembering the victims of a tragedy
- The words “thank you Steve” suggest an unrealistic individual relationship with what is actually a vast corporate machine
- Candles are meant to be flickering, fragile,living things. Seeing them on the ipads and iphones seems to symbolize our disconnection with the natural world with its cycles of life and death, rather than connecting us with them.
- Would love to hear your comments and reflections too.