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October 17, 2011

About Steve…

It’s been almost two weeks since Steve Jobs passed away, and the outpouring of sympathy seems to finally be ebbing. I’ve been holding off commenting for a while, until things calmed down a little. But now seems like a good time to give some thoughts on Apple, our culture and icons.

For all intents and purposes, I’m an admitted Apple geek. I started with a newton, and have since owned a good number of Apple products, I’m writing this on an iPad in fact. In my backpack is my MacBook pro sitting next to me. So yeah, I’ve got the bug.

But the thing about Apple is that they scare me, they represent a new breed of individual who’s concepts of right and wrong overshadow any need for true freedom, google and Facebook in the same way seem to care little privacy and more about the experience. I’ve known people who worked for Steve, and I’ve heard all kinds of things about him. I was always struck by his genius and his drive for perfection, he really cared about the details. Apple has created some great products, but they can be quirky and stubborn, how long did it take them to fix the cut and paste stuff on the iPhone? That was an obvious one even I could have called.

This generation seems to be without hero’s, and it seems to me a sad commentary that so many have placed so much faith in who was no doubt a genius, but also a flawed human being. I would never consider Apples treatment of Adobe a good thing, and I think Steve tarnished his image with his petulant treatment of anyone who disagreed with him.

Where this gets weird is that all most people knew about Jobs was his carefully crafted image, and that more than anything else speaks to the how shallow our culture has become. We live in an age where polish and shine, matter more than substance and character.

I liked Steve, I thought he was brilliant, he will be missed. I will always be an apple person. But Steve was in the end less than the hype, and less than someone I would call a hero.

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