Sunday, October 9, 2011

Steve Jobs

February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011

He died. He was a visionary; he changed the world. The iPod and iTunes did not exist, now my computer's dictionary recognizes the words. He did not invent the computer, but he did help it become common. He did not invent the mouse, but he did popularize it.

He had 56 full years. I say this not because 56 years was enough, but to drive home how much he did in his time.

You know all this, if only vaguely. I cannot imagine someone who would find this blog and not know it, by now, and I can hardly imagine this blog, this post, outlasting the memory of the man. I do not need to tell you all this, but I say it anyway, in introduction and in memory.

What I do not say is that technology has been dealt a blow by his death.

I see this statement, in too many of his obituaries. As if Steve Jobs did not push technology forward, did not act as an accelerating force, but simply kept the system of enhancement from falling apart. It horrifies me. Steve Jobs was amazing, he was exceptional, and he sped the world with his ideas, his angle of attack, and his actions. This is fantastic. This is the mark of something lasting.

I believe he wanted it to continue without him. Did he not, he would have stayed head of the company to the last day, or given up on it when he saw death so near. He did not. He named a successor. The company will continue, if changed; technology will advance; the Earth will spin on its axis.

We have lost an orator. We have lost a visionary. We have lost someone who could see something, understand it, sell it. We lost a storyteller. We lost a man.

We did not lose our ability to adapt. Leonardo da Vinci died; Shakespeare died; Steve Jobs died. These are tragedies. These are beautiful things that passed. Yet we lived without them, we grew enough to have a society where they could have the effects they did--writing, printing press, microchips. We shall continue, and all the better for the fact that they were.

In honor of him...well, as I said, we lost a storyteller. He said it better than I would.
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on."

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