Why we loved Steve Jobs- Tại sao chúng ta yêu Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs: A lasting impressionSteve Jobs has passed away aged 56, but the technological visionary has left behind plenty for us to remember him by.
“NYT has just said Steve Jobs dead,” wrote Orin.
My immediate reaction was surprise, as was the case all the way over in Kansas City, Missouri. Murph had the TV on in the background, but the woman he loves was tuned into some sitcom. It was just after 7pm in the midwest of the US and the news was on.
The life and times of Steve JobsSteve Jobs with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (left) in the 1970s. Photo: AP
And there it was, confirmation. And there it was too, the world that Jobs had changed, the dent he had put in the planet. Information and meaning and shock and sorrow all flying around the globe in just a moment.
RIP Steve Jobs trended on Twitter within minutes and, for the most part, the reaction there was the same. Surprise, which is odd given how sick the man had been for so long, and sorrow, real sorrow, with people who had never known him confessing to tears, or feeling like tears at his passing.
Why should an American businessman, whose secretive and ruthless company employs thousands of indentured servants in dictatorships like China, why should such a man call forth our global cri de coeur upon his death?
It is not just about the shiny gadgets. The world is full of shiny gadgets, and some of them are even as good as the ones Steve Jobs created or inspired. And I don't think it's just about the way he brought the future to us, seemingly before its time, elegantly, beautifully packaged in glass and aluminium and silicon.
Time and again through Jobs’ career, he did that. Remade the world into a better place, full of wonder. He did it just yesterday with the release of the iPhone 4S, which disappointed many (but not me) for its ‘incremental’ advances, but which captured the imagination of many, many more with the promise of Siri – the first real and utilitarian example of everyday artificial intelligence that most of us will ever deal with. He's gone now, but the future he brought with him, to give to us, remains.
But even that, I think, does not explain the emotion of the day. Put the technology aside for a moment and consider the humanity of his story. A visionary, forced aside from the company of his own creation, exiled, returned, and eventually vindicated. And even then upon his return, when he seems to have triumphed, illness and the negation that awaits us all comes stalking for him.
In spite of that, he never gave up. He never once gave the impression that the future was not worth caring about because he would play no part in it. Steve Jobs loved his family and he knew that they would go on into the future without him. The future then would be where his legacy would live. Not here and now, in the latest iteration of a phone or an iPod, or in the stock price of his company, but in the future, where we must go on our own.
He cared about the future enough to change it for the better.
In this he reminds me this morning of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Ulysses, and if you will indulge me I will leave you with the closing lines of that poem which seem entirely appropriate:
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices.
Come, my friends,‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.