Cult of personality: a reflection on coverage of Steve Jobs – The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

I mourn the loss of a visionary, but like many, i am alarmed at how much the media is attributing to his ‘amazing unique talent’. Yes, it was amazing, he was the Henry Ford of our time, but he was a deeply flawed and contradictory man. Like all geniuses. Like all people. He surrounded himself with genius such as Jonny Ives, and the brilliance of Steve Wozniak. And, Apple has cases to anser in manufacturing (the FoxConn factory suicide rate remains an ugly testament to first world malfeasance and greed – and i am no innocent there). So, balance people. That is all i ask. But i will continue to post any clever tribute – i think they deserve kudos in and of themselves.

Jobs (at least in his later life from about 1995) was a very clever businessman, able to spot a market trend and to profit from it. He made a fortune out of developing the cast-off computer animated design business of George Lucas of Star Wars fame, which became Pixar, the producer of the Toy Story movies.

He then moved on to exploiting the rise of the internet and smartphone technology, for which the iPod can be seen to be the pre-cursor. All very clever stuff and worthy of high praise, but not a cult of personality that has been fostered around him, and now is asserted as the proper basis for his memory.

Indeed, Jobs was just as ruthless a businessman in his success as, say, Henry Ford. The exploitation of his business partner, Steve Wozniak, is quite inexplicable. The denial (for a time) of the existence of a daughter, Lisa, quite bizarre.

There must, therefore, be balance in the historical record that marks out Steve Jobs‘s greatness.

It is to be hoped that the silly expressions of emotion on his passing will be replaced by more nuanced and sober assessments, and the sooner the better, before there is a clamour for the beatification of the blessed Jobs of Silicon Valley.

It was, after all, the apple that was the cause of all the initial fuss, was it not?

via The modern cult of personality: a reflection on the death of Steve Jobs – The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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