Ross Kaminsky has written a fine tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday. Jobs’ time in this world was a life well done.
Indeed, Kaminsky makes the case that Jobs changed the world “at least three times” with the mass market personal computer as well as the advent of iTunes and the iPad.
I would add that Jobs changed the movie industry with his purchase of Pixar Films in the mid-1980s. Without Jobs’ intellectual and financial capital, there’s a good chance that the CGI technology that made the Toy Story movies, WALL-E and Up amongst other animated features possible might not have seen the light of day. At the very least, they would not have been developed when they were.
Jobs’ passing is noteworthy when you consider that we are at a moment in American history when resentment towards wealth is becoming increasingly fashionable as expressed by the Occupy protests in New York, Boston, DC and other cities across the United States. They complain that “the top 1% of Americans own 50% of the nation’s wealth and use this wealth to undermine the founding principles of this democracy.”
Well, Jobs was part of that 1% as the 34th wealthiest person in the United States with a net worth of $7 billion as of last month. Since Jobs was part that 1% who apparently used his wealth to undermine the founding principles of this democracy then the Occupy folks should as a matter of principle relinquish their Mac Notebooks, iPods, and iPads. After all, if the Occupy folks had their way, capitalism would be eradicated along with the Mac Notebooks, iPods and iPads and the millions of other innovations which has made our standard of living the highest in the world.
Postscript: Now I must confess that I’m partial to PCs over Macs. But my Dad absolutely loves Macs and has been using them almost from the very beginning. He started out by using them at work and then at home (it was our first personal computer.) Even in retirement, he uses them to edit his home videos (or what he calls his “observational documentaries.”) As evidenced by some of the tributes I’ve read and heard about Steve Jobs, I know Dad is far from alone in his admiration for the Mac.