Good Riddance Steve Jobs

Homer's picture

iDead

Anyone reading today's headlines might be forgiven for thinking Gandhi had died ... again.

But no, it wasn't Gandhi, nor indeed anyone of even the slightest nobility. It was a patent extortionist with an apparent objection to altruism, called Steve Jobs. Even El Presidente fawned over this selfish racketeer, like he was the new messiah, or something:

Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it,’ the statement gushed.

Sorry, but I find that offensive.

According to the CIA World Factbook, 160,521 people die every day. Steve Jobs was just one, and from what I can see he must have been very, very far from the best of them.

I bet very few of the other 160,520 people who died that day ever made sinister threats to ‘go after’ an altruistic software project like Theora, or ran around suing everyone for making ‘rounded rectangles’ and ‘green phone icons’.

I bet they also donated a helluva lot more to charity than Jobs too, given that he apparently had some kind of objection to it, which is sort of like having an objection to love and compassion.

Or how about the time Jobs bribed the police to act like they were his private security agency, to kick down the front door to a journalist's home, seize his property and interrogate him like a criminal, just because of some crap iGadget accidentally lost by an Apple employee, after that journalist had already voluntarily contacted Apple and returned it to them?

Or how about the daughter Jobs abandoned, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, and her mother, Chris-Ann Brennan, whom he also abandoned and left to bring up their daughter on welfare, and lied in court about being ‘sterile’ in the process?

It wasn't exactly the first time Jobs had lied and cheated others out of their entitlements though: a couple of years earlier he cheated his supposed ‘friend’ and Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, out of $2,150, by lying about how much they'd been paid by Atari.

Then there was the time Jobs (in league with his pal Larry Ellison, another vicious tyrant) sent a nastygram to Michael Murdock (a Macintosh Systems engineer at Pixar, who applied for the position of CEO at Apple), just Two days before Christmas, after falsely leading him to believe he'd won the position.

Please do not come to Apple. You will be asked to leave, and if you don't, you will be arrested.’ ~ Steve Jobs to the job applicant he lied to, two days before Christmas.

Yeah, and a Merry Christmas to you too, you evil bastard. May you burn in Hell.

So given the sort of monster Steve Jobs was, witnessing the spectacle of everyone from Joe Blogs to El Presidente gushing over him, like a bunch of schoolgirls at a rock concert, is absolutely sickening.

These sycophantic ‘tributes’ are an insult to every honest, decent, compassionate and benevolent person who ever lived, yet died in obscurity. Where is El Presidente's scrawl on their epitaphs? Surely they were far more worthy than some unconscionable miser like Ebenezer Jobs. Sadly though, it seems money trumps morals, in our money-worshipping society.

As for being a ‘visionary’ ... the only ‘vision’ Jobs ever had was the one he nicked from Xerox PARC. From that point forward he made a career out of shamelessly stealing others' ideas, shoehorning them into shiny but otherwise dysfunctional and DRM-infested toys, then branding an Apple logo on them (ironically also nicked, from the Beatles). And then to add insult to plagiarism, Jobs fraudulently stamped his ‘IP’ seal on those ‘shamelessly stolen’ ideas, then embarked on a hypocritical and vicious rampage of litigation. How's that for gratitude? Add that to the litany of virtues Jobs didn't subscribe to.

Yet this is the guy everyone is now fawning over?

Oh, but I forgot ... he made lots of money. Lots and lots and lots.

So did Al Capone.

Ah yes, American capitalism at its finest, folks.


[Bootnote: Not that I have any qualms about courting ridicule (if I'm right, I'm right, and my conscience is clear), but apparently so many people have misinterpreted my intentions in this article, that the general consensus is it's a sort of posthumous ‘hit job’ on Steve Jobs. Let me be clear that my target is consumerism-driven hysteria, not the object of that hysteria. It's simply that to quash the hysteria one must expose the truth about the object that precipitated it, and in this case that object is (or was) a man. Nothing personal, but when you're right, you're right, right? And this wave of hysteria is clearly wrong, on so many levels.]

Comments

Anony Mouse's picture

The masses who think Steve Jobs "changed the world"...

...more often than not don't even RECOGNIZE Douglass Englebart's name. That's the sad problem.

Anony Mouse's picture

I don't get it.

Do forgive me for resurrecting a fairly old topic, but I would like to inject my opinion.

Why is celebrating death such a horrible thing to do? At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, if you replace "Steve Jobs" with "Adolf Hitler" in the above, not one person in the world would complain [sans skinheads, ofc.]

There's a certain point where a person is such a detriment to society as a whole that we should not only be unphased by their deaths, but should celebrate it, and I'm wondering why Steve Jobs, with all of the horrible things he'd done throughout his life, has not passed that point.

As far as I'm concerned, he was literally a real world supervillain.

Homer's picture

"Celebrating death"

Celebrating the death of someone evil is not a "horrible thing", it's just not the point of this article, which is actually to chastise the unwarranted fawning of an unworthy idol by those who worship materialism. Basically I'm attacking narcissism and the idolisation of a narcissist, not reveling in death.

The fact that there's now one less narcissist in the world is actually a fairly minor point, and not really a great cause for celebration, albeit he was a highly influential narcissist. The fact that he's dead has not miraculously cured mankind's affliction, indeed he may now have become a martyr for his malevolent cause, thus compounding the problem.

Far better to expose the malevolence of narcissism, raising the awareness of the ignorant and apathetic majority, making them care, making them feel revulsion at such malevolence, to turn the tide of popular opinion against narcissism, than to simply "celebrate death" without apparent reason.

I'll reserve my celebration for the death of narcissism itself, not the death of one of its many unholy practitioners.

Homer's picture

Sycophantic adulation

Dennis Ritchie

I bet the Peoples Temple would've used iPads

Perhaps the most sickening example yet, this time from the New Yorker, accompanied by an illustration of Jobs being checked-in to heaven by St. Peter ... using an iPad:

I was stricken. Everyone who cares about music and art and movies and heroic comebacks and rich rewards and being able to carry several kinds of infinity around in your shirt pocket is taken aback by this sudden huge vacuuming-out of a titanic presence from our lives. We’ve lost our techno-impresario and digital dream granter. Vladimir Nabokov once wrote, in a letter, that when he’d finished a novel he felt like a house after the movers had carried out the grand piano. That’s what it feels like to lose this world-historical personage. The grand piano is gone.

Oh my God!

Somebody fetch me a bucket!

Homer's picture

Dennis Ritchie

So where is all the fawning adulation for a real technology hero, Dennis Ritchie, who passed away last weekend?

Some narcissistic tyrant who makes overpriced toys dies, and the whole world becomes hysterical with sorrow, but a genuine and compassionate pioneer of computing dies, and the world turns its back in utter contempt.

Sickening.

Anony Mouse's picture

Steve Jobs & Wozniak's CEO Position Prank

I can't locate the story of a man who applied to the CEO position at the time Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997. If I remember correctly it was published on thereg. It told about an accountant in the company who woke up one day with an epiphany and the belief that he could save the financially troubled company at that time. He went on meeting with influential people in the bay area such as Steve Wozniak to try to get some support on being hired as CEO. Both Woz and Jobs decided to concoct a nasty prank and had the guy believe that he was granted the title of CEO for the company for a while. Only a day or two before his start date which had been given to him, Jobs wrote the guy an email saying: "Don't show up at work on Monday." If anyone can find any information about this, that would be great.

Homer's picture

Confirmed

The victim's name is Michael Murdock, a former Macintosh Systems engineer at Pixar. The story of this malicious prank was reported on December 31, 1997, by Tom Abate of the San Francisco Chronicle.

How do billionaires have fun?

Two days before Christmas, Apple board members Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison sent out prank e- mails, appointing a Burlingame man as chief executive of Apple.

"OK. You can have the job. -- Larry," came the first message in the e-mail basket of Michael Murdock, a 36-year-old computer consultant who has campaigned for Apple's top spot.

Right behind Ellison's e-mail came one from Jobs: "Yep, Mike, it's all yours. When can you start?"

But when Murdock, who took the goofs seriously, e-mailed that he would start work January 5, he got this reply from Jobs:

"Please do not come to Apple. You will be asked to leave, and if you don't, you will be arrested."

Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton claimed at the time that ‘the exchange grew out of Jobs' frustration at Murdock's many e-mails, calls and letters, offering himself as the man who could save Apple,’ however Murdock denied this:

But Murdock -- who said he quit his job as a Macintosh Systems engineer at Pixar Animation Studios Inc., where Jobs is also chairman, in August -- said he has not harassed Apple or any of the individuals involved.

Murdock said he sent Jobs about four e-mails on the topic since August, and that when Jobs wrote him in December to say "please go away," he gave up his campaign. He also contacted Apple's search firm Heidrick & Struggles, Apple board member Bill Campbell and Ellison. He also said he had lunch with Apple's co-founder, Steve Wozniak.

"I have never called Apple; I have never called Pixar," Murdock said. "I have not been pounding down the door."

The consultant said he respected Jobs and Ellison but felt like they were "trying to play some type of fraternity joke."

Larry Ellison: there's another evil bastard who won't be missed.

Homer's picture

Steve Jobs the "visionary"

Really?

‘There are no plans to make a tablet. It turns out people want keyboards. When Apple first started out, "People couldn't type. We realized: Death would eventually take care of this." "We look at the tablet and we think it's going to fail." Tablets appeal to rich guys with plenty of other PCs and devices already.’ ~ Steve Jobs, 2003.

In a word ... LOL!

Homer's picture

No, Jobs did not "invent" the home computer

This may seem incredible to some readers, but apparently there are those under the delusion that Apple actually invented or simply popularised the home computer. Let's set the record straight.

The first home computer was the Berkeley Enterprises Simon, introduced all the way back in 1950, over a quarter of a century before Apple was even founded in 1976.

The machine most responsible for popularising home computers was the Commodore 64, the biggest-selling personal computer of all time, which was introduced in 1982:

During the C64's lifetime, sales totalled between 12.5 and 17 million units, making it the best-selling single personal computer model of all time. For a substantial period of time (1983–1986), the C64 dominated the market with between 30% and 40% share and 2 million units sold per year, outselling the IBM PC clones, Apple Inc. computers, and Atari 8-bit family computers. Sam Tramiel, a later Atari president and the son of Commodore's founder, said in a 1989 interview "When I was at Commodore we were building 400,000 C64s a month for a couple of years."

...

Despite a few attempts by Commodore to discontinue the C64 in favor of other, higher priced machines, constant demand made its discontinuation a hard task. By 1988, Commodore was selling 1.5 million C64s worldwide.[19] Although demand for the C64 dropped off in the US by 1990, it continued to be popular in the UK and other European countries.

Ultimately, Apple's computers were (and still are) far too expensive to be popular, which is why it only commands a meagre 6.45% of the market. The cheapest Mac one can buy today is still nearly $600, compared to a similarly spec'ed PC for nearly half that price, at just $336.55. It's the same across the entire range, from the iMac starting at about $1200, to the Mac Pro - which is configurable up to a mind-blowing twenty thousand dollars.

But hey, at least you get free shipping.

Seriously, some people have more money than sense (6.45% of you, to be precise).

Homer's picture

No, Jobs did not "invent" the Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Another thing Apple is often falsely attributed with, is the ‘invention’ of the GUI (Graphical User Interface), or in some cases the first commercially successful computer to use a graphical user interface (specifically, the Apple Macintosh, released in 1984).

Neither claim is even remotely true.

First, the GUI was actually invented by Xerox PARC in 1973, and merely copied by Apple, after Steve Jobs paid a visit to the Palo Alto facility.

The GUI was first developed at Xerox PARC by Alan Kay, Larry Tesler, Dan Ingalls and a number of other researchers. It used windows, icons, and menus to support commands such as opening files, deleting files, moving files, etc. In 1974, work began at PARC on Gypsy, the first bitmap What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) cut & paste editor. In 1975, Xerox engineers demonstrated a Graphical User Interface "including icons and the first use of pop-up menus".

Secondly, describing the Macintosh as ‘the first commercially successful computer to use a GUI’ is somewhat disingenuous, given that it sold only 70,000 units before sales plummeted. By comparison, it's estimated that the Commodore Amiga sold 4,850,000 units, with the A500 selling some 1 Million units in Germany alone. Of course, this is hardly surprising, given that the Macintosh cost nearly two and a half grand, compared to the A500's mere $700 list price.

So please, let's dispense with this myth that Apple ‘invented’ or even popularised the GUI. In the grand scheme of things it was nothing more than a bit-player that jumped on the bandwagon, and frankly that's still true to this day.

Anony Mouse's picture

The Macintosh is still being sold today...

and the total number of Macintosh computers in use as of last week is over 65 million. Both Xerox and PARC were working on GUIs at the time of the famous visit which Apple PAID Xerox over 1 million shares of pre-IPO Apple common stock worth over $7 million for just two 8 hour visits for Jobs and a team of just a handful of key engineers and the RIGHT to use what they learned. Many of the common GUI features found today were totally invented by Apple engineers and were nowhere found in the Xerox GUI, including self-healing windows, movable windows, drop down, nested windows, drag and drop, the trashcan, the ability to drag a document to an icon and invoke that application... and many others. I was an Amiga fanatic and a buddy of mine was one of the three qualified bidders for the remnants of the bankrupt Commodore... and I would still be an Amiga user today, had it survived... alas, it did not. The Macintosh DID.

You want to compare the first model Mac's 70,000 sales... then you count every Amiga model's sales... to compare Apple's to Amigas, you then must count every other Mac model that has been sold after that first Mac, if you are counting every model Amiga was sold after the Amiga 1000 since that 4,850,000 number includes everything through the Amiga 4000... and even includes the very high priced models. You might also mention that when the Macintosh was selling for $2495, the Lowly IBM PC was selling for $4495, without a monitor! People forget those minor little details.

Homer's picture

Ridiculous nonsense

First, the machines Apple sell today are not the Macintosh. Trying to conflate iMacs and Macbooks with the Macintosh is just disingenuous.

Secondly, you can't retrospectively apply the sales of today's iMacs and Macbooks to something that happened in the 1980s, specifically the supposed ‘invention’ and/or popularisation of the GUI.

So yes, it's perfectly valid to compare the Amiga to the Macintosh, since it's the events at that time which are under scrutiny, not subsequent events.

And dragging the IBM PC into the argument is divisive, since I've made no such claim that it was any more responsible for the invention and/or popularisation of the GUI than the Macintosh. The fact is that both systems were far too expensive to ‘popularise’ anything, and neither system was responsible for the ‘invention’ of the GUI.

We already know full-well who invented the GUI, it was Xerox PARC, and even that was heavily influenced by the work of Douglas Englebart before them. It had precisely zero to do with Apple. The fact that Jobs exchanged stock options for a peek inside Xerox PARC's labs doesn't magically make him the ‘inventor’ of their technology.

As for the specific elements of the GUI, claiming any of those as ‘inventions’ is about as valid as claiming a ‘rounded rectangle’ as an ‘invention’. It'd be like claiming credit for the invention of the car because you painted yours green. Typical Apple-esque rhetoric, and completely unsubstantiated. Even Bruce Horn (former programmer at Apple, and the creator of the Macintosh Finder) attributes the ‘invention’ of drop/pull-down menus to Xerox, and he can't even be sure if ‘drag and drop’ (or click-and-drag, as it was then called) was an Apple ‘invention’ or not (even if something so trivial deserves to be called such). So I don't see how you can be so sure who ‘invented’ what trivial GUI add-ons, when even the Apple engineers from that time don't know.

The deeper one digs into Apple's history, the more lies and false assumptions one uncovers.

It should also be noted that the design elements you're referring to were introduced to the public (if not actually ‘invented’) with the Apple Lisa, which was a spectacular failure, and therefore most certainly didn't ‘popularise’ those elements of the GUI, or anything else.

In fact Apple didn't gain any real traction at all until the release of the Macintosh, and even sales of that plummeted after just 70,000 units. It wasn't until the much less expensive (and frankly better) Amiga came along that serious volumes of GUI-capable computers made it into people's homes.

Of course the IBM/Intel PC overtook the Amiga, and everything else, eventually, but not before it (and to a lesser extent, the Atari ST) had set the precedent, and kicked-off the next generation of the home computing revolution (the first being the 8-bit era, mostly dominated by the Commodore 64).

But again, Apple was nothing more than a bit-player in the grand scheme of things, and other than the extreme hype, that's still true today.

I firmly believe that, had it not been for corrupt businessmen like Irving Gould, Commodore could have been where Apple is today, indeed it might well have been where the Wintel monopoly is, only far more deservedly so.

Homer's picture

No, Jobs did not "invent" the computer mouse

For some reason best known to Apple acolytes, many people seem to attribute the invention of the computer mouse to Apple. In fact it was invented by a man called Doug Engelbart in 1963:

Doug Engelbart doesn't come across as a "mad scientist" type. The 78-year-old engineer seems more like the type of person who votes in every election and would walk three blocks rather than park close and partially obstruct someone's driveway.

But for more than two decades, the man who invented the computer mouse was often confined to the scientific fringe.

In 1951, Engelbart first came up with the idea of using a manual device to manipulate data on a computer. During World War II, he learned that the scale and other aspects of radar displays could be controlled by hand, and he figured the same techniques could be applied to computer displays. He suggested pursuing research on the topic while working at Ames Aeronautical Laboratory (the NASA Ames Research Center) and later, as a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

"Everyone--for at least 10 years--thought I was totally crazy," Engelbart said in an interview last week, during a press event held by Logitech to mark the Swiss company's shipment of its 500 millionth mouse.

...

Bill English, who built the first mouse based on Engelbart's designs, moved from SRI to Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and began to work on input devices with Stuart Card, an expert on human-machine interaction. At Xerox, the mouse remained a lab-only phenomenon until Apple Computer copied the idea in the early 1980s--three decades after it was first mooted.

Just to set the record straight.

Homer's picture

No, Jobs did not "invent" the iPad

Or to put it another way, the iPad was not an ‘invention’, it was merely the regurgitation of existing technology, in this case first conceptualised over 120 years ago by Elisha Gray in 1888, but finally brought to market, in a form commonly recognisable as a tablet computer, a hundred years later in 1989, with the release of the GRiDPad from GRiD Systems.

Other notable developments include Stanley Kubrick's conceptualisation of a tablet remarkably similar to the iPad, in his 1968 film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, and even before that we had the crew of Star Trek running around with pads also remarkably similar to the iPad.

But by far the most damning example of the iPad's lack of originality, is a device unassumingly named simply The Tablet, released in 1994, some 16 years before the release of the iPad in 2010. Be sure to watch the accompanying video.

Now consider what Apple is doing to Samsung, in its quest to monopolise the tablet market, and you'll get an idea of how hypocritical and morally reprehensible Apple's behaviour is.

Homer's picture

No, Jobs did not "invent" the iPhone

Or (again) to put it another way, the iPhone was not an ‘invention’, it was merely a reworking of existing technology, in this case invented by IBM, called the IBM Simon:

The IBM Simon Personal Communicator was an advanced cellular telephone, created by a joint venture between IBM and BellSouth. Simon was first shown as a product concept in 1992[1] at COMDEX, the computer and technology trade show held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Launched in 1993[2] it combined the features of a mobile phone, a pager, a PDA, and a fax machine.

Between the IBM Simon and the iPhone lies an expanse of some 15 years and dozens of Smartphones, including the Nokia Communicator line, the Ericsson R380, the Kyocera 6035, Windows Mobile Smartphones, the Palm Treo, and RIM's BlackBerry line. It's not until we get to 2007 that Apple eventually released the iPhone, and that was only after years of Jobs adamantly refusing to do so, despite Apple customers' demands:

Steve Jobs: No Tablet, No PDA, No Cell Phone, Lots Of iPods

Steve Jobs spoke recently at an invitation-only conference called D: All Things Digital ... Ms. Howell's blog was also the source of some controversy as she, and fellow attendee and blogger David Hornick, published near-transcripts of some of the speakers' interviews at the conference. The controversy comes from the fact that reporters attended under a gag order imposed to allow the speaking execs to loosen their tongues ... Of particular note is the flat-out acknowledgement that there will not be an Apple-branded PDA or cell phone. From Ms. Howell's notes:

J [Steve Jobs]: ... I get a lot of pressure to do a PDA. What people really seem to want to do with these is get the data out . We believe cell phones are going to carry this information. We didn't think we'd do well in the cell phone business. What we've done instead is we've written what we think is some of the best software in the world to start syncing information between devices. We believe that mode is what cell phones need to get to. We chose to do the iPod instead of a PDA.

Well there you have it. Not only did Jobs (or Apple) not ‘invent’ the iPhone, but by all accounts he didn't even want to make it at all.

So much for being a ‘visionary’.

Homer's picture

No, Jobs did not "invent" the iPod

Or to put it another way (yet again), the iPod was not an ‘invention’, it was merely the commoditisation of existing technology, in this case invented by a British man called Kane Kramer:

Apple admit Briton DID invent iPod, but he's still not getting any money

Apple has finally admitted that a British man who left school at 15 is the inventor behind the iPod.

Kane Kramer, 52, came up with the technology that drives the digital music player nearly 30 years ago but has still not seen a penny from his invention.

And the father of three had to sell his home last year and move his family to rented accommodation after closing his struggling furniture business.

Now documents filed by Apple in a court case show the US firm acknowledges him as the father of the iPod.

The computer giant even flew Mr Kramer to its Californian headquarters to give evidence in its defence during a legal wrangle with another firm, Burst.com, which claimed it held patents to technology in the iPod and deserved a cut of Apple’s £89billion profits.

Two years ago, Mr Kramer told this newspaper how he had invented and built the device in 1979 – when he was just 23.

His invention, called the IXI, stored only 3.5 minutes of music on to a chip – but Mr Kramer rightly believed its capacity would improve.

His sketches at the time showed a credit-card-sized player with a rectangular screen and a central menu button to scroll through a selection of music tracks – very similar to the iPod.

He took out a worldwide patent and set up a company to develop the idea.

I personally bought (and still own) a Diamond Rio PMP300 MP3 player in 1998, two years before the iPod was even an evil glint in Steve Jobs eye, and a full three years before it was actually released. And the PMP300 was not even the first commercially available portable MP3 player - it was preceded by the Audio Highway Listen Up and the MPMan, then followed by the HanGo Personal Jukebox and Creative NOMAD Jukebox, before the iPod finally made an appearance.

So no, Apple really, really didn't ‘invent’ the iPod.

Anony Mouse's picture

Outstanding

Homer, your essays are spot on.

In Steve Jobs own words: "Death is life greatest invention". As far as Jobs is concerned, I am inclined to agree. Good riddance!

Anony Mouse's picture

Think of House (from the tv

Think of House (from the tv show). Think of Zuckerberg : Got to be a dick and don't give a fuck about people to be good.
So, humanitarian Jobs and no tech, or tech and no humanitarian Jobs?

Got to pick the one you want. You cannot have both.

Homer's picture

False dichotomy

Phona Lisa

I see two small flaws in your puerile analysis.

  1. It's a completely false dichotomy (not to mention highly cynical) to assume that only evil bastards can invent anything of any real merit. History is littered with the names of real inventors who weren't narcissistic pigs like Jobs. Take Leonardo da Vinci, for example, who was regarded as ‘a man with great personal appeal, kindness, and generosity. He was generally well-loved by his contemporaries’. And yet this is a man who somehow managed to ‘conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics’, then paint the Mona Lisa and the The Creation of Adam fresco, and all without behaving like a ruthless tyrant.

    Really, is it too much to ask for inventors to behave like decent human beings?

  2. OTOH, Jobs never actually invented anything of any real merit, or anything at all for that matter (in the strictest sense of genuine invention, as opposed to things like ‘rounded rectangles’), so your point is moot. Jobs was an industrialist, not an inventor. The only thing he ever really ‘made’ was money ... for himself and Apple. He just commoditised other people's ideas, and there's nothing wrong with that per se, except Jobs did so in the most ruthless and morally bankrupt fashion, by persecuting other people and companies (even including a non-profit organisation).

I've no problem with business. I've no problem with successful business. But what Apple does is not business, it's racketeering, and that is not acceptable. And to add insult to injury, this racketeer is then credited with practically ‘inventing’ the entire computer industry, when in fact he did no such thing, and then idolised like some kind of saint, when in fact he was the very antithesis of a saint.

Can you see why I'd be appalled by something like that?

If people want to idolise some technology luminary, someone like Dennis Ritchie is a far more worthy candidate. Unlike Jobs, Richie really invented things, and those things were of real significance to technology, not just marketing gimmicks like Apple's shiny toys. More importantly though, Ritchie wasn't an evil bastard, unlike Jobs.

The fact is, we would've had the same technology today even if Steve Jobs and Apple had never existed. It just wouldn't have cost so much or had a fruit-themed logo on it. The same definitely cannot be said of Dennis Ritchie. In fact without monopolists like Apple and Microsoft, the world of computing would have been far more diverse and interesting, like it used to be, before it was consumerised and commoditised and mutated into the mass-production of worthless shiny toys for overgrown children.

Homer's picture

Even more "just one more thing"...

This time from Socialist Worker.

The baddest Apple in a rotten bunch

All of the workers who committed suicide were between 18 and 24 years old. As Labor Notes reported, the deaths were "the result of 12-hour shifts, alienation from not being allowed to speak to co-workers, and a rapid just-in-time production model that has workers putting in a phone motherboard every seven seconds to meet the global demand for high-priced gadgets."

The first suicide of this year was in January--19-year-old Ma Xiangqian, who had been working seven nights a week for 11 hours at a time "forging plastic and metal into electronic parts amid fumes and dust," the Times reported.

But there was still room for life to get worse. After a run-in with a supervisor, Ma was demoted to cleaning toilets. In the last month of his life, Ma worked 286 hours "including 112 hours of overtime, about three times the legal limit. For all of that, even with extra pay for overtime, he earned the equivalent of $1 an hour."

There are 400,000 other workers on two Foxconn campuses where Ma Xiangqian was driven to kill himself. They are unionized, but as Labor Notes reported, this is essentially meaningless. The head of the union is secretary to the Foxconn CEO.

International outrage since the news broke forced Foxconn to provide several raises, but it's difficult to imagine working conditions at the sweatshops seeing the sort of turnaround that Apple Computer's bottom line has.

OF COURSE, little of this was mentioned in the mainstream analysis of Apple's rise to the top.

Instead, there has been nonstop gushing about Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple, and then returned to run it in the 1990s, when it reached the brink of collapse. By all accounts, Jobs has reinvented not just a corporation but whole industries: animated film (Pixar), music sales (iTunes), audio equipment (iPod) and mobile telephones (iPhone).

But you won't hear any of these debates in the mainstream coverage of Apple. A few months ago, when I found myself in front of a television watching CNN at the airport for two hours, I didn't hear a single mention of BP, Arizona's anti-immigrant laws or the economy. But twice, the network showed video of what the as-yet-unreleased next iPhone model would likely look like--as the ticker flashed, "iPhone 4.0 Release to be Announced--Thinner, More Features."

WHILE THE mainstream media breathlessly chronicle Steve Jobs' magical ability to anticipate what consumers want, they have ignored their own contribution to Apple's rise--free public relations that pushes aside hard news on the cable "news" networks every time a new Apple product appears.

As a result, Apple will for some time be perceived as a computer industry pioneer, even as their quest to pull every last dime from our pockets slows its rate of progress to a crawl. Unlike the mantra we're fed every day--that competition increases innovation--Apple's cutthroat strategy relies on slowing innovation, stifling it or stamping it out altogether.

Humanity didn't enter a new epoch simply because, as the New York Times put it, the "most important technology product no longer sits on your desk but rather fits in your hand."

There is nothing revolutionary about an overpriced computer crippled by an uncooperative, deliberately closed design, and manufactured under conditions so unbearable they drive people to suicide, just because people can carry it in their pockets.

A genuine revolution would make virtual slavery something associated with an old, out-of-date version of humanity.

Homer's picture

In the news

A warm welcome to WebProNews readers.

Anony Mouse's picture

Have a little respect and appreciate what others offer

Have some appreciation for someone's life and someone who made a small nothing company into something great. Maybe if more people did this there would be more jobs in America, not less, and more tax money to the gov't to pay for all those who are on unemployment. I think it's disgraceful to post all this about the deceased. Have a little respect.

Anony Mouse's picture

"The rich make jobs!" ~BS

Oh no, not that tired, old right-wing party line again.
"The rich make jobs! The rich make jobs!"
No, no, no. The rich *outsource* jobs.
Wake up and smell the sweatshops!

Homer's picture

No

Sorry but no, I don't have respect for a vicious, litigious, narcissistic tyrant, just because he made a lot of money repackaging other people's ideas, saved some corrupt company that means nothing to me, then brutally exploited Chinese sweatshop labourers, thus losing American jobs and taxes.

It sickens me that someone of Jobs' character should engender such adulation, and be credited with practically inventing the entire computer industry, when in fact he was nothing more than a hypocritical plagiarist who invented nothing, and exploited everyone, like a carpetbagger with a gun.

I had no respect for him when he was alive, so why should I respect him now he's dead?

Homer's picture

"Great many good things"?

In my quest to discover even one of the ‘great many good things’ Steve Jobs is purported to have done, which his acolytes keep alluding to, but seem strangely unable to articulate, I discovered this reference on Gawker:

The scope of Jobs' achievements is hard to put into words.

Naturally, since they're largely a work of fiction and hyperbole, which is why no one seems to be able to explain them in any detail.

His accomplishments eclipsed not only his peers in the tech industry but indeed those of his contemporaries in global capitalism. He earned a lifetime's worth of fame, fortune and indeed reverence just for his achievements at Pixar, the groundbreaking digital film studio where he was owner and CEO, and at NeXT, where he shepherded the development of a world class, industrial strength operating system that was acquired by, and helped save, Apple Computer.

Once you filter the hyperbole from that statement, basically it's just saying that Jobs was rich, famous, worked at a film studio and ‘created’ an operating system. Oh, and he ‘saved’ a company. No, not a damsel in distress, mind you, just a company - you know, one of those things that exists purely to make profits for its executives. Like anyone outside that company is supposed to care.

However, the author fails to concede that the only reason NeXTSTEP was ‘world class’ and ‘industrial strength’ was because it was essentially just BSD with the Mach kernel, neither of which were ‘created’ by Jobs. In fact the only thing that really distinguished NeXTSTEP was its GUI, but again there were many others that preceded it, including Amiga Workbench - which could be heavily customised with various third-party utilities to look far more attractive than NeXTSTEP, IMO. And of course, Jobs did not ‘invent’ GUIs either, that was Xerox PARC. So when you get right down to it, Jobs' only ‘accomplishent’, in the field of computing at least, is that he ‘introduced’ Yet Another GUI, assuming even his contribution to that was more than just picking the colour scheme, given that he couldn't write software even if his life depended on it.

Jobs' ‘accomplishents’ at Pixar conveniently remain a mystery too, since we're just supposed to take it as read that he ‘did great things, honest’. Pixar itself ‘broke ground’, allegedly, but it may as well have broken wind instead, since it should be pointed out that it did not exactly invent computer animation. That honour goes to a man called Ture Sjolander, who in 1965 ‘electronically manipulated images [that] were broadcasted by the Swedish Television’. Oddly though, there's no Wikipedia page for Ture Sjolander, and no mention of him in the ‘Timeline of computer animation in film and television’. When Ture Sjolander dies, I doubt there will be any global headlines bearing his name, or flowers and fruity snacks left in shop doorways, and no fawning eulogies from presidents either. Obviously he's just not rich enough to qualify for hysterical adulation.

The only other ‘accomplishent’ Gawker can muster, is this:

But it was in his split career at Apple that Jobs made his greatest mark on the world. After Jobs joined with high school friend and virtuoso electrical engineer Steve Wozniak to form Apple, the pair introduced the Apple II, which joined the homebrew computer world's garage friendly technology and empowerment ethos to the branding, packaging and design of mass market retail. The Apple II was a sensation and runaway bestseller.

I used the later Apple II Europlus extensively at school, as part of my Computing classes, and I can tell you it was a decidedly unimpressive machine that did very little unless augmented by some very expensive expansion cards (which naturally the school couldn't afford). Frankly my Sinclair Spectrum was a better machine, at one tenth of the price, and had far more (and better) software available. Actually Britain was awash with a diverse range of computer systems in the early 80s, including machines like the BBC Micro, Oric, Dragon, TRS-80, Atari 800, and of course the biggest selling home computer of all time, the Commodore 64, none of which had anything to do with Apple. I certainly don't recall the Apple II, or any Apple machine, being a ‘runaway bestseller’. In fact I never saw one outside school, and have rarely seen any Apple computers outside of a few shops, even to this day. Apparently you're far more likely to stumble across one in the US, but then I've never been there, so I can't confirm that.

And once again, let's be clear: Steve Jobs may have ‘introduced’ the Apple II, in the way a compere ‘introduces’ a stage act, but it was Steve Wozniak who actually created it, for what little it's worth.

"He was never much of an engineer," Isaacson said. "He didn't know how to code or programme a computer. That was Wozniak's job."

So it seems the question remains unanswered. The ‘great many good things’ that Steve Jobs supposedly did remains a mystery. In reality he was just an opportunist who brutally exploited a lot of people, and made a big wad of cash in the process, but never actually ‘created’ anything of any real substance. But apparently, for that reason alone, we're supposed to worship the ground he walked on.

People really need to wake up from their consumerism-induced trance, and get some perspective.

Homer's picture

Steve Jobs: A Celebration of Narcissism

More details have emerged regarding Jobs' ‘great many good things’, this time from The Daily Beast. However, closer scrutiny reveals every single one of those ‘great many good things’ was either achieved by someone other than Jobs (who just happened to be there at the time), or were not really ‘achievements’ at all, except in the sense of money.

The article begins with the headline claim that Toy Story was ‘the world’s first fully computer-animated film’, which is patently false. It was merely the longest up to that point (1995). Shorter titles had been released before that, including ‘The Adventures of André and Wally B.’ 11 years earlier in 1984. The first most significant use of CGI animation in a motion picture was the famous 20 minute sequence in ‘Tron’, two years even earlier in 1982, and the earliest example was ‘Westworld’, nearly a whole decade earlier in 1973, which used the services of Information International, Inc. to ‘produce the scenes representing the Gunslinger (Yul Brynner) robot's infrared point-of-view (POV) or perspective’.

So who exactly ‘broke ground’ here? Pixar, for merely creating something longer, or Information International, Inc., for being the first to use CGI animation in a major motion picture? And what about Ture Sjolander, who made the first electronic animation as far back as the early 1960s? Doesn't he deserve any credit at all?

But no, Pixar takes the prize, because its production was ‘longer’, or in reality, because it's from Hollywood and made lots of money. As for real technical breakthroughs? Bleh, who needs that? Just show me the money, right?

And note that none of this had anything to do with Steve Jobs, at all, yet he's been lauded with the accolade of somehow being responsible for it all, in some mysterious way that (unsurprisingly) no one can quite put their finger on.

As Alvy Ray Smith, the co-founder of Pixar, put it: ‘Steve would write another check and get more equity’, and ultimately Jobs negotiated ‘a three-picture deal [with Disney], starting with Toy Story’, which might seem impressive, to those easily impressed by financial transactions, were it not for the fact that apparently Jobs ‘repeatedly shopped Pixar to potential buyers, including his old archrival Microsoft’.

This is the sum total of Jobs' ‘accomplishments’: he was nothing but a ruthless negotiator, a bag-man, and yet for this unoriginal and wholly materialist ‘accomplishment’ he's revered as the ‘prince of Silicon Valley’ and a ‘Hollywood hero’.

So there's the answer: The ‘great many good things’ accomplished by Jobs amounts to nothing more than the acquisition of money, which merely allowed others to produce some cartoons and shiny toy gadgets for overgrown children, using pre-existing technology which Jobs merely commoditised using ruthless negotiation and a flagrant disregard for morality.

Does this seriously justify the fawning adulation being heaped upon him?

For many, the answer is sadly ‘yes’.

Anony Mouse's picture

pixar did make the first

pixar did make the first fully computer animated feature length film, and it was toy story. They got the credit because it was a full-length film, not just a short. That's the reason they made it. You're taking their 'film' to literally. From that context it quite obviously means a 90 minute plus(give or take, the time of a feature-length film.

But yes, Steve had nothing to do with it.

Homer's picture

Length is not an "invention"

You missed the point.

First of all, there's nothing in the definition of ‘film’ that requires it to be of a certain length.

film (fɪlm)
—n
1.  	a.  a sequence of images of moving objects photographed by a
             camera and providing the optical illusion of continuous
             movement when projected onto a screen

Secondly, Steve Jobs is being lauded as some great ‘visionary’ and ‘innovator’ on the basis of his ‘great accomplishments’ at Pixar and Apple, when in fact Toy Story was not only not his ‘accomplishment’, but the only thing that's ‘great’ about it is its length. That's not exactly an ‘invention’ or even a breakthrough, or in fact anything worthy of more than a passing mention, especially given the actual film itself is just materialist propaganda thinly-veiled as a mediocre kids' cartoon.

It's bad enough when anyone is falsely credited with invention, then fawned over and compared to Leonardo da Vinci for it, but when the person in question is a malicious tyrant like Jobs, it's down-right offensive.

Anony Mouse's picture

I'm a bit of a fan of Pixar,

I'm a bit of a fan of Pixar, and they've made some worthy contributions to the field. They also brought it into the mainstream, and made CGI a real tool rather than an interesting toy. Pixar made a great contribution I think.

Steve Jobs had bugger all to really do with that, and frankly I agree with everything else you've said about him, I just don't think it's totally fair to tar Pixar with his brush.

Homer's picture

I can live with that

Just to be clear, I'm not having a go at Pixar, however it's been many years since I wore nappies/diapers and therefore I'm not exactly a fan of kids cartoons, CGI-animated or otherwise.

AFAIAC Pixar is just a company that did what others did before them, but with greater financial success, and that doesn't impress me in the slightest. It's just money, and it isn't even my money, so why the hell should I give a damn about it?

This is part of what I'm talking about. Society (primarily in America) is afflicted with this obsession over wealth that borders on religious worship, and it's sick. What matters is a person's character, not how much money they make. By all means lets praise (and properly attribute) companies and people for their actual inventions, and more importantly for their contributions to the general welfare of humanity, but all this sycophantic adulation for those who just expand and profit greatly by exploiting others, is morally bankrupt. Period.

But penetrating the indoctrination of this narcissistic ‘American Dream’ mentality is an uphill battle that, frankly, may never be won. Of course, the way things are going with the US economy, there may not be much of an American society left to pursue that ‘dream’ much longer, so ultimately the problem might solve itself, albeit in a rather brutal fashion.

Homer's picture

And yet another "just one more thing"...

Yup, definitely a trend:

What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs

One thing he wasn't, though, was perfect. Indeed there were things Jobs did while at Apple that were deeply disturbing. Rude, dismissive, hostile, spiteful: Apple employees—the ones not bound by confidentiality agreements—have had a different story to tell over the years about Jobs and the bullying, manipulation and fear that followed him around Apple. Jobs contributed to global problems, too. Apple's success has been built literally on the backs of Chinese workers, many of them children and all of them enduring long shifts and the specter of brutal penalties for mistakes. And, for all his talk of enabling individual expression, Jobs imposed paranoid rules that centralized control of who could say what on his devices and in his company.

Censorship and Authoritarianism

The internet allowed people around the world to express themselves more freely and more easily. With the App Store, Apple reversed that progress. The iPhone and iPad constitute the most popular platform for handheld computerizing in America, key venues for media and software. But to put anything on the devices, you need Apple's permission. And the company wields its power aggressively.

Apple's devices have connected us to a world of information. But they don't permit a full expression of ideas. Indeed, the people Apple supposedly serves — "the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers" — have been particularly put out by Jobs' lockdown. That America's most admired company has followed such an un-American path, and imposed centralized restrictions typical of the companies it once mocked, is deeply disturbing.

But then Jobs never seemed comfortable with the idea of fully empowered workers or a truly free press. Inside Apple, there is a culture of fear and control around communication; Apple's "Worldwide Loyalty Team" specializes in hunting down leakers, confiscating mobile phones and searching computers.

Apple applies coercive tactics to the press, as well. Its first response to stories it doesn't like is typically manipulation and badgering, for example, threatening to withhold access to events and executives. Next, it might leak a contradictory story.

But Apple doesn't stop there. It has a fearsome legal team that is not above annihilating smaller prey. In 2005, for example, the company sued 19-year-old blogger Nick Ciarelli for correctly reporting, prior to launch, the existence of the Mac Mini. The company did not back down until Ciarelli agreed to close his blog ThinkSecret forever. Last year, after our sister blog Gizmodo ran a video of a prototype iPhone 4, Apple complained to law enforcement, who promptly raided an editor's home.

And just last month, in the creepiest example of Apple's fascist tendencies, two of Apple's private security agents searched the home of a San Francisco man and threatened him and his family with immigration trouble as part of an scramble for a missing iPhone prototype. The man said the security agents were accompanied by plainclothes police and did not identify themselves as private citizens, lending the impression they were law enforcement officers.

Anony Mouse's picture

meh.

It's funny how people take the death of some American businessman they have never met so seriously. I actively abstain from purchasing Apple (and Microsoft) products. Generally speaking, it's because I don't want to support their corrupt business practices. However, in America anyway, it seems I am in the minority, which is fine. I do not evangelize my views on free software or capitalism, but comparing an ethically questionable businessman to Einstein and the like is absurd on a very fundamental level.

I admit with no qualms that Steve Jobs (and Bill Gates for that matter) had much to do with "mainsteaming" everyday computer use. They helped build things that are now considered by many as indispensable. Emphasis should be put on the words "had" and "helped". It's what Jobs and Gates did after their technical accomplishments that bother me. Although debatable, the course was already set, personal computing would have evolved without them, and the things put in motion by them aside from their technical accomplishments I can not only do without, but can confidently describe as detrimental to society as a whole. To the Average Joe most of the societal impact is meaningless, as long as they can get their slick looking gadget or whatever, but eventually it will boil over into everyday lives. When it does, and the rich people who's business it is to exploit and manipulate "everyday people" will no longer be heroes.

Was Jobs a "visionary"? Perhaps. Was his life interesting? Sure. Was he an innovator? Possibly. Was he an excellent salesman? Absolutely. But he was also many, many other things, including a ruthless businessman who took the concept of "intellectual property" much too seriously. It doesn't really bother me that President Obama eulogized him. Of course the president of the United States would do so, Jobs was an outstanding capitalist who was able to hoard 8.6 billion dollars for himself. Apple fans can eulogize him too, he was the leader of their club after all. That's all fine and dandy, I'm totally indifferent; but adding Jobs to the list of Greats is what I do take exception to. It's ridiculous and people should stop.

Homer's picture

And another "just one more thing"...

Looks like I started a trend.

Now the Daily Mail is challenging this Jobs hysteria. No, TDM is not usually the best source, but this is a great article. Every word's a classic - I could quote it all, but I'll try to summarise it as best I can:

President Obama was unequivocal: ‘The world has lost a visionary,’ he said. Who had died? The Pope? The Dalai Lama? A great poet or artist? No. It was the pioneer of Apple.

But able though he may have been, did Steve Jobs really deserve the kind of veneration he has received from his fans and a fawning media? The BBC, after all, led its news programmes on his death.

Or does his elevation to near sainthood say everything about the modern world and our obsession with needless gadgets?

But although many of us have become computer addicts – endlessly checking our emails, constantly surfing the net, going online to buy and sell on eBay – does it actually mean our lives have changed for the better?

That is certainly the drift of the many tributes to Steve Jobs.

New York’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, was typical when he said: ‘America has lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison [the inventor of the light bulb] and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come.’

But even Bloomberg did not go so far as Stephen Fry, who, when Jobs resigned his post at Apple through ill-health earlier this year, opined: ‘There are few more important people on this planet.’

Steady on! What about Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu who helped to bring apartheid to an end in South Africa? There are oncologists and researchers working behind the scenes who have combated cancer and saved countless lives. The last Pope, Mrs Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, together with former Soviet president Gorbachev, toppled 70 years of communism with little fuss.

Those who think that Steve Jobs was in the same league should switch off their computers and get out more. They seem to be making a fundamental mistake about the nature of Steve Jobs’s achievements – and indeed about computers.

Of course, there are computer-obsessives whose life revolves around screens, Twitter, eBay and Facebook. For them, Steve Jobs may seem like the most important person on the planet. But to call him a visionary is ridiculous. He merely speeded up what we were doing anyway.

Fundamentally, the world is the same as it was before Steve Jobs. He was simply a clever backroom boy who got lucky. The most important person on the planet? Pull the other one.

Homer's picture

Just one more thing...

Well, there's a turn-up for the books.

Long-term El Reg journo and frothing libertarian propagandist, Andrew Orlowski, just wrote an article I actually agree with. Incredible but true.

Here's a taste:

But we knew what was coming, didn’t we? In the media, a race to the top of Mount Hyperbole, that was easily won by Stephen Fry, with President Obama close behind. And public, showy and stagey displays of public emotion. (Why? Did no one tell you he was ill?).

I actually find all this disrespectful, and as distasteful as any sick joke.

...

Many truly life-changing breakthroughs by scientists go uncelebrated, and in courageous defiance of institutions and conventional wisdom. But “boffins” don’t get lachrymose send-offs from strangers. Jobs was a significant figure, but no Nikola Tesla.

The late Norman Borlaug prevented a billion deaths by applying the scientific method to the traditional scattergun approach to crop selection and breeding, creating the "green revolution". India used to have famines 40 years ago – now it exports grain. There are fewer conflicts in the world as a consequence. Woman have more reproductive freedom. These are incredible achievements – and earned Borlaug the Nobel Peace Prize. But he received no such adulation, and even earned a few sneers in some obituaries.

What the Jobs hyperbole means is that your world is no bigger than your media. Or your computer. There can’t be a more tragic expression of the internet’s self-absorption.

That is exactly what I'm talking about. The adulation being heaped upon Jobs is (at the very least) entirely disproportionate to his achievements. Far more important public figures have died without this level of media attention, which borders on hysteria. I find it profoundly disturbing.

I should add that I don't agree with Orlowski's opening paragraph at all (not quoted, see his article), which is (ironically) yet another fawning and unwarranted tribute, and he returns to his usual anti-liberal rhetoric on page 2, leaving the following statement unsubstantiated:

Let’s remember Jobs for what he achieved. He’d be the first to agree that there are more important things in the world than media devices, and he made that case very eloquently.

Yes, but what exactly is this mysterious and elusive iThing that Jobs supposedly ‘achieved’?

Apparently this is a question no one is able to answer.

Homer's picture

Richard Stallman's view

06 October 2011 (Steve Jobs)

Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.

As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone." Nobody deserves to have to die - not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing.

Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.

Yes, he said it far more succinctly than I.

Anony Mouse's picture

Well Said!

Great blog. Love your work. I have been sickened by the hero worship. no-one seems to give a shit about the people exploited in the factories that churn out Apple products where there has recently been a spate of suicides by the workers because their conditions are so bad! I applaud you for going against the tide of public opinion and highlighting Jobs' unethical behaviour. Wealth should not be the measure of a person.

Anony Mouse's picture

You seem to be blithely unaware that the suicide rate...

at the plants making the Apple products is less than 1/4 that of the general Chinese population for that age demographic... and far less than the population in general. It got headlines merely because it was at a factory making Apple products. Are you aware the same plant makes products for Samsung, HP, Dell, and a host of other name brands, and not JUST APPLE? The workers at those plants that work on Apple products are paid far better than workers in other, similar plants, or even those working in the same plants on other makers' products. Apple REQUIRES higher standards than other manufacturers and has American staff in place to monitor conditions. No other American company did that before Apple. You swallow the propaganda... but don't bother to dig for the actual facts. Perhaps you should do a little research into the actual statistics and facts.

Homer's picture

Rates?

People die in horrendous working conditions, and all you can talk about is statistics?

Has it occurred to you that maybe Apple shouldn't be outsourcing cheap, foreign labour at all?

‘Rates‘ indeed.

And no, the ‘other people do it’ defence won't wash. ‘Other people’ commit all sorts of atrocities, does that mean they should have a right to do so? Should they be lauded as ‘great companies’, as Apple is? Should their CEOs receive fawning adulation, as Jobs has?

Greedy American corporations selling-out American jobs to cheap, foreign labour is not ‘propaganda’, it's a fact, and any company or person who supports that brutal exploitation should not be idolised. That's the substantive point you refuse to accept, because you're so enamoured by Apple's crass materialism that you simply don't care.

You're an archetypal narcissist.

Anony Mouse's picture

Congratulations on assembling

Congratulations on assembling an impressive collection of negative stories about Jobs. You appear to have poured a considerable amount of effort and hate into your article, going so far as to dig up dirt from his college years.

Perhaps you should have also considered the many positive stories related by people who actually knew him, or his struggle with cancer. But that would not have been compatible with your zeal for painting him in as bad a light as possible, would it?

I get it, you're upset because he gets worshipped in spite of having done a bunch of bad things, and most people probably don't even know about his faults. But he has also done a great many good things and touched the lives of millions of people in a very tangible and positive way, and his legacy will endure for a long time. Just because you can't admit that does not give you the right to celebrate his death. It's easy for you to mock him from the comfort of your anonymity on the Internet, but would you dare to say "good riddance" in the faces of his family who just lost the man they loved after a painful struggle with cancer?

You may deride those showing their appreciation of Jobs as sycophants, but their goodwill trumps your hate.

Homer's picture

"Touched your life"?

Oh believe me, it was no effort at all. I've been avidly following technology since the 1970s, so it's not like any of this is news to me, but apparently it is to the majority of others, given their largely denialist reactions.

And yet despite that, the reason I haven't given examples of the ‘great many good things’ Jobs has done is because, well to be perfectly blunt, I'm not actually aware of any, which for someone who's been following technology as long as I have is a pretty shocking indictment, don't you think? Perhaps you could enlighten me, since I must have been absent the day Jobs did his ‘great many good things’. You could start by providing a list of the ways in which he's ‘touched [your life] in a very tangible and positive way’. In fact just one example will do, but if you could provide more then it might help justify your (and others') apparent hero-worship of someone who, as far as I can tell, has done nothing to merit it - quite the contrary in fact. Be warned, however, that if any of your examples pertain to ‘invention’ then you better prepare for a disappointment.

This article is not a ‘celebration’ of Jobs' death, its a criticism of unwarranted hero-worship.

goodwill trumps your hate

‘Goodwill’ towards something profoundly wrong, is itself wrong.

Anony Mouse's picture

Intolerant

Note that I never once said that Jobs "touched my life" - I said that he "touched the lives of millions". You also mistakenly assume that I engage in hero-worship simply because I spoke well of him. There's a difference between recognising achievement and worship.

I think you described your position best in one of your other responses: "There's just my opinion, and your opinion. If we share certain key opinions then we can be friends. If not then we're destined to be enemies."

Your "my way or the highway" attitude is surprisingly juvenile for someone who has been "following technology since the 1970s". Since you are so unwilling to consider any point of view that conflicts with your own, there is little point in satisfying your request that I provide you with anything positive about Jobs. You would only mock it. If you were at all interested in an informed, balanced point of view, you would've found it for yourself.

‘Goodwill’ towards something profoundly wrong, is itself wrong

Jobs was a man, not a thing. Denying him goodwill betrays your blind hatred. Titling your piece "Good riddance" shows that you're glad he's dead. You are no better than him.

Homer's picture

Regarding the title

I'll let Mayor Harold Washington answer that one.

Homer's picture

So that's a "no", then?

Well, if Jobs never ‘touched your life’ then you're not really qualified to make this ‘life touching’ claim at all, are you? Why even mention it without qualified citations? It seems highly presumptuous to me, and rather sycophantic too, considering you're lavishing praise on someone based on unqualified assumptions about how others supposedly feel.

This is exactly what I mean when I talk about ‘hero worship’. It might be forgiveable if Jobs had been even remotely virtuous, or even truly ‘inventive’, but AFAICT this wave of hysteria is completely without merit, except perhaps to those totally obsessed with money.

And I'm afraid you've completely misinterpreted my attitude. I have no desire to impose ‘my way or the highway’. If I did, then I wouldn't waste my time engaged in debate, would I? As I clearly stated in that other comment you half-read, ‘I attempt to persuade them with my arguments. If their position is intractable, then I persuade them to leave’. I didn't say I was intractable. I didn't say I couldn't also be persuaded with arguments. I didn't say I couldn't be persuaded to ‘share certain key opinions’. That's your job.

Welcome to the wonderful world of debate. And the subject of this debate is whether Jobs actually warranted such hysteria and adulation, dead or alive. The only reason I've raised this subject now is because this wave of hysteria only manifested after Jobs died. This is not a cynical attempt to capitalise of someone's death in poor taste, it is acutely relevant because of the conditions precipitated by it. And the subject is not you or I, either. Dragging the debate down to the level of ad hominem attacks is merely a concession that you have no argument on the actual subject matter, or lack the wherewithal to articulate it.

So, you brought up this claim of Jobs ‘touch[ing] the lives of millions of people in a very tangible and positive way’ by doing a ‘great many good things’. Surely it's reasonable for me to expect you to qualify that claim somehow. Or we could just exchange petty insults, whichever.

As for my antipathy, that's directed against a thing, not a man, as I've also clearly stated. The ‘thing’ in this instance being consumerism-driven hysteria. It just so happens that the object of this consumerism-driven hysteria is a man, but it wouldn't matter to me if it were a goat or a paper clip, the principle remains the same. By exposing the naked truth of the object of this obsession, I hope to restore some semblance of sanity and, dare I say it, good taste.

Anony Mouse's picture

Your will be done

I guess all these opinions end up being a "this is what you should do/believe in" thing. It's always gonna be like this. But you have to ask yourself. Why and where do you get the idea of writing something that will praise/downplay a person/event? I'm more interested in learning about your intentions. Is it the usual "I want to enlighten everyone about the truth" thing? No. It never is. Please tell.

Homer's picture

Motivation

It's quite simple. I have precisely two interests: technology and ethics. Where those two interests converge I have a special interest. My interests motivate me to not only learn about and participate in them, but also to advocate them to others, in the hope of finding like-minded individuals with whom to share those interests. When I inevitably discover antagonists, I attempt to persuade them with my arguments. If their position is intractable, then I persuade them to leave and seek-out their own group of like-minded individuals, preferably somewhere very far away from me.

Surely that's not an alien concept. It's the primary basis upon which society is built.

That's why I'm so interested in (or in fact appalled by) the unethical behaviour of certain technology companies and their leaders. Whenever I discover something I strongly object to, I openly criticise it, hoping to engender the support of others in my criticism, with the ultimate goal of affecting positive change through the tide of popular opinion.

In short: I'm rallying support for a cause, which in this instance is primarily anti-consumerism, one of my ethical principles. It's my contention that the unwarranted hysteria and adulation precipitated by Jobs' death is indicative of a an unhealthy shift in social values, where the value of a man's life is measured only in material terms, irrespective of his character.

As for ‘enlighten[ing] everyone about the truth’, I don't subscribe to such things, since I'm a subjectivist, not an objectivist, and therefore I don't believe there is an objective truth to enlighten anyone with. There's just my opinion, and your opinion. If we share certain key opinions then we can be friends. If not then we're destined to be enemies. It's really that simple.

Anony Mouse's picture

Well said

Motivation indeed. Now your post doesn't feel like a rant any longer.

Anony Mouse's picture

I wonder if you even noticed

I wonder if you even noticed that your source does not back up your bribery claim.

Whatever it takes to smear Jobs I guess. You sound like a bitter fanboy.

Homer's picture

I wonder if you ever learned to read

Maybe if you actually read the citations I linked to, you wouldn't ask such stupid questions. But here it is again for your benefit, or anyone else who doesn't know how to follow links:

According to a report from Wired, at some point people identifying themselves as representatives of Apple visited the home of the man apparently trying to peddle the phone, asking to search the premises. Home visits seem a little more up the alley of the Church of Scientology, another nongovernmental organization preoccupied by secrecy.

Perhaps the law is on the side of Apple and that of the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, California’s high-tech crimes task force, which served the search warrant (Apple is represented on the public agency’s board).

Further details:

The California criminal investigation into the case of the errant Apple G4 iPhone that Gizmodo.com unveiled before legions of curious Internet readers last week is noteworthy in its potential to make new media law. But it's also striking for another reason: The raid that San Mateo area cops conducted last week on the house of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen came at the behest of a special multi-agency task force that was commissioned to work with the computer industry to tackle high-tech crimes. And Apple Inc. sits on the task force's steering committee.

On Friday, members of the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) Task Force entered Chen's home and seized four computers and two servers as evidence in a felony investigation. REACT is a partnership of 17 local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies headquartered in Santa Clara County, founded in 1997 to address "new types of crime directly tied to [California's] increasingly computer-oriented economy and widespread use of the Internet," according to the task force's website.

The idea was to bring a variety of business interests and police agencies together to help combat identity theft, computer fraud, and the like. The team's website explains that "high tech companies ... provide specialized training, liaison personnel and internal support for task force investigations."

What's curious is that one of those high-tech companies providing training, personnel, and support to the task force is Apple Inc., the alleged victim in the Gizmodo case.

You were saying?

Anony Mouse's picture

Well that was petty.

Better get writing those other "more deserving" 160,521 eulogies, buddy. And they'd better be longer than one you just wrote for that monster Steve Jobs.

Homer's picture

You completely missed the point

My point is not that I seriously expect the President of the US, and everyone else, to comment on every single person who dies. My point is if we must single-out complete strangers to publicly mourn, and if there is going to be a great outpouring of sympathy, then surely it ought to be for someone who actually deserves it, not a malicious narcissist like Jobs.

Despite the hype and hysteria, Jobs' only technical ‘accomplishment’ was to put other people's ideas into shiny boxes, viciously (and hypocritically) sue other companies to stop them doing likewise, then somehow convince the unwashed masses to part with large wads of cash for these shiny toys. That's not much of an accomplishment, either from a technical or moral standpoint, so why the fuss over his death? It can't be sympathy for the loss of a compassionate man since, as we can see above, he was one of the least compassionate public figures in society - a thoroughly nasty character, in fact, so why should anyone have compassion for him now he's dead?

That just leaves one thing: money. Jobs (and Apple) made an awful lot of money, and for certain types of people that's all the justification they need to treat him like a hero, despite (or in some cases perhaps even because of) the corrupt methods he used to make that money.

That's not ‘showing respect for the dead’, it's just money-worshipping. It's materialism as a sort of religion. And in the case of those who go so far as to specifically revere amassing wealth by unethical means, it's far worse even than that - it's gangster-worship.

I guess that's why they call it the ‘Cult of Mac’.