RIP Steve Jobs: Stay hungry, stay foolish

Steve Jobs had a remarkable life. An adopted child (his biological sister, incredibly, is the novelist Mona Simpson), college drop-out and Arab American, he created perhaps the greatest comeback story in American corporate history. Before he became a visionary whose fine taste and ruthless perfectionism helped define the way people and technology interact, Jobs was a middle class kid who, worried about squandering his adoptive parents' life savings, left college to follow his interests and his instincts.

There will be many stories today assessing his contribution to American culture, but I think his own thoughts on death, "the single best invention," and the life fully lived might be worth hearing today. This is his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University.

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Vince Killoran
7 years ago
Okay, I know it's not nice to speak ill of the dead but, with all of the tributes that have appeared in the last few days, has anyone addressed Jobs' lack of engagement with the social and ethical issues of the day? What did he do with his fortune? There was something a little overly focused and individualistic about his life course.

I liked his message of pluck and ingenuity but he had very little to say about the possible hazards of the unreflective embrace of technology (maybe Reed College was on to something by requiring a humanities or social science course).
Stanley Kopacz
7 years ago
Vince,
I don't have anything against Jobs for the most part, but I don't see him as an example for everyone. I don't see anything wrong with the technology he promoted, but I agree with your concerns about its unreserved embrace.  We presently have a tracking system in place that would astound Big Brother.  Every cell phone, every smart phone, every tablet computer has a GPS and probably a government backdoor.  I've the location sharing feature on my Xoom turned off, but is it really?

I may not necessarily agree with where the Amish draw the line on technology but at least they reflect on new technologies and how they affect their lives and society and then they make a decision.  I've seen solar-powered electric fences in Lancaster so they do use some high tech. In the general population, we accept anything.

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