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.

Advertisement

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Vince Killoran
6 years 10 months 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
6 years 10 months 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.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington is pictured as Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Washington Sept. 23, 2015. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror.”
Victims of clergy sexual abuse and their family members listen as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks about a grand jury’s investigation of clergy sexual abuse. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
On the Feast of the Assumption and following more revelations of sexual abuse, a priest reflects on the hard work required for the church to “come to perfection.”
Sam Sawyer, S.J. August 16, 2018
Today America joins more than 300 U.S. publications in support of the free press, which has been repeatedly insulted by President Donald J. Trump.
The EditorsAugust 16, 2018
Rest assured, my brothers and sisters, Jesus feels your hurt.
Vivian CabreraAugust 16, 2018