Steve Jobs, Visionary Merchant of Gadgets : THE FRONT PAGE ONLINE

Never mind the smug self-satisfaction of evangelical Mac users, nor the homogenous, conformist character of Apple design, it's Steve Jobs, the man, who is at the center of attention. With some reports of how tyrannical he was in his quest for "perfection," as described by a self-described "irritating Apple fanatic," I have to wonder about a culture that rewards abusive behaviour, whether in business or elsewhere. But I don't wonder for too long. We live in a society that is more than willing to overlook bad behaviour if we approve of the results of that behaviour, and we see this everywhere:

  • People eating meat despite knowing of the meat industry's cruelty to animals and the fact that processed meat is far inferior to meat from pastured-raised, grass-fed cattle.
  • Buying shoes or clothes from companies whose foreign manufacturers subject workers to degrading, abusive, and unsafe conditions.

And so, reflections on Steve Jobs legacy from someone who isn't unreasonably besotted with Apple products.

...there’s no denying the genius and vision Jobs brought to an impressive array of endeavours, from popularizing the accessible personal computer through the Apple II – an admitted milestone that stands with the efforts of IBM and Microsoft in transforming information technology – to Pixar’s evolution into the animation powerhouse it is today. Nor can we underestimate his accomplishments in turning flabby, out-of-breath business ventures into roaring successes. Yet for all his genius and impact on the technology and entertainment industries, the value of his iconic legacy is questionable.

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