Hullo there, remember me? I used to write for this blog from time to time.
I can't say whether or not this represents a permanent return to form, but I didn't want to be the only person in the Western world who hadn't commented on Steve Jobs' death.
Actually, I'm even cheating here, since all I'm really doing is linking to this fine piece by Philip Terzian at the Weekly Standard. It speaks to me on several levels: the danger of sanctifying the dead, a trap into which we all fall at one time or another; my ambivilence at the technological revolution, which Jobs without a doubt spearheaded; and the ultimate question of how we treat the people with whom we interact. Is it merely me, or is there a real irony in the fact that Jobs, who did so much through the iPad and the iPhone and the iPod to minimize actual human interaction, was apparently so bad at human interaction himself? Chicken or egg?
Concludes Terzian, "It does take a genius of sorts to make technology adaptable to a mass market, and to persuade consumers they need to consume. But that is not quite the same as 'changing the world.' It is one thing to influence human behavior -- which might be said of figures as disparate as Sigmund Freud or Jesus -- but quite another to understand human behavior, and profit handsomely." ◙