About Jobs

October 6, 2011 | 32 comments
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0-pulpit_frontI should probably be responding to General Conference, given the timing and what I’ve been reading recently. And I still plan to respond to a couple of Conference issues. But the many recent news stories about Jobs has got me thinking about that instead. As I’ve pondered Jobs I think there is an important distinction that we are missing.

I am not referring to politics or to the President’s Jobs bill. Instead, I’m thinking about former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away on Wednesday.

Personally, I am a Mac guy. I started using the Apple Mac in 1987, when BYU’s off-campus newspaper, Student Review, moved to layout on the Mac using Pagemaker 1.0 on the library’s Mac SEs. Within a few years my wife and I purchased our first Mac, a SE/30. And before that my wife’s family owned an Apple II in the early 1980s. All told I think we’ve owned about a dozen Macs over the years. We’ve also had a number of ipods and other Apple products.

In addition, I’ve pushed for Macs at every job I’ve had — even though most of those jobs have been accounting jobs, which were traditionally the realm of IBM compatibles. I could be called a veteran of the Mac v. PC wars of the 1980s and 1990s—which somehow now seem silly and obsolete.

So, Steve Jobs has had quite an effect on my life. Like commentators in the news over the past couple of days, I’ve admired Jobs for his talents, and may have overlooked some of his faults. I do think that it is true that he literally changed our world.

One of the thinks I found fascinating about Apple was that in addition to salespersons, it also had evangelists—employees whose job it was to get the public excited about Apple’s products. Evangelists were supposed to show off Macs and other Apple products, educating the public about those products instead of selling them. Jobs, of course, was Apple’s chief evangelist. His highly-regarded presentations of new Apple products were like those of a preacher: entertaining and inspiring. People hear Jobs speak from his pulpit and wanted Apple products. Now that pulpit is empty.

But even with my admiration of Jobs and of Apple’s often stunning design coups, I think we must remember that these products, like all technology (as far as I can tell), are simply tools.

Tools are, of course, amoral. In general, they don’t promote a particular morality. In fact, they are used for immoral, amoral and moral purposes. Sure computers make things easier and life better. But they make immorality easier, just as they make morality easier and all those things that are neither moral or immoral easier. In fact, no one expects them to.

Of course, technology sometimes becomes the demon. That has happened with the Internet to some degree, just as it has for that older technology, the one invented by a Mormon farm boy who was inspired by the pattern he used to plow his fields. Like Philo Farnsworth, Jobs is, in the end, a maker of tools. Wonderful, extremely useful tools, but still, just tools.

I don’t say this to condemn Jobs, but to put his work in perspective. Since tools are generally amoral, they cannot be moral successes. They can be used to create moral successes, but they are not moral successes themselves.

So, as much as I admire Jobs, I think more important work could be done by improving morality, by making our society more Christlike. While good and important, the more important work lies in promoting the truth, preaching the good word and providing for the well being of mankind.

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32 Responses to About Jobs

  1. Jax on October 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Very well said Kent.

    While progress is great, new time saving devices and fun gadgets each year, new tools are really only a net positive if they lead to greater virtues (patience, love, truth, etc). Without those, then since it is amoral, progress is really just movement sideways, rather than forward.

  2. Dan on October 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    If a capitalist corporation is to be compared to a religion (evangelists = marketers), then conversely, religions can be compared to corporations, too. A religion is, after all, only a tool, one that can be used for good and bad, one that can be exploited, but amoral at its core, just simply a tool for someone to use in a certain way.

  3. Cameron N on October 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Yes, well said Kent.

    One thing we can take generally from Jobs’ life irrespective of his field is passion, courage, common sense, hard work, and pursuit of excellence. Jobs (careers) are just jobs, but I think many people in the US can take more pride in what they do, in any area of their lives, and Jobs (man) personified that.

    There are other evangelists like Jonny Ive (I’m an industrial designer too) although the lack of a ‘lead’ evangelist might change things eventually.

  4. Jeremy on October 7, 2011 at 12:21 am

    While I agree that tools can be used for good or ill, the genius of Jobs’s vision was not increasing the functionality and efficiency of tools (and thus increasing their capacity for good or evil), but harnessing design to shape the experience of using the tool–in essence, turning work into an experience that is, at least partially, an aesthetic experience. I can’t quite put my finger on it at the moment–I’ll have to give it some more thought–but I think there’s something decidedly not-evil about making the experience of work more satisfying as an experience, apart from what that work produces.

    Also, I think good design can have at least something not entirely unlike a moral component. A well-designed tool conveys a kind of empathy and understanding of its user.

    Clearly, I’m hedging all over the place in these descriptions, because I’m not sure how to articulate what I’m getting at, but even if “morality” is too strong an attribute to give to the design of tools, I do think there’s something of good report or praiseworthy in the design of a tool and the design of the experience of using it.

  5. Alison Moore Smith on October 7, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Our first Mac was a 512k Fat Mac. 1985. First purchase of our marriage. Can’t even tell you how many we’ve had since then. Can’t even tell you how many we have right now. Just in my office right now there are 4 Macs, 2 iPods, 1 iPhone, and 1 iPad. Definitely evangelists here.

    But of course you are spot on. Tools are just tools. (I make the same claim about reading and writing, which always makes enemies on the school board.) Our ultimate focus should be elsewhere. I’ll try to remember that more. Thanks.

  6. Miskky on October 7, 2011 at 4:12 am

    @Jeremy: Your comments and perspective are interesting though I’m not sure I agree with your line:

    “not increasing the functionality and efficiency of tools (and thus increasing their capacity for good or evil),but harnessing design to shape the experience of using the tool”

    It seems to me that when anything moves from the utilitarian to the “enhancement of the experience”, be it computers, cars, clothes, food etc., the instance of its use for other than good increases rather than decreases. As our “experience” is enhanced in the use of objects, “idolatry” of those objects may increase, addictions may increase and the objects may become an end in and of themselves.

    Of course, everything can and will be used for good and not so good ends, but functionality and effeciency of tools, I think, may have the potential for greater increases in benefits than harm, unless perhaps it is a tool designed specifically to harm.

    One can think both positively and negatively about where civilization would be without the “functionality and effeciency of tools.”

  7. Naismith on October 7, 2011 at 5:54 am

    It’s an interesting essay, but why this need to compare, categorize and rank? The work of making society more Christlike is different than what Jobs did. But he seems to have filled the measure of his creation. That should be celebrated with no caveats.

    I loved the original Mac tagline: “Wheels for the mind.”

    Yes, they are just tools. But as someone who had to carry around maps and paper lists as an RS president in the dark ages, can I just say how much I love the iPhone? To have my handheld ward roster constantly updated without me needing to do anything, and to be able to click on an address to pull up a map that gives me directions. It definitely helps build the kingdom.

    I don’t see that his work is less valuable, just because it might be used for immoral purposes. If I bring a dinner in for a family with a new baby (work that some might see as less important than speaking in sacrament meeting), and a family member eats the entire chocolate cake in one sitting, that act of gluttony does not detract from my act of charity.

  8. Don on October 7, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I too wonder why we need to draw distinctions here. Can’t we appreciate Steve Jobs for who he was and what he did? He did a heck of a lot more than most of the people our society values, such as movie stars and football players and Wall Street zillionaires. I don’t even use a MAC (although my kids do) and yet I find him inspiring on many levels.

  9. Kent Larsen on October 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Naismith (7), with so much praise and attention at Jobs’ passing, I just thought it would be a good idea to keep it all in perspective. When the news is filled with one particular topic, it is very easy to think that the one topic and what it represents is everything.

    I hope it is clear that I do admire Jobs. I wouldn’t give up the tools that he has made possible. Don (8), I recognize what Jobs did and I’m glad he did. And yes, his contribution far outshines that of movie stars and football players, etc.

    But when an admired man’s wonderful accomplishments is all we hear for a while, an eternal view is too often lost.

  10. Jax on October 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

    It seems to me that when anything moves from the utilitarian to the “enhancement of the experience”, be it computers, cars, clothes, food etc., the instance of its use for other than good increases rather than decreases. As our “experience” is enhanced in the use of objects, “idolatry” of those objects may increase, addictions may increase and the objects may become an end in and of themselves.

    This just proves the point, for while Idolatry ‘may’ increase, so can happiness/contentment/joy – which are emotions and feelings we are supposed to have and be seeking after. Addictions may increase, but good designs for tools can limit physical disabilities or pain and expand ability. There is a positive opposite of every negative, and visa versa. That is why they are amoral. The object itself doesn’t cause the idolatry or the addiction.

    And I don’t know if just being brilliantly creative and successful qualifies as fulfilling the measure of your creation, does it? I think of the phrase as meaning “accomplished everything that we were supposed to accomplish in mortality”. I don’t know much about Jobs as a person, and can’t tell whether that applies? Good family man? Drug or alcohol use? Church service? Was he a member with priesthood ordinances? I think he was definitely enlightened/influenced by the HG (my view of where all the creative genius comes from), and was much more productive by worldly descriptions than most men in history, but I think saying he fulfilled the measure of his creation is just a bit too lofty of praise, IMHO, even though his inventions are amazingly helpful in building the kingdom!

  11. chris on October 7, 2011 at 9:50 am

    “Like Philo Farnsworth, Jobs is, in the end, a maker of tools.”

    While Jobs certainly was a pioneer, I think what disguished him from the rest was not that he was in the lab inventing ground breaking technologies (Farnsworth), but he was a master recognizing how we were often working for our tools (in order to get them to do what we want) and Jobs found ways to make our tools work for us.

    The focus was more looking at existing technology (not inventing new ones), and finding how to improve the experience with it to make it actually useable — again rather than having to change ourselves in order to use it.

    The technological concepts in the iphone, for instance, were around for YEARs in the ipaq with, Phone – Mp3 – Touch Screen – Email. What Apple did was refine and make useable the technological experience behind each of these things (obviously new technology was used, but it was more evolution of existing tech, not like going from radio to pictures). But the experience was so much improved, it felt like it must be original, and the first.

    So that’s what I admire, and what I’ll miss. The ability to take something that’s already out there on the market, but that for all intents and purposes is either unuseable or driving us crazy to use it, and turning it into something that feels like an irreplaceable part of our daily life experience.

  12. KLC on October 7, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Kent, if you’re interested in eternal views that may be lost in the celebration of Jobs’ life then I think you should consider his life in more detail instead of shifting the conversation away from him.

    By all accounts Jobs was in many ways a typical college stoner in the 70s. I say that with first hand knowledge since he and I are almost the same age. I knew lots of guys like Steve back then, cosmically oriented, turned on by the universe and by drugs.

    He dropped out of college but hung around the campus and audited classes like calligraphy. He dropped out of America and went to India, he dropped acid. And when he reentered American life and the business world the first product he and Woz made and sold were boxes that made it possible to hack the analog phone system and make illegal long distance calls for free.

    In remembrances of him I’ve heard and read over the last few days his management style in the early days of Apple was more of the same. But then you read about the Jobs that came back to Apple the second time and you listen to that Stanford commencement address and you see a man who grew, not away from his early idealism but into a mature human who harnessed that idealism and learned to make it practical without giving in to fame, fortune, adulation and cynicism. He did stay hungry but he also found wisdom and success in using that hunger not to tear down but to build. To see the man that Jobs became from what he started is, to me, more inspiring than any of the tools he helped create. And that is an eternal message I hope and pray my children will learn.

  13. Kent Larsen on October 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Thanks, KLC (12), you’ve added an additional aspect to all of this that I wasn’t aware of.

  14. Sarah Familia on October 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I love Jobs like I love Michelangelo. Because he made beautiful things that enrich the world immeasurably. The genius of Jobs was that his tools were NOT simply tools. They were beautiful, and they made our lives more beautiful. “Beauty,” as Emerson tells us, “is its own excuse for being.” Art doesn’t need to be overtly moral to lead us toward God. The fact that Jobs’ art is something I can caress and use and enjoy in my everyday life just makes me love him more.

    Yes, there are people who idolize art (both literally and figuratively), and use it for evil purposes, but that doesn’t make art of the devil. There are also people who idolize our bodies and use them for evil purposes, and our bodies were created by God.

    I find the outpouring of affection toward Jobs entirely appropriate. His creations will continue to grace and improve our lives even after he is gone. And he is a shining example of what one man can build out of passion, vision, and yes, inspiration, to beautify the world. In a time when so many are caught up in the pursuit of personal pleasure, wealth, and power, I think that’s something to celebrate.

  15. Kent Larsen on October 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

    For the record, Sarah, I’m not even saying that the affection for Jobs is inappropriate or overblown. I’m just trying to point out the context.

  16. Jeremy on October 7, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Yeah, Sarah articulates what I’m getting at. In fact, I’m not really that concerned with championing or defending Jobs (and, in fact, I do think that some of the online remembrances and sentiments floating around Facebook are a little treacly), but I did want to pipe up to assert the virtue of art, design, and an aesthetic sensibility in general. I think there is a not-insignificant difference, possibly a moral one, between desiring to make something well and beautiful vs. an indifference to beauty. Good design diminishes the boundary between functional efficiency and aesthetics. A look out my office window at Rock Canyon convinces me of this.

    Beautiful objects can be the objects of idolatry, but only when the objects are appreciated not for their beauty but for their rarity (i.e., the fact that you have one and your neighbor doesn’t). Abercrombie and Fitch clothing serves as a good example: an explicit part of the branding of their products is the notion of exclusivity; they destroy, rather than discount, unsold clothing, because they avowedly do not want poor people to be seen wearing their products, and they recently paid “The Situation” to _not_ wear their clothing.

    I hope my inability to make my point more concisely doesn’t make me sound more strident than I am; I am slightly uncomfortable with Jobs’s sudden web-deification. But I don’t think that the creation of well-designed things that are enjoyable to use is entirely void of moral content.

  17. Cameron N. on October 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Well said Jeremy. Although as a product designer I think beauty can cause/promote idolatry. I like your comment “I think there is a not-insignificant difference, possibly a moral one, between desiring to make something well and beautiful vs. an indifference to beauty.” Of course, you’re preaching to the choir.

    My favorite quote about beauty is by Dori Tunstall, a design anthropologist (how’s that for a muddy social-science creative profession?). She said, “There is an inherent intelligence to beauty…”

    I also agree that great design a beautiful products and brands can become a religion unto themselves, just like zeal in any aspect of life. Most people are religious, even if they don’t believe in God they believe in environmentalism, politics, health, or any other cause or movement. Cecil O. Samuelson gave a fantastic talk about zeal about a year ago at BYU. Very apt, given the impassioned letters to the editor about small issues (since the big moral travesties are for the most part absent).

  18. Cameron N. on October 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    One more addendum to my comment above:

    I find it interesting in the church film ‘The Testaments’ how Jacob promotes beauty for beauty’s sake, and encourages the sculptor guy to become prideful in his talents/arm of the flesh. Beauty, like anything else, is a good tool that can also be twisted for evil.

  19. Jeremy on October 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Good point, Cameron. I love the Tunstall quote.

    There’s another good one inscribed on a stone at Gilgal Garden: “Facts become art through love, which unifies them and lifts them to a higher plane of reality.”

    I also think that design-related or object-related “religions unto themselves” can happen -within- religions and be mistaken for them–for example, when perceptions of virtue become muddled with the outward trappings of wealth (the expense of one’s clothing, the size of one’s house), or when one’s zeal to observe modesty standards becomes intermingled with one’s association of clothing with class, resulting in exclusionary social impulses that are mistaken for piety.

  20. clark on October 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    KLC (12), great comments.

  21. Ammon on October 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I was about to write a post on this exact topic. You’ve saved me the trouble. We sing “Praise to the Man” not about Steve Jobs.

  22. Kent Larsen on October 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Jeremy, Cameron, am I reading you wrong, or are you equating aesthetics with morality? Aren’t they too different things?

    I agree that Jobs’ emphasis on good, even beautiful, design is a good thing—certainly these products rank high aesthetically (at least in terms of current beliefs about what is beautiful). BUT, I don’t see how that higher aesthetic means that it also has a higher morality.

    The connection here is tenuous, IMO.

  23. Raymond Takashi Swenson on October 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    First of all, Apple’s evangelists (like one of the more famous ones, Guy Kawasaki) had the role of selling Apple products and their operating systems to makers of software and accessory hardware, in order to increase the value of Apple’s products. It would be like Henry Ford hiring someone to go around the country promoting the establishment of gas stations and tire stores to enable his cars to travel beyond the immediate area of the owners’ homes. It takes an investment of resources to make software work on multiple operating systems, and the Apple evangelists’ role was to persuade makers of software and hardware accessories that Apple’s machines would sell well enough that the market for their own products would more than justify the development costs for compatible products. The modern manifestation of that is the Apps market, for programs that will run on smart phones and larger tablet computers. The evangelists were carrying the good news out to the masses of manufacturers, eliciting their faith in Apple’s products as vehicles to sell software and accessories to the public. This is exactly analogous to what religious evangelists do, seeking faith in a church that will attract investment of time, money and effort, which will increase the net value of the church to every person who buys in. And reading the tributes to Mr. Jobs from avid Apple fans reflects the kind of deep emotion and gratitude and admiration that is usually reserved for religious figures like Pope John Paul II.

    Second, on the contextual value of the aesthetics incorporated into Apple’s products, we Latter-day Saints seek after beautiful things as an article of faith don’t we? God created the earth in a manner that would give it beauty and variety (the opposite of plain, repetitive and boring). “Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.” (D&C 59:18)

    Among the few things that scripture says were actually fashioned by God are the Liahona, the tablets of stone given to Moses, and the sixteen illumiinating stones given to the Brother of Jared (which may have included the Urim and Thummim, or been in addition to them). My guess is that each of these divine artifacts was beautiful and aesthetically pleasing in not only its appearance but also in its functions. Based on what eyewitnesses said about the translation of the Book of Mormon, a translator instrument used by Joseph Smith had the strength of stone, a remarkable compactness, an inexhaustible source of energy for light, an apparently substantial memory capacity, and the ability to transmit messages from God. These are characteristics that the iPhone and its imitators seem to aspire to embody.

    Have we ever considered the design sense that God exercised in making the earth and its living things? Militant atheist Richard Dawkins has a new book out, in which he tries to stimulate appreciation for the beauty of nature, but take the credit for it away from God. Our contrasting duty as witnesses of God is to point out how the heavens and the earth declare God’s handiwork, which we can recognize from the intelligence–including the beauty–invested in the design of the things we see. Whatever else Mr. Jobs did in his life, in his craftsmanship he was supporting God’s program.

  24. Jax on October 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Are you referring to Richard Dawkin’s book “The Magic of Reality” or a different one?

  25. queuno on October 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Steve Jobs. Great designer, but the corporate practices he supported were terrible.

    I still have never owned any hardware he ever sold. :)

  26. Bradley on October 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I like the religion as a tool analogy. There are good and bad ways to use a tool. People can be taught to live the gospel from the standpoint of unconditional love, or they can be manipulated and browbeaten with guilt trips.

    Jobs loved his technology and his vision of how it should work. He loved it, and he worked very hard to share his love of it with the world. After all, he could have easily retired years ago.

    As Huey Lewis said, that’s the power of love.

  27. 0t on October 8, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    KLC, Kent, et al:
    First of all, I admire Jobs and was surprised how moved I was by his death. As a technologist, I was very impressed by his work.

    Second of all, he was not a typical stoner at all. Yes, he said he tried LSD, but typical stoners do not call up William Hewlett when the accumulator (or some say frequency counter, I’m reading both) you are building for your high school product, is missing ICs. Typical stoners do not get hired by HP while still a teenager as a result of the phone conversation. Typical stoners do not drop out of college because they see it is depleting their poor parents savings despite the fact of knowing that your real mother made your adoptive parents promise to pay for college…and then continue to audit courses for another 18 months.
    He was a typical stoner in that he owned a microbus. He sold it to pay for a commercial designer to design the case for the Apple II after convincing Woz that they could monetize it. Not especially typical behavior there.
    I could go on and on…what do I celebrate about Steve Jobs? He clearly made some serious moral misjudgements–like with his first child. But I celebrate a life well lived–a life a learning, a life of growing, and a doggedly determined life to make a difference. Yes, his approach was more capitalistic than many unsung heros, such as the recent researcher who died the Friday before being honored with a Pulitzer, but I still celebrate him as a person who made things happen, stuck to his principles, *knew* he was right, but could still be convinced if another idea was better.
    Note that Jobs originally wanted the iPhone to be a closed device wherein only Apple wrote apps for it, but when he started to see that outside developers could be incredibly creative and write high quality apps, he reversed his position without reservation. Also note that when he came to work for Apple the 2nd time, it was not about money–he was already rich, asked for $1 a year and a compensation and leadership package with very few strings–basically it was, “Apple needs me more than I need it”. He was a bit right, I would say.
    One doesn’t stumble into these brilliant ideas by chance…I recenetly read that even the iTunes store was a reincarnation of an original ePublishing idea that he tried to implement with the NeXT machine. I remember that machine as I was in college when it came on the market, and it was indeed technically superior–an ideal blend of technical power and graphical usability that did indeed set the stage for the WWW. Tim Berners-Lee didn’t pick that machine by chance.

    My point is this: deep inside of me is the question: is my life of value? is it well-lived? It haunts me, as I’m sure it does many or even most people. Steve Jobs is a very visible example of a life well-lived. A secular focus? Yes. But many of the values he espoused are ones any accomplished person, saint or sinner, would want to have. So he is an example to me for that.

  28. Kent Larsen on October 9, 2011 at 9:06 am

    0t, I think you mean Ralph M. Steinman, who died the Friday before his Nobel prize in medicine was announced on October 3rd.

  29. Naismith on October 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    “Naismith (7), with so much praise and attention at Jobs’ passing, I just thought it would be a good idea to keep it all in perspective. When the news is filled with one particular topic, it is very easy to think that the one topic and what it represents is everything.”

    That’s an interesting point, and I did not realize that it was so. My local newspaper does a good job of keeping local news on the front page, and I don’t catch up with national issues until the weekend, so I had no idea of the extent of coverage. The downside of commuting by bicycle is that you can’t listen to NPR:(

    “And I don’t know if just being brilliantly creative and successful qualifies as fulfilling the measure of your creation, does it? I think of the phrase as meaning “accomplished everything that we were supposed to accomplish in mortality”. ”

    I wasn’t thinking of him being brilliant per se, but rather how he capitalized on his blessings. I have a friend who claims that whenever we say, “It just so happened….” that it is the Lord working a miracle in our lives. Jobs had an amazing number of miracles, or “it just so happened…” events that he pulled together to make something amazing.

    And I was also thinking of him as doing what he seemed called to do. I have personally known some teachers, nurses, surgeons, musicians, chefs who seemed to be doing exactly what they were put on earth to do. And Jobs seemed very much along that same lines, that he was doing what he could do. Yes, no profession should be esteemed more than another. Rather, I am talking about individuals using their particular gifts, no matter what the particular field.

    I wouldn’t presume to judge on what he accomplished spiritually.

  30. KLC on October 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    0t, do you say all of that about typical stoners because you are old enough to have known them in their milieu in the late 60s and early 70s? I’m guessing you’re not because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Typical 60s stoners did everything you mentioned and more. They weren’t burnouts like Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgmemont High which is what you appear to be reaching for. 60s and early 70s stoners were cosmically oriented, smart, anti-authoritarian and pharmaceutically enhanced. Early Jobs was not some anomaly, you could toss a frisbee across any west coast college quad 40 years ago and hit half a dozen Jobs.

    But for some reason you think that I was denigrating Jobs. I’m pretty sure that I think his was a life well lived, a life that matured and grew and still didn’t let early indiscretions or drugs or money or fame corrupt him. That’s admirable, and that’s what I said in my original comments.

  31. Kerri on October 12, 2011 at 12:32 am

    The loss of such a creative genius is a loss the the world. I came to Apple late in life, not surprisingly at the behest of my teenage son. I am now an unabashed “Applelyte” and have found great enjoyment (both in the use and aesthetics) and functionality in my Apple devices. Steve wasn’t perfect, his faults were many, and in some cases legendary. But what a leader and what brilliance. I can’t get rid of the nagging sadness that I have felt over his passing. I will miss the casual “armchair introductions” that characterized Jobs’ presentation of so many Apple products, and the feeling that a friend was just sharing his really cool toys with me. For me, he made my world a better place, created a way for me to carry a computer in my pocket, and made it look darned lovely in the doing. I like the comment that he fulfilled “the measure of his creation.” I think we, as Church members, tend to underrate the contributions of those who don’t do so under the auspices of “The Church.” Yet I personally believe that Jobs’ “magnified” his callings — that the products that he promoted (and those he encouraged simply by being the unbeatable benchmark) can be used as great tools in our pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and/or improvement. I think production of such usefulness and such beauty (in its own way) is exemplary in itself. I guess I don’t feel a need for “perspective” on his life — he did great things, revolutionized the way we do much of what we do, helped many others along the way (read Bono’s comments on Jobs’ charitable contributions — he just did it quietly). Those are praiseworthy enough for me.

  32. Sonny on October 12, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Kerri,

    Amen. Beautifully stated.

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