I realize I'm a few days behind on this one. What can I say that hasn't already been said? One article making the rounds claims that

When we start mourning technocrats as idols, we cheapen the lives of those who have sacrificed more for their fellow man.

What I don't understand is the sentiment that someone who suffered during their life automatically deserves more respect than someone who did not. Other than his drawn-out battle with cancer, I'm sure Steve lead a pretty good life. But he has changed the world in ways few people could ever dream of doing. And not for just some people, but for all. The effects may not be seen for years to come, but what is today a $500 toy for the upper-class to use to read Twitter on their couch will eventually be technology that is incorporated into every aspect of everyone's lives, regardless of income. Steve Jobs was the first to realize that the human behind the computer is worth far more than the computer itself, and that idea will forever change the way we create and use technology, and for that he deserves every bit of recognition he gets, regardless of how much he sacrificed compared to someone else.

In his Stanford commencement address (which you should absolutely watch if you aren't one of the 8+ million who have viewed it since his passing), he says:

And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

The tragedy of Steve's death isn't that he is gone. Clearly, he expected it to happen sooner or later. The tragedy is that it happened so early. Steve Jobs wasn't "the old" ready to be cleared out for "the new." He was still in his prime. He had revolutionized the way our lives are affected by technology, and continued to revolutionize it over and over. First it was the music industry with the iPod, then the cell phone industry with the iPhone, and he was on his way to turning the entire personal-computer industry on its collective head with the iPad. Who's to say what might have been next? We'll never know. When we mourn the passing of Steve Jobs, it's not just about what we've lost, but it's about what we could have had.

Posted
AuthorConnor Graham