Thursday, 13 October 2011

Master Innovator

The lovely Lisa
Well, here we are, Rebecca! I don't like to duck a challenge, and, as you were looking for a comment about Steve Jobs, here it comes. As most people and you know, I'm an Apple fan. Ever since Sheila got me an Apple Lisa back in the early '90s, I've loved them. (Shame I let the local Apple dealer have it when I replaced it. A Mark 1 recently sold for $15,000 on eBay!) I can't remember what number this MacBook is but I've been faithful since then.

My lovely family gave me an iPod Touch for my 60th. I don't go around with my earphones plugged in, but I do love its versatility and portability. (By the by, I don't get why that's cited as a symptom of our being an impolite society. For crying out loud, it wasn't so long that youngsters went around with blaring ghetto-blasters cradled on their shoulders - remember? There were texts on Radio 3 this morning from people on their commute into London listening to classical music on MP3s. I suspect it's just a case of grumpy old men seeking a pretext to grouse about teenagers.)

Steve Jobs who died of pancreatic cancer last week was the CEO of Apple and took delight in personally unveiling the succession of unmistakably elegant products, which really set the pace for other firms. I believe that Apple became one of the world's biggest corporations. He ascribed its success to a synergy of multiple talents, "because the people working on it were musicians, artists, poets and historians who also happened to be excellent computer scientists". 

In the year after his diagnosis and treatment for cancer, 2005, he spoke to the students at Stanford University (not Stanford in the Vale UK, but California USA) at "commencement". It's a moving speech, including this portion:

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. 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. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

You can read the whole speech here and see a video of 15 minutes of it: Steve Jobs in June 2005. Jobs himself didn't have a personal faith in God, as far as I know, but clearly he shared some of the insights of Jesus: such as living in the light of death (Jobs) or eternity (Jesus); follow your heart and intuition (Jobs), the Spirit will guide you into all truth (Jesus). 

I came across an amusing, if clichéd, cartoon last week. When I posted it on Facebook, Dave made this comment: "Too late, Steve, Jesus did the upgrade 2k years ago!" Good point, Dave! Jesus is the innovator sans pareil. He's responsible for no end of beautiful and ingenious inventions. Even Steve Jobs got his brains and flair from him - as he's no doubt discovering. The Twitter trend piously and probably cynically went, "Steve Jobs RIP". It could stand for "Readjusts 'Is Perspective" - which might not be all that fluffy-cloudy comfortable.

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