Controversy

Steve Jobs' death: Is the world overreacting?

Everyone agrees: He created great gadgets. But, some note, he didn't cure cancer, end apartheid, or bring about the fall of communism

Since Steve Jobs' death Wednesday night, emotional tributes have been pouring in, proclaiming how the Apple co-founder changed the world and revolutionized computing, capitalism, and the way we consume media. But while fanboys weep and the media pontificates, some are wondering if we're going overboard and mourning a CEO as if he were a saint. Are all the tributes and tears too much?

He wasn't Jesus: "Calm down people," says Hamilton Nolan at Gawker. "A tech genius has passed on," and it's a "devastating loss to Steve Jobs' close friends and family members, as well as to Apple executives and shareholders." The rest of us need to get a grip and save the grandiose displays of public grief for those great figures who have unselfishly worked to cure disease, end wars, or fight poverty. Yes, Apple products are cool, but "they are not heroes, and neither is their creator, no matter how skilled he may have been."
"Steve Jobs was not God"

And he didn't necessarily improve our lives: "Those who think that Steve Jobs was in the same league" as Einstein or Nelson Mandela "should switch off their computers and get out more," says A.N. Wilson in the Daily Mail. In an age where many of us are tethered to our gizmos, unable to function if we can't check our email, has all this gadgetry changed our lives for the better? I'll admit that "Jobs was a brilliant and highly innovative technician, with great business flair and marketing ability... a clever backroom boy who got lucky," but he wasn't a true visionary. He didn't fundamentally change the world.
"Brilliant, yes, but he wasn't an Einstein"

He wasn't a saint, but he was a visionary: "Steve Jobs was a genius, and one of the most important businessmen and inventors of our time," says D.B. Grady at The Atlantic. "But he was not a kindly, soft-spoken sage who might otherwise live atop a mountain in India, dispatching wisdom to pilgrims." There's no need to canonize Jobs. He "didn't change the world by playing nice." He changed the world by being a demanding, "iron-fisted visionary," but that's often what it takes to bring great things to market. Jobs "doesn't deserve a hagiography, and I doubt he would have wanted one."
"In praise of bad Steve"

Recommended

Musk says Twitter deal 'cannot move forward' without proof of number of fake accounts
Elon Musk
backing out?

Musk says Twitter deal 'cannot move forward' without proof of number of fake accounts

Trump to partially restrict Twitter use if allowed back
Former President Donald Trump.
them's the rules

Trump to partially restrict Twitter use if allowed back

Scammed by romance and Bitcoin
Bitcoin.
Feature

Scammed by romance and Bitcoin

Could Elon Musk put Donald Trump back in the White House?
Donald Trump.
Picture of Harold MaassHarold Maass

Could Elon Musk put Donald Trump back in the White House?

Most Popular

Trump loses his grip on a Trumpified GOP
Donald Trump.
Opinion

Trump loses his grip on a Trumpified GOP

'Why are we willing to live with this carnage?'
Uvalde, Texas.
Briefing

'Why are we willing to live with this carnage?'

21 dead in shooting at Texas elementary school
A Texas State Police officer at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
tragedy strikes

21 dead in shooting at Texas elementary school