Steve Jobs actually died on October 6th, but it took me a few days to get up the nerve to actually post this tribute on the blog. His death has nothing to do with this blog topic (environmental photography) as such. But as a photographer I was so influenced by Jobs that I’ve decided to write this rather odd testimonial.
The worldwide accolades for Steve Jobs are flooding in. The man in the street is quoted as saying “I can do anything I want in the palm of my hand.” He or she feels appreciation for what Apple technology has done for them – how it has made their own lives “easier”. The individual can finally feel empowered, in some cases, as powerful as an entire corporation.
Steve Jobs did a great service to the individual. But he did a greater service to mankind. He boosted human evolution – the social and spiritual wellbeing of mankind – well forward, possibly lightyears ahead. What Steve Jobs gave the individual was the power to communicate – the power to inform and be informed. Like Jesus, he came to this earth and furthered a mission. Without speaking of it, Steve Jobs was in fact accelerating the brotherhood of man.
He hasn’t been doing this alone. Nor did he accomplish it. But it is in progress, it’s happening. There are two other technologies that work hand in hand with Apple products to achieve this unspoken goal: Google with its search and store technology which allows any single person’s knowledge to be found and tapped by any other person; and the Internet which wirelessly broadcasts the information to any person in the world. A Mongolian herder can be standing among his goats, ipod in hand, communicating with a New York stock broker as he drives to the gym after work.
Charity does a lot for mankind. Organizations that deliver aid, volunteers, supplies and money are and have been of great service for centuries. But have they succeeded in levelling the playing field? How speedily is charity bettering the state of impoverished people in third world countries?
On the other hand, technology that brings work instantly and directly to the hands of individuals in these countries is the most powerful of all. Call centres in India, web developers n Indonesia, illustrators in Ecuador are supported and empowered by direct hard cash in their pockets. The redistribution of wealth, from powerful countries like the USA or the European union to the nano-economies in Asia or South America, to single individuals and families, is more effective than any charity has ever been. Nothing breeds harmony as effectively as profitable trade relations.
The saviour or prophet who appears amongst us today may not be instantly recognizable because he is not wearing long robes, a beard and preaching a gospel. Today’s holy man is carrying an ipod, wearing torn jeans and rather than talking about the brotherhood of man, is texting about his products and services.