Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

Apple has announced that Steve Jobs passed away today, after a long battle with cancer. I was quite sad to read the news. First and foremost, because a really talented person passed away, someone's friend and a loved one.

Although I have often expressed that I am not a big fan of many Apple products and, especially, its politics of micro-managing what its customers install on their own property (plus, I don't like Apple's abuse of IP), I have always admired Steve Jobs. It is clear that he has made lives of many people better by guiding Apple towards creation of many very useful products (useful to many people) and their introduction to the market. First of these products, by the way, was a computer mouse (and the resulting computer operating system based on the user clicking on icons, as opposed to typing commands... which ended up revolutionizing the way we interact with the computers).

In addition, the products that Steve Jobs and Apple introduced to the market led to other companies developing similar technologies (sometimes, despite Apple's best efforts), some of which I use as well. I already mentioned the mouse. Also, although I am not a big fan of the iPhone, the concept of a touch-screen smartphone is a very powerful innovation, and I personally enjoy using my Android phone (which I have found very useful in many areas of my life, from work to play to study to Yiddishkeit). As I have previously enjoyed using my mp3 player (mostly for listening to Chassidus at work), whose invention was probably inspired by the iPod.

I have have often used Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as examples of the people who really "govern" our society. It is entrepreneurs like them, not the pencil-pushers and demagogues in the capitals, that direct the progress of the civilization. They deserve to be richer than most of the populace, because they improve our lives in a very tangible way.

I never liked the whole talk of "giving back to the society" (even though both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs gave a lot of money to charities). What do you mean, "give back"? These people don't "take" from the society; the society gives them money willingly, in exchange for the more useful (to the society) products and services.

By buying Steve Jobs's products, people voted for him (with their money — literally) to be one of the people in charge of "directing the progress". That's the fallacy of those people who believe that we need to tax the rich in order to send their money to pay for the "government" and its projects. That's quite ridiculous: the rich themselves know how to invest money in order to create new jobs, as well as new useful products and services that benefit our lives (that's how they became rich, after all).

As many people have said in their blogs, what Steve Jobs has accomplished an average person would not accomplish even in ten lifetimes.

Rest in peace, Steve. You have made this world better.

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