What a piece of work is a man! How noble in
Reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving
how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! and yet to me, what is
this quintessence of dust? — Hamlet, Act II, Scene II
Well, we are stardust, finally. And what a force has passed, like a comet, through our era!
I confess, my geek husband and Elder Son appreciated his multi-layered genius much better than I ever could — I referred to him as “the guy who is making our lives look like Star Trek” — but even I am smart enough to know that Steve Jobs’ was a rare and exotic mind. I wonder if he is the last [publicly apolitical] capitalist we’re going to be permitted to admire for his creativity, his invention and his sheer genius?
Even though we all anticipated his death, at only 56 years of age, I wonder how many people tonight are finding the fact of it to be shocking, nevertheless. And whether that realization, that no matter how colossal, none of us escape death, will feel frightening or reassuring to us?
How did it make you feel? I think a lot of people are feeling the need to express themselves on his death — twitter is completely overloaded, and there is a #thankyousteve hashtag, and it’s very busy, indeed.
In 1954, [Joanne Schiebel] was a young unmarried college student who discovered that she was pregnant. In the 1950s, her options were limited. She could have had an abortion – but the procedure was both dangerous and illegal. She could have gotten married, but she wasn’t ready and didn’t want to interrupt her education. Joanne opted, instead, to give birth to the baby and put it up for adoption.
And so it was that in 1955, a California couple named Paul and Clara Jobs adopted a baby boy, born out of wedlock, that they named Steven.
We know him today…as Steve Jobs.
It would not be overstating things to say that Steve Jobs is my generation’s Thomas Edison. As one observer put it, he knew what the world wanted before the world knew that it wanted it.
If you have an iPhone or an iPad or an iPod, or anything remotely resembling them, you can thank Steve Jobs.
If your world has been transformed by the ability to hear a symphony, send a letter, pay a bill, deposit a check, read a book and then buy theater tickets on something roughly the size of a credit card…you can thank Steve Jobs.
And: you can thank Joanne Schiebel.
If you want to know how much one life can matter, there is just one example.
But: imagine if that life had never happened.
Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let Your Perpetual Light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.
I’ll start a little round-up until Insty gets on it, because you know he’ll have the most definitive. But I was moved by how really stricken Allahpundit is with the news:
I’m straining to find a cultural analogy for Jobs and am struck by the fact that I have to leave the business/tech fields entirely to do it. You can do it if you go back far enough — Henry Ford and Edison pop to mind, but … that’s awfully far. The obvious modern comparison is to Bill Gates, but that doesn’t work. Gates, like Jobs, is capital-I Important to the computer age, but in sort of the same way that ancient cave painters were important to the development of art. Jobs started out as a cave painter too but kept at it until he turned into Rembrandt. I think Lileks is close to the mark in comparing him to Walt Disney; my first thought when I heard the news was that only Steven Spielberg’s passing today would hit quite as hard.
He excerpts Jobs’ Commencement speech at Stanford a few years back, which you can watch here
The NY Times is asking folks to share an image on how Jobs’ life impacted yours
At Brutally Honest, Rick is a little aghast at all the mourning: “he wasn’t Ghandi”. True. I think one of the realities of New Media, though, is that all reactions seem like “outsized” reactions, simply because there is SO MUCH being shared, by SO MANY. In the 21st Century, perhaps, every “big” death gets the Princes Di treatment!
At NRO: Kevin Williamson on The Jobs Agenda:
I don’t know what Steve Jobs’s politics were, I don’t much care, and in any case they are beside the point. The late Mr. Jobs stood for something considerably better than politics. He stood for the model of the world that works.
From Mashable: 15 Inspirational Steve Jobs Quotes