Saturday, 8 October 2011

Jobs worth the hype?

In the last few days, reams of newsprint and hours of broadcasting have been devoted to the death of Steve Jobs, co-founder and chief executive of the computer company Apple.

I've never used any of Apple's products but am willing to concede that he had an impact on computer technology, coming up with ideas that other companies were forced to copy in order to compete.  His death therefore warranted a obituary in the newspapers and a mention on TV and radio.  But not the over the top reaction there's been, from Barack Obama's "a visionary who changed the world" (move over Galileo, Darwin and Einstein) to The Guardian's "he rewrote the rules of capitalism" (hmm, wonder what the Chinese workers who actually produce Apple's stuff in slave-like conditions in a factory known for its high suicide rate would think about that, assuming they have time to think).

This seems to me another example of the Princess Diana phenomenon whereby the media manufacture a wave of public mourning around the death of a moderately interesting person to the extent that those who don't feel any grief (the majority) begin to feel like the odd ones out.

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