Tribute to Steve Jobs

The news that everyone is talking about this week is the passing of Apple’s Steve Jobs.

His abrupt death came as a shock to not just the nation, but the entire world, as Jobs’ creations and ideas have pervaded almost every country on Earth.

The company that Jobs built served to deliver excellent technology — which was always groundbreaking — and has led the charge into the age of the internet.

His work cultivated mass globalization, revolutionizing the way we all communicate and live on a daily basis. It’s hard to go anywhere these days and not find someone sitting with a Macbook on their lap or an iPhone at their ear. Even something as simple as managing our music collection and listening to it on the go was radically reinvented by Apple in only a few short years. The strides that Jobs and Apple have made in technology are astounding. The Apple logo now competes with the Golden Arches of McDonald’s as the most recognized icon in the world.

The most powerful and influential people in our society have stopped and taken time to pay tribute to the man who helped bring magic to our fingertips.

President Obama, on the White House Blog, was quoted as saying, “The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

Even Bill Gates, perhaps Jobs foremost rival and competitor, has said, “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”

Jobs pushed the world in an entirely new direction, and he has certainly found his place in the history books. His contributions will surely grow as Apple continues to strive for excellence. Superstition Review, and other online literary magazines simply could not do what they do if not for the work of Steve Jobs. In fact, the world would look a lot different today had it not been for his inventive genius and creative spirit.


What’s Happening to Our News?

Wired magazine has recently published an article entitled, “Rate This Article: What’s Wrong with the Culture of Critique,” which discusses some interestingly subtle side-effects of the digital age of information.

Author Chris Colin argues that the overwhelming amount of information we are now inculcated with, thanks to the internet, has its pros and cons. While anyone on the planet now has the ability to access all sorts of knowledge from their cell phone, much of that knowledge is user-generated content. Colin writes:

Technoculture critic and former Wired contributor Erik Davis is concerned…too. “Our culture is afflicted with knowingness,” he says. “We exalt in being able to know as much as possible. And that’s great on many levels. But we’re forgetting the pleasures of not knowing. I’m no Luddite, but we’ve started replacing actual experience with someone else’s already digested knowledge.”

The constant influx of user-reviews and ratings can act to contaminate our own opinions, and sway us towards or away from restaurants, taxi services and even news articles. With charts and tickers winking at internet users from every webpage, it can become difficult to discern what you agree with and what you disagree with, what is fact versus one person’s perspective.

The concept of consumer feedback isn’t a new one. The question, “how are we doing?” has been printed on the side of McDonald’s take-out bags for years, and commercial trucks still bear the bumper stickers which read, “how am I driving?” But the internet takes consumer response to an entirely new level, compiling feedback from hundreds if not thousands of users.

Colin argues, “Our ever more sophisticated arsenal of stars and thumbs will eventually serve to curtail serendipity, adventure, and idiotic floundering…there’s an essential freedom in being alone with one’s thoughts, oblivious to and unpolluted by anyone else’s.”

What are your thoughts on what’s happening to our news?