October 06, 2011

#SteveJobs had no #BigBrother ... he was one ... #OccupyWallStreet

Great op-ed column from the New York Times, which puts yet another stake in the Jobs hagiography.
Today there is no tech company that looks more like the Big Brother from Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial than Apple itself, a testament to how quickly power can corrupt.
And this:
If we view him unsparingly, without nostalgia, we would see a great man whose genius in design, showmanship and stewardship of the tech world will not be seen again in our lifetime. We would also see a man who in the end failed to “think different,” in the deepest way, about the human needs of both his users and his workers.
But, it's all true. The design and showmanship? The best this side of Obama and better.

And, the not thinking different? It's true about both the traumatized serf workers at Foxconn and the iConsumers here in the U.S.

Has an iPhone really made your life that much better? I doubt it. More to the point, has it made your life that much better than a generic Android-OS smartphone would? I'm totally sure it hasn't ... unless you're into conspicuous consumption.

If you are, you're part of the problem that Occupy Wall Street is addressing. And that's why the blog post has this second header.

And, yes, the Occupy Wall Street folks do ... "timing" or not ... need to march to Cupertino, Calif.

Because, Steve Jobs, by failing to "think different" when he was smart enough to do so ... by failing to ACT different, was also ultimately part of the problem. He could have, as part of his "branding," touted "made in the U.S.A." But he didn't. He could have undertaken a fraction of Bill Gates' philanthropy. But he didn't.

That's because, in addition to being Big Brother, he was an economic elitist. Auletta calls him, though, a "liberal Democrat." Only if "liberal" really means "neoliberal."

And, so, as an economic elitist who like Barack Obama branded himself as a new-generation populist, he sold a mix of suckers and hypercapitalist wannabes on how the magic Apple branded them. It's like sex images, only more twisted, and with a total control freak.

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