RIP Steve Jobs an alternative tribute 1955-2011

Originally published on Louder Than War October 6, 2011

The death of a man in his 50’s from cancer is a truly awful event. My heart goes out to those close to Steve Jobs, an innovator, a loved family man. Thousands die each year from pancreatic cancer with each death affecting family, friends and loved ones, but the death of Steve Jobs affects not only those close to him, but also the victims of a culture subjugated by Apple.

Jobs’ impact on the 21st centre is unarguable:  He created a culture of the throwaway and the elitist-a society trained to obsess over the ‘shiny shiny pretty nice’ like a missionary showing a candle to the imperial colonies.  Each new Apple product is launched with the pomp and ceremony of the World Fair and immediately renders redundant all previous models.

The recent launch of the iPhone 4S will generate millions for Apple-from people who ready own iPhones- purely for a better camera and a faster chip.  The iPad 2 is just a thinner version of the original with a camera.  This is Apples legacy, have an idea-rehash it over again, make people spend more. Technology became disposable and therefore passé. The wonders which enable blogging on the go, is now so engraved on society that creative writing, thinking and comment is diminishing.

The Daily Mail’s recent online publishing of the wrong Amanda Knox verdict exemplifies the fall in standards Apple’s access to information has created. The need to know information NOW means the checks which took place in journalism is no longer there- such a false piece would never have seen the light in purely print. As with the Primal Scream/ Theresa May debacle-a spot of research would have revealed it was The Dandy Warhols, but a retweet on an iPhone meant it was suddenly unsubbed truth.

Apples obsessions with making content available to everyone all the time could potentially affect our legal system. The naming of super injunction claimants on Twitter is a libel and something professional press wouldn’t touch (Giles Coren doesn’t count) but throwaway consumerism still wants it and iPhones and iPads enable it. Ed Milliband recently said Journalists should be licenced, which isa stupid idea of course. Journalists are trained professionals and a NCTJ and NUJ card should cover it. Licencing Bloggers on the other hand…..

Besides, Jobs’ products are expensive. A decent Macbook is a grand, iPad £500, and an iPhone on a contact around £150. Only a few people can afford new products. Yes it’s cheaper for older ones, but these are obsolete- it’s like buying a bands bargain bit first album when they’re on their third. Apple addressed this by releasing iPod Nano’s and Shuffles, but are these entry level products for kids or merely the Aldi of technology?

There is a privileged elite who can have these pretty things while the rest make do with clunky old PC’s.  As John Robb mentioned in his tribute, we used to carry around type writers-with no delete- but at least it proved a desire and determination to write. Nowadays, 147 characters poked into an iPad is merely a hobby under the pretence of authority….

Continue reading full article here.

 

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