On Apple’s Tribute to Steve Jobs One Year Later

Pulling into the Gate in Amsterdam Airport

I remember landing in Amsterdam on October 5, 2011 after being in the air for almost 10 hours. I turned on my iPhone and AP news alerts started pinging my phone as happens when a “world event” takes place. I read through the Fox News, CNN, Sky News alerts and articles, and read through my Twitter and Facebook feeds. As we pulled up to the gate I had already received the text below from Deborah (yes I have all my text messages from years ago), a message received in my hand sitting on a runway in the Netherlands thousands of miles away from Auburn, Alabama.

Text Message From Deborah
Text Message From Deborah

As we pulled up to the gate I took the photo above of the Delta flight parked next to our gate, pulled it into my Camera+ app, put a boarder around it and posted it to Instagram. At this point I had already checked my email, responded to a few emails, and looked up our connecting flight information. All from a small piece of metal, glass, and plastic that didn’t exist a few years earlier.

This may sounds like a lot of poetic musings for a phone, but for some reason my mind wasn’t ready for this particular piece of news that morning, and it confused me. I was on my way to Africa, and the only reason I was going to have any personal connection with my wife halfway around the world was because Steve Jobs had decided he was going to invent and create what I was holding in my hand.

Here was a man who shared no convictions with my faith, a brilliant man who had no understanding beyond the pluralistic view of Christianity known for centuries mixed with his version of Buddhism. He just couldn’t go beyond his own understanding and even made this statement to Isaacson:

“The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it,” he told me. “I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t.”

Yet I still felt some connection, even if a minor one, with Jobs, sitting on a runway in Europe, as if the plane full of people melted away leaving me and my connection with Jobs sitting in my hand. He shared none of my beliefs, yet he changed the world, my world, and still does on a daily basis. After I got home from Africa I read, back to back, the biography on Steve Jobs and the biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Metaxas. What an amazing contrast of times and cultures, beliefs, and both had the ability to change the world. Ultimately in death, as we all will do some day, either looking to what lies ahead, one perhaps clinging to life here on earth, so did these two great men.

I boarded the plane to Africa, still thinking about Jobs’ fate and wrote this as we took off.

The biggest surprise to me so far [on this trip], was upon landing, finding out that Steve Jobs died. I was truly saddened to hear this. I know we are all temporary to this world, but this man, who for all accounts wasn’t a believer, changed the world. He forever changed the way the world communicates, how we are connected with each other, and the reason I can talk to Deborah from this plane in Europe while she is in Auburn.

He affected so many people through his innovations. How are we to greave his death? I’m saddened over his death as if he was someone I knew personally, and at the same time I really don’t know why either. Death seems so imminent for all of us, especially when you hear about Jobs dying at 59. I know why we die, the fall created this and Christ had to die for us, but it’s still so hard to understand. I didn’t even know Jobs, but I will miss him. The new iPhone announcement yesterday had people wanting to see Jobs at the event, people who never knew, other than God, that he would die the very next day. I pray for his soul.

I’m not even really sure why I write this today other than to acknowledge the gravity this one person had on our world. A person I vastly disagree with on almost all aspects of life, yet he was someone who had a positive impact on so many people.

Jobs once said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” which really became his whole life philosophy, and was carried on today by Tim Cook and Apple with the video on their front page and the letter below. What other for-profit company would take down their entire front page just to show a 2 minute tribute video. Simplicity and sophistication.

Apple's Tribute to Steve Jobs
Apple’s Tribute to Steve Jobs

40 responses to “On Apple’s Tribute to Steve Jobs One Year Later”

    1. indeed… but not all of us change the way the world works. We all do change the way the world is though, even if it’s on a micro level… Jobs changed it on a scale few have done.


      1. He changed the world alright. It became common practice that people have to ask a private company with arbitrary in-house rules for permission with regard to what kind of apps they can write, what kind of business model they can have, what kind of things they can sell and what kind of message they can deliver.

        He managed to make it common practice that people carry high-tech, always on, sophisticated covert spying devices: devices which know people’s location in real time, social relations, interests and which systematically provide this information back to Apple, and, automatically, the US government…and likely anyone else willing to pay for the information.

        He managed with a bit of shine to entice people so much that they would be willing to sign NDAs just to be able to develop software for his OS, in line with an already strong tradition of no transparency about how Apple treats its customers. And I’m not going to even start on DRM, locked down devices etc.

        Nothing to do but to hope we don’t have too many other similarly capable and like-minded visionaries.



      2. Sounds like a pretty smart individual to me if that’s was his objective, although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. And to that, I would say, no one is forced to use or carry an iPhone… my sister doesn’t even have a cell phone (though I know that’s rare).


      3. His legacy (the one I skimmed over), not his “smarts” are what’s important about him. WWII German doctors conducting painful and leathal experiments on prisoners were probably smart, too, but their smarts are not the most imporant or interesting thing about them, either.

        As for Jobs’ objectives, it doesn’t matter if the effects his company had on computing technology and culture were side-effects or not: the amount of harm he caused does not depend on his reasons for causing it.

        Finally, while it’s true that no one forces me to use or carry an iPhone, it is also irrelevant. The point is that because of Jobs’ herritage, in 5-10 years I, you and many other people might very well *be* forced to live in totalitarian societies, police states, where – thanks to the likes of Apple, Google, PayPal, Skype and Microsoft – survaillance on a scale never before seen will effectively undermine every value people have been fighting for for the last several centuries. Even short of that, the protectionist, competition-stifling, censored, privatised freedom of expression approach to commerce Jobs managed to globally promote is a plague that deserves the same kind of treatment as the one Microsoft got from the European Commission for bundling its browser and media player with its OS. In Apple’s case, that might mean billions of euros in penalties for fair trade violations, mandatory and immediate opening to 3rd party sources of software and products that by default don’t send any information to anyone from any specific device.

        Oh, and one more thing: no one forces me to use or carry an iPhone *yet*…how long do you think will it be until cash is deprecated? Do you think 10 years from now you will be able to buy anything in a supermarket without a phone? It might not be an iPhone, but Google seems to be working hard on providing a rich choice of almost equally locked-in devices…and that’s kind of future Jobs was bulldozing the world into. Jobs was exploiting the extreme short-sightedness of the average citizen in terms of where technology is going and how it will be used: no one forces you to use an iPhone today, but when you can’t vote without it, can’t trade without it, can’t travel or drive without it…then you might have a “what were we thinking” moment, but then it will be hard to go back. That’s 5-10 years from now: not 50.


      4. You make very good points, and I agree with many of them, but, your comparison between the WWII German doctors and the likes of Apple, MS, Paypal etc is not completely comparing apples to apples (not the corporate pun kind). The socialist, utilitarianism you are describing is a governmental issue, not a free marketplace issue. I agree, these companies make possible the technologies that governments can use to suppress or control, but that hasn’t changed since Rome (or earlier). In fact, it almost sounds like you are saying technology is the problem, not the solution or something, where making sure government doesn’t continue to gain power beyond what the Founding Fathers (assuming you are in the U.S.) designed.

        I will argue that has already happened, and the government is far far beyond it’s role of keeping us safe and providing roads for us to drive on, but that is where the comes in, not in the technology companies innovations. What Apple has done is not new, this is what the human race has done since the garden. Innovate, advance, etc., there isn’t anything we can do to stop the advancement of the human race… but… we can stop governments from ruling over us.

        I bet when George Orwell’s wrote 1984 he had no idea has accurate he was going to be, we have well surpassed his reality, and are creating a new one, but we can’t stop companies from inventing and creating? You’re right though, the cycle is 5-10 years now, not 50-100.


    2. You are correct. The only difference is that people will remember Steve jobs for a long time. No one will remember you.


  1. It is being said that Apple is actually moving on, rather than living in the past. Not a bad thing.


    1. Well said!!


  2. Great article, the way you have shown how he changed the world is brilliant, we have a similar article on our website: http://www.futuretechreview.wordpress.com


  3. free penny press Avatar
    free penny press

    He did alot for the communications field..he was a true visionary that will be missed and am very happy to see Apple moving on despite the loss!


  4. Nice post – I had similar thoughts when I heard of his passing. I thought about how much we have adapted to life after apple – how many things have changed since that first “i” device.


    1. I agree! Sometimes I forget about the dark ages before my iPhone, haha.


  5. General Ulysses S. Grant was a great leader who turned the Union army around in the Civil War. His understanding of how to win this horrible war made him an American hero, which eventually propelled him into the White House. He was a man who adored his wife and children, had compassion on the Southern forces at Appomattox, but yet, he was an unbeliever. Even on his deathbed, he rejected the gospel.

    To be honest, I’m more saddened to know the story of General Grant’s unbelief than I am of Steve Jobs. Jobs’ character was not 1/100th of Grant’s character. And yet, most likely, both men fell short in their races for eternity.

    Just so you know, I have an iPhone and love Apple products.


    1. Larry, yup, agree completely, and I don’t think even Jobs would claim a virtuous character as Grant certainly had as you point out. -S


  6. I think it is interesting how Steve Jobs affected most of our lives and how many as of remember where we were the day Jobs died, don’t you agree?


    1. yeah, that’s kinda weird but it was like one of those world news events where we remember where we were at the time indeed.


  7. Though Jobs may have not have been a believer in a religion, he seemed a huge believer in the human potential which is what many people sadly lack. Life is hard. One gets beaten down, sidetracked, and institutionalized so easily. It takes a strong person of faith to believe in what may seem impossible esp. if it is something that may benefit mankind.
    But who knows what is in a persons heart at their point of death. Who is to say some Christians (or followers of any religion) don’t start having doubts and spiritual upheavals on their deathbed. We wont know til we are staring death in the face.
    Still, as I used to tell my best friend in college, you could be the best looking person, the most intelligent person, the richest person, but it doesnt mean crap if you are still an asshole.


  8. Thanks for writing and sharing this post about the extraordinary human being, for whom, we have the privilege to lead an “Appled life” and it did matter when he passed away. And tons of congrats on FP!



  9. It is a give and take relationship between our plane of life. Sometimes we only see what we are sold and not the whole stories behind it. I am sure everyone has a story of their life where some reach those heights and some die while reaching there. As a matter of fact we all are famous but depends on how we want to live, share or change our lives. Some people do simple things and some people work in APPLE or MS or whatever big names you can think of. Change is an option given to us all – the choice is ours of how we change lives. Some people see things beyond one life, one family and one community.

    RIP Steve Jobs


  10. Amazing how one man could change so many lives with a simple few devices


  11. Great post! 🙂
    I’m totally in sync with a lot of your views
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    Check mine out too?
    Cheers! 😀


  12. Why would you automatically assume you’ve no connection with an unbeliever? I know that this wasn’t expressly said in your article, but I took it as being inferred when you quoted Jobs and then wrote, “yet I still felt some connection…”

    I’m asking this because, as an ‘unbeliever,’ I’ve never understood why believers look at us – the atheists/agnostics – like we’re devoid of humanity, or like we lack a moral compass. I know that’s a very general statement, and it doesn’t apply to all believers, but, judging by this article alone (which I know, is rather shallow) it seems you may hold (loosely, as it may be) that opinion, or something similar.

    I personally see most religious organisations as ‘devil work,’ if you like, but if someone is religious, I’ll look past how they identify themselves religiously so to unearth their base views, without distorting my opinion based on any pre(mis)conceptions, which I naturally annex to religious belief systems.

    Not meaning to criticise or ridicule, I’m just genuinely curious.


    1. Perhaps that was worded a bit incorrectly if you are looking at it with a fine tooth comb. I have many “connections” with people who don’t share my faith, in fact a believer void of people outside the Christian faith will have a hard time fulfilling Matthew 28 (the Great Commission). The “connection” I was referring to was a connection more on a spiritual basis or as one would have with someone completely and totally out of their own circle, like one might have a connection with the President of the U.S. It was also written at a time when I was writing more or less unfiltered, but that’s not an excuse.

      You say you don’t understand why believers look at atheists or agnostic differently (I disagree with the terminology “devoid of humanity or lacking a moral compass) because basically, we are, and they are. In our core being, we are two totally different people. That doesn’t mean we treat each other differently, or act towards each other differently, much of that comes from a lack maturity in a Christian’s faith, or lack of knowledge in their own understanding of Scripture and so on.

      That said, in this case, in this post, I was really referring to a more spiritual connection, or a connection with an individual I would normally have no connection with because our lives are so different (which they certainly were/are). Thanks for the comment. -S


  13. I figured it was a spiritual connection you were meaning. And that is actually what I was talking about. And also what I don’t particularly understand. But I guess the way I view ‘spirituality’ (though, I dislike the term immensely) is from a non-religious perspective, so I s’pose – different perspective, different application. If that at all makes sense? Anyway.

    Another thing; I don’t understand why you would say that, ‘at the core, you’re very different people.’ (Please forgive my pedantry, but I don’t have many (any, really) religious friends despite coming from a religious family, so I’m always anxious to probe as thoroughly as possible when given the chance).

    I mean, I get it from a superficial sense, he was a gazillionaire. I’m assuming you’re not. He also wasn’t a believer and you are. But at the very base of things, I’m sure that there’d have been a lot of overlap in the way you see the world?

    Personally, I’m a big fan of Jesus. He seemed like a great dude. Do I think he was the son of an omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent (or, malevolent, depending on your perspective) creator? A definite no. Am I sure he even existed? Undecided. Having said this, and again, I don’t think our core would be very different just because of these surface conflicts. I believe in loving your neighbour/enemy as yourself. I believe that, from a scientific p.o.v, we’re all fundamentally connected. I also believe that selflessness is the only noble virtue.

    Thanks for being a good sport. I don’t at all mean to knock your opinions or faith, I’m just a generally inquisitive creature.


    1. Actually those are excellent questions, and without trying to be or sound too “spiritual,” or give a dissertation as an answer, I will refer to your question about the “core being” as being different. What you are talking about is actually the fundamental backbone Christianity, and of being a “Christian,” as one is a Christian “in the Spirit,” not superficially, or being a “Christian” in actions or words.

      That comes from this: “If anyone is in Christ (the Holy Spirit resides within the person), he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come” (1 Corinthians 5.17).

      That is not something a person says or something a person does, it is an indwelling of God’s Spirit within the person, and it changes who they are. That is not actually something people just quote, it is real, and changes who you are as a person, in your core being, in your spirit. The problem is we still try to hold on to our own ways, our own understandings, and we corrupt just about everything we touch (sin). When we do that, we look, and become, hypocritical, elitist, and a whole host of other sins we rail against but do ourselves.

      So, no, you and I are not all that different. We have many overlapping ways of life, but where the differences in belief rest, for me, are at the very fabric of who I am (if that makes sense). I’m glad you are inquisitive, most are just combative. You say you are undecided on a creator’s existence, keep pressing on, talk to God about it, tell him you don’t think he exists, see what happens. 🙂


      1. I had a feeling that’s what you were going to say. Thanks for the clarification.

        I suppose that’s essentially where my primary issue with religion lies: it drives a wedge between believers and non-believers. You could say that at my core, this irks me deeply. I would have interpreted the bible when it said, ‘God’s spirit lies in everyone’ (however it says it) on face value, without making this statement contingent on dissecting one’s belief system. Cause at least from a scientific perspective, it’s true – we’re all mere strings/sub-atoms floating around space, uniting, colliding and moving on; what’s in me will pass through me and then through all else. I think that in and of itself is beautiful and it provides the same sort of unity that I think most religions try to get at – just without all the corruption.

        And as for the undecidedness, haha, good try, but I was talking about Jesus in the form of his human prophecy – as in, historically, I’m unsure whether he, the person, existed. If he did, I’d never suppose that he was birthed from a virgin; simply that he was a smart guy who could see beyond the social structures that existed in his day. I’m 99.999% certain that God, as is at as least defined from any monolithic religious perspective, is a load of hooey (I’d never say 100% cause, well, I’m not dead). Though I do quite like using the term God in the form of a collective consciousness; speculatively, at least.

        Thanks for the chat. Has been most enjoyable.


  14. Interesting article. The first emotion that came to me was similar to yours. I didn’t know Jobs, yet something saddened me on the day. And how ironic that I had three alerts go off to bring me the news. On my – iPad, iPhone 4 and Macbook. Such is life.


  15. Good article, but I find your correlation as follows odd: (”but this man, who for all accounts wasn’t a believer, changed the world. He forever changed the way the world communicates, how we are connected with each other”). I cannot see how being a believer of one of the world’s religions should influence the way Jobs changed the world in this context..


    1. We discussed this in some of the previous comments, and I agree, in essence it doesn’t have anything to do with what Jobs did or didn’t do with Apple. It was a correlation I was making with a person whom I had, or would normally have, fewer connections with… i.e. he is a billionaire, I’m not, I’m a Christian, he was not, he lived in California, I certainly do not. Along with that, most of this article was written in the emotion of the event when it took place, it was not filtered for generally accepted politically correctness at the time of the writing (see some of the previous comments on the subject of “connections”). Thanks for the discussion.


      1. Well I’m really with you about not filtering. That would be unfair to you, as the writer, and of course would not be the role of the serious reader to want that. Nevertheless, it remains an interesting perspective – not that there could be anything wrong with that, but there seemed to be an overall tone of Steve Jobs being creative and successful DESPITE not being a Christian. Thanks for replying. I enjoy the chat in a philosophical way – and agree with your points.


      2. Right, on that particular point, “Jobs was successful DESPITE not being a Christian” you are totally correct, that was not my point in the slightest. Obviously there were (and are) a huge number of people who are incredibly smart, and have contributed enormously to the world and don’t share my beliefs (for some reason Diana comes to mind right off the top). To that there really isn’t any correlation to intelligence and faith, there are certainly some really smart people on all sides (or to put it in the negative, all sides have their share of really stupid people as well lol). Thanks for the convo.


  16. Really great post, definitely FP worthy.


    1. Thanks! It was pretty cool to see it up there.


  17. well written and thought provoking. Thank you!


    1. No thank you 🙂


  18. You know I really agree with this. Religion issues aside, I too felt a personal sadness when I learned of his death. In fact, reading this still nearly brought a tear to my eye, and watching that video on my homepage made me cry and cry!
    One thing that was not mentioned that I feel is extremely hard to overlook is how his “legacy” is being carried on. Simplicity is sophistication right? Well, changing the plugs on the new iphone 5 is vastly far from simplicity. It’s complicated, messy, many new devices need to be made, things are not interchangeable. This was everything Steve Jobs did not want. I feel like a plug change is a huge money grab and to be honest I fear for the future of this company that Steve Jobs really did make incredible.


  19. Beautiful writing! While I may not agree with everything Apple does, Steve Jobs was a incredible man and leader and I was devastated when I read of his death. Still one of the most amazing things to me is that I read about his death on a device that he practically invented, as did millions of other people.


  20. […] Possibility to get Freshly Pressed (Five Ways to Get Featured on Freshly Pressed) (happened here on October 2012 with this post) […]


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