Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Jobs Agenda

By Kevin D. Williamson
National Review Online
October 5, 2011

I don’t know what Steve Jobs’s politics were, I don’t much care, and in any case they are beside the point. The late Mr. Jobs stood for something considerably better than politics. He stood for the model of the world that works. The model that made this:

That old Motorola cinderblock would cost about $10,000 in 2011 dollars, and you couldn’t play Angry Birds on it or watch Fox News or trade a stock. Once you figure out why your cell phone gets better and cheaper every year but your public schools get more expensive and less effective, you can apply that model to answer a great many questions about public policy. Not all of them, but a great many.
Jobs was sometimes criticized for not being a philanthropist along the lines of Bill Gates. Take this article, for example:
Last year the founder of the Stanford Social Innovation Review called Apple one of “America’s Least Philanthropic Companies.” Jobs had terminated all of Apple’s long-standing corporate philanthropy programs within weeks after returning to Apple in 1997, citing the need to cut costs until profitability rebounded. But the programs have never been restored.
CNN, being CNN, misses the point. Mr. Jobs’s contribution to the world is Apple and its products, along with Pixar and his other enterprises, his 338 patented inventions — his work — not some Steve Jobs Memorial Foundation for Giving Stuff to Poor People in Exotic Lands and Making Me Feel Good About Myself.

1 comment:

  1. For you young'uns born in, say 1970 or later, you may not have heard of the aforementioned Captain Midnight (who was more commonly known as "Cap'n Crunch" after the cereal of that name - and for a very good reason).

    The guy's real name was John Draper and his story - as well as that of Jobs and Wozniak in relation to making and selling multiple copies of an illegal device (as well as using it themselves) can still be found on the internet as well as photos of the people and the device.

    Jobs was the pitchman for the device in Berkeley dorms (where else since he, Woz, and Cap'n were all far-left liberals hugely enmeshed in the hippie culture of the time).  Jobs polished his carnival-barker skills in this "Blue Box" enterprise by selling over 200 of them at $80 a pop.

    Find out more if you're interested to see how some people's heros had feet of clay and were VERY lucky to stay out of prision (or worse if the apocryphal tale about selling one to some mobsters who couldn't get it to work is really true).  All you fans of the Apple word processor EasyWriter could say "thanks" to John Draper for coding at least some of the software while he was in prison for exactly what Jobs and Wozniak missed out on.

    Here's a link to some of the story:

    If you dig around with your search engine you can even find a picture of the Cap'n Crunch cereal-box whistle that launched the crimes which were evaded by our Apple "heros" who had to go save the world (and, some would misinformatively say) the computer industry.