Steve Jobs passed this week. I don’t need to fill you in on his story. He’s an accepted technological genius of our time. Apple’s products have changed the way we live our lives. I’m not an Apple or Jobs worshiper but our family has nearly the entire product line, in various specs, and has been Apple exclusive for some time. It is hard to overstate the difference in the execution of my daily living pre and post iphone and macbook and ipod, for both the better and the worse. Certainly other brands have designed similar or superior devices but Apple always seems to be the first to market and the one most sensitive to subtleties of style and self awareness. They are of course now the corporate conglomerate that in some ways they always spurned.
For me personally, I have this weird dream of simplicity that couldn’t be any more incongruent with the way I actually live. And, the convenience of the Apple lifestyle invites all these simultaneously efficient and distracting incidents of modern living.
A lesser publicized story is that of Occupy Wall Street a, maybe grass roots/maybe contrived, Financial District sit in by protestors, of Lord knows what demographic, decrying the excesses and abuse of Wall Street and its Government regulators and enablers. In addition to my glorification of simplicity, I also have this romantic idea that I’d like to be brave in protest standing against the many injustices of our western lifestyle, government and personal.
The two stories, Jobs’ death and Occupy Wall Street, stir so much of the same tensions in me. I have these competing desires to simultaneously worship the progress of our society and burn it down. I’m sure I’m not alone. I don’t have the wisdom or the time to postulate an answer. But, I suspect that living life is finding some middle ground. Not as a cop out or compromise but because in every generation humanity has been called upon to find virtue in its advancement. Our portable technology is not evil. Our digital lives are not evil. But, they are susceptible, just like the buggy and the plow, to distraction or to misuse or to self-aggrandizment or to laziness.
I guess I’m just trying to learn a little bit better about how to give and take.
May God bless the Jobs family in this time of grief and sadness.
Performed by ipoet. Music sequenced by the ipoet from Yael Naïm’s “New Soul.”Forbidden Fruit