Patrick on OWS and Steve Jobs
You can go read the OWS stuff yourself; I want to highlight this:
Escaping on the R train from Rector Street, we got home to discover that Steve Jobs died. And that my Twitter feed is full of people wanting to wag their finger in my face for caring too much, in the wrong way.
As John Emerson said on Facebook, “I would hate to use a product that I loved so much that I would mourn its creator the way I mourned a family member.” Otoh, some of us have been using Macs since long before we were married (even if there was that period of, you know, trial separation and dalliances with Ubuntu and RedHat). And even John finished that statement with “I have guarded carefully against that possibility by using Microsoft products (damn him to hell).”
The other half of the backlash was summed up by Michael Moore on Twitter:
Devices made in sweatshops. We all use them. We use them at times for the greater good. Don’t think about where they come from.
He later amended that with:
Correction: FEW PEOPLE think about where these devices come from. We ignore this at our own peril. R.I.P., Steve Jobs.
but the point is clear: all the people talking about the miracle of “cheap technology” are ignoring that it’s only cheap because people price their lives and their health too cheaply in the “labor market.” Or, as Erik Loomis noted of a similar technological marvel, ” I’ll tell you one thing for damn sure—the cotton gin made the lives of slaves a hell of a lot worse.”
So I’m guessing those are the types of things Patrick was seeing, though probably more stridently. And his response—again, a few paragraphs at the end of a long, informative post that you should go read the whole thing—is worth quoting here on this “slightly left of center economic commentary” blog, or whatever we are today:
He was complicit in many of the sins I just got home from marching against. He gamed the inequities between labor in the First World and labor in the Third. He was probably a lot of people’s boss-from-hell.
He also made a world in which people like me and Teresa—computer users since 1988, when we got our first Mac SE—are technologists rather than passive victims of someone else’s vision of technology. Selfish though it may be, I have to acknowledge that this means a very great deal to us.
The world is complicated. Late capitalism sucks. Our systems don’t work. Our futures are controlled by people who don’t give a crap for anything we care about.
Steven Jobs cared about something. Without him, our lives would have been different, and probably worse. We’ll miss him. Anyone who wants to take this as the occasion to wag a reproving finger is invited—not entirely cordially—to comprehensively plobz the frap off. You may quote me, in this life or the next.
I’ll let Steve Jobs have his night, and note that the local Fox News station just posted this:
What was once a protest of powerful Wall Street financial firms and banks is growing into a larger movement about the working class, employment, poverty, education, and more.
As they say, a liberal is just a conservative who got maced and batoned by police.
“What was once a protest of powerful Wall Street financial firms and banks is growing into a larger movement about the working class, employment, poverty, education, and more.”
Awesome, it was always about human digmnity, Wall St is the main culprit.
Do not forget it is about what Wall St is doing to human dignity.
Steve Jobs along with Bill Gates hurled the world into the information age. Those two literally changed the faces of industry, politics, and education. Medicine is already starting the a new, technology dominated revolution, that can be laid as another accolade on Steve Jobs list of accomplishments. Even as we type lives are being saved due to the technology he spearheaded and made almost universal in the world. Today your average 5th grader has at his fingertips the ability to find and learn knowledge in seconds. A Newton or Einstien would have taken days or even weeks to find that type of information, if they could even find it. Even with a University Level library at their beck and call.
Steve Jobs was an industry leader, job creater extra-ordinaire, and brought riches and capabilities to the masses that FDR could only dream of while reading science fiction. When Kirk said “Beam me up, Scotty” 50 years ago, that forshadow the IPhone with its world-wide communication and information capabilities. Literally the future has arrived! (minus the flying car and Warp drive)
You guys at times sound like luddites…
Islam will change
>>The world is complicated. Late capitalism sucks. Our systems don’t work. Our futures are controlled by people who don’t give a crap for anything we care about.<< Capitalism works just fine in Europe, for decades (today’s troubles caused by elites putting peripheral economies on the Euro — creating multiple different type bubbles — aside) wherever LABOR markets are fair and balanced. Made perfectly fair and balanced by legislatively mandated, SECTOR WIDE LABOR AGREEMENTS (which incidentally eliminates the use of scabs — each side can shut down the other — perfect balance).