The amazing thing about Steve Jobs’ passing is how many people seem to care. In my memory, there are only a handful of billionaire corporate leaders who could generate this response.
The main reason, I suppose, is that his company’s products created an explicit link between his genius and our bodies. In the past, creative types have infused rather impersonal tools with their spirit, e.g. Hemmingway’s typewriters or Churchill’s fountain pen. Apple inverted that process, by selling a totemic product. The Macintosh computer was an extension of its creator, Steve Jobs. In other words, people who purchased a Mac (above almost any Apple product) sought to capture a tiny bit of Jobs’ creativity. As a vessel for Jobs’ demanding and innovative approach to technology, the Macintosh became the totem of the self-styled “creative class”.