The real Steve Jobs legacy


What is Steve Jobs’ real legacy?

What does the Apple brand really mean around the world, especially in the sweatshops and mines, where people slave to produce them?

Children in the Congo Mining for coltan

Here are the kids working on the Iphone 5

Was Steve Jobs a saint? One might think so, judging by tsunami of public grief that has swept across the western world. But no, he was a man who sold temporary highs to the shallow.

So Steve Jobs, you didn’t want to be the richest man in the cemetery. But you undoubtedly are, your account fueled by the lust of millions for the latest little thing to punctuate their existences. You changed the world, apparently – you were a visionary. But what did you see? A world of suckers, dumb enough to pay through their noses for technology just a little shinier, in slightly prettier boxes, all branded with the devil’s mark. Yes Steve, you saved the world from the tedium of sameness by making everyone as different and original as a Japanese Elvis. The wonder of you helped everyone to feel that cheap thrill of pointlessness – the gift of excess, unnecessary, obsolescent and instantly discardable for the next fruity hit. Were we sharing needles? Your contagion spread like a virus, blocking any avenue of escape. Your products were cool, your company calculating and cold. Turning technology into fashion, you enjoyed a hyper must-have mark up. Once there was a sucker born every minute, now it’s every second. And as the minutes rolled into weeks and years, your monster ballooned into an economic titan – a bubble built on self delusion, doing good by giving the people what they want. The important people, anyway. Us. Not the children of the Congo, forced to mine the filthy ores that feed your baubles, or the Chinese factory workers locked in a ceaseless living death to satisfy our waspish grabbing reflex. Casually, you brushed off criticism like a flake of dust “You go in this place and it’s a factory but, my gosh, they’ve got restaurants and movie theatres and hospitals and swimming pools” you said.

Did we care? We could not resist your goblin fruits. Cynically, you mocked the very meat that fed you. You prefixed everything so blatantly and yet the masses merely applauded your ironic intellect. You gave us all an imperial prerogative, blinding our honest conscience. You could have called your product ” I-m a twat” and we would still have queued outside all week.

And so Steve, snake-hipped and snake-lipped, your coils caressed our self-gratifying hearts. Stockholmed, we worshipped you. You led us into temptation and by taking the apple, we have damned ourselves. You will be remembered, Steve Jobs, as a man who fed our shallow, naked, petty lusts with the very soil of the earth. Who sated our materialistic addiction for minor sensationalism with blood and slavery. In equal measures, Barnum, Stanley and Escobar you will not be forgotten. In a hundred years you will be remembered – with a shudder.

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2 Responses to The real Steve Jobs legacy

  1. kevoneil says:

    Wow, what a headline grabbing, attention seeking blog – false photo, no mention of apple iphone 5 in original article, here is where the original article was posted:

    It is kids mining for Coltan, can I also assume you or none of your family have ever used any of the products below that use coltan: hearing aids, pacemakers, airbags, GPS systems, anti-lock brakes in automobiles, laptop computers, mobile phones, video game consoles and digital cameras.
    Other leading tec companies use coltan including Apple, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Nokia, Nintendo.

    Cant believe your approach on this article.


    • jbayston says:

      My point here is that Jobs, being the architect of Apple’s success, actively drove the requirement for these minerals. Apple doesn’t make phones, computers or technology, it sells lifestyle and has turned it’s products into must-have fashion accessories. Jobs, above all else, was a remarkable marketer. He identified a small geeky niche and managed to persuade the wealthy to buy into it, expanding it enormously. His insights at Apple helped to shape the products and expertly sell them. But, although the hype surrounding each launch was astonishing, Apple were creating a demand for luxury, unnecessary items. The constant treadmill of updates, of holding technology back for the next version, is indicative of this. He turned a technology company into a fashion house that needs to offer regular must-have collections. Just as high street fashion sucks up resources and depends on sweatshops, Steve jobs led the way for the technology companies. It is fair to say that other large techno companies also use these minerals and sweatshops, but Jobs through making his products fashion items and creating feeding-frenzy launches of his disposable trinkets helped to create an over-demand for these minerals. This in turn made the prospect of illegal mining more likely and the masking of illegitimate sources more profitable. It is rare for an industry to be so beholden to a single entity, but if Jobs really did care about the workers down the food chain, he was in an almost unique position to do something about it. However, reliance on outsourced manufacturers means that all the big names can feign ignorance when the media get excited about abusive working practices. Outsourcing is done purely to increase profitability by keeping wage costs low. Apple have $50 billion in the bank. They, of all companies, could afford a more enlightened view. Applauded by the fashionistas, just imagine how they would be praised if Apple decided to take even a small amount of its manufacturing back to the States – and paid a decent wage to those who worked for them around the word. Ironically, outsourcing is coming back to haunt them, as they now realise they handed their most valuable possessions – their patents – over with the contracts.
      Jobs was not a saint. He was a remarkable marketer of luxury goods. These goods were manufactured in sweatshops from raw materials quite likely mined in war zones and conflict areas. Jobs made us feel good by selling us trinkets at vast profit, on the backs of the poor and vulnerable. As a consumer, I bear the shame that that entails. Jobs should not be canonised for being the supplier.

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