The strong and in-depth response to Jobs’ death isn’t surprising, but the emotions elicited by his passing are stronger than I expected.
Jobs was far from a warm presence, yet many Americans took to him personally, regardless. He was one of the most trusted men in the world, with millions immediately responding to his solicitations. The lines down the block for new product debuts were testament to his relationship with consumers.
I wonder if people’s emotional attachment to Jobs is also rooted in our appreciation for how much he’s changed the way we do things. Certainly it’s a mixed bag, with digital devices creating their own challenges to balanced lives. Yet, few of us would want to go back.
As has been repeatedly noted, Jobs changed the way we relate to computers, phones, music, and entertainment. He might not have been an inventor, but he was the full package visionary, hard-nosed businessman, design genius, and barker. There is no one with whom to compare him.
Tuesday morning on AirTalk, we talked with Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon about his contention that new Apple CEO Tim Cook’s supposed sexuality should be referenced by journalists. Even before taking over Apple last week, Cook had been listed at the top of Out magazine’s annual Power-50 list.
However, Cook has never publicly commented on his sexuality, nor any other aspect of his personal life. Salmon assumes that Cook’s lack of complaint about being described as gay confirms the reports’ accuracy.
Our second guest, BNET’s Erik Sherman, thought it would be wrong to even characterize Cook’s sexuality, let alone make a point of it, when the Apple CEO hasn’t been public at all about his personal life.
For me, I was torn about doing this segment. The topic itself was terrific and elicited superb listener feedback in calls and online comments. Both of the guests were well spoken and strongly argued their positions. Had I been a listener, I certainly would’ve stayed tuned in.