A little perspective, please

In case you hadn’t noticed, Steve Jobs has died.  If you hadn’t noticed, you haven’t been on the net today.  I suspect that all the posts about him are degrading overall net performance.  I know that this is the case on Twitter: performance and posting retrieval have been iffy for a least the past dozen hours.

Steve Jobs founded and built an extremely successful company.  He had a genius for marketing, and was a dab hand at assessing style.  He had a way of creating a vision and then getting people to buy into it.  All useful skills.

However, a number of the bios and tributes are going overboard.  He is being credited with inventing computers, tablets, smartphones, operating systems, music, networks, social media, cloud, and the mouse.  I am waiting for the first person to claim that he cured cancer, completely unaware of the irony.  (Oops.  Too late.  Time magazine is claiming that most people with pancreatic cancer live five months, but Jobs lasted for seven years.  They do not note that he had a rarer, slow-growing form.)

People are getting a little desperate to think of another claim to make for Jobs.  I just read an article that said “… the man helped us write. Jobs was the first to give us a real choice of fonts, and thus the ability to express ourselves digitally …”  Siri-ously?  (Sorry.)  Jobs invented LaTeX?  Fonts?  I could make a pretty good case that fonts actually damaged our ability to write.  Have you never received one of those letters/flyers/posters made up by someone who has just discovered fonts, and uses every single one?  And, in the grip of enthusiasm, fails to include vital information?

Jobs was a leader, did some good stuff, and changed things.  Yes.  But lets keep a little perspective, OK?