I haven’t seen it yet, but there will inevitably be those who are confused at the outpouring of sentiment at the death of Steve Jobs. After all, he was just a guy—a CEO who ran a company that made shiny things.
It’s true Steve Jobs was no hero. But he was a visionary. He didn’t save lives, but he changed many for the better. For anyone who’s ever been affected by a song or a piece of art, it shouldn’t be difficult to understand why others feel an emotional connection to something that is, essentially, a “product” of someone’s mind. And it’s not difficult to understand why we also feel an emotional connection to the person who poured his heart and soul into that product. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the technologies we use every day, but he humanized them and made them accessible for millions of people.
Almost by definition, artists and thinkers don’t perform heroic or world-changing acts. But if your own personal world has never been changed by the vision of someone like that, then you should consider rebooting your cyborg brain (because, see, you may not be fully human). Steve always recognized and appreciated this gut-level sense of inspiration, and that’s why so many of us feel a sense of loss right now. But it’s also why—like all great artists—Steve Jobs will live on.