“The Steve Jobs Anti-Eulogy” raises some interesting points

Now that the media blitz following the death of Steve Jobs has slowed, there is more space to consider the coverage. Here are five interesting observations from one writer who also wins points for invoking “Victorian sociologist Herbert Spencer” and Malcolm Gladwell:

1. People write about Steve to write about themselves…

2. Individuals do not make history. Populations do…

So the idea that Steve Jobs changed history is just plain bad analysis. Victorian sociologist Herbert Spencer argued that attributing historical events to the decisions of individuals was a hopelessly primitive, childish, and unscientific position. After he published these views in The Study of Sociology, the case was closed. At least for professional historians.

3. You can tell a lot about a society by the people they honor…

4. Steve Jobs sheds more light on the nature vs. nurture debate than he does on the history debate…

5. Espousing the glories of genius gets us nowhere.

What I like the most about these is that they try to place Jobs within his context. They also raise larger questions including “what does it mean to be a genius,” “what values does society promote,” and “are societal or group trends more important than individual actions.”

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