GW students live in the age of Apple.
There are generally more open MacBooks in Gelman Library than there are open books. Across campus, you’ll find entire computer labs stocked with nothing but iMacs. Don’t even get me started on iPods – they’re practically everywhere.
When asked to bring in an example of ‘science’, nearly half of the students in our class held up an Apple product. It seems self-explanatory, then, that Steve Jobs exists as the singular face of modern technology.
So, with tonight’s news of Jobs’ death, it’s difficult to comprehend just how much we’ve lost.
When Thomas Edison passed away, the light bulb wasn’t erased from the face of the earth. And after Ford’s death, the assembly line churned along faster than ever.
But Jobs contributed far more to the world than invention or innovation. He was a shining emblem of incentive and enthusiasm to an entire generation.
When the sun rises tomorrow morning, chances are that iPods, iPhones, iMacs, and MacBooks will still line shelves throughout the world. Consumers of all ages will still flock to Apple stores in anticipation of new product releases, and the company will continue to rake in monumental profits. While we may not have lost any science itself, we have lost one of its most sincere voices.
It is a voice that, in 2005, advised Stanford graduates to follow their dreams. It is a voice that captivated audiences with one-of-a-kind wit and charisma. It is a voice that recognized that there is more to science than glossy screens and faster processors.
Oddly enough, Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have described himself as a scientist,. He didn’t stand behind the podium at Apple’s annual presentations because he understood how to construct a microprocessor. Instead, he was appointed CEO because he had the ability to connect with people. He made us believe.
As I walked the halls of Thurston this evening, I saw face after face plastered to the 8 o’clock news report. For the first time since my arrival at GW, there was no blaring techno music. There was no wild laughter from the room upstairs. There was only silence and thoughtful respect.
Hanging in a classroom in Duques Hall is a poster of an Apple logo, below which reads “think different”.
Steve Jobs showed us how.
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
– Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011