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Think Different

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

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Moving to GW was a change for me in the technological aspect. I was the only one of my friends with a Mac back home. This may seem weird to most of you, seeing as how favored Mac is at GW however let me add this, I live about 20 minutes from the Microsoft headquarters. You can see Microsoft from my mom’s elementary school. All my neighbors work for Microsoft except for two, they work for Boeing. My family was the odd ones out there. We love Apple.
    But, while you say we may live in the time of the Mac I may have to argue with you, GW students do rely on and live through our apple products however for most of america Apple is still not the norm. They simplified computers, made iPods for every size and color to carry music wherever we go, as well as the iPad, which I still do not know the purpose of. However, much of what they make is out of the price range for the average person, so while Apple and Steve Jobs have made a large impact on technology as a whole, but for many apple is out of reach or at least the Macs and iPads are.

  2. October 7, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Thanks for your comment, Imorella.

    I understand fully that Apple has by no means cornered the world market for personal computers. Actually, as a self-proclaimed “techie”, I can cite with relative confidence that the corporation controls only a 10 or 11 percent share in this considerably competitive industry. Rather than tout Apple’s dominance on a global scale, my post aimed to recognize its unparalleled significance specifically to the Foggy Bottom community.

    At the end of the day, however, it doesn’t matter what logo is imprinted on your laptop. The life and work of Steve Jobs, in my opinion, transcends the products designed by Apple. It transcends Apple itself. Whereas you seem to have interpreted my post as a commentary on the importance of a brand, I feel as though it more accurately embodies a reflection on a man.

    You certainly don’t have to own a Mac to respect the accomplishments of its creator. A friend of mine who has long been an owner and supporter of Windows computers was more deeply saddened by Jobs’ death than anyone else that I know.

    In fact, what I feel to be the most fitting tribute to Steve Jobs can be found on the Facebook profile of none other than Bill Gates, renowned founder of Microsoft Corporation: “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.” Although the rivalry between Apple and Microsoft remains among the most fierce in existence today, Jobs and Gates were always the first to recognize each other’s accomplishments. They shared a unique form of respect that was able to forever withstand the implications of their own business tactics.

    The classic slogan “think different”, in my opinion, doesn’t refer to the way in which we think about different brands. Instead, it speaks to the way in which we think about one another.

  3. October 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I love the slogan “think differently”. If it wasnt for this slogan, then the world would not be close to where we are technologically. WIth Edison, if he didnt think differently about how to provide a source of light, and also how to think differently when his eperiments didnt work to get them to finally work, who knows if people would still be using candles! The idea of think differently doesnt just refer to technology, I think that it refers to everything to general. People need to think differently sometimes on how to treat people, or think differently about possiblities for their life, because having an open mindset and thinking about options that don’t come to mind right away could lead someone to what they would really enjoy spending their lives doing. So this slogan has an importance even to us college students.

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