October 26, 2011

Knox reacts to Jobs’ death

The death of one of the most influential figures in technological innovation has left a vacuum in the computing realm. But how has it impacted students?

Knox students have had differing reactions to the innovator’s passing, ranging from shock to meaningful acknowledgement. Many factors have played into their responses, including foreknowledge of Jobs’ illness.

“He suffered for 10 years, probably more. And he did a great job in spite of it; he’s a genius, a revolutionary. He could have sold anything in a great way,” freshman Remy Baulard said.

Jobs’ stepping down as chief executive served as a reminder of his deteriorating health, according to some students. His resignation caused a reevaluation of his health by many.

Freshman Forrest Linsell recalls a Time Magazine article that he considers to have foreshadowed Jobs’ death.

“I was really, really surprised. I knew he had cancer, but I hadn’t thought about it for a long time,” he said. “I guess the weirdest thing was, when he stepped down there was a long article in Time that listed his accomplishments, as if he had died. It was almost as if when he stepped down, in the public eye, he died.”

Some students were not surprised by the death, but found that they were instead surprised by the reaction of the greater economic community.

“I saw it coming, but from a stocks standpoint I was surprised that Apple’s went up,” junior Dan Moriarty said.

Baulard recalls an international reaction.

“Everyone was sad, even in France I think that the Apple Stores paid a tribute,” he said.

The question on everyone’s mind remains: how will Apple fare with the loss of its founder and leader?

“That’s a good question, I think they will do pretty well because they are selling great stuff with great value. It’s true that Apple meant Steve Jobs, but life goes on, and so do the products,” Baulard said.

Feelings are mixed about how the company will fare.

“I don’t know anything about the guy that took his place. Certainly he knows how [the company] works,” Linsell said, “but it could be a situation where because Steve Jobs’ mind was so unique and cultivated that Apple might not come out with a radically new product for a very long time. We’ll just have to see. Even if he knows the current processes, he doesn’t have all that back history that caused Steve Jobs to be constantly reinventing himself.”

Some students are more positive in their predictions.

“I’m sure they’ll do fine,” junior Jesse Sindler said.

Regardless of their opinions about Apple products, students agree that Jobs impacted the way they interact with media.

“He totally makes technology appealing. The joke I always used to say was that Apple was designed to be used, while Windows was antithetical towards usage. Apple products just revolutionized how we interact with technology, and have integrated themselves so much into society that they seem natural. I’ve never used a user manual for an Apple product,” Linsell said.

Apple’s dominance in the smartphone market has had a large influence on the way students view communication.

“[He was] a great mediator of the third age,” Sindler said.

Whether or not they use the products, students admit that Jobs was a defining character in technological innovation and business.

“He set the standard and then continued to go beyond it,” Linsell said.

Julian Boireau
Julian Boireau is a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in French. This is his fourth year working for TKS, having served as co-news editor during his sophomore and junior years. He has been involved in journalism for seven years, serving as opinions editor of the newspaper and editor-in-chief of the literary magazine at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles, California. In September 2012, Julian received press credentials to attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where he reported on remarks by President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He is also the recipient of back-to-back first place awards from the Illinois College Press Association for front page layout.

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