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Oct. 06, 2011

Thank You, Steve

by Ira Flatow

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My brother called me up with the sad news. Steve Jobs was dead. He called me because I was one of the few people he knew who could understand the depth of the loss he felt. And I could. And I will, for some time.
 
Many of us will mourn him for his talent and for creating a new way of life. And with the iPhone, iPad and iPod revolutions he was, truly, “insanely great.” But to me what made Steve stand out among the rest was his attitude and the way he was true to himself. People could define him but he defined himself the best. To him life and work were a journey. He may have lost the immediate race for the “desktop computer” to the PC world, but in the long run Apple was the clear winner.
 
He skipped a whole generation of naysaying business users and made sure his laptops became the standard of their children, of schools and universities today. Macs, once the laughing stock of “serious people,” can be seen on the laptops
of countless students and young adults.
 
He preached listening to your own heart and following your dreams, and showed us how to do it. He knew that people – your boss, your spouse, your partner, your friends – will try to change you to fit their molds but he told us to remain true to our own visions. Large companies loath innovation. They shun new ideas. Steve was able to take this short sightedness and turn it to his own advantage.
 
Above all Steve raged against ideas and products that were just “ok.” He knew that good is the enemy of great and insisted, with his hands-on approach, that the devices and the software that left his company would conform to the highest standards or there would be hell to pay.
 
Lots of words and eulogies will describe Steve Jobs. But the best two are the motto of his own company: Think Different. In a world trying to find solutions to poverty, health care, unemployment and global warming, one could only wonder what would have happened if Steve’s turned his unique insight into creating an iCar or iPowerplant.
 
I’ve often wondered what life was like during the eras of Edison or Einstein, where genius and creativity were worshipped, and new discoveries, inventions and ideas were the talk of everyday life. Steve gave us a taste of those days, whether it was a new iPhone from his labs in Cupertino or a marvel of an animated movie from Pixar.
 
As the sadness of the week sinks in, many will say “what if.” Steve would not have liked that. He knew that the baton is surely passed from generation to generation. Maybe his passing will inspire us in ways his now stilled voice cannot.
About Ira Flatow

Ira is the host and executive producer of Science Friday.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.
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line 1: package tmpevalpackage;
line 2: sub doEval { 
line 3: 	my($parent);
line 4: 	
line 5: 	if($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'SEGMENT.nickname'}) {
line 6: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'SEGMENT.nickname'};
line 7: 	}
line 8: 	elsif($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'VIDEO.nickname'}) {
line 9: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'VIDEO.nickname'};
line 10: 	}
line 11: 	elsif($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'DOCUMENT.nickname'}) {
line 12: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'DOCUMENT.nickname'}
line 13: 	}
line 14: 	
line 15: 	if($parent) {
line 16: 		my(@books) = &Database::SelectClause('BOOK',"parent = $parent");
line 17: 		if(!@books) {
line 18: 			$parent = '';
line 19: 		}
line 20: 	}
line 21: 	
line 22: 	if(!$parent) {
line 23: 		my(@sel) = &Database::SelectClause('GLOBAL','record all ""');
line 24: 		if(@sel) {
line 25: 			$parent = 'GLOBAL.' . $sel[0];
line 26: 		}
line 27: 			$main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "FEATURED READING";
line 28: 	}
line 29: 	
line 30: 	 = '';
line 31: 	
line 32: 	if($parent) {
line 33: 		my(@books) = &Database::SelectClause('BOOK',"parent = $parent");
line 34: 		0 = 0;
line 35: 		my $dots;
line 36: 		foreach(@books) {
line 37: 			my(%data);
line 38: 			&Database::GetRow($_,'BOOK',\%data);
line 39: 			my($status,$title,$author,$url,$image,$width,$height) = &SciFri::Schema::getAmazonItem($data{'isbn'});
line 40: 			if($data{'title'}) {
line 41: 				$title = $data{'title'};
line 42: 			}
line 43: 			if($data{'author'}) {
line 44: 				$author = $data{'author'};
line 45: 			}
line 46: 			if($status eq 'ok') {
line 47: 				 .= "<div class=\"box-2x1-item box-slide\" data-href=\"$url\">";
line 48: 				 .= "	<div class=\"box-2x1-item-photo\">";
line 49: 				 .= "		<div class=\"image-wrapper\" data-jsclass=\"imageWrapper\" data-align=\"right\">";
line 50: 				 .= "			<img src=\"$image\" data-width=\"$width\" data-height=\"$height\">";
line 51: 				 .= "		</div>";
line 52: 				 .= "	</div>";
line 53: 				 .= "	<h4>$title</h4>";
line 54: 				if($author) {
line 55: 					 .= "	<p>by $author</p>";
line 56: 				}
line 57: 				 .= "	<div class=\"box-2x1-more-button\"><a href=\"$url\"><img src=\"/images/v1/icon_text_more_white.png\" width=47 height=15 border=0></a></div>";
line 58: 				 .= "</div>";
line 59: 				++0;
line 60: 			}
line 61: 		}
line 62: 	}
line 63: 	if($parent eq "GLOBAL.1") { $main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "FEATURED READING"; }
line 64: 	else { $main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "RELATED READING"; }
line 65:  };
line 66: &doEval();
line 67: 1;

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