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Your Steve Jobs Syllabus: The Cult of Personality

For The Apple Lovers and Critics: How We Remember Steve

If you're interested in reading about how Jobs' life intersected with the lives of other luminaries, we can give you a reading list. Start here, with our recent update of anecdotes people have started telling about Jobs. Then, check out our running list of famous leaders' condolences (including Gates and Obama).

One of the most interesting and touching portraits to emerge in the last 24 hours is the one created by Walt Mossberg, the longtime Wall Street Journal tech columnist who got to know Jobs pretty well over the years.

Scroll through Flickr to see the images people are posting of makeshift Steve Jobs memorials at Apple's HQ, and probably every Apple store around the world. There, you'll find a Red Delicious with ear buds inserted, glass storefronts filled with condolence notes written on "stickies," as well as the expected candles, flowers, and flags flying at half mast. In San Francisco, crowds gathered at parks and held their iPhones aloft--the modern-day equivalent of a lighter tribute at a rock concert, or a candlelit vigil.

For another side of Jobs, read the full text of an interview Jobs gave to Playboy in 1987. Gizmodo, which readily admits that Jobs probably hated that blog, has the text of the interview. And, for what its worth, former Gizmodo Editor Brian Lam just posted that he's really sorry for "being an asshole," as well as his personal/professional history with Jobs. We never thought he was one, for the record.

Then, read John Gruber's remarks over at Daring Fireball (an Apple-centric blog)--he speculates about just how Jobs got fresh green grass stains on his sneakers just before he gave his final keynote at WWDC in June 2011.

Next, take a look at the poem scrawled by Dan Lyons--a journalist with Newsweek and formerly with Forbes. Lyons, once upon a time, was the secret identity of Fake Steve Jobs, and wrote the blog "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs." I worked at Forbes during that time, and for a while I was one of the few people in on this exquisitely funny secret.

From the poem:

What you did, however,
now that
will be remembered forever.
I don’t mean the products.
The Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad.
Yes, you invented them
& yes, we have heard of them
but no, Steve Jobs,
your greatest accomplishment
was not some piece of hardware
not some lines of code
not the mouse and the graphical user interface
which let’s face it you really kind of just
borrowed from Xerox PARC
& “borrowed” might not be exactly the right word
for what you guys did
but on this day of all days let’s not quibble
about word choice.
No, Steve Jobs, your greatest accomplishment
is what you did to us.
You gave us joy.
You restored our sense of childlike wonder.
You enabled us to live in a world where
we always believed that something amazing & magical
was just around the corner
and that the future would be better than the past
because in fact,
as long as you were alive,
it was.

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