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Jobs

Steven Jobs was an extraordinary man. He changed the world by changing the way that millions of people live. He was not a politician; he was a businessman, and an artist/inventor. The film shows, accurately I think, that he was not the world’s greatest computer genius. Jobs needed the help of his friend Steven Wozniak to do the most difficult computer stuff. Though Jobs was not the greatest computer genius, he had vision, and drive, and he built Apple Computers. The products he imagined and produced, with help from others more technically able than himself, improve the lives of millions of people around the world. I remember using an Apple II computer when I was a child in elementary school in 1984. I know many people who use Apple products. My father owns stock in the company. In different ways, Apple has affected the lives of millions, and Jobs was the man behind the company.

Last week, I watched the movie “The Aviator”, about Howard Hughes. Three years ago, I watched the movie “The Social Network”, about Mark Zuckerberg. I would say that, of these three movies, “The Aviator” was the best, “The Social Network” was second, and “Jobs” was third. “Jobs” is a good movie, and Ashton Kucher did a decent job playing the role, but there was something lacking. Steven Jobs almost certainly did more to change the world than Howard Hughes did, and his life was more interesting than Mark Zuckerberg’s has been (though Zuckerberg is still alive and so his life might end as the most interesting). The problem is that the film did not portray Job’s greatest achievement, which was bringing Apple from the brink of bankruptcy in 1996 to the biggest corporation in the world fifteen years later, judging by market cap. The price of a share of Apple stock went from $7.50 to $750.00. The beginning of Apple, which the film portrayed, was largely due to Wozniak, who invented the personal computer, and Mike" Markkula’s business assistance. Jobs pushed everyone to succeed, but he also seems to have had a problem getting along with everybody. The time period 1997 to 2011 was the period when Jobs really distinguished himself. He seemingly single-handedly took a company that had been defeated by Microsoft and other competitors in the industry, and he changed everything for the better.

The three films that I mentioned, about three great men, make one think about the importance of great individuals. Does history advance because of impersonal forces, movements, the spirit of the times? Or does history advance because of great men and great women who change history? I think that during the Middle Ages, most people would have said that history advances because of great men. They admired kings. They looked to individuals to solve the problems of the world; and when they looked back into history it was the great men, like Alexander, whom they saw. Great individuals seem less important today than they did during the Middle Ages; but though they may seem less important today than they seemed then, it is clear that there are some types of individuals who are more illustrious now than they were during the Middle Ages. I am her referring to inventors and industrialists. During the Middle Ages, there were no industrialists like Howard Hughes or Steven Jobs. There were no great men who built enormous companies, because there were no enormous companies. There were inventions during the Middle Ages, so there must have been inventors, but we do not know who they were. Eye glasses were invented during the Middle Ages. They are great for people like me who do not naturally have 20/20 vision. I can see close without my glasses, therefore I remove them to read, but without my glasses everything more than a yard from my face looks blurry. I do not know how I could live without them, and millions of other are the same, but who invented eye glasses? We know approximately when it happened, but we do not know who did it. During the Middle Ages, Kings who fought to change the borders between countries, and saints who manifested great holiness, were revered, but inventors and businessmen were ignored.

Have I written anything here that you disagree with? If so, please make a comment to correct me.