Steve Jobs and Cultural Artifacts

Since the death of Steve Jobs we have been awash and tributes and examinations of the life of the Apple co-founder. News outlets have highlighted his rise to prominence, his contributions to the world, and his health issues. Twitter and Facebook have been inundated with notable quotations from Jobs. Numerous web sites have been featuring his inspiring Stanford University graduation address. And of course religious bloggers have been posting speculation about the beliefs and eternal destiny of Steve Jobs.

As I have considered Steve Jobs’ effect on the world my thoughts go to a book called Culture Making which I read a few years ago. Author Andy Crouch explains in this book that in order to effect the culture of the world we must leave something physical behind. There must be real, solid items that show our contribution. We must leave behind artifacts.

There may be no more world-changing or iconic artifacts in our time than the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. They are some of the most recognizable items on earth and have become part of the daily lives and vocabulary nearly the entire globe. This is the evidence that Steve Jobs made an enormous, lasting impact on the culture of the world.

Could Steve Jobs have avoided death? Is Steve Jobs in heaven? I don’t know. But I do know that Steve Jobs changed the world. He has likely impacted the lives of more people than any single person of his generation. We should all pray that our influence on the world is even a fraction as great.

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