Friday, October 28, 2011

A "Fatal Illusion" Killed Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs
I am still  mourning the death of computer genius and entrepreneur, Steve Jobs.  His gifts to the world, in information technology and other related fields have changed our lives forever.  But could he have  conquered the cancer diagnosis as he had so many other roadblocks in life?  It is true that the  prognosis for the pancreatic cancer that Jobs suffered,  is low.  But this is because this virtually symptom-less disease is often diagnosed after it has reached a stage where it is essentially  incurable.  However, when diagnosed early, as had been the case with Steve Jobs, the prognosis is excellent.  But why might Jobs have resisted medical recommendations for nine months, while experimenting with an alternative medicine diet, a vegan diet, and herbal remedies, which he found online, according to his biographer,  Walter Isaacson?   It was a decision he later regretted.

Jobs's phenomenal success in life had come about because he understood the laws of information technology at a fundamental level.   Information, does in fact live happily in the infinity of cyberspace, but alas, humans do not.  This is despite an entire sci-fi genre devoted to people or their mental facilities being sucked into the matrix of a computer.   It is the laws of nature that define the parameters of life, and they are finite, distressingly so.

The power and potential of information technology is so extraordinary, that it can easily mesmerize us, into believing that the laws of nature are as elastic as those of information, or even that our human-ness is at its core a matter of information.  But such misperceptions are not merely in error, they can be fatally so, with the tragic, premature death of Steve Jobs to prove it.