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Steve Jobs for Patron Saint? Not.Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at 5:40 PM
If I see one more picture of Steve Jobs, the patron saint of technology, I'm going to throw a dart at it. Given that the man was a genius. No one is arguing that, but, let's face it. He was no saint, either.
The two things that knocked him down from the canonization process were one that he had an illegitimate daughter he never acknowledged and a father he never acknowledged, although he recently tried to contact him.
Maybe there is more than meets the eye here. Maybe, as some have speculated, his father would have asked him for money and the billionaire knew it. While I don't think that anyone should use anyone else, what would it have been to float him a small loan or buy him a small island. It's not like he was hurting for the money.
I also don't understand why he didn't acknowledge his illegitimate daughter. No one asks to be here. We just sort of show up to make the best of things, so to avoid her over something she had no say so in isn't very helpful. He was also illegitimate himself, so he knows what it's like, though maybe he never quite got over it.
With all his money, he wasn't the most charitable sort, either. He did set up one eponymous foundation and hired Mark Vermilion, who worked for the charity Humanitas International, a charity founded by Joan Baez, who Jobs briefly dated, to run it, but the foundation shut down after he founded NeXT. When Apple began donating computers to nonprofits, it was Vermilion's idea and not his. Generous he wasn't.
His supporters say that he gave in other ways with life-changing inventions. Yet in my humble opinion, 8.3 billion dollars is a lot to leave around when there are sicknesses to cure, hungry mouths to feed, and animals to rescue.
Vermilion thought that jobs would have been more generous had he lived longer. "There are only so many hours in a week," he said, "and he created so many incredible products. He really contributed to culture and society." Still, it would have been better had he contributed to those who could not afford to buy retail let alone wholesale.
Of course Jobs' genius changed the world to streamline communication, thought the Apple computer, the iPad and the iPhone, to name a few. Even though he didn't have an engineering degree, his name is on 200 patents. Still, there is something to be said for giving to those who can't afford electronic gadgets let alone a gallon of milk at the grocery store.
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