Rabbi vs. Steve Jobs: iThis & iThat cause sadness
OTOH: Lord Sacks' criticisms of Apple lust
Published 15:11, 21 November 11
Jonathan Henry Sacks, Baron Sacks, Kt, has publicly criticised the late Steve Jobs and his Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) company, for services to consumerism. The Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth thinks people should spend less time worrying that they've not yet upgraded to an iPhone 4S, and spend more time with their families.
- On the one hand, Yaakov Zvi probably has a point.
- On The Other Hand, his many other anti-consumerism pronouncements don't seem to have blunted our greed for new pomaceous shinyness.
Plus, today's skateboarding duck: Humans have 21 senses, not five...
Jonathan Wynne-Jones and Martin Beckford report:
The Chief Rabbi’s comments are likely to raise eyebrows because he singled out for blame [Steve] Jobs...by likening his iPad tablet computers to the tablets of stone bearing the Ten Commandments.
Lord Sacks said: “People are looking for values other than the values of a consumer society. ... The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain...iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have [an individualist, egocentric] culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i.”
John E. Dunn adds:
Speaking at an interfaith reception attended by the Queen, Lord Sacks made unusually strong comments...that consumer technology such as Apple’s iPhone had become icons of self-absorption.
However, a statement put out at the weekend has rowed back slightly from...blaming Apple for the materialism...without singling out one company. ... Although the UK...[has] a relatively small Jewish population of around 300,000, Lord Sacks is an influential figure. ... His criticism of consumerism is longstanding.
Anna Leach waxes monarchistic:
The Queen is widely believed to have an iPad. We hope she didn't take his remarks too personally.
[The Rabbi] called for people to spend more time with their families and less time drooling over touchscreen gadgets. So is [he] an open-source man, or just a grumpy Windows user annoyed that he can't get his hands on the latest fondleslab?
And Dave Neal cuts to the chase:
Wanting Apple products takes people further away from faith, he explained, because it takes away their perspective of what is important and replaces it with a feeling of want.
"If...you've got an iPhone but you haven't got a fourth generation one, the consumer society is in fact the most efficient mechanism ever devised for the creation and distribution of unhappiness."
But Chris Matyszczyk is... easy for you to say: [You're fired -Ed.]
Human beings increasingly regard [each] other...as if they are closely related to the cockroach. Why might that be? ... Our complete inability to communicate with each other with entire honesty and complete sentences? Or is it all Steve Jobs' fault?.
Britain's chief rabbi, Lord Sacks...heaped blame for society's rotten, self-centered core on the recently deceased Apple co-founder. ... It's hard not to have a little sympathy with [his] sacking of the consumer culture. Somewhere inside, we know that our greed for more gadgets...is slightly empty. ... Yet, too often in history, world religions seem to have been at the forefront of...war and denial of personal freedoms.
Meanwhile, Nick Farrell looks to a "different" faith:
Sacks did not mention that when Jobs died that there was an outpouring of grief as his...cult no longer believed that their gadget addiction would be filled. Perhaps he should have highlighted it as proof of how humanity has lost its sense of perspective.
[He] said that the answer to the consumer society is the...Shabbat [sabbath], where you can't shop and you can't spend and you spend your time with things that really matter.
Today's Skateboarding Duck...
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. His writing has previously won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.