Sunday, October 16, 2011

Unnecessary Steve Jobs link

In loose company with the recent discussion of the greatness of certain billionaires, Perdido Street School, along with a pre-death citation to the Telegraph, offered a summary of the ways Mr. Jobs turned the screws on the more vulnerable members of the species: here.

This is a "different playing field" from those poor, typical humans that the rest of us are--but in a way, it's not. Billionaires need to keep fighting, because if you're not growing, you're going. Under an economy with death-by-starvation at the bottom, and no human guarantees, even $8 billion isn't enough to make you feel secure. Even the winners aren't the winners--and if it takes crushing children to make that next G, they'll do it.

A hundred years ago, or at least 80, Americans began to perceive that the massively wealthy, whatever their claims about philanthropy and superiority, were not behaving very nicely. The quest of a generalized understanding of this--if ever begun--has thus far failed.

Even superwealth does not yet insulate from the human condition. The same poison from the runoff of industrialism has worked its way into the mortal shell of plenty of the winners, lending years of pain and early passings. Poetic, ironic, appropriate and terrible at once. Eventually, they'll develop their sealed spaceships, and more woe betide those left behind--but what chaotic wonders might follow them on board? Only time has told.

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