The outpouring of sadness since Jobs's death was announced last night has been something to see. Even many of those who didn't like his products were tweeting their admiration for his creativity and innovation.
In After America, which I'm reading right now, Mark Steyn laments,
According to Professor [Bruce] Charlton, in the 1970s "the human spirit began to be overwhelmed by bureaucracy." The old can-do spirit? Oh, you can try to do it, but they'll toss every obstacle in your path. Go on, give it a go: invent a new medical device; start a company; go the airport to fly to D.C. and file a patent. Everything's longer, slower, more soul-crushing. And the decline in "human capability" will only worsen in the years ahead, thanks not just to excess bureaucracy but insufficient cash.
There's a lot of truth -- depressing truth -- in that. Still, maybe there's a bit of hope in the fact that in this one man, Steve Jobs, so many people saw something of "the old can-do spirit" and were irresistibly drawn to it.