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Religion final project


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Steve Jobs

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Religion final project

  1. 1. The Death of Steve Jobs Karmen Yoder
  2. 2. Introduction Steve Jobs was an extremely influential mind of our era. Themajority of people and media focus solely on the success and history of AppleCorporation. There are many archived reports on the change in Apple stock,list of products in circulation, and breakthroughs in technology. It is hard toenter any school or workplace without seeing an IPod, Mac, or IPhone.Nevertheless, much less was known about his personal life. Jobs was adoptedat a young age, fired from Apple, and devoutly practiced Zen Buddhism. Heeven proceeded to travel to Tibet in search of enlightenment. Even the Applemodel of simplicity is said to be derived from Buddhist beliefs. Mypresentation will cover blogs, articles, and other media that explore differentparts of this technological icon’s life and death.
  3. 3. ABC News Jsaguiar’s blog covered the ABC news article.Image from: wordonfire.com
  4. 4. Analysis ABC news did a fantastic job covering the basic spiritual side andinfluence of Steve Jobs. The article was written by Susan Doyle James andfocused mostly on how Buddhism ideas were incorporated into AppleCorporation. The title and first paragraph positively emphasize how simplicitywas used to build Jobs’s successful career. Reliable sources are used,including Robert Thurman (Professor of Buddhism Studies at ColumbiaUniversity) and Gary Li (Secretary of the Buddhist Association of the U.S.).The general attitude is that of religion positively correlating with economicsuccess, seeing that Apple is one of the most successful companies in theentire world. ABC news is prevalent and this story was very easy to find.
  5. 5. Washington Post C1oneill’s blog covered the Washington Post’s article.Image from:
  6. 6. Analysis Sally Quinn of the Washington Post interviewed Walter Isaacson, theauthor of “Steve Jobs”. He has also written books about Franklin and Einstein,neither of which were religious, simply spiritual. The interview centeredaround how Jobs disregarded God at the age of thirteen and began his searchfor new enlightenment. He believed there was many paths, a high power, anda “great mystery”. The title and first paragraph positively focus on how Jobs’spersonal religious beliefs gave him passion that drew people to his ideas.Isaacson refers to Jobs’s belief in “a great mystery” quite frequently. Evenupon his death, Steve Jobs lives on in a semi-secretive manner. Isaacson is areliable source. He’s president and CEO of Aspen Institute, former managerof TIME magazine, and CNN broadcasting. Steve Jobs and Buddhism arepromoted in a positive fashion. Searching for enlightenment is portrayed assearching for passion and success. The Washington Post is extremelyprevalent and the beginning picture really caught my attention. (next slide)
  7. 7. Washington Post Interview
  8. 8. Wall Street Journal Blog Joelhartzlerworld religion’s blog covered this Wall Street Journal article.
  9. 9. Analysis The next source was a little bit different. Jeff Yang is a columnist forthe Wall Street Journal but his blog focuses solely on Asian culture. Hiscolumn is superior to mainstream media because Buddhism is his religion.Therefore he dives deeper into Jobs’s religious practices and integrations.Examples include Apple’s use of miyabi (high refinement) shibui (unobtrusivebeauty) iki (audacious style) yugen (enigmatic quality) and ma (how things aredefined by what they are and what they are not). My first impression of thearticle was good. The title and picture used were very impactful (next slide).Yang does a phenomenal job of providing specific examples of Steve Jobs’suse of Buddhism in his life and company. He draws on personal experienceand research. Jobs is promoted as a visionary, revolutionary, innovator, self-involved egoist, and a ruthless manipulator. This article was a bit lessprominent than the first few; its title is “Speakeasy blog”. It has the mostcomplete coverage, addressing both the positive and negative… a greatexample of ying and yang.
  10. 10. The Zen of Steve JobsThis picture illustrates consumer admiration of Steve Jobs andhis products. IPhone 3 is used to photograph the memorial.
  11. 11. Eennis’s blog covered this article from tricycle, a Buddhist review magazine. Image from: http://wisdomquarterly.blogs better-blogging.html
  12. 12. Analysis Tricycle is a Buddhist review magazine. The report was written byEmma Varvaloucas and serves as an unbiased well rounded example. Shestarts off by comparing Steve Jobs’s Stanford commencement speech with apassage from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. I thought this article was goingto be one sided and boring because there were no opening pictures and thetitle was simply “Steve Jobs: Death and Dharma”. Tricycle addresses Jobs as a“Celebrity Buddhist” and links several articles I used earlier (ABC, CNN, The main focus was shifted from Apple to acceptance ofdeath and realization that there is an end. Varvaloucas’s placing of the“Celebrity Buddhist” label was harsh but necessary. No other media sourceconsidered this possibility. This media was not prominent; I had never heardof Tricycle before this project. Nevertheless, her overall approach is unbiasedand honest.
  13. 13. CNN Mlodge’s blog covered this article by CNN.
  14. 14. Analysis CNN reporter Dan Gilgoff covered the death of Steve Jobs. Itfocused mostly on Steve Jobs’s relationship with his “Buddhist monk guru”Kobun Chino Otogawa. That in itself is somewhat of a contradiction. Appleand enlightenment went unmentioned. There was no connection drawnbetween Buddhism and Apple’s economic and trend success. I felt moreinformed by the video at the beginning than the actual article.Generalizations were used in describing Buddhism. CNN’s Gilgoff states thatZen Buddhism is a fundamental practice of Japanese culture when in actualitythere are other forms of Buddhism in Japan as well. This article was more ofan opinion piece compared to the others I have read. CNN is prominent but Iwasn’t interested or drawn into their story. Nevertheless, Otogawa remains areliable source.
  15. 15. Comparison tech ran a separate article, much better written. It’s titled“The Spiritual Side of Steve Jobs” and is nearly identical to theABC News reporting and analysis. It’s slightly more lengthy andprovides more specific detail about Jobs’s journey seekingenlightenment.
  16. 16. YoutubeLink to video: ABC’s coverage
  17. 17. Conclusion Steve Jobs’s life was a media noteworthy event because it was filledwith so much mystery and great success. His death will affect Apple in everyway imaginable, along with the many Apple users and consumers. A fewarticles briefly mentioned his childhood, adoption, and brief college stint. Butthe main focus was the integration of Buddhist ideas into the formation of theApple empire and the perfect product. Nevertheless, it was clear that allsources had a slight doubt about Jobs actually being a legitimate practicingBuddhist. One article even referred to him as a “Celebrity Buddhist”. He’sbeen called a manipulator and a corporate tyrant, a visionary and aninnovator. Now that he is gone, the spotlight will shift to his company. Howwill they react in his absence?
  18. 18. Works Cited James, Susan Donaldson., “Steve Jobs’s Mantra Rooted in Buddhism: Focus and Simplicity”, ABC NEWS, October 6, 2011. ( simplicity/story?id=14682458) Quinn, Sally, “Steve Jobs’s journey for enlightenment”, Washington Post, Novemeber 16, 2011. ( enlightenment/2011/11/16/gIQAkx2BSN_blog.html) Yang, Jeff, “The Zen of Steve Jobs,” Wall Street Journal Speakeasy, October 6, 2011. ( Varvaloucous, Emma, “Buddha Buzz: Steve Jobs’s Death and Dharma”,, October 6, 2011. ( Gilgoff, Dan, “The Zen of Steve Jobs”, CNN NEWS, October 6, 2011. ( ) CLS_AT, “Crappy Network News: CNN”,, February 26, 2011. ( Milian, Mark, “The Spiritual Side of Steve Jobs,”, October 5, 2011. ( apple-s-ceo/4?_s=PM:TECH) YouTube, “Steve Jobs Funeral,” YouTube, October 6, 2011. (