Steve Jobs

After Apple announced Wednesday night that Steve Jobs had died, my Twitter feed became nothing but a long procession of Jobs eulogies, many of them touching.

This morning, I spent a little time reading some of the longer-form appreciations of Jobs (Neven Mrgan and Steven Frank’s are especially good.)

Then I sat back and wondered, when it’s Bill Gates’s turn to pass, will he receive the same sort of outpouring? What will be his eulogies say?

I don’t mean to get all Pirates of Silicon Valley here, but while Steve Jobs made a huge impact on our civilization, Bill Gates did more.

I’d call their first acts a draw, but while Jobs’s second act focused on transforming the wired world, Gates turned his attention to the unwired world, which needed him so much more. Without Gates’s involvement, problems such as sub-Saharan health and underperforming U.S. schools would be even farther off the radar than they are today. His is an awesome record of philanthropy that often gets taken for granted, and I wonder if it’ll be just ignored at Gates’s end.

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