[LINK] Link, debate and discussion

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Thu Oct 13 16:58:49 AEDT 2011

It does not surprise me, in general, that the Link Institute would not be particularly supportive of or sympathetic to Apple and/or Steve Jobs.
Many Linkers come from a background of rolling up their own sleeves and being only a few steps behind (or sometimes ahead, I'm sure) of Mr Jobs in the wider world of computing and the internet.
Many of us would consider that we, too, were pioneers of the age of computing, and so a company or individual who commoditised what we do would be seen as an odd-ball, or at best an irrelevance.
The death of Jobs has created extremes of opinion which have been voiced around the world: some people were deeply affected, and others deeply cynical: on balance, I believe that the curmudgeons of the world only proved that they were, indeed, curmudgeonly.
What did surprise me, however, was the way in which the death of an industry icon was discussed in Link: an institution which I have held in very high regard for many years as being the principal place of intelligent and informed discussions and debate about a plethora of topics.
There are times when I cringe at the level of debate that can ensue via email: it's an existential activity at best, and so often very impersonal: with all the hazards of not actually facing the individual or group that you wish to communicate with, so the only feedback that you get often comes too late.
Ultimately, history will tell us if Steve Jobs had a positive or negative effect on the world: it's not for us to judge. 
What we can judge right now is the quality of the communications that we make, and I'm hoping that the tone and level of communication on Link will be returned to its usually high standard - once the fat lady stops singing.
Ps. I wonder what will now be said about the death of Dennis Ritchie?

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