From Steve Jobs To George Floyd - A Direct Line

Posted June 03, 2020
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All across America, millions of people are taking to the streets to protest and march for racial justice.

This is now not a phenomenon limited to the US. In cities across Europe, millions are also marching for racial justice.

You can credit one man with setting this off - Steve Jobs. 

He has changed the world forever.

Without Steve Jobs, we would never have seen the video of police officer Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd.  Without Steve Jobs we would never have seen police officer Jeronimo Yanez shoot and kill Philando Castile. We would never have seen Michael Brown in Ferguson; Oscar Grant, Eric Garner and so many others.

All of them caught on video.

All of them filmed on iPhones by bystanders.

All of them recording what had been going on for years and years unseen.

That is what is changing the  world now.

That is what is driving millions into the street.

In January 2007, when Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone at the MacWorld convention in San Francisco, he said that the new phone combined three things. It was, he said, a phone, an iPod music player and a connection to the web.

What he left out had been almost an afterthought for the iPhone's design - a camera.

But it was the inclusion of that camera that would go on to change the world.

The ability to record and share video had, until then, been the exclusive domain of a small handfull of TV networks.  On rare occasions, such as the Rodney King beating by LAPD, recorded almost by accident by George Holiday, who happened to have a VHS camera with him, people might see what was happening. But for the most part, violence against black people took place in darkness.

The iPhone, Steve Jobs' invention, changed all of that forever.

Now, everyone has one with them all the time.

There is no longer a place to hide.

We all can now see what is happening all the time.

We are now all journalists - and that is no bad thing.

The iPhone and its attendant video are not going away. There are more than 3.5 billion smart phones in the world today, each of them capable of shooting and sharing video.

We live in a different world now - an open world - a world in which we have democratized the power of video and opened it up to everyone. 

This is no bad thing -as the millions taking to the streets can attest.

This is going to change the world for the better in the long run.

And if you want to thank someone, thank Steve Jobs. 

He put the most powerful machine in the world in your hands.

Use it. 


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