Sunday, October 23, 2011

Life and Death: Michael Jackson vs Steve Jobs vs Dennis Ritchie

When Michael Jackson died the news generated an 11% increase in internet traffic
When Steve Jobs died Apple received over one million tribute e-mails from people around the world. 
When Dennis Ritchie died Wired published an article saying that Steve Jobs stood on his shoulders.

Out of the three, Dennis Ritchie will have the greatest cumulative impact on human civilization because he pioneered a technology with an infinite reach, including all servers and browsers tuned to the news of Michael Jackson's death, as well as all iPads and iPhones Steve Jobs sold. But his work lacked the accessibility necessary for understanding the scale of his impact. 

The good news is that unlike Alan Turing, who died as a convict on probation, Ritchie's contribution to the society was widely acknowledged during his life.

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