We Idolize The Dead

I made a joke on Facebook when Steve Jobs died. Something about how God was mad at him because iPhone 4S was just a minor upgrade to iPhone 4, rather than the long-awaited iPhone 5, etc etc. Some of the flames I got were seriously crazy; one girl compared Steve Jobs dying to her two miscarriages. I couldn't believe it.

I'm sorry Steve Jobs is dead. Really. He was a human being, and he had hopes, dreams, feelings and ambitions just like the rest of us.

But to put Steve Jobs in the same league as people like Alan Turing, or Ada Lovelace, or Charles Babbage seems... very wrong. He was imperfect in life, like all of us, and remains imperfect in death. He was just a man. 150,000 other people I hadn't met died that day too, but nobody gave a shit about them. 150,000 people I've never met died today too. If I broke down crying and sobbing for each and every one of them, I'd be a wreck.

We as a society idolize the dead. I don't believe in extolling the virtues of the recently deceased. Given a long enough time the life expectancy of all Humans drops to 0; we all die some time, and when my time comes I would much, much rather people tell the truth about me and maybe even have a bit of a laugh, even at my expense. It's not like I'm going to care, I'll be dead.

I find it completely disrespectful that people think the best way to remember and "respect" someone who's recently died is to gloss over their flaws and essentially tell lies about how grand they were.

When I die I just want people to remember the truth about me, whatever that was, not some kind of warped 1984-ish false memory of a person who never was.