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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Life, Death, and the iPad: Cultural Symbols and Steve Jobs

paper iPad with paper travel case

In traditional Chinese culture, people burn paper offerings for their ancestors. In a funerary goods store in Singapore, Genevieve Bell bought the last two paper iPads complete with paper travel cases and finger smudges popular items for the hereafter

Credit: Genevieve Bell

In the days that followed Steve Jobs' death, he was frequently compared to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. But Jobs was creating experiences, not technologies or products. He, and Apple, were creating a new symbolic register in which we all might participate.

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