In about 2000, Douglas Adams wrote a really good essay (called 'Turncoat', in the Salmon of Doubt) about how he saw the torch of zeitgeist moving from pop music (the Beatles) through to comedy (Monty Python, whose stardom rose as the Beatles faded) and then on to ... technological innovation. Its partly an essay about being disillusioned with comedy, but also an essay about Douglas's conversion to being a fan of technology rather than a satirist of it.
So he makes the case that the people really doing the cool stuff these
days are not the pop stars or the performers (I mean, music is great but
when's the last time that music changed the world? Thirty years ago?),
but the people building new ways for us to communicate and play and work
So for people wondering why so many people feel so affected by Steve Job's death -
its because we're living in the future, and the people inventing new
stuff in tech and on the internet are as important to our culture
as pop stars were in the 60s.
(originally a comment on this metafilter thread)