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The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: Mike Daisey Says Technology Is ‘New Religion’

Daily Ticker

Since Steve Jobs' death last month, the airwaves and Internet have been filled with tributes to Apple's co-founder, including here. (See: Apple Founder Steve Jobs Dies: Reflections on His Legacy)

In addition, Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Jobs became an overnight sensation, topping bestseller lists here and abroad.

Another tribute of sorts can be found at New York City's Public Theater in the form of a one-man show: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.

Created and performed by monologist Mike Daisey, the show is, in part, a hysterically funny love letter to Jobs from a self-described tech "geek" and Apple aficionado.

"I've grown up with Apple, love the devices and love the design," Daisey says. "I loved Steve Jobs and the way he was able to meld a human sense of taste and editing in creating these incredibly effective devices."

As the title of the show infers, there's also a religious element to Jobs and Apple, at least according to Daisey, who makes a compelling case that technology is a form of religion in modern life.

"Religions traditionally were ways of seeing the world -- a system for understand the universe," he tells me in the accompanying video. "That's literally what an operating system is for us today. When I wake up in the morning...the first thing I reach for is not my wife, it's my iPhone."

If technology is a religion, then Steve Jobs was clearly a deity, or certainly an extremely powerful prophet, Daisey says.

"The way he was able to chain all of Apple to himself, to make Apple a reflection of his tastes and desires...makes him sort of a saint," he says. "Jobs was a very powerful figure [and] Apple will have to wrestle with that legacy."

Apple will also have to wrestle with the less saintly aspects of Jobs' drive and passion, including its controversial labor practices, as Daisey and I discuss in part two of this exclusive interview. Stay tuned.

Aaron Task is the host of The Daily Ticker. You can follow him on Twitter at @atask or email him at altask@yahoo.com