A tribute to Randy Pausch

Like many people — millions of them, in fact — I was mesmerized by Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Randy Pausch’s now-famous “Last Lecture,” a video clip that began making the rounds on YouTube last September. I saw mention of it on Metafilter just a few days after he gave it, and eventually he wound up on Oprah and half a dozen other TV shows, and his lecture was even turned into a book (he dictated it over the phone to a Wall Street Journal writer).

Why? There’s nothing magical in it, particularly; just Randy talking about his life and how he learned to achieve his dreams of working for Disney (which he did) and flying in space (which he sort of did by riding the Vomit Comet). But I found it incredibly inspiring — in part because of the sheer joy he seemed to take in his life, even though he knew he was dying of pancreatic cancer, but also because of how he talks about the people who motivated and inspired him.

It is honest and funny and touching. I highly recommend that you take 45 minutes or so and watch the whole thing.

 

6 thoughts on “A tribute to Randy Pausch

  1. I LOVE that he did this (yes repeating my comments on left on Allen's site about it) but this guy brought forward a discussion that so many of us in the western world don't talk about. Our lives, and our inevitable deaths.

    That he reached beyond his own pain, his own life jolt, and shared his talks and life story with so many is simply a gift that takes a huge soul to give back to the world. Since I moved into my (current) company and have moved out of silicon valley, I have to admit that my life is so much richer now. I talk with people who are have led amazing lives, do inspiring things, and many of them get or take no credit for it – they do it because they care.

    In a world where we worship at the alter of an awkward 23 year old for his skill and luck, getting outside my myopic world is simply the best thing that ever happened to me.

    Silicon Valley is a place for dreams. I would even go so boldly as to say that if the USA didn't have the leads in so much in technology and innovation, much of it fueled the cradle of SV, then it would be hurting a lot more than it is today. But SV can also suck you dry, because it's not about who's the best and what's the best solution but too much about cronyism and nepotism.

    That /rant/ being ended, i can't thank Randy Pausch enough for what he left us. And you all should do the same – take your life down for you family and loved ones.

  2. Wow, I'm impressed you had a link for Randy Pausch. I made a comment to your Steve Jobs post in Seeking Alpha. Ok maybe you are not a scumbag – but I still disagree with your view – it should be a private matter.

    HH

    • Thanks, HH — glad to hear you don't think I'm a scumbag any more.
      You're still wrong about Steve Jobs though 🙂

  3. Wow, I'm impressed you had a link for Randy Pausch. I made a comment to your Steve Jobs post in Seeking Alpha. Ok maybe you are not a scumbag – but I still disagree with your view – it should be a private matter.

    HH

  4. Thanks, HH — glad to hear you don't think I'm a scumbag any more.
    You're still wrong about Steve Jobs though 🙂

  5. Pingback: Randy Pausch: A true Web superstar » mathewingram.com/work |

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