This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much


Dear World:

My son starts school today. It’s going to be strange and new to him for a while.

And I wish you would sort of treat him gently. You see, up to now, he’s been king of the roost.

He’s been boss of the backyard. I have always been around to repair his woundsm, and to soothe his feelings.

But now–things are going to be different.

This moring, he’s going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand and start on his great adventure that will probably include wars and tragedy and sorrow.

To live his life in the world he has to live in will require faith and love and courage.

So, World, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know. Teach him–but gently, if you can.

Teach him that every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every crooked politician there is a dedicated leader; that for every enemy there is a friend. Teach him the wonders of books.

Give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hill.

Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.

Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone else tells him they are wrong.

Teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highers bidder, but never to put a price on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right. Teach him gently, World, but don’t coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

This is a big order, World, but see what you can do. He’s such a nice little fellow.


The entertainment industry in the US continually reveals itself to be less and less about "entertainment" and more and more about "industry".In the presence of the weakest films,for example,one sense the combined efforts of a large number of people,organized according to a strict divisionof labor and along the most modern managerial lines,straining grimly in the service of glant conglomerates to divert their fellow creatures.No project seems less prominsing as a source of amusement.

Various factors come into play in producing this situation:a general cultural decline, including a drastic drop in the skill level among screenwriters and directors in particular (comic timing has almost entirely disappeared); the great pressure of producing a return on films that cost $150 million and upward, which propels studios inexorably in the direction of the least common denominator –the film that offends or disturbs no denographic group (i.e.,the work that affects no one profoundly), the general rightward lurch by the political and media establishment, including film studio executives, which almost precludes the development of material that might subvert conventional wisdom.

Beyong that, thether its top people recognize this social fact or not, the entertainment industry is engaged in the task of providing amusement for an increasingly restive, frustrated and, above all, socially polarized population.To the extent that the film studios turn out bland,bombastic, falsely universal works, with violence and titillation apparently for everyone, they insure a superficial impact. That American population, slowly but surely, is being politicized and radicalized by events.There is an embryonic, emi-conscious hunger within significant layers for material of substance, comic, tragic or otherwise.Offering nothing that might encourage or facilitate a radicalization–indeed avoiding as much as possible the consideratin of any specific or concrete aspect of contemporary social life–is one of the pressing tasks that the entertainment industry sets itself. In objective terms, it operates by and large against the interests and even the best instincts of the general public it is allegedly assigned to entertain. This circumstance must create its own set of tensions and frictions.

In fact, the present state of affairs comes close to guaranteeing the death of spontaneity, genuine individuality and playfulness,without any of which it is difficult to provide entertanment. Amusing people requires an attentive and serious attitude toward humanity and knowledge of its habits, interests and dreams. Largely lacking either, the film, television and music concerns for the most part provide pallid imitations of entertainment, based on guesswork that goes on in well-furnished corporate boardrooms. No one in these circles knows "what will succeed with the public," because no one in these circle knows very much about the public, execpt what it’s provided by expensive and unreliable market research.

It would be a mistake, however, to write off the possibility of lively or provocative material making an appearance on the grounds that the entertainment corporations have the situation firmly in hand. This would overestimate their strength and minimize the contradictions in American social life, which find all sorts of surprising manifestations.




发信人: pkuroot (据说ID要有Nick), 信区: Triangle
标 题: 中译:Prof.Stearns 致北大学生的一封信 (转载)
发信站: 北大未名站 (2007年12月20日00:13:02 星期四), 站内信件

【 以下文字转载自 ypjh 讨论区 】
【 原文由 Ent 所发表 】


To my students in Beijing, Fall 2007:

While grading papers today I encountered two more cases of plagiarism.
One was sophisticated but serious. The other was so blatant that it
was almost unbelievable. That makes a total of three students who
have failed my courses because of plagiarism.


If I had not warned you and given you the opportunity honestly to
correct your essays, there would have been several more. I thank those of
you who were honest and showed me what you had copied.


Plagiarism disturbs me greatly, both because it corrodes my relationship
with you as my students, and because it tells me things about China and
Beida that neither you nor I want to hear.


It corrodes my relationship with you because I work hard to be a good
teacher, I take time to prepare good lectures, and I spend many hours
providing detailed feedback on essays. It is hard work. You cannot
imagine what it is like to correct the details of the 500th essay until
you have done it yourself. I do that to help you
learn to think more clearly, to express yourself convincingly, and to
develop your intellectual power, your ability to understand the world.
I also do it because I value you, I value your ideas, and I think the world
will be a better place when you can all think clearly and behave
intelligently. Later in life, some of you will be leaders with important
positions. I want you to be competent and honest,
for I have seen too often what terrible things can happen when
leaders are incompetent and dishonest. Leadership aside, I want all of you
to be able to create value in your lives, whatever you end up doing,
and you cannot do that if you deceive.


When a student whom I am teaching steals words and ideas from an
author without acknowledgment, I feel cheated, dragged down into the mud.
I ask myself, why should I teach people who knowingly deceive me?
Life is too short for such things. There are better things to do.


Disturbingly, plagiarism fits into a larger pattern of behavior in China.
China ignores international intellectual property rights. Beida sees
nothing wrong in copying my textbook, for example, in complete violation
of international copyright agreements, causing me to lose income,
stealing from me quite directly. No one in China seems to care.
I can buy DVDs in stores and on the street for about one US dollar.
They cost $20-30 outside China; the artists who produced them are
losing enormous amounts of stolen income, billions of dollars each year.
China has become notorious for producing defective products that have to
be recalled because the pose health threats to consumers. A recent cartoon in
American newspaper shows the Central Committee reacting to an accusation that
they have violated human rights. The response? "Wait until they see what
we put in their toothpaste next!" Corruption is a serious problem in a boomin
economy. For example, in the mining industry, about 5000 miners die each year
and mine owners cut corners in violation of the law. The social fabric breaks
when workers die because owners are greedy. The Mandate of Heaven is lost.

省事为了利润而不惜违反法律 。(译注:cut corners 指贬义的抄近道,此为意译。)

China appears to have lost her way. Confucius said, do not
do to others what you do not want them to do to you. He also said, a
gentleman is honest. Honesty and reciprocity are the basis of trust and
community. We cannot get along in a world filled with deceit and defection;
such a world becomes a Hobbesian war of all against all, nasty and brutal.
We cannot do science if we cannot trust what others publish. There is no
reason to try to replicate a result if it cannot be trusted. It
would not be worth the effort. Without replication there can be no shared
knowledge that is tested and trustworthy – that is, no science. Without
science, there can be no technology. And without technology, there can be
no steady increase in productivity, economic growth, and a better life for al

其可。(直译是君子有信,不过一时想不起原话是怎么说的了。) 诚实互惠是信任与社群

The penalties for plagiarism that you will encounter later in life are very
serious. If you do it as a graduate student, you can be expelled from
university, and you will not get your degree. If you do it as a faculty
member, you can lose your job. I know you may not believe that, for
the sociology professor at Beida who translated an entire book into Chinese
and published it with his name on it only lost his administrative positions
but kept his professorship and salary. But things are not like that elsewhere
When plagiarism is detected in the United States, it can end the
career of the person who did it. That is also true in Europe.

把整本书翻成中文就署上自己名字出版的社会学家 (这是谁啊…) 仅仅丢了行政职务,

The fact that I have encountered this much plagiarism at Beida tells me
something about the behavior of other professors and administrators here.
They must tolerate a lot of it, and when they detect it, they cover it up
without serious punishment, probably because they do not want to lose face.
If they did punish it, it would not be this frequent.


I have greatly enjoyed teaching some of you. I have encountered young minds
here that are as good as any in the world. Many of you are brave, most
of you work very hard, most of you are honest, and some of you are brilliant.
But I am leaving with very mixed feelings. It is quite sad that so many
promising young Chinese think it is necessary to cheat to succeed. They
damage themselves even more than the people from whom they steal and the
people whom they deceive with stolen words.


Sincerely, Steve Stearns


※ 来源:·北大未名站 bbs.pku.edu.cn·[FROM:]
※ 修改:·Ent 於 12月20日00:10:02 修改本文·[FROM:]


Love is of utmost importance to us humans.Everybody not only needs love,but also should give others love.Love is a lamp which is brighter in darker places.people in darker places need more light than other people.Maybe even a dim light can give them much hope for a better life.Maybe just a thread of light will call forth their strength and courage to help them step out of their difficulties.

I can think of no better illstration of this idea than the following example.For instance when someone is starving to death,just a little food and water from you may save his life.Again,when a little girl in a poor rural area drops out of school because of poverty,just a small sum of money from you may support her to finish school and change her life.In these case you have given love which is like a lamp in a dark place where light is most needed.

To sum up,we should offer our help to all the needed.We expect to get love from others and we also give love to others.So when you see someone in difficulty or in distress and in need of help,don’t hesitate to give your love to him.I belive that the relationship between people will be harmonious and that our society will be a better place for us to live in.


Yet it is a very plain and elementary truth that the life,the fortune and the happiness of every one of us ,and ,more or less,of those who are connected with us,do depend upon our knowing something of the rules of a game infinitely more difficult and complicated than chess.It is a game which has been played for untold ages,every man and woman of us being one of the two players in a game of his or her own.The chessboard is the world,the pieces are the phenomena of the universe,the rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature.The player on the other side is hidden from us.We know that his play is always fair ,just and patient.But also we know ,to our cost,that he never overlooks a mistake,or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.To the man who plays well,the highest stakes are paid ,with that sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong shows delight in strength.And one who plays ill is checkmated–without haste,but without remorse.


One summer day in the Middle Ages, a strange man in multicolored (that is) clothing strode into the German town of Hamelin. Learning that the town was infested with rats, the stranger offered to dispose of the rodents–for a fee. When the burghers gratefully agreed, the stranger whipped out a flute and played a mysterious tune that proved an irresistible rat lure. Rats swarmed out of every house in Hamelin and followed the Pied Piper to the banks of the Weser River. Then they followed him into the swirling waters and were drowned,

When the burghers refused to pay the piper, he devised a plan of revenge. Once again putting his pipe to his lips, he played yet another air–one that seduced not rodents but children. Parents watched helplessly as the Pied Piper, playing merrily, led all of Hamelin’s youngsters out of town, after which they were never seen again.

Alothough opinions vary on the exact date of the piper’s revenge, the German government holds with June 26,1284. The town of Hamelin stages Pied Piper plays every Sunday from June to September. Children from the bulk of the cast, but as 130 was the alleged number who went with the piper on that fateful day in 1284, the cast of today’s productions is ritually limited to 130.


Three passions,simple but overwhelmingly strong,have governed my life:the longing for love,the search for knowledge,and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.These passions,like great winds,have blown me hither and thither,in a wayward course,over a deep ocean of anguish,reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought ove ,first,because it brings ecstasy—–ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy.I have sought it ,next,because it relieves loneliness—-that terribles loneliness which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss.I have sought it,finally,because in the union of love I have seen,in a mystic miniature ,the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined.This is what I sought and though it might seem too good for human life,this is what—at last—I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.I have wished to understand the hearts of men.I have wished to know why the stars shine.And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagoreans power by which number holds sway above the flux.A little of this,but not much,I have achieved.

Love and konwledge,so far as they were possible,led upward the heavens.But always pity brought me back to earth.Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart.Children in famine,victims tortured by oppressors,helpless old people as a hated burden to their sons,and the whole of loneliness,poverty,and pain make a mockery of what human life should be.I long to alleviate the evil,and I too suffer.

This has been my life.I have found it worth living,and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

                                                                                                    —– by Bertrand Russell


People value their time more than anything else in the world.Once time is gone it can never be replaced.This makes time more valuable than money.Time is precious.Nobody can afford to waste time.Once time has gone by ,it will never return.You can never turn the clock back.Time passes very quickly.People say time flies.Time and tide wait fo no man.We should,therefore,make the best use of our time.If you can manage your time well,you will have a successful life.Try using all your spare time to practice oral Enlish.Even a few minutes while you are waiting for somebody or at the bus stop can be valuable learning time.


Friendship isn’t always easliy described.The Eskimos,they say,have a hundred different words for snow.Unfortunately,the enlish language isn’t quite as innovative,though it has vast opportunities to differentiate meaning.Certainly,love is one of those opportunities.And so ,too,is friendship.Instead of different words,however,we’re stuck with simple adjectives:close friend,best fiend,childhood friend,intimate friend,trusted friend,beloved friend and the list can go on and on.But whether to use adjectives or different words,few could deny the nearly infinite meaning in such a simple word.Friends are special people.We can’t pick our family,and at any rate,we’re sorely linited in the numver of them.Society and mores (and often our own conscience)dictate we select only one mate.But our friends can be as diverse and infinite as the adjectives we choose .Our friends,in a very real sense,reflect the choices we make in life.