Archive for August, 2007

Before you become memory

August 20, 2007 Leave a comment
Categories: Poison

Beautiful clouds

August 18, 2007 1 comment
昨天晚上去和平影院的IMAX厅看了Harry Potter。
大厅里面熙熙攘攘,还有熟悉的Bread Talk的香气飘过来。
HY上次对我说,You are a tough girl。


Categories: Ending

“You’ve got to find what you love” (zz from HY’s blog)

August 10, 2007 1 comment

‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

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. 

Categories: People

Hot day

August 7, 2007 3 comments
心里觉得有点可惜,因为我还是很想去的。 :-(
Categories: Dailylife

Great man and great talk

August 5, 2007 1 comment
Bill Gates talk at Harvard’s Graduation Commencement    
     President Bok, former President Rudenstine, incoming President
Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers,
members of the faculty, parents, and especially, the graduates:

  I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: "Dad, I always
told you I’d come back and get my degree."

  I want to thank Harvard for this timely honor. I’ll be changing my
job next year … and it will be nice to finally have a college degree
on my resume.

  I applaud the graduates today for taking a much more direct route
to your degrees. For my part, I’m just happy that the Crimson has
called me "Harvard’s most successful dropout." I guess that makes me
valedictorian of my own special class … I did the best of everyone
who failed.

  But I also want to be recognized as the guy who got Steve Ballmer
to drop out of business school. I’m a bad influence. That’s why I was
invited to speak at your graduation. If I had spoken at your
orientation, fewer of you might be here today.

  Harvard was just a phenomenal experience for me. Academic life was
fascinating. I used to sit in on lots of classes I hadn’t even signed
up for. And dorm life was terrific. I lived up at Radcliffe, in
Currier House. There were always lots of people in my dorm room late
at night discussing things, because everyone knew I didn’t worry about
getting up in the morning. That’s how I came to be the leader of the
anti-social group. We clung to each other as a way of validating our
rejection of all those social people.

  Radcliffe was a great place to live. There were more women up there,
and most of the guys were science-math types. That combination offered
me the best odds, if you know what I mean. This is where I learned the
sad lesson that improving your odds doesn’t guarantee success.

  One of my biggest memories of Harvard came in January 1975, when I
made a call from Currier House to a company in Albuquerque that had
begun making the world’s first personal computers. I offered to sell
them software.

  I worried that they would realize I was just a student in a dorm
and hang up on me. Instead they said: "We’re not quite ready, come see
us in a month," which was a good thing, because we hadn’t written the
software yet. From that moment, I worked day and night on this little
extra credit project that marked the end of my college education and
the beginning of a remarkable journey with Microsoft.

  What I remember above all about Harvard was being in the midst of
so much energy and intelligence. It could be exhilarating, intimidating,
sometimes even discouraging, but always challenging. It was an amazing
privilege – and though I left early, I was transformed by my years at
Harvard, the friendships I made, and the ideas I worked on.

  But taking a serious look back … I do have one big regret.

  I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in
the world – the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and
opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair. 

  I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and
politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the

  But humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries – but
in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether
through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or
broad economic opportunity – reducing inequity is the highest human

  I left campus knowing little about the millions of young people
cheated out of educational opportunities here in this country. And I
knew nothing about the millions of people living in unspeakable
poverty and disease in developing countries.

  It took me decades to find out.

  You graduates came to Harvard at a different time. You know more
about the world’s inequities than the classes that came before. In
your years here, I hope you’ve had a chance to think about how – in
this age of accelerating technology – we can finally take on these
inequities, and we can solve them.

  Imagine, just for the sake of discussion, that you had a few hours
a week and a few dollars a month to donate to a cause – and you
wanted to spend that time and money where it would have the greatest
impact in saving and improving lives. Where would you spend it?

  For Melinda and for me, the challenge is the same: how can we do
the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have.

  During our discussions on this question, Melinda and I read an
article about the millions of children who were dying every year in
poor countries from diseases that we had long ago made harmless in
this country. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, hepatitis B, yellow fever.
One disease I had never even heard of, rotavirus, was killing half a
million kids each year – none of them in the United States.

  We were shocked. We had just assumed that if millions of children
were dying and they could be saved, the world would make it a priority
to discover and deliver the medicines to save them. But it did not.
For under a dollar, there were interventions that could save lives
that just weren’t being delivered.

  If you believe that every life has equal value, it’s revolting to
learn that some lives are seen as worth saving and others are not. We
said to ourselves: "This can’t be true. But if it is true, it deserves
to be the priority of our giving."

  So we began our work in the same way anyone here would begin it.
We asked: "How could the world let these children die?"

  The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not reward saving
the lives of these children, and governments did not subsidize it. So
the children died because their mothers and their fathers had no power
in the market and no voice in the system.

  But you and I have both.

  We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can
develop a more creative capitalism – if we can stretch the reach of
market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make
a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities.
We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money
in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes.

  If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways
that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will
have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world. This
task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort
to answer this challenge will change the world.

  I am optimistic that we can do this, but I talk to skeptics who
claim there is no hope. They say: "Inequity has been with us since the
beginning, and will be with us till the end – because people just …
don’t … care." I completely disagree.

  I believe we have more caring than we know what to do with.

  All of us here in this Yard, at one time or another, have seen
human tragedies that broke our hearts, and yet we did nothing – not
because we didn’t care, but because we didn’t know what to do. If we
had known how to help, we would have acted.

  The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much

  To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a
solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.

  Even with the advent of the Internet and 24-hour news, it is still
a complex enterprise to get people to truly see the problems. When an
airplane crashes, officials immediately call a press conference. They
promise to investigate, determine the cause, and prevent similar
crashes in the future.

  But if the officials were brutally honest, they would say: "Of all
the people in the world who died today from preventable causes, one
half of one percent of them were on this plane. We’re determined to do
everything possible to solve the problem that took the lives of the
one half of one percent."

  The bigger problem is not the plane crash, but the millions of
preventable deaths.

  We don’t read much about these deaths. The media covers what’s new
– and millions of people dying is nothing new. So it stays in the
background, where it’s easier to ignore. But even when we do see it or
read about it, it’s difficult to keep our eyes on the problem. It’s
hard to look at suffering if the situation is so complex that we don’t
know how to help. And so we look away.

  If we can really see a problem, which is the first step, we come
to the second step: cutting through the complexity to find a solution.

  Finding solutions is essential if we want to make the most of our
caring. If we have clear and proven answers anytime an organization or
individual asks "How can I help?," then we can get action – and we
can make sure that none of the caring in the world is wasted. But
complexity makes it hard to mark a path of action for everyone who
cares — and that makes it hard for their caring to matter.

  Cutting through complexity to find a solution runs through four
predictable stages: determine a goal, find the highest-leverage
approach, discover the ideal technology for that approach, and in the
meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you
already have — whether it’s something sophisticated, like a drug, or
something simpler, like a bednet.

  The AIDS epidemic offers an example. The broad goal, of course, is
to end the disease. The highest-leverage approach is prevention. The
ideal technology would be a vaccine that gives lifetime immunity with
a single dose. So governments, drug companies, and foundations fund
vaccine research. But their work is likely to take more than a decade,
so in the meantime, we have to work with what we have in hand – and
the best prevention approach we have now is getting people to avoid
risky behavior.

  Pursuing that goal starts the four-step cycle again. This is the
pattern. The crucial thing is to never stop thinking and working –
and never do what we did with malaria and tuberculosis in the 20th
century – which is to surrender to complexity and quit.

  The final step – after seeing the problem and finding an approach
– is to measure the impact of your work and share your successes and
failures so that others learn from your efforts.

  You have to have the statistics, of course. You have to be able to
show that a program is vaccinating millions more children. You have to
be able to show a decline in the number of children dying from these
diseases. This is essential not just to improve the program, but also
to help draw more investment from business and government.

  But if you want to inspire people to participate, you have to show
more than numbers; you have to convey the human impact of the work –
so people can feel what saving a life means to the families affected.

  I remember going to Davos some years back and sitting on a global
health panel that was discussing ways to save millions of lives.
Millions! Think of the thrill of saving just one person’s life – then
multiply that by millions. … Yet this was the most boring panel I’ve
ever been on – ever. So boring even I couldn’t bear it.

  What made that experience especially striking was that I had just
come from an event where we were introducing version 13 of some piece
of software, and we had people jumping and shouting with excitement. I
love getting people excited about software – but why can’t we
generate even more excitement for saving lives?

  You can’t get people excited unless you can help them see and feel
the impact. And how you do that – is a complex question.

  Still, I’m optimistic. Yes, inequity has been with us forever, but
the new tools we have to cut through complexity have not been with us
forever. They are new – they can help us make the most of our caring
– and that’s why the future can be different from the past.

  The defining and ongoing innovations of this age – biotechnology,
the computer, the Internet – give us a chance we’ve never had before
to end extreme poverty and end death from preventable disease.

  Sixty years ago, George Marshall came to this commencement and
announced a plan to assist the nations of post-war Europe. He said: "I
think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous
complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by
press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the
street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. It is virtually
impossible at this distance to grasp at all the real significance of
the situation."

  Thirty years after Marshall made his address, as my class
graduated without me, technology was emerging that would make the
world smaller, more open, more visible, less distant.

  The emergence of low-cost personal computers gave rise to a
powerful network that has transformed opportunities for learning and

  The magical thing about this network is not just that it collapses
distance and makes everyone your neighbor. It also dramatically
increases the number of brilliant minds we can have working together
on the same problem – and that scales up the rate of innovation to a
staggering degree.

  At the same time, for every person in the world who has access to
this technology, five people don’t. That means many creative minds are
left out of this discussion — smart people with practical
intelligence and relevant experience who don’t have the technology to
hone their talents or contribute their ideas to the world.

  We need as many people as possible to have access to this
technology, because these advances are triggering a revolution in what
human beings can do for one another. They are making it possible not
just for national governments, but for universities, corporations,
smaller organizations, and even individuals to see problems, see
approaches, and measure the impact of their efforts to address the
hunger, poverty, and desperation George Marshall spoke of 60 years ago.

  Members of the Harvard Family: Here in the Yard is one of the
great collections of intellectual talent in the world.

  What for?

  There is no question that the faculty, the alumni, the students,
and the benefactors of Harvard have used their power to improve the
lives of people here and around the world. But can we do more? Can
Harvard dedicate its intellect to improving the lives of people who
will never even hear its name?

  Let me make a request of the deans and the professors – the
intellectual leaders here at Harvard: As you hire new faculty, award
tenure, review curriculum, and determine degree requirements, please
ask yourselves:

  Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our biggest problems?

  Should Harvard encourage its faculty to take on the world’s worst
inequities? Should Harvard students learn about the depth of global
poverty … the prevalence of world hunger … the scarcity of clean
water …the girls kept out of school … the children who die from
diseases we can cure?

  Should the world’s most privileged people learn about the lives of
the world’s least privileged?

  These are not rhetorical questions – you will answer with your

  My mother, who was filled with pride the day I was admitted here
– never stopped pressing me to do more for others. A few days before
my wedding, she hosted a bridal event, at which she read aloud a
letter about marriage that she had written to Melinda. My mother was
very ill with cancer at the time, but she saw one more opportunity to
deliver her message, and at the close of the letter she said: "From
those to whom much is given, much is expected."

  When you consider what those of us here in this Yard have been
given – in talent, privilege, and opportunity – there is almost no
limit to what the world has a right to expect from us.

  In line with the promise of this age, I want to exhort each of the
graduates here to take on an issue – a complex problem, a deep
inequity, and become a specialist on it. If you make it the focus of
your career, that would be phenomenal. But you don’t have to do that
to make an impact. For a few hours every week, you can use the growing
power of the Internet to get informed, find others with the same
interests, see the barriers, and find ways to cut through them.

  Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big
inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives.

  You graduates are coming of age in an amazing time. As you leave
Harvard, you have technology that members of my class never had. You
have awareness of global inequity, which we did not have. And with
that awareness, you likely also have an informed conscience that will
torment you if you abandon these people whose lives you could change
with very little effort. You have more than we had; you must start
sooner, and carry on longer.

  Knowing what you know, how could you not?

  And I hope you will come back here to Harvard 30 years from now
and reflect on what you have done with your talent and your energy. I
hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional
accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the
world’s deepest inequities … on how well you treated people a world
away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.

  Good luck.

Categories: People


August 5, 2007 1 comment
When can I finally escape the fear and anxiety?
Categories: Dailylife