Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Randy Pausch: The Last Lecture AKA Keeping Priorities Straight, even at the End

Hat tip to Tara Parker-Pope, who writes The Well blog at the New York Times. And Freakonomics blog for pointing to The Well about this.

Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University, probably best known as one of the founders of the Entertainment Technology Center. The local wag is that is where you go to learn to make video games. CMU alumni know him as the one who started the class Building Virtual Worlds. He is also dying of pancreatic cancer.

Last September, Randy gave one last lecture. Watch it. (linked to YouTube below.) It is not about cancer, it is about achieving life dreams and lessons learned. But it is not really about that. It is about living life.

In contrast to the normal academic lecture, it is something that is paid attention to. And not just by students, by many around the world. A lecture on living life, with an audience of millions.

And as he says, it is not about cancer, and it is not about pity. He does not want any of that. And he does not even care about the audience of millions. He did this, so his kids can see him give a lecture. For them to learn lessons of life that he won't have the time to teach in person as they get older.
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