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Friday, August 12, 2011

Bill Gates Speech at Harvard - Bill Gates đọc diễn văn tại Harvard

Bill Gates Speech at Harvard University

Bill Gates speech at Harvard

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 sciences. 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 achievement. 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 complexity. 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 communicating. 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 policies. 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.

Channel Nine's Gary Fenton pays debt to Jim Webb 40 years on - trả nợ sau 40 năm

Nine's Gary Fenton pays debt to Jim Webb 40 years on - Gary Fenton trả nợ Jim Webbsau 40 năm
By Marnie O'Neill

Forty years on, debt's paid

Tardy payer of debts ... Channel Nine's Olympic director Gary Fenton has repaid a man who gave him $11 nearly forty years ago. Source: The Daily Telegraph

FOR nearly 40 years, Gary Fenton, one of Australia's most influential television executives, has been feeling guilty about an unpaid debt.
As a penniless 22-year-old backpacker in 1969, he borrowed a ferry fare worth £5 ($11) from another traveller, and promised to send the money when he could.
Now, Mr Fenton has quietly paid back British man Jim Webb - with interest. This week Mr Webb, 72, arrived at his home in England's north to find a hand-delivered parcel containing £200 ($439) and a note: "To Jim Webb, a good man. From Gary Fenton, a tardy payer of debts."
Mr Fenton, now Channel Nine's Olympic director, had only left an email address - so an emotional Mr Webb told his story to the BBC on Friday in the hope that his long-lost friend would see it.
Yesterday, The Sunday Telegraph tracked down Mr Fenton in London, where he was meeting International Olympic Committee executives.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
Mr Fenton had no idea that Mr Webb had gone public with the story.
"When I got back to Australia after hitchhiking around the world 40 years ago, I was broke and I went back home to live," he recalled.
"After I got my first pay cheque, I said to my mother, 'Where's that address that was on the mantelpiece?'
"She said, 'I don't know, it must have been thrown out.' "
Six months ago, a year after their mother's death in Melbourne, Mr Fenton's brother sent him a box of his mother's belongings.
"She kept all the cards and letters I had sent her from when I'd travelled, and out fell the address," Mr Fenton said.
Knowing he had an upcoming trip to the UK, Mr Fenton decided to visit Mr Webb and honour his debt.
"So last Sunday, I got the train to Sheffield and knocked on the door but there was no answer," he said.
"I spoke to the neighbour and said, 'Does Jim Webb still live here?' And they said 'Yes'. And I said, 'Is he still in good health?' They said 'Yes', he was.
"So I put a package through the letterbox hole in the door and went on my way and that was the last I heard until five minutes ago when you rang."
Mr Webb told the BBC: "In this day and age promises are made and promises are broken and you lose your faith in human nature.
"This was a lovely gesture ... 40 years is a long time. It must have been preying on his mind that he hadn't repaid his debt."

Cosmology of Whiteness - Da trắng thống soái

Whiteness and the Logic of Corporate Personhood

To most of us flesh and blood, breathing, feeling, human animals, the notion of corporate personhood (which was taken to its logical extreme in the Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United ruling) seems like the height of absurdity. Bank of America, Chevron, GE, and Microsoft do not have families that comfort or annoy them. They do not worry about a parent’s failing health or experience the exhilaration of new love or the dread of mortality. They do not feel grief or compassion or forgiveness or frustration or hope. They definitely do not despair about what the heedless pursuit of earnings growth is doing to the once thriving communities and life systems of the Earth.
It is only natural to wonder about the apparently twisted logic that led to corporations being declared persons under the law. They are made up of persons, of course. But so is a mob, and no one thinks a mob should be granted the rights of an individual person under the U.S. Constitution. Individuals belonging to groups already have rights, but groups, as such, do not. This is because our political system is based on liberalism, the focus of which is on the equal rights of individuals. At the same time, no one is suggesting that corporations should have no legal rights at all. If corporations are to exist, they obviously need to be able to do things like enter into contracts and own property. But the need for these sorts of limited rights does not necessarily imply that corporations are entitled to legal personhood.
As we reflect on the logic that led to the extension of personhood to corporations, we should also keep in mind that in 1866, when the crucial ruling occurred, the U.S. was still officially a white nation. Naturalization was still only available to white people. First nations people were still being killed, dispossessed, and seeing their culture erased. Although African Americans were enjoying a small window of hope after the passage of the 1866 Civil Rights Act and soon thereafter the 14th amendment, that window would soon slam shut. It would require another century and a great deal of struggle before black folks had their personhood formally acknowledged.
So how was it that, at a time when only white people could access the rights and privileges of legal personhood, a purely legal entity managed to secure that designation? Clues to this puzzle are discernible in the origins of modern political thought. When John Locke and other liberal political philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries promoted ideas about self-government and the natural rights of man, it was not merely an abstract exercise. It was a definite project designed to delegitimize the authority of the aristocracy and increase the political power of the emerging business class. When Jefferson et al penned their famous affirmation of human liberation, “all men are created equal,” the liberation they had in mind was meant solely for white business men. It is all well and good to celebrate and make the most of the revolutionaries' lofty rhetoric. But if we want to understand the logic of the U.S. political and economic systems, we need to understand the true nature of the Revolution that produced them.

The overt political motivations of the revolutionaries are only part of the story. In order to see why it was easier for the corporation to access personhood than millions of black and brown human beings, we need to look even more closely at the roots of modern liberal political thought, especially the way its architects conceived of human nature. The centerpiece of liberal political thought is Social Contract Theory. It is summarized with epic clarity and concision in The Declaration of Independence as this set of self-evident truths:
That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
In other words, governments (whether absolute monarchies or liberal democracies) were created by individual men who decided to give up a certain amount of liberty in exchange for protection of their natural rights.
Notice that the philosophers’ account of the origins of government was informed by an explicit theory of human nature. This theory was eventually to become an implicit keystone of the cosmology of whiteness. The social contract metaphor requires potential signatories - individuals with the wherewithal to enter into a social contract, but who have not yet done so. The philosophers imagined a condition they called the state of nature, in which ancient humans existed without any sort of government. Although men, in this hypothetical natural state, had total liberty, their actions were guided by an innate morality and rationality. Especially for Locke, whose writings on social contract theory and liberalism greatly influenced the American Revolution, human nature entails Reason, a God-given faculty that governs both moral and practical judgment.
The catch is that Reason tended to be understood in a way that was hopelessly bound up with the cultural, religious, and class values of Anglo-American elites such as Locke and the American revolutionaries. Indeed, Reason was typically associated with the economic and moral values that underpinned colonialism, such as industriousness, competition, economic self-interest, private property ownership, sexual/sensual/emotional repression, and the impulse to civilize wild nature. Hence, the self-interested, economically rational, property owning, white Puritan male was set up as the standard-bearer of humanity. This is a primordial moment in the genesis of whiteness - the instant when Race and Reason emerged as intertwined touchstones by which white men could measure their superiority and justify the exclusion of people of color from full personhood.
Classical economists relied on this model when they imagined the economy as consisting of purely rational and self-interested producer-consumers competing for perpetually scarce resources. They theorized that the natural behavior of these standard economic actors would lead to growth in overall wealth and bring about the greatest wellbeing for society. In this way, classical economics made a virtue of selfishness. According to Adam Smith, who was after all a moral philosopher, if each individual simply pursues his private self-interest, the "invisible hand" of the market will regulate the overall economy, ensuring the greatest benefit for the greatest number. This theoretical economic man was thus promoted to the status of moral paragon, resulting in a moral framework that encourages individuals to substitute the “higher” morality of the market for their personal moral judgment.

The elevation of the corporation to legal personhood follows naturally from the moral logic of classical economics. While a natural person can only approximate the classical economists’ moral ideal, the invention of the modern corporation institutionalized the disembodied rationality and narrow self-interest of the latter. Now there is no need for individual humans to bear the burden of reconciling personal and business morality because corporate decision making is bureaucratized. The structure of the corporation compels managers to act exclusively in the financial interests of investors and exempts those investors from accountability for the activities undertaken on their behalf.
The corporation was next in line after white men to attain legal personhood because corporate personhood simply follows from the logic of whiteness. Whiteness was forged out of the cultural, religious, and economic values of the colonial elites and ordained as the paradigm of humanity. It was then used to restrict full personhood to white people, who were granted certain privileges in exchange for their tacit support of the elites’ exploitative imperial project. The paradigmatic values of whiteness were supposed to be universal, but they have always been disconnected from the lived concerns of ordinary people and communities of every race.

This is one of the supreme ironies of whiteness. Generations of European-Americans have bought into the ideal of whiteness, forsaking their own historical roots in order to access the benefits of white identity. But notwithstanding some relative privileges and a comforting, if fictitious, sense of superiority, it turns out that we have failed to grasp that the logic of whiteness does not correspond to the logic of humanity. So, in our effort to claim and preserve unearned advantages, we (and not only white people) have embraced a standard that we ourselves cannot embody and remain human. The logic of whiteness in the context of economics is actually a logic of capitalist exploitation and empire. And, as it turns out, it is a logic that is most perfectly realized by an inhuman bureaucracy, designed to maximize profits and expand forever.