1. protocol says

    Saw him and talked to hem when he came to UVA….he seemed to be filled with incredible joie de vivre.

  2. randumbness47 says

    It’s very sad to see such a magnificent educator taken from us in his prime. Wonderful video.

  3. scotth says

    I watched that earlier this morning. I am sad this is my first introduciton to him (on the day we lose him).

    Fabulous video…. it is worth the hour of your time… really.

  4. says

    I wish I could think of more to say than how very sad it is that the world has lost such a bright light so young. Thanks for the video…

  5. says

    I agree cancer sucks, he was way too young. However he touched so many people’s lives and will be long remembered for it. What better legacy can you leave behind?

  6. says

    Earlier this month, I lost a friend who was only six years older than Pausch to cancer as well. And I’d been following the blog as well. I knew it had to be getting close because he’d lost a lot of weight, well past the point he’d been to before, but man, so sad.

  7. says

    “Last Lecture

    I hope that Pausch was a good (or perhaps great) computer scientist because he’s a lousy performer. I found his “Last Lecture” to be…shallow.

    I’ve been composing my “last lecture” for a few months now.

    It’s short and simple:

    Life is nothing more than just going about your business;
    And getting there is no harder than putting one foot in front of the other.

    I also have my epitaph done:

    “And the sky cracked open,
    and terrifying forks of lightning split the earth,
    releasing deafening explosions of roaring thunder.
    And the mighty wind blew,
    creating a maelstrom of fury and rage…
    And then all was quiet, and the gentle sea serenely rolled on,
    as it has since the beginning of time.”


  8. says

    I couldn’t read his book because just thinking about it made me choke up. I’m wondering if I can read it now, though. That’s a terrible thought, in a way.


  9. says

    Why Must We Die?

    (words and music A. McGarrigle, K. McGarrigle, J. Zifkin/Garden Court Music ASCAP, J. Zifkin, SOCAN)

    We are meat, we are spirit
    We have blood and we have grace
    We have a will and we have muscle
    A soul and a face
    Why must we die?

    We have eyes and intuition
    A DNA code and a name
    Some tend to logic, some superstition
    We have an aura and a frame
    Why must we die?

    We are human, we are angel
    We have feet and wish for wings
    We are carbon, we are ether
    We are saints, we are kings
    Why must we die,
    Why must we die?

    We are men of constant sorrow
    We’ll have trouble all our days
    We never found our Eldorado
    Where we were born

    We are meat, we are spirit
    We have blood and we have grace
    We have a will and we have muscle
    A soul and a face
    Why must we die,
    Why must we die?

    We are men of constant sorrow
    We’ll have trouble all our days
    We never found our Eldorado
    Where we were born

    We are men of constant sorrow
    We’ll have trouble all our days…

  10. Gary Bohn says

    Shallow as you may believe it was, it was his way of dealing with the knowledge of his immanent death. You deal with your death as you will and I will deal with my death in my own way. The way each of us deals with death is private and personal, none of us can, nor should, comment on others’ process of coping.

  11. Boomer says

    I hadn’t heard of this guy before, but I’m going to have to watch this lecture when I get home from work. Reading about his fight with cancer and how he continued to live out his remaining months with such energy and enthusiasm fills me with a mix of emotions… primarily sadness and anger. Cancer is such a shitty way to go, knowing all along that you are going to suffer and die. I felt the same way when Tony Snow died – despite the fact that his job was to tell lies for a corrupt administration, he still seemed like a really nice guy, and nobody should have to suffer like that.

  12. BluesBassist says

    I lost my father to pancreatic cancer a couple of years ago (he was 67). He died only 3 months after his diagnosis. It’s an insideous disease.

    A person I know, who is a physicist (and an athiest/skeptic), wrote the following about death, which I like to read when I think about our mortality:

    Your consciousness will remain every bit a part of reality, even in the most atheistic sense. The distinction between future, past, and present is somewhat misunderstood — they’re all a part of the same state of the universe. You should not think of death as ‘an event which causes you not to be’ — you should think of death (along with conception) more as a boundary to the little region of spacetime defining your existence. That corner of spacetime will always be yours; you do exist — you have been granted reality along with the rest of the universe — and nothing can ever change that.

  13. says

    “You deal with your death as you will…”

    As I am…

    My way of coping is keeping connected to the world.
    And listening to music…

    I was commenting on the substance of this lecture, not on the circumstances that effectuated it.

    I have been fortunate to have lived a full life and I have no regrets. It just seems to me that someone in our (Pausch and I) situation could come up with something more substantive to say.

  14. says

    My epitaph will also be from a song popularised by Kate and Anna McGarrigle:

    For he goes birling down a-down the white water
    That’s where the log driver learns to step lightly
    It’s birling down, a-down white water
    A log driver’s waltz pleases girls completely.

  15. says

    St. Michael the Archangel, have you met Bishop Pontoppodan? It would appear he also shares your situation.

    I’m afraid this won’t be very substantive at all, but I wish the best for you and your loved ones.

  16. says

    Naturally, the LA Times had to gum it up.

    Pausch explicitly refused to discuss religion in his talk, and you get the sense he’s not one of the deluded ones in that respect. But the Times simply couldn’t bring themselves to write a story about someone dying without dragging in some sort of religious blather, while noting that the talk didn’t mention religion:

    Some people believe that those who are dying may be especially insightful since they must make every moment count. Some are drawn to valedictories such as the one Pausch gave because they offer a spiritual way to grapple with mortality that isn’t based in religion.

    Sandra Yarlott, director of spiritual care at UCLA Medical Center, said that researchers such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross have observed that work done by dying patients “resonates with people in that timeless place deep within.”

    As Pausch essentially said goodbye at Carnegie Mellon, he touched on just about everything but religion . . .


    How did they manage to sandwich that stupid, vacuous quote, from a professional spiritualist, between two explicit statements that Pausch’s talk wasn’t religious? How did they name it “spiritual [but not] based in religion”? Is there some kind of stupidity quotient at the Times? Or is their reporter simply unable to grasp the idea that not everything involving death, or the “deep place”, is religious?

  17. Geoff says

    I too lost my father from this disease. It really sucks and I would advise everyone to give to a charity for pancreatic cancer research. Randy was one of the great teachers and his tremendous talent and enthusiasm showed. He will be missed but never forgotten.

  18. says

    It seems to me that one of his big talents was to take advantage of opportunities when they came along.

    And I’m curious about what a substantive lecture would include.

  19. says

    “St. Michael the Archangel, have you met Bishop Pontoppodan?”

    I am him.

    I’m pretty sure that everyone knows that these are pseudonyms and they know my real name.

    This is not an attempt to deceive anyone. My real name is blocked by Paul’s filters.

    I rather like these pseudonyms. I hope Paul will not block them too.
    Google “Mind’s Eye” + the last name of the composer of “Ride of the Valkyries” to be taken to my website and blog. I should be the first entry.

  20. TonyT says

    That’s sad to hear, I first heard about him during my Death and Dying class earlier this year.

  21. LisaJ says

    Sad, sad news. He was way too young, which makes it really hard to swallow. What a wonderful legacy he’s left though.

  22. Aureola Nominee, FCD says

    Oh, NOW everything is clear! The inane Archangel is none other than the inane Charlie Wagner!

    Good. Time to update the killfile.

  23. Barklikeadog says

    Yep, that would be him. Still insipid. The Mensa Card is a nice touch. Arrogant ass. How many of us have Mensa IQ’s and aren’t members. Who gives a rat? Killfile it is.

  24. Thecla the cerebrophage says

    Well, this incredibly innovating human being added three more humans to the planet. That should be a major contribution to a better future, right?




  25. says

    “Some people believe that those who are dying may be especially insightful since they must make every moment count. Some are drawn to valedictories such as the one Pausch gave because they offer a spiritual way to grapple with mortality that isn’t based in religion. (LA Times)


    The truth is that right up to the very end, no one REALLY believes that they are going to die. It must be some coping mechanism that is hard-wired into the brain on a sub-conscious level.

  26. Logicel says

    It’s unusual what Randy did. Perhaps it will become a trend, talking about one’s impending death to others, videotaping it for the Web. We need to take the skeleton (so to speak) out of the closet. In the west, we still are unable to talk about death easily.

    I bet his last lecture pushed buttons in people. How can Randy be so positive, downright cheerful in the face of death; how can he be so hopeful that his legacy will inspire others to spread hope and fulfillment? He is supposed to be glum, frightened, moody, and angry, and instead, we get this charmingly goofy guy being direct, honest, and somewhat silly.

    And simplicity–the ability to enjoy life and accept its limits while flourishing within those limits–is not shallow. Randy was a champ in this regard.

  27. The Adamant Atheist says

    Every person who has ever lived has died. That’s good enough for me to believe that I’m going to die.

    Yes, I REALLY believe it. As firmly as I believe anything else.

    Now, what occurs afterward is of course beyond my clear understanding. I suspect we simply cease to exist but I can’t pretend to know for sure.

  28. cd says

    A Brown alum. That place does select for a lot of people who are really excellent human beings.

  29. ednamode says

    The world loses this man who did wonderful things with his life and faced death head-on but Dick Cheney still lives. WHY??

  30. says

    On my birthday a hero dies. I was dreading this day for multiple reasons, but you know, Randy wouldn’t want our pity, our sorrow. He was a nice, good, happy, loving person.

    Let’s try to remember how awesome he was instead of that he’s gone. By doing that, his true legacy will live on.

    Funny thing, though, I was just thinking about him a few days ago, wondering how he was doing. I guess the answer was along the lines of not too good.

  31. Boomer says

    #38 “Every person who has ever lived has died.”

    Not true. Every single person alive today has not died! :P

    Personally, I plan to live forever. So far, so good!

  32. says

    OT, but I think an interesting update (not that I want to turn this into another cracker thread, just an update):

    The chancellor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, is standing up for a faculty member’s freedom of expression after the instructor posted on the Internet a photo of a defiled communion wafer with pages ripped from the Qur’an.

    Paul Z. Myers, who teaches biology at the west-central Minnesota school, on his blog this week posted a picture of the wafer with a rusty nail through it and torn pages from the Qur’an. Also in the photo are tattered pages from a book by biologist Richard Dawkins that scoffs at the notion of a superior being.

    This is the second time this month that actions such as these by Myers prompted a harsh retort from a national Catholic civil rights group.

    In response today, University of Minnesota, Morris, Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson said the school has deactivated the link between Myers’ pesonal blog and the university website, emphasizing his views “do not reflect those of the University of Minnesota, Morris, or the University of Minnesota system.”

    At the same time, Johnson said, while she believes “behaviors that discriminate against or harass individuals or groups on the basis of their religious beliefs are reprehensible,” the school also “affirms the freedom of a faculty member to speak or write as a public citizen without institutional discipline or restraint.”

    In response to Myers’ latest posting, the Catholic League, which for years has been actively challenging any instances it sees as an affront to Catholicism, said Thursday in a statement that he has violated the university’s policy on expressions of bias and must be disciplined.

    “Just as African Americans would not tolerate the burning of a cross, and Jews would not tolerate the display of swastikas, Catholics will not tolerate desecration of the Eucharist,” said Catholic League President Bill Donohue.

    The group said it wanted Myers punished and was contacting the university’s Board of Regents and leading government office holders in the state, as well as Muslim groups around the country.

    Commenting on his second act, Myers said on his blog Thursday, “I didn’t want to single out just the cracker [communion wafer], so I nailed it to a few ripped-out pages from the Qur’an and [Dawkins’] ‘The God Delusion.’ They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything.

    “God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanities’ knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality.”

    Early this month, Myers expressed amazement that a Florida college student who briefly took a wafer “hostage” from a church ceremony reported receiving death threats for an action that was characterized “a hate crime” by the Catholic League.

    Under the headline, “It’s a frackin’ cracker!” Myers wrote in an at-times profane blog entry: “Crazy Christian fanatics right here in our own country have been threatening to kill a young man over a cracker. This is insane.”

    The Catholic League at that time also called on the university to act against Myers.

    Many rank-and-file Roman Catholics do not endorse the league, which has no formal affiliation with the Catholic Church, because they consider it a reactionary orthodox group run by publicity-seekers. It’s president, Bill Donohue, has gone on record with inflammatory remarks about Jews, Muslims and gays.

    Star Tribune staff writer Jeff Strickler contributed to this report.

    Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

    I wouldn’t complain about Johnson’s response.

    Glen D

  33. sphex says

    I first saw his lecture almost a year ago. It resonated and stayed with me, and when I saw this post, I didn’t exhale for a couple of moments. It was inevitable, it was expected… and it is still very very sad.

    It seems that he did the best he could to live a good life, to be happy, to be kind to those he loved and to make the world a slightly better place through example and through teaching.

    I don’t know what more we can attempt to do. I hope they’ll say the same of me, when I go.

  34. Jim RL says

    I graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 2004 and I regret never meeting him. My heart goes out to his family. They should be proud. In the end we’ll all die, but few of us will get to impact people nearly as much as Randy did. He was taken too young, but he did more with his time on this planet than most.

  35. says

    Bishop @ # 13

    Perhaps the talk was shallow for you… but also perhaps you missed the “second head fake”: The talk was not for you (nor for us), it was for his kids.

    Bravo Randy Pausch!


  36. Inky says

    I saw Randy’s lecture a few months ago and passed it on to all my friends. Such humor, warmth, and positive ambition–I dearly wish there were more like him. I’m a really freaking bummed at the news.

  37. craig says

    “Every person who has ever lived has died. That’s good enough for me to believe that I’m going to die.”

    I dunno, how does that old joke go? “They say there are as many people alive on earth now as have ever lived before. So that means so far it’s only happened to about half of us.”

  38. Mark says

    I’ll have to find the time to watch this. I’ve been leery of it since learning that Oprah had him on her show. That usually sets off the alarm bells of woo.

  39. Joe Cracker says

    “Some people believe that those who are dying may be especially insightful since they must make every moment count.”

    Newsflash, LA Times … we ALL die! Now let’s go and make every moment count.

    Very inspiring talk.

  40. --PatF in Madison says

    I have been curious about Randy Pausch’s video for several months. Perhaps it’s because we both went to Brown – he graduated 18 years after I did so I never met him – or perhaps it’s because we both made our livings dealing with computers. (I worked on a much more mundane level than he did.) Something about him resonated with me.

    I started looking around the internet reading what people had to say about him and I found a curious phenomenon. Everybody has detractors but Randy seemed to attract an especially rotten one. There is a nasty piece of work who calls himself “de Selby” and who comments on all the blogs that mention Randy. He asserts that Randy’s pancreatic cancer is a fraud, that Randy is doing it for the money, that Randy will live for a long time and that Randy will write other books that will make him a lot of money.

    He does this without a shred of evidence. People who attempt to argue with him are belittled and insulted. He claims higher knowledge that he and only he is aware of. Most posters to blogs seem to be appalled by the troll’s tirades but they are polite to him anyway.

    Here are a couple of web pages with some of de Selby’s posts


    De Selby reminds me of some of the religionists who post here. They state TRUTHS before which all of us must bow down. They have no evidence. Whatever evidence there is on a subject goes against them. They get angry when challenged. They belittle people who point out the weaknesses in their arguments. They claim higher knowledge of which we are not aware and they are.

    Luckily people here are very impolite – I like that about the Pharyngulistas – and go after them with all guns blazing.

    The point is that, if de Selby shows up here, we should treat him the way the usual suspects and give him hell.

  41. The Adamant Atheist says

    I feel compelled to clarify my earlier post.

    An earlier post stated flat out that no one “REALLY” believes that they are going to die (this is an extraordinary claim without evidence). I just wanted to state that I, at least, do in fact believe that I am going to die based on the track record of previous dead people. So that individual’s absolute statement falls short. In fact, it seems like it’d take a considerable amount of mental blocking to deny the fact of death.

    Perhaps before we die, someone will invent some means of preserving the conscious mind? Or perhaps the religious nutters are right and our “soul” lives on?

    But I have no good reason to suspect either course is correct, so yes, I REALLY (again, his caps for emphasis) believe it is a safe bet that I and every other person here will ultimately die.

    I can’t believe this would be a controversial matter. Does someone know something about immortality that they care to share?

  42. Martha says

    Wow. What fire he had for life. I don’t know how you truly listen to that lecture and not feel at least some inspiration.

  43. says

    Posted by: St. Michael the Archangel | July 25, 2008 4:55 PM

    I have been fortunate to have lived a full life and I have no regrets. It just seems to me that someone in our (Pausch and I) situation could come up with something more substantive to say.

    A great many of us, regardless of the time given, could never come up with something even close to substantive. Certainly nothing like saying, “Hi, I help make dreams come true.”

    That’s not a bad epitaph: I made dreams come true.


  44. Mr_P says

    Wow, now I need to go spend more time with my kids. Visiting Pittsburgh next weekend (where I grew up), I think I need to surprise them with a visit to Kennywood and let them win some big stuffed animals.

  45. Judith says

    I fell in love at the deathbed conversion, started crying at “Happy Birthday” and was completely flooded by the second head fake. I am SO a tough broad!

    Whether I believe in it or not, anyone who says a bad thing about this man should go to Hell.

  46. spaceoops says

    So, I had no idea who this dude was… but I figured what the hell, I was intrigued at the title and saw that he died today. Ended up watching the whole talk and, yeah, getting teary at the surprise “example” (not to spoil it for others…) and all out bawling by the time he exposed the second head fake.

  47. says


    Same here on all three counts… and I’m not even a broad!

    I also liked that his mom never even knew about his dads bronze star for valor.

    All that and the line from his mom when Randy was getting ready for his theory qualifier and was having a touch of anxiety: “We know how you feel honey. When your father was your age he was fighting the Germans.” (about 0:56 in).
    Just to put things into perspective.


  48. says

    That was entirely too surprisingly cathartic.

    I have to pause in my viewing of this, from a combination of a sense of deja vu and finding out how Tom Sawyer felt attending his funeral, or at least the post mortem on a project I left before Randy showed up at it. If I had met him before I had decided to leave the VR project at Imagineering, I might have stayed on longer than I did.

    I was intrigued because I looked at the screen, and saw a guy roughly my age (I was born three months to the day before Disneyland’s opening day) wearing an Imagineering badge and a black shirt with the Imagineering Sorcerer’s Apprentice shirt, and I still own mine too, so he’s got my attention, but I didn’t know what to expect at all from it. Hearing him talk about Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride in public is kind of freaky, because it was such a black project, I couldn’t even talk to my former teammates across the street at Feature Animation, when I ran into them at the cafeteria what I was working on, even if it was their character I was modeling in 3D and animating for the attraction. When the head of Imagineering’s R&D brought in some big consultant guns early on in the project, especially Danny Hillis and Marvin Minsky, I got to hog a lot of Minsky’s time because I was the only team member familiar with his work, but when he violated his NDA and announced the existence of the project in the pages of Scientific American, it was as if he had broken some sort of Omertà . So, to see this guy talking about it, to see the image of my basic journeyman’s artwork of the Mickey Mouse hands on the Magic Carpet as part of the interface I helped solidify, flying through Gary’s 3D Agrabah, it’s a strange feeling, especially hearing him talk about my old boss Jon Snoddy, with whom I’ve only recently been able to speak amicably, since we’ve both been so averse to growing up.

    When we got the ride in the park at EPCOT, and had a version up for 1994 SIGGRAPH attendees, Brenda Laurel brought Terrence McKenna along to look at what we did, and she decreed that it was “slicker than snail snot.” She noted the device that snaps on the guest’s head (which Randy did not divulge was what I had dubbed the Mental Dam) had deftly solved the sanitation issues. “Sanitation issues?” asked McKenna, in his nasal, Poindexter on Acid drawl. “Yeah, cooties, scabies, head lice, snot,” she explained. Some moments cannot be improved upon. But there have been few places where it’s even vaguely appropriate to talk about that stuff. When I realized that I’d worked at Feature Animation, and at Imagineering, and had actually worked on a project that became an installed attraction, while many had labored for a decade only for Eisner to give it the thumbs down on a whim, I decided I wanted to work on other things, and intellectual property issues were also part of why I left. I understand why Randy left as well. So, after nearly 3 years on that project, I left Disney. The trophy wife and I got married, and we left LA to work on location based entertainment and video games in the Bay Area. Here I am doing things backwards in contrast with Randy, credentialing up to keep on the Professor track so I can continue to teach the things I love doing as an artist working in animation and 3D, especially now that the tools are ubiquitous and damned near free, and nobody has to strike any Faustian Bargains with Da Mouse in order to get access to tools. I’ll have to be a bit better prepared before I can watch the rest of the video.

    Thanks, PZ, for posting this.

  49. gorobei says

    That was superb. I wouldn’t file under “acamedics,” because most academics just aren’t that good.

    File it under “Top 0.01% people.” He explains everything a smart person needs to be sucessful and fulfilled. I would make this mandatory viewing for the VPs at my current firm — honestly, hard work, thinking about others, situational awareness are what it takes to achieve what you want.

    And he even talks about luck and karma. These are real things: if you’ve done all of the above well, stuff just magially happens when you are in a bad situation and need some help.

  50. Helioprogenus says

    It goes to show how much of a class act Randy Pausch was. It’s unfortunate that death doesn’t recognize the least productive members of society first (looking at you Donohue), but a man is defined not just by the way he lives his life, but by the way he faces his death (especially an untimely one). In his life, and now, I’m sure after his death, his brief presence on Earth helps to enlighten us all. His life lives on amongst his family, students, and humanity in general.

  51. says


    I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard
    So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
    Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.
    Crowned with lilies and with laurel they go: but I am not resigned.

    Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
    Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
    A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
    A formula, a phrase remains – but the best is lost.

    The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,-
    They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
    Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
    More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the

    Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
    Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
    Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

    Edna St Vincent Millay

  52. says

    Thank you for posting this.

    I’d never seen it before and so it was a first-time privilege for me. Some points I can’t forget:

    “No one is all evil.”

    “Never lose the child-like wonder.”

    “Have a big family.”

    “I’ll take an earnest person over a hip person any time.”

    And, of course, right near the beginning, the deathbed “conversion:”

    “I’ve switched to a Mac.” :-)

    Requiescat in pace, dear teacher.

  53. says

    What an incredible man!

    Yeah, I loved the “deathbed conversion”. LMAO! That’s awesome!

    To hope that I can be so light hearted when I’m at death’s door.

  54. Shelama says

    Totally irreligious myself, I am also personally glad that Dr. Pausch declined throughout to publicly discuss his own religion and spirituality, or lack thereof (except for a late conversion leading him to a Macintosh). I am unaware of anyone else who has spoken authoritatively for Randy in this regard, and I remain, respectfully, curious about it and have my suspicions. As much as I enjoy Pharyngula, I suspect that had he chosen to discuss this aspect of his life publicly that, regardless of “The Last Lecture” and/or anything else he achieved or stood for, that he would not have been recognized and celebrated here.

    And wouldn’t that have been a shame.

  55. DLC says

    I saw this one some time ago, and thought :”Now there’s a man who is going out with style. ”

    Not how I plan on going out. . . like my grandfather, in my sleep, not crying and screaming like the passengers on the bus he was driving at the time. . .

    But, I hope that if I ever have to walk down that road labeled “terminally ill” that I can stand up to it like Dr. Pausch did. Thanks for posting it, PZ.

  56. Larry says

    Please forgive my cynicism and/or skepticism, but I have to wonder why he didn’t have a wife and children at an earlier
    age. Or was he just too busy fulfilling his own dreams? His children for whom he is giving his last lecture could have been grown by now instead of growing up without a father.
    Great story, but most of us never get to publicize ours.

  57. Rayven Alandria says

    Now my sinuses are clogged. I cried a lot but I’m glad I watched it.

  58. Pygmy Loris says

    Thanks for posting this PZ. It’s sad to lose someone with such a passion for helping others’ dreams come true too.

  59. Ryan261357 says

    Wow got in a big fight with my mother over this. Loved every minute of it!

  60. multipath says

    Larry (#73),

    Dr. Pausch readily admitted to having been an arrogant young person, and has said he waited so long to get married because it took that long for him to find someone he cared about more than himself. He seemed pretty honest about his shortcomings.

  61. BMS says

    On my birthday a hero dies.

    I am sorry for your loss. Truly. No sarcasm there. The good doctor’s death leaves a gaping hole in the fabric of rational thought, humanity, and intelligent humor.

    Speaking of birthdays, though . . .

    On my birthday frakkin’ Kurt Cobain shot himself.


    Not just as a random biological error like cancer.

    So every aries-damned year I gotta hear his mindless atonal wah-wah-wah teen-aged angsty bullshit antidisestablishmentarianism but-I’ll-take-your-money-anyway drivel on the aries-damned radio on my aries-damned birthday.


  62. Joe Bob says

    @49 Actually, it seems that the current world population would “only” be about 6% of the number of humans that have ever lived.

    From :

    According to one set of calculations based on 2002 data:[37]

    * The number who have ever been born is around 106 000 000 000.
    * The world population in mid-2002 was approximately 6 215 000 000
    * The percentage of those ever born who were living in 2002 was approximately 5.8%

    The referenced article is at

  63. Agamemnon2 says

    It was a fun watch, and never before have I seen someone dealing with their own mortality in quite the same way. Especially when he spoke about the importance of having fun and said “I’m dying and still having fun”. Seriously, how many people can say something like that with a straight face?

  64. says

    In a year, I expect that I will owe a great deal of my happiness to this man and his lecture(s). After spending too long pursuing the wrong things, I’m finally working towards a life in science, just as I always dreamed of as a kid. =)

  65. says


    Not how I plan on going out. . . like my grandfather, in my sleep, not crying and screaming like the passengers on the bus he was driving at the time. . .

    Just to make sure I’m parsing this right: your grandfather was a bus driver, he fell asleep at the wheel and died? Or is the sentence a metaphor for someone dragging those around them down to the same depressing level?

  66. Aramael says

    chrisD: it’s an old joke.

    The internet is like this giant peanut gallery. People who have done bugger all in their lives hang shit on the people who have. “He should have had his kids when he was younger”? Larry, you’re a jerk.

  67. says

    Nothing against the man, his lecture, or his legacy, but . . .

    I am not impressed by this quote from the article PZ linked us to: “‘If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself,’ Pausch said. ‘The dreams will come to you.'”

    That’s about equivalent to saying, “bad things only happen to bad people.” I haven’t had time to watch the whole lecture, but I don’t have much respect for that naivete. I am sure Pausch deserves a lot of respect for many things, just not that.

    Sorry if pointing this out offends anyone, but I think it deserves to be said.

  68. says

    @#85 – You’re reading into that sentence the wrong way. The man got cancer and died at age 47– bad things DO happen to good people. If you watch the whole lecture, “leading your life the right way” means not backing down when you’re presented with a brick wall. Work your ass off, and yeah, good things are more likely to happen.

  69. Scrote says

    Why couldn’t Paul Myers die of cancer instead?

    We need more nice professors, not nasty ones.

  70. says

    Randy Pausch was interviewed on the Unitarian Universalist Association web site about the last lecture:

    When asked about his religious background and what attracted him to Unitarian Universalism, he said:

    I was raised Presbyterian and attended church regularly until I was about 17. I like the fact that [Unitarian Universalism] appeals to reason and thought more than dogma.

  71. Strider says

    #87 Seriously, this is the comment you make after watching that wonderful video? Total dick.

  72. Cheezits says

    Please forgive my cynicism and/or skepticism, but I have to wonder why he didn’t have a wife and children at an earlier age.

    Sheesh! What kind of a thing is that to ask? What was he supposed to do, plan in advance for getting cancer at an early age? My dad didn’t have kids till he was 44. He got married at 37. I never asked why. People do what they do when they’re ready.