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哈佛大学演讲集萃比尔·盖茨在哈佛大学毕业典礼上的演讲

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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:

 

尊敬的Bok校长,Rudenstine前校长,即将上任的Faust校长,哈佛集团的各位成员,监管理事会的各位理事,各位老师,各位家长,各位同学:

 

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

 

有一句话我等了三十年,现在终于可以说了:“老爸,我总是跟你说,我会回来拿到我的学位的!”

 

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.

 

我要感谢哈佛大学在这个时候给我这个荣誉。明年,我就要换工作了(注:指从微软公司退休)……我终于可以在简历上写我有一个本科学位,这真是不错啊。

 

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.

 

我为今天在座的各位同学感到高兴,你们拿到学位可比我简单多了。哈佛的校报称我是“哈佛大学历史上最成功的辍学生”。我想这大概使我有资格代表我这一类学生发言……在所有的失败者里,我做得最好。

 

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.

 

但是,我还要提醒大家,我使得Steve Ballmer(注:微软总经理)也从哈佛商学院退学了。因此,我是个有着恶劣影响力的人。这就是为什么我被邀请来在你们的毕业典礼上演讲。如果我在你们入学欢迎仪式上演讲,那么能够坚持到今天在这里毕业的人也许会少得多吧。

 

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.

 

对我来说,哈佛的求学经历是一段非凡的经历。校园生活很有趣,我常去旁听我没选修的课。哈佛的课外生活也很棒,我在Radcliffe过着逍遥自在的日子。每天我的寝室里总有很多人一直待到半夜,讨论着各种事情。因为每个人都知道我从不考虑第二天早起。这使得我变成了校园里那些不安分学生的头头,我们互相粘在一起,做出一种拒绝所有正常学生的姿态。

 

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.

 

Radcliffe是个过日子的好地方。那里的女生比男生多,而且大多数男生都是理工科的。这种状况为我创造了最好的机会,如果你们明白我的意思。可惜的是,我正是在这里学到了人生中悲伤的一课:机会大,并不等于你就会成功。

 

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.

 

我在哈佛最难忘的回忆之一,发生在19751月。那时,我从宿舍楼里给位于Albuquerque的一家公司打了一个电话,那家公司已经在着手制造世界上第一台个人电脑。我提出想向他们出售软件。

 

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.

 

我很担心,他们会发觉我是一个住在宿舍的学生,从而挂断电话。但是他们却说:“我们还没准备好,一个月后你再来找我们吧。”这是个好消息,因为那时软件还根本没有写出来呢。就是从那个时候起,我日以继夜地在这个小小的课外项目上工作,这导致了我学生生活的结束,以及通往微软公司的不平凡的旅程的开始。

 

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.

 

不管怎样,我对哈佛的回忆主要都与充沛的精力和智力活动有关。哈佛的生活令人愉快,也令人感到有压力,有时甚至会感到泄气,但永远充满了挑战性。生活在哈佛是一种吸引人的特殊待遇……虽然我离开得比较早,但是我在这里的经历、在这里结识的朋友、在这里发展起来的一些想法,永远地改变了我。

 

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

 

但是,如果现在严肃地回忆起来,我确实有一个真正的遗憾。

 

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.

 

我离开哈佛的时候,根本没有意识到这个世界是多么的不平等。人类在健康、财富和机遇上的不平等大得可怕,它们使得无数的人们被迫生活在绝望之中。

 

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.

 

我在哈佛学到了很多经济学和政治学的新思想。我也了解了很多科学上的新进展。

 

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.

 

但是,人类最大的进步并不来自于这些发现,而是来自于那些有助于减少人类不平等的发现。不管通过何种手段——民主制度、健全的公共教育体系、高质量的医疗保健、还是广泛的经济机会——减少不平等始终是人类最大的成就。

 

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.

 

我离开校园的时候,根本不知道在这个国家里,有几百万的年轻人无法获得接受教育的机会。我也不知道,发展中国家里有无数的人们生活在无法形容的贫穷和疾病之中。

 

It took me decades to find out.

 

我花了几十年才明白了这些事情。

 

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.

 

在座的各位同学,你们是在与我不同的时代来到哈佛的。你们比以前的学生,更多地了解世界是怎样的不平等。在你们的哈佛求学过程中,我希望你们已经思考过一个问题,那就是在这个新技术加速发展的时代,我们怎样最终应对这种不平等,以及我们怎样来解决这个问题。

 

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?

 

为了讨论的方便,请想象一下,假如你每个星期可以捐献一些时间、每个月可以捐献一些钱——你希望这些时间和金钱,可以用到对拯救生命和改善人类生活有最大作用的地方。你会选择什么地方?

 

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.

 

Melinda(注:盖茨的妻子)和我来说,这也是我们面临的问题:我们如何能将我们拥有的资源发挥出最大的作用。

 

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.

 

在讨论过程中,Melinda和我读到了一篇文章,里面说在那些贫穷的国家,每年有数百万的儿童死于那些在美国早已不成问题的疾病。麻疹、疟疾、肺炎、乙型肝炎、黄热病、还有一种以前我从未听说过的轮状病毒,这些疾病每年导致50万儿童死亡,但是在美国一例死亡病例也没有。

 

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.

 

我们被震惊了。我们想,如果几百万儿童正在死亡线上挣扎,而且他们是可以被挽救的,那么世界理应将用药物拯救他们作为头等大事。但是事实并非如此。那些价格还不到一美元的救命的药剂,并没有送到他们的手中。

 

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."

 

如果你相信每个生命都是平等的,那么当你发现某些生命被挽救了,而另一些生命被放弃了,你会感到无法接受。我们对自己说:“事情不可能如此。如果这是真的,那么它理应是我们努力的头等大事。”

 

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

 

所以,我们用任何人都会想到的方式开始工作。我们问:“这个世界怎么可以眼睁睁看着这些孩子死去?”

 

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.

 

答案很简单,也很令人难堪。在市场经济中,拯救儿童是一项没有利润的工作,政府也不会提供补助。这些儿童之所以会死亡,是因为他们的父母在经济上没有实力,在政治上没有能力发出声音。

 

But you and I have both.

 

但是,你们和我在经济上有实力,在政治上能够发出声音。

 

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.

 

我们可以让市场更好地为穷人服务,如果我们能够设计出一种更有创新性的资本主义制度——如果我们可以改变市场,让更多的人可以获得利润,或者至少可以维持生活——那么,这就可以帮到那些正在极端不平等的状况中受苦的人们。我们还可以向全世界的政府施压,要求他们将纳税人的钱,花到更符合纳税人价值观的地方。

 

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.

 

如果我们能够找到这样一种方法,既可以帮到穷人,又可以为商人带来利润,为政治家带来选票,那么我们就找到了一种减少世界性不平等的可持续的发展道路。这个任务是无限的。它不可能被完全完成,但是任何自觉地解决这个问题的尝试,都将会改变这个世界。

 

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.

 

在这个问题上,我是乐观的。但是,我也遇到过那些感到绝望的怀疑主义者。他们说:“不平等从人类诞生的第一天就存在,到人类灭亡的最后一天也将存在。——因为人类对这个问题根本不在乎。”我完全不能同意这种观点。

 

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

 

我相信,问题不是我们不在乎,而是我们不知道怎么做。

 

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.

 

此刻在这个院子里的所有人,生命中总有这样或那样的时刻,目睹人类的悲剧,感到万分伤心。但是我们什么也没做,并非我们无动于衷,而是因为我们不知道做什么和怎么做。如果我们知道如何做是有效的,那么我们就会采取行动。

 

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

 

改变世界的阻碍,并非人类的冷漠,而是世界实在太复杂。

 

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

 

为了将关心转变为行动,我们需要找到问题,发现解决办法的方法,评估后果。但是世界的复杂性使得所有这些步骤都难于做到。

 

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.

 

即使有了互联网和24小时直播的新闻台,让人们真正发现问题所在,仍然十分困难。当一架飞机坠毁了,官员们会立刻召开新闻发布会,他们承诺进行调查、找到原因、防止将来再次发生类似事故。

 

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."

 

但是如果那些官员敢说真话,他们就会说:“在今天这一天,全世界所有可以避免的死亡之中,只有0.5%的死者来自于这次空难。我们决心尽一切努力,调查这个0.5%的死亡原因。”

 

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

 

显然,更重要的问题不是这次空难,而是其他几百万可以预防的死亡事件。

 

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.

 

我们并没有很多机会了解那些死亡事件。媒体总是报告新闻,几百万人将要死去并非新闻。如果没有人报道,那么这些事件就很容易被忽视。另一方面,即使我们确实目睹了事件本身或者看到了相关报道,我们也很难持续关注这些事件。看着他人受苦是令人痛苦的,何况问题又如此复杂,我们根本不知道如何去帮助他人。所以我们会将脸转过去。

 

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.

 

就算我们真正发现了问题所在,也不过是迈出了第一步,接着还有第二步:那就是从复杂的事件中找到解决办法。

 

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.

 

如果我们要让关心落到实处,我们就必须找到解决办法。如果我们有一个清晰的和可靠的答案,那么当任何组织和个人发出疑问“如何我能提供帮助”的时候,我们就能采取行动。我们就能够保证不浪费一丁点全世界人类对他人的关心。但是,世界的复杂性使得很难找到对全世界每一个有爱心的人都有效的行动方法,因此人类对他人的关心往往很难产生实际效果。

 

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.

 

从这个复杂的世界中找到解决办法,可以分为四个步骤:确定目标,找到最高效的方法,发现适用于这个方法的新技术,同时最聪明地利用现有的技术,不管它是复杂的药物,还是最简单的蚊帐。

 

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.

 

艾滋病就是一个例子。总的目标,毫无疑问是消灭这种疾病。最高效的方法是预防。最理想的技术是发明一种疫苗,只要注射一次,就可以终生免疫。所以,政府、制药公司、基金会应该资助疫苗研究。但是,这样研究工作很可能十年之内都无法完成。因此,与此同时,我们必须使用现有的技术,目前最有效的预防方法就是设法让人们避免那些危险的行为。

 

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.

 

要实现这个新的目标,又可以采用新的四步循环。这是一种模式。关键的东西是永远不要停止思考和行动。我们千万不能再犯上个世纪在疟疾和肺结核上犯过的错误,那时我们因为它们太复杂,而放弃了采取行动。

 

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.

 

在发现问题和找到解决方法之后,就是最后一步——评估工作结果,将你的成功经验或者失败经验传播出去,这样其他人就可以从你的努力中有所收获。

 

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.

 

当然,你必须有一些统计数字。你必须让他人知道,你的项目为几百万儿童新接种了疫苗。你也必须让他人知道,儿童死亡人数下降了多少。这些都是很关键的,不仅有利于改善项目效果,也有利于从商界和政府得到更多的帮助。

 

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.

 

但是,这些还不够,如果你想激励其他人参加你的项目,你就必须拿出更多的统计数字;你必须展示你的项目的人性因素,这样其他人就会感到拯救一个生命,对那些处在困境中的家庭到底意味着什么。

 

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.

 

几年前,我去瑞士达沃斯旁听一个全球健康问题论坛,会议的内容有关于如何拯救几百万条生命。天哪,是几百万!想一想吧,拯救一个人的生命已经让人何等激动,现在你要把这种激动再乘上几百万倍……但是,不幸的是,这是我参加过的最最乏味的论坛,乏味到我无法强迫自己听下去。

 

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?

 

那次经历之所以让我难忘,是因为之前我们刚刚发布了一个软件的第13个版本,我们让观众激动得跳了起来,喊出了声。我喜欢人们因为软件而感到激动,那么我们为什么不能够让人们因为能够拯救生命而感到更加激动呢?

 

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.

 

除非你能够让人们看到或者感受到行动的影响力,否则你无法让人们激动。如何做到这一点,并不是一件简单的事。

 

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.

 

同前面一样,在这个问题上,我依然是乐观的。不错,人类的不平等有史以来一直存在,但是那些能够化繁为简的新工具,却是最近才出现的。这些新工具可以帮助我们,将人类的同情心发挥最大的作用,这就是为什么将来同过去是不一样的。

 

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.

 

这个时代无时无刻不在涌现出新的革新——生物技术,计算机,互联网——它们给了我们一个从未有过的机会,去终结那些极端的贫穷和非恶性疾病的死亡。

 

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."

 

六十年前,乔治·马歇尔也是在这个地方的毕业典礼上,宣布了一个计划,帮助那些欧洲国家的战后建设。他说:“我认为,困难的一点是这个问题太复杂,报纸和电台向公众源源不断地提供各种事实,使得大街上的普通人极端难于清晰地判断形势。事实上,经过层层传播,想要真正地把握形势,是根本不可能的。”

 

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.

 

马歇尔发表这个演讲之后的三十年,我那一届学生毕业,当然我不在其中。那时,新技术刚刚开始萌芽,它们将使得这个世界变得更小、更开放、更容易看到、距离更近。

 

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

 

低成本的个人电脑的出现,使得一个强大的互联网有机会诞生,它为学习和交流提供了巨大的机会。

 

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.

 

网络的神奇之处,不仅仅是它缩短了物理距离,使得天涯若比邻。它还极大地增加了怀有共同想法的人们聚集在一起的机会,我们可以为了解决同一个问题,一起共同工作。这就大大加快了革新的进程,发展速度简直快得让人震惊。

 

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.

 

与此同时,世界上有条件上网的人,只是全部人口的六分之一。这意味着,还有许多具有创造性的人们,没有加入到我们的讨论中来。那些有着实际的操作经验和相关经历的聪明人,却没有技术来帮助他们,将他们的天赋或者想法与全世界分享。

 

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.

 

我们需要尽可能地让更多的人有机会使用新技术,因为这些新技术正在引发一场革命,人类将因此可以互相帮助。新技术正在创造一种可能,不仅是政府,还包括大学、公司、小机构、甚至个人,能够发现问题所在、能够找到解决办法、能够评估他们努力的效果,去改变那些马歇尔六十年前就说到过的问题——饥饿、贫穷和绝望。

 

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

 

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