RIP Randy Pausch

Yeah, this is another blatant filler post. Deal with it.

Professor Randy Pausch died on July 25, 2008 of pancreatic cancer. For those of you who don’t know why he’s worth an entire filler post, check my sidebar. Yeah, I know it’s shocking, but some of you don’t visit my homepage anymore now that I have an RSS feed. Check it out. And while you’re there, vote in my polls, damn lazy bastards. I must have the only anime blog in the universe that averages more comments per post than votes per poll. Anyway, Randy Pausch’s website is one of my five badass links. That’s because he’s a fucking badass and everybody should know about him.

I need to be jealous of people to respect them. I respect Randy Pausch. That means I’m jealous of a guy who died of pancreatic cancer at age 47.

Randy Pausch recieved his diagnosis in September of 2006. In August of 2007 he was told that the cancer had spread and he probably wouldn’t live to see the end of the year. I’m not so jealous of that part, but it gets better. On September 18, 2007, Randy Pausch delivered his phenomenal last lecture, which has been viewed over 10 million times online.


Yeah, it’s long. Deal with it. When you consider he’s summing up his entire life’s experiences in less than 90 minutes, it’s pretty damn short. Besides, I’m a cruel heartless jerk, so if I could enjoy this, you can too.

My old roommate (pre-sellout fans remember Ghetto?) met Randy before he was diagnosed with cancer and told me he was just as awesome as the video makes him seem. I’ve never actually met the guy, and I’d already graduated when he gave his lecture. If he never developed cancer, I probably never would’ve heard about him. Where am I going with all this? Perhaps there a few Pasch-level badasses around you that you know nothing about. Should you take some time to get to know them? Eh…if you feel like it.

Final thoughts: Watch the video or I’ll kick your ass. Except some of you might like that, so if that’s you, watch the video or I won’t kick your ass.

26 people love sucking up to me

  1. I really wanted to troll this post, but seeing that this is an attempt from you to commiserate with his fate, I won’t. It’s great that he had given that lecture, and while I also don’t know much about him I can say that the hope he’s given to a lot of people is a great parting gift of his.

    I hope he rests in peace, even if I don’t know him.

  2. haven’t been able to watch all of it yet, but this is really great. Brilliant the way he distills some complicated concepts into little bits of simple wisdom.

  3. @Michael: “I really wanted to troll this post” – you’re a terrible person!

    @omo: Computer Science, though you might’ve guessed I’m not as hot about it as I used to be. I’ll surely end up doing patent work, but hey, it’s better than programming.

    @LJ: What a guy.

    @otou-san: Take your time. I just rewatched it, half over breakfast and half over lunch.

  4. First: You didn’t bother to make a filler post when George Carlin died. Hm.

    Second: You shouldn’t be surprised that nobody reads the polls, since usually a blog has a proper template with a sidebar that doesn’t vanish when one reads a post… πŸ˜‰

    Third: I promise I’ll watch it whenever I find the time. However, I’m not afraid of your threats. Quantum theories, such as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, prove that whether one enjoys kicking oneselves ass is not certain as long as the field is not polarized. One may or may not be a masochist :]

  5. I get the feeling that if I’d ever met this guy he’d probably have got on my nerves quite a lot, but I still enjoyed his lecture a great deal and ended up admiring him. Which says something, as I’m naturally drawn to my fellow Eeyore’s. And yes, I’m just jealous really.

    Thanks for the video, worth watching.

  6. @Coaxen:

    – First: I’ve only seen George Carlin once, and that was at my hotel when I got kicked out of PersaCon. The only other time I’ve heard of him was when Detective Dipshit accused Maddox of plagiarizing him. Yeah, I’m ignorant. I’m like that in all walks of life: I know nothing about books I haven’t read; I know nothing about music I haven’t heard; I know nothing about anime or comedy routines I haven’t seen; etc….

    – Second: It was originally like that and I removed it. Sidebars are distractions. When you’re reading my posts, I don’t want some poll, blogroll, or tag cloud diverting your attention.

    – Third: We can test that theory out…

    @coburn: “I get the feeling that if I’d ever met this guy he’d probably have got on my nerves quite a lot” – yeah, I feel the same way. It’s weird. I don’t have to like someone I respect, and I don’t have to respect someone I like. I’m quite the Eeyore myself, though in a twisted way I have a good deal of fun being pessimistic and despondent. Tiggers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Bouncing around looks stupid.

  7. Holy crap! You have a home page! Also, CS…you’ve just jumped up a few points on my respect-o-meter, something like respect++.

    > …but hey, it’s better than programming.


  8. It’s my first time ever commenting here πŸ˜› Anyway, I’ve seen the whole video (my favorite part was the virtual world with the bunnies and all). I’m glad I watched it, and yeah, it’s definitely worth the hour to watch. Have you read his book yet?

    On a whole different note: haha. I was rejected from CMU…

  9. @j.valdez: “respect-” does not compile! Sometimes I wonder if leaving CS for Law was the right move. Then I spend 3 minutes editing my site’s php and pat myself on the back for making such a wise decision.

    @Hoshi: Bunny death has a whole new meaning after reading blissmo’s site. I haven’t read the book yet. I imagine it’s mostly the same as the lecture. As for your rejection, perhaps it’s for the best, unless you’re a girl, in which case you just lost four years of guaranteed attention no matter how ugly you are.

    @korosora: I hope you’re joking. Not only do I have a homepage, but I have an FAQ as well…

  10. lolz totally forgot.
    a personal question, if i may:
    why didn’t you like computer science?

    and gj on getting in to CMU and graduating. must’ve been tough.

  11. @shirokiryuu: For some reason I can’t say I feel bad for him, but I do feel bad for his family. He got a lot of what he wanted out of life and died with few regrets. Also, 47 is young, but not tragically young from my point of view. There are much sadder ways to go.

    @Michael: But you yell at me when I don’t troll you!

    @korosora: CMU was actually my safety school. The best school I got into was Caltech, but I didn’t go because I’m a pussy. I’m still kicking myself over it. It’s just that when I visited, they bugged the hell out of me. During every meal they started food fights and laughed like it was the fucking time of their lives. I wanted to eat my food, but noooooo, shit kept falling in my plate and my face. I couldn’t take it.

    Computer science is frustrating. Particularly, programming is frustrating (the theory is pretty cool). Debugging your/somebody else’s code can be a total pain in the ass, but that’s not the worst part. I got sick of CS because there are few good references for anything you’re trying to do, especially in the more obscure languages. You can blame some of that on the youth and rapid development of the field, but still, Computer Scientists need to do a much better job documenting and commenting their code. If you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, I’m basically saying that Computer Scientists need to do a better job writing down what they’re doing and how they’re doing it in a useful, understandable, and accessible way.

  12. HE’S SO AWESOME~! I also promise to watch this, but I don’t want to spoil myself yet until my sister comes home so that I can watch it with her. And then I might show it to my friends at church as well XD

  13. Okay, I have a feeling I know what blissmo’s next comic will be like…
    Yea, if I met the guy for real, I don’t think I’d take to him very much, but for the sake of put on respect as dictated by society, I am forced to admit that there is a lot to admire about the guy and the lecture and blah blah blah may he rest in peace *returns to miserable non-dream-realizing cynical trolling self*
    If ever visit his grave, I’ll make sure to offer a Maid Guy Badge of Honour… pinned on a gigantic stuffed animal if must.

  14. i’ve actually never heard of him and only managed to watch the first fifteen minutes before my connection kept failing on me. i hope this vid won’t get yanked off YouTube, i wanna finish it when my connection stabilizes. it was really nice and touching…

  15. This guy makes some good points, and achieving my childhood dreams has been a goal for me ever since my brother wanted to go to see James Brown in Australia, missed out, then he DIED. Since then I’ve been going to all my heroes’ book talks, like Terry Pratchett, Germaine Greer (who dropped off the heroes’ list when she called me a “Boy!” and a “Conscientious eccentric/time waster”) and Neil Gaiman, who is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. EVER. And to meet all these people I had to plan ahead and scheme to get what I wanted, just like Randy Pausch did. By the way I have been to Disneyland and I appreciated what Randy had to say about the place having been there myself. That and celebrity death is a plague these days.

  16. i saw this post when i came back from my mexico trip. and even though i had gone over 24hours without sleeping i sat down and saw his entire lecture. it was amazing. i think you for bringing this to my attention. I’ve been hearing about this for a while now on the radio on my way to work but it never occurred to me to even do a small google search to find his lecture. After i saw this i started looking for more things about Randy, i found an interview of him with diane sawyer, and then heard about his book. I went out and bought it yesterday, i don’t think i’ve ever read anything so fast, and it’s so amazing. I think the worst part is that if it weren’t for him dying no one would have even cared about what he had to say. but each little nugget of advice is something that people really should live their life by. It’s hard for me to read the book without crying, i keep thinking about his family since he’s now gone, about his wife and three children that he left behind. But if you haven’t picked up the book i saw you should. It’s a short read and reiterates a lot of what he talks about in his lecture but then adds some more about his personal life.

  17. @korosora: Damn right! My ego rocks. It’s so much better than everyone else’s. But if it makes you feel better, right now I’m in law school, so my CMU Computer Science degree isn’t worth another school’s CS degree. Maybe I should’ve gone to Columbia…

    @Asperger’s: Yup, as Randy says, it’s great to meet your childhood idols. Two years ago I went to the book signing of my biggest idol, Maddox. I spent about an hour waiting in line. Then we exchanged about four sentences, none of which were interesting in any way. It was awesome.

    @Dancing Queen: Now I have to get it. I’m in the middle of three books right now (two comedy and one educational/instructional), so as soon I finish at least two of them, I’ll order this one.

    I first heard of the lecture when my mother saw Randy on Oprah. He’s been interviewed all over the place, and he spoke at this past spring’s CMU graduation ceremony along with Al Gore (my year, 2007, got Bill Cosby, who was also awesome in a different way). You can probably find a lot of Randy’s clips on YouTube. It’s a shame I don’t have an internet connection at home right now (I’m currently at school).

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