The Art of the Commencement Speech

The Art of the Commencement Speech is a project by The Humanity Initiative to collect the best commencement addresses since 1936. To date there are 29 speeches available, from John F. Kennedy (American University, 1963), Václav Havel (Harvard University, 1995) and The Dalai Lama (Emory University, 1998). The commencement ceremony affirms each student’s search for […]

Our Self-Centered ‘Default’ Worldview: DFW’s Commencement Address

Recent talk of the correspondence bias (here) reminded me of possibly the best commencement speech that I’ve not yet written about (and I’ve written about quite a few): David Foster Wallace’s commencement address to the graduates of Kenyon College in 2005. The speech, often cited as Wallace’s only public talk concerning his worldview, was adapted following […]

Top Speeches and Motivational Videos

American Rhetoric is a “speech bank” holding over 5,000 full text, audio and video on some of the most famous speeches, lectures, debates and interviews of all time. Recently they released a list of the top 100 speeches in American 20th century politics (complete with transcript and audio). Martin Luther King, Jr. – “I Have […]

Medicine, Specialism, and the Scientific Education

In the commencement speech he delivered to the graduates of Stanford’s School of Medicine earlier this year, Atul Gawande eloquently (as ever) examined the state of modern medicine (in the U.S. specifically, the world generally), the problem with specialism, and the problem of specialists trying to fit into a system not necessarily designed for it. […]