All texts are transcripts with no copyright restrictions for educational use.
1 Transcripts of Clips ................................................................................................. 2
2 Amy Tan TED Talk...................................................................................................................................... 2
3 This is My Voice (Spoken Word Poem) by Shane Koyczan ....................................................................... 7
4 Chef José Andrés Interview on “60 Minutes” (excerpts) .......................................................................... 9
5 Jim Carrey Interview - Inside the Actors’ Studio ..................................................................................... 11
6 Lecture by Professor Michael Sandel ..................................................................................................... 19
7 Commencement Speech, Stanford University 2005 by Steve Jobs ........................................................ 23
8 The Botany of Desire (transcript of PBS broadcast) by Michael Pollan ................................................. 27
9 Writing Tips............................................................................................................ 35
10 Essay Essential Information .................................................................................................................... 35
11 How do I organize a paragraph? ............................................................................................................. 38
12 Sentence fragments ................................................................................................................................ 39
13 Run-ons ................................................................................................................................................... 40
14 Conclusions ............................................................................................................................................. 43
15 Why read out loud? ................................................................................................................................ 43
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17 Transcripts of Clips
18 Amy Tan TED Talk
19 The Value of Nothing: Out of Nothing Comes Something. That was an essay I wrote when I was 11 years
20 old and I got a B+. (Laughter) What I'm going to talk about: nothing out of something, and how we
21 create. And I'm gonna try and do that within the 18-minute time span that we were told to stay within, and
22 to follow the TED commandments: that is, actually, something that creates a near-death experience, but
23 near-death is good for creativity. (Laughter) OK.
24 So, I also want to explain, because Dave Eggers said he was going to heckle me if I said anything that
25 was a lie, or not true to universal creativity. And I've done it this way for half the audience, who is
26 scientific. When I say we, I don't mean you, necessarily; I mean me, and my right brain, my left brain and
27 the one that's in between that is the censor and tells me what I'm saying is wrong. And I'm going do that
28 also by looking at what I think is part of my creative process, which includes a number of things that
29 happened, actually -- the nothing started even earlier than the moment in which I'm creating something
30 new. And that includes nature, and nurture, and what I refer to as nightmares.
31 Now in the nature area, we look at whether or not we are innately equipped with something, perhaps in
32 our brains, some abnormal chromosome that causes this muse-like effect. And some people would say
33 that we're born with it in some other means. And others, like my mother, would say that I get my material
34 from past lives. Some people would also say that creativity may be a function of some other neurological
35 quirk -- van Gogh syndrome -- that you have a little bit of, you know, psychosis, or depression. I do have
36 to say, somebody -- I read recently that van Gogh wasn't really necessarily psychotic, that he might have
37 had temporal lobe seizures, and that might have caused his spurt of creativity, and I don't -- I suppose it
38 does something in some part of your brain. And I will mention that I actually developed temporal lobe
39 seizures a number of years ago, but it was during the time I was writing my last book, and some people
40 say that book is quite different.
41 I think that part of it also begins with a sense of identity crisis: you know, who am I, why am I this
42 particular person, why am I not black like everybody else? And sometimes you're equipped with skills,
43 but they may not be the kind of skills that enable creativity. I used to draw. I thought I would be an artist.
44 And I had a miniature poodle. And it wasn't bad, but it wasn't really creative. Because all I could really do
45 was represent in a very one-on-one way. And I have a sense that I probably copied this from a book. And
46 then, I also wasn't really shining in a certain area that I wanted to be, and you know, you look at those
47 scores, and it wasn't bad, but it was not certainly predictive that I would one day make my living out of
48 the artful arrangement of words.
49 Also, one of the principles of creativity is to have a little childhood trauma. And I had the usual kind that I
50 think a lot of people had, and that is that, you know, I had expectations placed on me. That figure right
51 there, by the way, figure right there was a toy given to me when I was but nine years old, and it was to
52 help me become a doctor from a very early age. I have some ones that were long lasting: from the age of
53 five to 15, this was supposed to be my side occupation, and it led to a sense of failure.
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54 But actually, there was something quite real in my life that happened when I was about 14. And it was
55 discovered that my brother, in 1967, and then my father, six months later, had brain tumors. And my
56 mother believed that something had gone wrong, and she was gonna find out what it was, and she was
57 gonna fix it. My father was a Baptist minister, and he believed in miracles, and that God's will would take
58 care of that. But, of course, they ended up dying, six months apart. And after that, my mother believed
59 that it was fate, or curses -- she went looking through all the reasons in the universe why this would have
60 happened. Everything except randomness. She did not believe in randomness. There was a reason for
61 everything. And one of the reasons, she thought, was that her mother, who had died when she was very
62 young, was angry at her. And so, I had this notion of death all around me, because my mother also
63 believed that I would be next, and she would be next. And when you are faced with the prospect of death
64 very soon, you begin to think very much about everything. You become very creative, in a survival sense.
65 And this, then, led to my big questions. And they're the same ones that I have today. And they are: why
66 do things happen, and how do things happen? And the one my mother asked: how do I make things
67 happen? It's a wonderful way to look at these questions, when you write a story. Because, after all, in that
68 framework, between page one and 300, you have to answer this question of why things happen, how
69 things happen, in what order they happen. What are the influences? How do I, as the narrator, as the
70 writer, also influence that? And it's also one that, I think, many of our scientists have been asking. It's a
71 kind of cosmology, and I have to develop a cosmology of my own universe, as the creator of that
73 And you see, there's a lot of back and forth in trying to make that happen, trying to figure it out -- years
74 and years, oftentimes. So, when I look at creativity, I also think that it is this sense or this inability to
75 repress, my looking at associations in practically anything in life. And I got a lot of them during what's
76 been going on throughout this conference, almost everything that's been going on.
77 And so I'm going to use, as the metaphor, this association: quantum mechanics, which I really don't
78 understand, but I'm still gonna use it as the process for explaining how it is the metaphor. So, in quantum
79 mechanics, of course, you have dark energy and dark matter. And it's the same thing in looking at these
80 questions of how things happen. There's a lot of unknown, and you often don't know what it is except by
81 its absence. But when you make those associations, you want them to come together in a kind of synergy
82 in the story, and what you're finding is what matters. The meaning. And that's what I look for in my work,
83 a personal meaning.
84 There is also the uncertainty principle, which is part of quantum mechanics, as I understand it. (Laughter)
85 And this happens constantly in the writing. And there's the terrible and dreaded observer effect, in which
86 you're looking for something, and you know, things are happening simultaneously, and you're looking at
87 it in a different way, and you're trying to really look for the about-ness, or what is this story about. And if
88 you try too hard, then you will only write the about. You won't discover anything. And what you were
89 supposed to find, what you hoped to find in some serendipitous way, is no longer there. Now, I don't want
90 to ignore the other side of what happens in our universe, like many of our scientists have. And so, I am
91 going to just throw in string theory here, and just say that creative people are multidimensional, and there
92 are 11 levels, I think, of anxiety. (Laughter) And they all operate at the same time.
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93 There is also a big question of ambiguity. And I would link that to something called the cosmological
94 constant. And you don't know what is operating, but something is operating there. And ambiguity, to me,
95 is very uncomfortable in my life, and I have it. Moral ambiguity. It is constantly there. And, just as an
96 example, this is one that recently came to me. It was something I read in an editorial by a woman who
97 was talking about the war in Iraq. And she said, "Save a man from drowning, you are responsible to him
98 for life." A very famous Chinese saying, she said. And that means because we went into Iraq, we should
99 stay there until things were solved. You know, maybe even 100 years. So, there was another one that I
100 came across, and it's "saving fish from drowning." And it's what Buddhist fishermen say, because they're
101 not supposed to kill anything. And they also have to make a living, and people need to be fed. So their
102 way of rationalizing that is they are saving the fish from drowning, and unfortunately, in the process the
103 fish die.
104 Now, what's encapsulated in both these drowning metaphors -- actually, one of them is my mother's
105 interpretation, and it is a famous Chinese saying, because she said it to me: "save a man from drowning,
106 you are responsible to him for life." And it was a warning -- don't get involved in other people's business,
107 or you're going to get stuck. OK. I think if somebody really was drowning, she'd save them. But, both of
108 these sayings -- saving a fish from drowning, or saving a man from drowning -- to me they had to do with
110 And all of us in life, when we see a situation, we have a response. And then we have intentions. There's
111 an ambiguity of what that should be that we should do, and then we do something. And the results of that
112 may not match what our intentions had been. Maybe things go wrong. And so, after that, what are our
113 responsibilities? What are we supposed to do? Do we stay in for life, or do we do something else and
114 justify and say, well, my intentions were good, and therefore I cannot be held responsible for all of it?
115 That is the ambiguity in my life that really disturbed me, and led me to write a book called "Saving Fish
116 From Drowning."
117 I saw examples of that. Once I identified this question, it was all over the place. I got these hints
118 everywhere. And then, in a way, I knew that they had always been there. And then writing, that's what
119 happens. I get these hints, these clues, and I realize that they've been obvious, and yet they have not been.
120 And what I need, in effect, is a focus. And when I have the question, it is a focus. And all these things that
121 seem to be flotsam and jetsam in life actually go through that question, and what happens is those
122 particular things become relevant. And it seems like it's happening all the time. You think there's a sort of
123 coincidence going on, a serendipity, in which you're getting all this help from the universe. And it may
124 also be explained that now you have a focus. And you are noticing it more often.
125 But you apply this. You begin to look at things having to do with your tensions. Your brother, who's
126 fallen in trouble, do you take care of him? Why or why not? It may be something that is perhaps more
127 serious -- as I said, human rights in Burma. I was thinking that I shouldn't go because somebody said, if I
128 did, it would show that I approved of the military regime there. And then, after a while, I had to ask
129 myself, "Why do we take on knowledge, why do we take on assumptions that other people have given
130 us?" And it was the same thing that I felt when I was growing up, and was hearing these rules of moral
131 conduct from my father, who was a Baptist minister. So I decided that I would go to Burma for my own
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132 intentions, and still didn't know that if I went there, what the result of that would be, if I wrote a book --
133 and I just would have to face that later, when the time came.
134 We are all concerned with things that we see in the world that we are aware of. We come to this point and
135 say, what do I as an individual do? Not all of us can go to Africa, or work at hospitals, so what do we do,
136 if we have this moral response, this feeling? Also, I think one of the biggest things we are all looking at,
137 and we talked about today, is genocide. This leads to this question. When I look at all these things that are
138 morally ambiguous and uncomfortable, and I consider what my intentions should be, I realize it goes back
139 to this identity question that I had when I was a child -- and why am I here, and what is the meaning of
140 my life, and what is my place in the universe?
141 It seems so obvious, and yet it is not. We all hate moral ambiguity in some sense, and yet it is also
142 absolutely necessary. In writing a story, it is the place where I begin. Sometimes I get help from the
143 universe, it seems. My mother would say it was the ghost of my grandmother from the very first book,
144 because it seemed I knew things I was not supposed to know. Instead of writing that the grandmother died
145 accidentally, from an overdose of opium, while having too much of a good time, I actually put down in
146 the story that the woman killed herself, and that actually was the way it happened. And my mother
147 decided that that information must have come from my grandmother.
148 There are also things, quite uncanny, which bring me information that will help me in the writing of the
149 book. In this case, I was writing a story that included some kind of detail, period of history, a certain
150 location. And I needed to find something historically that would match that. And I took down this book,
151 and I -- first page that I flipped it to was exactly the setting, and the time period, and the kind of character
152 I needed -- was the Taiping rebellion, happening in the area near Guilin, outside of that, and a character
153 who thought he was the son of God.
154 You wonder, are these things random chance? Well, what is random? What is chance? What is luck?
155 What are things that you get from the universe that you can't really explain? And that goes into the story,
156 too. These are the things I constantly think about from day to day. Especially when good things happen,
157 and, in particular, when bad things happen. But I do think there's a kind of serendipity, and I do want to
158 know what those elements are, so I can thank them, and also try to find them in my life. Because, again, I
159 think that when I am aware of them, more of them happen.
160 Another chance encounter is when I went to a place -- I just was with some friends, and we drove
161 randomly to a different place, and we ended up in this non-tourist location, a beautiful village, pristine.
162 And we walked three valleys beyond, and the third valley, there was something quite mysterious and
163 ominous, a discomfort I felt. And then I knew that had to be [the] setting of my book. And in writing one
164 of the scenes, it happened in that third valley. For some reason I wrote about cairns -- stacks of rocks --
165 that a man was building. And I didn't know exactly why I had it, but it was so vivid. I got stuck, and a
166 friend, when she asked if I would go for a walk with her dogs, that I said, sure. And about 45 minutes
167 later, walking along the beach, I came across this. And it was a man, a Chinese man, and he was stacking
168 these things, not with glue, not with anything. And I asked him, "How is it possible to do this?" And he
169 said, "Well, I guess with everything in life, there's a place of balance." And this was exactly the meaning
170 of my story at that point. I had so many examples -- I have so many instances like this, when I'm writing a
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171 story, and I cannot explain it. Is it because I had the filter that I have such a strong coincidence in writing
172 about these things? Or is it a kind of serendipity that we cannot explain, like the cosmological constant?
173 A big thing that I also think about is accidents. And as I said, my mother did not believe in randomness.
174 What is the nature of accidents? And how are we going to assign what the responsibility and the causes
175 are, outside of a court of law? I was able to see that in a firsthand way, when I went to beautiful Dong
176 village, in Guizhou, the poorest province of China. And I saw this beautiful place. I knew I wanted to
177 come back. And I had a chance to do that, when National Geographic asked me if I wanted to write
178 anything about China. And I said yes, about this village of singing people, singing minority. And they
179 agreed, and between the time I saw this place and the next time I went, there was a terrible accident. A
180 man, an old man, fell asleep, and his quilt dropped in a pan of fire that kept him warm. 60 homes were
181 destroyed, and 40 were damaged. Responsibility was assigned to the family. The man's sons were
182 banished to live three kilometers away, in a cowshed. And, of course, as Westerners, we say, "Well, it
183 was an accident. That's not fair. It's the son, not the father."
184 When I go on a story, I have to let go of those kinds of beliefs. It takes a while, but I have to let go of
185 them and just go there, and be there. And so I was there on three occasions, different seasons. And I
186 began to sense something different about the history, and what had happened before, and the nature of life
187 in a very poor village, and what you find as your joys, and your rituals, your traditions, your links with
188 other families. And I saw how this had a kind of justice, in its responsibility. I was able to find out also
189 about the ceremony that they were using, a ceremony they hadn't used in about 29 years. And it was to
190 send some men -- a Feng Shui master sent men down to the underworld on ghost horses. Now you, as
191 Westerners, and I, as Westerners, would say well, that's superstition. But after being there for a while, and
192 seeing the amazing things that happened, you begin to wonder whose beliefs are those that are in
193 operation in the world, determining how things happen.
194 So I remained with them, and the more I wrote that story, the more I got into those beliefs, and I think
195 that's important for me -- to take on the beliefs, because that is where the story is real, and that is where
196 I'm gonna find the answers to how I feel about certain questions that I have in life. Years go by, of course,
197 and the writing, it doesn't happen instantly, as I'm trying to convey it to you here at TED. The book comes
198 and it goes. When it arrives, it is no longer my book. It is in the hands of readers, and they interpret it
199 differently. But I go back to this question of, how do I create something out of nothing? And how do I
200 create my own life?
201 And I think it is by questioning, and saying to myself that there are no absolute truths. I believe in
202 specifics, the specifics of story, and the past, the specifics of that past, and what is happening in the story
203 at that point. I also believe that in thinking about things -- my thinking about luck, and fate, and
204 coincidences and accidents, God's will, and the synchrony of mysterious forces -- I will come to some
205 notion of what that is, how we create. I have to think of my role. Where I am in the universe, and did
206 somebody intend for me to be that way, or is it just something I came up with? And I also can find that by
207 imagining fully, and becoming what is imagined -- and yet is in that real world, the fictional world. And
208 that is how I find particles of truth, not the absolute truth, or the whole truth. And they have to be in all
209 possibilities, including those I never considered before.
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210 So, there are never complete answers. Or rather, if there is an answer, it is to remind myself that there is
211 uncertainty in everything, and that is good, because then I will discover something new. And if there is a
212 partial answer, a more complete answer from me, it is to simply imagine. And to imagine is to put myself
213 in that story, until there was only -- there is a transparency between me and the story that I am creating.
214 And that's how I've discovered that if I feel what is in the story -- in one story -- then I come the closest, I
215 think, to knowing what compassion is, to feeling that compassion. Because for everything, in that
216 question of how things happen, it has to do with the feeling. I have to become the story in order to
217 understand a lot of that. We've come to the end of the talk, and I will reveal what is in the bag, and it is
218 the muse, and it is the things that transform in our lives, that are wonderful and stay with us. There she is.
219 Thank you very much! (Applause)
221 This is My Voice (Spoken Word Poem) by Shane Koyczan
223 This is my voice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.
224 and it’s a fine line when you’re trying to define the finer points of politics
225 politics being a latin word
226 “poli” meaning many
227 “tics” meaning blood sucking butt lumps
228 you see too many live in countries where it’s bullets instead of ballots
229 where gavels fall like mallets when held in the hands of those whose judgments
230 can be bought as easily as children can be taught to covet
231 and the only ones willing to speak up are forced to live so far beneath the radar
232 that the underground is considered above it
233 this is for the Ho Ci Min’s and the Michael Collins.
234 for the Marquis de Sades and the muted gods.
235 This is my voice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.
236 Chorus: we’re not always right, but we’ve got the right to be wrong.
237 we’re not always free, so this is just a short story long.
238 this is my voice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.
239 and this time it’s for the sons and daughters
240 who watch their mothers and fathers drown in shallow waters while
241 panning for the “American dream” in the polluted creek called the mainstream.
242 This is for the homeless people sleeping on steam vents,
243 making makeshift tents out of cardboard and old trash,
244 trying to catch 40 winks in between the crash of car wrecks
245 risking their necks by surviving another day so that they can starve
246 so that famine can carve their body into a corpse before their heart stops beating
247 so that men in a boardroom meeting
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248 can make it harder for them to get welfare, health care,
249 it’s no wonder some of them pawn off their own wheelchair
250 and every time I walk ‘em by, I can’t help but feel at fault,
251 that maybe I didn’t search myself hard enough
252 for the control alt “s” so that I could save the world.
253 Or at least this little girl curled up into a ball
254 I’ve spent most of my life throwing compassion back like a fish that’s too small.
255 Gotta cash in my reality checks. drop her some spare fantasies
256 ‘cause I’ve got three separate degrees from different universities,
257 but the most valuable thing I ever learned
258 was to believe people when they say “Please.”
259 This is my voice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.
260 Chorus: We’re not always right, but we’ve got the right to be wrong.
261 We’re not always free, so this is just a short story long
262 You ever been real, been reamed out, picked on, put down, ever been ever been rowdy at the sound when
263 your own heart breaks, not to take the time, to take the time. listen.
264 ever been seen and not heard, you ever blurred the lines for those who tried to find some way to define
265 what you are, as if you were far from them, at least at the heart of them its more than a part of them.
266 you ever been told you’re too young or too old, and there’s always that line when you’re willing to walk
267 by, and you gotta receive and then beat the deadlines. so don’t try to define us cause this time we’ re fine.
268 so don’t try to define us cause this time we’re fine. so don’t try to define us cause this time we’ re fine.
269 We’re pissed and we’re loud and now you know why.
270 Chorus: We’re not always right, but we’ve got the right to be wrong.
271 We’re not always free, so this is just a short story long
272 Don’t tell me there are no heroes. This is for them, the women and the men.
273 For Helen Keller who against all odds found a voice.
274 For the choice Veronica Guerin made.
275 For Martin Luther King who stayed just long enough to share a dream with us.
276 This is for that day on the bus for sister Rosa Parks.
277 This for the Joan of Arcs who believe even in the face of sparks becoming flame.
278 The political game that Louis Riel refused to play.
279 This is for the day the Dalai Lama finally goes home.
280 For Dr. Jeffrey Wigand who alone stared down big tobacco.
281 For Nelson Mandela who continues to go the extra mile.
282 This is for the trial that finally found a man guilty of shooting Medger Evers dead.
283 This is for everything Malcolm X said,
284 remembered by athletes who left the Olympics double-fisted.
285 For Arthur Miller, blacklisted for calling a witch hunt what it was.
286 For Galileo locked up because he said the earth was round.
287 For the Two Live crew who found the sound that got them banned in the USA.
288 And imagine if we could still hear John Lennon play.
289 This is for the someone who stood up today and said, “No!”.
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290 For Edward R. Murrow who shut down McCarthy.
291 For Salmon Rushdie, Mahatma Ghandi,
292 You, me, this city, this country.
293 We will always have a choice.
294 When you stand up to be counted.
295 Tell the world, “This is my voice. There are many like it, but this one is mine”.
296 END OF POEM
298 As supplementary information, this is the “U. S. Military’s Rifleman’s Creed” which inspired the poet.
300 This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
302 My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
304 My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot
305 straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...
307 My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or
308 the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...
310 My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its
311 weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and
312 ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
314 Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters
315 of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
317 So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!
319 Chef José Andrés Interview on “60 Minutes” (excerpts)
320 (CBS) Jose Andres calls himself a pilgrim from Spain - a chef who arrived in the United States
321 20 years ago with just $50 in his pocket and a set of cooking knives. But these days it's hard to
322 call him anything less than an amazing American success story. He was GQ magazine's chef of
323 the year, runs restaurants on both coasts and has been nominated for outstanding chef in America
324 by the James Beard Foundation.
326 Andres' personality is enormous, as are his plans to charm America into changing its eating
327 habits. But it's his avant-garde approach to cooking that has really made him famous, and has his
328 diners rethinking how much fun food can be.
329 "Eating has to be fun, has to be a social event, but where you have fun that you are relaxed. But
330 at the same time that you are relaxed, doesn't mean that you cannot be putting a lot of thought
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331 behind what eating, what the food means to you," Andres told correspondent Anderson
334 "Minibar is a window into creativity, that's all," Andres added, laughing.
336 Jose Andres' "minibar" is a kind of culinary laboratory in Washington D.C. where Cooper was
337 lucky enough to skip a month-long waiting list for one of just six seats.
339 He got the first course and the first surprise: a temperature layered cocktail.
341 "This is what we call the drink by the chef," Andres explained. "A cocktail can be made by the
342 bartender. But the cocktail also can be made by the chef."
344 "It's great. It's hot but it's cold. There's cold underneath it," Cooper observed.
346 "Already your taste buds are already being excited because they are asking themselves, 'What's
347 happening here?'" Andres said.
349 What's happening here is "molecular gastronomy" - a cooking technique that embraces science
350 and technology. Andres says his 30-course menu is as much about the brain and the eye as the
351 tongue and stomach.
353 Listen to his explanation of "the air" floating on top of caviar brioche: "It's like if you are
354 walking in Fifth Avenue and you could open your mouth and right there in the middle of Fifth
355 Avenue you would have that flavor in your mouth, that's what air is all about."
357 Then there was what appeared to be a miniature ice cream cone, with salmon roe "bubbling" out.
359 "Bagel and lox. Inside has cream cheese and instead of the smoke salmon has salmon roe,"
360 Andres explained.
362 Dishes are a bite or two with some complicated combinations. For example, Cooper wondered
363 why there was cotton candy wrapped around seafood.
365 "Cotton candy is the most amazing form of caramelization ever invented by man. You're gonna
366 love it. It's going to be sweet and the smokiness of the eel," Andres explained.
368 Andres dishes are cutting edge, so what he thinks about ingredients may surprise you.
370 "I believe the future is vegetables and fruits. They are so much more sexier than a piece of
371 chicken," Andres said.
373 "You find vegetables and fruits sexy?" Cooper asked.
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375 "Unbelievably sexy," Andres replied, laughing. "Come on, think about it for a second, okay?
376 Let's compare a chicken breast, the best chicken breast from the best farm with a beautiful
377 pineapple. Cut the pineapple, already the aromas are inundating the entire kitchen. Acidity. Sour
378 after notes, touches of passion fruit."
380 "All right. You're makin' me excited," Cooper said.
382 The chef told Cooper he thinks meat is overrated. "Well, meat to me, it's slightly boring. Hold
383 on, I love meat too but only once in a while. You get a piece of meat and you put it in your
384 mouth, you chew, the first five seconds, all the juices flow around your mouth, they're gone, and
385 then you are 20 more seconds chewing something that is tasteless at this point. Something like
386 this doesn't happen with a pineapple, an asparagus, or a green pea," he explained.
387 Jim Carrey Interview - Inside the Actors’ Studio
389 (Transcribed and edited)
391 James Lipton explained that it is a very significant anniversary, as he has been asking Jim Carrey to join
392 him on Inside The Actor’s Studio for the past 17 years.
394 After the intro, Carrey raced out and proceeded to race around the stage, disappearing for several
395 moments and then reappearing in the rafters.
397 After seating himself to the right of Lipton, Carrey took a sip from his own tall glass, filled with a golden
398 substance. The first words of Jim Carrey on Inside The Actor’s Studio:
400 “I drink my own urine, constituted of my own energy source!”
402 Carrey discussed his reasons for not coming on the show. He explained that it wasn’t some difficult actor
403 move as some had speculated, but rather was greatly in part to his shyness.
407 After being forced to work late-night factory shifts as a teen to help support his family, Carrey left school
408 on his 16th birthday.
410 “I went immediately to Yuk Yuks. The experience did not go well. Anyone that has a devastating
411 experience, and people tell you it’s over…[he becomes emotional and very firm] it is never true.”
413 He didn’t go back to doing standup for two years, and then:
415 “The same thing happened to me at The Comedy Store. [impersonating nay-sayers] ‘Career’s over!’”
417 “Two years after that, I returned and hit it big.”
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419 The subject was brought up about making it as a successful Canadian comic within Canada, and what
420 happened next in his career as a result. Lipton raised the question of what exactly happens when a
421 Canadian reaches the top in his or her homeland.
423 Carrey discussed the “triumph of Canadian comedy”. In a commanding voice, Carrey pointed and
424 declared, “Go to the Americas!” He began to riff, portraying some Canadian Comics disguised as tourists,
425 but attempting to sneak in. “We’re [just] going to see the falls!” as he made shifty eyes.
427 Lipton commented on the tremendous amount of talented comedians that have come from Canada. Carrey
428 responded, “There’s talent EVERYWHERE! Borders have nothing to do with it. [applause] We’re one
429 big country club…it’s one big house.”
431 His dual citizenship was discussed. Carrey joked about how he’s spreading himself around the world:
433 “…women everywhere…babies…cuz it’s just too much money to leave to one person – she’d go
436 Carrey discussed a six-month period when he was in Vegas. He decided to not repeat any of his material,
437 and go onstage without preparation, as a means of toughening himself up artistically:
439 “I called it ‘performance art’ ‘cause it just wasn’t funny yet! I drove out half of the audience every night!”
441 With a laugh, Carrey recalled Rodney Dangerfield coming up to him after one performance during this
444 [as Dangerfield] “MAN! They’re lookin’ at you like you’re from another fuckin’ PLANET!”
446 During this period, Carrey said his performances were so bad, that audiences actually got into fights with
447 him onstage.
449 Before so many shows, “I’d be staring up at a light bulb, sweating, saying, ‘What am I doing?’ I never
450 wanted to repeat my material. Comics would come up to me saying, ‘I’ll take it [your old material] if
451 you’re not going to use it!’ Chairs would fly at me.”
453 He was up there feeling, “this is uncomfortable for me!” but he stuck to it. “In Living Color came from
454 that experimentation.”
456 IN LIVING COLOR:
458 “Damon Wayans added me to the auditions. I was in a hallway with 400 people. The first time I met
459 Keenan Ivory Wayans, I mocked an assassination attempt on his life. He loved it.” [Carrey did the same
460 “assassination attempt” impression as he does during the ‘Hollywood Bowl’ scene in the film Yes Man.]
462 On a sketch that didn’t make the cut:
464 “There was one with an anti-abortionist ventriloquist and a fetus puppet, doing a back and forth… a
465 struggle for life!
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467 [Ventriloquist] ‘Well you don’t LOOK human!’
469 [Puppet] ‘Give me a couple months!’
471 Then the ventriloquist gets out a hanger and the puppet freaks out. Then the ventriloquist goes, ‘HEY!
472 I’m just hanging my coat up!’”
474 ACE VENTURA:
476 While filming:
478 “Tom Shadyac and I thought, ‘We’re going to end our careers! But what a great time we’re having!’”
480 “It was a lot of improvisation. Trying to make fun of the guy that has all the answers, the leading man…I
481 like to make fun of ego”
483 After the success:
485 Carrey had dinner with Anthony Hopkins [since people would “take his calls”, after his becoming
488 “During that conversation, I learned that Anthony Hopkins’s [characterization] method was the same for
489 Hannibal Lecter as it had been for me with Ace. Ace was based on a bird [bird walk, even the hairstyle
490 was based on a cockatoo]. Hannibal was based on a tarantula.”
492 THE MASK:
494 JL: Is Stanley Ipkiss based on anyone?
496 JC: Not really. [After some thought, Carrey suggested that Stanley] “was me, without the flamboyant”
497 characters he typically plays.
499 “For Stanley, I was in a good place to play the role. I struggle with trying to fit any one [acting] method
500 into all situations. The choices you make….things don’t have to be real! It just has to be art. Picasso
501 turned things upside down. If the effect is real, it’s real. How can I make this abstract? Learn as much as
502 you can learn and use all of that stuff. Don’t have a thought director. It’s fun to experiment with that.
503 There’s a bajillion ways to do things.”
505 DUMB AND DUMBER:
507 On the Farrelly Brothers:
509 “It’s like they’re going from school [on the set]. You laugh your guts out. It’s really fun.”
511 On Jeff Daniels:
513 “Jeff Daniels was an essential part of the movie. He gave it credibility. We were auditioning comedians
514 that were trying more to ‘score’ than to ‘commit’. He was alive and a real person.”
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516 THE TRUMAN SHOW:
518 “It was one of the first scripts that was the answer to my affirmations. I didn’t live [the themes in the film]
519 until years later. The lesson of Truman came back to me. It really has come to be [intense public scrutiny
520 with the paparazzi, reality shows, etc.]. To risk popularity and people’s acceptance to do something that’s
521 meaningful, you have to divorce yourself from what others expect for you and it’s always worthwhile
522 making that journey.
524 “‘Good Afternoon, Good Evening and Goodnight’ was inspired by something my dad would always say.
525 My dad was deaf in one ear and he would always say things before he left, to make sure everyone was
526 going to be alright.”
528 MAN ON THE MOON:
530 JL: Did you ever take a break from the Andy character during the filming of Man on the Moon?
532 JC: I would be him all day through bedtime, with the only exception being the weekends when I’d be
533 with my daughter.
535 On the origins and experience of his Andy Kaufman character development:
537 “I was [in Malibu] having coffee, asking myself: Where would he be? Who would he be? If he was alive
538 – where is he NOW? Then the answer/thought came to me: Speaking telepathically. And at that exact
539 moment, thirty dolphins surfaced.”
541 Carrey followed this experience by only “talking telepathically to people”. It was “a fascinating
542 thing…they [the cast and crew] didn’t know what to do with themselves!”
544 Carrey recalled that at one point a man was brought in to prepare him for an upcoming shoot with a conga
545 lesson, during this “telepathic” stage. The teacher inquired how Carrey would like to play a tune with
546 Carrey’s response being, of course, strictly telepathic. He demonstrated his intense gaze in response to the
547 instructor to the audience.
549 His telepathic experimentation both on and off the set, “made people focus on me, made us close, it was
552 He commented that people listened better as they had no choice and were more trusting of their instincts
553 and intuition, etc.
555 Carrey has documentary footage from this experience that he hopes to release one day
557 JL: Was there a REAL Andy Kaufman?
559 JC: Of course! He couldn’t get his father to accept him. To do Latka, he wore his father’s sport coat to try
560 to get someone to love him. His father loved his brother more…I looked at that first. I went to his grave
561 site with his sister, Carol.
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563 ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND:
565 “I was going through a terribly broken heart at the time.”
567 Carrey did an impression of ESOTSM director Michel Gondry commenting on Carrey’s emotional state
568 at the time.
570 “[With a thick French accent]: OH! You are MAGNIFICENT! You are TOTALLY destroyed! This is
573 Carrey added that Gondry directed him to try to find a pocket of misery and hide in it.
575 “I chose to hide from the camera…[as if] to not be seen.”
577 “For Eternal Sunshine, I opened up the wound. Michel Gondry was casting people in the film to look like
578 my ex-girlfriend. Ellen Pompeo was cut out of the film. She looked like my ex.”
580 Carrey comments that he was very sorry to see Pompeo’s scenes cut, but was very happy for her when she
581 got her big break shortly after.
583 BRUCE ALMIGHTY:
585 On working with Morgan Freeman:
587 “I never take for granted working with good people. They bring you to life”
589 Carrey adds that working with Freeman created a “creative, fun atmosphere”.
591 THE NUMBER 23:
593 “The Fingerling character was so much fun, to be that guy. The tattoo – girls like ‘em!”
595 I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS:
597 “I didn’t know what to make of the character…. What struck me was the relentlessness when it comes to
600 On his approach for ILYPM and a suggestion he offers the acting students:
602 He cited the Anagrams book as being good for offering perspective [possibly referring to ANAGRAMS
603 by Lorrie Moore], as it zeroes in on where different character types are incorporated from. We all start out
604 with a false belief about ourselves, and whatever your mistaken belief about yourself is, you form a
605 personality based on that. Essentially, believing that “I have to be this, to get that” and you form a
606 character around that.”
608 On the subject of his exploration of love and relationships for the film, including the film’s theme of
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611 “A person wants to make themselves magical…some way [to become attractive and to attract]. Love
612 becomes intense when you have no sense of self.”
614 His reaction when Ewan McGregor signed on to play Phillip Morris:
616 “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
618 “Great lay, by the way! [begins to riff on this]…He changed my WHOLE world!…I’m a Scorpio, he’s a
621 On getting to the place he needed to be to embody his character’s feelings for McGregor’s character/for
622 the romantic relationship:
624 “This is an energy that I need…someone I want to protect…someone I want to make feel safe.”
626 JL: What did you want to be when you grew up?
628 JC: Like most every Catholic boy, I wanted to be Jesus…
630 JL: And now?
632 JC: Kanye West is already doing that.
634 He also pointed out that having such a goal is all about achieving “authenticity” which unfortunately
635 “comes with DEATH”! So that also changed his mind about this early aspiration.
638 On what gives him the courage to take risks:
640 JC: My father. He was a saxophone player. He gave up his dream for a ‘safe job’. I’ve been fueled by this
641 knowledge that there is no safe job, no safe anything. The only thing to regret [in life] is ‘I didn’t take the
642 risk.’ Fail at something you LOVE!
645 JL: Is your gift genetic?
647 JC: I remembered seeing my father thinking – That’s the way to operate in the world!
650 “We all have an amazing magic inside of all of us, and the difference [between those whose gifts develop
651 and those that don’t] are those of us that believe in that [gift], recognize it, that think about and [tap into]
652 that energy.”
655 For each film, his approach to developing his character varies. Carrey illustrates his approach to Man on
656 the Moon and how his “transformation” was a gradual process. In the months leading up to shooting, he
657 gives this example:
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659 “Right before Man on the Moon, when I was hanging out with Nicholas Cage, he was like, ‘What’s going
660 on with your eyes, man? You look different.’”
663 Carrey discusses the aspect of himself being shy, and how creating outrageous characters such as Ace
664 Ventura has offered him the opportunity to step out of his naturally quiet and introspective self. Acting
665 can often be an expression “to be something you’re trying to be in real life.”
667 He illustrates this, giving an example of something we’ve all experiences at one time or another: a bully
668 says something horrible to you and then you beat yourself up for hours because you didn’t have an
669 incredible comeback. Far worse, when you finally come up with that perfect comeback in your mind, it’s
670 too late. Acting gives an artist all the ingredients to live out their wildest fantasies. You get “…all of the
671 comebacks in the world! [You get] to live vicariously through these characters.”
674 He discusses the importance of commitment to character, to make “conflict as real as possible, so our
675 physical being will react organically.” He discusses the philosophy of “There is no self – that thoughts
676 aren’t real” in reference to Eckhart Tolle’s teachings applied to this aspect of creating his characters.
678 He makes reference to Eckhart Tolle and his teachings throughout he interview.
680 [Ed. Note: For more of Carrey’s thoughts on Tolle, this video is a good start. ]
683 On the subject of certain roles being expected of him and of people trying to label him:
685 ”I’ve always done everything I could not to be known completely.”
688 On what’s at the heart of all of the work he engages in:
690 The greatest jobs in the world stem from service and always come back to that every time and again –
691 “How can I be of service?”
694 He recounts the story about when Paramount Pictures got created an anniversary photo with their biggest
695 stars, where Tom Cruise jokingly turned up to him during the shoot and said “How’d YOU get here?” and
696 Carrey replied, “I had a sick mom”.
699 Carrey then discussed how his childhood revolved around ways to try and make his mom and family
700 happy through laughter. He would sit in his room pondering life’s deep questions and how he could
701 alleviate the suffering in his world. Pondering how he could be of service “on a more massive level” only
702 grew as he aged.
705 Carrey studied The Meisner Technique with Jeff Goldblum. Carrey does an impression of Goldblum, and
706 then recalls a time when Goldblum was teaching in the valley and invited Carrey and Damon Wayans to
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707 take one of his courses. “Damon got kicked out after two days because he was laughing at people’s pain!”
708 Carrey explained that Wayans grew up in a tough neighborhood where people didn’t share their feelings,
709 cry, etc.
712 Carrey was very strong in his stance on the cookie-cutter nature of films today and the fear by the
713 industry to take risks:
715 “STOP SHAVING THE EDGES OFF! The edges are what makes them interesting!”
717 Carrey used an analogy to the effect of that the same people that look at car accident wreckage are the
718 same ones that say that they are uncomfortable watching certain film scenes – as if they’d never looked at
719 a gruesome sight in their life, as if they didn’t have that very human quality of having curiosity. He points
720 out that one of the whole points of art is to “express life truthfully”. “We go to the movies to see the edges
721 we can’t see in real life. It’s important NOT to take the rough stuff away.”
724 On the variety of his choices and the types of films he pursues:
726 JC: I feel lucky. I enjoy throwing the hounds off the trail. I feel that it’s the same way that I paint. I want
727 to tell a wide range of stories. I still haven’t done what I need/want to do.
729 JL: What do you want to do?
731 JC: Explode into a ball of light!
734 On what he needs in scenes when he is performing comedy:
736 There’s an importance for people around me to be really real. There has to be a HUGE smile behind your
737 character. Every part is different. Get frustrated with the idea [about what your character is going to be,
738 and give it time].
741 On what he needs from a director:
743 “Tight, open collaboration. Someone coming with ideas and knowing what they do. Never someone who
744 doesn’t collaborate and also [jokes] KEEP TELLING ME THAT I’M AMAZING!!!”
746 Carrey discussed the fun psychology game/exercise he created and would play with his three close friends
747 (he’s discussed this in previous interviews). He would “take away everyone’s main mode of operating”,
748 and the four would try to follow these rules during their duration of hanging out together:
750 -The friend that always solved the problems “couldn’t have all of the answers”
752 -The director friend “couldn’t direct”
754 -The famous actor “couldn’t talk about himself”
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757 “My shyness makes me uncomfortable. It’s hard to be THIS watched.”
760 Carrey added that he makes a point of it to challenge his shyness by continuously to put himself out there.
761 He gave recent examples, such as doing this Actor’s Studio interview and hosting Saturday Night Live on
762 Jan. 8.
765 On facing his nerves:
767 “I’m not ever sure where the energy’s going to come from…I have to do so without thinking…say
768 “YES!” and it will all turn out alright.”
770 He mentions that there are “certain people he’d be thrilled to meet”, including Al Pacino “I’m still a fan”.
771 He comments that he would love to work with him one day.
773 On how he balances his spirituality with his work:
775 “If I find peace, will I still be motivated to create? There is a certain aspect to being an artist where you
776 are forced to create from desperation. You really have to love creating ‘cause you suffer for it. Spirituality
777 comes from having compassion for who you play. It’s been an urge to do something transcendent…
778 extraordinary while you’re here. Spirituality is the same kind of thing. I have surrendered to the fact to
779 believe in my thoughts and feelings.”
781 On what he focuses on during discouraging times?
783 JC: I have an insane belief in my own ability to manifest things. I believe every moment and everything
784 you go through you can turn your life like THAT by deciding how it’s going to be…and it HAPPENS
785 IMMEDIATELY. And the only time it goes awry is when I forget… depression, [etc.]. Explore being
786 conscious and conscious awareness…the study of consciousness. The idea that it’s a garden of ice
787 sculptures [we’re each other’s reflection]… we’re all connected… you are feeling what I’m feeling and
788 we know things we don’t even know we know.
790 Lecture by Professor Michael Sandel
791 This is a course about Justice and we begin with a story suppose you're the driver of a trolley car,
792 and your trolley car is hurdling down the track at sixty miles an hour and at the end of the track
793 you notice five workers working on the track you tried to stop but you can't your brakes don't
794 work you feel desperate because you know that if you crash into these five workers they will all
795 die. Let's assume you know that for sure and so you feel helpless until you notice that there is off
796 to the right a side track at the end of that track there's one worker working on track you're
797 steering wheel works so you can turn the trolley car if you want to onto this side track killing the
798 one but sparing the five. Here's our first question, "What's the right thing to do?" What would
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799 you do? Let's take a poll, how many would turn the trolley car onto the side track? How many
800 wouldn't? How many would go straight ahead? Keep your hands up, those of you who'd go
801 straight ahead. A handful of people would, the vast majority would turn. Let's hear first now we
802 need to begin to investigate the reasons why you think it's the right thing to do. Let's begin with
803 those in the majority, who would turn to go onto side track? Why would you do it, what would
804 be your reason? Who's willing to volunteer a reason? Go ahead, stand up.
805 Because it can't be right to kill five people when you can only kill one person instead. It wouldn't
806 be right to kill five if you could kill one person instead. That's a good reason. That's a good
807 reason. Who else? Does everybody agree with that reason? Go ahead. Well I was thinking it was
808 the same reason it was on 9/11 we regard the people who flew the plane who flew the plane into
809 the Pennsylvania field as heroes because they chose to kill the people on the plane and not kill
810 more people in big buildings. So the principle there was the same on 9/11 it's tragic
811 circumstance, but better to kill one so that five can live is that the reason most of you have, those
812 of you who would turn, yes? Let's hear now from those in the minority those who wouldn't turn.
813 Well I think that same type of mentality that justifies genocide and totalitarianism in order to
814 save one type of race you wipe out the other. so what would you do in this case? You would to
815 avoid the horrors of genocide you would crash into the five and kill them? Presumably yes. Okay
816 who else? That's a brave answer, thank you. Let's consider another trolley car case and see
817 whether those of you in the majority want to adhere to the principle, better that one should die so
818 that five should live.
819 This time you're not the driver of the trolley car, you're an onlooker standing on a bridge
820 overlooking a trolley car track and down the track comes a trolley car at the end of the track are
821 five workers the brakes don't work the trolley car is about to careen into the five and kill them
822 and now you're not the driver you really feel helpless until you notice standing next to you
823 leaning over the bridge is it very fat man. And you could give him a shove he would fall over the
824 bridge onto the track right in the way of the trolley car he would die but he would spare the five.
825 Now, how many would push the fat man over the bridge? Raise your hand. How many wouldn't?
826 Most people wouldn't. Here's the obvious question, what became of the principle better to save
827 five lives even if it means sacrificing one? What became of the principle that almost everyone
828 endorsed in the first case? I need to hear from someone who was in the majority in both cases is
829 how do you explain the difference between the two?
830 The second one, I guess, involves an active choice of pushing a person and down which I guess
831 that that person himself would otherwise not have been involved in the situation at all and so to
832 choose on his behalf I guess to involve him in something that he otherwise would have this
833 escaped is I guess more than what you have in the first case where the three parties, the driver
834 and the two sets of workers are already, I guess, in this situation. But the guy working, the one
835 on the track off to the side he didn't choose to sacrifice his life any more than the fat guy did, did
836 he? That's true, but he was on the tracks. This guy was on the bridge. Go ahead, you can come
837 back if you want. Alright, it's a hard question but you did well you did very well it's a hard
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838 question. Who else can find a way of reconciling the reaction of the majority in these two cases?
840 Well I guess in the first case where you have the one worker and the five it's a choice between
841 those two, and you have to make a certain choice and people are going to die because of the
842 trolley car not necessarily because of your direct actions. The trolley car is a runway, thing and
843 you need to make in a split second choice whereas pushing the fat man over is an actual act of
844 murder on your part you have control over that whereas you may not have control over the
845 trolley car. So I think that it's a slightly different situation. Alright who has a reply? Is that, who
846 has a reply to that? No. That was good, who has a way who wants to reply? Is that a way out of
847 this? I don't think that's a very good reason because you choose either way you have to choose
848 who dies because you either choose to turn and kill a person which is an act of conscious thought
849 to turn, or you choose to push the fat man over which is also an active conscious action so either
850 way you're making a choice. Do you want to reply? Well I'm not really sure that that's the case, it
851 just still seems kind of different, the act of actually pushing someone over onto the tracks and
852 killing them, you are actually killing him yourself, you're pushing him with your own hands
853 you're pushing and that's different than steering something that is going to cause death into
854 another...you know it doesn't really sound right saying it now when I'm up here. No that's good,
855 what's your name? Andrew. Andrew and let me ask you this question Andrew, suppose standing
856 on the bridge next to the fat man I didn't have to push him, suppose he was standing over a trap
857 door that I could open by turning a steering wheel like that would you turn it?
858 For some reason that still just seems more more wrong. I mean maybe if you just accidentally
859 like leaned into this steering wheel or something like that or but, or say that the car is hurdling
860 towards a switch that will drop the trap then I could agree with that. Fair enough, it still seems
861 wrong in a way that it doesn't seem wrong in the first case to turn, you say An in another way, I
862 mean in the first situation you're involved directly with the situation in the second one you're an
863 onlooker as well. So you have the choice of becoming involved or not by pushing the fat man.
864 Let's forget for the moment about this case.
865 That's good, but let's imagine a different case. This time your doctor in an emergency room and
866 six patients come to you they've been in a terrible trolley car wreck five of them sustained
867 moderate injuries one is severely injured you could spend all day caring for the one severely
868 injured victim, but in that time the five would die, or you could look after the five, restore them
869 to health, but during that time the one severely injured person would die. How many would save
870 the five now as the doctor? ow many would save the one? Very few people, just a handful of
871 people. Same reason I assume, one life versus five. Now consider another doctor case this time
872 you're a transplant surgeon and you have five patients each in desperate need of an organ
873 transplant in order to survive on needs a heart one a lung, one a kidney, one a liver and the fifth a
874 pancreas. And you have no organ donors you are about to see you them die and then it occurs to
875 you that in the next room here's a healthy guy who came in for a checkup. and he is
876 you like that and he's taking a nap you could go in very quietly yank out the five organs, that
877 person would die but you can save the five. How many would do it? Anyone? How many? Put
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878 your hands up if you would do it. Anyone in the balcony? You would? Be careful don't lean over
879 too much. How many wouldn't? All right. What do you say, speak up in the balcony, you who
880 would yank out the organs, why? I'd actually like to explore slightly alternate possibility of just
881 taking the one of the five he needs an organ who dies first and using their four healthy organs to
882 save the other four. That's a pretty good idea. That's a great idea except for the fact that you just
883 wrecked the philosophical point.
884 Let's step back from these stories and these arguments to notice a couple of things about the way
885 the arguments have began to unfold. Certain moral principles have already begun to emerge from
886 the discussions we've had and let's consider what those moral principles look like. The first
887 moral principle that emerged from the discussion said that the right thing to do the moral thing to
888 do depends on the consequences that will result from your action. At the end of the day better
889 that five should live even if one must die. That's an example of consequentialist moral reasoning.
890 Consequentialist moral reasoning locates morality in the consequences of an act. In the state of
891 the world that will result from the thing you do but then we went a little further, we considered
892 those other cases and people weren't so sure about consequentialist moral reasoning when people
893 hesitated to push the fat man over the bridge or to yank out the organs of the innocent patient
894 people gestured towards reasons having to do with the intrinsic quality of the act itself.
895 Consequences be what they may. People were reluctant people thought it was just wrong
896 categorically wrong to kill a person an innocent person even for the sake of saving five lives, at
897 least these people thought that in the second version of each story we reconsidered.
898 So this points a second categorical way of thinking about moral reasoning categorical moral
899 reasoning locates morality in certain absolute moral requirements in certain categorical duties
900 and rights regardless of the consequences. We're going to explore in the days and weeks to come
901 the contrast between consequentialist and categorical moral principles. The most influential
902 example of
903 consequential moral reasoning is utilitarianism, a doctrine invented by Jeremy Bentham, the
904 eighteenth century English political philosopher. The most important philosopher of categorical
905 moral reasoning is the eighteenth century German philosopher Emmanuel Kant. So we will look
906 at those two different modes of moral reasoning assess them and also consider others.
907 If you look at the syllabus, you'll notice that we read a number of great and famous books. Books
908 by Aristotle John Locke Emanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and others. You'll notice too from the
909 syllabus that we don't only read these books, we also all take up contemporary political and legal
910 controversies that raise philosophical questions. We will debate equality and inequality,
911 affirmative action, free speech versus hate speech, same sex marriage, military conscription, a
912 range of practical questions, why not just to enliven these abstract and distant books but to make
913 clear to bring out what's at stake in our everyday lives including our political lives, for
914 philosophy. So we will read these books and we will debate these issues and we'll see how each
915 informs and illuminates the other. This may sound appealing enough but here I have to issue a
916 warning, and the warning is this to read these books in this way, as an exercise in self-
917 knowledge, to read them in this way carry certain risks; risks that are both personal and political,
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918 risks that every student of political philosophy has known. These risks spring from that fact that
919 philosophy teaches us and unsettles us by confronting us with what we already know.
920 There's an irony. The difficulty of this course consists in the fact that it teaches what you already
921 know. It works by taking what we know from familiar unquestioned settings, and making it
922 strange. That's how those examples worked worked the hypotheticals with which we began with
923 their mix of playfulness and sobriety. it's also how these philosophical books work. Philosophy
924 estranges us from the familiar not by supplying new information but by inviting and provoking a
925 new way of seeing but, and here's the risk, once the familiar turns strange, it's never quite the
926 same again. Self-knowledge is like lost innocence, however unsettling you find it, it can never be
927 unthought or unknown. What makes this enterprise difficult but also riveting, is that moral and
928 political philosophy is a story and you don't know where this story will lead but what you do
929 know is that the story is about you.
930 Those are the personal risks, now what of the political risks. one way of introducing of course
931 like this would be to promise you that by reading these books and debating these issues you will
932 become a better more responsible citizen. You will examine the presuppositions of public policy,
933 you will hone your political judgment you'll become a more effective participant in public affairs
934 but this would be a partial and misleading promise political philosophy for the most part hasn't
935 worked that way. You have to allow for the possibility that political philosophy may make you a
936 worse citizen rather than a better one or at least a worse citizen before it makes you a better one
937 and that's because philosophy is a distancing even debilitating activity
940 Commencement Speech, Stanford University 2005 by Steve
943 I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in
944 the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a
945 college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just
946 three stories.
947 The first story is about connecting the dots.
948 I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for
949 another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
950 It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student,
951 and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by
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952 college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his
953 wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.
954 So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have
955 an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later
956 found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never
957 graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a
958 few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
959 And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive
960 as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition.
961 After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and
962 no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the
963 money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all
964 work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I
965 ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest
966 me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
967 It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I
968 returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across
969 town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it.
970 And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be
971 priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
972 Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country.
973 Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand
974 calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to
975 take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces,
976 about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great
977 typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't
978 capture, and I found it fascinating.
979 None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we
980 were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into
981 the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that
982 single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally
983 spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer
984 would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy
985 class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course
986 it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very,
987 very clear looking backwards ten years later.
988 Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking
989 backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to
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990 trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me
991 down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
992 My second story is about love and loss.
993 I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents
994 garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us
995 in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest
996 creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How
997 can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I
998 thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went
999 well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out.
1000 When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out.
1001 What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
1002 I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of
1003 entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David
1004 Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public
1005 failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to
1006 dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit.
1007 I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
1008 I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could
1009 have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of
1010 being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative
1011 periods of my life.
1012 During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar,
1013 and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the
1014 worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation
1015 studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and
1016 the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And
1017 Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
1018 I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful
1019 tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a
1020 brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what
1021 I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.
1022 Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do
1023 what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you
1024 haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when
1025 you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So
1026 keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
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1027 My third story is about death.
1028 When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your
1029 last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for
1030 the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the
1031 last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer
1032 has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
1033 Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me
1034 make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all
1035 fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only
1036 what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid
1037 the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to
1038 follow your heart.
1039 About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly
1040 showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me
1041 this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no
1042 longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order,
1043 which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought
1044 you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything
1045 is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your
1047 I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an
1048 endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my
1049 pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me
1050 that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned
1051 out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and
1052 I'm fine now.
1053 This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more
1054 decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when
1055 death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
1056 No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And
1057 yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be,
1058 because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears
1059 out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from
1060 now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is
1061 quite true.
1062 Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma —
1063 which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions
Page 26 of 44
1064 drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and
1065 intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is
1067 When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which
1068 was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far
1069 from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late
1070 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters,
1071 scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before
1072 Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
1073 Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had
1074 run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back
1075 cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might
1076 find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay
1077 Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay
1078 Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I
1079 wish that for you.
1080 Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
1081 Thank you all very much.
1083 The Botany of Desire (transcript of PBS broadcast) by
1084 Michael Pollan
1086 Narrator: THEY ARE FOUR OF THE MOST COMMON PLANTS WE KNOW. WE’VE
1087 ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT WE CONTROLLED THEM. BUT WHAT IF, IN FACT, THEY
1088 HAVE BEEN SHAPING US?
1090 Michael Pollan We don't give nearly enough credit to plants. They've been working on us,
1091 they've been using us for their own purposes.
1093 Narrator: FOUR PLANTS THAT HAVE TRAVELED THE ROAD TO SUCCESS…BY
1094 SATISFYING HUMAN DESIRES.
1096 Michael Pollan: The tulip, by gratifying our desire for a certain kind of beauty, has gotten us to
1097 take it from its origins in Central Asia and disperse it around the world. Marijuana, by gratifying
Page 27 of 44
1098 our desire to change consciousness, has gotten people to risk their lives, their freedom, in order
1099 to grow more of it and plant more of it. The potato, by gratifying our desire for control, control
1100 over nature so that we can feed ourselves has gotten itself out of South America and expanded its
1101 range far beyond where it was 500 years ago. And the apple, by gratifying our desire for
1102 sweetness begins in the forests of Kazakhstan and is now the universal fruit. These are great
1103 winners in the dance of domestication.
1105 Narrator: A LOOK AT NATURE THE WAY YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE – WITH
1106 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR MICHAEL POLLAN.
1108 Michael Pollan vo: This relationship, of the plants learning how to gratify our desires and our
1109 working for them in exchange for this, is what I call the Botany of Desire.
1111 Michael Pollan: It was that very special week in May when the apple trees are in spectacular
1112 bloom and they're just vibrating with the attention of bees. And I was planting potatoes. Making
1113 my little rows and putting in my chunks. and the bees were working above me. and it occurred to
1114 me. You know, what did I have in common with those bees? And when you think about it, um,
1115 quite a bit. The bee assumes it's getting the best of this deal with the apple blossom. It's breaking
1116 in, it's getting the, getting the nectar, and has no idea that it's picked up this pollen on its, on the
1117 hairs of its thighs and it's transporting it to another tree, in the garden or down the street or
1118 halfway around the world. So for the bee to think it's in charge of this relationship is, is really
1119 just a failure of bee imagination. And I realized I had the same failure of imagination - I was
1120 working for these potatoes, in some sense. I was planting them; I was giving them a little bit
1121 more habitat than they had before. And yet I thought that I was kind of calling the shots. So that's
1122 when I had this thought that, wouldn't it be interesting to look at our relationship to domesticated
1123 plants from the plant's point of view.
1125 Of course, plants don’t have consciousness or intention but the act of using our consciousness to
1126 put ourselves in their roots or shoes or whatever, helps us to see things from their vantage point.
1127 And when you do that, nature suddenly looks very different. We realize we're in the web of
1128 nature, not standing outside it. These plants are mirrors in which we can see ourselves in a
1129 slightly different way. And as much as this is a story about plants, it's a story about human
1132 Brian: Good morning. My name is Brian. Welcome to Poverty Lane Orchards. First thing we’re
1133 gonna do is we’re gonna head up into the orchard and when we get up there I want to tell you a
1134 little bit about the apples and the trees and how to pick apples…
Page 28 of 44
1136 Narrator: FOR CHILDREN IN NEW ENGLAND, IT’S AN AUTUMN RITUAL-- AN APPLE
1137 PICKING EXPEDITION TO THE LOCAL ORCHARD.
1139 Brian off-screen: OK when you guys are picking the apples, you want to pick out nice ripe
1140 apples, and the way to tell the ripe ones is they’re red… BUT THESE CHILDREN MIGHT
1141 NEVER HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO TASTE APPLES, HAD THE APPLE NOT FOUND A
1142 WAY TO GET US TO DO ITS BIDDING. THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, THE APPLE
1143 PUT US TO WORK – TRANSPORTING ITS GENES FROM ITS NATIVE GROUND IN
1144 CENTRAL ASIA TO THE FAR CORNERS OF THE EARTH.
1146 Michael Pollan: For a plant to do that, it has to be awfully enterprising, willing to adapt to a
1147 great many different environments, willing to experiment with a great many different forms and
1150 Mom in scene: Is there a really good red one up there? What do you see?
1152 Michael Pollan vo: Today it’s a fruit iconic and beloved and used in a great many different
1155 Narrator: BUT THE APPLE HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN REGARDED AS THE
1156 WHOLESOME FRUIT WE THINK OF TODAY.
1158 Michael Pollan: The apple tree was the great evil plant because people took these apples and
1159 made hard cider, which was the main source of alcohol in rural America for many, many years.
1160 The strategy, the evolutionary strategy, that got it from there to here involved producing ever
1161 more sweetness.
1163 Sarah: Here’s cup four, here you go. If you think it tastes bad or yucky, I want you to give it to
1164 Oscar the Grouch. Oscar, OK. Here’s cup two. And if it tastes good, I want you to give it to Big
1165 Bird, because he likes things that taste good.
1167 Narrator: THESE CHILDREN ARE DOING TASTE TESTS - PART OF RESEARCH BEING
1168 DONE ON SWEETNESS AT THE MONELL CHEMICAL SENSES CENTER IN
1169 PHILADELPHIA. IT SPECIALIZES IN THE STUDY OF TASTE AND SMELL.
1171 Sarah: Good job, doing Great, all right. I’m going to give you another one.
Page 29 of 44
1173 Gary Beauchamp: Some of the fundamental things we've discovered are the desire for
1174 sweetness is hardwired in human beings. It’s built-in, it's innate. It's not because we feed babies
1175 high levels of sweet when they're young. It's part of their biology.
1177 Presumably our response to sweet evolved when sweet things were rare in the environment.
1178 They were there in small amounts. And our biggest problem was to make sure we got enough
1179 calories and didn’t starve to death. If a plant was sweet that meant it wasn’t bitter and poison, it
1180 meant it was reasonably high in calories because sugars are calorie-rich and so sweetness is the
1181 signal for something that's good for us.
1183 Michael Pollan: Sweetness in nature is very rare, very special. It's really limited to ripe fruit
1184 and, honey if you're willing to risk, going to a beehive. And apples are a particularly big,
1185 portable, long-lasting vessel for sweetness.
1187 Narrator: IT WAS HERE, IN THE ANCIENT FORESTS OF CENTRAL ASIA THAT OUR
1188 OWN PURSUIT OF SWEETNESS FIRST BROUGHT US INTO CONTACT WITH THE
1189 APPLE. THIS -- SCIENTISTS SAY -- IS THE APPLE’S GENETIC HOME – THE PLACE
1190 WHERE IT ORIGINATED. THESE HIGH FORESTS, IN WHAT IS NOW THE NATION OF
1191 KAZAKHSTAN, GAVE RISE TO THOUSANDS OF DIFFERENT VARIETIES – MANY OF
1192 WHICH STILL GROW HERE TODAY
1194 Frank Browning: You land in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan, and there are apple seedlings
1195 pushing up through the broken pavement. If you go up into the hills and there are thousands of
1196 different kinds of apples. Great, big, red apples that looked like large McIntosh, and you'd find
1197 these sort of knotty little green things that even a rat wouldn’t eat.
1199 Michael Pollan: To see these wild apples in all their diversity, is to realize that in these forests,
1200 this is, you know, these are God's first drafts of what an apple could be.
1202 Narrator: ONE WAY THE APPLE COULD SECURE ITS FUTURE WAS BY EXPANDING
1203 ITS HABITAT. BUT THAT’S A HARD THING TO DO IF YOU’RE A PLANT.
1205 Michael Pollan: You know the apple has the same existential predicament of any plant. It's
1206 stuck in place. It's, uh, rooted down. So you had the apple beginning its life in these Kazakh
1207 forests in Central Asia, but they would be stuck there, if not for mammals, that they evolved to
1208 appeal to. If you're a bear in a forest and you're hungry, you don't pick the little blueberry sized
1209 apples. You pick the biggest ones you can get. If you find a particularly sweet one, you're gonna
1210 eat more of that one than a sour one. And in their case they eat the whole apple and excrete the
1211 seeds and that's how apples spread their genes. And sweetness was the ticket out of that forest.
Page 30 of 44
1213 Narrator: BUT TO MOVE FARTHER THAN BEARS COULD TAKE IT, THE APPLE
1214 WOULD NEED A NEW ALLY – AND FOUND ONE IN US.
1216 Michael Pollan: Part of the apple's genius has been to insinuate itself into our culture and art and
1217 religion as well. It’s kind of a botanical Zelig. I mean, it just kind of shows up everywhere, even
1218 when it wasn't, uh, wasn’t really there.
1220 Narrator: ONE OF THE BEST KNOWN IMAGES OF PEOPLE AND APPLES TOGETHER
1221 COMES FROM THE STORY OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN.
1223 Michael Pollan vo: Though the Bible doesn't specify what the fruit is we have always imagined
1224 it to be apples. And that's because the Northern Renaissance painters, when they thought of a
1225 fruit, a desirable fruit that you would put in a garden, they immediately thought apple, but it
1226 wasn't an apple. It probably was a pomegranate, because apples don't do very well in the lands
1227 where the Bible is thought to have taken place.
1229 Narrator: ONE PLACE WHERE APPLES DID GROW WAS ANCIENT CHINA. THEY'D
1230 BEEN BROUGHT THERE FROM CENTRAL ASIA ON THE TRADE ROUTE CALLED
1231 THE SILK ROAD. THE APPLE ALSO TRAVELED WEST…REACHING EUROPE, AND
1232 EVENTUALLY, THE NEW WORLD. IN AMERICA, THE APPLE FOUND A PARTNER –
1233 SOMEONE WHOSE LOVE FOR IT WOULD BECOME THE STUFF OF LEGEND:
1234 JOHNNY APPLESEED.
1236 Animated Johnny Appleseed: The Lord is good to me And so I thank the Lord
1238 Joyce Chaplin: Behind Johnny Appleseed the myth there is a real person, John Chapman. But
1239 the myth is so powerful, so compelling, so fascinating that it has completely obscured the real
1240 person who’s behind it.
1242 Narrator: JOHN CHAPMAN WAS BORN IN 1774, IN MASSACHUSETTS. IN HIS EARLY
1243 TWENTIES, HE HEADED WEST. HE TRAVELED THROUGH THE OHIO RIVER
1244 VALLEY, WHICH WAS THEN THE AMERICAN FRONTIER, PLANTING AND SELLING
1245 APPLE TREES.
1247 Michael Pollan: He is said to have likened himself to a bee, um, that he had some sense that he
1248 like a bee was spreading these plants around.
Page 31 of 44
1250 Frank Browning: Johnny Appleseed was, not to make a terrible pun, a pretty seedy fellow, you
1251 know, traveling around often barefoot, you know in a burlap sack sometimes, sleeping in barns,
1252 but terribly engaging. People took him in and he planted the orchards, and he told them how to
1253 prune. But he was, um, he's a bum.
1255 Joyce Chaplin: This is doubly odd, uh, because he was actually fairly well off.
1257 Narrator: CHAPMAN COULD EASILY HAVE AFFORDED MUCH BETTER CLOTHES.
1258 ALL THOSE APPLE TREES HE PLANTED MADE HIM A PROSPEROUS MAN.
1260 Michael Pollan: He wasn't just sprinkling apple seeds wherever he went. He was a nurseryman.
1261 He understood that wherever the next wave of settlers would land, they would want apple trees.
1262 By law, you were required to plant some fruit., because that was a symbol you were going to stay
1263 put. So he would find a piece of land, he would clear it and he would plant apples from seeds and
1264 start a nursery a few years before the settlers got there. So by the time they showed up he had
1265 saplings for sale for a few cents apiece. It was a very good business. But when I started learning
1266 about the botany of apples suddenly there was a problem with his story. Why would he be
1267 planting them from seed?
1269 Narrator: THE MYSTERY STEMS FROM A CURIOUS FACT OF THE APPLE’S OWN
1270 BIOLOGY: ITS TASTE, AND EVEN ITS APPEARANCE, ARE RARELY PASSED ON
1271 THROUGH ITS SEEDS.
1273 Michael Pollan vo: In every apple you will find a few little seeds, each in their little chamber.
1274 Well, every one of those seeds, if planted, will produce a completely different apple, looking
1275 very little, if at all, like its parent. They tend to be sour, bitter, all these other different flavors.
1277 Narrator: THAT’S BECAUSE EACH APPLE SEED CARRIES GENES FOR A WIDE
1278 VARIETY OF TRAITS. AND THERE’S NO TELLING WHICH OF THOSE GENES WILL
1279 BE TURNED OUT WHEN THE SEED STARTS TO GROW. THERE IS, HOWEVER, A
1280 VERY SIMPLE WAY TO PERPETUATE THE TRAITS OF AN APPLE. AN ANCIENT
1281 TECHNIQUE CALLED GRAFTING. YOU TAKE A BUD FROM A TREE THAT
1282 PRODUCED FRUIT THAT YOU LIKED, AND INSERT IT INTO A YOUNG DEVELOPING
1283 TREE. THE RESULT: AN EXACT COPY – OR CLONE – OF THE APPLE YOU STARTED
1284 WITH. MANY AMERICAN SETTLERS GREW THEIR APPLES EXACTLY THAT WAY.
1285 BUT NOT JOHNNY APPLESEED.
1287 Joyce Chaplin: He tended to grow seedlings, and then just let them grow wild. He might have
1288 done this, we think, because of his religious beliefs. He was a Swedenborgian.
Page 32 of 44
1290 Narrator: THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIAN EMANUEL
1291 SWEDENBORG, PREACHED THAT THE NATURAL WORLD IS IMBUED WITH GOD’S
1294 Joyce Chaplin: Swedenborg had taught that everything that was here on earth that you could
1295 see, feel, taste, touch, had a counterpart in the spiritual world beyond. For Chapman, this seemed
1296 to indicate that he should not tamper with, all of the natural things that he could see in the world
1297 around him. And this seems to be one reason why he grows apples from their seeds and not from
1300 Narrator: WHATEVER HIS REASONS, CHAPMAN’S BOTANICAL PRACTICES GAVE
1301 THE APPLE A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO ADAPT TO A NEW ENVIRONMENT.
1303 Michael Pollan: by going back to seed, you are going back to the biodiversity of your genes. So
1304 all of those apple seeds produced hundreds of different kinds of apples with very different
1305 qualities. And so the apple, just like the Englishmen who came over, remade itself as Americans.
1307 Narrator: MOST OF THESE NEW VARIETIES – BECAUSE THEY WERE GROWN FROM
1308 SEED – TURNED OUT TO BE BITTER. BUT THE SETTLERS HAD A VERY GOOD USE
1309 FOR THEM: CIDER. HARD CIDER.
1311 Michael Pollan: Now when we use the word cider we picture something very sweet but, of
1312 course, it only stays sweet if you have refrigeration. So all the cider they made went into barrels
1313 and fermented and became what we call hard cider, alcoholic cider. So Johnny Appleseed, who
1314 we think of as the most benign, wholesome kind of character, it turns out was bringing hard
1315 drink to the, to the Frontier.
1317 Frank Browning: That's what people drank. Colonial America was terrified of water. They
1318 knew about all the diseases of water in, uh, in, in Europe, and so they didn’t drink it.
1320 Joyce Chaplin: Cider, however because it had been fermented, had killed, in the process
1321 anything that might make you ill.
1323 Michael Pollan: That was the beer of its time, the wine of its time. That's what everybody drank,
1324 and I mean everybody.
Page 33 of 44
1326 Narrator: EVERYONE FROM PAUPERS TO PRESIDENTS CONSUMED CIDER. JOHN
1327 ADAMS LIKED TO DRINK IT FOR BREAKFAST. BUT OVER TIME, CIDER, AND THE
1328 APPLE, BECAME VICTIMS OF THEIR OWN SUCCESS.
1330 Joyce Chaplin: Alcohol consumption started to rise in about the 1830s. And there's some public
1331 outrage over that that people seemed to be too interested in drinking or are drunk. So, all forms
1332 of alcoholic beverage begin to be criticized, um, and cider is among them.
1334 Michael Pollan: People went after apple trees. Suddenly the apple, uh, which had been
1335 celebrated for much of American history, is vilified as the evil fruit. Um, it's back in the Garden
1336 Of Eden in a sense. The hatchet wielded by the famous Prohibitionist, Carrie Nation, was not just
1337 about breaking down saloon doors, it was also about chopping down this evil tree that was
1338 getting Americans drunk.
1340 Narrator: BUT THE APPLE WOULD BE RESCUED FROM INFAMY, BY THE SWEETER
1341 SIDE OF ITS NATURE.
1343 Michael Pollan: Even though cider was what happened to most apples, apples were also eaten as
1344 a food, and, uh, whenever you were lucky enough to find a sweet one, that's what you did with it.
1346 Narrator: SO WITH CIDER IN DISREPUTE, THE RACE TO FIND SWEET NEW
1347 VARIETIES INTENSIFIED.
1349 Michael Pollan: Everyone who had a cider orchard had his eye out for that one good edible
1350 apple. It was really well understood that one of the tickets to great success and great wealth in
1351 America was to find a good edible apple. And all the famous apples that we know - the
1352 Delicious, the McIntosh, the Baldwin, the Northern Spy, these had all begun in cider orchards.
1353 They were the stars. Before 1900, the fate of like 99% of apples was to be drunk. After 1900 it
1354 becomes the fruit that we now know. IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, APPLES BECAME A
1355 SYMBOL OF WHOLESOMENESS.
1357 Michael Pollan: The apple growers came up with this campaign, an apple a day keeps the doctor
1358 away, and essentially re-branded the apple as a health food.
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1361 Writing Tips
1362 Essay Essential Information
1365 Introductory Paragraph
1366 The introductory paragraph should also include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper:
1367 it tells the reader what the essay is about. The last sentence of this paragraph must also contain a
1368 transitional "hook" which moves the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.
1370 Body — First paragraph:
1371 The first paragraph of the body should contain the strongest argument, most significant example,
1372 cleverest illustration, or an obvious beginning point. The first sentence of this paragraph should include
1373 the "reverse hook" which ties in with the transitional hook at the end of the introductory paragraph. The
1374 topic for this paragraph should be in the first or second sentence. This topic should relate to the thesis
1375 statement in the introductory paragraph. The last sentence in this paragraph should include a transitional
1376 hook to tie into the second paragraph of the body.
1378 Body — Second paragraph:
1379 The second paragraph of the body should contain the second strongest argument, second most
1380 significant example, second cleverest illustration, or an obvious follow up the first paragraph in the body.
1381 The first sentence of this paragraph should include the reverse hook which ties in with the transitional
1382 hook at the end of the first paragraph of the body. The topic for this paragraph should be in the first or
1383 second sentence. This topic should relate to the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. The last
1384 sentence in this paragraph should include a transitional hook to tie into the third paragraph of the body.
1386 Body — Third paragraph:
1387 The third paragraph of the body should contain the weakest argument, weakest example, weakest
1388 illustration, or an obvious follow up to the second paragraph in the body. The first sentence of this
Page 35 of 44
1389 paragraph should include the reverse hook which ties in with the transitional hook at the end of the second
1390 paragraph. The topic for this paragraph should be in the first or second sentence. This topic should relate
1391 to the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. The last sentence in this paragraph should include a
1392 transitional concluding hook that signals the reader that this is the final major point being made in this
1393 paper. This hook also leads into the last, or concluding, paragraph.
1396 Concluding paragraph:
1397 This paragraph should include the following:
1398 a reference to the pattern used in the introductory paragraph,
1399 a restatement of the thesis statement, using some of the original language or language that
1400 "echoes" the original language. (The restatement, however, must not be a duplicate thesis
1402 a summary of the three main points from the body of the paper.
1403 a final statement that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end. (This final
1404 statement may be a "call to action" in a persuasive paper.)
Stephen King, creator of such stories as Carrie and Pet The introductory paragraph includes a paraphrase of something
Sematary, stated that the Edgar Allan Poe stories he read as a said by a famous person in order to get the reader's attention. The
child gave him the inspiration and instruction he needed to second sentence leads up to the thesis statement which is the third
become the writer that he is. 2Poe, as does Stephen King, fills sentence. The thesis statement (sentence 3) presents topic of the
the reader's imagination with the images that he wishes the paper to the reader and provides a mini- outline. The topic is Poe's
reader to see, hear, and feel. 3His use of vivid, concrete visual use of visual imagery. The mini- outline tells the reader that this
imagery to present both static and dynamic settings and to paper will present Poe's use of imagery in three places in his
describe people is part of his technique. 4Poe's short story "The writing: (1) description of static setting; (2) description of
Tell-Tale Heart" is a story about a young man who kills an old dynamic setting; and (3) description of a person. The last sentence
man who cares for him, dismembers the corpse, then goes mad of the paragraph uses the words "manipulation" and "senses" as
when he thinks he hears the old man's heart beating beneath the transitional hooks.
floor boards under his feet as he sits and discusses the old man's
absence with the police. 5In "The Tell-Tale Heart," a careful
reader can observe Poe's skillful manipulation of the senses.
The sense of sight, the primary sense, is particularly susceptible In the first sentence of the second paragraph (first paragraph of
to manipulation. 2In "The Tell-Tale Heart," Poe uses the the body) the words "sense" and "manipulation" are used to hook
following image to describe a static scene: "His room was as into the end of the introductory paragraph. The first part of the
black as pitch with the thick darkness . . ." Poe used the words second sentence provides the topic for this paragraph--imagery in
"black," "pitch," and "thick darkness" not only to show the a static scene. Then a quotation from "The Tell-Tale Heart" is
reader the condition of the old man's room, but also to make the presented and briefly discussed. The last sentence of this
reader feel the darkness." 3"Thick" is a word that is not usually paragraph uses the expressions "sense of feeling" and "sense of
associated with color (darkness), yet in using it, Poe stimulates sight" as hooks for leading into the third paragraph.
the reader's sense of feeling as well as his sense of sight.
Page 36 of 44
Further on in the story, Poe uses a couple of words that cross The first sentence of the third paragraph (second paragraph of
not only the sense of sight but also the sense of feeling to the body) uses the words "sense of sight" and "sense of feeling" to
describe a dynamic scene. 2The youth in the story has been hook back into the previous paragraph. Note that in the second
standing in the open doorway of the old man's room for a long paragraph "feeling" came first, and in this paragraph "sight"
time, waiting for just the right moment to reveal himself to the comes first. The first sentence also includes the topic for this
old man in order to frighten him. 3Poe writes: "So I opened it paragraph--imagery in a dynamic scene. Again, a quotation is
[the lantern opening]--you cannot imagine how stealthily, taken from the story, and it is briefly discussed. The last sentence
stealthily--until, at length, a single dim ray, like the thread of the uses the words "one blind eye" which was in the quotation. This
spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture expression provides the transitional hook for the last paragraph in
eye." 4By using the metaphor of the thread of the spider (which the body of the paper.
we all know is a creepy creature) and the word "shot," Poe
almost makes the reader gasp, as surely did the old man whose
one blind eye the young man describes as "the vulture eye."
The reader does not know much about what the old man in this In the first sentence of the fourth paragraph (third paragraph in
story looks like except that he has one blind eye. 2In the second the body), "one blind eye" is used that hooks into the previous
paragraph of "The Tell-Tale Heart," Poe establishes the young paragraph. This first sentence also lets the reader know that this
man's obsession with that blind eye when he writes: "He had the paragraph will deal with descriptions of people: ". . . what the old
eye of the vulture--a pale blue eye, with a film over it." 3This man looks like . . .." Once again Poe is quoted and discussed. The
"vulture eye" is evoked over and over again in the story until the last sentence uses the word "image" which hooks into the last
reader becomes as obsessed with it as does the young man. 4His paragraph. (It is less important that this paragraph has a hook
use of the vivid, concrete word "vulture" establishes a specific since the last paragraph is going to include a summary of the body
image in the mind of the reader that is inescapable. of the paper.)
"Thick darkness," "thread of the spider," and "vulture eye" are The first sentence of the concluding paragraph uses the principal
three images that Poe used in "The Tell-Tale Heart" to stimulate words from the quotations from each paragraph of the body of the
a reader's senses. 2Poe wanted the reader to see and feel real life. paper. This summarizes those three paragraph. The second and
He used concrete imagery rather than vague abstract words to third sentences provide observations which can also be considered
describe settings and people. 4If Edgar Allan Poe was one of a summary, not only of the content of the paper, but also offers
Stephen King's teachers, then readers of King owe a debt of personal opinion which was logically drawn as the result of this
gratitude to that nineteenth-century creator of horror stories. study. The last sentence returns to the Edgar Allan Poe-Stephen
King relationship which began this paper. This sentence also
provides a "wrap-up" and gives the paper a sense of finality.
Page 37 of 44
1408 How do I organize a paragraph?
1409 There are many different ways to organize a paragraph. The organization you choose will depend
1410 on the controlling idea of the paragraph. Below are a few possibilities for organization, with brief
1412 Narration: Tell a story. Go chronologically, from start to finish.
1413 Description: Provide specific details about what something looks, smells, tastes, sounds,
1414 or feels like. Organize spatially, in order of appearance, or by topic
1415 Process: Explain how something works, step by step. Perhaps follow a sequence—first,
1416 second, third.
1417 Classification: Separate into groups or explain the various parts of a topic.
1418 Illustration: Give examples and explain how those examples prove your point.
1420 What is a complete sentence? A complete sentence is not merely a group of words with a
1421 capital letter at the beginning and a period or question mark at the end. A complete sentence has
1422 three components:
1423 1. a subject (the actor in the sentence)
1424 2. a predicate (the verb or action), and
1425 3. a complete thought (it can stand alone and make sense—it's independent).
1426 Some sentences can be very short, with only two or three words expressing a complete thought,
1427 like this:
1428 John waited.
1429 This sentence has a subject (John) and a verb (waited), and it expresses a complete thought. We
1430 can understand the idea completely with just those two words, so again, it's independent—an
1431 independent clause. But independent clauses (i.e., complete sentences) can be expanded to
1432 contain a lot more information, like this:
1433 John waited for the bus all morning.
1434 John waited for the bus all morning in the rain last Tuesday.
1435 Wishing he'd brought his umbrella, John waited for the bus all morning in the rain last Tuesday.
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1436 Wishing he'd brought his umbrella and dreaming of his nice warm bed, John waited for the bus
1437 all morning in the rain last Tuesday because his car was in the shop.
1438 As your sentences grow more complicated, it gets harder to spot and stay focused on the basic
1439 elements of a complete sentence, but if you look carefully at the examples above, you'll see that
1440 the main thought is still that John waited—one main subject and one main verb. No matter how
1441 long or short the other sentence parts are, none of them can stand alone and make sense.
1442 Being able to find the main subject, the main verb, and the complete thought is the first trick to
1443 learn for identifying fragments and run-ons.
1445 Sentence fragments
1446 A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence. Some fragments are incomplete because they
1447 lack either a subject or a verb, or both. The fragments that most students have trouble with,
1448 however, are dependent clauses—they have a subject and a verb, so they look like complete
1449 sentences, but they don't express a complete thought. They're called "dependent" because they
1450 can't stand on their own (just like some people you might know who are SO dependent!). Look at
1451 these dependent clauses. They're just begging for more information to make the thoughts
1453 Because his car was in the shop (What did he do?)
1454 After the rain stops (What then?)
1455 When you finally take the test (What will happen?)
1456 Since you asked (Will you get the answer?)
1457 If you want to go with me (What should you do?)
1458 Does each of these examples have a subject? Yes. Does each have a verb? Yes. So what makes
1459 the thought incomplete?? It's the first word (Because, After, When, Since, If). These words
1460 belong to a special class of words called subordinators or subordinating conjunctions. If you
1461 know something about subordinating conjunctions, you can probably eliminate 90% of your
1463 First, you need to know that subordinating conjunctions do three things:
1464 1. join two sentences together
1465 2. make one of the sentences dependent on the other for a complete thought (make one a
1466 dependent clause)
1467 3. indicate a logical relationship
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1468 Second, you need to recognize the subordinators when you see them. Here is a list of common
1469 subordinating conjunctions and the relationships they indicate:
1470 Cause / Effect: because, since, so that
1471 Comparison / Contrast: although, even though, though, whereas, while
1472 Place & Manner: how, however, where, wherever
1473 Possibility / Conditions: if, whether, unless
1474 Relation: that, which, who
1475 Time: after, as, before, since, when, whenever, while, until
1476 Third, you need to know that the subordinator (and the whole dependent clause) doesn't have to
1477 be at the beginning of the sentence. The dependent clause and the independent clause can switch
1478 places, but the whole clause moves as one big chunk. Look at how these clauses switched places
1479 in the sentence:
1480 Because his car was in the shop, John took the bus.
1481 John took the bus because his car was in the shop.
1482 Finally, you need to know that every dependent clause needs to be attached to an independent
1483 clause (remember, the independent clause can stand on its own).
1484 How do you find and fix your fragments? Remember the basics: subject, verb, and complete
1485 thought. If you can recognize those things, you're halfway there. Then, scan your sentences for
1486 subordinating conjunctions. If you find one, first identify the whole chunk of the dependent
1487 clause (the subject and verb that go with the subordinator), and then make sure they're attached
1488 to an independent clause.
1489 John took the bus. (independent clause) Because his car was in the shop. (Dependent clause all
1490 by itself. Uh oh! Fragment!)
1491 John took the bus because his car was in the shop. (Hooray! It's fixed!)
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1494 These are also called fused sentences. You are making a run-on when you put two complete
1495 sentences (a subject and its predicate and another subject and its predicate) together in one
1496 sentence without separating them properly. Here's an example of a run-on:
1497 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus it is very garlicky.
1498 This one sentence actually contains two complete sentences. But in the rush to get that idea out, I
1499 made it into one incorrect sentence. Luckily, there are many ways to correct this run-on sentence.
1500 You could use a semicolon:
1501 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus; it is very garlicky.
1502 You could use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so):
1503 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus, for it is very garlicky. -OR- My favorite
1504 Mediterranean spread is hummus, and it is very garlicky.
1505 You could use a subordinating conjunction (see above):
1506 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus because it is very garlicky. -OR- Because it is so
1507 garlicky, my favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus.
1508 You could make it into two separate sentences with a period in between:
1509 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus. It is very garlicky.
1510 You could use an em-dash (a long dash) for emphasis:
1511 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus—it is very garlicky.
1512 You CANNOT simply add a comma between the two sentences, or you'll end up with what's
1513 called a "comma splice." Here's an example of a comma splice:
1514 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus, it is very garlicky.
1515 You can fix a comma splice the same way you fix a run-on—either change the punctuation or
1516 add a conjunction. The good news is that writers tend to be either comma splicers or run-on
1517 artists, but almost never both. Which one are you?
1518 As you can see, fixing run-ons is pretty easy once you see them—but how do you find out if a
1519 sentence is a run-on if you aren't sure? Rei R. Noguchi, in his book Grammar and the Teaching
1520 of Writing, suggests that you test your sentences with two methods:
1521 1. Turn them into yes/no questions.
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1522 2. Turn them into tag questions (sentences that end with a questioning phrase at the very
1523 end—look at our examples below).
1524 These are two things that nearly everyone can do easily if the sentence is not a run-on, but they
1525 become next to impossible if it is.
1526 Look at the following sentence:
1527 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus.
1528 If you turn it into a question that someone could answer with a yes or no, it looks like this:
1529 Is my favorite Mediterranean spread hummus?
1530 If you turn it into a tag question, it looks like this:
1531 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus, isn't it?
1532 The first sentence is complete and not a run-on, because our test worked. Now, try the test with
1533 the original run-on sentence:
1534 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus it is very garlicky.
1535 The yes/no question can only be made with each separate thought, not the sentence as a whole:
1536 Is my favorite Mediterranean spread hummus? Is it very garlicky?
1537 But not:
1538 Is my favorite Mediterranean spread hummus is it very garlicky?
1539 The tag question can also only be made with each separate thought, rather than the whole:
1540 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus, isn't it? It's very garlicky, isn't it?
1541 But never:
1542 My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus it is very garlicky, isn't it?
1543 Neither test works for you, does it? That's because when you try, you immediately see that you
1544 have more than one complete concept in that sentence, and you can't make the whole thing turn
1545 into one question. Make sure you try both tests with each of your problem sentences, because
1546 you may trick yourself by just putting a tag on the last part and not noticing that it doesn't work
1547 on the first. Some people might not notice that "My favorite Mediterranean spread is hummus it
Page 42 of 44
1548 is very garlicky isn't it?" is wrong, but most people will spot the yes/no question problem right
1550 Every once in a while, you or your instructor will see a really long sentence and think it's a run-
1551 on when it isn't. Really long sentences can be tiring but not necessarily wrong—just make sure
1552 that yours aren't wrong by using the tests above.
1554 Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. While the body
1555 is often easier to write, it needs a frame around it. An introduction and conclusion frame your
1556 thoughts and bridge your ideas for the reader.
1557 Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into
1558 the "place" of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the
1559 transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis
1560 and information should matter to them after they put the paper down.
1561 Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you
1562 to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to summarize your thoughts, to
1563 demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject.
1564 It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.
1565 Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond
1566 the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections,
1567 and elaborate on the significance of your findings.
1568 Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives
1569 your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your
1570 topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest
1571 your reader, but also enrich your reader's life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.
1572 Why read out loud?
1573 If you come to the Writing Center for a tutoring session, you will probably hear your tutor say,
1574 "We always read papers out loud—would you like to read yours, or would you like to hear me
1575 read it?" Reading aloud has many benefits that we want to share with writers. Most people have
1576 far more experience listening to and speaking English than they do reading and editing it on the
1577 printed page. When you read your draft out loud or listen to someone else read it, your brain gets
1578 the information in a new way, and you may notice things that you didn't see before:
1579 As listeners, we need the order of ideas in a paper to make sense. We can't flip back and
1580 forth from page to page to try to figure out what is going on or find information we need.
Page 43 of 44
1581 When you hear your paper read out loud, you may recognize that you need to re-order the
1582 information in it or realize that there are gaps in your explanation.
1583 Listeners also need transitions to help us get from one main idea to the next. When you
1584 hear your paper, you may recognize places where you have moved from one topic to
1585 another too abruptly.
1586 We all make errors in our sentences. Sometimes we leave out a word, mess things up as
1587 we copy and paste text, or make a grammatical mistake. These kinds of errors can be hard
1588 to see on the page, but sentences that contain them are very likely to sound wrong. For
1589 native speakers of English (and some non-native speakers, too), reading out loud is one of
1590 the most powerful proofreading techniques around.
1591 Sometimes sentences aren't grammatically incorrect, but they are still awkward in some
1592 way—too long, too convoluted, too repetitive. Problems like these are often easily heard.
1593 Hearing your paper can also help you get a sense of whether the tone is right. Does it
1594 sound too formal? Too chatty or casual? What kind of impression will your voice in this
1595 paper make on a reader? Sometimes hearing your words helps you get a more objective
1596 sense of the impression you are creating—listening puts in you in something more like
1597 the position your reader will be in as he/she moves through your text.
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