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Randy Pausch passed away on July 25. May God rest him in peace!

As a side note, if one is allowed to leave notes after a talk like this, I found a study on the state of Romanian academic programs where a survey was filled by 300 PhD candidates from top Universities. On the question “what was the reason for choosing to do a PhD program?” The answers were:

  • 36.3% because a professor offered me this opportunity;
  • 4.39% having a PhD will increase my income;
  • 2% is a good way to advance in ones career;
  • 2% the scholarship was tempting;
  • 0.3% I am passionate about the field I do the study in;
  • 14% some other reason;
  • 41% don’t know/would not respond.

Passion for what they are doing and dreams that they want to achieve do not seem to be part of our future academic faculty or research experts from Romania. What was Professor Pausch talking about??? Only about “how to lead your life in a good way” for you and the ones around you.

But then again, who is saying that education is going and leading people in the right direction in Romania?

This started as a short movie, with a script and ended up catching a glimpse of Romanian Information society.  I added the English translation and a tentative time frame for it.

[0:09][Man]Good day! Today I was allowed to mess around with lots of money.
[0:15] If I were a rich kid …just take a look at this.
[0:20] Here is a laptop Sony Vaio, as you can see, in working condition.  Let’s turn it on.
[0:33] Here it is.
[0:49] So, pay attention to what I would do with a laptop if I were to have lots of money.  We are at the country side. Ha ha
[1.01][back voice, woman voice] What are you doing?!
[1.06][woman]By hell, you are scaring the hens and the chickens.
[1:09][man]They didn’t get scared, rest assure.
[1:11][woman] Hell they didn’t!

[1.19][man] I just filmed how to chop a laptop.
[1:20][woman] You did it with my axe?
[1:22][man] With what else?
[1:24][woman] I think you must be crazy, you, Alin. By hell, you’re ruining the axe!
[1:28][man] It does not get ruin.
[1:29][woman] Hell it doesn’t! May it go to hell [the laptop]!
[1:32][man] Here, you [polite] take a piece.
[1:34][woman] Give it to devil to f**k it. Don’t you ruin my axe for I don’t have any sharpening file to use on it.
[1:38][man] I’ll give you one from the grinder.
[1:44][woman] This is not for cutting … is for cutting wood. [Swearing]
[1:49][man] Look, here is the processor.
[1:55][woman] Look here you can even see the mark you left.
[1:57][man] Common, in plastic?
[2:00][woman] Yes, in plastic.
[2.02][Man] Get out of here…
[2.03][Woman] You get out!

Some thoughts from what was the original idea of the movie:

  • laptops are distinct object of rich people;
  • destroying what the rich people have is emotionally rewarding;
  • the divide between rich and poor people’s technologies is huge.

The old lady’s reaction is so real and natural: she is defending her axe, fearing that the laptop( such a powerful tool, isn’t it?) will ruin it. She is worried that she lacks the power( the ordinary sharpening file) to make sure she will keep her technology working…

Later edit:
Here is the movie with subtitles in English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC5ajNqiRBg

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