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Tim Cook Talks Privacy, Steve Jobs, and the 'Difference Between Preparation and Readiness' in Stanford Commencement Address

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the commencement address at Stanford University today, sharing his thoughts on privacy, the need to always "be a builder," and how the loss of Steve Jobs made him learn the "real, visceral difference between preparation and readiness."


On the subject of privacy, Cook acknowledged that so many of our modern technological inventions have come out of Silicon Valley, but that recent years have seen "a less noble innovation: the belief that you can claim credit without accepting responsibility."

Cook stressed the importance of not accepting that we must give up privacy in order to enjoy advances in technology, arguing that there's much more at stake than just our data.If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold, or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data.

We lose the freedom to be human.

Think about what’s at stake. Everything you write, everything you say, every topic of curiosity, every stray thought, every impulsive purchase, every moment of frustration or weakness, every gripe or complaint, every secret shared in confidence.

In a world without digital privacy, even if you have done nothing wrong other than think differently, you begin to censor yourself. Not entirely at first. Just a little, bit by bit. To risk less, to hope less, to imagine less, to dare less, to create less, to try less, to talk less, to think less. The chilling effect of digital surveillance is profound, and it touches everything.

What a small, unimaginative world we would end up with. Not entirely at first. Just a little, bit by bit. Ironically, it’s the kind of environment that would have stopped Silicon Valley before it had even gotten started.

We deserve better. You deserve better.
Image credit: L.A. Cicero/Stanford University
Shifting focus to the aspirations of today's graduates, Cook encouraged each of them to "be a builder," regardless of their chosen occupation.You don’t have to start from scratch to build something monumental. And, conversely, the best founders – the ones whose creations last and whose reputations grow rather than shrink with passing time – they spend most of their time building, piece by piece.

Builders are comfortable in the belief that their life’s work will one day be bigger than them – bigger than any one person. They’re mindful that its effects will span generations. That’s not an accident. In a way, it’s the whole point. [...]

Graduates, being a builder is about believing that you cannot possibly be the greatest cause on this Earth, because you aren’t built to last. It’s about making peace with the fact that you won’t be there for the end of the story.Finally, Cook turned his speech to the topic of Steve Jobs, who famously stood on the same stage 14 years ago to give the commencement address.

Cook related the story of his conviction that Jobs would recover from his cancer, even as he handed the reins of Apple over to Cook. Drawing from what he learned in those dark days, Cook emphasized that "your mentors may leave you prepared, but they can't leave you ready."

Calling it the "loneliest I've ever felt in my life," Cook reflected on feeling the heavy expectations of those around him, noting that he eventually he realized he needed "be the best version" of himself and not let those around him and their expectations dictate his life.Graduates, the fact is, when your time comes, and it will, you’ll never be ready.

But you’re not supposed to be. Find the hope in the unexpected. Find the courage in the challenge. Find your vision on the solitary road.

Don’t get distracted.

There are too many people who want credit without responsibility.

Too many who show up for the ribbon cutting without building anything worth a damn.

Be different. Leave something worthy.

And always remember that you can’t take it with you. You’re going to have to pass it on.Today's speech at Stanford was just one of several commenencement addresses Cook has given in recent years, including Tulane University just last month, as well as his graduate alma mater Duke University last year, MIT in 2017, George Washington University in 2015, and his undergraduate alma mater Auburn University in 2010.

Tag: Tim Cook
This article, "Tim Cook Talks Privacy, Steve Jobs, and the 'Difference Between Preparation and Readiness' in Stanford Commencement Address" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Dudley North: from safe Labour seat to top Tory target
Party allegiances in this strongly pro-Brexit Midlands town are being overturnedOutside Dudley town hall, bitter disappointment hung in the cold, damp air. “It’s just blow after blow after blow these days,” said Jackie Smith, who had paid £2.50 to hear Nigel Farage’s vision for Britain. She and others who turned up ready to “Change Politics for Good” hadn’t been told that the rally was cancelled at a few hours’ notice after the Brexit party’s candidate unexpectedly pulled out of the race.Perhaps it was just as well: going by the numbers milling around on Friday morning, it may have been a challenge to fill the rows of municipal purple chairs pictured on the town hall welcome poster. Rupert Lowe, who had been selected to fight the seat of Dudley North for the Brexit party, had announced the day before – just minutes before nominations closed – that “with a heavy heart” he was “putting country before party” in order not to split the pro-Leave vote in the West Midlands seat. Farage had been “very angry” with him, he told the Express. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Hong Kong protesters fire bows and arrows from campus fortress
Hong Kong protesters shot bows and arrows, wounding a policeman in the leg, and hurled petrol bombs from a barricaded university campus on Sunday, with activists braced for a possible final police clearance after fiery clashes overnight.
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Sri Lanka’s Powerful Rajapaksa Family Set to Win Presidential Election
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a polarizing wartime defense chief, vowed to bring stability to a country still reeling from deadly attacks on Easter Sunday.
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Pentagon's Esper says military justice ready to hold troops to account
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
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The report that Boris Johnson is refusing to publish says it cannot rule out Russian interference in the Brexit referendum
Stefan Rousseau/Pool/Getty A report into possible Russian interference cannot rule out the possibility that the Kremlin impacted the 2016 Brexit vote. The UK Intelligence and Security Committee said it could not rule out Russian influence over the British decision to leave the European Union, according to The Times newspaper. Boris Johnson is under growing pressure to publish the report. It also raises questions about links between himself and the Conservative party to Russian donors. However, the UK government is not set to publish it until after the December 12 general election. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A report into possible Russian interference that Boris Johnson's government is refusing to publish reportedly said that the Kremlin may have affected the 2016 Brexit referendum. The Times newspaper reports that the UK Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee was not able to rule out the possibility that Russia influenced the British vote to leave the European Union.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hopeSee Also:The 5 biggest general election gaffes made by Boris Johnson's Conservatives and Jeremy Corbyn's Labour so farFrustrated Remainers urge the Liberal Democrats to stand aside for Labour in a key election seatHillary Clinton attacks Boris Johnson for 'shameful' decision to block report on Russian election interference
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