A reader suggested this experiment as an interesting diversion for those, like me, with an excessive interesting in graduation speeches.

In June 2004, we began an experiment to build four levels of knowledge by coding and synthesizing 150 commencement addresses. These speeches, given by the exact hodgepodge of individuals who shape modern life, almost universally contain perspective on four levels: Issues of Concern, Paths of Action, Tools for Change, Keys to the Good Life.

We thus wondered if we could obtain a distilled, quantitative value for group perspective on each of these issues. In short, we wanted to try to build an information market to set the relative IPO prices for a full range of perspectives.

Color me skeptical. They do include Halberstam’s speech at the 2004 Williams Commencement. Since that speech is recycled many times, perhaps the folks behind Fly Little Bird are on to something . . .

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