I don’t even have a college degree. I just didn’t graduate from Harvard. I got pretty close, but I started to get movie roles and didn’t finish all my courses. So you can imagine how excited I was when President Reif called to invite me to speak at the MIT commencement. 

My brother Kyle and I, and my friend Ben Affleck never really amounted to much.One of the scenes in Good Will Hunting was based on something that actually happened to my brother. Kyle was visiting a physicist we knew at MIT, and he was walking down the Infinite Corridor. He saw those blackboards that line the halls. So my brother, who’s an artist, picked up some chalk and wrote an incredibly elaborate, totally fake, version of an equation. It was so cool and so completely insane that no one erased it for months. This is true.


incredibly 难以置信

-cred 表示“相信”的词根

elaborate 精致精巧、精美绝伦

But like I said, we later made a movie here. Which did not go unnoticed on campus. In fact I’d like to read you some actual lines, some selected passages, from the review of Good Will Huntingin the MIT school paper.

You’re working on some crazy stuff in these buildings. I’ll tell you one that’s been on my mind: Simulation Theory. There’s a philosopher named Nick Bostrom at Oxford, and he’s postulated that if there’s a truly advanced form of intelligence out there in the universe, then it’s probably advanced enough to run simulations of entire worlds — maybe trillions of them — maybe even our own.

The basic idea is that we could be living in a massive simulation run by a far smarter civilization, a giant computer game, and we don’t even know it. What if this—all of this—is a simulation?

But then again: what if it isn’t a simulation? Either way, what we do matters. What we do affects the outcome. MIT, you’ve got to go out and do really interesting things. Important things. Inventive things. Because this world ... real or imagined ... this world has some problems we need you to drop everything and solve.


inventive 具有创新力、发明创造精神

But before you step out into our big, troubled world, I want to pass along a piece of advice that Bill Clinton offered me a little over a decade ago. What he said was “turn toward the problems you see.”Turn toward the problems you see. Engage with them. Walk right up to them, look them in the eye. In my experience, there’s just no substitute for actually going and seeing things.


engage 融入、参与



engage a hall 租下大厅

engage a room 预订房间


engage at once 立即开始

engage actively 积极从事

engage busily 忙于

engage exclusively 全力从事

engage hotly 热情地聘请

engage ordinarily 通常地聘请

engage successfully 成功地聘请


engage as 聘请为…

engage sb as adviser 聘请某人当顾问

engage for 应允,保证,约定

engage for sb's good behaviour 保证某人行为端正

engage for sb's honesty 保证某人诚实

engage in 从事,忙于,参加

engage in animal husbandry 从事畜牧业工作

engage in a discussion 进行讨论

engage in making clothes 忙于做衣服

engage on 着手,从事

engage oneself to 答应和某人订婚,约束(自己),担保

engage with 忙于接待〔应付〕,和(敌人)交战

engage with the enemy 和敌军交战

engage with a visitor 陪客人

substitute 取代、替代



substitute adequately 不适当地代替

substitute definitely 确定地代替

substitute deftly 熟练地替代

substitute shyly 缺乏自信地接替

substitute successfully 成功地代替~+介词

substitute as 代替为…

substitute by〔with〕用…代替…

substitute for 用…代替…,(使)代替…

When I was a teenager, Mom thought it was important for us to see the world outside of Boston. I think it was that same impulse that took my brother and me to Zambia in 2006, as part of the ONE Campaign — the organization to fight poverty and preventable disease in the developing world. On that trip, in a small community, I met a girl and walked with her to a nearby bore well where she could get clean water.

And water goes hand-in-hand with sanitation. And getting out in the world and meeting people like this little girl is what put me on the path to starting Water.org. You see some tough things out there. But you also see life- changing joy. And it all changes you.

There was a refugee crisis back in ’09 that I read about in an amazing article in the New York Times. People were streaming across the border of Zimbabwe to a little town in northern South Africa called Messina. I was working in South Africa, so I went up to Messina to see for myself what was going on. Human beings will take your breath away. They will teach you a lot... but you have to engage. There’s a lot of trouble out there, MIT. But there’s a lot of beauty, too. I hope you see both.



The point is to try to eliminate your blind spots — the things that keep us from grasping the bigger picture. But looking at the world as it is, and engaging with it, is the first step toward finding our blind spots. There’s a few more things I hope you’ll keep in mind.


blind spot 盲点,blind 即 hidden from view

spot check抽查

high spot显著之点

spot price现货价格

on the spot当场

hot spot热点

beauty spot美人斑

liver spot雀斑

black spot黑斑病

soft spot感情上的弱点

trouble spot动荡地区

dark spot黑斑,暗点

leaf spot叶斑病

spot intensity斑点亮度

spot test抽查

the man on the spot熟悉情况的人

find one's finger on someone's weak spot指出某人缺点

penalty spot罚球点

First, you’re going to fail sometimes, and that’s a good thing. Not having an answer isn’t embarrassing. It’s an opportunity. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The second thing is that you’ve got to keep listening. Even outside your work, there are ways to keep challenging yourself. Listen to online lectures. I love what President Obama said at Howard University’s commencement last month: he said,“Democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right.”

The third and last thought I want to leave you with is that not every problem has a high-tech solution. We need to be just as innovative in public policy.


innovative 具有创新力,与inventive意思相近


So, graduates, let me ask you this in closing: What do you want to be a part of? What’s the problem you’ll try to solve? Whatever your answer, it’s not going to be easy.

Here you are alive at a time when science and technology may not hold all the answers, but are indispensable to any solution.

So I hope you’ll turn toward the problem of your choosing ... Because you must. I hope you’ll drop everything ... Because you must And I hope you’ll solve it. Because you must. Your game begins: now. Congratulations and thanks very much!