Oracle of Truth

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Claim: While delivering the commencement speech at Yale University in 2000, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said:
"Graduates of Yale University, I apologize if you have endured this type of prologue before, but I want you to do something for me. Please, take a good look around you. Look at the classmate on your left. Look at the classmate on your right. Now, consider this: five years from now, 10 years from now, even 30 years from now, odds are the person on your left is going to be a loser. The person on your right, meanwhile, will also be a loser. And you, in the middle? What can you expect? Loser. Loserhood. Loser Cum Laude."

Status: False.
Origins: In July 2000, an inventive story about Oracle CEO Larry Ellison bestowing an unusual commencement speech upon the graduating class of Yale University began popping up in various inboxes. Some were left wondering if this could be the real thing, given what is known of Ellison's famed ego, and because the wide circulation of the 1997 Kurt Vonnegut commencement speech hoax had prepared the way for this piece to sound plausible.

In truth, Ellison did not give a such a speech at Yale, nor anywhere else. The article was the fanciful creation of Andrew Marlatt, a writer for the satire website, SatireWire. It was reprinted (with SatireWire's express permission) on BBspot, another satirical web site.

The full text of the piece:
ELLISON TO GRADS: DIPLOMAS ARE FOR LOSERS
Oracle CEO Urges Students to Drop out, Start up
NEW HAVEN, CONN. (SatireWire.com) - In one of the more controversial commencement addresses in memory, Oracle CEO and college dropout Larry Ellison told Yale's Class of 2000 they were "losers" whose hard-won diplomas would never propel them into the ranks of the super rich.

The evangelical Ellison, noting that college dropouts Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Michael Dell were, like himself, on Forbes' recent top 10 list of billionaires, urged freshmen and sophomores at the ceremony to "drop out and start up," and added that the undereducated Yale security guards who ushered him off stage probably had a better shot at uber-wealth than graduating seniors.

What follows is a transcript of the speech delivered by Ellison at the Yale University last month:
Graduates of Yale University, I apologize if you have endured this type of prologue before, but I want you to do something for me. Please, take a ood look around you. snopes.com: Larry Ellison 'Loser' Commencement Speech http://www.snopes.com/quotes/ellison.asp?print=y 第1页共3页2012/9/21 上午 10:41

Look at the classmate on your left. Look at the classmate on your right. Now, consider this: five years from now, 10 years from now, even 30 years from now, odds are the person on your left is going to be a loser. The person on your right, meanwhile, will also be a loser. And you, in the middle? What can you expect? Loser. Loserhood. Loser Cum Laude.

"In fact, as I look out before me today, I don't see a thousand hopes for a bright tomorrow. I don't see a thousand future leaders in a thousand industries. I see a thousand losers.
"You're upset. That's understandable. After all, how can I, Lawrence 'Larry' Ellison, college dropout, have the audacity to spout such heresy to the graduating class of one of the nation's most prestigious institutions? I'll tell you why. Because I, Lawrence "Larry" Ellison, second richest man on the planet, am a college dropout, and you are not.

"Because Bill Gates, richest man on the planet — for now, anyway — is a college dropout, and you are not.
"Because Paul Allen, the third richest man on the planet, dropped out of college, and you did not.
"And for good measure, because Michael Dell, No. 9 on the list and moving up fast, is a college dropout, and you, yet again, are not.
"Hmm . . . you're very upset. That's understandable. So let me stroke your egos for a moment by pointing out, quite sincerely, that your diplomas were not attained in vain. Most of you, I imagine, have spent four to five years...
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