Ukrainian Bureaucrat Rips Off Steve Jobs' Speech

Raisa Bogatyreva
The former republics of the Soviet Union are infamous for their callous attitude toward the intellectual property of other nations. That attitude apparently extends to the highest levels of government, as a recent incident in the Ukraine suggests.

That country's Secretary of National Security and Defense Raisa Bogatyreva gave a speech to students at Konvokatsii Kiev-Mohyla Academy that sounded familiar to reporters at the Ukrainian Truth. That's because it was. After some digging and translating, they discovered that the oration bore a remarkable resemblance to a speech given to Stanford University graduates by Steve Jobs in 2005.

Although the key points in Bogatyreva's speech appear fractured when translated into English, Russian publications and a translator for The Next Web agreed that the address bears more than just a passing resemblance to the one given by Apple's top dog.

According to a Google translation of a comparison of the two speeches appearing in Focus Ukraine, Bogatyreva said: "I am honored to be here with you today, the day when the graduates receive diplomas. In one of the best higher educational institutions of our country ... I want to share with you today the findings of [my] own life and [my] own political experience. There are three conclusions. Nothing is absolutely tremendous. There are three conclusions."

That, the publication noted, closely compares to Jobs' remarks: "I'm honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world.... Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories."

Bogatyreva also said: "Death approached me very closely. Closer than it is now, at my age.... Having lived through that moment, I can tell you-nobody wants to die."

That is close to Jobs' observations about the mortal coil: "This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept. No one wants to die."

As Jobs did in his speech, Bogatyreva apologized for being dramatic: "Sorry for the drama, but it's true. Time [for] a person is very limited. And so the conclusion from [my] own experience suggest[s] the following-do not live someone else's life, do not waste your time. Do not fall into the trap of dogma, which advises live other people's thoughts. Do not let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your heart and...your intuition. They miraculously know what you want in life."

The original address by Jobs went something like this: "Sorry to be so dramatic, but it's quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."

For its part, the Ukrainian Security Council appears to be a bit abashed by the incident. The Next Web reported that the council said that Bogatyreva "decides what she will say," although it acknowledged that the secretary "reads a lot" and may have been inspired by Jobs' speech.

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