commencement speeches

Matt Damon Reads an MIT Review of Good Will Hunting in His MIT Graduation Speech, and Boy, They Did Not Like Them Apples

Matt Damon is not a genius. He did go to Harvard before dropping out to pursue his acting career, but he’s no Will Hunting or whoever that Mars poop scientist was in The Martian (his name’s Mark Watney — did you remember that?). Anyway, not-genius-but-pretty-smart-and-also-you-know-incredibly-wealthy guy Matt Damon gave a graduation speech at MIT where he was humble enough to read what one of the school’s geniuses thought of his acting. Damon pulled out a review of Good Will Hunting from MIT’s student paper (at around 4:30 in the above video), and well, the movie was not well-received. The reviewer critiqued the “feel-good pretentiousness” and noted that “the actual character development flies out the window” in the end. Of course, Damon and Ben Affleck did win a screenwriting Oscar for the film. Way to stick it to that random college student, Damon!

Damon also delivered some wisdom about simulation theory. That’s the Elon Musk-endorsed idea that we could live in one giant video game run by a civilization more advanced than our own (at least we think that’s what it’s about, we’re not geniuses either). Damon turns the idea into an impetus to make real and lasting change in the world: Go out and do interesting things so the simulators don’t shut you down. He also makes it into a Trump joke: “If there are multiple simulations, how come we have to be in the one where Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee for president? Can we, like, transfer to a different one?” Well played.

Damon Read an Review of GWH in MIT Grad Speech