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Bill Gates and Poverty July 16, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, technology.

A very unlike and (perhaps therefore) interesting unwinding session with Bill Gates. Just loved this one !! Its not interview, its just him doing the talking it appears.

Warren (Buffet) started thinking about what should happen in the context of his will. This was after his wife, Susie, tragically died two years ago. And as he thought more about it, he thought, Hey, I don’t think I’m going to wait to give my fortune away. He’s always been the most generous person and said how his wealth should go back to society, and his articulation of that had a big influence on me.A few years before, Melinda and I had started making presentations about the work of our foundation, including to a group Warren hosted at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, and he could see how energetic and excited we were – Wow, if you just get the right people together and you get the right incentives, you could have an impact on millions of lives.

Actually think about it – we in India, from India are accustomed to poverty, the intellectuals glorify it, the ruling class perpetuate it and the poor themselves are resigned to it. But there is something else about poverty – continents-wide poverty and consequent lack of healthcare, that millions die of diseases for which there exist cure – malaria, cholera etc – may just be the single biggest failure of mankind – its a failure on the biggest scale imaginable and a failure in every way – politically, intellectually, economically and morally as well.

Its hard to think of an equivalent failure – maybe NASA attempting over a 100 times to put man on the moon and each time the rocket plunging into the sea ( or worse a crowded city ) minutes after takeoff – that would be some failure. Ironically, that would then attrack more attention than world-wide poverty.

Bill Gates, hopefully will find as much success in his second venture ( fighting poverty ) as he found in his first – making the PC near ubiquitious. ( notwithstanding everything else he is hated for )

( Thankfully, NASA is generally doing well. )



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