Bill Gates Critical of Google's Charity Efforts

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John Pombrio

Mr. Gates does indeed challenge the rich of the world to use their money to uplift the world. Start at the most vulnerable, the children. Give them clean water, medicine to help keep them alive, enough food to make them healthy, then start to educate them.
The way Bill Gates does this is to personally meet with his peers. He outlines a sensible plan to the person and asks for their help. The founders of Google promised to start helping then...nothing. Mr. Gates is shaming them into following through with their pledges for help.

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CaptainFabulous

Actually yes, most billionaire CEOs are actually sociopathic douchebags. You don't get to that level of wealth and power by being a nice guy who cares about other human beings. You get there by being an asshole, treating people like shit, and crushing anyone who gets in your way. Many of them do actually turn to philanthrophy later in life once it dawns on them just how big of an asshole they were, and how many people's lives they shattered on their way up the ladder. Gates is simply another in a long line of bastard millionaires and billionaires to have followed this exact same (and well documented) path.

And as someone already pointed out, his charitable foundation started out by donating Windows machines to schools, as a way of countering the advance of Apple products into the educational system at the time. Hardly a true philanthropic endeavor. It wasn't until he finally left Microsoft that started doing more benevolent work.

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pastorbob

So in your philosophy of life there is no room for repentence, change and forgiveness? Interesting.

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CaptainFabulous

I didn't say that. All I said is that people who used to live in glass houses still shouldn't throw stones.

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PCLinuxguy

couldn't have said it better +1

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ZayLay

Malaria was cured yesterday :)

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pastorbob

I assume you are being facetious?

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Vano

http://www.nature.com/news/zapped-malaria-parasite-raises-vaccine-hopes-1.13536

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Renegade Knight

They developed a vaccine of sorts that works. It's not perfect and it's invasive but it works. Unlike everthing that's come before.

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pastorbob

Cool! I hadn't heard that.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

Standard disclaimer applies...

Potential side effects include brain cancer, anxiety, violent hallucinations, homicidal rage, vomitting, stroke, heart failure and possible death....
but it cures the crap out of malaria

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gfd

John Pombrio
Couldn't have said it better myself. He is bigger than the industry his company created.

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Bucket_Monster

Google's project sounds like an interesting technical achievement, but if they are thinking it's somehow helping the poor that is delusional thinking at best.

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ApathyCurve

If Google really wanted to help the poor in Africa and such places, they'd be building power generation plants and water treatment plants. Health comes from cheap power, clean water and reliable sanitation. Instant access to information is a "nice to have," not a necessity.

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vrmlbasic

Where are the Google built nuclear power plants, sewers and sewage treatment plants that power themselves based on the gases released by the treatment of the sewage? I guess Google wouldn't want to supply the staff to run that, not unless it provided some data to mine...which reminds me, if Google built the sewers then they could give the third world that sewer-based internet they joked about a few years back. Forget the weather balloons!

I somewhat wonder why Google hasn't built itself some power generating plants in the USA to combat high energy costs and an unreliable grid, especially in their home state of CA (which, as I recall, is down a nuke plant).

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Blackheart-1220

True. There's no point in giving free internet access to poor people who are starving or sick, and probably can't afford a PC or tablet.

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vrmlbasic

Even if they throw tablets out of a plane or some such, what would power them in the 3rd world and what would stop the recipients from trading their internet access device for something that they really need (eg:medical service) or having it confiscated by their local neighborhood warlord?

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John Pombrio

Bill Gates is my all time hero. To go from a hard assed, selfish executive to history's largest philanthropist is an amazing change (and kudos to Melinda Gates to help guide the way). He also has his priorities straight. Trying to help the world's suffering by curing the most devastating diseases is going to have more impact than any Nobel prize or college wing added.
Mr. Gates is SHAMING his overly rich colleagues to make a real difference in the world long after their businesses fade and their lives end. What better way to be remembered?

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vrmlbasic

I'm not sure how much he'll be remembered for this: Andrew Carnegie was the forerunner of Gates in this, throwing his fortune away in an astounding spree of philanthropy, and how well is he remembered today?

Making a difference in the world by funding those who will really make "the difference" doesn't seem too memorable either: I don't believe that John Q. Public remembers J. P. Morgan too well.

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John Pombrio

Ever heard of Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Hall in NYC, or Carnegie Institution for Science?

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crwlngkngsnk

Museums and libraries are great and all, but how many diseases did Morgan work to eradicate; how many lives actually saved by Carnegie's efforts?

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John Pombrio

Google "Carnegie Institute for Science".

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nightkiller

The point is not whether he did such and such to eradicate this or that in either case. It is that each used their wealth not to demonstrate that they were capable of conspicuous consumption and create a further divide between rich and poor but to give others a chance to better their life, whether it is through art or access to knowledge. If this is not enough, then by all means, write a letter to your favorite billionaire and explain that their help is really not required since you have decided to become billionaire yourself and will therefore do a much better job.

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vrmlbasic

"...conspicuous consumption..." Quoting Mitt Romney Style or is that just a general alliterative catchphrase these days?

Missing the point though: donating money doesn't necessarily cause the donor to be truly remembered and if a donor donates to be remembered, as John P. implied, then the donation is pretty darn far from being altruistic.

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nightkiller

This is a phrase much older than you have framed it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspicuous_consumption

Some people don't want to be remembered. They want to continue to have am impact on the future as they have made in the present.