Bill Gates – 3 Myths That Block Progress for The Poor

Bill gates annual letter, note his point about climate change. – Anthony

By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful. That’s why in this year’s letter we take apart some of the myths that slow down the work. The next time you hear these myths, we hope you will do the same.

…I am optimistic enough about this that I am willing to make a prediction. By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. (I mean by our current definition of poor.)2 Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer. Countries will learn from their most productive neighbors and benefit from innovations like new vaccines, better seeds, and the digital revolution. Their labor forces, buoyed by expanded education, will attract new investments.

[2] Specifically, I mean that by 2035, almost no country will be as poor as any of the 35 countries that the World Bank classifies as low-income today, even after adjusting for inflation.

A few countries will be held back by war, politics (North Korea, barring a big change there), or geography (landlocked nations in central Africa). And inequality will still be a problem: There will be poor people in every region.But most of them will live in countries that are self-sufficient. Every nation in South America, Asia, and Central America (with the possible exception of Haiti), and most in coastal Africa, will have joined the ranks of today’s middle-income nations. More than 70 percent of countries will have a higher per-person income than China does today. Nearly 90 percent will have a higher income than India does today.

It will be a remarkable achievement. When I was born, most countries in the world were poor. In the next two decades, desperately poor countries will become the exception rather than the rule. Billions of people will have been lifted out of extreme poverty. The idea that this will happen within my lifetime is simply amazing to me.

Some people will say that helping almost every country develop to middle-income status will not solve all the world’s problems and will even exacerbate some. It is true that we’ll need to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy to keep all this growth from making the climate and environment worse. We will also need to solve the problems that come with affluence, like higher rates of diabetes. However, as more people are educated, they will contribute to solving these problems. Bringing the development agenda near to completion will do more to improve human lives than anything else we do.

Read the entire letter here:

http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/?cid=bg_pt_ll0_012122/

h/t to Barry Woods

About these ads

116 thoughts on “Bill Gates – 3 Myths That Block Progress for The Poor

  1. Development is the answer to the problems of climate change – Yes.
    This is how sceptics and alarmists can work together.

  2. I read the whole thing and it was well worth it. He is very optimistic about where the world going. To me, it goes along with what Marc Marano says about energy helping to lead the world out of poverty. this is evidence that what Marc ahs been saying has been working for the last 50 years.

  3. Wanting to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy is not such a bad thing, especially the cheaper part.

  4. Bill Gates said:

    … [W]e’ll need to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy to keep all this growth from making the climate and environment worse.

    He leads with “cheaper”, and that’s encouraging.

    Of course, “we” don’t need a lot of cleaning-up, and neither do the folks who he is pointing at (at the bottom). It’s the ranking-emerging, and the hard-charging #2 try-harder crew, who really put up the pollution.

    I did not go read the whole thing, but I assume that if he riffed-off on a CO2 rant etc, we would be reading about it in the post. So it looks like pretty tame stuff.

    And why should he make a fuss about greenhouse theories, when everybody can see that the human CO2-driver idea is already on the ropes, and the smart money is edging for the exit-aisles?

  5. How refreshing. Someone stating, that while there is much to do still, things have never been better. And things only look to keep getting better.

  6. @WeatherOrNot January 22, 2014 at 1:32
    Bingo. Too bad that most politicians currently in power do not agree. Hence carbon taxes and various other stupidities; all acting as barriers to the improvement of peoples’ lives.

  7. I think my “conversion” to this idea came when I realized that the Book Of Revelation (sp) was written by a Jewish/Israel ex patriot, thrown out of Israel by the Romans in 70 AD. He also was an ELDER in the early Christian church. TO him everything revolved around Israel. Sort of the beginning of “Apocalypse” thinking.

    When I rejected this “Book” as having no “prophetic” value, my attitude towards humanity changed. I also believe we CAN achieve an overall better life for EVERYONE. I AM an ENGINEER, I MAKE that better life. OK, so I regard all non-engineers as some what Neanderthal, but that’s a personal problem. (Satirical humor hear anyone?) But I am SO PROUD of B.G. for having the same attitude I do. AND the same historical clarity of vision. BRAVO BILL! You are an admirable man. (Melinda too!!!! But you know that.)

  8. Two scams mentioned in the same paragraph notably:

    We will also need to solve the problems that come with affluence, like higher rates of diabetes.

    Nope. Not higher rates of affluence. Diabetes or trans-fatty acid poisoning of the modified electron transport chain in pancreatic beta cells comes from the consumption of trans fats as encouraged by the medical profession and big pharma. Its perpetuation, like the climate change scam, comes from control of the MSM and its solid foundation in pseudo science. In fact the world might well have been described as affluent in 1932 when there were zero cases of diabetes (2). The first case was in 1933, just 81 years ago….

    …. and you all believed it was natural?

    Nope. Its a scam, like Alzheimers, CV disease and many other symptoms of TFA poisoning.

  9. Well Mr. Gates Africa will still be full of wars and faction controlled by dictators, the Arabs will still control oil which will still be king, China is entering their military phase, Iran will have their nuke, as will North Korea, the oil sands will still be pumping oil, the US fracking, and so on. At this point in time no one knows what the sun will do, or how long we will have a quiet sun possibly leading to cooling, the EU will still be broke – perhaps Mr. Gates might want to name all those new cheaper forms of energy he has in mind.

  10. An excellent analysis.

    Bill and his organisation have gone up in my estimation.

    We have to stop the doomsayers who demand more and more control by frightening us about the future.

    If all nations increase per capita wealth the birth rate drops below replacement and we move towards genuine long term sustainability with an improved environment.

    I’ve been pointing that out for a while but to see Bill endorse it is a sign that it really is sinking in.

    The necessary increase in per capita wealth can only come from freedom and the cheapest possible sources of energy.

    Freedom involves the minimum of state interference.

    The cheapest sources of energy do not include those sources currently described as environmentally sustainable.

    That phrase is Orwellian in that it is the opposite of the truth.

    Genuine sustainability is going to come from fossil fuel use simply because it is cheap, plentiful, and leads to levels of prosperity that result in voluntarily reduced reproduction rates.

    If we raise the cost of energy by not using fossil fuels freely then we delay global prosperity, delay (and maybe defer indefinitely) the date of worldwide voluntary reduction in reproduction rates and damage the environment more than would otherwise have been the case.

    As usual, the power hungry know it all types are promulgating a great lie.

    If our CO2 emissions do not significantly affect the sizes positions and intensities of the permanent climate zones then we have been deceived, robbed and betrayed to an astonishing degree.

    The evidence is building that that is exactly what has happened.

  11. albertalad said @ January 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm;

    [P]erhaps Mr. Gates might want to name all those new cheaper forms of energy he has in mind.

    Coal?

    It can be burned without turning the air nasty.

  12. I can see him receiving a lot of hate from the left due to this letter… they do not like optimism through invested (capital).

  13. Well just look at that … the glass isn’t half empty, it’s half full.

    So much for all that gloom & doom talk.

  14. eco-geek says:
    January 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    … Diabetes or trans-fatty acid poisoning of the modified electron transport chain in pancreatic beta cells comes from …”

    I’m not sure where you got your history of diabetes from but Type 2 has been known since the 5th century C.E. as a distinct form, different from Type 1. Also, Type 2 was noted to be correlated with increasing affluence by health officers of British colonial agencies in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a matter of great concern.

    There is also a known inverse correlation between how long a population has been relying on a modern diet dominated by wheat flour and white rice. Foraging peoples and slash and burn (or “swidden” based) agriculturalists are particularly susceptible when their diets shift to highly processed. starch laden ones. There is no simple, single cause. Both forms of diabetes have been known for centuries.

    Trans-fats certainly are something I avoid, but so are high-fructose corn syrup and corn-fed beef. There’s a broad consensus now that even butter!! is better for you than trans-fat laden foods. That, however, is no good reason for walking the conspiracy plank.

  15. Arrgh! I accidentally deleted the end of the mark ending italicization. Be great if we could edit a comment.

  16. Cheaper and Cleaner Energy is necessary for a better and more prosperous world.

    But it won’t happen with rising thuggery,
    forced social conformism,
    more rule of man than rule of law,
    and a epidemic of law to numerous to read.

    It isn’t a matter of enginering a better world.
    It is a “People Problem”

  17. These dastardly capitalists really do need to get a better sense of self hatred. Don’t know how he can live with all that optimism. Hair shirt and self flagellation for you Mr Gates.

  18. @ ecogeek. What’s the source for your claim about diabetes? My great-uncle died as a youngster in the UK and was one of the first users of insulin. This was in the 1920’s. A quick google would also suggest diabetes was even recognised back in the ancient world.

  19. Sadly I think he is wrong. Problem number one is population and poor families having too many children. While the world may technically be able to support 7 million or 10 million it won’t for long before the four horses of the apocalypse change all that.

    Diabetes is genetic, you don’t “catch” it from transfats or sugar, you get it from your parents. Of course there was diabetes before 1932. When diabetics got sick they were treated with roots and herbs and if they died they died. Who knew what they died from and who cared.

  20. Free trade has done more to uplift the poorer countries than any govt programs ever will. As long there is a free market, capital will always seach out the most efficient and lowest cost workers and
    send work their way. Japan, Korea, China, India and even the U.S. all started out as low cost labor pools that attracted capital. Without a free and competitive environment, nothing works. That goes for all things human, including science.

  21. GoneWithTheWind, didn’t you read the letter? He addresses this very clearly: More affluence leads to lower population. It is poor countries that have too many children.

  22. Well Gates and the Gates foundation are notorious Malthusian population reductionists.

    This optimistic letter is a turnaround, and a hopeful one.

    But woe is the oligarch who turns on the archy.

  23. … ‘and, I voted for pot, too.’

    It’s not a surprise that Bill Gates personally supports the freedom to chose whether to use. But as a major public figure, in the midst of promoting his new Letter, it is a surprise to see him toss into the interview, that he voted for pot in his home state of WA USA.

    Particularly, when close observation of the process here in WA says ‘buy a good seat early’, and spend some time leafing through the game-Program … so you can fully appreciate the eruption that looks set to blow.

    That Gates ties his Annual Letter announcement to what should be an unrelated matter like this … is kinda curious.

  24. All aid is futile until the rule of law can be established. Long ago (Peace of Westphalia at the end of the 30 years’ war) it was established that interference in the domestic affairs of another sovereign nations was a guarantee of war. Something that is all too frequently forgotten; especially by those whose intentions are to do good.

    Aid is, in many ways, potentially counter-productive to economic development; especially when the poor work out that they can survive on economic aid. (That applies to all nations.)

    The best form of aid is non-interference. Crucial to robust economic development, on top of the rule of law, is freedom. The fundamental freedom of expression, along with the rule of law, allows people to prosper.

    There is a long way to go to establish and to re-establish the rule of law around the world. Without the rule of law, prosperity by individuals is discouraged as those above the law harvest what they perceive as “excess” and “fair game”.

    I’m not as optimistic as Gates appears to be in his letter. The constant erosion of the rule of law in “developed” countries will create a new poor; those who’ve been silenced and who are oppressed because “the better people” are insulated from the consequences of breaking the law. (e.g. from the UK where ratepayers have become the subjects of local government.)

    The Rule of Law must be encouraged. Peace and prosperity are possible when the majority of the population consents to the rule of law. But such must be demonstrated by those who champion it. Otherwise others will see nothing but hypocrisy.

  25. eco-geek says:
    January 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    Two scams mentioned in the same paragraph notably:

    We will also need to solve the problems that come with affluence, like higher rates of diabetes.

    ==================

    Read Wheat Belly Diet by Dr. Davis. I don’t think trans-fat play a big role for heart disease and diabetes. Excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates is what really causes heart disease and diabetes. Dr.Davis is a cardiologist and it’s pretty easy to figure it out by simply testing your blood sugar level to see how your body respond to certain food and right kind of cholesterol test can make a huge difference. Calculated test is worthless. In short, chronic high level of blood level brought on excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates increases small dense LDL (different from harmless large fluffy type of LDL) which leads to faster plaque build up in the arteries. Diabetic people tend to have heart disease as well. And we’re being encouraged to eat more grain based food because it has no fat. What a disaster. Same for sun scare that led to wide spread vitamin D deficiency. Turns out vitamin D is responsible for so many things in the human body.

  26. Duster says:
    January 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    =========

    It is possible that diabetes go way back to the pharaohs of Egypt where they found plaque in the arteries. It’s possible that they consumed excessive amount of wheat but who knows for sure. Just have to read Wheat Belly Diet book by Dr Davis to understand how it affects your health.

  27. @GoneWithTheWind says:

    >Diabetes is genetic, you don’t “catch” it from transfats or sugar, you get it from your parents. Of course there was diabetes before 1932.

    That is not how I read it. Type 1 is not inherited. It is caused by the immune system attacking the Islets of Langerhorn because a rotavirus with a nearly identical surface protein signature is present in the body. The antibodies take out the pancreas accidentally. Rotaviruses are common in preschool children. The damage soon starts and by the age of 10-12 they start to show the dramatic consequences. Perhaps there are genetic predispositions. In theory all type 1’s sufferers can be restored to complete health.

    Type two is often (completely) controllable with diet and weight management. We recently put into the ground my mother-in-law who ultimately succumbed to complications from type 2. She was for years insulin dependent but after losing a significant amount of weight and changing her diet, did not require it for several years before her death. Other circulation complications however were not reversed.

    Medicine is still in its infancy. Mr Gates is funding research into resilient diseases and that is a Good Thing. That’s what people with too much money should do.

  28. The History of Diabetes

    Diabetes has been recognize for as long & everywhere people have paid organized attention to health. It’s not hard to realize you’re seeing something specific, once you see a few cases.

    We can tell that ancient folks were onto it. The modern situation with it, and it’s name Diabetes mellitus, date from the late 1700s.

    Medical records are loaded with cases, through the 1800s. Now, insulin came along in the early 1900s, and experiences were a little rough with it, at first. Might be some confusion, with that.

  29. Lou said @ January 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm;

    It is possible that diabetes go way back to the pharaohs of Egypt where they found plaque in the arteries. It’s possible that they consumed excessive amount of wheat but who knows for sure.

    Honey is the original sugar. The ready availability of concentrated sucrose-syrup in the form honey held back the development of other sweeteners. Diabetes mellitus is Latin for ‘pees honey'; ‘pee smells of honey'; or “pee tastes of honey’. Pre-recent physicians smelled & tasted urine, often in the process of discharge. ‘Pee on your hand for me … there’s good fellow now’.

    People with even mildly comfortable means, used to ‘hog through’ honey, at least as bad as sugar-freaks do, today.

  30. So Bill Gates wants keep energy

    yeah, so everyone can have digital devices that run a microsoft product?

    Thought never crossed my mind….

  31. Let us see who is correct.

    Jesus Christ: (Matthew 26:11) For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.

    Bill Gates: By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.

    Gates is yet another arrogant mortal man who thinks he is God, making ego maniacal prognostications.

  32. @albertalad,

    “perhaps Mr. Gates might want to name all those new cheaper forms of energy he has in mind.”

    He has. He listed fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage, nuclear fission, wind, solar photovoltaic, and solar thermal in his recent TED Talk in 2010. He admits that research is needed in each of those areas to bring costs down.

  33. Stephen Wilde Jan 22 2:13pm – Thanks for posting that comment, instead of writing out my thoughts, I can just agree with you!

    I would add, though, that Bill Gates has put a fair bit of spin into his articles, in that he gives the impression that aid has enabled the advances, when the real key is energy – and the greens are still trying to prevent those who most need cheap energy from having any.

    Bill Gates says “It is ironic that the foundation has a reputation for a hard-nosed focus on results, and yet many people are cynical about the government aid programs we partner with.“. I don’t think it’s ironic at all. I’m happy to accept that the foundation is hard-nosed and that the aid it provides is generally very worthwhile. But government aid is something else – “That’s what poor people in rich countries pay to the rich people in poor countries” is AFAIK as true today as it was in 1969. And Bill Gates’ comment supports that idea : “The foundation does a lot to help [the government aid programs we partner with] be more efficient and measure their progress.“, ie, without the discipline that the foundation brings, a lot more of that particular government aid would be wasted, and by implication much other government aid actually is wasted.

  34. I think he’s working with a technology blind spot. Most work is not creative, but repetitive. Most people can’t handle a new and different task every day. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to master one thing. It’s darn difficult to be creative. Higher wealth and better education (“However, as more people are educated”) does not make people creative. To be creative in the modern technology world is very difficult, everything easy has already been done. So as the wealth increases, and automation takes over the repetitive tasks, more people just go on the dole. And the society becomes unstable. At some point, when there are too many tax-eaters, decline is inevitable.

    Affluent societies become senescent, decline, and are taken over by hungry societies of strivers who have a culture of working hard for every gain. Affluent societies cannot advance unless they are existentially challenged.

    Gates is a singularian, describing a post-singularity world. He grew up in the Pax Americana, and cannot imagine, nor does he have to worry about, a world where the wolves are ascendant.

  35. Roger Sowell says:
    January 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    @albertalad,

    “perhaps Mr. Gates might want to name all those new cheaper forms of energy he has in mind.”

    He has. He listed fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage, nuclear fission, wind, solar photovoltaic, and solar thermal in his recent TED Talk in 2010. He admits that research is needed in each of those areas to bring costs down.
    ——————————
    Then that isn’t new, is it? We already have each as we write. Moreover, cheap fossil fuels on land are severly limited – which in essdence is why oil sands, offshore, and other expensive methods. No disrespect intended.

  36. I don’t listen to socialists generally. This one also predicted that we would never need more than 640 kBytes of memory (eh, maybe an urban legend, but it fits). He is also hugely involved with the national reprogramming standards our children are getting through Common Core. It is hard to trust such a soul.

    Mark

  37. Of course, Mr. Gates is not seeking public office; if he were, he would be demogogically lamenting the problems of wealth and income inequality, global warming, resource depletion and other Malthusian claptrap. Even if things are better than he predicts, even a lot better, we’ll still have the same crowd whining about the same things they are today. It never ends with them.

  38. At this point, “poor countries” are those that lack the rule of law and property rights. Their situation will not improve until their governance does.

  39. As a sort of companion to Mr. Gates Letter I encourage all to view this TED talk. Some of the ideas and optimism in the Letter can be traced to the evidence presented in this talk:

  40. Bernd Felsche

    “All aid is futile until the rule of law can be established. Long ago (Peace of Westphalia at the end of the 30 years’ war) it was established that interference in the domestic affairs of another sovereign nations was a guarantee of war. Something that is all too frequently forgotten; especially by those whose intentions”

    Exactly.

    That is secret to increasing wealth and escape from poverty, especially in Africa.

  41. Probably a bit of sour note but…. the US needs to throttle the foundations. To many, to big, to powerful. Sure they do some good work and the people behind them deserve credit. They also spend copious amounts on influence peddling. Foundations are a holdover from feudalism.

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation exists to shelter their massive fortune from taxes which would put it into the general kitty. Why are they exempt from arbitrary government spending while most are not.

  42. Let us see who is correct.

    Jesus Christ: (Matthew 26:11) For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.
    Bill Gates: By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.

    You do realize that Gate’s remark has an asterisk by it, right? The headline is to grab people. He specifically said poor by today’s standards and specifically said that there would always be people and countries that are less well off than their neighbors.

    Jesus’s statement is that there will always be people less well off than others… the poor. He didn’t quantify “how poor.” Doesn’t sound like the two statements are nearly as far apart as you’re trying to make them sound.

  43. Nice sentiments, but having destroyed keyboards trying to use the mans products, I expect his planet saving will be just as buggy.
    Sarcastically, before I abandoned using Microsoft products completely, I had come to believe that Gates became a philanthropist, to defuse the urge of customers to exact vengeance upon his person for the product his company sold.

  44. Mr. Gates admits the key to his optimism is cheap energy.

    Yet governments world-wide have colluded with the UN to make energy scarce and expensive by supporting the absolutely evil notion that CO2, aka “plant food”, is destroying the world.

    Ironic how the UN is accusing a colorless, odorless, beneficial trace gas of doing their dirty work.

    Until governments stop marching in lockstep with the UN and their brand of shadow totalitarianism, this world will not progress.

    Why Gates selects 2035 as a mile marker for unprecedented progress in the world is anybody’s guess.

    Today live ammunition was approved for “handling” dissenters in Kiev, Ukraine, where for several days a bloody street battle has been waged between EU-leaning citizens and the police of a hard-line government that is forging closer ties with Putin.

    Putin’s energy policies are largely to blame, and when dictators like Putin use energy policies to political advantage, the UN cheers—what Putin is doing in his sphere is what the UN states they will do world-wide.

    What’s going to transform the UN from an assemblage of capitalist-hating power-mongers into a flock of benevolent care givers?

    I have no clue.

    And neither, from what I’ve read, does Mr. Gates.

  45. Kcrucible,

    When you correct someone, you ought to be in better command of the facts and subject matter.
    You might re-read both references and rethink what you said, what you meant to say, and the underlying motive.

  46. Well I have mixed feelings about BG.

    First off, I don’t begrudge Bill Gates, one brass razoo. I believe he is one of the very few people one can point to, and say; this person has made the opportunity for a better living, for nearly every person on this planet. Can you imagine the world we have today, without the PC, and M$ Windows ? Now to me, an Apple is just a PC; maybe it preceded the IBM PC; but it is just a PC. And I think of Steve Wozniak, as its creator; not Jobs. I will acknowledge that Jobs made a business success of that Company. I wonder what Apple might be today, if the Woz’s open architecture had prevailed over Jobs’ closed shop.

    But I digress; thanx Bill Gates for this gizmo.

    But I’m not even going to stick around till 2035, to see your prediction fail to materialize. You put too much faith in the willingness of people to give up their freedom, in favor of a managed utopia.

    Of course I believe the world is going to get better; but only because there will always be plenty of people who believe in freedom, for its own sake.

    I haven’t read your full letter Bill, but I will.

    Speaking of those new energies; I noticed, that you didn’t mention thermo-nuclear fusion; the energy of the future; it always will be, the energy of the future.

    The reason is two-fold; (a), gravity sucks ! and (b), Earnshaw’s theorem .

    Earnshaw’s theorem says no stable static configuration of electric charges exists. It is inherently impossible to use static electric fields, to compress matter to a high enough density, at a high enough temperature, for long enough to get continuous fusion. It is an inherently unstable situation. Numerous fusion experiments that simply blew up, spectacularly, demonstrate that.

    Mother Gaia, has shown us, about how big a thermo-nuclear reactor needs to be, and also what is a safe distance from human habitation to build one. And that design only works, because gravity sucks.

    Anything that get in the vicinity of a large enough mass, is automatically attracted, to the center of mass, completely without human intervention. The pile (pun intended) just keeps on getting bigger, until it eventually lights up, all by itself. Gravitational thermo-nukes, just happen all by themselves.

    So nyet, on the fusion dream.

    But thanx again Bill for what you and yours, have created. The world is a better place now.

  47. “Mike Jonas says:

    January 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm”

    While there is significant waste in aid programs, in particular in Africa, it’s corruption that pevents most of the aid from doing what it was intended to do by being siphoned off.

    Gates is still a firm believer in CO2 driven CAGW, so take what he says about energy costs with a pinch of salt.

  48. It is true that we’ll need to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy to keep all this growth from making the climate and environment worse.

    ===================================================================
    But that will never happen by dumping today’s cheap energy because the Hansenites have decreed that CO2 is “dirty”.
    Does Gates really think that Hansen is right and someday we’ll be able to buy fresh boiled lobster right off the boat?

  49. george e. smith says:
    January 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Well I have mixed feelings about BG.

    First off, I don’t begrudge Bill Gates, one brass razoo. I believe he is one of the very few people one can point to, and say; this person has made the opportunity for a better living, for nearly every person on this planet. ….
    …..But thanx again Bill for what you and yours, have created. The world is a better place now.

    ====================================================================
    Well, it was before Vista and Windows 8. 8-)

  50. “””””…..Patrick says:

    January 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    “Mike Jonas says:

    January 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm”

    While there is significant waste in aid programs, in particular in Africa, it’s corruption that pevents most of the aid from doing what it was intended to do by being siphoned off…….”””

    So it’s just the same as in the USA ??

  51. george e. smith says:
    January 22, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Well I really liked M$ DO$ 3.20; that worked gud.

    =======================================================
    But it didn’t have a spell checker to make us look smarter than we really are. 8-)

  52. Just over one month ago, Bill wrote the following, which appears to strongly support the IPCC position.

    Has he moderated his view to a somewhat more neutral or even skeptical stance?

    http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Books/Personal/The-Bet?WT.mc_id=12_13_2013_TheBet

    Matt Ridley’s book The Rational Optimist (2010) is probably the best statement today of the Simon case, and Ridley was more careful than Simon was in his claims. Even though I agree with a lot of the book, it too easily dismisses the need to address problems of the poorest, climate change, and the oceans.

    The recent Economist special report on biodiversity makes a strong case that economic growth allows us to make environmental concerns a priority. It contrasts the environmental record of the rich countries with that of poor countries to say that economic growth is the best hope for environment protection. All of this suggests to me that we should be wary of broad attacks on economic growth. (The authors of the special report admit that it’s not focused on climate change and mostly leaves aside the mismanagement of the oceans, which is tragic problem that deserves more focus.)

    I recommend The Bet to anyone wanting to understand the history of the divisive discussions we have today, especially the stalemate over climate change. Sabin makes a strong case that Ehrlich’s brand of science made it easy for conservative critics to caricature environmentalists as doom merchants and fear mongers who peddle dubious science as a means of advancing their big-government agenda.

    And Simon is far from blameless. “Julian Simon and other critics of environmentalism … have taken far too much comfort from extravagant and flawed predictions of scarcity and doom,” writes Sabin. “By focusing solely and relentlessly on positive trends, Julian Simon made it more difficult to solve environmental problems.”

    It’s a shame that extreme views get more attention and more of a following than nuanced views. We see this dynamic clearly when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does its best to be clear and impartial in conveying what is known on the key issues, but both liberals and conservatives make it hard for the public to understand the panel’s nuanced conclusions.

  53. Gunga Din said @ @ January 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm;

    It is true that we’ll need to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy to keep all this growth from making the climate and environment worse.

    ===================================================================
    But that will never happen by dumping today’s cheap energy because the Hansenites have decreed that CO2 is “dirty”.
    Does Gates really think that Hansen is right and someday we’ll be able to buy fresh boiled lobster right off the boat?

    I can’t find anything in the Letter about C02 … greenhouse, warming, carbon, dioxide.

    He might be hedging on that toxic CO2 thing.

  54. Yes, Bill Gates is yet another elitist totalitarian harboring the belief that if only those darkies would accept our birth control pills, everything would work out well. We have been pushing the pill on the darkie nations since the 1960s. How has this fared?

  55. Re Gates’ list of new energy sources that are cheaper than today. Yes, research is already being done, and progress is being made. He listed specifically fossil fuel with carbon capture and storage. A few companies are working on this and have some promising technologies. As more plants are built and experience gained, costs will likely be reduced. One such technology is IGCC, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle where coal is gasified, the CO2 captured and stored, and hydrogen is burned cleanly in a gas turbine to produce power. Another is mineralization of CO2, which is basically chemically converting the CO2 into dry sodium bicarbonate. With CO2 mineralization, there is no need to liquefy the CO2, and no need to pump the CO2 underground.

    He also listed nuclear fission. Costs there are extremely high and are unlikely to come down. He also mentioned drawbacks to nuclear fission: operating safety, proliferation of weapons, and long-term toxic waste disposition.

    He next listed wind power, where costs are steadily declining. The decline is primarily due to economy of scale with larger and larger wind turbines. The major issue remains intermittency, which Gates mentioned. This can be solved with the discovery of economic storage. Research is done on several types of storage systems, but nothing is yet economic.

    Next he listed solar photovoltaic energy, which has had dramatic decreases in cost in the past decade or so. It suffers from the same intermittency problem as does wind.

    Finally, he listed solar thermal, which can have a built-in storage system to produce power after the sun sets each night. Costs for this also can be reduced by economy of scale.

    Gates did not say this, but there is nothing that can compete with natural gas burned in modern combined cycle gas turbine plants for low cost, reliability, safety, and zero pollution. There is promising research that converts organic matter from sewage sludge into methane. I can provide details if there is any interest.

  56. William Henry Gates III

    Born October 28 1955 to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell.

    At 13 Master Gates enters Lakewood School and expensive Preparatory School where his enrollment was payed for by Senior Gates, a very well-to-do Seattle resident, i.e. his father.

    In eight grade, the “Mothers Club” used “proceeds” of the Lakewood School to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of computer time on a General Electric (GE) computer for the school’s students!

    Oh, so computational the “Mothers Club!” And so well “Financed”, dear dear.

    After the Mothers Club “donation” was “exhausted,” [oh my, not good] he and other students sought time on systems including DEC PDP minicomputers. One of these systems was a PDP-10 belonging to Computer Center Corporation (CCC), which banned four Lakeside students—Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland, and Kent Evans—for the summer after it caught them exploiting bugs in the operating system to obtain free computer time.

    Ah Ha! Exploiting Bugs!

    Well well.

    In time, Master Gates would be expelled from Harvard on a certain disagreement of Master Gates and a … err … Professor, where upon the Professor gave Master Gates a grade of FAIL, and Master Gates Famously retorted that his father would cut the balls off the Professor should he proceed. The Harvard Professor proceeded!

    Some months later Senior Gates bought a small software company in Albuquerque New Mexico for his son, so his son would be the “President” there of. After all, Senior Gate must save face amongst his “Lakewood” rivals, and his son “must” be a master of industry and commerce after all he is bread for no other roll in his life on this Earth!

    So now. Master Gates, having out lived Senior Gates and all … must still demonstrate his “born abilities” his “bread excellence” his “born to rule the masses” in spite of his … physical deformities.

    Ah! The “Deformed Dwarf King” William Henry Gates III, and now no other. Good riddance Dwarf King. May your body rot at 2x the “normal” rotting rate for the latitude of … Seattle.

    Ha ha

  57. Now, full confession: there are many things I want to punch Gates for, Microsoft and all the lies spread against competitors, for example, yes, I’m one of those people that goes around swapping all the computers of my friends and family to linux whenever possible…

    There are things which I would gladly shake his hand for though, and he has been doing good work as a humanitarian, so kudos there.

  58. Oh, forgot to add that I appreciate this being shared so more people can see the results of vaccination, and hopefully we can prevent mouthy morons like Jenny McCarthy from convincing anyone else that Polio and Smallpox are better than living babies and a working society.

  59. Bill Gates ?
    I know the name…is it running at Santa Anita.

    Never mind, I figured it out, THAT Bill Gates.

  60. Gunga Din said @ January 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm;

    … [W]hat does “clean energy” and the need for it mean nowadays?
    I don’t think anyone would say that Bill Gates is behind the times.

    At this point, it’s still a hedge, and the cards have to stay close.

    But coal will burn with nothing but water vapor & CO2. It’s the garish lurid-red urban horizons that need “cleaned”, and we have the technology for that. Have, for a long time.

    Once CO2 turns out not to be an ogre, the now-elevated prices of energy & fuels could make coal very tempting. Clean energy means using scrubber etc systems … so you can drink the water condensed from the stack-exhaust.

    Chem-Eng had a long-running ad-series of a white-hatted Manager tipping back the glass, back when it was worth saving.

  61. Besides cheap, plentiful energy and better governance, progress depends on capital. Bill Gates apparently is unaware that Obama (and Bush before him), together with the Federal Reserve, have squandered a good half of our country’s capital. I suspect that the next socialist President will continue the same disastrous policies.

    At some point during the next few years, it’s quite possible that the National Debt, plus the $240 Trillion in unfunded liabilities, plus the FED quickening its money printing, will push the US into a major (or even a Hyper) inflation. Regardless, at some point the spending of our capital by the idiots in DC will become apparent as we enter Depression conditions (yes, worse than now).

    It’s very difficult for the world to grow richer when the richest country (and likely Europe as well) become poverty stricken. (Yes, I hope I’m wrong.)

  62. By the standards of the future, all nations today are poor, because they can’t provide free and abuntant energy to the citizens. Obviously, that energy wont be coming from fossile fuel (nor solar panels). What we need to fix is the problem that energy today is expensive, and CO2 emissions are simply a symptom of that.

  63. Good letter with a nice positive message. For many people this will be news, as the media, politics etc are reporting in the opposite direction. The remark on climate change – not too bad, it is a start to a more neutral position. Poverty is caused by corruption, bad politics, absence of free markets. The progress in the last 30 years is remarkable and worth to be cited again and again.
    Mr. Gates: not so bad after all – may the Lord help you in your further efforts to fight poverty.

  64. Sh** happens. Endemic in India and elsewhere, various strains of bacteria have shared a new ability to make an enzyme that defeats our most potent antibiotics. The very real prospect of numerous unstoppable dread diseases we’ve almost forgotten about looms.

  65. And if you look at all the most rapidly improving nations, vs nations which are not, you will find a correlation between those with smaller governments improving faster than those with larger interfering nations

  66. But Bill & M are avid AGW supporters. They want the poor to remain poor and the rich to become poor, oh, as long as it isn’t them. Like the other clown Branson they support Oblarny and his lies.

  67. What is with all the hateful comments about Bill Gates?

    I suggested above that Bill may be moderating his stance on CO2. Perhaps he is. That would be sensible, based on the evidence. [CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales. ECS, if it exists at all, is much smaller than 1C/(2xCO2). The alleged global warming crisis does not exist.]

    Other than that, I see Bill as a positive individual who is trying to do his best with the rest of his life.

    Where is the problem?

  68. Allan M.R. MacRae says:
    January 23, 2014 at 3:17 am

    What is with all the hateful comments about Bill Gates?

    Hateful? Nah. Ironic, maybe. Everything Gates says are platitudes, a painful explanation of the obvious, toothless at its best, detracting from real cultural problems at its worst.

    And who is he to talk about poverty? Bill Gates has never been poor, he is not a self-made man in the sense that, say, Alexander Graham Bell or Nikola Tesla were. Bill Gates’ father was a millionaire lawyer who had connections in the upper echelon of IBM at the right time. Hence: DOS.

    I don’t hold Bill’s riches against him. One cannot say that he is as corrupt as some Mexican or Russian tycoons. Programmers cry out that Bill Gates has plagiarized much of his code but it wasn’t copyrighted, and Gates (or his father) was able to see a business opportunity. However mediocre MS software is, it is something that we use, warts, glitches, and all.

    Do we really use MS OS or MS Word voluntarily, or are forced to use it? Again, I cannot blame Bill Gates personally for the fact that circumstances force us to use MS software, whereas there are and could be much better choices. But many people dislike Bill Gates simply because he personifies all that unpleasantly inevitability of using that ubiquitous thing that is constantly in our faces and down our throats.

    Hatred? Nah. A yawn and a sigh, no more.

  69. Paul,

    You mean like this?

    “By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. (I mean by our current definition of poor.)2 Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer.

    [2] Specifically, I mean that by 2035, almost no country will be as poor as any of the 35 countries that the World Bank classifies as low-income today, even after adjusting for inflation.”

  70. Co-Process Energy Plants

    All across America, and around the world, there are large numbers of little generating-plants that make Belching Old-Time Coal look like a model citizen … in terms of the raunchy, ghastly fuels they burn. But there are no visible emissions from them, no smell, no funny-colored skies under certain weather-conditions. You can warm & dry your newborn baby in the stack-exhaust, no worries. Literally … because even the extra moisture & heat have been removed, and used

    These co-plants provide juice to a local industrial layout … but they are really garbage-disposals. The laws under which they operate, favor them accepting multiple streams of bizarre ‘fuel-crap’, from other local economic activities. Often, there is a side-business consisting of an independently-operated 500 horsepower ‘tub-grinder’ that chips stumps, construction debris, agriculture waste & byproduct … and small truckers have little side-contracts, pulling trailer-loads of the chip to the plant, and empty trailers back.

    A very big co-production aspect to these multi-func plants, is cement-clinker. They ‘modify’ their firebox ash, so that as it emerges, it is a massaged material ideal for adding to a Portland Cement production stream. Or, the ash-waste can be tuned to be road-ballast. Or asphalt or Portland concrete aggregate. The flexibility is phenomenal.

    We have one of these little plants, right here at one of the global epicenters of the Eco-Enviro-Green scene. The Elwha River, with the dams now down and salmon cavorting in free-running waters, supplies water to the port-town of Port Angeles. But not so much to the Eclipse Industrial Plant, since it produces its own water from the plant-gases (yes, you can drink it). It burns a lot of tree-bark, being mainly a sawmill-centered facility.

    Our Eclipse plant sits beneath the famous mountain-scenery of Olympic National Park. Park Headquarters are right up the road. Most people don’t even know that the ‘burner’ & plant are there.

    These little co-plants have long been an actual, standardized Industrial Product themselves, cranked out by companies like a form of specially construction equipment. Obviously, they are ideal for Bill Gates’ purposes & goals. Poor, developing regions have the crappy coal that makes the best road-ballast & cement-clinker, which such places need. The plants are often mobile, made to break down in pieces and truck up & down the road, as the work-locale shifts.

    Once it turns out that CO2 can’t serve as a credible bogeyman, the floodgates will burst.

    [Ok … I will scoot outa here before daylight, drive across the famous Elwha, and spend the day working in the woods on a hillside above the Eclipse mill & co-plant, a country mile away. I will usually hear it clanging & buzzing & roaring … but I will never get a whiff of it. Not once, in decades. Will work days in the brush for a week now, out of contact mostly… ]

  71. george e. smith says January 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I believe he is one of the very few people one can point to, and say; this person has made the opportunity for a better living, for nearly every person on this planet. Can you imagine the world we have today, without the PC, and M$ Windows ?

    We put a man on the moon with much, much less ‘horse power’ on the desk, but nonetheless, computing horsepower. In 1993 at work our MicroVAX (and other full-sized VAXs) were accessed using PCs as a ‘dumb terminals’, JUST to put things into perspective …

    .

  72. SIG INT Ex says January 22, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Some months later Senior Gates bought a small software company in Albuquerque New Mexico

    What was the name of that company?

    .

  73. eco-geek says:
    January 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    many other symptoms of TFA poisoning.
    ===================
    One study that has stuck in my mind over the years was the autopsies of American war dead from WWII and the Korean War. These were mostly young men. The WWII dead showed almost no CV disease. The Korean deaths showed high rates of CV disease.

    We are talking about a period of 10 years, in which the young American male population went from low rates of CV disease to high rates of CV disease. Only years later did this show up as increased death rates. But the evidence was there years earlier.

    It cannot be due to lifestyle, because lifestyles did not change that much. The most obvious cause is a change in diet. Not an increase in food because if anything food supply was decreased during WWII. What changed during WWII was the introduction of artificial food. Most notable among these was artificial fat, that did not rot or turn rancid, which could be stored at room temperature.

    Is it possible that the human body was not evolved to eat fat that did not rot? Doesn’t it make sense that if nature cannot break down a fat, our bodies might have a problem with the fat as well?

  74. One of the problems in medicine is that when the doctors cannot find the cause of a disease, they tend to blame the patient. So for example, ulcers were for many years blamed on the patient, too much stress in their lives, when ultimately it was found that the cause was bacteria.

    Similarly, when CV disease because a problem, doctors blamed the patient. Too much fat in the diet, without considering it might only be the type of fat that was the problem. So people cut back on fat, and as they did they started getting fatter and developing diabetes. And doctors again blamed this on the patients lifestyle. Without asking the question, what role has the medical profession played in all this? Is it possible the advice was wrong, that people need fat in their diet to remain healthy? That a high carbohydrate low fat diet is not a healthy diet? But that the fat needs to be the right kind of fat.

    Is it correct to assume that if a large group of people start getting a disease that the people themselves are the cause?

  75. Alexander Feht says January 23, 2014 at 4:53 am

    … Alexander Graham Bell or Nikola Tesla

    Reality check:

    Debunking the Tesla Myth: False facts about Tesla giving him more credit than he deserves.

    http://edisontechcenter.org/tesladebunked.html

    In short, Tesla worked the technical ‘arbitrage’* between English-speaking western-world and Eastern Europe, having had access to both the technical journals and patents at the time …

    .
    .
    *Arbitrage – the practice of taking advantage of a price or knowledge difference between two or more markets, striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance.

    .

  76. albertalad says:
    January 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm
    cheap fossil fuels on land are severly limited
    ============
    coal is plentiful and cheap. if the EPA shuts down coal for electricity generation in the US, coal will get much cheaper and even more plentiful. Power companies currently buy 90% of the coal produced in the US and the US has a couple of hundred years of known coal reserves at current consumption rates. As coal prices drop there are likely to be thousands of micro coal fired generating plants opening to slip in under the EPA limits, unless of course fracking makes natural gas even cheaper.

  77. _Jim says:
    January 23, 2014 at 6:49 am
    Debunking the Tesla Myth:
    =============
    Pretty sure Edison is not the best source for information about Tesla. Something about a battle over AC and DC, with truth as the first casualty of war.

  78. US price of gasoline – $3.30 / gal
    1 gallon of gasoline – 33 Kwh
    US price of electricity – $.10/kwh

    by energy content the retail price to the US consumer of electricity and gasoline are about the same

  79. What I see in the “letter”/manifesto is lots of B-school bozo hand-waving without substance. Great, let’s do good things, develop cheaper, cleaner energy, blah blah blah. We’d do that with our without Bill Gates; we were doing that before he was born. But he’s saying “Look at me! Look at me!”.

    “Can you imagine the world we have today, without the PC, and M$ Windows”

    Yes. We had better and less expensive micro-computers before Ill-Begotten Monstrosities got into it and before MSFT. (I knew one of the managers on the PeeeeeCeeeee project who was a great guy, and I also had a protege at the U who worked on it, so this isn’t mere personal emotion; I was kind of hoping they’d release something better.) We obviously had operating systems that were at least as good, before Bill Gates’s mommy used her influence to get him the contract. We certainly had better super-computers, and they had much better operating systems. And then MSFT certainly wrecked a lot of good products after take-overs.

    Without MSFT we might not have perma-temps (full-time long-term employees on the books as occasional consultants so as to dodge market pay and benefits). We might not have dishonest blather about “talent shortages” while millions of able and willing US citizen STEM/MINT pros have trouble getting interviews for nearly 20 years, now. We might not have false claims of guest-workers being “best and brightest”, but turning out to be mediocre people doing mediocre kinds of non-cutting-edge work that does not require especially high or rare intelligence, creativity, or knowledge.

    OK, he’s taken some of his not-completely-cleanly gotten gains and used it to fund more STEM education to worsen the flood of talent and continue to depress compensation, to develop a vaccine against malaria, to distribute mosquito nets, he paid and employed for a number of years the guy who developed his OS, so, in the balance, I can cut him only a miniscule mustard seed of slack.

    But the “I know better than all of you millions of people in the USA and billions of people in the world” attitude, “so the government(s) and people better follow my lead, even though I’ve never shown any significant brilliance or vastness of knowledge”, is the most annoying.

  80. I like his optimism, but I will never get past the fact that becoming insanely wealthy by developing the best software during the computer revolution doesn’t make a person any more omniscient than stepping foot on the moon.

    His opinions have been increasingly socialistic, similar to his good friend Warren Buffet. There is no ‘we’ who determine things like this, as what is frequently good for you is not good for me, and nature takes its course. What he wants is world government, which will result in the few (1% or 0.1% or possibly 0.01%) having absolute control over what the rest of us can and cannot do.

    Beware uber-wealthy people engaged in solving the world’s problems.

  81. “Cheaper and cleaner energies need to be developed”, the world’s energy companies agree. There is a little more than a century of fossil fuels left to be exploited. The profits from this energy can either be used for R&D for these new energies or it can be given to world governments as a tax and used to “save” the world from the boogeyman. One would be beneficial (possibly essential) for the human species whereas one would be a waste of resources.

  82. While Bill has some good points, Bono actually has it right. — “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.” Free commerce, property rights, the rule of law all do more for the poor than giving them money. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for PRIVATE charity, but without economic rights and freedoms, the vast majority of the poor are going to stay poor.

  83. ferdberple says January 23, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Pretty sure Edison is not the …

    An unwarranted ad hom without even looking at the website’s contents; please dispute the facts at the website, if able. PS. “Edison” is not the source, BTW. The man moved to the hereafter on October 18, 1931 long before the advent of the internet.

    A ‘for instance’, since you may be resistant to a website labeled ‘Edison-anything':


    Myth 1: Tesla invented polyphase AC power: FALSE.

    (1) First there was a hand-cranked AC generator developed by Hippolyte Pixii in 1832. (2) Single phase AC power was being used more in Europe by many inventors in the early 1880s. (3) As early as the late 1870’s Germany had developed a 2 phase AC generator.

    In New York City Tesla had approached investors in 1886 with his AC system and did not have success. So in the United States in New York there was little confidence in AC power systems.

    From a world wide perspective there was many working on AC systems. August Haselwander and C.S. Bradley(a former Edison employee) created the first 3 phase AC generators(1887). Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrovsky built the first full 3 phase AC generation and distribution system in the 1888-1891 period. Tesla continued to be stuck in his two-phase system which proved to be less effective than three.

    If the previous poster wanted to cite a better historical figure it would be Charles Steinmetz the REAL father of AC. His original work is available on-line too:

    “Theory and calculation of alternating current phenomena (1916)”

    https://archive.org/details/5edtheorycalculatisteiuoft

    .

  84. mib8 says January 23, 2014 at 8:11 am

    We obviously had operating systems that were at least as good, before Bill Gates’s mommy used her influence to get him the contract.

    ???

    Which contract?

    .

  85. Jim,

    Tesla was the one who made the first working AC generator, as brothers Write made the first airplane that could be really controlled, and as Marconi made the first radio that could be really used. Yes, there were many inventors who worked in the same fields, some of them earlier than those with the famous names, and it would be a shame to forget them.

    Nevertheless, it is Tesla’s generator that gets our world going, because, unlike his predecessors, it is working.

  86. Alexander Feht says January 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Tesla was the one who made the first working AC generator, a …

    Tsk, tsk tsk; from a previous post you did not read:

    Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrovsky built the first full 3 phase AC generation and distribution system in the 1888-1891 period. Tesla continued to be stuck in his two-phase system which proved to be less effective than three.

    You need to find better history books, something with more technical content than marketing ‘fluff’. And something not so US-centered. Let me ask you, did you not understand this previous statement: “Tesla worked the technical ‘arbitrage’ between English-speaking western-world and Eastern Europe, having had access to both European technical journals and patents at the time …</b"? There was even a definition of the word "arbitrage" as it is applied here.

    .

  87. As much as I admire Bill Gates, he has no depth to his commitment to property rights and the rule of law. These are the essence of civilization and indeed are well expressed by several of the Ten Commandments, starting with the Command that forbids coveting. Anyone who finds it easy to suggest that government coercion be used, or taxes be raised or that government must imposed its idea of what prices are right is coveting and stealing the rights and property of another person.

    Indeed, I wonder where Bill Gates would direct his fortune had the covetous inheritance tax that his own father so vocally supported never existed. But do not let me be too harsh on him. If I had his wealth and was faced with government seizing most of it upon my death (to avoid the very tax his father supports), I too would want to direct it to a use that benefited humanity the most.

    If Mr. Gates’ wealth funds the vaccine for malaria, in 100 years he will be remembered by far more people for banishing that horrible disease than for any computer software his company produced. I wish that effort every success, and the sooner the better.

  88. Jim,
    I’ve read your post and understood it. I also studied Tesla’s biographies (many of them) in detail, since I was interested in his personality and work.

    Your attacks on Tesla are typical of people with hurting egos who want to diminish greatness to sooth their burning disappointment with themselves.

    In the same vein, modern archaeologists still cannot hear Heinrich Schliemann’s name without cringing. He “didn’t apply scientific methods,” he was a “grave robber,” he was an “unscrupulous capitalist using his ill-gotten money to finance his fame,” etc., etc., ad nauseam. But it was Shliemann who [found] Troy and Mycenae (and correctly identified the location of Knossos, too). There’s simply no around it.

    The first postage stamp was successfully introduced by Sir Rowland Hill in 1840. It is true that he didn’t invent it. The idea of as postage stamp was first proposed, quite a few years earlier, by the postal service official in Serbia, then a part of Austrian-Hungarian Empire. That official was fired for going over the head of his immediate superiors, and nothing became of his idea practically.

    First radio signal was sent and received by Russian Navy, testing the idea of Aleksanr Popov. But it was Marconi who designed an apparatus that was practical and ready to implement on a large scale.

    Similarly, Nikola Tesla was the one who designed the first working industrial AC generation grid, and no slurs would ever change this fact. My hat off to Dolivo-Dobrovsky, but it was Tesla, and in the US, not in Europe, who designed, tested, and implemented the first industrial-scale system of electricity generation and distribution.

    Please note that I will not continue our conversation if you wouldn’t immediately change your tone to much more respectful one. I don’t suffer jerks gladly.

    [Though others would claim he did, indeed, “wound” Troy. 8<) mod]

  89. Another thing Bill got wrong — Bill Gates has created immense wealth not only for himself, but for millions of people worldwide. All that wealth allows people to not only give back, but to start new enterprises that generate more wealth.

    Wealth is anti-poverty. It’s not something to be ashamed of. You can’t discount what Gates achieved just because he started with more advantages than most people. (Sure, Gates isn’t rags-to-riches like Jobs, but remember, Microsoft saved Apple all those years ago. Remember?) Gates helped take personal computers from a toy for hobbyists and proto-nerds.to an essential tool for business. Gates didn’t invent DOS, he bought it (and DOS itself was a port of CPM to the Intel 8086 processor). Gates didn’t invent the GUI (and neither to Jobs) but Gates helped make Windows the most popular OS in the world. And while Microsoft was late to embrace the internet, people still primary run computers with Microsoft Windows to run their browsers. Gates should be proud of all those achievements.

  90. For the first time I’m starting to believe that Gates gets it.
    Now if Mr. Soros would only run out of money, or disappear from the scene, or both.

  91. Bill Gates ..thinks there are too many people on the planet. spends millions on research to save lives in poor countries.

    …something doesn’t add up.

  92. Gates holds a lot of sway in Washington DC, he goes there quite often. Kurt Delbene going in to help ACA probably has a lot to do with him. So if he wants cheap energy there’s a high probability folks around DC will listen.

  93. I’m sitting right down the road from Microsoft as I write this, and you know – I think Bill misses the point.

    My standard of living has been dropping like a rock, much the same as nearly everyone else I know in my generation. Prices and taxes are going up while my income keep going down. I can’t properly heat my home because the government fees to install the right equipment are exorbitantly high. My opportunities for work are shrinking because I can’t afford the licensing.

    I don’t think I can name a friend who really cares how the third world is doing; we’re all too busy getting poorer and trying not to get ground under the heel of government.

  94. Actually we have cheap energy, it’s just that the prices get manipulated way up by the bankers b/c of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 slipped in by (R) Phil Gramm while everyone was looking at Florida and hanging chads. We saw this in the crash of 2008 when gas got well below $2 because the banks were temporarily forced out. Gas could still be below $2 if Dodd-Frank were ever implemented. Taxes could also be a lot less on the little people by closing the overseas tax havens that the billionaires use. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

  95. Bill Gates says: “By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been.”

    Anon says on January 24, 2014 at 12:59 am: “I’m sitting right down the road from Microsoft as I write this, and you know – I think Bill misses the point. My standard of living has been dropping like a rock, much the same as nearly everyone else I know in my generation.”
    _______________

    I think you are on the right track Anon.

    The Western world is over-governed and our legislators keep piling on more and more laws and regulations that add little if any value, but drive up the cost of everything. The false global warming crisis and green energy nonsense are good examples of expensive government foolishness.

    Our government services are bloated and civil servants enjoy job security and defined-benefit pensions that the rest of us can only dream of. Those in the private sector will be working to 75 so that government workers can retire at 55.

    Too many people are taking out much more than they can ever contribute to society.

    The USA, Japan, the UK and the European Union are printing money like Zimbabwe and this will end badly.

    In my country Canada, the hard-working (and resource-rich) people of Alberta are supporting most of the country through huge Transfer Payments to “have-not” provinces – which in some cases enjoy better services than we can afford here in Alberta. Federal Transfer Payments were intended as a “hand-up” to help the have-not provinces become self-sufficient, but after 55 years are clearly a “hand-out” to continue indefinitely.

    Regarding Bill Gate’s contention that “the world is better than it has ever been”:

    I suggest that the Western world has been slipping for several decades, with lower living standards, rising unemployment and youth alienation.

    I further suggest that sub-Saharan Africa is much worse than it was fifty years ago. Prior to the African Independence Movement circa 1960, many of these countries had rule–of-law, effective government, and functioning economies and infrastructure that has since been destroyed.

    Were these African colonial governments democratic or fair? No they were not.

    Was the average African nation and the average citizen, black or white, much better off than today? I suggest they were.

    I further suggest that if you are hungry, see your children die before you, and live in constant fear, then you really don’t give a damn about democracy or fairness – you just want to be safe, have food and a future for your children.

    I suggest that as a human society, we have somewhat lost our way, and renovations are overdue.

    In the developed world, we need less government, not more, and we need much more common sense than is displayed by our current global leadership. Obama and most of the leaders of Western Europe have failed badly. The average world leader today is lacking adequate education to function effectively in this complex modern technological world, and is easily misled by the latest fads and foolishness. Again, global warming hysteria and green energy nonsense are excellent examples.

    Our current Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears to be the exception – a man with significant education and common sense. Canada’s economy is the strongest in the G8, and we have NOT resorted to excessive printing of money. If Canada could print money proportionally to the USA, we could pay of about half our National Debt.

    Yet the leftist mob continues to criticize Harper, complaining that he is not more like Opposition Leader Justin Trudeau, or is it Justin Beiber. Justin Trudeau overplayed his hand long ago – he has his mother’s looks, AND his mother’s brains. He is a male bimbo.

    In the developing world, we need Rule of Law and some honest, competent form of government. Corruption and incompetence are endemic. Sadly, many of these societies were significantly better off under the “yoke of colonialism”.

  96. Allan M.R. MacRae says:
    January 24, 2014 at 9:11 am
    Bill Gates says: “By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been.”

    Anon says on January 24, 2014 at 12:59 am: “I’m sitting right down the road from Microsoft as I write this, and you know – I think Bill misses the point. My standard of living has been dropping like a rock, much the same as nearly everyone else I know in my generation.”
    _______________

    I think you are on the right track Anon
    Yet the leftist mob continues to criticize Harper, complaining that he is not more like Opposition Leader Justin Trudeau, or is it Justin Beiber. Justin Trudeau overplayed his hand long ago – he has his mother’s looks, AND his mother’s brains. He is a male bimbo.

    AMEN …you both got it nailed. This post should also link Bill Gate’s TED talk where he said we need to cull the humans.

  97. The deference shown here to Bill Gates,is quite disgusting. This brown nosing of the wealthy on this site is disturbing to say the least. Why don’t you all bow down and make an idol to him? Gates’ twisted ideas and the addled phlosophy he inherited from his father only emphasize how dangerous it is to treat him like royalty. Most people on this thread seem to be shamefully ignorant of what the Gates family stands for.

  98. David G says on January 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm
    “The deference shown here to Bill Gates is quite disgusting.”

    David – I suggest you are mostly wrong – most people here are being polite, even though many disagree with Gates on major points.

    Speaking for myself, I completely disagree with Gates on global warming alarmism – he was (until recently?) a warmist acolyte who placed his faith in the IPCC, which has abjectly failed in its predictive record – ALL the IPCC’s scary predictions to date have failed to materialize.

    I also disagree with Gates’ contention that “the world is better than it has ever been”. See above at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/22/bill-gates-3-myths-that-block-progress-for-the-poor/#comment-1547803

    For more on the Gates warmist position, see his post on THE BET at

    http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Books/Personal/The-Bet?WT.mc_id=12_13_2013_TheBet

    I suggest that just because I think Gates is wrong on several major points is no reason to be rude. Nobody responds favorably to rudeness.

Comments are closed.