Bill Gates interview: How the world will change by 2030

Yeah but for any given article on any given subject there is always - always - at least one person taking a shit on it in the comments so I always take extremely negative comments with that in mind. Everything can be spun and taken out of context to be presented in a positive or negative light. On Slashdot around the turn of this century, Bill Gates was vilified as the worst thing since Hitler (or the Borg), now the guy's saving lives people are rushing to praise him as a saint which is just as absurd in its black or white oversimplification, but... maybe we're really seeing the true character of the man, or at the very least we're seeing that people can change and grow over time.

The results of his work are complex and long ranging. For all we know a child saved today in a 3rd world country by his anti malaria initiative, then educated for years by his educational programs could grow up to be the next Hawking or Goodall or Sagan. This one man saved a billion lives. A billion. And that's just one life. How many potential scientists, poets, artists, humanitarians have we lost as children to starvation and privation?

Lives are being saved that otherwise would have been lost. What is the net good of so many more educated, healthy people in the world taken over 5 years? Over 50? Over 100? Can you say? I can't. Who are you or I to say what potential for the future is realized by giving more people a chance at a good life?

A baseball sized rock hitting an asteroid the size of Manhattan will change its trajectory by an infinitesimal amount. But over time that change in trajectory will add up to a vast new course and could make the difference between wiping out a civilization or swinging past it safely. Each life saved, each child educated and made to feel even a little safer and secure in the world is a tiny rock hitting that asteroid. Added up, over time, there's no one alive who can say what the effect will be for this or any subsequent generation.

Maybe the guy really is fucked, maybe he really is a saint, or maybe he's a complex human being like you or I and the scope and breadth of his foundation's endeavours too complex to make absolute judgements on based on biased assumptions and scant actual knowledge but, fuck, at least the guy is in the game and taking the hits. I don't know about you but I was brought up to believe every life has value, if this man has saved just one life, then that is more than you or I have done.

/r/Futurology Thread Link -