Agreeing with Gates

I don’t often find myself agreeing with Bill Gates. I think there was a time when he was striving to be the richest man in the world and he was incredibly arrogant then. But he seems to have let go of that. I see that in a recent interview with the Financial Times he said:

“PCs are not, in the hierarchy of human needs, in the first five rungs.”

That takes my breath away. I’m so pleased that someone like him can see that and say it. And then there was this:

When asked by the Financial Times whether Internet connectivity is more important than, say, finding a vaccination for malaria, Gates responded: “As a priority? It’s a joke.”

“If you think connectivity is the key thing, that’s great. I don’t,” he added.

And

“I certainly love the IT thing. But when we want to improve lives, you’ve got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition.”

I think this should all be obvious by now. I’ve seen life before computers and life after computers, and I much preferred life before computers. I still don’t have a cellphone and I am perfectly content without one. Their centrality in people’s lives is a temporary thing. It has to be.

I’ll return to this topic again in the future and with a deeper perspective. This blog is so distant from my mind these days. The book has a strangle hold on my brain right now. Not a bad thing, of course.

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2 Responses to “Agreeing with Gates”

  1. Tim Mueller Says:

    “Stranglehold”. B movie giant octopi getting a death grip on our hero explode across my brain. I think your brain is safer than mine right now. Glad to hear you’re back in business with the book!

    • markbittner Says:

      The turning point for me may well have been last night when I heard Mozart’s piano sonata in C played at breakneck speed. It was inspiring. “Shouldn’t my book be that good?” I thought to myself.

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