This piece in The New York Times on Bill and Melinda Gates Divorcing got me thinking about Bill again. I’ve written about him several times on this blog. I often think of him because for most of my career my field (IT) has been shaped by him. Then he left Microsoft and went off to save the world. In doing so, he transformed from the Bill Gates of old to a newer and gentler Bill Gates. The change has been so remarkable that many people likely don’t know that young Bill Gates and what he was like. If you want a better understanding of that, this old TIME article from 1997 by Walter Isaacson s helpful. (Isaacson was Steve Jobs’ biographer among other things.)
I think old Bill Gates still has some of that personality in him. I am curious to see how the divorce will change him. Whether we will see Bill Gates v3.0, someone who is neither CEO nor philanthropist. Time will tell.
August 7, 2021: It looks like Bill and Melissa have officially divorced. As a result, I suspect we will be hearing less about Bill’s bad judgement when it comes to affairs or hanging out with Epstein. As I said before, I’ll be curious how all this changes him.
(Image is a link to Wikimedia.org)
Posted in IT
Tagged billgates, IT, microsoft
If you thought that Bill Gates was thinking about pandemics last year, you are incorrect (although he has put a lot of thought into them). No, what he was thinking about when he wrote this,What I’m thinking about this New Year’s Eve, was taxes. Specifically, how to make taxes in the U.S. fairer.
It’s worth reading regardless of your political beliefs. If you are more right wing, you will find things to agree and disagree with. Likewise if you are left wing.
There is too much inequality and poverty in the world. Fairer taxes is one way to address that.
(Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)
If you want to understand the challenge of dealing with climate change, then read this: Climate change and the 75% problem | Bill Gates.
There are things you can do in your own day to day to reduce your contribution to climate change. But in the bigger picture, much larger changes have to happen. And soon. You can contribute there too, by supporting politicians and companies and other organizations that are working to make big positive changes.
You can’t do it alone, but every thing you do move us in the right direction. We are cutting out coal. We are getting energy efficient. We are eating more of the right things. Many many things are being done that help, and much more can be done to improve things. Keep up the good work, and work hard to avoid complacency and despair.
Bill Gates picks great books to read, and Business Insider has his latest batch here: Bill Gates’ favorite books on science – Business Insider. Unlike other such lists from famous people, I can imagine Gates actually does read all the books he recommends. From other reviewers I’ve read, his book selection is solid.
Not just non-fiction, there is some fiction in there as well.
Bill Gates has a strong post on Piketty and inequality and I think it is one of the better ones I’ve seen. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything Gates argues for. For example, to counter Piketty at one point in the piece, he refers to data from the Fortune 400 records. I think the data that Piketty has gathered is much more significant than that and it is not something Gates accounts for. Still, it’s clear that Gates has thought hard about the book and his comments seem to reflect that.
Gates is on stronger ground when he points out areas concerning inequality that Piketty has left out or not touched upon. His assumption there, though, is that Piketty’s book is the end of the discussion on capitalism in the 21st century, when the better assumption is that the book is the start of a new and better discussion. I expect Piketty or followers and supporters of Piketty will be expanding into those areas based on the material in this book.
I am not surprised that Gates has wrote about this – Piketty uses him as an example at one point! Plus Gates is no stranger to wealth and capital and what to do with them. He’s a natural to write about inequality and the French economist.
All in all, a good read.