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Bill Gates Says Vaccines Are the Best Thing for Developing Countries While People in This Country Turn Them Down

Another in a long list of things people take for granted.



No matter how many blue screens of death caused me to curse his name as a child, Bill Gates is a wonderful human being and philanthropist. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works hard to improve the quality of life for people in developing nations, which includes delivering a lot of helpful vaccines whether people in other nations think they’re evil corporate death potions or not.

In his Reddit AMA yesterday, an answer Gates gave might surprise some anti-vaccine individuals.

What do you think has improved life the most in poor countries in the last 5 years?

thisisbillgates [Bill Gates]
Vaccines make the top of the list. Being able to grow up healthy is the most basic thing. So many kids get infectious diseases and don’t develop mentally and physically. I was in Berlin yesterday helping raise $7.5B for vaccines for kids in poor countries. We barely made it but we did which is so exciting to me!

But not everything in the AMA involved the sly telling off of anti-science people who actively fight against something they’re lucky to have access to. He discussed the future of technology, a subject with which he has some degree of familiarity.

Hello Mr. Gates,
2015 will mark the 30th anniversary of Microsoft Windows. What do you think the next 30 years holds in terms of technology? What will personal computing will look like in 2045?

There will be more progress in the next 30 years than ever. Even in the next 10 problems like vision and speech understanding and translation will be very good. Mechanical robot tasks like picking fruit or moving a hospital patient will be solved. Once computers/robots get to a level of capability where seeing and moving is easy for them then they will be used very extensively.

One project I am working on with Microsoft is the Personal Agent which will remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to. The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model – the agent will help solve this. It will work across all your devices.

Which, of course, elicited the following speculation:

Is it a paperclip?


He also gave advice on how to make sure you’re effectively using your time and resources if you really want to help those less fortunate than you.

As there are so many great philanthropic causes, how did you and Melinda decided on the causes that you wanted to put the majority of your effort?

There are a lot of great causes. It is important not to be frozen trying to pick since it is important to specialize and really learn the area you are trying to help. We picked health inequity as our global thing and educational inequity as our national thing and most of our projects fit into these areas. Part of the beauty of philanthropy is the diversity of causes and approaches that get tried. It is far more risk oriented than government or private sector spending which makes it special when it is done right.

Gates covered a range of other topics and talked about how he wishes he’d learned a foreign language (stay in school, kids!), mentioned how he’s as concerned about AI as other people in the tech world, and deliberately started a photoshop fight over his poop water machine. All in all, it was a full day of making the world a better place for Bill Gates.

(image via OnInnovation)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.