Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Thus spake Gates

Regular leaders of the blog know that this blogger is an unabashed admirer of Bill & Melinda Gates. He is of the opinion that they must be sainted - for they have have done more good in the world than many, if not most, religious leaders.

They publish an annual letter which is like a "State of the Union address" in their field. This time they have answered in their letter, the ten toughest questions they get. And yes, Donald Trump is one of them, but if you expect an incendiary answer, well, you don't know the Gates.

I consider their Annual Letter as required reading for any human being with a heart. Here is this year's letter.

Its a bit different as it addresses questions, some of which are not developmental in nature - like Trump, or what do they do when they disagree. But it is , as always, an interesting and often motivating read.

May I exhort you to read this one, and then every one of their previous 10 letters. It is a far more productive use of your time, than reading you know what !


Sriram Khé said...

"than reading you know what !"
hmmm ... than reading my blog? ;)

Yes, your admiration for the Gates couple is perhaps a close second to how much you kneel for the crown ;)

Yes, they have been doing some awesome work. But, they are doing that in a world that is different from when the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations did their work in the developing world back in the 1950s through the 70s. Those years, governments--especially in the US and UK--were important pieces of human development. Both in their respective countries and abroad. Therefore, the foundation monies went a long way.
Now, these governments have effectively pulled back the safety nets for their own people, and consider foreign assistance to be a waste, especially with the "America First" nutcase and his minions now. And then ideologically, these maniacs have the gall to tell us that nonprofits (secular and religious) are the ones who should be in the human development aspects, and not the government. But, as the Gates letter point out, even the largest foundation is no match for the government machinery ...

btw, where is bozos, er, Bezos in this giving back to society?

Anne in Salem said...

I want to be Melinda Gates when I grow up. How absolutely rewarding and fulfilling to contemplate - and then execute - plans that can and do transform lives all over the world. Of course, I'd need their billions, but we can each work in our own corner of the world within our own individual means, whether time, talent or treasure.

Their viewpoints are interesting - humble, clear, rational, thoughtful. Challenging without confrontation, inspiring without melodrama. Many leaders could learn from their empathy and respect for each other and other people. Many people could learn from their care for their fellow human beings.

gils said...

Considering the cut throat way in which he earned them, he is proving to be a good winner in his spendings as well. Peria manasu venum

Ramesh said...

@Sriram - Much to disagree with in your comment. The Ford and Rockefeller foundations , very laudable ones, are not in the same league as the Gates Foundation. Nobody is hands on in this work as Bill and Melinda Gates are. That puts them on an altogether different league. This is what they have been doing full time for more than a decade.

There is much to disagree with the left's position that only the government must provide safety nets. I would disagree with that approach -charities have a very important role to play in this and their role must increase. Why is it that a forcible act (taxation) is better than a voluntary act (giving). There is a role for the government and there is a role for NGOs.

That shot at Bezos is really more Trumpian than Sriramian !! You are showing symptoms of a variation of the Stockholm syndrome !!!

Ramesh said...

@Anne - Well said. That's why I think they should be sainted !!

@Gilsu - Romba periya manasu.

Anonymous said...

Too lengthy and wordy for me. Maybe when I'm really in a mood to read a mini book about someone going on and on about self praise like - i did this, i did that blah blah blah we are so great - then I will read for sure. But about the Gates being saints, I'm not so sure. Will they be willing to give up their Microsoft empire completely and start living like real sadhus (saints). Also they should reveal how much money they actually make and how much they are keeping aside for themselves and their lavish lifestyles and their future generations. Ask them where their computers were manufactured for so long before they became millionaires or billionaires. And how did his empire begin in the first place, like for example by stealing ideas and software from someone else. And how exactly did they get the whole world addicted to their OS by killing everything else in the markets. Maybe I'm being too critical but these are not saintly qualities. And them being these philanthropists for the last few decades is all another marketing stunt and marketing costs big money which is what they are paying for charity. I hate all millionaires and billionaires in general, they are the reason for wealth accumulation and economical crashes and I would never call one a saint.

Ramesh said...

@Anon - I understand this view but I couldn't disagree with you more. You are dead wrong when you say this is a marketing ploy by the Gatess. They have nothing more to market - they are not involved with running Microsoft anymore and the word Microsoft does not appear in any of the Foundations; works. They just don't donate money - they actively lead and work in programs. They have traveled through more of India than most Indians have.

Anonymous said...

I said that they still are very much part of Microsoft, never about them still being in operations. Meaning they still earn from Microsoft. And maybe not marketing but maybe they are doing it for tax evasions: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/06/bill-gates-preaches-fighting-poverty-hypocrite-microsoft-tax

And Linux is a much better stable and free OS to use, most developers do not even like using Microsoft yet it is still making more more money and Gates is still one of the top richest guys in the world. I don't think all that came from him being a saint. He made more money from the world than he can ever give back. And he only donates a part of what he earns not his entire earnings. And travelling in luxury to India several times is hardly a pain, would he be willing to live in India, I don't think so. And doesn't matter how much he money or time they donate alas India still remains a third world poor country with too many issues. And so are Africa and all other such countries he donates to.

Ramesh said...

@Anon - Understand your view but we'll have to agree to disagree ! Hopefully we can spar on other issues as well, for when we can disagree but not be disagreeable, its the finest form of debate, isn't it !

Anonymous said...

Arey yaar lagta hai aap toh bura maan gaye I was honestly just trying to argue and not trying to be unpleasant in any way chalo koi baat nai agree to disagree hi kar lenge looks like you're not in mood to continue arguing. Let's argue again about some other issue is duniya me issues ki koi kami toh nai hai. I would really like to see Gates become a saint someday in true sense. Have a nice day.

Ramesh said...

@Anon - No no ; no unpleasantness at all. Its just that our positions on this are so far apart that its best to leave it at that. But I do understand where you come from and there are many who hold that view. Hopefully we'll exchange views again on one of the subsequent posts.

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