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RE: Brave New World
On Fri, 14 Nov 1997, Dave Hamilton wrote:
>about the amounts, but you can't say "What philanthropy". Of local note
>(to me), Microsoft, on behalf of Gates' wife has setup quite a computer
>education program at some of the high schools in Dallas (where his wife
>is from), both public and private. So, there is evidence of
>philanthropy. I try not to assume what people do in their private lives
>- those assumptions are usually wrong.
I'm here in Dallas too, and I hadn't heard about Gates doing this for his wife
and Dallas. Oh well, I don't focus on articles about Gates when I read the
Dallas Morning News.
My question, however, is simple: did he really setup and fund a program for
computer education or for MS software education?
They are two very different things indeed.
While many people seem to be really impressed by Gates's philanthropy, so far
the only thing I've heard of him giving away was MS software. Surely we should
hold the richest man in the world, more or less, to a more rigorous standard
of generosity than that...I mean whatever you think about Gates and MS, surely
it would be more philanthropic (loving of humanity, by the way) to donate
CASH. Then schools can choose on their own what to teach. Imagine the audacity
of that idea!
By the way, when Gates donates a bunch of MS Office and NT Server licenses,
does he also buy all new computers for them to run on? It takes new computers
since both of these products are such resource hogs. Does he also provide
licenses in perpetuity for these products? The upgrades can be financially
brutal, especially for schools.
I stand by my original claim in this regard:
Gates's so-called philanthropy---donating MS software to
schools---strikes me as more like a heroin dealer giving free samples to
junkies than real philanthropy.
If you want true philanthropy, check out George Soros. He only had about 6
Billion or so, and he's given about 3 or so Billion away. In CASH, not
Gates's philanthropy is suspect and of limited value at best and, at worst, it
smacks of the meanest kind of cynicism imaginable.