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Re: Brave New World

  There were an amazing number of emails on
  this thread...they'll take me a while to digest.
  For now...
  Sure, what Microsoft gave to the schools had
  value.  Sun gives workstations, Borland gives
  compilers, and Netscape gives free software to
  schools.  All the companies do.
  But Gates is distinquished from the others by the
  fact of his immense wealth.  He is in Carnegie's
  league, and his philanthropy should be, too.  He is
  not even close.
  The reason this matters, in this context, is that there
  are many, conflicting, issues that need to be weighed
  by the lawmakers as they decide what to do.  Keep in
  mind that new legislation is on the table, too.  Gates should
  be thinking about Carnegie, who funded the American
  public library system and, I believe,  the Anti-Imperialism
  League with GB Shaw.  But instead, I think, he is just
  repackaging BOB...
  Tod Landis
  PS.  Got stuff to do... won't be online for a while.  Don't
  give away the country while I'm gone.
  Dave Hamilton wrote:
  > Actually, the school program _did_ include laptop computers as part of
  > the program.  I have friends whose kids are part of the program.  We
  > differ in opinion on the cash thing.  If what he gives away has value to
  > the recipients, then I consider it philanthropy.  When I give time to
  > the Dallas Habitat for Humanity and the Dallas SPCA, I am not giving
  > them cash, but it still has value.  Do Microsoft products given away
  > have less value because you (or anyone else) do not like Microsoft?  Do
  > you have the same objections with all the giving done by Apple over the
  > years to the education sector?  They certainly benefitted from that
  > activity, but I don't think any less of their efforts because of it.
  > I think your equating Gates with a heroin dealer is entirely uncalled
  > for.
  > Dave Hamilton
  > dhamilton@baydweller.com
  > ps.  I don't read the Morning News so I don't know if it was covered
  > there.
  > > Dave,
  > >
  > > 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
  > > products.
  > >
  > > Gates's philanthropy is suspect and of limited value at best and, at
  > > worst, it
  > > smacks of the meanest kind of cynicism imaginable.
  > >
  > > Best,
  > >
  > >       Kendall Clark
  > .-