Bill Gates, former chairman of Microsoft did a AmA on Reddit. Here are some his answers.
Hey Bill, if you didn’t go into computers and later found Microsoft, what do you think you would be doing?
I considered law and math. My Dad was a lawyer. I think though I would have ended up in physics if I didn’t end up in computer science.
My question to you is, What’s your biggest fear?
Kids getting hurt or sick.
Who is your role model?
People who devote their lives to working in poor countries are doing amazing work with very little visibility. I have gotten to meet some of them.
How do you deal with the anti-vaccination sentiment that seems to be growing in our society? Have you ever found yourself justifying your efforts to reduce polio?
In all countries vaccine rumors seem to always get ahead of vaccine facts. This is unfortunate since it has meant measles and pertussis deaths in communities where enough kids don’t get vaccinated.
I’d just like to know, what is something you enjoy doing that you think no one would expect from you?
Playing Bridge is a pretty old fashioned thing in a way that I really like. I was watching my daughter ride horses this weekend and that is also a bit old fashioned but fun. I do the dishes every night – other people volunteer but I like the way I do it.
I hear way back when you were a fast food connoisseur. What was your favorite fast food and why?
Burger King and McDonalds are fine but In-N-Out is a very good burger. Dicks and Burgermaster are the local special burgers.
On ways to get funding and AID to developing countries: What are your thoughts on direct cash transfers like Give Directly? So instead of tying up aid into a potentially bureaucratic mess of requirements, just give cash to families and let them work out what they will do with the money. Do you envision a bigger buy in by other Philanthropists for this type of work if the numbers look promising (they already do).
I favor improving the health of a country to enable them to be self-sufficient. I will be interested to see how cash transfer works out – in some cases like helping someone pay a school fee it could be catalytic. Our focus is health and agriculture which can transform a country. As long as kids don’t have enough nutrition a country won’t be able to support itself.
Was that a Christopher Walken impersonation in your myth video?
I love him but any similarity was not intentional. One of my favorite movies is Brainstorm – I highly recommend it!
Gates final comments…
I tried to answer as many questions as I could, but I’ve got to go. I do have one question for you: How can we help more people understand that foreign aid isn’t 25% or even 10% of the U.S. federal budget, but less than 1%?
Read the other two posts from the links below.