Bill Gates: Paul’s credit for Microsoft is great because he not only has deep insight into the microprocessor, but he really moved back to Boston – I helped him find a job there – - But he didn’t go back because he liked the winter there or where he lived, basically because he wanted me to drop out because he wanted to work with me.
According to foreign media reports, Bill Gates is cautious, but in an interview with GeekWire, the US technology media, the Microsoft co-founder talked about various topics, including evolving charities. The goal is to recall the memories of the late friend and former business partner Paul Allen.
Gates and GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop sat down to talk about the annual letters that Bill and Melinda Gates published this week. The letter focuses on developments that have surprised philanthropists over the past year and how these unexpected events have taught us the biggest challenges in the world.
The letter reads: “The good thing about surprises is that they tend to motivate people to take action. When people realize that the reality of the world does not meet their expectations, they will feel pain.”
It’s easy to understand why the past year was defined by Gates as an amazing year. The political climate in the United States is a roller coaster, full of unexpected twists and turns. This is also the year when Gates’ childhood friend and Microsoft co-founder Allen passed away.
Here is the interview with Gates:
There are nationalist things in globalism
GeekWire: In your annual letter, one of your points of view – I think this may be the most interesting point after the letter was published – is something nationalistic in globalism. This is a very important topic not only in the United States but also in Europe and the rest of the world. Let us listen to what you call nationalism in globalism.
Bill Gates: Even if you are disconnected from the world, the instability of other economies and the rapidly spreading diseases on a global scale may hurt you.
Even from a humanitarian perspective where all life is equally valuable, you will feel very uneasy because the children in these countries are dying. In the United States, humanitarian assistance is even less than 0.5% of its budget. As General Matisse said, if you don’t spend money on humanitarian aid, you will spend more money on weapons.
Therefore, we want to develop Vietnam so that we will not think of it as a place where we need to send soldiers. Now (Vietnam) has actually done well enough, it no longer needs assistance, that is, it has been able to use its domestic resources to finance development.
India will also not need assistance. Indonesia will no longer need assistance.
Africa is a country with a difficult development, but even there, the improvement in health care is very rapid. This is where our foundation plays a powerful role. We have donated $10 billion to these health care-related activities, and we have seen a very good result. So we have to continue to do so.
GeekWire: However, in today’s world, whether in the US or internationally, this view seems to be difficult to make sense. In other words, we are only temporarily experiencing things that are contrary to this view, or is this what it looks like in the future? What is your position?
Bill Gates: Of course, if people are disappointed with their government, feel that their government does not respect their values, or do not prioritize their interests, or let others get better treatment than they get, then this A general negative sentiment may lead the government to fail to address these long-term problems.
If the voters think, well, the elites like to do these things, and the elites don’t care about us, then it really makes them feel hurt. So this will definitely make them questionable… Should we form alliances with other countries, such as NATO? Should the United States play this leading role to help the world become very stable, or should we say, “Okay. That is a waste of money. We will not help in these matters.”
Since World War II, some people almost certainly believe that the world is becoming more stable and that these investments are meaningful. I hope this is a cyclical thing, especially if we can let people experience the aid work. Anyone who goes to experience will be attracted because you see the children who are dying and you will see the children who have survived. You will find that your money has helped them, this is investment. Even in the United States, this stability is important. We do not want the Ebola virus or the flu to spread from developing countries to the United States.
GeekWire: On this issue, what would you say to President Trump and the leaders of the US Congress?
Bill Gates: Well, I haven’t seen him for a long time, but American voters should be proud of the projects that President Bush launched. He said that there is an emergency rescue project on AIDS and created something that is only available in the United States, called PEPFAR. This is very generous and costs more than $5 billion a year. He said that the United States will account for one-third of the global fund, and many countries have provided funds. The United States has already taken the lead, and today 23 million people live because of this generosity.
I hope (Trump) to see, meet those people, think about it, “Well, Africa, population growth is fast. But it is challenged by climate change. This is the biggest challenge. Should we Continue to participate in those small-scale aid projects? I mean, in the US, our defense budget is much larger than any other country, and the aid budget is less than 5% of the defense budget, but it does help The same goal.
About climate change
GeekWire: You have raised some questions among those who really advocate green energy such as wind and solar energy rather than nuclear energy. Do you think nuclear energy and green energy are in conflict or can they coexist? How do you respond to people’s criticism of your support for nuclear energy?
Bill Gates: In most places, if you have wind or the sun, this will be an important source of energy. However, these green energy sources still generate less than 2% of global electricity. However, it has been developing for the same time as natural gas.
There are several problems here. You need to be powered 24 hours a day. Tokyo, Japan, has no sun or wind for seven days a year. Its power consumption is 23 gigawatts. Therefore, we do not have enough batteries in the world to handle this situation.
Since we don’t have enough batteries to store 24 hours of electricity, we need other energy sources to generate electricity. When the weather is particularly cold, the hospital needs to be powered overnight, just like Chicago. People want their heaters to work. Therefore, even if only the stability of the power supply is discussed, this is a challenge. The electricity required for these electrical appliances is only 25%. The term “clean energy” is a bit of a fool, and it makes people wonder that the remaining 75% of electricity is actually used to make steel and cement.
The extremely high heat you get from some reactors actually helps you solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, which is not possible with renewable energy. Therefore, nuclear energy is great.
As far as solar energy is concerned, the price of electricity will be low when the sun is shining, but at other times, the price will be much higher.
GeekWire: You wrote in the letter that you want more people to fully understand how to stop climate change. How much does it cost?
Bill Gates: Well, you have to innovate in all areas of resources, and your way of innovation should not only let rich countries say, “Okay, we will pay extra for our steel and electricity,” and It should take care of countries like India, where electricity has just been provided to basic facilities such as air conditioning and lighting.
In the case of greenhouse gases, if they ask them to pay a large premium, will they really do this? The per capita carbon emissions of the United States are a thousand times that of India.
So, before they reach our level, do you want them to slow down to meet basic needs?
GeekWire: The Gates Foundation has also worked hard on poverty in the United States. Traditionally, the foundation’s focus has been on global health care and American education. Is paying attention to poverty and the child’s emotional maturity being the third focus of the foundation, or is it just what you are already doing?
Bill Gates: We are trying to broaden our understanding of what interventions are needed – not just ordinary interventions such as “This English lesson is better, this math lesson is better” – and understand the nature of coaching, semester and skill training.
We spent a full half day at the Foundation, working with leaders in the field to do various interventions, some of which looked promising. There are always some interventions that don’t work, but some interventions work well.
So, is this broadening understanding of what makes students feel difficult? Does even the pressure to understand the environment even make it difficult for students to concentrate?
Now, if you live in a poorly-conditioned community, it’s even harder to come up with an intervention to train your skills or offset the environmental pressures you face.
However, research and development funding in this area is rare. This is not like 10% or 15% of software or drugs spent on research and development. In education, the related costs are even less than 0.1%.
Therefore, in this case, the foundation may come in and find the person with the best ideas to really prove what is effective. So the wider we spread the net, the better. I hope that in five years, this field will become more progressive. Although the lack of investment is regrettable, there may be some real good things that will eventually be discovered.
GeekWire: Let’s talk about another area of education. This letter describes the improvements and improvements of textbooks.
Bill Gates: Yes.
GeekWire: I would say, “This hasn’t happened 20 years ago? I thought it would happen faster.” Describe what you saw in the textbook market and why you think it will work in the new education era. .
Bill Gates: When you bring that math textbook home, you may be in trouble when you try to do those exercises, or you may think that you are doing the right thing, but you are not doing it right. In the digital world, software can generate jobs and generate jobs that are appropriate for your grade. Then, if you need a hint, very good, the software will give you a hint. Your teacher will understand and understand, “Oh, he needs a hint. He hasn’t figured it out. So he needs to think and practice.”
Previously, feedback from the job might not come out until three days later. The student union said, “Oh, I really messed up. God. What were we doing at the time? It was three days ago.
Now, when you sit and play with your phone, tablet or PC, you get immediate feedback. In terms of this experience of doing mathematics, we are now making greater progress and creating a richer experience. ”
GeekWire: Why hasn’t this happen yet? Why is this not our reality now?
Bill Gates: Well, the textbook market is a difficult market to enter. Who really should try these things? Where should the research and development funds for these things come from? This really is not like a normal consumer market. Schools must have equipment first.
Therefore, it is much easier to have a personal computer or tablet than it was 10 years ago. 10 years ago, you had to walk into the lab to use a computer, and some of them might be worn out.
Now, ideally, some jobs can be done on the phone screen, not all jobs. But in fact, quite a lot of features can be done on the phone screen. At present, mobile phones are already very popular.
So its development is relatively slow. In terms of education innovation, our society’s investment is seriously inadequate. We are trying to get some private companies to do it well, but many of them are trying to build a sales force, and the results are not very good.
Commemorating Paul Allen
GeekWire: You and Melinda have dedicated this letter to your Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died of cancer in October last year. When you look back on his life in the past few months and your experience with him, what do you remember the deepest thing, what is your feeling?
Bill Gates: Paul is very curious. He read science fiction more than I read. He is two years older than me. I did a good job in some math, so he always yelled at me, “Hey, can you figure out what this computer is doing?”
This is a great friendship because children don’t often play with their two-year-old children. When we completed the school’s computer program together, our relationship was very harmonious. Later, Paul went to Washington State, and my closest friend, Kent Evans, was involved in the computer project, but he was killed in Mount Rainier. So I went to Paul and said, “Hey, come back and help me.” So we started a partnership and eventually developed into Microsoft.
Paul’s credit for Microsoft is great because he has not only deep insight into the microprocessor, but he really moved back to Boston – I helped him find a job there – but he returned It’s not because he likes the winter there or where he lives, basically because he wants me to drop out because he wants to be a company with me.
Finally, when the first computer came out, we felt that we might have to miss the entire computer revolution. At this time, his lobbying “Hey, Bill, drop out of school” finally succeeded. Our first customer took us to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
So Paul is always very curious about things. Paul doesn’t like to be a manager. In Microsoft’s days, my interest is mainly in software. So when Paul took a group of people to the space shuttle launch, I said, “Hey, wait a minute. We should have sent it to IBM. What are you doing?”
GeekWire: You have heard about the DOS operating system.
Bill Gates: Yes! His range of thinking and reading is very broad. He always looks very far. He always wants to find something new and different, and he always does something ahead.
Later, as my child grew up and left school, I had more time to stay with Paul because he had traveled the world. I also did some travel with him. However, I hope that after our children are in college, I can do more of this.
GeekWire: The news of his death is really shocking. What is the digest of the fact that he is no longer alive?
Bill Gates: Well, this is a bit strange, because we always talk, “Hey, I watched a cool movie, or saw some new technology. We think this will succeed. ?”