No matter where you stand in the Apple vs. PC war, the name Bill Gates means something. Actually, it means a lot of things, and being able to talk to the cofounder of Microsoft in real time about his current thoughts on technology and philanthropy is priceless to the many people who have grown to idolize the tech giant. So when Bill Gates appeared on Reddit to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything), the online community was ready with the questions they always wanted answered.
To make sure as many people knew about the AMA as possible, Gates posted a picture of himself announcing his handle and the soon-to-happen AMA. Additionally, a YouTube video was published to raise awareness of the event that answered some of the more popular questions, from “How much money is in your wallet?” to “Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?” ($100 and a horse-sized duck were the answers, for those of you who are wondering.)
Gates immediately weighed in on SOPA and similar proposals, giving his opinion but not taking a side. When asked about the ongoing Bing vs. Google competition, Bing was obviously his favorite. When asked to compare Windows 7 to Windows 8, the answer was “higher is better.” Other tech responses revealed that Gates’s current computer is a Surface Pro and that he still occasionally codes C, C#, and Basic. One of the most poignant responses of the session was Gates’s wondering why code has not gotten simpler and urging kids in school to start learning these programming languages.
But the bulk of the session was focused on Gates’s philanthropy work. On measuring the success of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates cites the progress that the foundation has made in reducing the deaths of children under the age of five. He considers the foundation’s greatest achievement to be the distribution of vaccinations for diarrhea and pneumonia. Half of the foundation’s money is contributed to global health issues like these and others, such as polio vaccinations. Following the thread, it is obvious that Gates’s passion lies in continuing his work to improve worldwide health and quality of life.
Gates is one of many famous people to participate in a question-and-answer session over the past year. Reddit’s following exploded during President Obama’s AMA before the Presidential Election in 2012, showing its communication value. Since then, the public eye has been fixed on the site, and influential people are using it to reach out to their fans and followers.
The Reddit AMA was a good portal into the mind of one of the most influential people this century has seen, and it showed both Gates’s tech savvy as well as his momentous work in improving the world. So what did the man who has it all sign off with when asked what was left on his bucket list? The only thing left to do: Don’t die.
We tend to agree. There is so much work left to do.
Author: Zack Smith