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Submitted: Bill Gates gives the most to charity

FortKnox (169099) writes | more than 10 years ago

User Journal 38

According to a recent study, Bill Gates, and his wife Melinda, are the most charitable people in America. They have given or pledged $23 billion (~ half their net worth, equivalent to the GNP of Hungary)! Bill has always been known as a great philanthropist, but now proves to be happy in giving to others. Perhaps this warrants a change in MicrosAccording to a recent study, Bill Gates, and his wife Melinda, are the most charitable people in America. They have given or pledged $23 billion (~ half their net worth, equivalent to the GNP of Hungary)! Bill has always been known as a great philanthropist, but now proves to be happy in giving to others. Perhaps this warrants a change in Microsoft icon at slashdot (after all, he isn't CEO of MS anymore)...?

I'm guessing either its declined, or the little blurb on changing the MS icon will be removed...

Update: Rejected. God forbid /. acknowledges Bill Gates doing something good...

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

No Way No How (1)

DaytonCIM (100144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531102)

That story is pure fiction. Everyone knows Bill Gates is the devil.

$23 billion. Yeah right! That's what Linus gives away EVERYDAY!




Whoa. Gotta stop at 4 cups of coffee...

Re:No Way No How (1)

Deamos (108051) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531303)

That story is pure fiction. Everyone knows Bill Gates is the devil.

OR I present this idea.

He has signed a deal WITH the Devil and is attempting to salvage his soul by giving away lots and lots of money.

Damn him, why doesn't he have my address? I could use a check for 15k right now and that would not even register as a drop in the bucket!

Sorry, three days before I leave for vacation, the mind is going to weird places without me.

Just be flamebait anyway (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531125)

I can't think of anything useful to discuss about it (as opposed to George Soros' donations, many of which are actively harmful) and can't see a /. story yielding anything but mindless flaming.

The FBI arrests story yesterday was a good example: a bunch of Internet scammers were arrested and probably no one would have taken notice -- except that the submission mentioned John Ashcroft. 95% of the comments were random shrieking about the Patriot Act, detentions, military tribunals, we're living in Nazi Germany, Ashcroft is the most evil person ever -- on a story that had nothing to do with terrorism or any violent crime or national security issue. Depressing and predictably mindless.

Re:Just be flamebait anyway (1)

LPetrazickis (557952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531594)

Heh. I was one of the 5% shrieking about Software Piracy [slashdot.org] instead.^-^

P.S. Down with Ashcroft.;)

Re:Just be flamebait anyway (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531739)

I like that one response you got: My high school won't let me use Linux! I got suspended! This is geek persecution!

What'd be the point of /. without posts like that? Classic...

Charity (1)

aridhol (112307) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531138)

Yes, they give more money to charity. But does that really make them more charitable? What's more charitable - someone with $50 billion giving away $23 billion (and still having $27 billion), or someone with $2000 giving away $100 (and leaving $1900)?

The difference is, in situation A, the donor still has $27 billion dollars. WTF can anybody possibly do with that much money? The mind boggles. However, the second person is much closer to the line. I'd probably call the second person more charitable, because $100 is more of a sacrifice to that person - it can cut into real living expenses.

Re:Charity (1)

mike_mgo (589966) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531264)

How to even respond?

Yes, that $100 is more of a sacrifice for that person. And to make charitable giving into some sort of a competition is distasteful to begin with. Nevertheless, that $100 doesn't really do a whole lot by itself, but the amount of good that Gates donations can do just boggles the mind.

If you want to dislike Gates becase of his business practices or shoddy software or because he doesn't like purple lollipops then fine, but at least be willing to admit that he's not some greedy ass hoarding his money so he can go swimming in hoards of gold like Scrooge McDuck come to life.

But what Otter stated above is probably right, the story would just become a huge board of MS flamebait.

Re:Charity (1)

aridhol (112307) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531405)

It seems my comment has been taken the wrong way.

Personally, I have no reason to like or dislike Mr. Gates. However, I don't believe that he can be called more charitable just because he can afford to give more money than anybody else. The linked article seems to be a "feel-good" article - he could afford to give lots of money, and did so. I don't think that it should be newsworthy, except in a "see, he's not totally evil" sort of way. But since I never believed him to be totally evil, I don't really care that he's giving his money to charity.

Re:Charity (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532132)

But does that really make them more charitable?

Until we find a way to feed the starving with good intentions, yes it does.

Re:Charity (1)

ces (119879) | more than 10 years ago | (#7539065)

Yes, they give more money to charity. But does that really make them more charitable? What's more charitable - someone with $50 billion giving away $23 billion (and still having $27 billion), or someone with $2000 giving away $100 (and leaving $1900)?

The difference is, in situation A, the donor still has $27 billion dollars. WTF can anybody possibly do with that much money? The mind boggles. However, the second person is much closer to the line. I'd probably call the second person more charitable, because $100 is more of a sacrifice to that person - it can cut into real living expenses.


I will point out that Bill and Melinda have said repeatedly that they plan on giving away pretty much the whole wad eventually. Their kids will get their college paid for and a few $k.

$50 billion is so goddam much money that it really takes quite a bit of work to even give it away.

Even so, lots of small donations can still add up. 10 million $100 donations is $1 billion. Many charities are primarily funded with small donations rather than large endowments.

Re:Charity (1)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7548610)

Bill is an entrepreneur even in charity. With $23 billion sitting in the William & Melinda Gates foundation, there's serious pull there. He has the ability to be the Wal-Mart of Charity; he can say, "Look, I've got $5 billion to spend on research to prevent children from contracting AIDS in utero. If you won't give me the support I want, well, there are other reasearchers who could use $5 billion..."

If I Had That Much Money... (2, Insightful)

Saige (53303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531145)

If I had that much money, I'm sure I'm be willing donate that large of an amount to charity too. After all, half of obscenely rich is still obscenely rich.

Not that I'm blowing this off as not a big deal - it definitely is a lot of money that will be quite useful to all the various charities, and seems to indicate the Gates care more for fellow human beings than most big corporate folks out there. But the more money you have,the higher percentage you can donate and still have plenty left over for everything else in your life.

Definitely not the kind of story that Slashdot editors would post here though.

Submitted! (0, Offtopic)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531173)

I just submitted the same write-up. We'll see if my prestige as a gentleman can get the story accepted. No offense intended but, well, I'm really quite a gentleman.

Re:Submitted! (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7558928)

Wow - an offtopic moderation. That's genius! Slashdot moderation is broken.

Re:Submitted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7610137)

Maybe you should try posting something intelligent for a change. I just read a bunch or your posts didn't find one that looks like you put any time or effort into. Most are borderline flame bait. You political posts sound like someone who hasn't followed politics for more than about 15 years. The world isn't as simple as you think it is. You are wrong when you think you have it figured out.

Re:Submitted! (0, Offtopic)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7610273)

Look closer then butch!

Re:Submitted! (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7610920)

Does anyone know who the second most charitable person is? And as a percentage of personal wealth, who gives the most percent?

Re:Submitted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7618816)

lol

Re:Submitted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7618930)

scared to post in a non-anonymous manner? no nut sack to back yourself up? that's a shame.

Re:Submitted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7636313)

Re:Submitted! (Score:0)
by Anonymous Cowardon 03/12/03 10:20 (#7618930)

Re:Submitted! (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7611501)

Sorry, you are incorrect. They weren't flamebait, they were trolls. Learn to distinguish between the two. Then you'll see I am posting brilliantly. :-P

Shocking. (1)

Pinball Wizard (161942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531297)

Update: Rejected.

I am stunned, nay, shocked! ;)

Actually when I read the journal subject, I thought to myself, no way in hell would slashdot post something like that. News for Nerds, with an undeniable bias. Don't come looking for truth here, we gotta put our anti-establishment spin on everything.

reminds me of a bible story (1)

Servo (9177) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531323)

23 billion is a lot, but it still leaves them with another 23 billion. To them, 23 billion is nothing, because they have so much beyond what they can realisticly spend. I'm not going to go all liberal on you and say they can afford to give more, so they should, but look at it like this.... its still pocket change to him.

It's like having hundreds of toys that you don't know what to do with, so you give half of them away. Its like, ok, there you go. Why not stop gobbling up the worlds fortunes and let people earn money so they don't need your handout, Bill?

Re:reminds me of a bible story (1)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531423)

I can gaurantee that 23 billion is not pocket change no matter who you are.

Re:reminds me of a bible story (1)

Servo (9177) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531498)

Ok, maybe not in the sense you or I mere cogs in the machine may think of it. But look at it like this: They can give away 23 billion and not impact their standard of living in any way. That to me is like giving away my pocket change. It's left overs. It wouldn't have gotten spent anyway.

Yawn (1)

rdewald (229443) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531340)

What the hell else is he going to do with the money? Assuming Bill lives another 40 years, he will have to spend in excess of $65,000 PER HOUR 24/7/365 to get rid of the other 23 billion he has left. That calculation assumes no interest, no appreciation of those assets, et al. 23 billion is just a staggering amount of money.

Philanthropy can have a lot of different motives, only Bill and Melinda know what their motives are. Therefore, any discussion of their motives, which is the only thing in dispute concerning this story, will yield only heat, not light. It's an interesting story and I'm glad you pointed to it here, but I understand why slashdot's editors spiked it--it's not really a good discussion item

As an entirely personal aside, I wish I could say that this excuses or even mitigates the crimes his company commits, but I can't. I think the fact that other OS development has been severely restrained by Microsoft's business practices is a genuine blight on humanity, but that's just my opinion. Microsoft-defenders please take note: I don't want to spark a flame war here, the facts and arguments on both sides are well-known. You won't convince me, I won't convince you.

The icon is a visual pun, a very clever one, I hope they never change it.

Re:Yawn (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532934)

Sorry, I don't see how what Microsoft does could be seen as a blight upon humanity.

Hell, most people have computers ONLY because MS created the Market and Marketing to convince them to get them. Internet boom, Microsoft.

People seem to forget that.

That being said, they ruined my hobby, and I finished it off by taking a perfectly good hobby and trying to make a career out of it, the bastards.

Back to tinkering with my code. Toodles :)

Re:Yawn (1)

rdewald (229443) | more than 10 years ago | (#7533516)

Well, as long as we can keep it civil.

I got into Microcomputers back when Dos 3.3 was the OS of choice. At that time, there were several alternatives, DrDos was the best of them.

Microsoft Word came out, it was the first of the wysiwyg wp's. Microsoft put code in it that crashed everything but MSDOS, that's when they pulled ahead.

It is my *opinion* that had the playing field stayed level, we would have several alternatives to Windows for workstation OS's, each of them, including Windows, would be better because of the competition. I think speech recognition would be solved, we'd have an instant-on OS, and there would be competing products in every sector, much like there are competing products in every sector of the consumer electronics market.

This innovation has been stifled, again in my opinion, because all of the capital has been sucked into one platform, not because that platform merits dominance, but because Microsoft used it's early dominance in one sector, wp's, to criminally stifle innovation in another, OS's.

Untold numbers of hours of productivity have been lost to windows crashing, untold numbers of companies with good ideas have been literally starved out of existence, because Microsft codes to sell licenses, not to make good software.

Again, it is just my opinion, but I honestly believe this has blighted innovation for at least one, and maybe two generations of humans. This innovation is responsible for things that save lives and cure diseases, as well as games and porn.

I can't prove any of this, because you can't prove a negative. I just look at what mankind has done in environemnts where there is open, transparent competition and innovation, like sports, music, consumer electronics, science, pharmaceuticals and entertainment, and what has happened in microcompter OS development, where almost all of the capital is controlled by one entity singularly interested in it's own dominance, and I think there's a real difference in the progress that has been made.

People think I have lost my mind, but I think people have died, and people continue to suffer real pain, because Microsoft has gotten away with subverting the capital market system in OS development. Computers are that important, we shouldn't let this happen.

Further, I think Microsoft should be dismantled, Gates, Ballmer and the rest of them should be divested of all their assets and be prevented from ever participating in the computer industry in any capacity. those assets should be assembled into a research consortium where development along many parallel lines can be funded. maybe, in 15 years or so, we could catch up to where we should be.

It's a belief, I cannot offer any proof. It's just what I believe.

Re:Yawn (1)

Degrees (220395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7537728)

I'm not a very good student of history, but as I recall, most all of the great robber-baron's of the USA became philanthropists in their older days.

So I think what we have here is agreement - Microsoft's corporate strategy (and that buck lands on Bill G.'s desk) was predatory (evil); but, now that he is personally wealthy beyond imagination, he is spending - and often on great humanitarian projects.

old news... (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531922)

I'd reject it, too! "Hey, that guy who gave away more money than carnegie*? Yeah, him? He's STILL given away the most!" Not news worthy.

*-I refuse to do any research to support this claim. It is for hyperbole ONLY, to get the point across that Bill's philanthropy is quite well known.

That bastard should give until he is poor! (1)

giverson (532542) | more than 10 years ago | (#7531940)

Why is it that whenever someone wealthy gives money the response is "Who cares, they're still rich?" When someone owns something, it belongs to them. They have no obligation to give it up. No one but them has a claim to it. We have no right to demand that anyone give a certain amount or to complain about the lack of giving.

Why does everyone assume that the rich owe money to everyone else? On what basis? I don't get it. It seems more and more that we live in a nation where the society (via the government) owns everything and simply allows us to have property pseudo-ownership because capitalism "works best."

Oh, and this is absolutely newsworthy because of the magnitude of the gift. That is a tremendous amount of money. The person giving is simply an important detail in the story.

Borg Icon (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532253)

Perhaps this warrants a change in Microsoft icon at slashdot
The icon is not a reference to people who don't give to charity. The icon is a reference to the behavior of purchasing other companies in order to add their products to one's own catalog.

No amount of giving money to charities, can make the icon become inappropriate. Prolonged abstention from purchasing other companies, though, might eventually cause the icon to become outdated -- or an in-joke that people start to forget the origin of.

And how does he use it? (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532651)

The B&M G foundation is notorious for making donations that benefit MS. Look at India. The government is investigating the use of Linux and suddenly a big donation shows up and the governement is quiet about Linux.

Re:And how does he use it? (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7541831)

So? If you give because your God of choice says it's the right thing to do, or because it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, or because it'll make your stock go up, or to impress some chick, what does it matter? The important thing is that people in need are being fed and cared for.

Re:And how does he use it? (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7542718)

You're kidding right? Motivation is important, especially when it leads to questionable decisions that have long term consequences. Also, we don't know what the terms of this backroom deal were. Basically it was a big bribe, but you don't care.

Re:And how does he use it? (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7546669)

So what? What is exactly it you're upset about? Would it have been better if Linux had been set aside because of technical superiority of windows? If so, better for who? Would it have been better had Linux become the OS of choice instead? If so, better for who? Ooooor, does this way mean that hungry people are fed, or educated, or housed, or whatever else they need while the Indian government get what they want.

You do know that backscratching business deals are the norm right? You buy fighters from us, we'll move a Ford plant there, you buy electricity from us, we'll sell you lumber, you give us $X to help the needy, we'll keep using Windows. Oh wait, I mean, if you buy Windows from us, we'll feed the starving, that way MS is still the bad guy using the poor for leverage.

Re:And how does he use it? (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7547757)

I'm saying don't chalk it all up to the goodness of Bill's heart. The JE was about how Bill's generosity was ignored by /. I am just pointing out that sometimes his giving has purposes that directly relate to Microsoft's corporate interests.

So yes, it is great that he is giving. It would be even better if he were giving without strings attached.

Re:And how does he use it? (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7552888)

Sure it is, and I too think he in part does it to reduce the negative image. But, it's better to give with a ulterior motive than not to give at all.

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