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Who is Your Hero, Gates or Jobs?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-pick-albert-einstein dept.

Microsoft 660

feranick writes "Wired and Ars Technica are both running articles comparing Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, not for their business/technological achievements but for their humanitarian involvement. I am curious to see what you are thinking about the issue. What is more important, be a showmen technologist like Jobs or an humanitarian missionaire like Gates? And even more important: Is it important that donations from rich billionaires be public or should they remain private?"

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The Devil on the Left or the Devil on the Right (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581053)


Tough call, really. I tend to view every move of Gates in terms of wondering if he's doing these things with the ulterior motive of helping his company, Microsoft. There was a considerable ($300m, IIRC) gift to a cause in India about the time of debate over state use of Open Source in preference to Microsoft (closed source, foreign owned.) There's also the matter of how you feel people and businesses have been exploited and compromised by this behemmouth (granted users of Microsoft products, myself included, share some responsibility for helping set the hook) which has enriched this person, thus putting him in such a position to be generous.

I don't look to Jobs with any more expectation than he does good things in business, which forces other businesses and concerns to react to the public in more favorable ways e.g. itunes selling for far less than RIAA was comfortable with, Pixar producing quality entertainment over the utter pap from Disney (well, we'll see how this goes, won't we?)

Re:The Devil on the Left or the Devil on the Right (5, Insightful)

heatdeath (217147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581109)

I tend to view every move of Gates in terms of wondering if he's doing these things with the ulterior motive of helping his company, Microsoft

I really don't think that using $49 Billion of your own money to start a charitable foundation could *possibly* be out of a motive to help your company financially. Why on earth wouldn't he reinvest it if his motives were to help Microsoft?

That's messed up, man.

Re:The Devil on the Left or the Devil on the Right (1)

azav (469988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581237)

Think about this. Who are the officers of the charity? What are their salaries?

I believe - and I could be wrong that the administrators of Gates's charity make half a mil a year. If anyone knows for sure, please post references.

It definitely diminishes the altruism of the charity and also - after a point of accumulation, money doesn't matter, you've got more than enough. Gates might be doing a wonderful thing with the charity but that is with money made off of Microsoft's business practices, which we all know have been regarded as predatory and often illegal.

So he's giving away a shitload of money for good causes that was partially ill gotten. It's almost like the mobster giving to the orphanage.

Re:The Devil on the Left or the Devil on the Right (2, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581313)

The head of Bill Gates Charity is Mr. Gates ie Billy's father.

Re:The Devil on the Left or the Devil on the Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581179)

"There's also the matter of how you feel people and businesses have been exploited and compromised by this behemmouth (granted users of Microsoft products, myself included, share some responsibility for helping set the hook) which has enriched this person, thus putting him in such a position to be generous. "

EXACTLY. Gates didn't start out or work his way up as a humanitarian, he was (and still is) a cut-throat sharp businessman. Now that he's megarich, he can't buy virtue after the fact. Behavior needs to judged in context.

Re:The Devil on the Left or the Devil on the Right (1)

lartistej (855337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581214)

You are missing the point. Most of his donations were made to humanitarian causes such as fighting malaria in africa which is a huge thing.

Re:The Devil on the Left or the Devil on the Right (1)

neuroticia (557805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581320)

When you see Gates talk about the various charities that he contributes to, and the various diseases/issues that he is dedicated to fighting, he is obviously well-versed and passionate in the issues, and not just throwing money at it. Jobs, I've never seen talk about the charities that he donates to. (NOT saying that he doesn't talk about them, just that I haven't seen him talk about them.) so I can't really comment on him.

throw the first stone (5, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581055)

I work for a charitable organization. My income is provided by people who believe in what I do and give money to support that work. In the time I've been doing this, one thing has been made clear to me over and over again.
 
It is a huge mistake to make assumptions and judge others when you really don't know anything about what is going on in their life, especially in regards to their finances.
 
I do admire that the authors of these articles are in favor of investing ones resources in ways that are intended to make the world a better place. I spend a good amount of my time trying to encourage people in the same way. But to criticize someone, even with the caveats about anonymous giving, is not really helpful. What a person does with their money, be it Steve Jobs or the kid grilling burgers at your local Jack in the Box, is their business. And we are in know place to judge them as human beings for what they do with their money, especially since we don't know what is going on in their lives.
 
When I approach people to support what I do, I try very hard to not develop preconceptions based on what I know about them, because I am almost always wrong when I do. People I think will give a lot, don't (often for very good reasons, whether I know those reasons or not) and people I think wont give at all, surprise me with their generosity. But judging one as better than the other without the whole picture would be a grave error.
 
Finally, when Christ wanted to give an example to his disciples of great giving, he pointed out the poor widow giving two mites. It was not the amount that mattered, but the attitude and the self-sacrafice. And from this distance who can judge those factors about Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?

Re:throw the first stone (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581103)

Finally, when Christ wanted to give an example to his disciples of great giving, he pointed out the poor widow giving two mites. It was not the amount that mattered, but the attitude and the self-sacrafice. And from this distance who can judge those factors about Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?

It's too bad the most prominent US Christians aren't at all like Christ.

What is a "mite" anyway?

Re:throw the first stone (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581213)

You can see a mite [newworldtreasures.com] made into jewelry here. I think it was like the equivalent of a penny- the smallest monetary unit of the time.
 
There are many Christians who are like Christ, unfortunately a lot of high profile people like to use Christianity as a means to a very different end.

Mites (0)

wsanders (114993) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581362)

I think a mite can pass through the eye of a needle. Or maybe it lodges in your eye? Either way, it's awful hard to "cast" the first might, lest one be smitten or something.

Lije it is said, "Blessed are the Cheesemakers".

Gates deserving of "rock star status"? (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581059)

From the fine article, near the end, drawing a conclusion:

On the evidence, he's [Jobs] nothing more than a greedy capitalist who's amassed an obscene fortune. It's shameful. In almost every way, Gates is much more deserving of Jobs' rock star exaltation.

I respectfully disagree with the author's conclusion, unless by indicating "much more deserving", he is setting the bar incredibly low. Gates' fortune is every bit as obscene as the author claims Jobs' fortune is, and probably much more suspect in how Gates acquired it.

I get sick of the implied (or inferred by the masses) rags-to-riches yarn of Gates, college dropout made good. It's not true, Gates is of wealthy background, was a spoiled brat from the start and never had anything to lose, i.e., he was always destined to be rich and that would never have been in doubt. Unfortunately, he chose to become a goon and run roughshod over the technology world, amassing wealth unethically, and eventually (by DOJ judgement) illegally.

While I expect good to come of money Gates gives away, it's certainly less because Gates is a good guy and more that money can buy good things.

As for the slashdot question posed: Is it important that donations from rich billionaires be public or should they remain private?, probably yes. But probably more important is the motivation. I don't get any sense Bill's motivation is humanitarian, but do sense much of the work and generosity comes more from his wife Linda.

Re:Gates deserving of "rock star status"? (2, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581148)

Of course, Apple has never done anything evil or unethical...like suing fan rumor sites...or shutting down clone makers...nah, you're so right.

That was sarcasm btw. I put Jobs and Gates in exactly the same ethical category. Low to none.

Re:Gates deserving of "rock star status"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581409)

(yagu as AC....)

I don't think I made any mention of my opinion of Jobs nor Apple. I'd probably agree they're both (Gates and Jobs) pretty close to being in the same category, but Gates and his empire is the juggernaut anointed by too many as "good" when they're not.

Re:Gates deserving of "rock star status"? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581411)

1) they where NEVER trying to shut down a fan rumor site, they SIMPLY wanted to know who illegaly leaked info TO the site. The site in question decided it was going against his (questionable) journalistic rights, if he had told right off the back who it was who broke the Apple NDA, not one damn thing would have come from it sept the site learning it has to play the SAME rules major newspapers and mags play with, and not think they are immune simply cause they are a snot-nosed college kid running a website. Saying there is rumor about possible things comming out of Apple and outright releasing detailed contents of a NDA agreement are two different things, and all Thinksecret did was released the actual contents of a NDA, which is blatently illegal even if TS didnt sign the NDA themselves.

2) They didnt shut down anything, they decided to not continue to licence their ROM which is 100% legal and not even remotely questionable. They didnt break any contracts, the contract was simply up and Apple said we are sorry but we arnt going to be re-signing.

NOW if you want to get to questionable practices, bring up anything involving Jobs and his illigiitimate daughter Lisa. What happened there was immoral though Jobs saw the light in his ways eventually. But those two things really dont support any statement about Apples buisness practice, since anyone would have done that.

Re:Gates deserving of "rock star status"? (1)

zardo (829127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581432)

Some guys play the game with a bad attitude, they just want to reach the "richest man in the world" status, like Larry Ellison of Oracle, never makes any charity donations and seems to be very interested in beating out Gates.

I don't think Gates was ever playing the game like others play it. I don't think he's one of these guys who just HAS to be the richest man in the world. It seems like he is gearing up to make massive donations to charity closer to the end of his life, when he can cash out his earnings. Honestly, why WOULDN'T you do that? Unlike the Waltons, who each inherited $30 billion or something, who cares to give their kids that much money? If my parents gave me $30 billion I would immediately hand off $29 billion to charity and live like a billionaire on the last of it.

let bono decide (1)

hector_uk (882132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581063)

personally jobs, he's just so much cooler and mysterious.

Re:let bono decide (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581129)

Yes, the Steve. He is my idol. Black turtlenecks and blue jeans is my choice of wears. God, I love the Steve.

If I have a choice.. (3, Funny)

doubtless (267357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581066)

then may I choose Superman?

Re:If I have a choice.. (1)

umeboshi (196301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581325)

It may be a better discussion to debate what super(hero/villain) that these people a similiar to. Gates reminds me of Lex Luthor, while Jobs reminds me of Magneto, and Ballmer reminds me of the Hulk.

Re:If I have a choice.. (1)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581421)

I would like to choose Cowboy Neal.

Who Else but.... (5, Funny)

saden1 (581102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581068)

My father is my hero! Gates wouldn't even lend me money to buy my first car.

Woz. (5, Interesting)

heldlikesound (132717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581078)

He's very strange, but you can't deny that he was the brains behind Apple's beginnings.

Re:Woz. (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581167)

Within the same minute (you must have hit Send two clock ticks before me, as my post came two clock ticks later). Yes, it depends on what you value- if you value money and material possessions and billionaires being able to give away shitloads of money, then Jobs or Gates would be role models, but for people like us, who value engineering and family, The Woz is downright amazing.

Re:Woz. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581196)

Woz built the Apple I and the Apple II, but without Jobs and Markkula, you never would have heard of either of those machines.

Steve Jobs is why Apple became a business, and Mike Markkula is why it became a large business.

-jcr

can it be neither? (2, Interesting)

scronline (829910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581079)

As far as heroes go, I would have to say Linus would be much higher ranked than either Jobs or Gates.

Hear hear (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581206)

And add the KDE and GNU teams to that.

Re:can it be neither? (4, Insightful)

JavaMoose (832619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581233)

Why? What has Torvalds done that even come close to camparing to Gates or Jobs? Seriously, I am curious...

Re:can it be neither? (1)

scronline (829910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581424)

Other than starting the Linux Kernel and giving us an option to free us from the yoke that is Gates and Jobs? Gates and Jobs donate and do all the things they do for tax purposes, not out of the goodness of their hearts. Linus has created a FREE kernel and maintained it for over a decade expecting nothing in return. It asked how our heroes were, I don't consider Jobs or Gates my heroes, or even anti-heroes. All Gates does is take money away from me and my clients with little in return other than aggrevation. All Jobs does is keep to his own little world instead of taking a real chance like allowing OS X to run on Non-apple Intel hardware.

Re:can it be neither? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581297)

I'll agree with that. Linus is one of the few people I respect and admire.

Obvious Third Option: The Woz (4, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581080)

By far, when it comes to character, the OTHER Steve from Apple beats those two all hollow. Yes, Jobs and Gates are more materially rich- but The Woz is rich in family and hacking ability, and as far as role models go, I'd much rather be the later.

Does Ballmer donate anything? (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581284)

If you take The Woz as Apple's number two, against Ballmer at Microsoft, Apple comes out on top and all is right with the world. Does Ballmer donate anything?

Re:Does Ballmer donate anything? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581433)

I'd be surprised if he didn't- the tax breaks for donating excess income are truly amazing at that level of income. The question would be, what does he give to? And my guess is that most of his donations go to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation- because he's such a brownnosing suck up.

Short Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581089)

No.

Tough (1)

chipster (661352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581095)

That's a tough choice. Perhaps I'd have more time to think about it if I weren't too busy at my job. Oh wait...

Giving.... (2, Insightful)

hptux06 (879970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581099)

Well, I can only say read this [bbc.co.uk] . Apparently, he's giving $600m to preventing TB.

Here's a thought though: Does it matter how much people give, or is it the reason that they give?

The edge of the market (2, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581201)

More people= more people to pay microsoft licenses. The third world is the edge of the market for Microsoft, they've saturated the United States, the First world, and the Second world. The only way left to expand is to make sure more people survive.

Re:Giving.... (1)

AnonymousJackass (849899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581321)

Apparently, he's giving $600m to preventing TB.

Here's a thought though: Does it matter how much people give, or is it the reason that they give?

Matter to who? The 'rich' westerners such as ourselves who are able to sit comfortably on the sidelines and pass comment, or the third-world populace who're dying of these diseases? I'm quite sure the latter care little of how or why they're getting medicines/vaccines/etc.

My personal opinion is that regardless of Gates' motives, what he is doing will benefit people who need the help. (FWIW, I think he does it because he knowns he can make a difference -- not because of some nefarious money-making plot. I'm sure he partakes in underhand schemes significantly more profitable than those that involve him giving away $600m...)

They merged to form GOBS (1)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581100)

Like the Constructicons and the Aerialbots, Gates and Jobs have merged to form GOBS, the most powerful technology robot executive ever! The Decepticons don't stand a chance. Or is the Autobots?

Bill or is it Melinda (5, Insightful)

stoney27 (36372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581125)

Before Bill married Melinda I don't think he really though much about the world around him. Not to say that she hasn't changed him and now he does. But I think it more her and he just gets behind what she brings up.

As for the question, I favor Jobs.

-S

Re:Bill or is it Melinda (2, Insightful)

salemnic (244944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581391)

It's more than that. Melinda is a good influence, but I think it was when he first became friends and bridge partners with Warren Buffett is when he changed to more of a world-aware person.

Buffett has a very similar attitude in that he thinks he is a better accumulator of money while he is alive, but near death most of it will be sent back out into the world.

s

uh... neither? (0)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581126)

neither of these men have risked their lives for belief in something that violent people around them did not believe. perhaps that is just part of my own definition of hero, but neither of these men had half a chance of even serving a night in jail for being unpopular, or a night in the poor house for failing.

Re:uh... neither? (5, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581294)

neither of these men have risked their lives for belief in something that violent people around them did not believe.

Maybe they should be guest speakers at this years LinuxWorld Expo then?

Steve Jobs will bring down Microsoft. (2, Insightful)

network23 (802733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581131)


Steve Jobs.

Pro prio: He has done a remarkable job with Apple. From securing the first steps of Maslow, to the rocket Apple is destined to be for the next five years.

Pro secundo: He has won every victory, fighting honestly with QUALITY as the preferred weapon. Pixar never had a "B Team". People invest in Apple because of innovation and quality. People invest in Dell because they are slightly better than other PC distributors when it comes to logistics.

Pro tertio: Steve Jobs ultimate motive is to bring Microsoft to its knees. And he will do that. And he will be using innovation and quality - to prove his point.

From "Pirates of Silicon Valley":

Steve Jobs: We're better than you are! We have better stuff.
Bill Gates: You don't get it, Steve. That doesn't matter!

Oh yes. Guess what. It does matter. And it will bring down the Microsoft empire.

But to bring down Bill Gates - the most skillfull businessman alive - you will have to be outstanding. There are no shortcuts. No quick deals. You will have to be or become smarter, better, more profitable, eventually bigger and in the end richer than Bill Gates. Take away the reason for buying Microsoft products.

Myself, I think the turning point was when Steve Jobs demoed his NeXT, proud as a peacock, showing Illustrator, Framemaker and other major apps. A journalist later asked Bill Gates if Microsoft would develop software for the NeXT and Bill Gates stated Develop for it? I'll piss on it. [vnunet.com]

Those seven words, that single quote - my friends - is the essence of how our work, our businesses and tools will develop for the next 20 years.

We do live in interesting times. I enjoy every moment.

Re:Steve Jobs will bring down Microsoft. (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581315)

From "Pirates of Silicon Valley": Steve Jobs: We're better than you are! We have better stuff. Bill Gates: You don't get it, Steve. That doesn't matter! Oh yes. Guess what. It does matter. And it will bring down the Microsoft empire.
Umm....I have to disagree there, I'm pretty sure by dominating the OS market since the time that scene was based on, Gates was correct and has proved that it doesn't matter.

Re:Steve Jobs will bring down Microsoft. (1)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581435)


Oh yes. Guess what. It does matter. And it will bring down the Microsoft empire.

I think it would be very interesting to know if Microsoft is working on a Vista port to the Intel/iMac.

We do live in interesting times. I enjoy every moment.

Right, never a dull moment in this business.

Better question (0, Flamebait)

Chris Acheson (263308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581138)

Who would you rather see dragged out into the street and shot, Gates or Jobs?

Interesting, but yet another rehash of mac v. pc (1, Troll)

redwoodtree (136298) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581139)

Call me cynical, call me what you may, but I think this value judgment
is totally off. In short, the elements being compared and how they
relate to your daily life are skewed.

If I were the receipient of one of Gates' grants, I'm sure he would be
my hero. At the same time I think it's great that he's putting his vast
fortune to so much good. That's all brilliant.

However, on a day-to-day basis, I get joy and productivity gains from
using Apple products and Apple OS. I get pain and suffering from using
Microsoft products and Microsoft OS. So daily, Jobs does more to make
my life better than Gates.

Now, there any many people who give generously of their time and money.
Each person has to give based on his or her ability and level. If you're
the richest person in the world, well, you better give more than anyone
else. I believe a large part of Gates' public face on his charitable
giving is to offset the negative view of him by so many. It's probably
related to some sort of pent up negative view from his childhood. Who knows.

In any case, you can have Gates and Jobs as your hero, it's not an either
or thing. This topic is so close to a troll that I considered not replying
but here it is anyway. Now let the mac versus pc debate continue into its
3rd decade now.

Neither. (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581143)

Woz

WTF? (0, Troll)

Axel2001 (179987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581144)

What is more important, be a showmen technologist like Jobs or an humanitarian missionaire like Gates?

Does anyone proofread any more? Seriously, "be a showmen" should be "being a showman" and there is no such word as "missionaire."

all i have to say.. (1)

tont0r (868535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581150)

is when was the last time you saw something like this for jobs Gates gives $600m more to stop TB [bbc.co.uk] gates, while may run a tough business, he also donates an extremely large amount to good causes.

My Hero? (1)

Bishop, Martin (695163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581154)

Where's the Torvalds vs. Stallman article?

"Torvalds is a chubby Gnome hating grinch. But Stallman is a dirty, unshaven hippy. Could they possibly live in the same house without driving each other mad?"

Gates (3, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581165)

Without a doubt.

Which is why, I'd rather have Microsoft be a monopoly and make billions and use a chunk of that to help the world, rather than a lot of other companies and executives (Darth McBride, Larry Ellison) who just have all that money and do no good with it. Well, no good for the world that is.

For humanitarian things, definitely Gates.

If I wanted opinions on being stylish and wearing turtlenecks, I'd ask Jobs.

Re:Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581208)

the credit goes to melinda gates. before BG got married, did he give to charities? After melinda started to donate their wealth, Bill started to change. behind every rich man is a great women.

Re:Gates (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581309)

After melinda started to donate their wealth, Bill started to change. behind every *less* rich man is a women. I fixed your comment. 3

Who is the bigger hero? (2, Insightful)

bsquarewi (846680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581166)

So Bill Gates donates $20m to some charity, that's approx .6% of his total net worth (as in less than 1%) I donate $100 which at any given time is about 2.1% of my total net worth. Who has sacrificed more for the good of humanity??

Re:Who is the bigger hero? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581262)

Dude... try 5%. Now that hurts.

It's not the size of the wallet, it's how much (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581344)

So Bill Gates donates $20m to some charity, that's approx .6% of his total net worth (as in less than 1%) I donate $100 which at any given time is about 2.1% of my total net worth. Who has sacrificed more for the good of humanity??

Good point. For example, let's say someone like me takes a job for half the pay working on Alzheimers research instead of at Microsoft - the hours are similar, but you're doing good for the world. Now, techically, is the fact I'm working in scientific research of greater good?

On the other hand, Bill G has donated more than 60 percent of his stock holdings in MSFT to the Gates Foundation, which is spending it on funding research and actual solutions that are ten times what the federal government spends on foreign aid (which is about 0.1 percent of our federal spending, not the 10 percent many people mistakenly believe).

But, and this is important to remember, he gets a tax writeoff as a charitable donation for doing this, so effectively everyone else is paying for his donations (we pay the taxes, rich people in general pay less than 10 percent of income, while poor people pay 30-40 percent and middle class is something like 30-50 percent, when you add up fed/state/county/local taxes actually paid).

Re:Who is the bigger hero? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581351)

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=gates+donat ions&btnG=Google+Search&meta= [google.co.uk]

A quick glimpse of the first page of results shows that he has given far more than that.

Do a bit of research before you talk shit about people please.

Re:Who is the bigger hero? (1)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581410)

Where are you getting $20m? He's given nearly $30 BILLION dollars to his foundation...And your math is waaaay off.

Why compare Steve Jobs and Melinda Gates? (3, Funny)

aralin (107264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581175)

I have no idea who decided to compare Steve Jobs and Melinda Gates and why, but it just seems silly. The only things these two have in common is that they are wealthy. AFAIK Bill wouldn't give a cent to charity if Melinda wouldn't make him. Why don't we just scrap the humanitarian efforts alltogether and just compare Bill Gates and Steve Jobs based on the work they do, not the work their money do in some charities.

I'd say my hero is Bill Gates, because he showed the world, there is no reason to be afraid to be openly evil. I love him for paving the way for all of us villains to be. He shows us it is good to be evil :)

Answer By Definition (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581185)

"Do you know what the definition of a hero is? Someone who gets other people killed. You can look it up later." ~ Zoe Warren, "Serenity" (2005)
Considering the definition, I'll go with Gates because of his business tactics.

Jobs, then Allen, then Gates (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581186)

I've met them all, and Steve is more of a force for good, Paul is into sports (the SF stuff is fine) and helps out with the local Seattle International Film Festival [seattlefilm.com] by donating the use of his fantastic film theater Cinerama [cinerama.com] for a couple of weeks each year and bringing in some neat directors and actors like Adam Sandler, and Bill is spending ten times what the feds are on actual research and solutions for real problems impacting the world like malaria etc.

But that's my personal opinion.

Re:Jobs, then Allen, then Gates (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581425)

Did you accidentally list them in backwards order? Your subject contradicts your post. Or maybe you think being into sports and films directed by Adam Sandler is more important than finding a vaccine for malaria.

What about Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds? (1, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581194)

They both helped give us GNU [wikipedia.org] and Linux, [wikipedia.org] which will eventually benefit everyone.

Linus is also a great manager [businessweek.com] and both he and Richard won the 1998 EFF Pioneer Award. [wikipedia.org]

Free is the best charity of all.

Well I have two hands ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581197)

And they each have one cock. I suppose they could both be my bukkake hero.

My hero is... (1, Troll)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581203)

Cowboy Neal.

Torvalds (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581207)

I wouldn't call him my personal hero, but more so than the two options listed in the article.

Do I like Hemlock or Arsenic? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581209)

I can see this as a POLL question, maybe. But what the heck are things like this doing on the Slashdot front page?

Oh whom to choose... (1)

Sneeper (182316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581216)


Reminds me of a quote from Chicken Run:

Ginger: We die free or we die trying.
Babs: Are those the only choices?

Who is Your Hero, Gates or Jobs? (1)

AndyG314 (760442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581217)

Torvalds.

Mad, bad and dangerous to know - Jobs by a mile! (5, Insightful)

QuatermassX (808146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581242)

As a creative sort of chap, I've always thought Jobs' heady mix of insanity, cunning and insight to be quite refreshing. Bill Gates is a nasty cold fish who seemingly knows nothing about humanity save that which he can buy.

Jobs makes things that are not just useful to me - they've helped bring out my artistic talents over the years - they've enabled me to create.

What has Bill Gates done for me and my world? Nothing, actually. He perpetuated some highly dysfunctional ways to interact with machines and generally works at dominating the distribution of information.

So he uses he obscene wealth (and it is obscene - and a bit of a fluke combined with Sam Walton-like business sense) for good. Well, that's great and I expect nothing less. Maybe he'll be considered another Andrew Carnegie someday, but I see very little to be interested by or admiring of about the man.

The things that Jobs and Co dream up bring pleasure and fun into my life.

Real Results (1)

przemeklach (905526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581257)

I'm not sure if either of these guys runs their own charity or gives to an existing one but I don't think that the magnitude of the amount should be a real gauge. Whoevers money makes the most difference at ground level is what should be compared. If person A gives 1 million and only 200,000 gets to the ground becuase of overhead, well that to me is crap because most of the money is going to people who don't need it. In terms of the hero question; id see someone more heroic who would give 1000 dollars when they only have 2000 as opposed to someone giving 30 million who has 30 billion. So i'd have to say that neither of them are heros and that their donations are just for good PR.

This is the most senseless article I've seen on /. (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581264)

1. Since when did giving away money become the sole measure of goodness?

2. The available data only suggests which person is best at making certain that other know about the money that they give away, not how much money has actually been given away.

3. The articles even point out that Jobs may have given away considerable amounts without telling anyone. Consequently, the articles are comparing a known value with an unknown value. Such a comparisson ought to result in a NULL value.

4. It does not appear that anyone attempted to contact either Jobs or Gates over the matter.

Jobs (1)

Ed Almos (584864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581267)

Steve Jobs is my hero, but not for the reasons you state. The two Steves (OK, both of them are my heros) were there at the right time and they knew exactly what to do. Thanks to their work we have the computer industry we have today.

Bill Gates was also (on numerous occassions) at the right place at the right time but he chose the dark path. Now, after a quarter of a century he's trying to atone for his sins by giving his money away. I hate the man with a passion because thanks to him and his company the computer industry has been held back from its true potential due to crap software running on an out of date architecture.

Ed Almos

Maybe Gates gives so much because... (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581286)

... he has a guilty conscience?

Probably not though. People aren't pure evil or pure good and are very inconsistent.

There's no reason why someone can't be a total selfish fuckwit and responsible for a huge amount of damage in one area (technology), while simultaneously being a generous humanitarian in another area (disease charity).

Whats important... (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581287)

Its important that rich billionares make donations. The public or privateness isn't that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. If I were in their shoes I make them public in hopes of inspiring other wealthy people to do the same.

Not having billions, I would love to make my donations anonymously to keep from being on the fund raising mailing list of thousands of organizations. I figure if you are a billionare, you are on the list anyway, and you can pay someone to through out all the damn return address labels!! :-)

Loaded Questions (5, Insightful)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581301)

Why not look up to those who do good works every day without worrying about bottom lines or shareholder value. Do we really want our business leaders to also be our moral leaders?

So sorry Satan, (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581311)

tickets to Heaven aren't for sale.
But keep trying anyway..

Rich billionaires can't hide (2, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581314)

And even more important: Is it important that donations from rich billionaires be public or should they remain private?

"Rich billionaires"!!

Moving right aloing, this isn't an "important question", it's a stupid one. No one can spend a billion dollars on anything in secrecy; most especially not the CEO of an American company.

Eric Schmidt (1)

ninji (703783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581316)

Eric Schmidt.

Do what you do best. (2, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581318)

> What is more important, be a showmen technologist like Jobs or an humanitarian missionaire like Gates? And even more important: Is it important that donations from rich billionaires be public or should they remain private?"

It's more important to do what you do best. Jobs really is a showman, and he really is technologist. Gates? Gates was a damn good coder, and he is a damn proficient businessman. The humanitarian stuff only started in earnest when he realized he had to do some serious brown-nosing with the government in order to get a free pass from the DOJ for his abuse of his monopoly.

On that score - it's Jobs by a million miles. He knows what he's good at. He does it.

Besides, you really don't wanna see Gates putting on a show with technology [snopes.com] anyways, but at least now you know where Steve "monkeyboy" Ballmer got his dance lessons.

Private or public donations? Not my money, none of my freaking business.

If it were my money, it'd be donated in private.

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
- Some long-haired hippy freak

You don't have to believe in Jesus -- hell, you don't even have to believe in God to see that the long-haired hippy freak had a pretty good point. If you support a cause - donate. There doesn't have to be a God for you to feel pretty fucking good about what you've done to advance your views.

Biased Giving (1)

Irvu (248207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581338)

Charitable donations, especially public ones can often have other purposes. To whit, Gates has donated a great deal to help AIDS victims. All that money, however, is being used to help fund the costs of prescription meds and to protect the IP "rights" of the companies that hold them. With his power and weath he could force a debate about such "rights" and point out that a) AZT and other retrovirals were developed and tested exclusively with U.S. Taxpayer dollars and that as such the drug companies have no "rights". This, if successful, would lead to the drugs being available at cost not the 1000%+ markup currently used to "protect profits" and probably help many more victims.

But such a change would threaten microsoft's IP claims. It would not do so directly but it would call into question the basis of IP in the first place. So he doesn't do it. Instead his donations help to shore up the IP system and indirectly his own wealth.

There has also been a long history in Washington of charitable donations for influence. Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, and Roy Blunt made a great deal of use in this area with those seeking favor donating to charities of thir choosing. The donors were not so much investing in a Jewish Day school as Blunt, DeLay and Abramoff's good will. This good will had a direct payoff for the donors later (as well as being tax deductable). Similarly for Blunt, DeLay and Abramoff their ability to score funds raised their status, got them invited on paid speaking tours and helped make them money.

I am not asserting that every donation is a cynical ploy. In part I believe that Bill Gates wants to make the world a better place on one level. But not every public or private donation is "all about the children". Sometimes charity is about profit.

Greedy capitalists? (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581343)

I think charity is a great idea, and it's great that Gates is being so open with his endorsement of charity. But I think Gates & Jobs (along with many others) have created far more value for the world by creating an entire new field in which millions of people have gained employment, and been able to feed & shelter their own families without the need for charity. Not to take anything away from volunteers or philanthropists, but from that perspective, they have probably been far more helpful to the world than somebody like Mother Theresa.

Warning: Total speculation to follow (1)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581350)

I think to some extent Apple and Microsoft are reflections of Jobs and Gates.

Microsoft has done much in the computer world, but I don't think many would accuse them of being innovative, and I think that is a reflection of Gates - he sees practical opportunities to sell product, or take an idea and make it profitable. He just never seemed that creative.

Perhaps he is bored now. Love them or hate them, Microsoft is the dominant player in the computer industry by far. That's a boring place to be, after a while. Microsoft is unfocused today, much like Bill is. A mid-life crisis, you might say. And Gates is trying to use the insane amounts of money he has aquired for something other than aquiring more insane amounts of money or implementing more of other people's ideas. He wants to get meaning in his life, and helping others gives a sense of meaning that he probably doesn't get from computers any more.

Jobs, on the other hand, still loves computers, and loves Apple. After his near death experience with pancreatic cancer, I think he gets a charge out of leading the pack with new ideas and trying new things. Plus, Apple has a lot further up to go than Microsoft does.

Rich people usually don't get generous until they start Wondering About the Meaning of It All. Bill's wondering, and Jobs has already figured it out. In Jobs' case, it involves Apple rather than other people.

Pop psyc rant over.

Linus Trovalds (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581352)

... and RMS and others in the free software community.

Yes I understood the question. Producing free software allows the poor to own and use computers, to run their businesses on IT foundations rather than the pencil and paper. OSS is and will be giving a boost to businesses around the world, not to mention education too.

Take everyone in third-world countries using OSS software. Swap the software with proprietary versions and total the cost. Thats how much roughly OSS has helped people. Can Gates manage that?

What gates gives to the poor really comes from the sales of Windows and Office for the most part, whose monopoly has made computers inaccessible in poorer countries, unless you count the piracy, which is worse in some ways... youre making them criminal to allow their businesses (and education) to run. So isn't Gates' net help to the poor running in the negative?

Neither? (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581355)

I think the phrase 'hero' is used far too often. I doubt either of these men are really the hero of anyone here on Slashdot. This whole story is nothing but flamebait anyway, given the leanings of Slashdot against anything Microsoft. Hopefully people can address this question without a lot of flame wars, though.

My take is that humanitarian aid is more important than technological advances. There are obviously benefits to great technological advances, but the humanitarian aid that Gates has provided should hopefully lead to more technical advances in the future. One example is him giving large sums of money to the Milwaukee Public Schools, which they've used to break up the large schools into smaller schools, resulting in smaller class sizes and less violence. I believe he's given money to other school districts as well for a number of other tasks.

I also don't believe that a donor needs to stay anonymous with his donations. Many Slashdotters think that Gates is donating simply to make himself and MS look better after their negative business practices. That's BS. He's already rich enough that he doesn't have to care about public perception. In addition, the general public does NOT have a negative view of Microsoft, so why would Gates be donating in order to change the public's view of them.

This came up in a thread around Christmas about the actions of the Salvation Army. Someone was complaining that the SA was anti-gay/lesbian, and backed it up with the actions of one worker and one manager. The Slashdotter discounted all of the great work that the SA has done, simply because of the actions of a few. Just because you may not like how Gates got his money, and just because you don't like MS, it doesn't change that fact that his money is being put to good use and helping a lot of people.

That's really what it comes down to: he DOES NOT have to donate this money, yet he still is, and the result is that a lot of people are being helped.

An aside for the people that claim it's only for tax relief purposes: when you get sufficiently rich, taking a huge tax hit really doesn't affect you at all. Most Slashdotters agree with the Democratic Party's idea of scaling taxes up for the rich. The main argument for that is rich people won't be affected by having a larger amount of taxes taken by the government. To claim that Gates is doing this because of the tax hit would be claiming that those taxes actually affect him. You can't have it both ways. Choose one or the other.

PS: I also like Jobs.

Neither... (1)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581364)

It's Wozniak [woz.org] - somebody who truely seems to care about the world, about the people on it, and helping children learn with technology...

Bill Gates altruism (1)

alw53 (702722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581366)

Let's ask Gary Kildall what he thinks about Bill's altruism.

Paul Allen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581368)

Paul has probably donated more money and has been enjoying his Villas, Yachts and Boeing 737. That's my hero.

flat tax? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581375)

The problem is that so much of the world speaks of percentage income, and not percentage expendable income. For instance, a family earning $20,000 is not half as worse off as a family of equal size $40,000. At higher levels it is even sillier. A family earning $100K can in no way say to be doing badly, though that family may think they have the problems of $40K people.

So, one should look at the amount of money available, the amount given, and then take points away for publizing donation, as the tax man now expects us to not deduct the reasoble value of the benifits we recieve. Perhaps we should also deduct lavish expensives.

I give bussinesses points for donated 5% of profits, as this clearly is a good percentage of expendable income. I don't know if a middle class family can donate 5% of even net pay.

What I do know is that when a man has a 200 foot yatch and one of the largest houses in history, any money given to charity is clearly causing no pain, and is likely to be a benavolent tax dodge, so is not as valuable as the pauper who gives his last few pennies.

There is no argument that if steve jobs is not donating a significant of money he probably should be. However, if he is donating money, and just not talking about it, then kudos for him. As we see from the christian tradition, one should not like th hypocrite expect honors and recognition for just being a good person.

Redemption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581383)

So, through unethical practices I get BILLIONS, and I get redemption by donating a few MILLIONS?
GREAT!!!
Gates, all the way to heaven!

I'd say Woz. (2, Insightful)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581399)

Not just because he was the brains behind the APPLE I, ][, ///. Because of his hacking in the past, Dial-a-joke, and Unison [woz.org] .

I met him at Apple Boston in 1983 and he had a great attitude, even when I asked him about the Franklin.

Jobs is still sexier (1)

big c0ward (935848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581405)

Anonymous or public, who cares? Sometimes motives don't matter as much as actions.

Sure, part of the reason to give publicly (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581407)

...is to gain public acclaim, but if I were a billionaire I'd probably be quite open about my giving, if only to silence those who would claim I was some sort of Ebenezer Scrooge with my money.

Who is your Hero, Hitler or Truman? (1)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581418)

... are both running articles comparing Adolf Hitler and Harry Truman, not for their political achievements but for their humanitarian involvement. I am curious to see what you are thinking about the issue. What is more important, be an atom bomb dropping commander-in-chief like Truman or a patriotic missionaire like Hitler? And even more important: Is it important that apples remain public or oranges stay private?"

No, that wasn't loaded question of an article.

Private Donations (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581419)

"And even more important: Is it important that donations from rich billionaires be public or should they remain private?""

I think this is the more interesting question. Personally, I believe charity should be a private thing. If you make a public announcement every time you do a charitable act, you are doing it for the publicity as much as anything. The amount of wealth given by Bill Gates is a drop in the bucket compared to his total wealth. I am sure he gets a sizeable tax deduction as well. This all reminds me of the parable of the widows mite.

I want to be like Jobs (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581423)

I respect Bill Gates a lot. He is a very smart yet awkward guy. What he and his wife do with their charities should be commended. He still has his hair. But, I would really try to emulate Steve Jobs more. He is just as smart but he has charisma. His charisma helps him to communicate his ideas and get people to really believe in them. A genius is nothing if he can't get his ideas across. He was really the only one to save Apple from buyout oblivion. I believe the whole tech industry is better for it and consumers whether Apple or PC have better products because of it. Now, he is bald, but it doesn't seem to slow him down.

not to sound biblical, but.... how do you measure? (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581426)

if you are going to measure their humanitarian efforts do you look at total $ they donate, or percent of their income? it may be more of a sacrifice for me to give $2000/year to a charity, but obviously that's not going to help stop the spread of anything.

what about people that actually do humanitarian work and not just donate some money that is probably a tax write-off and obviously used as a PR campaign anyway. http://www.gatesfoundation.org/ [gatesfoundation.org]
you have to wonder when people have to keep reminding you about all the charitable things they do.

i can't listen to NPR for an hour without being reminded of what a good humanitarian effort the Gates foundation makes, or constant reports from the microsoft owned online magazine slate.com.

then again the same goes for NPR mentioning the kind grants from the walmart foundation, and we all know that that money is all donated by employees, not the Walton family. you can look up the charitable contributions of the actual family members and it is astonishing low. Gates is obviously far ahead of them on the decency scale.

Warren Buffett (5, Interesting)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581431)

This spring I had the opportunity to hear Warren Buffett give a talk in Omaha. At the outset I wasn't too excited; I'm not really into business, but I learned some things that impressed me.

The most interesting thing that I learned is that while Buffett isn't a well philanthropist, when he dies, something like 1% of his wealth will go to his children as an inheritance, and the other 99% (currently about $39.6 billion) will go to a charatable foundation. He's told the administrator of that foundation that he wants him to try and "do something huge" with the money, not just spread it out to lots of smaller causes.

His justification for doing it this way instead of giving to charity right now is that the more money he has, the more money he can make, and the more money he puts into the foundation before he dies.

Now, it could be easily argued that he just likes making money, and doesn't want to give it away, but his impressively simple lifestyle argues that he certainly doesn't like spending money on himself.

I imagine that if I had billions of dollars, it would be much more fun to see that money go to work helping people while I was around to see it, but Buffett's plan makes sense from a practical standpoint.
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