Bill Gates gave a TED talk in 2009 titled “Mosquitoes, malaria and education“. It’s a broad-sweeping talk, but here are a few points that stuck out for me:
- Gates is an optimist, who obviously has the resources to tackle big problems. After three decades at Microsoft, he stepped down as Microsoft CEO and decided to turn his nonpareil wealth and status toward more philanthropic aims.
- Historical data lends good reason for Gates’ optimism. As recently as 1960, of the 110 million children born each year, 20 million died before the age of 5. Medical breakthroughs continue to sharply reverse this trend, and child death has now been reduced to under 9 million globally. This is a MONUMENTAL drop.
- New York passed a law prohibiting teacher improvement data from being used in tenure decisions. This is a recipe for failure and can only amplify the education crisis currently besetting American classrooms.
- More money is spent annually on male baldness drugs than on malaria research (and probably a lot of other things).
- In retrospect, Gates’ name may one day be primarily associated with philanthropy, not computing.
External Link: Bill Gates: Mosquitos, malaria and education