Bill Gates: What I Won't Spend My Money On

Microsoft founder blasts Google Balloon, private space programs
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2013 12:05 PM CDT
Bill Gates: What I Won't Spend My Money On
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates gives a speech to the Australian National Press, May 28, 2013, in Canberra, Australia.   (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

Bill Gates has some pretty focused world-improvement goals—like eradicating polio, reducing infant death rates in the developing world, and improving education—and doesn't think much of flashier projects with less lofty goals. Asked, in a new Bloomberg interview, how he felt about Google's efforts to spread broadband to the developing world via balloon, Gates replied:

  • "When you’re dying of malaria, I suppose you’ll look up and see that balloon, and I’m not sure how it’ll help you. When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there’s no website that relieves that. "
He added:
  • "Google started out saying they were going to do a broad set of things ... and they got fantastic publicity. And then they shut it all down. Now they’re just doing their core thing. Fine." But that's "not going to uplift the poor. "

Gates also isn't sold on private space exploration efforts. Asked if those projects were "worthwhile for humanity," he replied:

  • "Everybody’s got their own priorities. In terms of improving the state of humanity, I don’t see the direct connection. I guess it’s fun, because you shoot rockets up in the air. But it’s not an area that I’ll be putting money into."
For the full interview, click here. (Read more Bill Gates stories.)

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