Bill Gates learned two big things in the last twenty years that went beyond his obvious knowledge in his business:
1. Discard bad products (Vista comes to mind and some other less than booming successes) and;
2. Don’t mess with big Government (the antitrust case).
The essay linked below discusses what Gates didn’t learn about what he doesn’t know–educational policy–that caused him to fall victim to the fatal conceit that Friedrich Hayek condemned as lethal in public policy making.
Government can spend more than any company–they spend the taxpayer’s money–so to ignore the power and reach of government (the anti trust suit with a corrupt judge in charge) is to risk too much. Also big government is decidedly anti capitalist/free market, so crony capitalism and statism is the safe harbor for big business.
So now Gates is a political actor, with Warren Buffet, a lefty Plutarch philosopher king as a mentor. He thinks he can make Africa healthy without DDT and with green approaches to basic infrastructure.
He thinks he can fix an illiterate, poorly educated citizenry, that includes an illiterate political class headed by a quasi literate president.
Good luck Bill.
I think when bad things happen, to assume good intentions of intelligent actors is silly.
Just because he made a lot of money and created good computer products, doesn’t mean that Bill Gates is wise in the ways of the world, like politics or pedagogical theories.
He takes advice from whom? Warren Buffet, who is a limousine lib and I am sure a boat load of sycophant academics with bulging portfolios. He is the richest man in the world, after all.
He commits to improving education and contributes large sums to the project Common Core, and then recruits socialist Deweyites, who have created the dysfunctional education system he wants to fix? The definition of foolishness or Einstein’s definition of insanity is to repeat yourself hoping for a better outcome.
When bad things happen, it’s easy to say–good intentions but mistaken proposed solutions, or, in his shortened experience in education and his upbringing, Bill Gates became incurably ignorant because he became a true believer in socialism, convinced of the better nature of socialist oligarchy as a societal model.
Better yet Gates and others like him have been convinced that with more money and better computers/management, a socialist egalitarian utopia, that allowed for a few Plutarchs/oligarchs like themselves and their elite friends, was just around the corner and the masses could be bedded down as well fed, well-trained, dependent and tame.
Bill and Melinda Gates share a mindset and attitude with all of academia, elites, and the chattering class on politics, so why wouldn’t they share that mindset on pedagogy, epistemology, and educational methods and goals? Can you imagine the lack of real discussion or debate in their salons and libraries on any number of topics and the sacred totem positions held by the left?
It’s called the fatal conceit–if you were the richest man in the world, would conceit stalk your every waking moment, and would not your wife support your high opinion of yourself and your wisdom in business, political and philanthropic activities? How long do courtesans last if they point out the mistakes, foibles, or ignorance and failures of the regent?