Nothing would make us happier than going out of business
February 16, 2017 9:36 AM   Subscribe

"As hard as polio is, malaria is harder. As hard as reproductive health is, nutrition is harder than that. As hard as it is to save children under five, saving newborns is the hardest test of all. Still, we’re optimistic. Polio will soon be history. In our lifetimes, malaria will end. No one will die from AIDS. Few people will get TB. Children everywhere will be well nourished. And the death of a child in the developing world will be just as rare as the death of a child in the rich world." Bill and Melinda Gates respond to Warren Buffet's request for an update on the work of the Gates Foundation, ten years after the biggest single gift anyone ever gave anybody for anything. Profusely illustrated and hand-annotated, a rare uplifting moment for your 2017.
posted by RedOrGreen (19 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have an app on my phone called Countable. I deemed it necessary to install on my phone because we have a petualnt child with a loaded diaper for a president and I need to be continually notified of what he's up to so that I can appropriately respond to my legislators about his and their actions. After 24+ days of our country's leadership being hell-bent on shooting holes in its own boat, demoralization inevitably sets in.

After reading this, it's good to know that there is at least one foundation (and probably several smaller ones) doing their damnedest to leave this world better than when they found it, not worse. Bill Gates is a far better philanthropist than he ever was a businessman, and I'm glad he chose that route after stepping down from Microsoft. I'm thinking that maybe philanthropy was his endgame all along. And I'm glad that his foundation is funded out the ass for a long, long time.

I feel better now. Thanks for this.
posted by prepmonkey at 9:54 AM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Foundation Trust Endowment: $39.6 billion (2)

Millions upon millions of lives saved with $40 billion. And yet our priority is to spend nearly that much on a wall. It is practically criminal.
posted by scottatdrake at 10:02 AM on February 16 [30 favorites]


I think they have just changed my heart on a number of issues.
Thank you.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 10:20 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


This was exactly what I didn't know I needed today, but I did. Thank you!
posted by iminurmefi at 10:36 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


All the people who are still whining about Gates over some sharp business practices 30 years ago should read this and fuck off while they're doing it.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 10:52 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


I feel a little bad for all those "M$" jokes I made as a younger person.
posted by radicalawyer at 11:13 AM on February 16


All the people who are still whining about Gates over some sharp business practices 30 years ago should read this and fuck off while they're doing it.

Oh, come on. It's obviously morally better to donate some of your vast pile of wealth to philanthropy than not to. Given the existing world, I'm glad the Gates Foundation exists. That doesn't mean that the original accumulation of wealth was justifiable or even not criminal.
posted by praemunire at 11:35 AM on February 16 [18 favorites]


Guys I love you and everything but can we *please* not turn this into a Microsoft=evil discussion and instead only talk about these mindblowingly amazing good things that are going on in the world?

please?
posted by Dee Grim at 11:46 AM on February 16 [17 favorites]


This is really a heartening read, thanks for sharing! (Though their comment section has some troll spewing random accusations against the foundation. Seriously, of all the things one could choose to spend time online on. Sigh.)
posted by of strange foe at 11:53 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


This was really lovely and uplifting.
posted by hepta at 12:05 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I mean, they've clearly done really good work, but they're also deep into pushing charter schools and other questionable education reforms here in the US. I know less about their work outside the US, but I'm a little skeptical of them generally based on what I see them doing where I'm paying attention.

The polio numbers are great though, I had no idea we were that close to erradication.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:11 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Bless you for sharing this today. It is a perfect salve for the festering political wounds we've incurred over the past several months.
posted by chara at 12:24 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Given that malaria is zoonotic, I do wonder if 0 malaria is actually doable. Not that I don't applaud their efforts to try to save as many people from it as possible, but that number jumped out at me as a little far fetched. Even if we manage to vaccinate every single child, it won't get rid of malaria. We'll need to have a vaccination program in place for as long as we have mosquitoes capable of carrying the disease. Which I do think may eventually be doable, but not within my lifetime.

Other than that though, this was really heartening.
posted by Hactar at 12:31 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


> We'll need to have a [human] vaccination program in place for as long as we have mosquitoes capable of carrying the disease.

There are some very clever ideas to vaccinate the mosquitoes against the malaria parasite, too.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:44 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering if they can use this data to claim $100,000 off Mr. De Niro.
posted by nubs at 1:09 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Much of the US was malarial swamps when first settled by Europeans. I think it's very doable to eradicate it. Hopefully not by spraying DDT indiscriminately and draining all the wetlands this time.
posted by fshgrl at 2:18 PM on February 16


There are some very clever ideas to vaccinate the mosquitoes against the malaria parasite, too.

Oh great, autistic mosquitoes will be a big improvement.

/hamburger
posted by Rumple at 6:23 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Children everywhere will be well nourished.

Given the wrenching effects on agriculture that climate change is likely to cause, I wish I could be this optimistic.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:33 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Given that malaria is zoonotic, I do wonder if 0 malaria is actually doable. Not that I don't applaud their efforts to try to save as many people from it as possible, but that number jumped out at me as a little far fetched. Even if we manage to vaccinate every single child, it won't get rid of malaria. We'll need to have a vaccination program in place for as long as we have mosquitoes capable of carrying the disease.

Malaria has been already eradicated from a bunch of countries including the US and Italy, without a vaccine, so this doesn't seem too farfetched to me. I'm not an expert by any means but I think you need a reservoir of the parasite in humans for the mosquitoes to pick up. The parasite isn't transmitted between mosquitoes so if it was only in the mosquitoes, it would die out in one generation. The complicating factor is if another animal other than humans is also a reservoir, since you can't vaccinate all macaques or convince them to change their behaviour.
posted by carolr at 8:27 AM on February 17


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