Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Large, Complex Systems Spanning Entire Industries"

Bill Gates Addressing Health Ministers at Meet...
Bill Gates Addressing Health Ministers at Meeting on Polio Organized by the Gates Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bill Gates on the future of education, programming and just about everything else
..... he cautioned, the world of programming probably has to evolve if we’re going to accomplish some grander goals such as large, complex systems spanning entire industries. There are more programmers and they’re better than they were 10 or 20 years ago, but there is no objective metric by which someone could say the state of the art has significantly improved...... In 20 or 30 years, Gates predicted, maybe robots in remote areas without a lot of doctors will be able to perform C-sections. ..... systems as complex and multifaceted as ecosystems, oceans and forests. ..... interestingly, Gates said, rich individuals in China tend to be more generous with their money than those elsewhere because so much of that wealth is first-generation wealth. There aren’t ruling-class families who consider themselves dynasties, but rather people who recognize the ridiculousness of one person accumulating so much money so fast. .... nuclear and bioterrorism as the thing we most want to avoid — but not the world’ biggest problem. .... the “ongoing disaster” that is 7 million children a year dying. .... 20 million when he was a kid and 12 million when the Gates Foundation began, citing new vaccines as a major cause for the improvement. In several years, he predicted, the number of children dying each year should be down to 3 million. ..... political disfunction, unemployment and war are all important concerns. So is the fact that malnourishment and other environmental factors have reduced the average IQ in sub-Saharan Africa to 82. But, Gates said, “Childhood death gets pretty high up for me.”
Bill Gates is easily one of the most remarkable individuals of my lifetime. For me computers are exciting because of the Internet and this guy is primarily a PC era guy, but his software contributions are revolutionary enough. What really gets me is his foundation work. He has been breaking a lot of ground with the Gates Foundation.

As for tech, a true challenge is adding artificial intelligence to the planet's entire ecosystem, all of the atmosphere, so we have an exact idea as to the planet's environmental health at any point in time. The same could be applied to the domain of people, so political and social and economic mass movements are not as arbitrary and we collectively have a greater say in uplifting humanity.
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