February 13, 2013 | By Bill Gates
It's been a busy few weeks — I just finished writing my 2013 Annual Letter, which you can read here: http://www.billsletter.com. This year I focused on the great opportunity we have to use goals and measures to make improvements in health, development and education worldwide.
I also did my first Ask Me Anything on Reddit. Thanks to all of you who asked me such good questions — I only wish I could have answered them all. Below you'll find a recap of my answers to 31 of your questions (plus the three questions I got to answer as my animated alter-ego). You'll also find related videos, articles, and infographics.
I had a great time answering questions during my AMA. Thanks again, Redditors!
First of all: Thank you for all you've given and all you've done to make the world a better place.
Given the recent targeting of health professionals in Pakistan and Nigeria, do you think eradication of polio is attainable in the next decade?
How is the Gates Foundation going to get over this barrier to eradication?
Also, what is your opinion on the anti-vaccination movement in general?
The violence against the vaccinators in both Pakistan and Nigeria is a terrible thing. However both countries are committed to finishing the eradication. This is the project I spent most of my time on. We should be able to finish by 2018, although that will require raising funds and some great execution. We have some innovations, like the way we use satellite maps to find all the villages and GPS tracking to make sure the teams go to every hut, that are helping out. Polio is a harder disease than smallpox was, but it is doable.
(I discuss this more at www.billsletter.com, and you can learn more about the progress against polio with this infographic: Making Progress to End Polio: Infographic) | Read the Reddit Comments
First of all, thanks Mr. Gates for doing this. I've been a fan of you since I was a little kid, taking solace in your success as a professional nerd and philanthropist.
If Microsoft didn't take off, what would you have done and be doing instead?
You are a leader in the ultra-wealthy philanthropists, but what do you think that people of median income can do to help improve the world the most?
If the microprocessor had NOT come along, I am not sure what I would have done. Maybe medicine or theoretical math, but it is hard to say.
Most giving is done by the middle class, so it is the backbone of generosity, particularly in the United States. A key thing is to support government aid, which is only 1% of the budget, but helps poor countries in incredible ways. | Read the Reddit Comments
Hi, welcome to reddit!
What are your thoughts on the push against the open and free Internet that we have been seeing in the recent past and present (such as sopa, etc)?
There are two things this could reference. One is the free/pay-for-software mix. The Internet has benefited from having lots of free stuff and lots of commercial software. It has been interesting see people inventing hybrid models. Even stuff that is pretty commercial often has free versions for some audiences. Even the most open stuff often have services people choose to pay for.
The second thing is the anonymous-versus-identified tension. This is another one where both will probably thrive, since you want anonymity for some things and full identity for others. I am surprised how little progress has been made in the identity space, but it will improve. | Read the Reddit Comments