Having sex with Bill Gates. It is something that has happened.
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It is something that has happened to Melinda Gates at least three times, judging by her children. Thrashing about on their deluxe bed, what must it have felt like to have the penis of the world's richest man inside her? The fact that, at that stage, this penis had more currency assigned to its holder than any other penis she might have chosen — did that improve sensation, psychologically?
Or did the moral weight, the sheer heft of global significance inherent in Bill's moneyed knob, actively detract from the experience? The latest turn in the life of the software entrepreneur is a curious one.
Bill says condoms have barely improved in 50 years. He quite rightly suggests there must be a better way, and, if we are serious about AIDS, then there ought to be. One-hundred-thousand dollars. It would also seem that Bill hasn't heard of Durex, a large company, who are already throwing quite a bit of money, time and staff at the problem of next-gen johnnies.
How exactly does Bill feel this is going to go? That rather than running off to Durex to flog the sexual equivalent of nuclear fission, a grateful inventor will take his pat on the head and his money and go and buy approximately 60 percent of a modest suburban home in Chorley with the proceeds? Bill says that a new model condom would enhance the world we live in. And he is right in some ways.
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But in terms of his African development goals, he's already heading off-track. The problem is that Bill simply hasn't lost his neeky, MS systems-engineer view of the world. In his brain, there is process and there are outcomes. Therefore, an improvement in process leads to an improvement in outcomes. Yet at no point in this does he ever see the cultural context in which all of this is embedded. Gates could go to Africa tomorrow with a container of condoms that made your dick dance the funky chicken, chuck boxloads of them out of his private plane and most of the locals would still go "Fuck off, not interested.
Cultural attitudes that say that condoms are for pissants and wimps and heathens and imperialist lackies. Bill should get the marketing men who encouraged the Chinese to smoke and put them on the case of making condoms seem manly to Africa. He doesn't need to make the experience of spunking off into a rubber bag seem better than the neck of a cervix.
The book looks at the ten instincts that stop humans from putting the world into perspective.
Gates said it taught him a new global development framework for thinking about different wealth groups across the world to achieve progress. Gates is the first to admit this one is a little intimidating—even for him. But the philanthropist stuck with the book, which he says is easier to comprehend than the title might suggest.
The book traces back how humans made use of energy dating back to caveman days, through the current day. It left Gates hopeful for the prospect of achieving clean energy. This book "is not only the best book Pinker's ever written," cooed Gates, " it's my new favorite book of all time. The author, a Harvard psychology professor, uses data to show how happiness is on the rise worldwide. Historian Harari is here to set the record straight by combing through 70, years of human history to uncover how homo sapiens evolved to dominate the Earth.
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Sept. 1: Rebecca Gates Guest Curator | State of Wonder | WNYC
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