Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

Twenty years ago, Bill Gates was a megalomaniac, bent on world domination at any cost. He wanted, or perhaps expected, to have a Windows machine in every home and Microsoft to be running through our collective veins instead of blood. I know this because I watched a movie about it, with Anthony Michael Hall, of "Weird Science" fame, starring as Bill. It was a little less than twenty years ago that "Bob" was released. It was supposed to be a revolution, replacing Windows 3.1 and 95, giving users a quaint and homey desktop into which they could relax and find themselves immersed. That didn't happen.
Still, Bill kept right on printing money, and was ranked as the world's wealthiest man for more than a decade, give or take a year. If you're not a fan of economics, maybe the concept of how money makes money is lost on you, but let me assure you that the cash breeding has gone on unabated for people like Bill even while the rest of us have had to lop off chunks of our 401Ks to buy groceries. As a result, his hard heart has softened, perhaps due to his marriage to Melinda in 1994. In addition to giving birth to three children, the couple has also spawned a philanthropic foundation that bears their names. The plan is to eventually give away ninety-five percent of their wealth. Don't worry about Bill and his kids. Five percent of hundreds of billions of dollars is still billions of dollars. They'll be okay.
They just paid one hundred thousand dollars for a new toilet. Only this one isn't gold-plated or designed by Leonardo da Vinci. This one comes from the minds of Caltech, and it uses solar power while generating hydrogen and electricity. The second place potty was created by Loughborough University, It produces bio-charcoal, minerals and clean water, and won a sixty thousand dollar prize. The University of Toronto got forty thousand dollars for their third-place toilet that sanitizes waste and recovers usable resources. Bringing sanitation to the world and finding new energy sources? Sounds as if Bill actually gives a crap. We're just hoping he's not putting his money where his mouth is.

1 comment:

Krs10 said...

Awesome post! I love BOB and wish my computer were actually a room in my house. (With a sustainable composting toilet?) Good for them, making "let's get our s--! together a rallying cry for saving the world,