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Computers are not going to save the world, says Bill Gates, whatever Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of Silicon Valley might believe. The power of the internet will do nothing for the worlds poorest - but eradicating disease just might.比尔盖茨(Bill Gates)说道,电脑解救没法世界——不管马克扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)以及硅谷其他人怎么看。互联网的威力显然帮不了全球最贫困的人群,倒是根治某些疾病未来将会教化于穷人。Bill Gates describes himself as a technocrat. But he does not believe that technology will save the world. Or, to be more precise, he does not believe it can solve a tangle of entrenched and inter-related problems that afflict humanitys most vulnerable: the spread of diseases in the developing world and the poverty, lack of opportunity and despair they engender. “I certainly love the IT thing,” he says. “But when we want to improve lives, youve got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition.”盖茨自称为是技术统治者论者(technocrat)。但他不坚信技术需要解救世界。

或者更加精确地说道,他不坚信技术能解决问题发展中国家根深蒂固且互相关联的问题:疾病、贫穷,机会短缺和由此带给的恐惧。“我当然讨厌IT的玩意儿,”他说道,“但当我们要提高人们的生活时,你得处置一些更加基本的事情,如儿童的存活和营养。”These days, it seems that every West Coast billionaire has a vision for how technology can make the world a better place. A central part of this new consensus is that the internet is an inevitable force for social and economic improvement; that connectivity is a social good in itself. It was a view that recently led Mark Zuckerberg to outline a plan for getting the worlds unconnected 5 billion people online, an effort the Facebook boss called “one of the greatest challenges of our generation”. But asked whether giving the planet an internet connection is more important than finding a vaccination for malaria, the co-founder of Microsoft and worlds second-richest man does not hide his irritation: “As a priority? Its a joke.”如今,对于技术如何能让世界显得更加幸福,或许美国西海岸的每一位亿万富翁都具有同一个愿景。


目前在全球范围内还有50亿人没能相连网络。这位Facebook的老板称之为,此举是“我们这代人面对的仅次于挑战之一”。但在被问到让全球人都能网际网路否比寻找疟疾疫苗更加最重要时,微软公司(Microsoft)牵头创始人、世界第二富豪盖茨丝表露出自己的气愤:“优先普及互联网?这真是是打趣。”Then, slipping back into the sarcasm that often breaks through when he is at his most engaged, he adds: “Take this malaria vaccine, [this] weird thing that Im thinking of. Hmm, which is more important, connectivity or malaria vaccine? If you think connectivity is the key thing, thats great. I dont.”接着,盖茨的语气又返回了他在辩得最起劲时经常流露出的那种讽刺上,他说道:“就拿这种疟疾疫苗(这个)我正在木村的怪异玩意来说吧。

嗯,哪一个更加最重要,网络连通性还是疟疾疫苗?如果你指出网络连接是最重要,那很好。但我可不这么指出。”At 58, Bill Gates has lost none of the impatience or intellectual passion he was known for in his youth. Sitting in his office on the shore of Seattles Lake Washington, the man who dropped out of Harvard University nearly four decades ago and went on to build the worlds first software fortune is more relaxed than he was. He has a better haircut and the more pronounced air of self-deprecation that comes with being married and having children who have reached adolescence. But, with the relentless intellectual energy he has always brought to bear on whatever issue is before him, he still cant resist the jibes at ideas he thinks are wrong-headed. After the interview, his minders call to try and persuade me to not report his comments on Zuckerberg: as a senior statesman of the tech and philanthropic worlds, it doesnt help these days to pick fights.58岁的盖茨仍旧是年轻时那般缺少冷静和探求百般。近40年前,他从哈佛大学(Harvard University)退学,后来创下了全球第一家顺利的软件巨擘。

此时此刻,他躺在西雅图华盛顿湖(Lake Washington)畔的办公室里,心态比以前更加精彩。他的发型也更加讲究,举手投足间更加显著地散发出成熟期男人(他的孩子已转入青春期)那典型的调侃气场。


There is no getting round the fact, however, that Gates often sounds at odds with the new generation of billionaire technocrats. He was the first to imagine that computing could seep into everyday life, with the Microsoft mission to put a PC on every desk and in every home. But while others talk up the world-changing power of the internet, he is under no illusions that it will do much to improve the lives of the worlds poorest.但很难规避的一个事实是,盖茨的言论往往与新一代技术统治者论的亿万富翁们格格不入。他是第一个想象电脑计算出来有可能渗透到日常生活的人,当年微软公司的愿景就是让每张办公桌上和每个家庭里都有一台个人电脑(PC)。但当别人津津乐道互联网享有转变世界的力量时,他却不抱着任何幻想,指出互联网对提高世界穷人的生活会起着过于大协助。


“Innovation is a good thing. The human condition - put aside bioterrorism and a few footnotes - is improving because of innovation,” he says. But while “technologys amazing, it doesnt get down to the people most in need in anything near the timeframe we should want it to”.他说道:“创意是件好事。人类的生存条件于是以因创意而大大提高,不得已不托生物恐怖主义和几个注释”但是,尽管“科技是神秘的,但它显然无法按照我们原作的时间表却教化最必须协助的人们。”It was an argument he says he made to Thomas Friedman as The New York Times columnist was writing his 2005 book, TheWorld is Flat, a work that came to define the almost end-of-history optimism that accompanied the entry of China and India into the global labour markets, a transition aided by the internet revolution. “Fine, go to those Bangalore Infosys centres, but just for the hell of it go three miles aside and go look at the guy living with no toilet, no running water,” Gates says now. “The world is not flat and PCs are not, in the hierarchy of human needs, in the first five rungs.”盖茨说道,他曾向纽约时报(New York Times)专栏作家托马斯弗里德曼(Thomas Friedman)明确提出这个观点,当时弗里德曼正在著作《世界是追的》(The World is Flat)。2005年出版发行的这本书,最后沦为一部凸显历史好像就要落幕的悲观情绪的著作。

这种悲观情绪是预示中国和印度转入全球劳动力市场经常出现的,而这种改变正是在互联网革命的协助下构建的。盖茨说道,“好吧,可以去想到印孚瑟斯(Infosys)在班加罗尔的商业中心,但不妨仔细观察获得位一点,到距那些中心3英里外的地方去想到那些生活在没厕所、没自来水环境中的人们。”“世界不是追的,在人类市场需求阶梯上,PC分列将近前5位。”It is perceptions such as this that have led Gates to spend not just his fortune but most of his time on good works. Other billionaires may take to philanthropy almost as a mark of their social status but, for Gates, it has the force of a moral imperative. The decision to throw himself into causes like trying to prevent childhood deaths in the developing world or improving education in the US was the result of careful ethical calculations, he says.正是基于这样的观念,盖茨将自己的财富以及大部分时间投放到慈善事业。


Quoting from an argument advanced by hedge fund manager Paul Singer, for instance, he questions why anyone would donate money to build a new wing for a museum rather than spend it on preventing illnesses that can lead to blindness. “The moral equivalent is, were going to take 1 per cent of the people who visit this [museum] and blind them,” he says. “Are they willing, because it has the new wing, to take that risk? Hmm, maybe this blinding thing is slightly barbaric.”他援引对冲基金经理保罗辛格(Paul Singer)曾明确提出,为什么不会有人捐款给某个博物馆修建新的侧厅,而不是把钱花上在防治有可能造成失聪的疾病上。“从道德层面说道,这样的行径就等同于我们把1%的博物馆参观者变为盲人。”他说道,“就因为博物馆有了新的侧厅,他们就不愿冒这个风险吗?嗯,或许这个变为盲人的设想残暴了一点。


”Through the stroke of pen on chequebook, Gates probably now has the power to affect the lives and wellbeing of a larger number of his fellow humans than any other private individual in history. The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, which he set up with his wife in 1997 and where he has been working since leaving his full-time role at Microsoft five years ago, gives away nearly $4bn a year. Much of the money goes towards improving health and fighting poverty in developing countries by tackling malaria or paying for vaccination drives against infectious diseases. This is nearly half as much as the US government spent on global health initiatives in 2012.在漫长的人类历史中,为慈善事业大开支票的盖茨,现在和其他人物比起很有可能享有影响更加多人生活与身体健康的威力。1997年,他与妻子联合成立了“比尔和梅琳达盖茨基金会”(Bill Melinda Gates Foundation)。5年前他从微软公司的全职岗位上退下来后,仍然致力于该基金会的工作。如今,该基金会每年开支近40亿美元。

相当大一部分资金被用作在发展中国家抗击疟疾或资助疫苗疫苗防治传染病,借此提高健康状况、挣脱贫穷。这一数字相似2012年美国政府全球身体健康倡议开支的一半。In many ways, Gates was the archetype for the successful tech entrepreneur, the driven nerd who created an industry with little more than foresight and drive. But to the generation of aspiring techno-visionaries who have followed, the arc of his career no longer has the allure it once did, even if his iconic status is assured. These include people such as Peter Diamandis, a serial entrepreneur who founded the X Prize, which in 1996 offered a $10m award for the first private sector organisation that could create a suborbital space rocket. He likes to think big, and his latest brainstorm involves trying to mine minerals on passing asteroids.在许多方面,盖茨都可谓顺利高科技创业家的典型代表——他是充满著激情的电脑狂,完全单凭企图心和锲而不舍就创下了一个产业。但是,对于一代曾效仿盖茨的、有志向的技术梦想家来说,尽管盖茨的偶像地位仍不可动摇,但他的职业生涯轨迹早已光环褪色,还包括连环创业家彼得迪曼蒂斯(Peter Diamandis)也这样看来盖茨,迪曼蒂斯曾创办X Prize,该的组织在1996年成立了一项1000万美元的大奖,白鱼颁发首家研发出有亚轨道太空火箭的私营机构。

迪曼蒂斯讨厌宏伟的设想,他的近期创新牵涉到从近地小行星上铁矿矿物。According to Diamandis, the Gates Foundation, with its focus on alleviating the suffering of the poorest, smacks of the early20th-century philanthropy of the robber barons - men such as Andrew Carnegie and John D Rockefeller, who built and then milked monopolies before spending their later years doling out cash to worthy causes. The latest wave of techno-visionaries, he says, is focused instead on creating whole new industries capable of changing the world.迪曼蒂斯指出,致力于减低贫苦人群痛苦的盖茨基金会,类似于20世纪早期“强盗大亨”的那种慈善,像安德鲁卡内基(Andrew Carnegie)和约翰D洛克菲勒(John D Rockefeller)等人的作为,他们创建并利用独占企业来发迹,然后在晚年将向崇高的事业大笔手豪。他说道,与之有所不同,最新一波技术梦想家致力于创下需要转变世界的全新产业。

At the height of its powers, the way that Microsoft wielded its PC monopoly to maximise profits from the computing industry made it feared and hated by rivals and start-ups alike. Now, with the PC world on the wane and the companys leadership and direction in doubt, it is spoken of almost with disdain in Silicon Valley - even though it remains the third biggest tech company based on stock market value, behind Apple and Google.实力超过顶峰时的微软公司,曾企图利用其在PC领域的独占地位,在计算出来行业赚最大化的利润,这种作法使得竞争对手和初创企业对其又怨又害怕。如今,随着PC产业日益衰败、微软公司的领导地位和发展方向受到批评,尽管微软公司仍是市值次于苹果和谷歌后的第三大的科技公司,硅谷人士在谈及微软公司时流露出的则是几近狂妄的语气。

Gates fends off questions about Microsoft, though he says - contrary to persistent speculation - that he is not about to step back in to run it as Steve Jobs once returned to revive Apple. He also admits that the company is taking up a much bigger slice of his time than the one day a week to which he signed up after he left. As chairman and a member of the committee searching for a replacement to Steve Ballmer as chief executive, Gates says he still holds regular meetings with some of the companys product groups and that he expects to spend considerable time working with the next boss after an appointment is made.盖茨不愿问有关微软公司的问题。不过他说道,与仍然以来外界的猜测忽略,他有意像当年史蒂夫乔布斯(Steve Jobs)回来挽回苹果那样再次接掌微软公司。

他还否认,目前他花上在微软公司身上的时间近少于预期水平,他离开了时证实的是每周一天。盖茨仍是微软公司董事长,他参予物色接任史蒂夫鲍尔默(Steve Ballmer)兼任首席执行官的人选,他说道他仍与公司的某些产品小组定期召开,并预计不会在下一任掌门人取得任命后,投放非常的时间与其合作。To Diamandiss argument that there is more good to be done in the world by building new industries than by giving away money, meanwhile, he has a brisk retort: “Industries are only valuable to the degree they meet human needs. Theres not some - at least in my psyche - this notion of, oh, we need new industries. We need children not to die, we need people to have an opportunity to get a good education.”同时盖茨还对迪曼蒂斯有关创下新的产业比捐款做慈善更加有益世界的观点得出了锐利的驳斥:“一个产业只有需要符合人类的市场需求时,才是有价值的。




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