very woozy technological thinking

Reader comment on: Bill Gates on Welfare, Energy, and God

Submitted by John Gillis (United States), Mar 18, 2014 17:19

Mr. Gates has shown his enormous savvy in life by being the richest man on earth for most of the past couple of decades. But that doesn't get him a pass on completely messy, out-of-focus thinking about energy and technology. He says:

"There are some interesting things on the horizon along those lines. There's one called solar chemical. It's very nascent, but it comes with a built-in storage solution, because you actually secrete hydrocarbons. We're investing probably one-twentieth of what we should in that."

1. He makes the completely unjustifiable claim of "we're investing less than 1/20th...", since there is no known way to calculate such a statement.

2. If there really was a dearth of investment on a clearly promising technology, then if anyone should fix that it should be Mr. Gates putting his money where his mouth is, since he could greatly increase his wealth and benefit the world at the same time.

3. And the use of "we" implies that society should be "investing" in this technology, when the real answer is the investments of the future Gateses and Jobs and Hewletts that will make such a technology come alive -- if it really is a genuine advance.

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The Future of Capitalism replies:

Excellent comment.

Other reader comments on this item

Title By Date
Gates Wants to Help [230 words]Eugene Patrick DevanyMar 18, 2014 17:32
⇒ very woozy technological thinking
[w/response] [201 words]
John GillisMar 18, 2014 17:19
One idea is to couple solar and wind power to hydroelectric generation - can be adjusted quickly [318 words]Mark MichaelMar 19, 2014 13:04

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