Friday, September 20, 2019


I watched the three-part Netflix series about Bill Gates, it's called Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. It touches on the Bill and Melinda Foundation endeavoring to solve public sanitation in developing countries, eradicate polio, as well as deal with climate change. In one of the episodes, he says when he was young and still coding, he would just lick orange Tang powder off his fingers because the body already has water inside it and it would be mixed for him (!!!!!!!!!!!!). I thought the dynamics between him and Melinda are very interesting, she was also a computer scientist but she doesn't have a brain that processes information as easily as his does. Sometimes Lucas says I am smarter than he is, and I don't like when this happens, any time I'm in a relationship that my partner says I'm smarter, I'm unsatisfied. I don't quite know why. I think it happens quite often in my relationships though, because there is something about me that is relentless in pursuing, consuming and processing information but I feel like... I don't know if this is quite the right way to put it, but I feel like I want to be inspired in life and if I don't have a partner who's "smarter" than I am, then I will not be inspired. Of course, there are many ways to define smart and intellect, so there's a bit of a see-saw on that. In any case, Bill plays bridge with his partner Warren Buffett, and I love playing bridge, it's my all-time favorite card game. Not many people know how to play it in Singapore and I know it has this reputation of being an old-person game, but I love it and enjoy it and could play it for hours and hours. Bill Gates grew up with massive luck and opportunities, his family was well-off, and that connected him to more wealth, monetary and otherwise, in the world. I wonder where I'd be now if I had had his fortune. I don't have his brain, but I do always think I would have achieved much more if I only had the connections to the right resources. Today I learnt that Bill Gates aims to solve climate change by using nuclear energy. Before today, I was under the impression that that would be a staggering risk that's not the wisest choice to make, but the third and final episode of the miniseries made some rather compelling arguments for it. I know by default I'm supposed to hate people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett because they're rich, old, white men who've amassed so much more wealth than should be necessary for anyone's lifetimes. Morals notwithstanding, he's a genius, and like it or not, at a time of climate change and in an aura of doom, some innovation, intelligence, education and optimism is appealing and very contagious. Whenever I watch shows like this and people are pushing boundaries, I think perhaps there is hope.

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