Friday, December 7, 2007

Bill Gates wants your right arm

I just stumbled across this awesome quote; it has often been attributed to Bill Gates but was actually part of a fictional interview conducted by the satire website Pointless Waste of Time:
I have 100 billion dollars... You realize I could spend 3 million dollars a day, every day, for the next 100 years? And that's if I don't make another dime. Tell you what-I'll buy your right arm for a million dollars. I give you a million bucks, and I get to sever your arm right here.
As effective as this quote is for satire, it really made me stop and think. It is mind boggling to conceive of someone so wealthy that every day for the rest of their life they can spend more than I'll make in my lifetime and they would still have billions of dollars left when they die. With that kind of money just think about what can be done to improve this world. I hope that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation lives up to this tremendous potential. The above quote reminds me of one of my favorite lines from William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy:
And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.

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