"Five Years In, Gauging Impact of Gates Grants," New York Times, 12/20:
Now the five years are up, and the foundation recently brought all the scientists to Seattle to assess the results and decide who will get further funding.
In an interview, Mr. Gates sounded somewhat chastened, saying several times, “We were naïve when we began.”
Bill Gates is universally acknowledged to be really smart. (Old line: "Bill Gates has five brains. And each one of them is smarter than yours.") And he's a successful, experienced businessman.
So if he was "naive" what hope do other big, sweeping, top-down charitable enterprises have?