"Milky Way 'bubbles'", "massive black hole eruption" . . .
Don't ask William Zinsser to come to your school and present tips on writing

Bill Gates, charity, and the limits of planning

"Five Years In, Gauging Impact of Gates Grants," New York Times, 12/20:

About 1,600 proposals came in, and the top 43 were so promising that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made $450 million in five-year grants — more than double what he originally planned to give.

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?

 

Comments