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OT Gates purchases rights to Feynman Lectures from BBC

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  • OT Gates purchases rights to Feynman Lectures from BBC

    http://research.microsoft.com/apps/tools/tuva/

    Very entertaining and enjoyable, if you've not seen them before

  • #2
    I'd love to have sat for some of his lectures. He didn't let his charisma get in the way, but he din't leave it in the cloak room, either. He's so smart he even confuses himself from time to time

    Nice to see his lectures are part of the Gates collection. Not many people have the cash on hand to preserve something for the expected lifespan of a star as does Gates.

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    • #3
      What nefarious purposes will Microsoft use these lectures for?

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      • #4
        What nefarious purposes will Microsoft use these lectures for?
        The worst possible; Education.
        From the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation annual report:

        In the United States, we work toward one overarching goal: more opportunity for everyone in this country. Bill and Melinda Gates believe an excellent education is the most direct path to opportunity, especially for low-income young people, so that is the focus of our efforts.
        Since 2000, we have invested $4 billion in schools and scholarships. In 2008, we deepened and extended those investments based on lessons we have learned over the years.
        Total granted last year worldwide was 2.8 billion dollars.

        http://www.gatesfoundation.org/grant.../overview.aspx
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Evan
          The worst possible; Education.
          Not sure if you mean this matter of factly, or with a large does of cynicism. Because "education", particularly with strings attached, is close to indoctrination. What, I have to install "microsoft silverlight" to watch the videos? Oh, you'll give me software for free or cheap as a student, but then charge $1k+ once I am in the "real world"?

          Not saying the Foundation is evil, just being skeptical behind some motives.

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          • #6
            Mr. Gates really believes in education as the road out of misery. He is right and has the power to do something on a global scale, which he does. I wasn't being cynical. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has nothing to do with Microsoft. It also is responsible for distribution of a gift of 31 billion dollars worth of stock donated by Warren Buffet.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Evan
              Mr. Gates really believes in education as the road out of misery.
              I totally agree with this.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Evan
                From the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation annual report:

                Total granted last year worldwide was 2.8 billion dollars.

                http://www.gatesfoundation.org/grant.../overview.aspx
                The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a big, complicated corporation. It donates 5% of it's net worth each year to maintain it's non-profit status, but it's a giant investment portfolio run by the same company that manages Bill's private holdings, and it's return on investment is much more than the 5% it donates:

                Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation

                Investing for profit

                "AT the end of 2005, the Gates Foundation endowment stood at $35 billion, making it the largest in the world. Then in June 2006, Warren E. Buffett, the world's second-richest man after Bill Gates, pledged to add about $31 billion in installments from his personal fortune. Not counting tens of billions of dollars more that Gates himself has promised, the total is higher than the gross domestic products of 70% of the world's nations.

                Like most philanthropies, the Gates Foundation gives away at least 5% of its worth every year, to avoid paying most taxes. In 2005, it granted nearly $1.4 billion. It awards grants mainly in support of global health initiatives, for efforts to improve public education in the United States, and for social welfare programs in the Pacific Northwest.

                It invests the other 95% of its worth. This endowment is managed by Bill Gates Investments, which handles Gates' personal fortune. Monica Harrington, a senior policy officer at the foundation, said the investment managers had one goal: returns "that will allow for the continued funding of foundation programs and grant making." Bill and Melinda Gates require the managers to keep a highly diversified portfolio, but make no specific directives.

                By comparing these investments with information from for-profit services that analyze corporate behavior for mutual funds, pension managers, government agencies and other foundations, The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices."
                "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                • #9
                  It also has a mandate to distribute ALL of the Buffet donation within 10 years after Buffet's death and the rest within 50 years of the death of Bill and Melinda Gates.

                  By comparing these investments with information from for-profit services that analyze corporate behavior for mutual funds, pension managers, government agencies and other foundations, The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices."
                  The mandate is to make money in order to give money away. Last year they gave away 2.8 billion. It's not possible to invest that amount of capital without some of it being invested in something that doesn't meet someone's standard of "social responsibility".
                  Last edited by Evan; 07-22-2009, 11:00 AM.
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                  • #10
                    Besides which, you shouldn't be sore at the man because he's swimming in money. That's his right as an American - just because the rest of us mere mortals won't ever make as much as he does in a month, doesn't mean that we can be pissy about it.

                    If he wants to hoard all his money, well then its his right. I certainly don't have a right to judge him. But like Evan said, in order to continue to donate large amounts of money, you need to have an investment plan to make sure those funds remain from year to year. Where do you think the money for the Nobel prizes comes from? Only a small fraction of the total is given away as prize money, the rest is reinvested.

                    <edit> Not sure what this silverfrost nonsense is, though. I don't like having to install a bunch of useless features/programs on my computer just to watch a damn lecture!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fasttrack
                      <edit> Not sure what this silverfrost nonsense is, though. I don't like having to install a bunch of useless features/programs on my computer just to watch a damn lecture!
                      That part is the down side of this. I won't be installing it any time soon so that pretty much cuts me off from seeing them again if they're removed from YouTube. Might be a good time to archive them before it's too late.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fasttrack
                        Besides which, you shouldn't be sore at the man because he's swimming in money. That's his right as an American - just because the rest of us mere mortals won't ever make as much as he does in a month, doesn't mean that we can be pissy about it.
                        I wasn't being pissy about it -- my point is that it's just a gigantic tax shelter.
                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lazlo
                          I wasn't being pissy about it -- my point is that it's just a gigantic tax shelter.
                          I didn't mean to imply that you were. I was actually thinking of my peers when I was writting that. It's a pet peeve of mine - alot of my more liberal friends are always bashing "rich people".

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                          • #14
                            my point is that it's just a gigantic tax shelter.
                            Certainly it is. One that happens to benefit a great number of people, not just Bill Gates. It's also a means of seeing that money being used directly for what he wishes instead of it going into the general revenue pot. I sure don't have a problem with that.
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                            • #15
                              The other side of the story, Kids that recieve a poor education usually end up in jail. We should as nation just spend more once on better education and let them contribute for the rest of thier lives.

                              Ray

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