Bill Gates takes aim at Elon Musk: I'd rather fund vaccines than go to Mars

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midian182

Posts: 8,627   +107
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What just happened? Bill Gates and Elon Musk are two of the wealthiest people in the world, but they certainly don't see eye to eye. The pair have had public spats in the past, and now the former Microsoft boss has taken a shot at Musk's ambitions for sending missions to and colonizing Mars, saying he would rather pay for vaccines than travel to the red planet.

In an interview with the BBC, Gates was asked by journalist Amol Rajan if going to Mars is not a good use of money. "It's actually quite expensive to go to Mars. You can buy measles vaccines and save lives for $1,000 per life saved," he replied. "And so [that] just kind of grounds you, as in - don't go to Mars."

Gates' reply seems aimed chiefly at Elon Musk, whom he's clashed with in the past, though fellow billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson both have space exploration companies in Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, respectively.

Gates has poured billions into vaccine research and delivery around the world through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, founded alongside his ex-wife Melinda. He criticized the US government back in 2020 over its Coronavirus strategy, saying it did not act fast enough to prevent a shutdown, and has called for the creation of a $1 billion-per-year Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization (GERM) team in preparation for the next pandemic.

Gates' focus on vaccines and Covid-19 led to some conspiracy theorists claiming he started the pandemic, used the vaccinations to track people, or profited from the outbreak. "I did not expect that," he said, "These messages sort of inverted that. I guess people are looking for the 'boogeyman' behind the curtain, the over-simplistic explanation. Malevolence is a lot easier to understand than biology."

Gates did have some positive things to say about Musk. When asked if he would encourage the Twitter owner to join the "club of megaphilantropists," Gates said, "Yeah, I think someday he'll be a great philanthropist. Obviously things like Tesla are having a positive impact even without being a form of philanthropy."

Gates once said that Musk, who previously spoke out against the lockdowns and Covid-19 infection numbers, should keep his comments to himself. In addition to arguing over colonizing Mars and cryptocurrencies, Gates said he feared Musk's free-speech plans would make Twitter worse.

Musk, meanwhile, once said he confronted Gates about shorting Tesla stock, which he followed with a now-deleted Tweet (above) mocking Gates' appearance.

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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 4,108   +7,320
The government is willing to shove billions into vaccine development. Bill has helped with getting vaccines for the likes of smallpox and polio to third world countries, and that is commendable.

That doesnt mean you defund space travel. That kind of thinking is why we went to the moon in the 60s and havent been back in decades. It's getting harder to make Musk look good but damn if Gates didnt find a good way to do it.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 929   +1,452
That doesnt mean you defund space travel. That kind of thinking is why we went to the moon in the 60s and havent been back in decades. It's getting harder to make Musk look good but damn if Gates didnt find a good way to do it.
It seems even Gates isn't immune to a classic "false dilemma" logical fallacy.
I mean to be fair to Gates, he didn’t say that Musk shouldn’t do it, he just said he wouldn’t do it and he believes vaccines are a better use of money. Here’s the rest of the quote that prompted what was said in the article:
Is going to Mars, whether funded by him or others, is that a good use of money?
Uh not in my view, but uh…
Because there’s more pressing things to do on Earth?
Definitely, and it’s actually quite expensive to go to Mars.
Have you looked into it?
You can buy measles vaccines and save lives for $1,000 per life saved, and so it just kind of grounds you, as in - don't go to Mars.
It definitely seemed like he was just trying to explain his way of thinking, but who knows.
 

Endymio

Posts: 2,009   +2,116
I mean to be fair to Gates, he didn’t say that Musk shouldn’t do it, he just said he wouldn’t do it
I think he said far more, that a Mars mission was "not a good use" of money. But in a long-run analysis, such a mission will do far more good for society than ten of Gate's foundations. Giving someone a free vaccine gives immediate virtue-signaling gratification. But if Gates actually wished to help the Third World, he'd be building vaccine production plants there, along with universities to teach how to use them. Long term, dependency just breeds more dependency; if everyone acted as Gates did, then in a generation the problems will only be worse.

Musk, on the other hand, has a goal that's not only aspirational, but vital to the long-term survival of the species. Even in the short term, the space program has given us weather-prediction satellites and global communications, which have saved far more lives than Gates's vaccines ever will. And when the inevitable "dino-killer" class asteroid appears, it will be a SpaceX rocket that saves 8 billion lives, not a free measles vaccine.
 
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AlaskaGuy

Posts: 811   +756
Good ole Bill Gates. When he wasn't spending time on Epstein's island, preaching climate change while purchasing multi million dollar ocean front homes, he was pushing a pseudo vaccine that neither kept the so called vaccinated from getting the virus nor spreading it to others.
 

Vanderlinde

Posts: 234   +140
I rather see humanity colonize Mars than saving 0.5% of human lives

And frankly we're supposed to evolute ourself to living in space. I mean it's inevitable knowing the planet will one day simply run out of resources. Covid is a result of alot of people on this planet. Did gates ever look at the birthrate of humans on a daily basis? Or how Hawkings once said that at this rate the earth's resources will deplete in around 900 years?

 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,773   +2,742
And frankly we're supposed to evolute ourself to living in space. I mean it's inevitable knowing the planet will one day simply run out of resources. Covid is a result of alot of people on this planet. Did gates ever look at the birthrate of humans on a daily basis? Or how Hawkings once said that at this rate the earth's resources will deplete in around 900 years?
Or maybe when the earth dies we are supposed to die as well.
Already looking for another planet in case this one dies instead of aggressively trying to reverse the harm we've done just shows how lazy humans really are.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 929   +1,452
Or maybe when the earth dies we are supposed to die as well.
Already looking for another planet in case this one dies instead of aggressively trying to reverse the harm we've done just shows how lazy humans really are.
But we just had a news article about individuals reversing the harm we've done, there's a company trying to bring back the dodo bird :yum At least in terms of pollution, Musk doing far more than Gates. What Gates is focusing on is solving problems for humanity, not solving Earth's problems:
The primary stated goals of the [Bill & Melinda Gates] foundation are to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty across the world, and to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology in the U.S.
 

McKocoa

Posts: 76   +105
Bill Gates profited off vaccines patents, stock, and IP then sold 90% of it all for a nice tidy profit. And Gates has since changed his tune on the mRNA technology. His trades are publicly available data
 

GoldenGoat

Posts: 139   +208
The real reason we have global warming is overpopulation. Cutting down trees to make room for more houses. More gas to heat homes. More cars on the road. More manufacturing to make stuff for more people. Saving lives through vaccines could be increasing overpopulation which could actually be contributing to destroying the planet through global warming. Thanks for destroying the planet Bill Gates. If it wasn't for you, Elon Musk wouldn't need to find us a new planet.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,588   +8,089
Musk, on the other hand, has a goal that's not only aspirational, but vital to the long-term survival of the species.
Ah, finally admitting that humanity is trashing the planet?

Even in the short term, the space program has given us weather-prediction satellites and global communications, which have saved far more lives than Gates's vaccines ever will. And when the inevitable "dino-killer" class asteroid appears, it will be a SpaceX rocket that saves 8 billion lives, not a free measles vaccine.
It sounds like you put a lot of faith in Musk. Musk has outright said that he thinks humanity must colonize Mars in order to survive a possibly dying planet. IMO, if Musk takes on an extinction-level asteroid, he will likely make things worse, or just not care because he has since moved to Mars.

Even so, going to Mars is likely to bring along all the problems that exist on Earth. IMO, Musk is afraid, and wants to run away from the problems, and worse, does not realize that all the problems will tag along with him. As I see it, the more courageous approach is to make efforts to fix the problems here on Earth rather than run away from them.
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 8,588   +8,089
But we just had a news article about individuals reversing the harm we've done, there's a company trying to bring back the dodo bird :yum At least in terms of pollution, Musk doing far more than Gates. What Gates is focusing on is solving problems for humanity, not solving Earth's problems:
As I see it, Earth's problems are also Humanity's Problems and vice-versa.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,588   +8,089
And frankly we're supposed to evolute ourself to living in space. I mean it's inevitable knowing the planet will one day simply run out of resources. Covid is a result of alot of people on this planet. Did gates ever look at the birthrate of humans on a daily basis? Or how Hawkings once said that at this rate the earth's resources will deplete in around 900 years?
Maybe Musk should make efforts to mine asteroids. I bet Hawking was talking about resources here on Earth and not the possibility of using resources elsewhere in the solar system.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,633   +4,676
The real reason we have global warming is overpopulation. Cutting down trees to make room for more houses. More gas to heat homes. More cars on the road. More manufacturing to make stuff for more people. Saving lives through vaccines could be increasing overpopulation which could actually be contributing to destroying the planet through global warming. Thanks for destroying the planet Bill Gates. If it wasn't for you, Elon Musk wouldn't need to find us a new planet.
Right, because scientists who study this every day of their lives know less than you do. I don't think that I need to say any more.
 

Endymio

Posts: 2,009   +2,116
Ah, finally admitting that humanity is trashing the planet?
Twisting words is an act of dishonesty. Man isn't "trashing" the planet-- but Mother Nature eventually will herself. Anything from an asteroid strike to GRB to supervolcanic "endless winter" to the sun's eventual expansion into a red giant are all possible. In fact, had the process not been reversed, the global decline of atmospheric CO2 would eventually kill all life on earth. It's happened once before in the earth's past, when a deadly trace gas in the atmosphere began to increase, causing lifeforms then to die in favor of those which could withstand this corrosive poison:
 
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