I was very honored to be asked this question, out of the blue, by a very wealthy Silicon Valley acquaintance wondering what to do with her piles of money. This person, who shall remain anonymous, has met Bill Gates on a few occasions.
Good Reason After Bad
Now, of course, it is great to see one of the world’s wealthiest project managers be involved in trying to remove the inequities stemming purely from where in this world a person is born.
Bill’s business acumen is well-suited to eliminate some of the excessive money-laundering in the business of doing good. And, of course, one should feel inspired by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation trying to save seven million people per year from causes we in the western world have learned how to tackle.
However, the great karma and optimism supporting their approach hide an ugly ignorance of the reality of human excellence. The excellence so often referenced as these endeavors’ goal is the quality of human excellence defined, assessed, and bound by nature’s rule.
If the Gates Foundation’s goal is to improve human excellence across the board, then our best interpretation of the cause of such excellence must be investigated. There is not enough money in the world to deal with the myriad of undesirable consequences derived from undefined, ignored, or ill-conceived causes, and thus, our best proxy of cause must be established first.
Mind you, not even the “developed world” is immune to the inhumane consequences of the incompatibility with nature’s law, as I spelled out in a previous article. Wealth alone does not eliminate the grave manmade inequity of opportunity. Instead, it proves to narrow and dumb down the standard deviation of merit supposedly designed to expand the fractal of human ingenuity and capacity.
Hence, only our best and highest normalization of the cause of human excellence can ensure we construe the most effective and renewable investment strategy for underserved communities and thereby supports all of humanity in the most sustainable way possible.
From the lectures of Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman, Bill Gates is known to be a big admirer. Bill should have taken away the message of how cause determines consequence, and a phenomenon called entropy cannot be reversed. Meaning, from consequence, one cannot irrefutably revert to cause.
The example Feynman gave is how, even though time is relative and thus in certain ways can be deemed reversible, dropping a mug on the floor shattering in a thousand pieces will not revert to the cup in your hand from which it came. Nor does finding the fragments on the floor lead to the reason why or how it fell. Put differently, correlation does not yield causation, in mathematical terms recognized as the asymmetry between cause and consequence.
So, how humanity can live better and longer lives cannot be derived from the consequences of what stops us from living better and longer lives. Eliminating all the diseases one can encounter does not improve the compatibility with nature our species is dependent on.
Innovation In Humanity
There is a reason, a cause, why we humans, as arguably the smartest major species on earth, are poised to live the shortest and bound to take some prisoners with us. We are currently drowning in misplaced positivity, the kind of positivity that ignores reality. As if life is a mere Hollywood movie, a grand suspension of disbelief.
Fact is, we are the only animal species on earth that dictates how the merit of other members (of the same species) not within our vicinity should be assigned. We do so with manmade “systems,” concoctions really, fundamentally incompatible with nature’s rule and, as the theory (of the system) that determines what can be discovered, responsible for the opposite of human excellence. A predicament I lay out in great detail in my narrated presentation of The State of Humanity, and I follow up with the invention of a new operating system for humanity.
We must first change the causal reasons for our incompatibility with nature before addressing the undesirable consequential outcomes from an imperfect but improving proxy of nature’s cause. Or otherwise, our current set of “solutions” ends up being just another new evolutionary placebo.
Indeed, it is weird to have to tell Bill Gates, who became one of the richest persons in the world selling innovation, how to innovate. Yet, so did Steve Jobs. And that is precisely what I am doing. With a new normalization of truth, nature has revealed to us as the basis for all meaningful innovation.
In the end, as we learned from Feynman, we must only be in awe of our improving understanding and compliance with nature – for humanity to live as long as possible – and we must remain undyingly skeptical about the merit we assign to ourselves.