Optimization

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This morning I was re-watching the amazing documentary Inside Bill's Brain about Bill Gates. It's a three-part story about Gates's life, his quite interesting way of thinking and his philatropic efforts.

I really like the series. Mostly because I like Gates himself, even considering all the "evilness" of Microsoft in the 90s and 00s. It's an interesting story about a very interesting man.

So, somewhere in the series, the director and interviewer asks Gates about all the children suffering from various diseases all around the world. And Gates replies with something along the lines of:

You can be sad for one child's suffering. But there are millions suffering. You can't be a million times more sad. To eradicate a disease, you need action, not emotion. I call that optimization.

Of course, I heavily paraphrased that particular line, but I hope that the message still gets through.

Gates's approach might seem a little bit inhumane - how can he not feel sad for those kids? They're suffering a lot, some of them are even dying.

I think it's the right approach. The only viable one. When dealing with tough issues, especially ones concerning loss of lie, it's easy to dive deep into them emotionally. But that way we won't help anyone; neither the suffering ones, nor ourselves.

Right now we're dealing with a huge crisis, and it's easy to get stressed & emotionally engaged in all the horrible things going on right now. But if you want to truly help, get your s together, optimize and go work dilligently.

Be as weird and brilliant at the same time as Bill Gates.

That's my thought for today.


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