For a while now I’ve started thinking that Bill Gates is one of the greatest people of our time.
I have never been particularly interested in what Microsoft had done, nor have I been fascinated by those lists of the richest people in the world, so I didn’t know how to explain my position, except for the fact that in recent years I haven’t skipped a book he recommended.
And then a few days ago I watched Netflix’ documentary “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates” and realized that I was right all along.
I wasn’t overly interested in Microsoft’s clash with Netscape, nor the quality of the documentary which frankly has many plot holes.
It was Gates that I was interested in.
And the fact that ‘ve I finally realized what I suspected all along – about this introverted guy who doesn’t like the media spotlight like Jobs. He was, for lack of a better word, a genius.
The guy who has already won the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grade math competitions in sixth grade! All-American!
The guy who has written timetables for classes at their school. Someone who told Paul Allen when they were 14 that he would be back, but that he would be in charge then. The guy who would leave Harvard because he knew that if he was late then – he would be late forever.
The guy who will know by heart the license plates of all their employees.
Just like in my favorite comic book, Drun, it’s one brain that connects things, even though you’re not aware of it.
Here is the man who lead us all into the Information revolution. Here is the richest man in history, who goes to his cottage, smaller than any you can find on Divčibare every week, to read books and drink his little fridge full of Diet Coke.
That’s something out of the lifestyle of every Serb citizen.
When asked to describe Bill’s brain, his wife says through laughter: “Chaos.” But it is in the chaos something always is creating in.
Indeed, when you meet a man who wants to save the world or change the civilization, you immediately know that he is either the Miss Universe or that he is insane.
The problem with Gates is that every idea he has, he puts it into action.
Whether it’s the software that would quicken the 20 years of the Information revolution or the toilet that would save millions of children suffering from diarrhea in Africa.
It is Gates who works on finding the way to eradicate polio, but also finds it is present only in places where Nigerian villages overlap because doctors from different villages think that the other one has completed the vaccination.
Finally, a big relief: he decided to devote himself to climate changes.
And you know immediately that it will not be about dreams of artificial photosynthesis, nor unrealistically expensive wind farm projects.
He quickly realizes that nuclear energy can destroy us, but it can also save us. Just like that most nuclear plants use the technology from 1950s.
He is making a new, waste-free model that uses waste for creating new energy, the one that cannot be converted to nuclear weapons or experience any kind of breakdown, since a replacement for water and cooling has been found.
Chinese President has signed a deal with Gates over new nuclear plants that was halted by Donald Trump’s sanctions. But that will also pass…
If I were to entrust someone to deal with the climate change, it would be Bill Gates;, if I wanted someone to get involved in finding a cure for cancer, it is Gates again.
The man whom Warren Buffett decided to donate half of his property to.
And so, even subconsciously, all this time, I felt the importance of that generation, born ten years after World War II, unburdened by massacres and the misuse of technology.
The symbol of that generation was certainly Gates; I have to explain to my daughter – who thinks of me as a dinosaur, born before cell phones and high-speed internet (which she still can’t fathom) – that it is the generation that actually left her with mobile phone, the internet, and a world in which Gates is the richest man and not someone whose grandfather robbed government funds or killed entire nations.
And we are yet to see what that new generation will come up with …
Just as our generation of the 1990s with Milošević had missed the Information revolution, which has had greater consequences than all the wars and disasters that hit us back then. That’s why we don’t have elderly people working. They are the losers of this transition, who could not adapt since they hadn’t mastered the smartphone.
Instead of Bill’s brain, we remained trapped in Milošević’s.
And that is why this society will only be able to rise when Gates’ generation, the people who shall not remember the 1990s, comes.