Seeing inside Bill Gates’ head and not liking what you see….

CNN.com – Blair and Gates in doodle mix-up – Jan 31, 2005:

It seems Bill Gates is “stressed” and “not a natural leader”:

LONDON, England (Reuters) — When a sheet of paper covered in doodles was found on Tony Blair’s desk at the Davos World Economic Forum, handwriting experts delighted in analysing it, concluding the Prime Minister was stressed and under pressure.

Experts who examined the tangle of boxes, circles, loops and notes on debt and trade variously described Blair as “struggling to concentrate” or “not a natural leader” and “stressed and tense.”

But there was a problem.

The doodles, it later transpired, were nothing to do with Blair but were the work of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who shared a table with Blair at the summit.

“Somebody from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has said that the notes are from Bill Gates rather than from Tony Blair,” a spokesman from Blair’s Downing Street office said on Monday.

Not Good: High school kids with no wish to offend

Boing Boing: High schoolers on free speech:

A new study reveals that far too many US high school students don’t seem to understand the meaning of free speech, aren’t taught about the First Amendment, or simply don’t care. A few choice excerpts from the AP story:

…When told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories…

Three in four students said flag burning is illegal…

About half the students said the government can restrict any indecent material on the Internet.

Who is teaching these kids? Link

I was having a conversation with my wife about how kids are graded based on their willingness to stay inside well-defined lines just last night. What the hell have we done when our kids are less rebellious than a senile babushka in Stalinist Russia?

$17.6bn buys a lot of lunches

FT.com – Venture capitalists raise $17.6bn :

Venture capitalists raised more money from investors last year than in the previous two years combined, raising concerns in some quarters that too much money will once again threaten investment returns.

However, the $17.6bn that was put into new venture funds last year was still a small fraction of the $106bn that poured into the industry at the peak of the dotcom boom in 2000.



The contrast between the amount raised (more than the previous two years combined) and the paucity of investments we still see is explained by the overwhelming contraction of the VC market since 2000. Basically, it’s very like the employment market. Yes, more people have jobs than a year ago, but far fewer people have jobs than normal economic growth would have provided since 2000.

We are the world, so fuck off

FT.com – Geldof laments role as celebrity campaigner:

Sir Bob Geldof has found himself at the centre of controversy again after the outspoken pop star and agitator revealed he was often “profoundly” bored by Africa – the continent whose problems he has done so much to bring to the attention of the wider world.

The Irish-born singer, who 20 years ago launched Live Aid to assist famine-stricken Ethiopia, told Britain’s Radio Times magazine “the pace of change is far too slow and Africans excuse their own complicity in exactly the same way as our politicians”.

Sir Bob, noted for his earthy language, said he was as blunt with African leaders as he was “with our lot”, but that he “knew the consequences of saying ‘fuck off’, so I’m more patient”.

Smart Mobs: Manuel Castells, Open Source, Tech of Cooperation

Smart Mobs: Manuel Castells, Open Source, Tech of Cooperation:

Manuel Castells’ address at the World Social Forum addresses open source production methods as a technology of cooperation.

(Thank you, Henrique!)

Conventionally, in a capitalist economy, property is the right to exclude others from the use of a good or service. In open source, property is configured fundamentally around the right to distribute, not to exclude. The source code for open source is published and distributed for the use by anyone who wishes. And because the source code is known, users can modify it, and can modify or generate new applications. Free source code is open, public, and non proprietary. This new form of property, that is entirely contradictory with the usual regime of intellectual property rights, is supported by a governance system that holds together a community of producers. It is based on human motivation to work within this logic and is supported by an evolving set of organizational structures to coordinate behavior.