Bill Gates threatens TED attendees with malarial infection

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During his TED talk on how to go about solving many of the problems the third world faces in regards to disease and child mortality, Microsoft founder Bill Gates released a jarful of several hundreds of mosquitos and quipped: “Not only poor people should experience this.”

Except according to other Twitterers, he only pretended to loose them upon the audience. That’s doubtlessly a smart move, since infecting half of Silicon Valley with malaria at a TED presentation would be both legally inadvisable and bad cricket, but claiming that not only poor people should have malaria then failing to unleash a cloud of malaria-infected suckflies on the audience sends a conflicting message, no?

Bill Gates — an optimist and a comedian? [TED]

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12 Responses to Bill Gates threatens TED attendees with malarial infection

  1. BCJ says:

    I thought this was pretty awesome. If he didn’t actaully releas them, I’m sure it was because they wouldn’t allow him too, and regardless, it got people thinking.

  2. zuzu says:

    This is a lot like curing HIV by infecting the 10 richest men in the world, and within a year we’ll have 6 independent cures. :p

  3. dculberson says:

    Did he know they were carrying malaria? Plausible deniability, people!!

  4. SamSam says:

    I see no reason why he wouldn’t have actually released them. There’s no reason for these mosquitoes to have been carrying malaria.

    Those mosquitoes could have easily come from any of the hundreds of countries that have mosquitoes but no malaria, like the US, for instance.

  5. spazzm says:

    I feel sorry for Bill.
    Here he is, spending several normal-sized fortunes to fight a disease that kills millions of mostly poor, third-world, children every year.

    And what do people do?

    They criticise him for doing it in an offensive way.

  6. kitehlips says:

    I would not release mosquitos *anywhere* because of all the bloodsucking American Lawyers it would attract! :D

  7. edgore says:

    If only Colin Powell had been there, he could have saved everyone by flinging his vial of Anthrax at Bill!

  8. SomeGuy says:

    Edgore @7

    If only Colin Powell had recognized the pile of stink he served up to the UN six years ago for what it was and instead unleashed a jarful of these little buggers on the White House…..

  9. Raines Cohen says:

    Because It Has To Be Said:

    Those are Bugs, Not Features.

  10. bolamig says:

    Bill is a master illusionist. He even tricked people into believing that Long Beach was in Silicon Valley.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Um – anyone else apart from the richest man in the world would be in jail right now for creating a bioterrorism scare. What a double standard for the wealthy!

    Are those kids from Boston that put up aqua teen hunge force light-brights out of jail yet?

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/02/01/froth_fear_and_fury/

  12. jgrassick says:

    Excellent! Reminds me of the KLF’s Brit award retirement announcement but without machine guns and dead sheep.

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