GUSWORLD
BILL BORED

Finding opportunity in the global economy

By BILL GATES

Today if you had to guess somebody's approximate income and you were limited to asking one polite question, a good one would be: "So how much do you earn then, bet it's less than me, you ugly bastard?". No seriously, only I could ask that. If you asked that, you could not be as certain that you earn more. I on the other hand, am pretty darn sure.

Perhaps a better question for you to ask is "What country do you live in?" That's because foreigners are stupid and can't get such high paying jobs as us Americans. I'm kidding again, it's because of the huge disparities in average wages from country to country.

But a generation from now, if you want to guess someone's income, a more-telling single question might be: "What's your education?" Or you could just ask me. Everyone should be working for my empire, so I'll know. Not very much is the answer.

This, at least, is my belief. Future business opportunity will turn on educational opportunity -- for everyone. Compared to almost anything else in a developed society, the cost of investment in education is low -- and the returns are high. Even the poorest of countries and communities can develop better schools.

What was I talking about? Oh, who gives a shit. Hey, why does shit come up in the spell check? Who wrote this crap word processor? Oh, that was me. Must have been busy at the time. Not many people know I approve each word that goes into the spell check. I agonised for hours over whether or not to put Elvis in. I decided no in the end, because I am the king.

What the hell is McDonalds thinking with the McAmore burger? What is this crap? Are they trying to say "if you eat this burger, you're going to get laid"?. Speaking from experience, people, you can't get laid with burgers. Pizza Hut at a pinch, maybe. That's easy, because you say can to some spunk "Hey, honey, Why don't you come around here tonight and we'll get out a video and order in pizza.". Then you get in some romantic movie, such as Electric Dreams or Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and it's make out city at the Gates pad, I can tell you.

Bugger, I'd better get back to the point of this column. I better say something about how technology is a great leveller and how everyone gets a chance to be educated through it such as: 'As technology breaks down the barriers of distance and national borders, it will be even more important that everybody be given equal educational opportunities. Eventually, being "poor" won't be as much a matter of living in a poor country as it will be a matter of having poor skills. Education and skills will allow people to achieve their full potential, no matter where they live or what obstacles they face.'

Assuming you want to develop those skills, what should you study? What career should you pursue? Hundreds of students send me email each year asking these questions. I say, oh for Christ's sake, you're 16, go out and get drunk or something. You should be trying to get laid. Do what you think I care what job you get? Do what you want, become a ballet dancer or a serial killer.

There are lots of opportunities in the knowledge-based global economy, and I'm particularly enthusiastic about the business I know best -- ruthlessly crushing all my opposition. Oops, I meant to say software.

Because software is an almost pure expression of logic, the industry is a great field for almost anyone entering the work force today. Just about every technical or scientific discipline will apply. The business side is equally exciting and challenging because the industry is so dynamic.

Creating software is a lot of fun, if you have the temperament for it. Which basically means you're a nerd. But you know, all those people who called me a nerd at school, they're doing my fucking gardening now. Ha! Wouldn't date me in high school, married some jock asshole and now you're divorced and bitter. Ha ha!

It's rewarding to create a product that helps change the world. Very rewarding.


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