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Microsoft Government United States Politics

Bill Gates Shares His Memories of Donald Trump (cnn.com) 490

MSNBC recently published a video of Bill Gates telling his staff at the Gates Foundation that he had two meetings with Donald Trump since the president was elected. In the video, Gates says Trump doesn't know the difference between two sexually transmitted diseases -- human papillomavirus (HPV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -- and that it was "scary" how much Trump knew about Gates' daughter's appearance. Gates also said he urged Trump to support innovation and technology during those meetings. CNN reports: Taking audience questions about his interactions with Trump at a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation meeting, the former Microsoft honcho said he first met Trump in December 2016. He told the audience that Trump had previously come across his daughter, Jennifer, at a horse show in Florida. "And then about 20 minutes later he flew in on a helicopter to the same place," Gates said, according to video of the event broadcast by MSNBC late Thursday. "So clearly he had been driven away but he wanted to make a grand entrance in a helicopter. "Anyway, so when I first talked to him, it was actually kind of scary how much he knew about my daughter's appearance. Melinda (Gates' wife) didn't like that too well."

Gates also said he discussed science with Trump on two separate occasions, where he says the President questioned him on the difference between HIV and HPV. "In both of those two meetings, he asked me if vaccines weren't a bad thing because he was considering a commission to look into ill-effects of vaccines and somebody -- I think it was Robert Kennedy Jr. -- was advising him that vaccines were causing bad things. And I said no, that's a dead end, that would be a bad thing, don't do that. "Both times he wanted to know if there was a difference between HIV and HPV so I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other," Gates said.

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Bill Gates Shares His Memories of Donald Trump

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  • Wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @03:46PM (#56643632)

    Next you'll be telling us Trump doesn't know the difference between Kerberos and Kubernetes.

    Simpsons Comic book guy scoffs at Trump!

    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @04:07PM (#56643722)
      Bill Gates has kind of a cult of personality among working class Americans who see him as somebody who came up from nothing to become the richest man on earth. For some reason He's not lumped into the "elites" category like Jobs or Bezos. Not sure why, since he grew up wealthy and used his mom's connections to get an in with IBM and his dad's advice to take advantage of it, but go figure.

      Anyway, him saying Trump is a bit of a buffoon is going to resonate with Trump voters. It'll be a significant hit to Trump's reputation with his base.
      • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @04:22PM (#56643772)

        >"Anyway, him saying Trump is a bit of a buffoon is going to resonate with Trump voters. It'll be a significant hit to Trump's reputation with his base."

        Maybe, maybe not. I don't believe being "smart" was high on the list of his base's wishes this time- it was mostly that he:

        1) Wasn't Hillary
        2) Was purporting to be conservative
        3) Wasn't an "establishment" politician

        I think the vast majority of voters already knew he was a bit of a loud-mouth, bully, buffoon long before the election.... but I believe they very much wanted a shake up and not an Obama sequel. In my mind, there is no question that mission was accomplished. Being smart, charismatic, or well spoken don't necessarily mean having positions that voters will agree with, nor do they necessarily mean the candidate would have a better chance of getting anything accomplished.

        • by divide overflow ( 599608 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @06:28PM (#56644218)
          I can collapse all your reasons down to one: Trump told his voters what they wanted to hear, regardless of the truth.
        • >"Anyway, him saying Trump is a bit of a buffoon is going to resonate with Trump voters. It'll be a significant hit to Trump's reputation with his base."

          Maybe, maybe not. I don't believe being "smart" was high on the list of his base's wishes this time

          Maybe, you do hear enough people claim that he's smart in private conversations that I won't discount it. It's possible he's had a mental decline since they knew him, but I think it's more likely that he's legitimately quick-witted, he just doesn't apply himself to learn or analyze anything so those wits go to waste. Either that or he spews out so many facts and pronouncements in private that he sounds like a polymath, they might be complete BS but in a private conversation he ends up sounding smart.

          Ultimat

          • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @09:31PM (#56644764)
            Only the syncophants he surrounds himself with claim he's smart, because it strokes his ego, and that's the first and foremost job of anyone he hires. A few foreign government people have done the same, obviously for the same ego stroking. When his own appointees describe him as a 'fucking moron' among countless other behind-his-back reports, you know his IQ is room temperature (or just listen to him speak unscripted for a few minutes, and that's self-evident). But it fools people. Remember that disgusting cabinet meeting where they all took turns lavishing praise on him, calling him the best president ever, nobody has ever done more, and other nonsense? You've gotta be a fool to think they were sincere, but fortunately that's just the kind of person he attracts. Quick-witted? You've got to be kidding, or never even heard him speak. He rambles on with stream of consciousness, half the time changing topics mid-sentence. He's so slow witted he makes Bush Jr look like a master orator.
      • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @04:27PM (#56643788)

        Bill Gates has kind of a cult of personality among working class Americans who see him as somebody who came up from nothing to become the richest man on earth. For some reason He's not lumped into the "elites" category like Jobs or Bezos. Not sure why, since he grew up wealthy and used his mom's connections to get an in with IBM and his dad's advice to take advantage of it, but go figure.

        Anyway, him saying Trump is a bit of a buffoon is going to resonate with Trump voters. It'll be a significant hit to Trump's reputation with his base.

        No one is saying he's not elite, but he's not included with the Silicon Valley elites anymore because he's been semi-retired for 10 years.

        People focus on Bezos, Zuckerberg, Musk, and Jobs (formerly) not because they're rich, but because they have the power to shape the technological future and they're using it.

        But back in Microsoft's heyday Gates was easily as big as any of them.

    • Next you'll be telling us Trump doesn't know the difference between Kerberos and Kubernetes.

      Simpsons Comic book guy scoffs at Trump!

      Because knowing the difference between two computing technologies, either of which would be known by only a minority of IT people, is exactly the same as not knowing the difference between two of the most famous STDs on the planet...

      Of course, I'm a little skeptical that Trump doesn't actually know the difference I'd expect him to be familiar with STDs since he considered STDs to be his personal Vietnam [people.com].

      I suspect he was trying to say something else and just muddled the words up.

      • Next you'll be telling us Trump doesn't know the difference between Kerberos and Kubernetes.

        Simpsons Comic book guy scoffs at Trump!

        Because knowing the difference between two computing technologies, either of which would be known by only a minority of IT people, is exactly the same as not knowing the difference between two of the most famous STDs on the planet...

        If you ask a civilized person about Kerberos without any IT namespace hints, they'll probably answer something about a mythical three-headed guard dog. On Kubernetes, a surprising number of people might recognize the origin of words "government" and "cybernetics". Fleeting IT projects that can't come up with original names are not a part of old-school Bildung (for the lack of a better English word).

        But hey, this is the shiny new 21st Century, where "android" is just a phone, instead of a humanoid servant

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

        Of course, I'm a little skeptical that Trump doesn't actually know the difference I'd expect him to be familiar with STDs since he considered STDs to be his personal Vietnam [people.com].

        He raw-dogged a porn star. Whatever he may have once known about STDs, his dementia has caused him to forget.

    • Next you'll be telling us Trump doesn't know the difference between Kerberos and Kubernetes.

      Joke's on you. Trump doesn't even drink Kombucha [wikipedia.org].

  • I have to wonder if Trump was actually unaware of which groups of people have what opinion about vaccines (regardless of his knowledge about the actual science), which makes me wonder if his repeated questions weren't intended to deliberately make Gates uncomfortable. The word "innovation" coming from MS similarly makes me feel uncomfortable. Perhaps Gates can have someone innovate a way to help his daughter fool digital photography. Maybe strong IR emitters in the cloths coupled with IR reflecting particl
  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @04:12PM (#56643738)

    We are currently ruled by some of the worst people of our nation.

    Why? Because of joy.

    "What? Joy?" You may ask. Yes - joy, the emotion of joy - that little element of discovering something that pleases you.

    Americans discovered that amongst the boring moments of their lives, and amidst the confusing cycles of our politics, the thing that brought them the most joy, was the crude, often cruel mockery of difference.

    It's not quite comedy, in the professional sense - even the most crude professional comedians would find this kind of humor career destroying. See Kathy Griffin to see what happens when one wonders into that territory.

    But the conservative movement doesn't really have comedians - instead, they have a unique brand of cruelty that takes the place of open comedy.

    It's not always about laughing - it's about joy, the joy of knowing how you are treating your enemy, the joy of cruelty, of punishing difference. At all levels, from online sharing, to the highest offices.

    This isn't new - there were large amounts of this spread across newspapers in the era of 'yellow journalism' - it's actually kind of shocking to read some of the stuff around the civil war. And we're kind of returning to that state of political cruelty - cruelty ahead of everything else.

    And that's what Trump represents more than anything else - cruelty in place of political strategy, cruelty in the guise of comedy, cruelty as the dominant force in a major political party. And cruelty called common sense and wisdom in our popular culture.

    Ryan Fenton

    • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @04:33PM (#56643806) Homepage Journal

      Interesting comment, but I never have the mod points to give. I used to get them from time to time, but that was many years ago. I think I pissed off Taco and and he put me on some kind of no-mod-points-for-you list...

      Anyway, I think that's a confusing sense of "joy". My General Theory of Relatively Funny Stuff is that we laugh to learn. Normal people actually enjoy learning new things, and it's deeply linked to humor. So far I haven't been able to find a form of humor that is not linked in some way to learning stuff.

      A few examples: Slapstick is funny because you are not the person getting hurt--but you are learning not to do those things by seeing the bad results. Children are always laughing because they are little learning machines, easily amused as they acquire new knowledge. Political humor depends upon knowing the political realities, which also explains why extremist right-wing humorists so often fail. Without reality they can't find the jokes. Since political humor is based on a contrast between the joke and the underlying reality, without the contrast the right-wing humorists can't make anyone laugh (though it is possible for honest conservatives to be funny).

      Have you ever seen a video of Trump laughing? I haven't.

      • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @04:51PM (#56643868)

        That's why it isn't really comedy. The aim isn't the same as the jokes you're used to with openly repeatable comedy. It's closer to the stupidest parts of grade school than proper jokes.

        Have you ever listened to Rush Limbaugh? There's some odd sorts of laughs there - but most of the joy intended is not the laughing kind of joy - but the "oh, we really showed those fools what's what" kind of joy.

        It's the same kind of joy you might get from hearing an MC really lay into another MC, when it isn't even really laughing material.

        That same form of joy has come in the form of cruelty dominating the commenting landscape of Facebook and the like. Of drawing a picture of your opponent being tortured, of denying them a voice, of denying the group they belong to a voice. Of feeling like you're proving you're on the winning side.

        It's all endorphins - but in this case, it's different than laughing humor.

        • by shanen ( 462549 )

          I still can't figure out your intended sense of "joy". In some places you make it sound more like schadenfreude, but in other places it sounds more like a vegetative state.

          Maybe I'm just repulsed too quickly to experience the emotion in question, even vicariously? For example, you mentioned Rushbaugh, but I can't tolerate more than a second or two of him before losing all joy or any semblance thereof.

    • by shilly ( 142940 )

      Spot on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

      Oh Please! A mummifed turd from Richard Nixon could have won against Shillary, as she was arrogant as fuck ("Its her turn"? Really? I didn't know POTUS was a birthright, I guess Shillary thought so), was caught on camera waaaaaaaayyy too many times flipping flopping and just plain old saying truly nasty shit (say what you want about Trump but I don't remembr him ever saying one race's young folks were "apex predators") and then of course there was her obvious brain damage (the woman was falling more than G

  • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @04:18PM (#56643756) Homepage Journal

    Trying to figure out what aspect of this story actually merits coverage on Slashdot.

    It's the ignorance, stupid!

    Kind of hard to tell in Trump's case since he is also quite stupid and has been sheltered and protected from the normal consequences of his stupidity. His father was only the first person to pump in money to cover the losses from Trump's bad decisions.

    However I think it is much more significant that Trump doesn't care about what he doesn't know. I insist that Trump regards Bill Gates as admirable, for the money, if nothing else, but Trump still doesn't care enough to listen to him. Any moderately educated person should know the difference between HIV and HPV, but Trump doesn't know and doesn't care. Actually, given Trump's sexual peccadilloes (or perhaps you prefer to describe it as "raging libido"), it would even be normal self-protection to know a LOT about sexually transmitted diseases, but "Trump don't know and Trump don't care."

    Not sure of the exact numbers, but there are a lot of proudly ignorant fools in America, and many of them voted for Trump precisely because they felt that Trump's disdainful attitude towards knowing things made him a true representative of their views, the kind of "leader" they wanted to follow. Scare quotes on "leader" because if you're ignorant you can't actually lead since you have no idea where you're going. Normal peasants like you and I would merely fail hard when we stumble blindly into holes, but Trump has always gotten more money to pull him out and hide his failures.

    There's another option: Learning from mistakes. I actually think there is a tiny bit of evidence that Trump has learned two things along the way. That's why he doesn't gamble with his own money now. His bankruptcies didn't teach him how to be a better businessman, but they did teach him to take his own cut up front and to make sure the contracts allow him to walk away when projects fail.

    Trump has never learned that truth matters.

    • That's why he doesn't gamble with his own money now. His bankruptcies didn't teach him how to be a better businessman, but they did teach him to take his own cut up front and to make sure the contracts allow him to walk away when projects fail.

      That's no different among any other public company, especially GM: They gamble with investors' money. If a public company fails, the investors lose out. If GM fails again, the taxpayers lose out, because the government will have to bail them out again, because they are "too big to fail".

      When they were "Government Motors", the government should have broken them up into three or more small companies, each being small enough to fail. This would ensure that the executive really do their job, and avoid bank

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 )

      Let me summarize for you why this "news article" is stupid:

      Gossip != news

      Gates statements != much evidence about Trump

      The only reason anyone has even heard about this is because of Gate's accomplishments in areas not related to Trump, nor politics. This is the /. equivalent of actors testifying in front of Congress about medical matters because they played one on TV. Who cares?

    • I actually think there is a tiny bit of evidence that Trump has learned two things along the way. That's why he doesn't gamble with his own money now.

      Listen to the "Trump Inc." podcast. The latest one pointed out something very unusual about Trump's more recent real estate investments: they have used Trump money exclusively. This isn't just unusual for Trump, it's unusual in the field of real estate development.

    • Trying to figure out what aspect of this story actually merits coverage on Slashdot.

      The story was worth posting because the comments demonstrate that Bill Gates is no longer the most hated man on slashdot.

    • "Both times he wanted to know if there was a difference between HIV and HPV so I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other," Gates said.

      Any moderately educated person should know the difference between HIV and HPV, ...

      If for no other reason than they're spelled differently.

  • Trump 'n Gates (Score:2, Informative)

    Though Gates is far less corrupt than Trump, both came to their fortunes by great luck, embellishing their own worth, and a lack of guilt about screwing people over for a buck.

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