Gates Discusses U.S. Competitiveness--and Parenting in the Internet Age
Today Bill Gates testified before Congress for what may have been the last time as he transitions away from Microsoft to spend more time with his foundation. He appeared before the House Committee on Science and Technology to commemorate the panel's 50th anniversary. (It was founded following the launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957).
Gates, 52, urged Congress for the same things he's been wanting for years: more money for math and science education, more funds for research and more visas for skilled foreign workers.
But mostly, it seemed, the committee wanted an excuse to talk to the Microsoft founder. Many thanked him for the contributions he's made to the technology field. Some asked him about his thoughts on the next scientific breakthrough that will capture the world's attention the way space travel did half a century ago. (He said he thought alternative energy discoveries is the next hot area).
Others wanted to get his advice on raising kids in the Internet age. "How do you make sure they get the best out of the Internet without sacrificing the interactions that make us human?" asked Rep. Steven Rothman, D-NJ.
Gates responded by saying that all the computers in his house are "out in the open" so his kids will know he and Melinda will be walking by and able to see what they're doing. "Parents need to stay involved in understanding how kids spend their time," he said.
Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), the committee's chairman, tried to find common ground with Gates and couldn't come up with many shared attributes.
"You're a billionaire, and I'm not. I'm a college graduate, and you're not," he jabbed. But he and Gates both have a 7-year-old daughter, he said.
Gates kept smiling graciously, and quickly changed the subject. "The ability to (use the Internet) to pursue your curiosity is really phenomenal today," he said. "The best we could do when I was a kid was read the World Book--alphabetical and not very enticing."
In his case, it looks like those World Books paid off.
Get This Widget >>
Blogs That Reference This Entry
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Microsoft Patents Ones, Zeroes | March 18, 2008 2:18 PM
Posted by: Duane Dean | March 20, 2008 5:42 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.