- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
While giving a talk on malaria prevention at the TED2009 (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Long Beach, California, yesterday, Bill Gates apparently released a jar full of mosquitos on the audience saying, “Not only poor people should experience this.” Audience members including Facebook and eBay executives Twittered the strange occurrence, and the tech blogosphere was soon abuzz. TED promises video of Gates’s talk within 24 hours, but if anyone finds a clip before then, let us know.
I would compare Gates’s stunt to the Davos refugee run as a misguided and somewhat tasteless attempt to make wealthy donors experience the realities of Third World poverty, except at least Richard Branson was a willing participant.
As Valleywag’s Owen Thomas notes, this “doesn’t do much to undo Gates’s reputation, borne out of the Microsoft antitrust investigations of the 1990s, that the man considers himself above the law.”
Update: Here’s the video: