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Nathan Myhrvold, Do-Gooder 109

theodp writes "Perturbed by a GigaOm item which likened him to 'Darth Vader doing some charity work as he completes the Death Star,' Intellectual Ventures CEO Nathan Myhrvold talks about the goals of his 'Global Good' program and fires back at critics in an interview with GeekWire's Todd Bishop. The technology industry is a little too obsessed with 'sending little messages to each other and having fun on a social network' for Myhrvold, who hopes to tackle bigger problems like malaria, polio, and HIV with the help of funding from buddy Bill Gates. 'I don't mean to call Zynga out in a negative way,' says Myhrvold, 'but is Zynga doing God's work? Is Facebook doing God's work? Even setting aside what God's work means, I think it's pretty easy to say, those companies are doing wonderful things, but they are for-profit ventures. It's either tools or toys for the rich.' BTW, if you're ready to do God's work, IV's looking for a Vice President, Global Good."
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Nathan Myhrvold, Do-Gooder

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  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @11:45AM (#40957545)

    Which god is he talking about, is what I want to know. I mean does he want us to start hitting people with hammers, praying for the undead lord to return from another dimension to cleanse the world of unbelievers with fire, start talking to our ancestors through their severed heads, raise Cthulhu from his watery grave, or what?

  • Organizing for good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by __aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @12:26PM (#40957903)

    Putting aside the question of what is or isn't God's work, I think it would be more effective to establish and fund a nonprofit foundation to develop technology for solving the problems of the world's poor (and problems that potentially affect everybody like climate change and antibiotic resistance).

    Running a little bit of charity work out of a for-profit corporation creates a conflict of interest between the need to generate profit for the owners/shareholders and the needs of those who are served. And if you can work full-time on the pro-bono technology, you'll get it done faster and better than if you are diverting time from your "real job."

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard