President Barack Obama blew up Reddit when he hosted an “Ask me anything” (AMA) on the social forum (AMA’s are a popular feature on the site). Monday afternoon (EST) into Tuesday morning Bill Gates was killing it on the website as well, but maybe with a little more laughter associated with his responses and the comments back to them.

Bill Gates Does an Ask Me Anything  AMA  on Reddit

Gates proving that it is in fact him answering the questions on Reddit. (Image: Imgur via Reddit)

The “I’m Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AMA” — which we all know should read “I’m Bill Gates, richest American alive, AMA” — has some rather light-hearted questions, among serious ones, and equally hilarious comments to the responses from the inventor/business tycoon/philanthropist/second richest man in the whole world.

The top question – What is something that needs to be changed in the world, but money wont help? — received this response from Gates:

It would be nice if all governments were as rational as the Nordic governments – reaching compromise and providing services broadly. The Economist had a nice special section on this last week. Africa governments have often been weak but you can’t write a check to change that. Fortunately the average quality is going up. Mo Ibrahim tracks this in a great way. (http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/IIAG/)

Interesting comments based on this response:

  • Ponoru: Saying something positive about Scandinavia on reddit ensures upvotes.
  • Dr_fish: I think just being Bill Gates ensures upvotes.

Another typical questions with a Gates-ish answer: What do you do for fun? I find it hard to fathom how someone like you can just disconnect. Disconnect from the emails, calls ,the media. All of it. What would be your definition of a chill and fun day?

“I love playing tennis. I am an avid bridge player (a card game if you have not heard of it – it was more popular in the past!). I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica, missile Silos (Arizona),… I read a lot and watch courses (online or the Learning Company).”
Interesting comments based on this response:
  • Plaguarist: Casually tours the LHC. The jealousy is strong.
  • cgillett: Most people travel to Antarctica. Bill Gates tours it.
  • skiingbeing: ”I love bridge and garbage dumps”. You, my good man, are the wealthiest old hobo I’ve ever seen.
  • geoken: Remember how we went to the LHC last month, well today we’re going to a garbage dump
  • MsBananaHammock: As a child whose parents brought me to the landfill on a regular basis, I can honestly say I loved garbage dump day.
  • I_WILL_REPLY: Garbage dump day is a very dangerous day.
  • guy_from_sweden: “Dad, I’m booored” ”Get in the car kids, we’re going to Antarctica today!”
Although perhaps an expected question — Anything left on your bucket list? — it received a more unexpected answer. “Don’t die…”Here are just a few more of the more light-hearted questions that give us some insight into Gates’ mindset:
  • Q: Since becoming wealthy, what’s the cheapest thing that gives you the most pleasure? Gates: “Kids. Cheap cheeseburgers. Open Course Ware courses…” Q: Where are you acquiring these cheap kids from? Gates: The stork.
  • Q: What type of computer are you using right now? Gates: “I am using a Perceptive Pixel display right now – huge Windows 8 touch whiteboard. These will come down in price over time and be pervasive…” Basically, this is how Gates responds to people on Twitter (below)
Bill Gates Does an Ask Me Anything  AMA  on Reddit

(Image: Imgur via Reddit)

  • Q: Is Weezer still your favorite band? Gates: “Weezer…. Actually U2 is a favorite.. I keep waiting for Spinal Tap to go back on tour…”
  • Q: “What do people give you for your birthday, given that you can buy anything you want?” Gates: “Free software. Just kidding. Books actually.”
  • Q: Can you still jump over chairs? Gates: “Less than I used to. It was part of exercise for snow skiing. I still ski but I am not as hard core…” Here’s Gates jumping over a chair in the 1990s for Connie Chung:

  • Q: Do you guys really use Bing? I mean seriously… Gates: “Seriously Bing is the better product at this point. Try the challenge. I am biased but the work to make Bing better has been amazing.”
  • Q: How did you feel about your portrayal in “Pirates of Silicon Valley”? Gates: “That portrayal was reasonably accurate….”
 Here’s the video Gates included that promoted his AMA before the event: 

Related: