Microsoft CEO Bill Gates hosted an AMA ("Ask Me Anything") session on Reddit yesterday, and actively engaged with members of the popular online community.
A few notable responses/gems from one of the world's richest people:
Gates usually gets books for his birthday. Asked what his favorite is, he said “My favorite of the last decade in Pinker’s Better Angels of our Nature."
"It is long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time. I review a lot of the books I read at gatesnotes.com“
Asked if he still codes, the 57-year-old Microsoft founder replied, “Not as much as I would like to. I write some C, C# and some Basic."
"I am surprised new languages have not made more progress in simplifying programming. It would be great if most high school kids were exposed to programming.”
One Reddit user asked “What’s the cheapest thing that gives you the most pleasure?” Gates replied “Kids. Cheap cheeseburgers. Open Course Ware courses.”
Regarding this “thoughts on the push against the open and free Internet that we have been seeing in the recent past and present (such as SOPA, etc)”, Gates said:
“There are two things this could reference. One is the free/pay for software mix. The Internet has benefited from having lots of free stuff and lots of commercial software."
"It has been interesting see people inventing hybrid models. Even stuff that is pretty commercial often has free versions for some audiences."
"Even the most open stuff often have services people choose to pay for."
"The second thing is the anonymous versus identified tension. This is another one where both will probably thrive since you want anonymity for some things and full identity for others."
"I am surprised how little progress has been made in the identity space but it will improve.”