Tuesday, February 19, 2008

MS Who

Not long after one blogger expressed admiration for Microsoft founder Bill Gates' concept of "creative capitalism" to address the needs of the world poorest, the International Herald Tribune is reporting that the Gates Foundation may be responsible for fostering information hoarding within the medical research community.

According to the article, WHO officials are warning of "unintended consequences" of Gates foundation funded researchers who were once open with their information having a financial incentive to share their findings primarily with other researchers supported by the Gates Foundation, creating a kind of information "cartel".

Is this the same old Microsoft bullying that made the software giant the de facto computing standard brought to another sector? Or is it the result of fallen human nature and self-interest to follow the money? How "unintended" can the consequences be if the money comes with strings (and there are always strings)? Would you accept a Microsoft Vaccine?

To create a truly just society, surely it cannot be enough to do good deeds with our material possessions without creating just societal structures to support them.

Fair or foul? Sound off.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I saw this and intended to comment, but somehow it slipped my mind.

I am, unfortunately, woefully undereducated on this subject. Information obtained from research in this area should be made publicly available to all scientific parties. I understand that there are probably "market forces" at work, since nobody is entirely unselfish - everybody wants to make a buck, right? So maybe that's unrealistic.

That being said, I'm not sure that the WHO exactly speaks from the highest moral ground. I think they may be looking out for their own interests here a bit, as well.

Again I say: woefully undereducated.


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