Sunday, November 13, 2005

i mean, if one can take down os/2, netscape, and almost apple, why should one be intimidated by a little mosquito?

It just blows my mind how little money has been spent on malaria research. What has prevented the rich world from attempting this? I just keep asking myself, Do we really not care because it doesn't affect us? Is that what it is? Human suffering as a result of malaria is incomparable. By many measures, it's easily the worst thing on the planet. I refuse to accept it. I refuse to sit there and say, O.K., next problem, this one doesn't bother me. It does bother me. Very much. And the only way for that to change is to stop malaria. So that is what we are going to have to do.*
You know, if somebody has to be the richest person in the world, we could certainly do worse than Bill Gates. I mean, I do understand that he could be spending his money even better--like building a museum to celebrate Jimi Hendrix, or building Madison an acoustically awesome cultural center--but trying to singlehandedly make up for the market perversity that makes erectile dysfunction drugs more attractive to pharmaceutical manufacturers than malaria medicine does seem a more laudable expenditure than, say, spending tens of millions of dollars to buy your name onto a building at an already overendowed university.

* Bill Gates, as quoted in 10/24/2005 New Yorker.


Tom Volscho said...

Good point...but only in a capitalist social system would we rely on the whims of a wealthy (post?)industrialist to fund a little research on drugs to fight malaria.

jeremy said...

There are social systems other than capitalism? Where? And, are they doing research on malaria?

Anonymous said...

Capitalism and communism have both proven to be equally inept at solving society's problems.

Tom Volscho said...

Jeremy: I don't know if they (scientists in socialist countries) are doing research on drugs to fight malaria, but my guess is that there is a greater degree of effort/money/research put towards fighting malaria and AIDS than erectile dysfunctions and achne even if those particular countries have fewer cases of malaria and AIDS.