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As fellow (hopefully that's a safe assumption) an outsider looking in, I have to agree with this.

It also just generally frustrates and disappoints me that so many brilliant young developers and entrepreneurs spend their time fixing textbook first world problems instead of addressing the poverty, disease, crime, and unrest which still plagues the world.

entrepreneurs look for problems with money in mind. philanthropists look for money with problems in mind.

I really like that.

As rising high school senior, I often struggle with this -- the question of whether to get rich any way I can and then make my mark on the world (a la Bill Gates), or whether I should strive for my money-making to also be genuinely (in my opinion/worldview) beneficial for mankind.

Why not both?

After making his fortune, Bill is now working to better the world by using it to power his charitable foundation. If you're really confident then both tasks are within your reach. Don't listen to the nay-sayers who'd rather we all work as volunteers for the Peace Corps

Well I think "both" is the first alternative described: get rich any way you can, then use the money for real good. I think Bill's Microsoft was definitely not very interested in "Don't be evil" -- monopolistic practices, stealing ideas and technology from Apple (who often stole themselves), trying to kill free software (see: home brew computer club), etc.

Don't get me wrong. I have tremendous respect for Bill -- I look up to him and give him a LOT of credit for his recent work and humility. But I don't think Bill did "both". He definitely fell squarely into the first limited category: being a ruthless capitalist to get rich, and then trying to figure out how to actually bring some tangible good into the world with that money. (See also Andrew Carnegie)

You should look into Effective Altruism, Earning to Give and 80,000 Hours.

"Well maybe once everything in our country is automated, we'll have time to worry about others' automation, digital divide, and poverty."

Having just Googled that quote, I'm going to assume it was meant to be a paraphrasing of my comment/a (sarcastic?) response to it, rather than an actual quote.

In any case, I didn't really mean other countries in my comment. There is a great deal of crime, starvation, poverty, and disease in this country.

"Charity starts at home."

It wasn't sarcastic, it was a realist based comment pointing out the fact on how much we focus on our country's automation before moving on to other countries. I agree, eventually, after solving our digital divide issue, we'll worry about real problems. VCs invest in these services to bring what rich people had for years to the masses, and that is a maid and servants to free up your time to do what you really want to do. The economic recession has allowed numerous of people willing to do your laundry, these people picked up on that, I wonder what's next. Will there be a service to wash my dog?

The last time there was widespread starvation North America was in Newfoundland during the Great Depression.

I live in the valley and I still have to agree with this

I don't have any of the problems or any perspective or any idea of how to solve them with technology since they seem to be largely social problems.

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