Bill Gates said, “With great wealth comes great responsibility.” Scoot is the inverse function. With great responsibility comes great wealth. #scootismoney
I wrote so much satire and smack, as a recursive marketing plan. It also gave me a reason to send my book to all these rich people.
I don’t know any of these people personally. It is Texas good manners to warn somebody if you’re going to mock them. I didn’t expect a response, but some of these people are extremely rich and some of them own multiple companies and have people who open their mail.
I mailed out over 150 books. I wrote a long chapter called Billionaires, I thought it especially critical to make sure I sent it to the ones I named. There were two who own multiple companies who trade in the world of ideas, so I sent them multiple copies. One of them is Jay-Z.
Bill’s retired, so I only sent him one copy. Of all the billionaires and dozens of millionaires I sent my book to, only Bill’s office responded. This is the billionaire who pledged to give all his wealth away, and has already given away more than $28 billion.
Of all the billionaires of our time I wrote about, I believe Bill’s place in history is the most secure. He led the transformation of society. The PC and the innovations that followed fundamenty changed the world.
How our time will be remembered by the future remains to be seen, but there can be no doubt Bill Gates’s name is one that will be remembered.
I declare Scoot(1955) for the appreciation of Bill Gates. The goal of this Scoot is to apply a recursive breakdown the fundamental systems of health care, and see if we can come up with a equitable way to value health care in society, as I wrote in Incongruence of Values.
Content Block 1 – 11/17/2022
Excerpt from Brandon Awbrey’s asimov:
Incongruence of Values
Currency is a marvelous invention. Imagine if you had to barter everything you need for everyday life.
On the downside, it forces us into false equivalencies, and our values erode because of this. National currencies do little to protect the value systems of cultures when so much of our economy is global.
Consider something everybody should feel is valuable, the health of your family. Take Bill Gates, a billionaire, myself – a professional engineer with employer paid health insurance, and a farmer in Sierra Leone. Bill Gates is a philanthropist and has taken a special interest in talking about World Health, so I feel that he’s invited me to make this comparison.
Say we each have a family member with a potentially terminal condition. What is it worth to each of us to save the family member’s life? Unless the other two guys are heartless bastards, the answer should be the same. Everything we have. And whatever we can beg, borrow or steal. I can think of no purer equivalency of value than that.
The reality is quite different. Bill Gates net worth is at least 250,000 times what mine is. My net worth may only be about 1,000 times that of the farmer in Sierra Leone. There is very little Bill Gates could do for his family that I couldn’t do. His loved one would be more comfortable, he’d probably get dozens of opinions from specialist from all over the world, but medicine is limited. Rich or not, we’re all human. We age and circumstances beyond the influence of money cause us to get sick, and we all eventually die. Modern medicine can work wonders, but it is rare that money alone can save a life in the United States. There might be some rare diseases with experimental medicine only Bill Gates can afford, but how likely is it his family would be hit with something like that? Pretty random. A more likely cause is heart-disease, cancer, stroke or an accident – things we can prevent but not cure.
Sierra Leone is a different story. One out of twenty children born do not survive their first year of life. One of ten do not survive the first five. One out of seventeen women die giving birth. Average life expectancy is fifty-seven years. There is one doctor for every 20,000 people. The leading cause of death is malaria, which is both preventable and treatable. Simply put, money can buy life in Sierra Leone.
I have specifically chosen genius as a measure of value because most of what we want to use money for is a product of mankind’s genius. Anything manufactured, any service, any form of intellectual property. Agriculture and mining, though they are fruits of nature, cannot be accomplished without the innovations of mankind. The one thing I’ve specifically excluded as a measure of value is real property. Land, and the resources land provides – the king’s gold – is the root cause of almost all war. I believe genius potential is distributed equally across humanity. By making genius the basis of value, then we have a fair distribution of potential across both geographies and cultures.
This can work as good replacement for modern currencies as most of what we trade is already the product of genius. Despite our commerce primarily being the product of human creativity in some form, we have an unequal distribution, not only across the world, but within wealthy countries. Why? Because the underlying measurement is property, and the unit of measure is controlled by governments based on economic concepts that use equivalence of value.
Economists are not stupid. They are aware that something that is worth $50,000 – a Mercedes – is less valuable in real terms than something like a $50,000 heart surgery for a forty-year-old man. In economic terms, they’d calculate the earning potential of the man’s expected lifetime after the surgery, the ability to pay for his children’s education and the economic advantage they’d gain and give you some dollar value, probably in the millions. Heart surgery is an economic investment for the man, his family and for society. This is a common argument for universal health care. When the choice is surgery or a car, the answer is easy.
In Asimov’s Foundation, the science to predict the future is called psychohistory. Psychohistory could not predict individual events in the future, but general trends. Through statistics, psychohistory could predict the direction of the future. It’s the science of mob psychology spread out over a galactic empire of millions of worlds.
Essentially, psychohistory is economics. Economics predicts what changing interest rate and the money supply will do to the economy based on how large groups of people react statistically to the changes based on an equivalency of value. Statistically, we infer that the overall population will make the choices with the best economic returns.
There will be outliers in each group. Some people will make choices not based on economic returns, but the health of their family. Equivalency of value still works statistically on macroeconomic scales, because at any given moment in time, only a small percentage of the population will make their primary economic decisions based on the health of their family.
Couple of problems with this system. First, how well are human mobs at good decision making? Second, what if some random event, like a global pandemic, dramatically changes the ratio of people making decisions primarily based on their family’s health?
Is it feasible to provide a reasonable level of health care to every human on the planet? Of course, this is possible. Is it economically feasible? That’s the wrong question. The right question is, how do we value health care so that its availability is equitable across the population?
The valuation of responsibility makes a lot of sense in health care. That’s exactly what a doctor does. They are taking responsibility for your health – your life essentially. You exchange currency for that responsibility. That goes for all participants in the medical field, from nurses and hospitals to laboratories and drug companies. We trust these people to be responsible, and they are regulated to ensure that they are trustworthy. Using a system based on property for health care belies the actual value of that care. This is why we use insurance to spread the risk. I can say with some satirical-certainly that most lawyers and politicians are in it for the money, I won’t say that about health care workers. It takes time and dedication and tolerance for a lot of gross stuff, so most health care workers really care. That means they are responsible people at heart.
I’m not suggesting that scoot or asimov is appropriate for health care. They’re not. I’m suggesting that we have currencies for congruent values. A value system for genius, a value system for real property, a value system for basic sustenance, and a value system for health care. Genius is the easy one.
I don’t know how to fix these other systems, but from a system engineering point of view, you can’t use the same unit of measure to understand all of them. Applying currency measurement to the medical system is like trying to use a voltmeter on a plumbing system. You might measure some voltage, but it won’t tell you how to make the water flow.
If asimov is successful, it is because we are measuring responsibility. There is no jail for scoot irresponsibility, just an accounting. That accounting only effects those who chose to measure their wealth in responsibility.
If we can find an agreeable way to measure responsibility, we can solve health care, live in a sustainable world, eliminate poverty and end war for good.
 For reference, the ratios in the United States are 1 of 200 for infants, 1 of 153 for age-five, and 1 of 5,263 for maternal mortality. Life expectancy is 78 years and there is a doctor for every 370 people.
 This may not be factual. I’m from Texas, my mother taught me right, so benefit of the doubt.