Because bloggers are being hyped to the gills by the mainstream media, I figured it was a good time to start making interview requests of people who are ordinarily far too important to talk with the likes of me.
I began with Melinda Gates, hoping to clarify her role on social interface software like Bob. I even prepared a Mike Wallace question for the end of the interview: Why did you allow Bob to die in 1996 -- didn't you know anyone at Microsoft with enough pull to save the project?
My request was rejected, but I regard the speed of the reply -- under 48 hours -- as a recognition of the importance of the blogosphere.
"Melinda is not able to participate in this particular opportunity," according to a publicist. No reason was given, but I suspect that she may be preoccupied improving the lives of millions of people through charitable giving on a scale unprecedented in human history.
It's not an unprecedented scale. Andrew Carnegie gave away $350 million of his fortune by the time he died in 1919. I can't seem to find a reliable conversion to current dollars, but it is at least as big in relative terms as Gates's giving.
Carnegie's donations were huge: According to an inflation calculator, $350 million in 1919 dollars is equivalent to $4.4 billion today.
However, the Gates Foundation has an endowment of $28.8 billion and has already passed Carnegie, giving grants in excess of $7.7 billion.
I'm far too scarred by my brief foray into Windows to ever forgive Bill Gates, no matter how much good he does. Let's see him get generous with a hair stylist before we assume he's not the antichrist, hmmkay?
She has an oddly vacant look. Are you sure she's not a Stepford wife?
I'm sure Bill could afford one.