Bill Gates is not new to the world of Reddit AMAs—he completed his fifth question-and-answer session on Tuesday. As you can imagine, the opportunity to question one of the world's most influential living people was met with great enthusiasm.
The questions were about as far from disappointment as you can get, ranging from serious requests about the state of America's political scene to more lighthearted queries about Gates' favorite type of sandwich (read on to find the answer to that one).
This AMA came days after Bill and Melinda Gates shared their annual letter, a much-anticipated dedication to one topic or person that's sent to people all over the world. This year's topic was Warren Buffet and his massive donation (the letter describes it as the "bulk of his fortune") to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help "fight disease and reduce inequity." Many of the questions in the AMA revolved around this year's letter (which you can read in full on the Gates Notes website).
Below, we pulled out some of our favorite questions from Reddit users, and Gates' responses. If you're looking for an afternoon break, head on over to Reddit to read the entire AMA session.
"Do you have a favorite vacation spot?" - frumious88
"Australia is particularly nice. It is summer there when it is winter here so going there in December and January is especially nice. I spent Thanksgiving there last year. I have gotten to travel to a lot of great places like the Amazon in Brazil which I recommend."
The Importance of a Good Hat
"Do you ever disguise yourself and just walk around incognito?" - Navarath
"I sometimes wear a hat. For example when I did college tours with my son I wanted the focus to be totally on him. A lot less people recognize me when I have a hat on or else they realize I am trying to be incognito. Mostly when people do recognize me they are super nice so I don't feel it is a burden to be noticed most of the time."
Note to Self
"If you could give 19 year old Bill Gates some advice, what would it be?" - UncomfortableChuckie
"I would explain that smartness is not single dimensional and not quite as important as I thought it was back then. I would say you might explore the developing world before you get into your forties. I wasn't very good socially back then but I am not sure there is advice that would fix that - maybe I had to be awkward and just grow up..."
"What is your idea of success?" - simonlecomber
"Warren Buffett has always said the measure is whether the people close to you are happy and love you. It is also nice to feel like you made a difference - inventing something or raising kids or helping people in need."
Future Technological Advancements
"What kind of technological advancement do you wish to see in your lifetime?" - qaziee
"The big milestone is when computers can read and understand information like humans do. There is a lot of work going on in this field - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, academia,... Right now computers don't know how to represent knowledge so they can't read a text book and pass a test.
Another whole area is vaccines. We need a vaccine for HIV, Malaria and TB and I hope we have them in the next 10-15 years."
The Best Sandwich
"Ok, Mr. Gates, what's a typical Bill sandwich consist of? I'm talking breads, meats, cheeses, condiments. if you could only have one sandwich on earth, what would it be?" - My_Diet_DrKelp
"Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger."
15 Years From Now...
"Where do you see yourself in 15 years?" - Mabenga
"I will be 76 at that time. Hopefully a grandfather. The Foundation with its partners will have eradicated a number of diseases and health in poor countries will be a lot better - specifically instead of 5% of children under 5 dying it should be at 2.5% which is still a lot.
I hope I can still type fast enough to do Reddit sessions without someone transcribing for me."