Microsoft co-founder turned global philanthropist Bill Gates on Tuesday launched a search for a new toilet better suited to developing countries.
The charitable foundation founded by Gates and his wife kicked off a "Reinvent the Toilet Fair" in Seattle and awarded prizes for promising innovations.
"Toilets are extremely important for public health and, when you think of it, even human dignity," Gates said in a statement at thegatesnotes.com.
"The flush toilets we use in the wealthy world are irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 percent of the global population, because they often don't have access to water, and sewers, electricity, and sewage treatment systems."
My wife once spent two months in Indonesia on a mission trip. While there, she had to throw out her used toilet paper as their septic systems could not handle toilet paper for some reason. After a bit of discussion about it with my wife, we both concluded that the Indonesians were content to use their left hand rather than a more sanitary option like toilet paper or even a hose up their butt.
The fact is, most of these nations have no desire to make their lives easier. I know that is a harsh reality to face, but you have to understand that no matter how much technological advancement we provide, usually at great expense to the taxpayer, these folks never seem to care for such things and prefer the old ways, for whatever reason.
At this point, given all the foreign aid, charitable organizations both religious and secular, and the various other endeavors to provide the third world a better life, I am convinced that the people who do not live in Western civilization do not share the same desires, hopes, and dreams as we do. While there are plenty of people who live in these areas who do desire to see better things like we do, they are not in the majority.
Now, I know that many of them do not have infrastructure (code word for roads, schools, or whatever domestic agenda a Statist desires to see provided at our expense), but at the same time, if they wanted any kind of infrastructure, I suspect that they would have provided it for themselves by now, especially with all the money, time, and blood the West has poured into the Third World.
I am not saying that the Third World is ungrateful. I am saying they simply do not care about living the complicated lives that we do in our modern, technologically driven society. This does not cast a noble light on them either, as they are simply a different culture.
Perhaps one day in the far future, the descendants of these folks will decide that they are tired of wiping their asses with their left hands and will look to whatever power has survived the current upheaval (and any future ones to boot) and see what they are doing about it. For now, though, I think it is time we recognized that the inhabitants of the Third World really don’t care about our technological prowess and that we stop wasting our time, money, and blood on modernizing them. After all, as Vox Day has pointed out, it took the Brits several centuries to go from blue-assed savages to the snobbish elites we all know and love.
Bill Gates should take note of this and not waste his time or money. Of course he will not and will try and make the toilet of tomorrow.