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Bill Gates Is More Admired Than the Pope 470

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the he-can-afford-more-hats dept.
walterbyrd writes "Americans admire Bill Gates more than the Pope, the Dalai Lama and even Glenn Beck. The Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist was named the fifth most admired man of 2010, according to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll."
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Bill Gates Is More Admired Than the Pope

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  • Problem: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:53AM (#34915080)
    Most people admire his money, not his work, or the individual himself. I bet he also makes the "most loathed" list as well (along with the Pope)!
    • Re:Problem: (Score:5, Funny)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:57AM (#34915124) Journal
      Hey, never underestimate the power of "Has never covered up a massive multinational paedophilia ring" on your CV...
      • Re:Problem: (Score:4, Funny)

        by sorak (246725) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @11:37AM (#34916416)

        Hey, never underestimate the power of "Has never covered up a massive multinational paedophilia ring" on your CV...

        But everybody lies on their CV.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Hey at least the pope got a catchy song [madville.com] out of it! The closest thing old Bill got to a catchy song was the Ballmer Monkey going "WOOOO!" and bouncing around the stage yelling developers like a silverback on crack. Does anyone else miss old Bill? I miss old Bill, he had that "evil uber nerd" thing down pat. I always pictured him muttering to himself when he crushed a competitor "Yeah! That's what you get for stuffing me in those lockers in junior high school! Who's the shrimp now huh?" while his flunkies tri

    • Re:Problem: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by h4rm0ny (722443) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:01AM (#34915186) Journal
      How do you know that? Maybe many people admire him for building such a towering business as Microsoft. Besides, take a look at the full poll (Gates comes in at position 5). Obama is at the top and I can tell you more about what Bill Gates did to get there than I can Barak Obama. And if you object to that, note that George W. Bush is in at position #2. Should either of these people be held more highly than the scientists and engineers who contribute to the knowledge of the nation, or the entrepreneurs who bring in vast amounts of wealth to it through innovative products?
      • Re:Problem: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:09AM (#34915298) Homepage Journal

        Many people simply assume that he has to be smart in order to have created Microsoft and made so much money. In a way, they are correct, but it doesn't necessarily mean he was the smartest technically, which is what also many assume.

        I think if you got together many of the technical thinkers of our time and asked them who the 20 best computer innovators were, Gates would have a hard time on that list (as well as Jobs) and it would be filled with people whom the average guy would never have heard of. Gates' real accomplishment is being able to take other people's ideas, dumb them down, and give people a wink and a nod to make people think they are his without really lying.

        • by Stooshie (993666)
          " ... I think if you got together many of the technical thinkers of our time and asked them who the 20 best computer innovators were , Gates would have a hard time on that list (as well as Jobs) and it would be filled with people whom the average guy would never have heard of ... "

          Cool, fine, but that's not what the poll was asking. And they were asking a large mixture of people.

          I'm sure if you asked a bunch of astronomers or musicians or theologians who they admire most you'd get some names the average
        • Re:Problem: (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nadaka (224565) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @12:04PM (#34916700)

          Bill Gates is very intelligent. He wrote significant parts of Microsoft first set of products, he can code (or at least he could in the early 80s). In business he was a deceitful backstabbing manipulative bastard. And now his is spending billions on his philanthropy. I won't dismiss that Gates is/was an ass, but he does deserve some credit.

      • How do you know that? Maybe many people admire him for building such a towering business as Microsoft.

        Precisely why most people hate him. I like his philanthropy, though.

      • Re:Problem: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fnj (64210) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:48AM (#34915848)

        Not only that, but Obama is so far ahead in this poll that the others are all just a bunch of no account losers in comparison; Gates included. The message of this poll is not that Gates comes in ahead of the Pope; it's that Obama overshadows all the others put together.

    • Re:Problem: (Score:5, Funny)

      by vtcodger (957785) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @11:20AM (#34916218)

      One also needs to consider the competition. George the Clueless, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, the Clintons (both of them!!). With about three exceptions you could distill all the moral courage, integrity, and good sense of the folks on that list into a droplet about the size of an undernourished bacteria.

      Upon reviewing the list, I think there is only one conclusion. We're doomed.

  • Duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by chemicaldave (1776600) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:54AM (#34915096)
    There are only 68 million Catholics in the US according to wikipedia. How many Windows users are there?
    • Re:Duh (Score:5, Funny)

      by Pharmboy (216950) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:58AM (#34915134) Journal

      Another thing, Catholicism never got out of beta. They are still working on the same code base as 2000 years ago. Can't keep people's attentions if you don't add new features.

      I was raised devout Catholic. I got over it.

      • Re:Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vlm (69642) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:05AM (#34915244)

        Another thing, Catholicism never got out of beta. They are still working on the same code base as 2000 years ago. Can't keep people's attentions if you don't add new features.

        You need to study your theology. Continuous implementation of new ideas. Slowly. And always with claiming its Gods will and its always been that way. But by no means the same codebase. Things like no married priests and stealing all the pagan holidays for themselves (christmas, etc) are much more recent than 2000 years. Think "GNU hurd" speed not "Linux" speed. Cathedral vs bazzar, literally.

        Now if you want programming analogies, try codebase forks like the protestant revolution and holy wars like vi vs emacs.

        • by Cyberax (705495)

          "You need to study your theology. Continuous implementation of new ideas."

          LOL! Theology is nothing but inventing lame excuses for lame myths. Courtier's reply sums it quite nicely: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/the_courtiers_reply.php [scienceblogs.com]

          Theology was not able to adequately answer even the simplest questions: "Why there is evil?", "Why there are different religions?", "Should we rely on faith rather than facts?".

          In this regard theology is even worse than philosophy (I'm not including theology as a

      • Windows still seems like its not out of Beta as well....
      • Re:Duh (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:11AM (#34915342) Homepage

        Thing is, when they really started adding new features in earnest during the Renaissance, some guys (like Martin Luther and Henry VIII) started getting so pissed off about that they forked the project. This led to a highly fragmented market and conflicts almost as bad as the Unix Wars.

      • Re:Duh (Score:4, Informative)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:22AM (#34915500) Journal
        That is why they added a plugin architecture and an app store:

        As long as a given saint or ritual has been approved by the Vatican for compatibility with the main codebase, any catholic individual or institution is free to snap it in to his/her/its devotional architecture, with each addition delivering its own fresh and exciting mixture of content, sightseeing destinations, and spiritual services.

        (and, in practice, their is fairly broad acceptance of those catholics who, looking for a leaner, less resource-hungry, faith, use 'cLite' or similar tools to strip theoretically-required-but-architecturally-optional modules out of the base install.)
    • by Daetrin (576516)
      And it wasn't that long ago that someone was considered unelectable as president if they were a Catholic. The Catholic church has never been that popular in America due to our Protestant founders.
  • eww (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @09:55AM (#34915104)

    the fact that Glenn Beck and Billy Graham are even on this list makes me want to vomit.

    • Seriously. Gates is the only one on the list that isn't a political or religious figure. The drop off in percentages is striking as well. Here's the list:

      1. Barack Obama (22%)

      2. George W. Bush (5%)

      3. Bill Clinton (4%)

      4. Nelson Mandela (2%)

      5. Bill Gates (2%)

      6. (tie) Pope Benedict XVI (2%)

      6. (tie) Rev. Billy Graham (2%)

      8. (tie) Jimmy Carter (2%)

      8. (tie) Glenn Beck (2%)

      10. The Dalai Lama (1%)

      Personally, I think those ties are hilarious.

  • that America's true religion is money.

  • That depends. You also have to include all of the Star Wars fans who sympathize with the Empire when you count the pope's supporters, since everyone knows he's the preincarnation of Emperor Palpatine.

  • What is there to admire about the Pope?

    Then again, there's not too much to admire about Bill Gates if you consider that the damage he's done with Windows may outstrip the philanthropic work he's done. I wonder how many homework assignments/theses etc have been lost to BSODs, and how much money people have lost to malware and zombie-assisted spam scams, etc.

  • Most of them on the list are political and religious personalities. I wouldn't put any of them as admirable, they are all just very personable people who wants everyone else to think they way they do. Actually with that List Bill Gates is probably the most admirable one there. He is actually trying to make a difference where everyone else just talks about it.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:05AM (#34915238) Journal

    Also Nolan Bushnell. Most people have never heard of these guys, due to MS and Apple becoming dominant and rewriting history, but these guys were the True pioneers. Nolan Bushnell created the first successful videogames company. Atari was dominant from circa 1972 to 1984.

    Commodore's Jack Tramiel had a "business is war" philosophy that put 30 million ~$200 computers in people's homes, and forced the competitors to drop their prices too (from the previous ~$3000 standard).

    And Jay Miner practically invented the multimedia computer. First with the 128 color Atari video chip, then the more-advanced 128 color ANTIC used in the 400/800 computers, and eventually the 4000+ color GPU inside the Amiga. He also pioneered music-quality sound with his Paula device, and multitaking for home computers. It took the Mac/PC world ten years to catch-up.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      He also pioneered music-quality sound with his Paula device

      No he didn't.

      He copied, cheaply, from the synthesizer industry.. where more than a few companies were using sample-based synths.

      Commodore should have stuck with the designer of the SID chip, because that guy is the one who revolutionized computer audio when he went to Ensoniq.

      That 4-channel Amiga chip wasnt even the best in computers at the time, which happened to be in the AppleIIgs which sported a 16-channel Ensoniq DOC2 chip... and each channel was panable too. Fast foward a few years and the PC r

  • by smartin (942) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:05AM (#34915240)

    Some one had to say it.

  • I get the Pope and Dalai Lama part, but more admired than Beck?? That's just wrong!
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Maybe some thought that the poll was referring to Beck, purveyor of vaguely folkish alterna-rock?

  • Margin of Error? (Score:5, Informative)

    by celticryan (887773) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:09AM (#34915310)
    What a horrible poll.

    The sample size quoted was 1019. At 95% confidence level, the simple statistical error is about 3%. That puts basically everyone from 2-9 at the same amount of admiration...
    • Glad I'm not the only statistician in here.

      Essentially, what this survey really says is that most Americans at least know their current president and remember the last one.

      • by mangu (126918)

        what this survey really says is that most Americans at least know their current president and remember the last one.

        No, it says that 22% of Americans know their current president, 5% think the last one is still in the White House, and 4% think the next to the last president is still there.

  • If you ask whether I'd rather have surprise diarrhea while having sex or while making a speech in front of a thousand people, I guess I'd still have to pick one.

  • Bill Gates, Glenn Beck, the Pope, or the Dalai Lama? What were my other choices again? As a liberal atheist if that's all i've got to choose from i'd go with either Bill Gates or the Dalai Lama too, and i've been boycotting the XBox ever since the first model came out, despite being an avid gamer.

    I haven't read TFA, so i wouldn't be surprised if those weren't the only options, but from my perspective at least that's a pretty weird selection to choose for comparison.
    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:40AM (#34915736)

      I'd have to take Gates from those four as well.

      Gates is monopolistic businessman, who has got out of that business now and is doing something worthwhile with the ill gotten gains.

      Beck is either insane or an entertainer playing with fire.

      The Pope and the Dalai Lama are both actively evil.

      • The Dalai Lama is actively evil? Perhaps I am not up with recent news but I never heard that opinion before. Perhaps you could furnish us with some links (preferably not originating from the Chinese government)
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:11AM (#34915332)

    People are distrustful of religion in general, and the Pope in particular. Bill Gates comes with none of that baggage. Aside from a few of us /. geeks, Bill Gates' reputation as both a philanthropist and entrepreneur is pretty much spotless among the general public. And, among much of the American public, Companies like MS and Apple are also seen as some of the few bright spots in an economy that has seen American manufacturing going into the shitter for the last 40 years. It wouldn't surprise me if Steve Jobs beat the Pope too.

  • Why would anyone admire the pope? An idiot with a silly hat, that's all there is to him.

  • Bill Gates is not heading an organisation which systematically has indulged in child abuse? Yeah ok, Microsoft fucks their customers over. And their suppliers. And their partners. And the lawmakers. But those are all ADULTS!!!
  • and the notion that you can get super rich coming from humble beginnings. That said, the funny part is Bill Gates comes from money. His day was a rich, well connected business lawyer whose experience & connections gave Bill what he needed to succeed, and the 1 million dollar trust fund in 1970 didn't hurt either. I guess the illusion is all that counts.
  • I hate Bill Gates, but I admire him more than I do the Pope. Yes, that's how much I don't admire the Pope at all.

  • Beck is awesome...Two Turntables, baby! I didn't know his first name was Glen.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @10:23AM (#34915504)

    Most admired men, Top 3: Obama, Bush, Clinton.
    Most admired women, Top 3: Clinton, Palin, Oprah.

    So the top 3 admired men are the 3 most recent presidents (in order of forgetting). The top 3 women are two loudmouths and a dimwit. Pick yourself who is what.

    I refuse to believe that this survey is representative for the US population. I know too many US people to simply assume that this is what Americans admire.

    I'd rather have the gut feeling that this is what could be reached at home during daytime, i.e. when people who have a job go to work...

  • 40 years ago, John Lennon said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

    OTOH, I have never cursed the Pope by name, but I have often cursed Bill Gates while recovering from a crash or a lock-up.

  • by PPH (736903) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @11:17AM (#34916192)

    ... Windows is a bigger religion.

    (Ducking and running)

  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @11:23AM (#34916266)

    That is a truly troubling thought.

  • by jjohnson (62583) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @11:38AM (#34916430) Homepage

    Outside of Catholic bashing by competing denominations, why should someone admire the Pope, either the office itself or Benedict personally? Aside from the extremely mixed record of the Catholic Church, Benedict was personally involved in covering up sex abuse scandals in Europe. When he wasn't doing that, he was pushing a conservative brand of Catholicism that rejected both abortion and birth control, and is rigidly anti-gay. He's not a moral exemplar, he hasn't accomplished great works of charity or mercy, and he's generally a force for nothing but the preservation of a worldwide institution's survival and autonomy.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @12:04PM (#34916686) Homepage

    Hell, I admire Bill Gates more than Glenn Beck too.

    I barely feel like punching Bill Gates in the face a tenth as much as I want to punch Glenn Beck.

  • by okmijnuhb (575581) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @12:20PM (#34916908)
    Wow even more than Glenn Beck? Why even throw his name in the mix? Did he do something worthy of admiration?
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @04:04PM (#34919686) Homepage
    I should sure as hell hope Bill Gates is more admired than Glenn Beck.

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