back to article Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

Philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates has denied that his support for coronavirus vaccine research is cover for his plans to dominate the world with 5G-activated mind control microchips. In an interview with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell, Gates was highly critical of the USA's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying …

  1. Ron22

    This coming from a nob end who can't even get the software he bought to work properly...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You seem to have the incorrect thread....this is about trying to save peoples lives!

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        or how about just pointing out the silliness of the anti-vaxer conspiracy theories in general?

        I happen to like vaccines very much, I was a pincushion for them when I was in the Navy, and occasionally go for the inexpensive flu shots when available.

        So yeah SOME real dangers from vaccines, but you just have to have the smarts to watch for them. Flu shots CAN give you the flu, or a rash, or other allergic reaction. But they usually don't. So you either get a doctor to monitor it, or show some common sense and read the warnings on the label...

        (/me not a doctor, so YMMV)

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Flu shots absolutely cannot give you the flu. That's simply impossible.

          That's like claiming you can ride a steering wheel to work. You do need the rest of the car.

          1. MatthewSt Bronze badge

            Correct, but most of what people think "the flu" is is actually the body's immune response to the virus rather than the virus itself, so while you won't get the flu, you may have a number of (dialled down) symptoms.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Isn't the overacting immune response the bit that's causing the covid19 deaths as well?

              1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

                Sometimes, yes, other times it's the virus hijacking and disrupting too many cells that causes problems.

                For example, and a very crude approximation, if the virus infects 20% of your lung cells then your capacity to breathe is down by 20%. Losing lung capacity is normally considered quite a bad thing and from personal experience a few months ago wasn't fun at all.

                It's things like this that made it so dangerous for frontline care staff in regimes that didn't give a shit about PPE. Through being heavily exposed to it a front line carer could start with such a high initial infection of the virus that there was barely time for their body's immune response and the natural repairing of damaged cells to allow for normal biological function while their body fought it off. Add in being overworked and stressed as well and it was often a recipe for (fatal) disaster.

        2. J. Cook Silver badge

          You sir, get the rare upvote from me. (I may not agree with you on a great many things, but I can agree with you on this one.)

    2. TheProf Silver badge
      Trollface

      Hi Ron22

      Just created an account so you could insult Bill Gates or do you intend to dazzle us with you insight and wit later on?

      1. Trollslayer Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Hi Ron22

        Another site I visit frequently gets the same problem (infection?) now and then but we (the users) expose them.

    3. Def Silver badge

      Just to clarify, was your comment related to the article, or was it (as I suspect) a meta statement about your comment that you made while you were writing the comment which it was about?

    4. Simon Ward

      Whilst I loathe and detest the fact that Microsoft-era BillG (and his successor, Monkey-boy Ballmer) got insanely rich by pushing sub-standard products, there's no denying that since stepping down from MS, Bill has put a fuck-ton of money into healthcare initiatives and the like, and it's not just Bezos style 'tax dodge disguised as charity work' lip-service, either.

      I don't have to like the guy (I don't, see above) but respect is most definitely due for his charitable efforts.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Not just his own money - Gates, along with Warren Buffet, has been prominent in efforts to convince other billionaires that really, after their second private island and third Lamborghini, they can donate most of their fortune to charity with no impact upon their lifestyle.

        And not just any charity, but a charity that has put some very smart minds into getting good value for the cash - ie trying to do the most amount of human good for the least money. This doesn't mean scrimping, it can mean supplying a shit ton of money immediately for 'a stitch in time saves nine' type problems such as infectious disease.

        MS software has caused me X amount of frustration over the years, but I don't think anyone can claim that any amount of Windows-related annoyance can compare to the consequences of famine, illiteracy or poor sanitation. I've always been able to turn off the computer and pick up a book or go to the pub.

        1. c1ue

          I don’t doubt there are people working in the Buffet and Gates foundations to do good.

          But it is also transparently clear that a charitable foundation is the best way to make a huge fortune live forever. The 5% spend rate is easily matched or exceeded by hoard growth rates, particularly with heavily paid managers, and the tax free nature doesn’t hurt either. See: Rockefeller

          1. General Purpose

            Yes, some foundations are managed so that they can continue delivering public benefit indefinitely. Others have a deliberate policy of spending the capital within within x years. You don't hear about them so much because they disappear, according to plan. There's a lot to be said for that approach.

            But it's strange to imply that long-lasting charitable foundations are all about making someone's fortune live forever. They quite literally take someone's fortune from them and put it to charitable use.

            1. General Purpose

              PS The Gates Foundation's set to spend everything within 20 years.of Bill & Melinda Gates' deaths, and spend Buffet's contribution within 10 years of his death.

        2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          "Not just his own money"

          Yes - OUR money. It's all very well being philanthropic now, Microsoft still has plenty of bad karma for sharp practice over a lot of years.

          Mind you, when it started, Microsoft hobbyist software had a lot more users than paying customers, you know what we're like. You can understand him feeling that he was owed.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        Whilst I loathe and detest the fact that Microsoft-era BillG (and his successor, Monkey-boy Ballmer) got insanely rich by pushing sub-standard products

        It might be sub-standard but it has powered the PC revolution and even the wider IT revolution. Could something better have done that? Sure. Might it have turned out better if another company had been the major driving force? I doubt it. Who were/are Microsoft's competitors? Oracle? IBM? Lotus? Apple? Novell? Sco?

        I think we are where we are (which for the most part is pretty damn good) because of how humans develop and exploit technology. Microsoft just happens to have managed to hang on to the beast and even direct it better/longer than most.

        And for all that I struggle with MS software (one advantage of working from home is that I can rant and rave at Visual Studio as loud as I want) it has kept me in gainful employment for 30 years and provided me with all the computer fun I've ever wanted.

        1. alain williams Silver badge

          What if MS had not become dominant ?

          It might be sub-standard but it has powered the PC revolution and even the wider IT revolution. Could something better have done that?

          It was a product of its time - if MS DOS/Windows had not appeared then something else would have.

          I remember SCO ODT was quite nice & better than what MS had some 30 years ago; the unfortunate thing was that it cost far too much for widespread adoption -- because they had licensed many components from elsewhere. Pity.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What if MS had not become dominant ?

            Just the mention of SCO brings back bad memories, not the early SCO who were great, but the later litigation happy idiots that took them over, serves as a reminder that while Microsoft were no angels it could have been much worse if some other companies achieved dominance.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: What if MS had not become dominant ?

              Unless you believe that the "evil SCO" was a Microsoft run campaign

              IIRC Microsoft paid SCO $MM in 'fees' as their anti-Linux thing kicked off

              Certainly Microsoft resellers were coming upto our Linux software at shows and telling us that our customers would be sued because Linux was stolen

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What if MS had not become dominant ?

            It might be sub-standard but it has powered the PC revolution and even the wider IT revolution. Could something better have done that?

            ...

            It was a product of its time - if MS DOS/Windows had not appeared then something else would have.

            If IBM hadn;t been such dickwads and bell-ends, we could have had CP/M and GEM.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What if MS had not become dominant ?

              We did have CPM and GEM, Atari 520st for example or if you want a superior product then the Amiga with preemptive multitasking, something that MS didn't get working until '90s

              Windows didn't gain dominance through excellence it was purely about money to the right people and litigating anyone else out of the market so they could buy/steal their innovations.

            2. Eeep !

              Re: What if MS had not become dominant ?

              CP/M would have evolved to be similar to MS DOS/Windows as soon as a CPM/<windows-ish-thing> was possible. Who knows, possibly a better more inclusive/accessible bunch of INTs?

              And as for GEM - excellent compared with Framemaker and whatever drawing components MS Office supports these days. It wasn't the features it supported, just that it was obvious what the "click-to-select" would actually select, and Framemaker had a contextual menu that seemed to select the least applicable option, seriously, select a circle, click the menu, click three times to get the menu option you originally wanted from the list - it was like no-one actually had real usage patterms.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @"It was a product of its time - if MS DOS/Windows had not appeared then something else would have."

            MSDOS = CPM86 ripoff

            Windows NT = VMS ripoff

            Windows GUI = darpa/xerox/apple rip off

            You have it all the wrong way around, MS products were always inferior copies of existing products (excepting perhaps 4k basic), I personally cannot think of anything that MS made money from that was actually not just another inferior ripoff released to destroy any chance of fair competition.

            Bill and friends got their money via litigation piracy and dirty tricks, even if they give everything they own to charity it can never balance the books no matter what their shills/droids say.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: It was a product of its time - if MS DOS/Windows had not appeared then something else would have

              "Bill and friends got their money via litigation piracy and dirty tricks, even if they give everything they own to charity it can never balance the books no matter what their shills/droids say."

              Yep, agreed. I can't really fault BillG for eventually "seeing the light" and beginning the penance of giving back because he's in "good" company. Look at the career of Carnegie and when he "retired" how many libraries and theatres/halls are named from his endowments. History is littered with the super-rich who tried to buy their way onto heaven once they realised that mortality actually does apply to them.

          4. PhilipN Silver badge

            Re: What if MS had not become dominant ?

            "something else would have"

            Heard of OS/2?

            Compared with which Eric Raymond described Windows 95 as "shockingly inferior".

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge

          It might be sub-standard but it has powered the PC revolution and even the wider IT revolution. Could something better have done that? Sure. Might it have turned out better if another company had been the major driving force?

          If you excised MS from time, the PC revolution would still have happened, perhaps a little differently, remaining a little more fragmented for longer (such as the early Commodore, Amstrad, Sinclair etc era).

          That we might be in a better place is just as likely as an a worse.

          1. Stumpy

            I think this is the history you're looking for ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JOD1AQGqEg

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            without MS and intel there was no such thing as a PC, home/micro computers existed as to the fragmentation due to multiple players competing in the same market this was due to cost and availability of hardware and acted to reduce overall control of the market, a good thing

            What you would be better dreaming about is if ARM had the funding, growth for evolution the 8086 did whilst remaining a licensing company. Given that the 8086 was based upon the old 8080 technology it limited the PC's evolution in a way that the ARM never would have. The smart mobile market would have started much earlier as well along with the associated home gadgets a nd perhaps earlier enough for the likes of google not to grab control.

            All in all the PC has IMHO had a unrecognised negative impact on computing and society, where once there was real hope and enthusiasm for the future now it is all about doing the least for the maximum return with no thought for anyone but yourself. No pride, no openness just grab what you can and screw everyone else.

        3. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Exactly that. There's an awful ot wrong with MS with MS Software and ways of working created by MS.

          But at the end of the day it's a fuck sight easier to use WORD than some of the shit that was around in offices in the early 80s. You don't need a long list of * codes taped to the side of the desk to be able to insert into the page to format a document like the WP software that our admins had to use then.. (Was it called Wordstar?).

          By and large a Windows PC starts, runs and lets us use the software we need to do stuff without getting in the way of doing stuff. In fact the biggest post-Gates problem has been software that puts itself above the task- like those fucking stupid Win 8 "charms" that could only be found when you didn't want them.

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            codes taped to the side of the desk to be able to insert into the page to format a document like the WP software that our admins had to use then.. (Was it called Wordstar?)
            I much preferred Wordstar.

            I also feel increased software usability was a mistake. Making it easy for idiots to use computers has led to all the QAnon crap, 5G mast arson, Trump's twitter, ad nauseam. We should have kept it difficult - not exclusive just not idiot proof.

          2. J. Cook Silver badge

            You are thinking the DOS and early versions of WordPerfect. which was an entirely adequate word processor that *used* to dominate along with Wordstar.

            Wordstar was a victim of their success, and was probably a dead duck by the mid 90s.

            Novell bought Wordperfect, which occurred about the same time that Word started to eat their lunch. Corel ended up with it, and they still sell it, oddly enough. It's enough of a niche product with a die-hard userbase.

            1. First Light Bronze badge

              WordPerfect was the assistant/secretary/word processors' dream product. I used Wordperfect in the 90's, and was shocked when I changed jobs and had to use MS Word. It was SUCH an inferior product, especially unstable with large docs and did weird things with margins and tables. WordPerfect was way more stable.

              I seem to remember that, back then, even though you could easily open a MS Word doc in WP, you could NOT NO NEVER open a WP doc in MS Word.

              I remember filing a large and important legal report in court in the early 2000s that at the last minute got a ton of errors exactly because of stupid MS Word incapacity to handle large-size docs. Had to file an errata sheet because of the software. Pffffh!

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              I can't remember what that programme was called tbh. I do remember that we had admins doing typing in the high-up's offices, who literally took pride in being able to remember some less common formatting codes ( underline say) and that they used to shout across the office to one another sometimes to inquire what the code for xx was. And had lists taped to their desks if they weren't in a shared office. And I remember highly specialised teachers handwriting serious professional reports, or typing with two fingers on a little Brother ( I think it was) typewriter and making literal carbon copies ( or a bit later photocopies) of reports that would affect a child's whole life, and maybe even be used in evidence in a court or tribunal. So I'm pleased that Microsoft made their universally available software that was simple enough for everyone to use ( to some extent at least) if they put a little bit of effort into it. Not everyone did, at first. And I have stories...

              But eventually we were all spending a hell of lot less time doing admin when we needed to be seeing kids, producing clear reports that could be proof read and amended for clarity and then printed out onto a sheet of paper with as many copies as needed, all (relatively) crisp and clean ( and legible!).

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Well, whatever your "admins" were using, it wasn't WordStar and likely not WordPerfect either. More likely it was some more esoteric mainframe editor or word processor. Most of the WordStar commands were memorable once you learned them, eg *U start/end Underline, ^B start/end Bold. Cut'n'paste? ^KB for blocK Begin, ^KE for blocK End, ^KC for blocK Copy. There was a logic to it because WordStar pre-dated the PC and the terminals or CP/M computers it ran on may or may not have function keys or even cursor keys. More advanced stuff could be done with the "dot" command, eg .ps turns on proportional spacing, .HE define a page header, .FO define a page footer, .PN set a page number. Memorable enough that I still remember them 25 years later (and probably many more if I put my mind to it! - Can you remember where that command you want is on MSWord? Sure? Which version of Word? When did they move it to THAT menu!?!?!?)

                WordPerfect went the root of using the Function key + modifiers for all of the most common functions, making it harder to learn, especially without the plastic keyboard overlay naming the four command each function key could do (normal, shift, alt & ctrl)

                I'd say the only significant difference in the learning curve is if you sit down in front of a program such as WordStar from that era, odds are that you can't do anything with it without a manual or training, no matter your previous skills or experience. With GUI based software, most people can use previous skills or experience to at least start typing.

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  That's a very significant difference in the vast number of small offices, council departments and of course schools, where training was (and still to a large extent still is ) is a mythical creature that administrators might have heard about in a rumour once.

                  You can and should argue that this is the wrong way to do stuff. My experience is that the hardware, software and training are all begrudged by the powers-that-be in increasing amounts.

                  It starts with "You can have a computer for the office" but they don't allow a budget for software, then down the line they might accept the need for proper software, but no time or budget for training, then a year later they'll allow you to spend an afternoon with Nancy in accounts, who has taught herself ( or has been taught by a family member/neighbour. how to use......etc.).

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    That's the case now, because employers assume that people can already use Windows, therefore they can use Windows programs, they learned how at school, college, uni etc., and anyway, the job application spec said they should be able to use it. My experience back in the DOS days (and CP/M prior to that), was that the few businesses and even local Councils that bought PCs, would usually train people to use those very, very expensive Capital Investments to get the maximum return on their investments. The training was often basic, limited to just enough to operate the computer and use the program(s) required, but it was usually there and done properly. As you say, nowadays, it's almost non-existent and what does exist is often poorly designed on-line "interactive" training of a "one size fits none" type.

          3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            But at the end of the day it's a fuck sight easier to use WORD than some of the shit that was around in offices in the early 80s.

            WordPerfect was a far better, far more efficient pord processor to work with. Nothing else has properly replaced it. Certainly far better for troubleshooting and fixing messed-up documents. It's once Corel bought them it got seriously fucked up.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Headmaster

              "far more efficient pord processor"

              Clearly you are still missing it!

            2. vistisen

              Seriously?

              Remember WYSIWUG?

              with Wordperfect for DOS it was WYSINLTWC

              What You See Is Nothing Like The Written Copy

            3. keith_w Bronze badge

              I remember starting a new PC support job and get called to the receptionist's desk because her computer was too slow. Got there and found that she had a 22 line word perfect 4.2 code display which mostly consisted of bold on/bold off and italic on / italic off and other codes, but little or no text in between till the end and which updated every one of those lines every time she pressed a key. On a 386SX with 1 meg of memory. And that was not the last time I had to deal with that problem.

        4. J. Cook Silver badge
          Pint

          Same here.

          I may scream, rant, and froth at the mouth over because some chucklehead made it not only difficult, but extremely obscure to fix something in Exchange that should never have gotten broken (or at least screams warnings somewhere else than a debug or event log), but it does earn me a pittance that I call a paycheck, and provides me with steady employment.

          (that obscure setting? a receive connector for SecureSMTP- you have to assign it a certificate, and it doesn't tell you that the certificate has expired, it just stops working until you utter a very obscure set of EMS commands to bind a new certificate in a very specific manner....)

          Beer icon, because I needed one after that debacle...

        5. Stuart Castle Silver badge

          Microsoft software is, in many ways, substandard. but it has powered the PC revolution (for better or worse). Would anyone else have done it? I don't know. I remember reading years ago (early 90s) an interview with a senior MS Bod in which the interviewer asked whether Microsoft would support platforms other than the PC/Windows.

          There reply was that MS would happily support any platform where they felt they could make money. For all their faults, they do seem to have fairly consistently stuck to that. Even during the 90s where they were done for anti-competitive practices, they experimented with Amiga support (sadly limited to the awful Amiga Basic), and were fairly actively supporting the Mac. Now, with their primary focus on the cloud, and not on software sales, they are actively supporting several competing platforms (Android, iOS, macOS) as well as Windows.

          Of course, Microsoft (at least the 90s Microsoft) didn't want to compete on a given platform, they wanted to control it, but that is what they were done for.

          But, would the PC revolution have happened without Microsoft? I don't think so, at least not with any of the other companies involved at the time. Most companies in th PC market at the time are likely to have tried to tie people to their own system. They wouldn't have wanted compatibility with the competition. Indeed, IBM perceived all the PC cloners as copyright infringers, and start legal action to try and stop a lot of them.. IBM would have locked the PC down to IBM (and perhaps Microsoft) operating systems. As would Apple. I daresay Dell, Gateway and a lot of the other manufactures would have done so as well. Even Apple (perhaps especially Apple).

          Microsoft in the 90s didn't have a dedicated hardware platform to push, at least in terms of PCs (they have had various mobile, tablet and console platforms). They just cared that whatever PC the user ran, they were running Windows and other MS software on it.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Yes. Microsoft grew up in a period in which every computer company was developing their own incompatible boxes with their own incompatible software packages. It seems to be a thing in the computer world. They tried the same thing with the internet, " Walled gardens" was the phrase, with the likes of AOL trying to tie the users to their own sites.

      3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        I don't have to like the guy (I don't, see above) but respect is most definitely due for his charitable efforts.

        Not ALL of his so-called "charitable" efforts. I dislike some (most) of his political agenda even more than I despise his inOperable System.

        1. Spanners Silver badge
          WTF?

          @jelabarre5j9

          I dislike some (most) of his political agenda

          Like over 95% of humanity, I am not in/from the USA so I have no idea what you are talking about. He seems educated and does not give the impression of a "right-winger". As the USA doesn't actually have a left wing, are you unhappy that he is not conservative enough?

      4. N2 Silver badge
        Pint

        Agreed

        Huge respect for what Bill and Melinda have achieved charity wise

        Pints for efforts

        And if their software was perfect, I wouldn't have (semi) retired at 52

      5. fajensen Silver badge
        Pint

        got insanely rich by pushing sub-standard products,

        OTOH - All sucessful ecosystems have parasites, meaining: If those products were of a higher standard, people like I would be driving crappier cars and live in smaller, crappier, homes because we wouldn't be fixing them all the time!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yeah thanks for that, alright Jacks, you managed to cash in on the damage done to society so for you it is a good thing.

          I imagine weapon/drug dealers feel the same way i.e. who cares if someone else dies you got your pound of flesh

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re "Yeah thanks for that, alright Jacks, you managed to cash in on the damage done to...."etc.

            What do you even mean? Which post are you referring back to, AC

    5. Mr Dogshit
      FAIL

      "This coming from a nob end who can't even get the software he bought to work properly..."

      What does that even mean?

      1. Tim99 Silver badge
        Windows

        Possibly QDOS; Tripod/Ruby; etc.?

    6. MJI Silver badge

      It is post Gates/Ballmer Windows I struggle with.

      XP was worked on by Gates, the biggest issue with it was the file dialogue not remembers I NEED details.

      So the high point of Windows was Gates period.

      He was a proper techie as well.

      1. DutchBasterd

        Windows has never been better than 10. Powershell, Linux subsystem, great backwards compatibility.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          For me, 7 was the pinnacle. Windows went rapidly downhill from there to the data-slurping, UX-fail mess it is today.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Come down entirely to what you want to do.

            Have a lot of DOS software XP is newest you can go.*

            * Full screen 16 bit sub systems, WIN16 support

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              If it's THAT old, why not use DOSBOX or a VM?

          2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            I actually preferred MSWindows 2000. The candy-ass interface on MSWin XP was a sign of abominations to come.

            1. Tim99 Silver badge
              Windows

              Yes, this... Have an upvote.

            2. N2 Silver badge

              NT4 / W2000 to a Novell 3.11 server, was perhaps the most productive and least destructive environment for me.

    7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Some first posts are good. Some are by people who blundered into the wrong forum by mistake.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Some first posts are good. Some are by people who blundered into the wrong forum by mistake.

        Good on the the benefit of the doubt. But on the the other hand, Trolls are popping up everywhere lately. I'm thinking their mother didn't give them enough attention.

        1. Glen 1 Silver badge
          Coat

          Its all about the effort you... Putin

      2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Some first posts are good. Some are by people who blundered into the wrong forum by mistake.

        Some gulls(*) wander by mistake / into the mess that scalpels make.

        (* which I am using to mean "trickster", "fraud", "troll", etc. So Humpty Dumpty of me. Respondents can figure out their own role in this conceit)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        (still untitled)

        Doctor Syntax,

        Some first posts are good. Some are by people who blundered into the wrong forum Universe by mistake. Some are the usual '100 Monkeys with 100 Typewriters and infinite time' :)

        P.S.

        'AManFromMars' is still being studied to determine the 'correct classification' before filing !!!

        FIFY :)

    8. fung0

      I don't think Bill Gates has enough involvement in 5G to be a threat.

      However, I do very much blame him for the endless tracking horrors that have been built into Windows 10. At the very least, he failed to take any action to prevent his headless monster Microsoft from building this stuff into the world's dominant desktop OS. This is a corporate 'conspiracy' that has been widely reported and analyzed, and is now far from theoretical.

      I also blame Gates for thinking that throwing his billions around in whatever way amuses him somehow excuses his wilful denial of the deeper ailments that afflict our world. He sees himself as a vindication of capitalism, when he in fact embodies one of its nastiest symptoms: vast power vested in a single unaccountable individual.

      1. Paul 195

        As one of the richest men in the world, Gates may be symptomatic of all that is broken in modern capitalism, but I don't think he can be held solely responsible, and unlike a lot of other very rich individuals (for example rocket whizz kids Bezos and Musk) he at least has some recognition that there is a problem: https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/bill-gates-higher-taxes-rich-americans .

    9. FeepingCreature

      I would also like to be downvoted for voicing the apparently suddenly revolutionary opinion that being charitable with illegitimately gotten gains does not make you a good person.

  2. Brian Scott

    Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

    https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4735

    Well worth a listen.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

      I'm sure it's a good podcast, but is it really do we require any additional information to know that 'Bill Gates uses 5G to activate a fake vaccine tracking system' is utter bollocks?

      If we do decide to preach to the heathens and not the choir, there some guides online in how how to talk to conspiracy theorists. Sadly, calling them 'fucking nutters' doesn't play a constructive role in pulling them out of their hole.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

        I know, however, that no matter what you do they will believe it. Conspiracy theories have all the hallmarks of the religions you get when the major social religion collapses, like the JWs and Scientology in America as people were separated from their European cultures. The only way you can get them to change their minds is to come up with a more successful loony conspiracy theory du jour.

        But calling them futtwicks, as has been shown by serious research, reduces people's blood pressure and stress levels.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

          Conspiracy theories have all the hallmarks of the religions you get when the major social religion collapses, like the JWs and Scientology in America

          Well, there's at least one benefit from COVID-19; the JW's don't keep showing up on our doorstep every 4-5 days (they have an indoctrination center the next town over, so I thing they use this area as a training district).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

            The thing with the JWs is that they have split into, I think, about 20 or so different kinds of JWs who each think all the others are liars and blasphemers. It's as if The Life of Brian was a documentary.

          2. 9Rune5 Silver badge

            Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

            A while back I verbally abused a JW who showed up at my doorstep. Later that day I noticed my wife's car had a one inch nail scratch. Could be a coincidence, but I should perhaps invest in some firearms.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

        "Sadly, calling them 'fucking nutters' doesn't play a constructive role in pulling them out of their hole."

        Expletives are always fighting talk.

        Calling them gullible might be better. It puts them into the role of victim and you into someone who wants to help them so if they want to fight then their enemy is whoever sold them this garbage in the first place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

          Calling them gullible might be better. It puts them into the role of victim and you into someone who wants to help them so if they want to fight then their enemy is whoever sold them this garbage in the first place.

          The best way of dealing with these sort of people is not to ignore them, or mock or patronize them. That just makes people defensive, they switch off from listening to you and go and form their own little closed communities where you literally can't reach people. Personally, I feel that we have enough of those as it is without creating yet more of them.

          IMO the best way of dealing with this is simply to ask the people concerned how they think the human body could have received a respiratory disease you get by breathing it in via radio waves? Because the human body doesn't have a radio receiver, right?

          Asking somebody to explain it forces them to think about it. At this point, they'll pretty much have to agree that it's impossible, and you've changed their opinion.

          Screaming "I know best and everybody who doesn't agree with me is thick" has never, ever persuaded anybody to agree with you, ever. Even if you are actually right. Anybody who has failed to figure this out on their own is nowhere near as intelligent as they think they are.

          And on that "5G is gonna kill me thing"? The 5G radio frequency band (known as the SHF Band) has been used since centimentric radar in WW2. Point this out to the anti 5G crowd if you run into them, along with the fact that it threw out 30 kilowatts of power. aka, 30,000 watts of power, or 30,000,000 milliwatts. 5G puts out an absolute maximum of 0.2 watts, or 200 milliwatts.

          Again, if 5G is dangerous at 200 milliwatts, how come centimentric radar hasn't been dangerous at 30,000,000 milliwatts and above in the last 70 years? (Always reply using the same system of measurements as the people bringing these things up, as saying 30 Kilowatts when somebody says two hundred milliwatts lets them muddy the waters if somebody isin't paying attention as humans being human you tend to hear the two hundred and the thirty rather than the measurement scales being used.)

          It's a perfectly reasonable question that they can't answer and will have to think about, and them trying to figure out the answer only makes them disprove it themselves.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

            "IMO the best way of dealing with this is simply to ask the people concerned how they think the human body could have received a respiratory disease you get by breathing it in via radio waves? Because the human body doesn't have a radio receiver, right?"

            Don't be so sure. Some people are both wacky enough and creative enough to MAKE a story. And a plausible one at that.

            "Asking somebody to explain it forces them to think about it. "

            Unless they've already thought about it (or had someone think about it for them) and they already have an answer, such as "the brain--why do you think tinfoil hats exist?"

            "Anybody who has failed to figure this out on their own is nowhere near as intelligent as they think they are."

            Ever heard of narcissists? They don't care. They innately believe they're right, everyone else is wrong, so F them!

            "Again, if 5G is dangerous at 200 milliwatts, how come centimentric radar hasn't been dangerous at 30,000,000 milliwatts and above in the last 70 years?"

            Distance. The 5G antennae are a lot closer to us than the radar dish was, and radio power follow the inverse-square law, so something close doesn't have to be nearly as powerful. Then there's the hypothesis of specific patterns of radio waves, which can't be so easily explained away because of the unknown intricacies of the brain.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

              "Unless they've already thought about it (or had someone think about it for them)"

              This last. What you need is to get them to realise that that somebody has ulterior motives for having lied to them.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

                Self-defeating. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. ANY approach of that sort can be turned against you.

              2. General Purpose

                Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

                It's worse. You may be talking to someone who's far down the chain from the liar, maybe even literally second- or third-generation. The person who persuaded them might truly and honestly believe it.

            2. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

              A microwave oven has 900 watts, 5G transmitters have 44 watts. Microwave oven are optimised for cooking good including meat, so they are good at destroying brains by hear. 5G transmitters are designed not to cook meat.

          2. 9Rune5 Silver badge

            Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

            Because the human body doesn't have a radio receiver, right?

            Read the article you're commenting on. They will start repeating the nonsense about billg's evil plan of implanting receivers into people.

            if 5G is dangerous at 200 milliwatts

            Not that it matters all that much, but: Up to 20 Watts for a "metro cell" according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G

            The 5G standard seems to include quite many different frequency ranges. Are all of them comparable to radar?

            Last winter I ran into a 5G nutter who redirected me to a 5G "facts" site. Unfortunately I could not be bothered to do much research (how to prove a negative anyway?). Especially not after the first story on their fantasy page was an obviously made up story about an office building used as a 5G test site reporting all kinds of health issues stemming from the "experiment". A buddy of mine happens to be working at that site, and when I put this story to him he replied "yeah, we're all wearing tin foil hats to work".

            I have no idea how to combat such silliness. Eventually I replied that not only was I planning to extend my private wi-fi mesh network, but I was also going to offer up my garage as a site for a 5G site. Lead by example and all that. *shrug*

            TL;DR: If I had billg's fortune, I would totally be implanting you all with tracking technology. billg wouldn't, but I would. A good 7% of all the people I have met over the years are bad uns, and I feel justified tracking all of you so that I can keep tabs on those 7%. But again: That is me, not billg.

          3. Man inna barrel

            Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

            I am not surprised that there are many people that misunderstand radio technology. I do RF electronics and antenna design at work. My colleagues consider this deep voodoo. This is in a company chock full of mathematicians and other educated folks.

      3. grizzly

        Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

        For people like you and me, engaging with conspiracy theorists is usually pointless. Conspiracy theories have two traits:

        1. Scale-bias. Big events "must" have big causes. Thus the JFK assassination has them, yet the Reagan assassination attempt in 1981 does not because it wasn't as news-worthy.

        2. Self-sealing. The "you're in on it" factor. Refuting becomes reinforcing.

        It's worth pointing out too that real conspiracies point to why coronavirus-is-a-hoax, or the moon landings were faked simply cannot be true. Take Snowden. The truth became known because the sheer number of people who needed to keep shtum simply wasn't sustainable. One study of real-conspiracies calculated the average quantity of conspirators and time before whistleblowers reveal it to the world. It demonstrated that if the 411,000 people who worked on the moon-landings collaborated to fake it, the story would typically have broken after 3.68 years.

        John Oliver last weekend had a good thesis on how to respond. Find someone who the wacky-theorist respects and get them to nudge, not hector. Compliment the theorist's curiosity and intelligence, suggest they think critically and explore whether any credible experts agree with it. Then compliment how smart and inquisitive they are again.

      4. fajensen Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

        If we do decide to preach to the heathens and not the choir, there some guides online in how how to talk to conspiracy theorists.

        Tish, Tosh: The well-proven British Empire way of deling with heathens is way, way better: Lee-Enfields and Maxims deployed from fixed positions, a liberal supply of Redshirts and a plentitude of Ammo!

        If one is not willing to do important work properly, why bother at all, eh!?

        Besides, Going "online" and "talking" to conspiracy nutters / bots is *exactly* what THEY* want: THEY need especially the smarter people to waste their time and effort on a futile and meaningless crusade so that they dont spend their irreplacable time on changing things or creating new things or indeed doing anything at all that can affect the world that the oligarchs created for themselves.

        *) THEY - Anyone who are sitting high on the hog and want that to remain so, Anyone who sees other nations as competitors in a zero-sum game and the weakening and the fragmenting of their people and institutions as A Good Policy!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

      I wish Bill would just debunk the 5G/Coronavirus myth once and for all.

      Coronavirus has seriously damaged Bill's attempts to use chem trails for mind control by reducing the number of flights and routes significantly reducing the coverage he was getting before.

      And while Bill really wants 5G, its just so he can patch his Surface in under a day.

      Conspiracy theorists often overlook the reason behind Bills desire for mind controlling the world. It's to try and create an army powerful enough to stop the Royal families attempts at alien world domination.

      He's the good guy in this...

      Note: I have skipped over some of the more subtle conspiracy theories that tie all this together. I know no one wants to read a long conspiracy unified theory

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

        " I know no one wants to read a long conspiracy unified theory"

        Conspiracy Unified Naturalistic Theory System

      2. AK565

        Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

        Royal families, aliens, and world domination: IIRC, this becam an issue when attempts at retinal recognition showed software errors; messages insisted eyes were reptilian, not human. A reporter's attempt to debunk this was apparently met by software engineers very eager to share their data. One point of which is that only individuals with royal blood caused this kind of error.

  3. Only me!
    Windows

    Bill

    Now let's get this into some sort of level headed reality.

    1. Like MS or hate it, fine....now let's move on.

    MS has made Bill $$$ - Fact, love it or hate it.

    But as one of the worlds richest people, he has put is money to good work, saving millions of lives across the globe. (Fact, love it or hate it)

    I would rather he works away at various health issues / plans / vaccines than the vast majority of other people.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: let's get this into some sort of level headed reality

      But as one of the worlds richest people, he has put is money to good work, saving millions of lives across the globe. (Fact, love it or hate it)

      Fact? FACT!?! Its all about MIND CONTROL. 5G. deepstate. COVID. "Foundation". Obama. Soros. Clinton. SleepyJoeBiden. OBL. Pizza. BLM. Follw the $$$. Do not be fooled (((folks))). This is B-I-L-L-G-A-T-E-S. M$ Windoze was de(s)igned to take over the world. Wintelvision made us MELISSAS and BILLZ SHEEPLE. Its CON-spir.acy. zOg. No denying it, FACT - "love it or hate it". LOLLUMS. Your the PRODUCT. Theirs NO escape. Smart PEEPs know the true facts. MAGA.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: let's get this into some sort of level headed reality

        I'd upvote Jason Bloomberg, but you can never be 100% sure he didn't actually mean all that.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: let's get this into some sort of level headed reality

          It's called Poe's law.

          A religion is a cult that outlives its creator so the time cube is now a religion. Good luck trying to parody that.

      2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: let's get this into some sort of level headed reality

        "Theirs" Now that's unforgivable.

        I up-voted your post out of pure spite.

      3. Sanguma Bronze badge

        Re: let's get this into some sort of level headed reality

        MAGA - you're referring to the famous electioneering slogan, Make Americans Gullible Again, aren't you? No wonder The Donald, aka Resident Rump, picked that up and ran with it.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Bill

      One thing that the medical researchers appreciate about the Gates Foundation grants is that they are funded for four or five years. When a researcher is only funded for two years, half that time is spent getting a team and lab together at the start and looking around for more funding towards the end, leaving less time for actual research. Funding for longer periods is simply better value.

      1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

        Re: Bill

        There should be a WTF vote after the upvote and downvote buttons - c'mon Reg, it's PERL

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Bill

          There no WTF there, he's just doing a competent parody, albeit in a time when no satire or parody is as bizarre as what many nuts are saying.

          However, this being the Reg, I just see it as a third-rate impersonation of Amanfrommars, whose own parody of Qanon nutters predates said nutters.

          1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

            Re: Bill

            I always doubted AManFromMars' provenance. I always thought of him as A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld.

    3. onemark03

      Bill Gates ... saving millions of lives across the globe

      I don't mind Bill Gates saving all these millions of lives across the globe. However, I'd be interested to know how well or badly he pays his employees.

      Something about charity beginning at home.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Bill Gates ... saving millions of lives across the globe

        His employees? Do you mean the Gates foundation employees? Or Microsoft employees (he hasn't run that for over a decade and a half)? Do you have reason to believe either set of employees are being paid badly? It's not like Amazon, which does have a massive workforce at the lowest end that can be mistreated for massive profits. Both his organizations have much different organizational charts. I'm sure you can find some problems, but I don't think you'd find them to be large or systemic ones.

  4. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Facepalm

    If pre event planning is evidence of conspiracy then

    I have sticky plasters > I'm planning self harm?

    I test my smoke alarms > I'm planning to burn down my house?

    Giving the nut job '5G conspiracy' time on national TV is beyond insane.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

      Teach your children

      I was just explaining similar things to my oldest kid (age 9). She was getting a orthodontic appliance (retainer) check and may move to some kind of "brackets" sooner than originally planned; this is all before the actual braces.

      I told her: "Some folks may look at the doctors changing solutions quickly as evidence they don't know what they're doing. But we know different -- it means these things are actually working, and working so well that we need to move forward quicker than expected. This is a good thing! Those other folks just look at what's going on and come up with the completely opposite reasons. Don't call them stupid or idiots; they just were never taught how to truly think about things."

      (Not an actual quote, but clearer for you other folks, and note the bold section that calls out the logic Wellyboot first decried.)

      I then explained the (correct) critical thinking that proper pre-planning for any emergency would make it appear less than the disaster it could have been, because that is the true intention. Capped off with, referring to those anti-thinkers: "What, you WANT people to die just to know something bad happened? Wasn't the whole point to prevent deaths?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Teach your children

        "What, you WANT people to die just to know something bad happened? Wasn't the whole point to prevent deaths?"

        HELL YEAH! The deaths are proof God is mad and making correction. Plus, once everyone else is dead, we get the privilege of taking over the remains. After all, didn't it take a tenth plague for the Pharaoh to acquiesce?

        1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

          Re: Teach your children

          Yes, but there was at least one Pharaoh before him who knew emergency planning was important and put a trustworthy guy (Joseph) in charge of it, saving countless lives from a famine. Of course, they had divine prescience about it...

          (And that's how Israel got into the slavery mess. But they also had emergency planning of their own against said tenth plague with the Passover lamb's blood, and none said after the fact "We didn't really need it, did we?")

          Reason aside, trying to connect the Ten Plagues of Moses and today's SARS-CoV-2 is, in a word, silly.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Teach your children

            It's not the plagues I'm connecting, but GOD. And once GOD is involved, all bets are off, no argument is too extreme, and no view impossible to keep.

            Quite simply, you can't change the mind of someone who doesn't want to change their mind.

        2. Henry Hallan
          Devil

          Re: Teach your children

          It's far worse than that. It took 10 plagues before God allowed Pharoah to change his mind. Exodus 11:10

        3. terrythetech

          Re: Teach your children

          "Plus, once everyone else is dead, we get the privilege of taking over the remains"

          Do you think that "we" are not the ones going to be dead :)

          I've heard people making similar claims about we need a war or erm, a pandemic, to help reduce overpopulation not realising they are just as vulnerable as everybody else.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Teach your children

            To a Rapture Christian, they win either way. If they live, they're the chosen ones left to rule the purified Earth. If they die, the Rapture is coming and they get out ahead of Armageddon.

      2. The Alpha Klutz
        Facepalm

        Re: Teach your children

        Not to be a kill joy but why are you telling your 9 year old daughter that other people will die because they are not smart like her when they get their braces? gotta be careful that's the kind of talk that gives kids NPD. She won't be so smart when her emotional growth is stuck at 9 years forever.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: Teach your children

          It's unusual these days in the UK to die for want of dental treatment. But thanks to the hostile environment, it does happen!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Government started it: In my house, I have batteries, timers, wires, chemicals and certainly a mid-1990's HDD in a box with "The Anarchists Cookbook" stored on it. According to English law, that makes me a terrorist!

  5. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Gates' problem

    His problem is that these conspiracy theories are so outlandish, and Bill Gates is such an intelligent man (IQ = 160 reportedly), that the stupidity behind them is something that he just doesn't get. To me the cause of these conspiracy theories is obvious: A bunch of people intentionally creating mischief, supported by a much bigger bunch of freaking idiots.

    Or maybe Gates is just too polite to say it. I'm not. If you believe that 5G towers spread a virus, or that vaccines include microchips, you are nothing but a freaking moron.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gates' problem

      Well lets take stock on some widespread beliefs in the US :

      1. Angels are real

      2. UFO's are space aliens

      3. The Earth is flat

      4. The moon landings were faked

      Just a small sample of the more popular ones.

      The problem is the internet now acts as a way to popularise anyone's crazy private theory and make it widespread, apparently flat earth theory was dreamt up around 100 years ago and was all but dead, but was revived just a few years ago, to the extent one true believer in the US just killed himself in a home made rocket (silly when most commercial jets fly far higher, and you can see the curvature, but obviously they think they have something over the windows to hide the flat earth lmao).

      Just under half the population in any country seem to have a very poor grasp of reality and objective research, and what they think (or someone in a book or internet thinks) quickly becomes their new reality, and when they band together in groups it's like putting petrol on a fire.

      I feel sorry for people like Bill Gates who constantly have to deny crap spouted by the loons

      1. johnnybee

        Re: Gates' problem

        I'm not convinced 'Mad' Mike Hughes was any more of a flat earther than I am.

        He wanted to build a steam-powered rocket, so he started an appeal for funds. For good and obvious reasons he failed to get anywhere near his total.

        "I know," he thought, "I'll 'come out' as a Flat Earther and claim I'm using the rocket to prove the flatness!"

        Sure enough, with the low rationality coefficient community behind him, he easily raised the funds required to build his batsh*t rocket.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Gates' problem

          Why would anyone who wanted to build a steam powered rocket (as opposed to Rocket) and fly in it be unlikely to also be a flat-earther?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gates' problem

          Well, I initially sponsored the Danish rocket guy (Peter Madsen) simply because I wanted to see him die for his quite arrogant approach to everything. Unfortunately for everyone, he then wimped out and kept "inventing" different rockets instead of just flying the basic model, with all corners cut on everything, into the ground as it would have.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Angels are real

        Do you think science says that Angels don't exist? The flat earth and moon landings science can help with, UFOs are unlikely to be alien craft, but can science even define what an Angel is, never mind decide whether such a thing exists?

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: Angels are real

          > Do you think science says that Angels don't exist?

          No, but if a hypothesis can neither be proven nor falsified it is not a scientific one.

          1. Brian Miller Silver badge

            Re: Angels are real

            But are you sure that it's even a hypothesis? A hypothesis is a scientific wild-assed guess that is dressed up to produce a paper for a grant. A theory is a hypothesis dressed up for more grant money.

            I'm not sure that anyone has ever had a hypothesis about angels that has resulted in a grant to study them.

            1. cornetman Silver badge

              Re: Angels are real

              > I'm not sure that anyone has ever had a hypothesis about angels that has resulted in a grant to study them.

              That should probably tell you something about Angels then. If anyone could come up with a plausible and testable hypothesis about Angels (in the religious sense, not in the sense that they are really aliens), then they would most likely shake the world of science.

              1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                Re: Angels are real

                Guardian angels, do they exist? Do pious people seem to be protected? It is a little tricky because if everybody has one from conception then how do you test that. However, according to some (see Wikipedia), Muslims have two each. So you could design an experiment, e.g. a volunteer walks down a roadway on which is placed a banana skin, but that is next to a bush that I am hiding behind with a comedy-type custard pie. If the volunteer has only one guardian angel, then they will be steered past the banana skin but while the guardian angel is doing that, I will get the volunteer when I jump out with the custard pie. If they have two guardian angels then the joke is on me.

            2. Sanguma Bronze badge

              Re: Angels are real

              How can one study a being that is allegedly superior to oneself? We study animals on the occasion we have the ability to immobilize them in one way or another, or we can get close enough while maintaining a necessary distance. We study natural phenomena either by constructing an environment where we can abstract unnecessary details (chemistry, physics, etc), or by using information we've already gained through those methods on situations where we just cannot get access - astronomy, geology, etc. But if an angel can simply come and go as it pleases, how is one to study that?

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Angels are real

                "How can one study a being that is allegedly superior to oneself?"

                With persistence and faith. After all, we still try to understand the mind of God.

            3. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Angels are real

              I'd bet the Vatican has funded a lot of research into angels over the last few centuries. The value of it is another matter.

        2. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: Angels are real

          Of course Angels exist, and it looks like they have started playing baseball again, finally.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Gates' problem

        "UFO's are space aliens"

        Half the problem with believers in this one is an inadequate grasp of English or at least ignorance of what the U stands for.

        If they're unidentified what are they doing claiming to have identified them?

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Gates' problem

          Of *course* they're space aliens. There was even a moonbase, orbiting supercomputer, and a secret base under a movie studio to fight them.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Gates' problem

            I never did understand why the worlds most powerful supercomputer was exposed to attack in orbit when it could have been in a locked room under the movie studio.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Gates' problem

              I never did understand how all these secret conspiracies were so well known.

        2. Dr_N Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Gates' problem

          And also don't know how to use an aposthrophe.

          Same people who write 60's & 70's instead of '60s & '70s.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Gates' problem

            60's = 1960's, and last I checked an s straight after a number wasn't considered grammatically proper.

            1. Dr_N Silver badge

              Re: Gates' problem

              Ones' free to put apostrophe's where one like's.

              That doe'sn't make you right.

              Decades do not have apostrophes.

              Plural numbers do not have apostrophes: Fleet of Boeing 747s and Airbus A350s.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Gates' problem

                Well, "Because I Said So" has always seemed a valid excuse to many, especially when talking to children.

                Anyway, the jury seems to be out on the subject, given there's no one auhtoritative, overriding authority regarding the English language (and any source you cite will be guaranteed to be denied by someone else, thus my point).

                1. Dr_N Silver badge
                  Headmaster

                  Re: Gates' problem

                  Charles 9> and any source you cite will be guaranteed to be denied by someone else,

                  Given the 1st half-dozen Google.co.uk search returns all came back agreeing, I didn't think it needed citations. I did double-check in my trusty copy of The Economist Style Guide just in case there was some creative writing reason. But nah. that agreed too: Apostrophe before, not after decades. And not for plurals either.

                  But then I'm not an arts & humanities graduate and only went to a state school. So virtually self taught on the language side. So what do I know. I'll leave it to the experts.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Gates' problem

      "To me the cause of these conspiracy theories is obvious: A bunch of people intentionally creating mischief, supported by a much bigger bunch of freaking idiots."

      in some cases, actual mental disorders might be involved...

      There are actual conspiracies. Unfortunately. But when you 'follow the money' on the Wuhan Virus, it doesn't point to vaccine makers... [something to think about]. And those who control others more effectively do it through fear and misinformation. FUD, basically.

      When the Wuhan Flu vaccine is approved, I'll probably get one, even though I most likely had this virus back in late December or early January, when a co-worker returned from China, went home sick that day after exhibiting symptoms, and a week later I had the classic "mild symptoms", followed about a week later by an even milder version, lasted one day each time. If not COVID-19, it was probably "something from China" and that just happens when you and/or your co-workers need to travel around the world, ya know? "Life _IS_ Risk".

      But I'm definitely taking the vaccine, when it comes out. Regardless.

      1. First Light Bronze badge

        Re: Gates' problem

        Does the COVID experience account for your unusually not-shouty posts today? Or did you actually die and someone else took over your account? Or maybe you are actually dead but still posting?

  6. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    mind control chip?

    in your body? No, it's in your phone or lappy.

    Seriously, Bill's money works hard, not a fan of M$ for various reasons, but good work after MS Bill!

    1. squirrel_nutkin

      Re: mind control chip?

      Comedian Mike Drucker on the bil gates/tracking/covid silliness:

      BILL GATES: I need a way to track everybody

      ASSISTANT: Well there’s always cellphone data

      BILL GATES: Hm. Maybe I’ll make a virus that requires a vaccine

      ASSISTANT: Phones have GPS already

      BILL GATES: And then we inject everyone with microchips

      ASSISTANT: Ok but phones exist

    2. spold Silver badge

      Re: mind control chip?

      It runs Windows ... and the mind control software is in a hidden coronavirus.bat file of course.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: mind control chip?

        Clearly not Windows Mobile then. Maybe WindowsCE?

  7. MJI Silver badge

    Both in the news - Gates vs Drumph

    One of them is as many times richer than the other as they are cleverer.

    One of them is doing a lot of good.

    One of them is a serial liar.

    One of them is well respected for their charitable work.

    One of them is known for their shady business practices.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Both in the news - Gates vs Drumph

      Drumpf was the family name before it was changed to T-rump

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Both in the news - Gates vs Drumph

        "Drumpf was the family name before it was changed to T-rump"

        Oh well he is still a Suralan* tried to be.

        * Now Lord Sugar of Amstrad.

    2. CtrlAltDel

      Re: Both in the news - Gates vs Drumph

      I think you’ll find both are equally known for their shady business practices... BillG-era Microsoft practically wrote the book on it.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Both in the news - Gates vs Drumph

        No, Bill G's dodgy practices were preceded (and massively outdone) by Thomas J Watson.

    3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Both in the news - Gates vs Drumph

      OK, so:

      Bill, Donald, Bill, Donald, Bill, right?

  8. Andy 73

    Editor!!!

    Can someone with a good grasp of English go over this article and sort it out please?

    1. NightFox

      Re: Editor!!!

      > O’Donnell said Gates-related coronavirus conspiracies have been rated “the most widespread coronavirus that exist”...

      There's a missing "falsehood" there for starters.

  9. MatthewSt Bronze badge

    Well of course he's going to deny it. It's only in the films that the evil genius confesses his plan well ahead of time when there's still enough of an opportunity to stop it. Not to mention, if he wanted to implant his 5G mind controlling chips in people he could just take a leaf out of Samuel L Jackson's book in Kingsman, and just give away free internet to everyone as a ruse.

    Seriously though, I'm not quite sure a conspiracy theory can be "debunked" just by the guy that the conspiracy theory is about claiming that it's not true, as it would be a pretty straightforward process otherwise.

    1. You aint sin me, roit
      Black Helicopters

      Aka "Well he would say that wouldn't he"

      And for those who say it's such a far-fetched plan it just doesn't make sense... well done, you're already doing Bill's work for him.

      Two words: plausible deniability.

  10. _LC_ Silver badge
    Stop

    This is a typical method of the secret services

    If something is obviously wrong or problematic (untested [takes 8-12 years] vaccine, which alters genome), they provide their own critics. They drag all well-founded criticism in the mud by adding absolutely ridiculous theses.

    It's like protesting against female circumcision, and then there's someone standing next to you who screams the loudest while jerking off. That's when you know that they want you to leave it alone.

    1. The Cowboy Online

      Re: This is a typical method of the secret services

      Not sure why you've got so many down votes, but then ... looks at glowing endorsement for Gates .... yeah, that's why.

      1. NumptyScrub

        Re: This is a typical method of the secret services

        "This is how the secret services control the narrative", presented as a comment on an article about someone having to publicly deny an obviously idiotic conspiracy theory, is probably the reason why it has garnered downvotes. I re-read that post a couple of times, and while I'm still not sure if I'm parsing it correctly, that post appears to be suggesting that the idiotic conspiracy theory in the original article is in fact a plant by the secret services, as part of an attempt to control the narrative. Which sounds like a conspiracy theory itself, at least to me.

        You are surprised that it would get downvotes in that context? I would have been surprised if it did not get downvotes in that context ^^;

    2. osmarks

      Re: This is a typical method of the secret services

      None of the in-testing vaccines, as far as I'm aware, "alter the genome", and testing/development is going quite a lot faster than usual because they would not be much use if we had to wait several years for them.

      1. _LC_ Silver badge

        Re: This is a typical method of the secret services

        The last time this "quick shot" method did not only produce huge profits, but also ruined a lot of lives. In the end, most of those – very expensive – vaccines ended up being burned.

        “Accidentally”, the personnel (and companies) involved in the last scandal are the ones pushing ahead the new one.

    3. Robert Forsyth

      Re: This is a typical method of the secret services

      There is an ever-so-long documentary which sort of covers this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperNormalisation

      Because we are human, there are many ways or tricks to derail rational thought.

  11. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Tiresome nonsense

    I’m impressed he even bothered to waste his breath to deny this claptrap.

    I’m no fan of Bill Gates but really! You have to be a complete moron to believe this stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump believes it, for example; yes I’m talking THAT moronic.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Tiresome nonsense

      Trump doesn't believe it, but he knows that many in his voter base do. Just as Trump knows that many of his base are white evangelical Christians, but he himself isn't a God-fearing man.

      - actually, many of the proported 'values' of the Christian Right were adopted in the seventies because they could no longer be overtly racist. Strewth, they voted in Reagan, a divorcee, over Carter who was an actual practising Christian. They've used various codes since the seventies, such as 'silent majority', but with Trump they no longer need the window dressing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tiresome nonsense

        Carter's Christianity is deeply opposed to most Southern "Christianity". That may be a factor. Were Jesus to come back again [I know, not going to happen] he'd need a rather large world-spanning megaphone to reach every church member to whom he needed to say "Depart from me, ye liars and hypocrites", and a rather small church to contain all the politicians who actually tried to follow his ideas.

  12. Fading Silver badge
    Windows

    So if it was true.....

    Will the vaccine crash randomly? Will I lose functionality in the next update? Will I need a physical upgrade to run the vaccine properly? How much memory do I need?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: So if it was true.....

      Obviously to run the virus you will need vastly bloated hardware resources - that's why it's only being rolled out in America. You think their obesity is accidental?

      Wake up sheeple !

  13. Scott Broukell
    Meh

    Please sit down quietly for a bit, an update for your 5G Mind Control chippery is in progress. This could take some time. Please do not attempt to operate machinery or drive a vehicle whist the update is in progress. Please remain seated until the update has finished. Please close all of your current absent-minded thoughts and memories - failure to do so may result in memory loss and/or the onset of dementia. Thank you.

    1. Scott Broukell

      UPDATE FAILED - Please remain calm and remain seated. You may be feeling a bit blue and you may experience the visual illusion of random hexadecimal bits of text floating in front of your eyes. Please do not be alarmed. Please take pen and paper a write down as much information about the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing right now and send it to: Evil Bill, 10 The Secret Volcanic Lair, California. Please also include as much personal information about yourself as you can. Our engineers are working on a solution. Thank you.

  14. Dave 126 Silver badge

    My hope is that if I spread 5G Corona theories on Facebook five times a day, then the New World Order will already know that I am a nutter and know my location and inside leg measurement - thus negating the need for them to inject me with a mind-reading, location-tracking vaccine.

    /S

    FFS, Robert Anton Winston was a tonne of fun, but really, some people took it seriously.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      You have it worng, Covid 19 is spread by Musks Starlink satellites and to protect yourself put a plastic bag over your head and cable tie it around the neck.

      Don't worry feeling faint is normal.

  15. tony2heads
    Black Helicopters

    5G mind control

    won't work around here as the 5G signal is poor to non-existent'

    shit - I think I heard a helicopter

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you really believe the 5G mind control thing YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR!

    You have nothing to be controlled.

  17. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Mind control by 5G is not a risk

    At least not for me. Where I live I struggle to get decent 3G coverage, nevermind 4G, so I don't see any risk of 5G waves reaching my cranium controlling (what's left of) my mind

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Mind control by 5G is not a risk

      I'm being mind controlled on rural 3G - that explains a lot.

      1. Sanguma Bronze badge

        Re: Mind control by 5G is not a risk

        OMG, that explains the gaps in my memory, that insidious 3G with missing coverage! When I've been intending to do something, and I find ... now what was I going to say?

        Oh, and have a nice day!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is no connection between these vaccines and any tracking type thing

    All it takes it to remove a split second "no" in his statement, and put it back on the internets. You can't stop idiots (as per newspeak, when certain words must be removed to fix all wrongs, immediately)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's unfortunate Karmic reward for a career producing bad software and illegally pushing competitors out through bundling and other monopolistic tactics. It's still almost impossible to buy a laptop without Windows pre-installed.

    Bill tries to do the right thing with his dubiously gained billions and is hopelessly misrepresented.

  20. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Trouble is

    these 'b.gates wants to inject us all with microchips spread by 5G" things (they're not theories btw) come from the internets messaging forums (bit like this one but way crazier)

    These forums have 2 types of posters, first group is the smaller one, these are the ones who to be blunt, need treatment for mental illness, the second and much larger group is the trolls coming up with ever more outlandish ideas for the first group to believe

    Anyway... the mind control chips are already implanted in our phones.....usually the order is "buy a new phone.. you must buy a new phone" because nothing else can explain why someone throws away a year old phone for a new one costing even more....

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Trouble is

      I think you will find the small group starts conspiracy theories and the large group believes them. Critical thinking is a rare skill.

  21. Nematode

    It's the Russians, stoopid

    There are so many totally stupid and in-credible conspiracy theories around that something tells me these are not benign. Who benefits from touting these stories? Who would dearly love the "West", and in fact the whole world, to get divided and fighting each other? Putin & co. That's my conspiracy theory, and I'm sticking to it. It's almost certainly more accurate, too.

    Oops, must keep an eye on who's trying to access my router...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the Russians, stoopid

      I'm afraid that the decline of the education systems in the Anglophone world and the rise of social media that made Karen Influencer's views more well known than those of, say, people working for the NIH, did not require any Russian assistance.

      People of extreme views are always looking for someone to fight. Social media has given them the platform.

    2. fajensen Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: It's the Russians, stoopid

      It's Everyone!

      Runnning a global influence operation used to be reserved for those with the capabilities and ressources of nation states. States, squllionaries and maybe some DOW-20 corporations "back in the day".

      Today, thanks to digitalisation boosting efficiencies, it can be run out from a seedy flat in Manchester!

      The Algorithms are on the side of "seedy flat guy": The shittier the content, the more impotent rage it generates. The more rage, the more shares, pageviews, comments and click-troughs, which means proportionally more funding for The Algorithms presenting it so they will adopt for even shittier content!

      Basically, anyone can become The Daily Mail! Thanks Internet!!

  22. Hoe

    Just LOL...

    Who comes up with this sh*t?!

    I mean the guy retired years ago and just dedicated himself to giving his money away, but not stupidly but to good causes which he verifies himself.

    Quite a switch to mind control, if the guy was still power hungry wouldn't he still be running Microsoft?!

    He has every right to take over control of MS today and run it his own way but he doesn't, now after years of retirement he wants to control people? Just doesn't add up.

    I suggest we respond with equally stupid articles like...

    "It's true it's mind control and the only way to stop it is to jump form a really high cliff or building, you won't die it will just kill the chip!"

    Let Darwin take over as if you'll believe this sh*t you'll believe anything!

    P.S. I've been switching to Linux recently, must be Bill's doing lol. ;)

  23. Brian Miller Silver badge

    "Please don't go down that rabbit hole, people."

    Who are you kidding? We went down the rabbit hole of C++ decades back, and you want us to climb back out of rabbit holes?? Are you blind to the libraries of books dedicated to just that one hole?

    Crucifixions are a dawdle.

    1. Sanguma Bronze badge

      Re: "Please don't go down that rabbit hole, people."

      Have a caucus race with a load of mice, on me!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vaccines are incredibly profitable for big pharma

    So there is that...

  25. fung0

    Choice, not Charity

    I certainly don't hold Gates SOLELY responsible. What bugs me about Gates in particular is that he thinks his "philanthropy" is enough to make everything okay. It's not - and his thinking that it is simply adds insult to injury.

    What people need is choice, not charity. Gates may put his money into (some) worthwhile causes, but the whole point of taxation is to make those kinds of decisions democratically. Even if Gates were both a genius and the nicest guy in the world, things like charter schools should be decided by the public, not by a small clique of plutocrats.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Choice, not Charity

      So, your suggestion is? If your suggestion is "you should have taxed him more a while ago", well, it didn't happen. If your suggestion is "take away his resources now", don't expect that to happen either. If your suggestion is that he should donate his money to a fund controlled by the government rather than a fund he controls, don't expect that to happen either, because he and probably various others will have more confidence in his determination rather than any national government.

      In addition, there are different goals between philanthropists and governments. Do you think the public would be very interested in curing a disease that never affects them, in an area far away with which that country doesn't interact very much? Would a government that is beholden to its voters, lobbyists, and businesses but not to people on another continent spend a ton of money on a comparatively small project to help the least powerful there? It sometimes happens--there is foreign aid--but it's not their primary concern and arguably shouldn't be (I wouldn't argue that but I've heard enough people do so that it does have an effect). It is his choice to spend his money on people outside his country, in a way that might not be the priority of the people who would get the vote on it if he had to turn the resources over. Unless the people decide that, for some reason, he needs to have his money taken away, that is his choice to make.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Choice, not Charity

        Not just a country far away. The "tyranny of the majority" means that a pure Democracy where every decision was made by public vote would see fashionable diseases or more scary sounding ones treated, but unfashionable ones or those that only affect a minority group ignored. Research in "sexy" science subjects funded, and stuff people didn't see the point of dropped. And so on.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Choice, not Charity

      "things like charter schools should be decided by the public, not by a small clique of plutocrats."

      The same public who elected Trump, Johnson and Putin?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Choice, not Charity

        It's Morton's Fork. You either have a mob easily influenced by someone evil but charismatic (eg. Trump), or you disenfranchisement as people bitch about not being in control of their destiny (what the country was like at its founding and for some time afterward). And because of the human condition, no middle ground is safe (ANY test to determine eligibility can be corrupted, and as humans are emotional first and logical further down, one good crisis can swing just about any mob in an election).

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Choice, not Charity

          There's also the problem about what constitutes a majority. Is it the single most popular choice out of many, even if that happens also to be the most unpopular among the majority, for example.

          If it's a vote to change something does a simple majority win, however radical the change or small the margin? Even if a significant number didn't vote, so didn't approve the change. Or do non-voters ( which includes don't knows, presumably) count as not having voted for the change and added to the no tally. Or are a smallish group of highly motivated Change voters allowed to override a larger group of people who want the status quo,but who just aren't sure, or as motivated to campaign/turn out to vote etc.Or are non-voters outlawed? And so on.

  26. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    We need to get the hat trick on this conspiracy theory!!

    It's a nice start:

    1) Started with the anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories, providing a solid base.

    2) Then you worked in the "5G is a tool to spread mind control" theories, a skillful escalation

    But now we need to add a third level to really get this panic going. Do any of you Regenistas have anything that could even conceptually link Bill Gates to the Illuminati or the Tri-Lateral Commission? Anything, even a purported spike in Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster sightings, would be welcome!!

    1. Charlie van Becelaere

      Re: We need to get the hat trick on this conspiracy theory!!

      Not exactly what you requested, and not exactly current anymore, but here's an "interesting" further development possibility -

      http://iheardacouplethings.blogspot.com/2012/08/rabies-resistant-peruvian-mutants.html

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: We need to get the hat trick on this conspiracy theory!!

        How about some info from more-reputable news sources.

        https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/08/01/157714056/bites-from-rabid-vampire-bats-may-not-be-a-death-sentence

        In this case, there are a few possibilities for this, including genetic tolerance given their long-standing proximity to the bats, not to mention the likely reduced virulence within the bats (smaller bites, possible less-virulent strain).

    2. Fr. Ted Crilly

      Re: We need to get the hat trick on this conspiracy theory!!

      psst, Combine, you forgot the Combine...

  27. First Light Bronze badge

    The Foundation distracted from MS monopoly trial

    Please remember as you celebrate BG, that the foundation was a response to the DOJ suing MS in 1998 for monopoly, and the terrible PR that went along with publicity around MS business practices and Gates' bitchy trial testimony. 70% of his total contributions to the foundation were during the 18 months from the start of the trial to its conclusion (MS lost, by the way). It was a PR offensive. BG *may* be doing good things now (and questions have been raised about the foundations' philanthropic practices), but the motivation is selfish, the wealth he has accrued is obscene and the product he created is still causing heartburn around the world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Foundation distracted from MS monopoly trial

      Yes, a bit like the idea "Taxing rich people less, means more trickles down to the poor people."

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It shoud be obvious that Gates isn't behind 5G since he has categorically stated there was no need for more than 640k

  29. DS999

    Denial only makes the conspiracy theorists believe harder

    The only thing that will get them to stop spreading this nonsense is for new nonsense to come along. They just need a shinier object.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Denial only makes the conspiracy theorists believe harder

      Yes. To a conspiracy theorist proof they're wrong just proves you're part of the conspiracy.

  30. Efer Brick
    Coat

    Three conspiracy theorists walk into a bar...

    You can't tell me that's a coincidence!

  31. adam payne Silver badge

    O'Donnell said Gates-related conspiracies have been rated "the most widespread coronavirus falsehoods that exist," then asked Gates: "Do you want a vaccine so you can implant microchips into people?"

    Oh for the love of <insert word here>.

    Have the conspiracy theorists finally gone off the deep end?!?

  32. NogginTheNog
    WTF?

    Back To The Future!

    Wow I can't believe I'm reading The Register in 2020 and hearing again all about the long and chequered history of Microsoft, IBM, SCO, Linux, et al!

    On second thoughts, yes I can ;-)

  33. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    5G for mind control

    Since no one that I remember was complaining that 4G was going to be used for mind control when it came out, one has to conclude that you need the 5G bandwidth for effective mind control. Except in the case of conspiracy theorists, Covid deniers, and flat-earthers, where 1x service or 2 tin cans on a string will more than suffice.

  34. tcmonkey

    He was certainly a lot nicer about it than I would have been.

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