The growing breed of capitalist philanthropists, many of them inspired by the likes of Bill Gates & Warren Buffett, seek to change, transform & improve the world and our lives.

Their thinking & approach is to run very fast for a long time, on their chosen philanthropic paths, to get to somewhere else which is a better world than now.

Modern Red Queens (aka intellectuals) point out we are in a fast sort of world, and it takes all the running we can do, to keep in the same place, and If we want to get somewhere else (a better world than now), we must run at least twice as fast as that. We thus witness the accelerating pace of business, technology, R&D, innovation, wealth generation & philanthropic activities.

But what if the bucket is leaking faster than the pace at which it being filled up? And what if the leakage accelerates, even as we attempt to fill the bucket faster?

In other words, what if the world & our lives are deteriorating faster than the pace of development & philanthropy?

Gates & Buffett, their fans, admirers & followers, are optimists. They believe the leaky bucket can be filled up, sooner or later. Few others believe the bucket is leaking faster & faster, and unless we put in more efforts to plug the leakage rather than filling the bucket, there isn’t much hope. Either hypothesis is yet to be proven conclusively.

The bucket is our world. We are filling it up with science, ideas, developments, & innovations. The capitalist philanthropists see the leakage and are attempting to plug it. Their philanthropic activities treat the symptoms, ignoring the cause. If Bill Gates wipes out Polio or TB, there are many other diseases in queue. If capitalists like Vinod Khosla solve the energy & transportation problems, there are many other problems in queue.


Meantime, the root cause – human greed – is largely ignored and growing unchecked. It’s quite clear human greed & consumption has gained pace in the last few centuries, especially after the industrial revolution. More development, technology & innovation has fueled human greed even further. The bucket is leaking faster. We are filling the bucket faster. Will it help?

Our developmental & philanthropic activities need to curtail greed.

Else, sooner or later, the bucket may collapse.

Gates & Buffett, despite their best intentions, may fail.