Bono AKA Techie Man

Bono has been singing the praises of technology and it paid off. As an investor and cofounder of the AIDS programs ( One and RED) he has been devoting his time to eradicating poverty and AIDS related issues. Bono traded emails with MIT Technology Review deputy editor, Brian Bergstein about his role in tech, vaccines and information services. A couple of those questions highlighted our interests.

MIT: It’s 2013, and Millions of people are still short of food or proper medical care. Have technologists over promised ?

Bono: The tech that’s been delivered has been staggering in its measurable achievements.

MIT: What should be the role of technology in making a better world? Are some problems beyond its reach, like poverty?

Bono: Technology has already helped tackle extreme poverty in Africa. Extreme
poverty is the empirical condition of living on under $1.25 a day.
Nelson Mandela once demanded we be the “great generation” to beat
extreme poverty, noting how we have the technology and resources to
achieve this extraordinary vision. And we do. We could achieve it by
2030, maybe before.

MIT: You admired Steve Jobs. Did he make the world better or just make nice computers?

Bono: I think a large part of the reason Apple and Steve Jobs have beguiled so
many is that they are a gigantic company that put greatness ahead of
the bottom line, believing that great profitability would follow in the
long term. He told me he would love to spend more time on philanthropy and would
get to it one day. He wasn’t interested in half doing it, as is obvious
with his personality. Still, Apple very quietly has contributed more
than $50 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria
through the sale of (RED) iPods, Nanos, etc. They are the biggest
corporate donor. Tim Cook is passionate about this stuff.

MIT: If you had a budget equivalent to the one that put astronauts on the moon, what problems would you try to solve?

Bono: There’s an exciting thought. The Apollo program in its day was 4 percent
of the federal budget. All U.S. overseas assistance is just 1 percent,
with 0.7 percent going to issues that affect the poorest people. I
believe that extreme poverty is the biggest challenge we have. That term
is a complex one, but on many aspects, we know what works. For example,
with Apollo-level resources, you could finish the job on HIV/AIDS. Get
rid of it, done. Malaria too.

MIT: Do you despair? If not, why not?

Bono:  Like any parent, I wonder what kind of world we’re leaving behind. But
I’ve also been blessed to be involved in some great movements that
helped bring major challenges—like debt or AIDS or malaria—from the
margins to the mainstream. These social movements are the things that
make the real difference, people from different walks of life coming
together to stand up for what they believe in.  Whether they do it by
marching, by writing, by tweeting, by posting, by singing, or by going
to jail. It’s hard not to be an optimist when you see what happens when
people join forces.

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Well the God I believe in isn’t short of’ cash, MISTER

Listening to some music a mix of U2
and well the 80’s and of course a mix in of current music. I began to
think about how U2 has sifted through various images of religion, what
does that mean to you and me? Our team posted the question this week.
“U2 Music inspires you to do what?

Faithful U2 Fans

Faithful U2 Fans

Give us some ideas. What does U2
music mean to you?” Inspired by U2 or is it inspired by Bono? At this
point the lines are blurred, Bono is the ultimate front man, and yea we
heard that Laim was voted the best front man in the latest issue of RS.

Maybe
its religion that inspires you, maybe the thought that you are part of
something greater and that you have someone watching out over you could
that be inspiring?  It’s not any big secret. Bono, the Edge, and Larry
Mullen Jr. had their own Bible study group in the pre-U2 days.

Their
second album, October, is loaded with Christian images, and
during its recording, critics hailed U2 as a Christian band, something
that U2 has always denied. Bono got to hang out with Pope John Paul II
before his passing in 2005. They’re just a rock & roll band, right?

Interesting
if you label them a Christian rock band you have people from the right
screaming how you can even think of them in such a fashion however a few
churches are turning to U2. USA Today
reports that the U2 Eucharist is a “traditional Episcopal liturgy” that
refers to some of U2’s best-selling songs such as “Beautiful Day” and
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” as hymns.

We shared stories about this
concept before it involves combining U2 songs with related religious
montages. Reverend Paige Blair, a parish priest in York Harbor, Maine,
incorporated some of U2’s lyrics during a sermon in July 2005. Since
then, she’s gone on to assist 150 churches with their own U2 Eucharists,
and the idea are spreading like wildfire across 15 states and seven
countries.

They’re not worshiping Bono, but choosing to use him and the
band’s work as an example of spreading the word.

I thought about
the question myself and as the editor of U2TOURFANS I wondered
if I should share my personal thoughts. The team all agreed that I
should at least share something with you the reader.

So here goes. “Well the God I believe in isn’t short of’ cash,
MISTER!!” Think about that line for second, Churches all around the
world ask you for a donation. Ask you to put faith in…. Fill in the
blank.

Faith and Hope

Faith and Hope

I put my faith in God, Inspired ? Sure I am
inspired daily by lots of images, music, and words. I can say that U2
has created a place for me to express and share my views with like
minded people.

The bottom line; you don’t have to
like my views, agree or believe however you should respect one another.
It’s really that simple.

U2

U2

U2’s music is a vessel to which we all could use to take a ride on. Bono has been blessed by the hand of God, he once said  “I just go where the life is, you know? Where I feel the Holy Spirit,” Bono told Christianity Today.
“If it’s in the back of a Roman Catholic cathedral, in the quietness
and the incense, which suggest the mystery of God, of God’s presence, or
in the bright lights of the revival tent, I just go where I find life. I don’t see denomination. I generally think religion gets in the way of God.

“I
am just trying to figure it out. Everybody wants to make an impact with
their life, whether it’s small scale with friends or family—that’s
really big, is the truth—or whether it’s on a grand scale, in changing
their communities and beyond.

I just want to realize
my potential.” He recalled one pastor’s recent advice: Stop asking God
to bless what you’re doing. Find out what God’s doing. It’s already
blessed. “That’s what I want,” Bono said. “I want to align my life with
that.”

What do you want to align your life to?

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