Bill Gates made no friends in 2020. In a World Economic Forum (WEF) article in November he said he usually makes friends through random encounters after meetings and events. Now that everything is remote, and we no longer share spaces to the extent we did, those chance connections are practically extinct. “More could be done on the software side to allow for serendipitous run-ins after meetings,” he said.

This is typical of the prevailing view that if there is a problem in the world, technology has the answer. But experience shows that while this is often true, tech can’t replace everything...

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