Bill Gates reveals his favorite TV shows -- and more important things

During a Reddit AMA, Microsoft's co-founder also talked about books, taxes, health care costs and climate change.

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Bill Gates answered your questions Monday on Reddit.

Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Turns out Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates struggles with the "problem" of having too many good TV shows to choose from -- just like the rest of us.

Gates on Monday hosted his seventh Reddit Ask Me Anything event on the social platform. Redditors asked for his thoughts on TV shows, books, taxes, threats to humanity, health care and climate change.

"Melinda and I watch things like Silicon Valley, This is Us, A Million Little Things. I watched The Americans with my son (too violent for Melinda)," he said.

"I watched Narcos by myself. Billions, Lie to Me, Friday Night Lights, American Vandal, Black Mirror. There are so many good shows -- people tell me about them but I can't watch them all."

In terms of books, he favors non-fiction and posts reviews on his blog.

"I am reading Hacking Darwin now -- about gene editing getting very popular and what policies should control the usage. I love books that explain things like Smil's Energy and Civilization or all of Pinker's books," he said of his reading habits.

"Factfulness by the Roslings is very readable -- a great place to start to get a framework for the progress of humanity."

He also thinks billionaires, including himself, should pay more in taxes to improve education and health care in the US.

"If people want the government to do more, it needs to be funded and I see us needing to improve our education and health services," Gates said. "A key element is making capital gains taxation more like ordinary income (some have suggested making them the same) and having an estate tax more like we had in the past (55 percent above $3.5 million)."

Gates said he's paid $10 billion in taxes but should have to pay more on capital gains.

He was also asked what's the greatest threat to humanity right now. Gates said terrorism and bioterrorism rank No. 1 among his concerns. Climate change comes in second.

"It is disconcerting to see a rise of countries turning inwards and not investing in alliances which have helped us avoid big wars since World War 2," Gates said. "Climate change is a real test of how we can work together globally since it is a complex problem where major changes need to be done well in advance of the big harms."

Gates also said he's surprised there hasn't been more focus on innovations "across all the sources [of climate change] including agriculture and industrial materials like steel and cement" because only using renewable energy "won't stop the temperature from continuing to rise."

Redditors also asked if there's something Gates thinks is "incredibly important" but hasn't grabbed much attention. Gates said bipartisan consensus on how to lower health care costs is a "critical issue" that people aren't paying enough attention to.

"It does require looking at the numbers and studying what other countries do well," he said.

Gates also answered more random questions like his favorite prime number (answer: 2) and whether he thinks he'll be able to jump over a chair 20 years from now. You can read more here.

Originally published on Feb. 25, 9:31 a.m. PT.
Update, Feb. 26 at 5:51 a.m. PT.: Adds Gates' answers on television shows and books.

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