© Arnold Holtzman, Ph.D. (July 2001)

Bill Gates

Born on October 28th, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. He is the founder, chairman, and chief software architect of Microsoft, the largest and most successful software company in the world. William (Bill) H. Gates is presently the richest man in the world.


eing the wealthiest person in the world, and the founder and present chairman of what is perhaps the most remarkable comapny in the world, we would study the hands of Bill Gates to uncover whatever it might be that sets him so apart from everyone else. Employing close to 40,000 people in 60 countries, and with revenues in excess of $23,000,000,000.00 (that's 23 billion dollars) for the fiscal year ending June 2000, it is not conjecture to say that his company, Microsoft, has changed the way the world lives, communicates, entertains itself and does business. This man has, almost singlehandedly, reduced the world to what are, virtually, the dimensions of a village. At the same time he has so expanded its experience of itself as to create what many describe as a new psychology of the individual and his society.

We have something of a problem, however, with the construction of a personality profile based on the information available to us from the photo of Bill Gates which accompanies this article.

As a discipline in psychological diagnosis the singular value of PDC for therapists is its ability to powerful explore experiences recorded at the child's pre-conscious and pre-verbal developmental phases. This offers a particularly critical advantage for the therapist if any of these experiences were recorded as violent and otherwise traumatic. Inasmuch as the material may be entirely lost to the client's conscious memory it may well have become ingrained in this person's subconscious memory, and from this station continue to pursue the individual. This may have promoted a host of defensive psychical constructions and behavioral patterns which may greatly disturb the client yet which leaves the therapist struggling with uncertaincies. So it is that PDC more or less takes for granted whatever it perceives as promise, balance, appropriate, syntonic, and secure. In the main, its attentions would center on whatever prevents actualizing this promise, undermines homeostasis, delivers inappropriate evaluations and responses, appears fundamentally dystonic and gives cause for insecurity.

The antithesis of Howard Hughes. With Bill Gates we find nothing overly eccentric, nothing neurotic, nothing seriously dystonic or inappropriate... in a word, nothing that really invites serious psychological diagnosis. If at such time as we gain access to prints and more detailed photographs of his hands it may, of course, be possible to adjust this perspective. It is just as likely that we will find much that reinforces all that we can point to at this time.


Sources of Information


The Length and General Thinness of the Fingers
The length and general thinness of the fingers always defines an identification with cerebral activity and intellectual pursuits. The thinness, in itself (and wherever it is found) is associated with the factor of insufficiency. We would understand from this that the cerebral functions become enlisted to compensate for this sense of insufficiency and would shift the center of gravity from the emotions to a strict and calculated cerebral discipline... from feeling to intense and focused thinking.

The Flat, or Square Shaped, Tips of the Fingers
Note in particular the tip phalanges of the medus (middle) and ring fingers. There is a distinct flatness here and this always identifies a tendency to apply one's mind, and direct one's attentions and efforts, toward concrete, efficient, logical and practical goals. These are the keywords in such instances. The ambitions of people with flat edges to their fingertips are almost never abstract or poorly defined. They would be calculated and carefully conceived. Where such fingertips are in evidence there would be an orientation to decision making based wholly on rational thought and balanced, practical considerations.

The Square Shaped Palm Tending to Length
Perhaps we should have described the palm as rectangular as its length appears to exceed its width. Our intention, however, was to focus on the square impression of the palm. The palms do not become wider or narrower at any point. They are not so narrow as to suggest a degree of neuroticism or such instability as we may associated with heightened fluidity of affects. What this feature describes is first and foremost a sense of order and organization... an identification with whatever is useful, practical, and which lends itself to concrete definition. It significantly reinforces all that is associated with the flat edged nail phalanges of the medus and ring fingers.

The length of the palm under these circumstances is particularly significant. It allows a very real fluidity of thought, expression and mental organization. It promises a certain freedom in the translation of will into effect. Rigidity in this regard would be minimal. It would contradict blind compulsiveness and subservience to formulas.

The Placement and Architecture of the Thumb
What is critical when considering the thumb is the relationship between its upper and lower phalanges. Ideally we would find them identical in volume with the upper phalange appearing somewhat wider and the bottom phalange longer. The photo available to us here doesn't show this construction as clearly as we would like so that the untrained eye may have some difficulty appreciating this. It is, however, somewhat more clearly defined in his left hand. This feature promises a certain willfulness and disciplined translation of will into effect. It permits taking initiatives while guarding against carelessness and impulsiveness. It also speaks of marked intelligence and personal sophistication.

Placed neither too high nor too low Mr. Gates would not be the quintessential social personality whose life is defined by friendships, nor would he be isolated at the periphery of his society fearful of compromising his independence and autonomy. The balance we find here in this regard is quite ideal.

The Marked Thinness of the Little Finger

A close inspection of the litle fingers show them to be considerably thinner than the other fingers. We noted earlier the thinness which describes the fingers in general (and we see this in the spaces between the fingers on a hand which is not particularly wide) but the little finger exhibits a thinness which is in itself significant. This feature would have us understand that, appearances, wealth, influence and all else aside, Mr. Gates suffers an inner image of himself which, in every respect, falls short of who he really is and all that he trulyrepresents. This is an inner evaluation of self which has suffered serious erosion at one time, and, however surprising it may seem, would still have him question his self worth.

The Delicate and Transparent Quality of the Palmar Skin
This feature, again, would be somewhat difficult for anyone untrained in the examination of such photographs, to discern. The subtle greys at the center of the palm in fact expose what is just below the surface layer skin. This suggest certain qualities of refinement and even delicacy in the personality, and a responsiveness to stimuli which most people would have fail even to record. It is a feature which always describes infants hands as this heightened responsiveness to stimuli advances the learning experience and permits "knowing" as much as possible in the shortest possible time. With infants this happens with minimum attention to details, but the long and relatively thin fingers of Mr. Gates promises a powerful and focused attention to detail. When this feature describes the hands of an adult it adds considerably to the overall IQ of this person.



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The photograph of Bill Gates was sent us by Frederique Herel of Toronto, Canada.

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