Professor Lloyd's dealings look very, very shady:
> Professor Lloyd remained friends with Epstein after his conviction in 2008.
He visited Epstein at his office in Florida during the period of Epstein’s criminal sentence.
Professor Lloyd also visited Epstein’s private island, though for only a few hours for lunch, and
he has acknowledged Epstein in his academic publications. While Professor Lloyd clearly
valued Epstein as a source of potential funding, he also told us he believed that, by continuing to
engage with Epstein post-conviction, he could be part of Epstein’s rehabilitation.
Professor Lloyd told us that, in 2005 or 2006 (before Epstein’s conviction), Epstein gave
him a personal $60,000 gift to support his MIT research that Professor Lloyd did not submit
through MIT. In possible violation of MIT policies and certainly in violation of MIT norms,
Professor Lloyd deposited the gift into a personal bank account and did not report it to MIT.
> Eventually, in July 2016, Professor Lloyd affirmatively contacted Epstein by email to ask for
funding to support his upcoming sabbatical. On June 1, 2017, Epstein emailed his accountant
and Professor Lloyd: “send 125 k to mit for seth lloyd from gratitude.”
That's quite a charitable characterization! The conference in question wasn't just any "off-campus conference" -- it was held on Epstein's island.
Minsky had also organized a two-day symposium on Epstein's island several years prior (in 2002), a fact also totally omitted from the report.
Listen to TrueAnon to hear all about it and enjoy banter with your fellow SF labor organizing comrades.
Normally one would give the benefit of the doubt, but given the abhorrent acts people were perpetrating or turning a blind eye to in this case, I'm inclined not to. Hence this question of fact:
Unless there are credible witnesses attesting to the fact that he spent his few hours on that island eating lunch, the report should refrain from speculation and simply say "he visited Epstein's island for a few hours." We don't know what he was doing.
I think this is a dangerous way to look at things... Just because there's a lot of shady people doing awful things, doesn't mean we should tar everyone who associated with the person.
Whatever other things happened with other people doesn't really matter. Instead we should look at the facts for each case (visited Epstein's island where bad things had happened, and accepted money from Epstein in an unusual way).
That's a fair point. I should have said "while a small technical oversight such as stating 'he went for lunch' as a fact (absent proof) would normally not be worth highlighting, the facts of this case make me feel that even such small technical oversights should be avoided or highlighted when they occur."
By "the facts of this case" I mean the facts that 1) Epstein appears to have been guilty of trafficking many underage girls and directing them to have sex with friends or business partners of his and 2) this guy who had other inappropriate/unethical dealings with Epstein went to his island, for a few hours.
Basically I'm saying they should just say "This friend of Epstein made a 3 hour visit to him on pedophile island" which are the only known facts. Not saying he did anything, but neither should the report claim he didn't unless they have evidence. Just stick to the facts.
When I was young I used to wonder how in the hell the Salem Witch Trials ever happened. It boggled my mind.
I don't wonder about how it happened anymore, I've seen it so many times it's old hat now.
I mean what next, anyone who takes a jet with Bill Clinton is having sex with an intern?
When I'm walking through my hometown and the tall grass next to me shakes, I think it's a rabbit or a dog or something. When I'm on the African plains in lion country and see the same thing, I think it's a lion. Bad association begets cynical assumption, because it's more often correct than incorrect.
no sir, that's not even wrong. take your conspiracy theories somewhere else.
The $185,000 made as alleged gifts to MIT but which went into Lloyd's bank accounts won't be returned by MIT or donated to charity, nor will the interest they earned on their investments from the officially given $850,000 money given over the last 15 years or so. And was there other side channel off the books funding beyond the $185,000 to Lloyd? Was he really the only one that saw huge sums of cash magically appear in his private bank account?
All interesting. Will Lloyd return the $185,000 or donate it? Was any of that cash declared as income on his tax returns?
So he says oh I just flew out to a Caribbean private island renowned for pedophilia for a brief lunch and nothing more, nothing to it, what's the big deal. Yeah... maybe that's what happened. We'll probably never know, but everyone that went to that island has a black mark.
Or, from a more cynical point of view, they make you feel important/distinguished/part of their community, in hopes of soliciting further donations in the future.
I assume, if you donate $50,000,000 they knock that up several notches.
Visiting a private island in the Caribbean from your home base in Boston is a full day affair. Total one-way travel time from MIT campus to that island is about half a day. Seems at least as likely to have been an overnight trip.
> Professor Lloyd remained friends with Epstein after his conviction in 2008. He visited Epstein at his office in Florida during the period of Epstein’s criminal sentence. Professor Lloyd also visited Epstein’s private island, though for only a few hours for lunch, and he has acknowledged Epstein in his academic publications. While Professor Lloyd clearly valued Epstein as a source of potential funding, he also told us he believed that, by continuing to engage with Epstein post-conviction, he could be part of Epstein’s rehabilitation.
The way it's phrased it isn't clear if this was a one time visit or multiple times. "He visited the island" is an ambiguous statement as regards one time or many.
(If you're willing to overlook the sex offences, that is)
Is it your belief that response somehow changed the point? Or maybe you think that response changed human nature? That somehow reacting in that manner changes mankind such that no one would ever be flattered that a rich and powerful person thinks they're interesting enough to have lunch with.
What about their wives? Are the wives pedophiles too? They sometimes went to the island with whomever. How many degrees of separation is necessary before you become just a person who wasn't aware of this rich and powerful persons predilections?
Lets call it Pedophile Bacon. Everyone is at most 6 degrees of separation from Epstein, therefore it has to be a number between 1 and 6, otherwise everyone is a pedophile due to Epstein.
I think what kills me the most is the implication through all of this that Epstein was so important that everyone should have been aware. I certainly wasn't. Until all this shit came out, I had _no idea_ who he was, or that he had been convicted. I don't spend my time tracking pedophile, and I would consider it a bit strange for anyone who does.
Imagine if someone like me is asked to go to lunch by their employer. And then this shit hits the fan, and suddenly you're being accused of being a pedophile because the Pedophile Bacon is 3 or less and you're at 2.
Maybe the guy is a pedophile. But him having lunch with Epstein says nothing about his status of being a pedophile. Because having lunch with a pedophile is not, by definition, what makes a pedophile a pedophile.
But you come in here with this snide ass comment as if it changes any of that. I don't personally understand. Help me understand why you would muddy the waters surrounding pedophiles. How many Pedophile Bacon's does it take before someone once again is presumed innocent until proven otherwise?
> There were lavish dinner parties with the likes of Steven Pinker and Stephen Jay Gould during which Epstein would ask provocatively elementary questions like “What is gravity?” If the conversation drifted beyond his interests, Epstein was known to interrupt, “What does that got to do with pussy?!”
It think it's fair to say anyone who was on his island, home or jet should be questioned by authorities about what they saw there. He was a child sex trafficker operating out of his homes and private jet. Those are crime scenes.
Not everyone who went there is guilty, but given everything we now know it's not unfair to question their presence in Epstein's orbit.
A pedophile is a very specific thing. It's someone who is sexually aroused by underage children. More specifically, it's someone who acts on those desires.
that's it. That's the end. There are no other possible ways to get into that club.
If someone goes to lunch with a pedophile, knowing they're a pedophile, to try and get $60,000, they're morally corrupt. They're a shitty person. But until they start abusing these underage girls, they're not pedophiles themselves.
This is not a hard concept. There are 5 categories of people who went to that island.
1. unaware of his predilections
2. aware, and morally corrupt
3. pedophiles who were unaware of his predilections
4. pedophiles who were AWARE of his predilections
5. pedophiles who went to have sex with underage children.
The argument here is that the only reason you would ever go to that island is if you were 5. This is unreasonable, and it makes you kind of dumb.
Specifically, it's someone aroused by prepubescent children.
> More specifically, it's someone who acts on those desires.
No, someone who acts on those desires (for underage children, whether a pedophile in the strict sense or not) is a child sex abuser. A pedophile is a pedophile whether or not they act on their desires, and it's possible to act on sex desires that make you a child sex abuser without being a pedophile at all.
> If someone goes to lunch with a pedophile, knowing they're a pedophile, to try and get $60,000, they're morally corrupt.
I disagree, whether using either the actual definition or yours of “pedophile”.
Now, if you know that he's a child sex trafficker (and thus that in some way the funds would originated from the sexual abuse of children), then, sure, there's a good argument.
Lets not, sex with a 13 year old post-pubescent child will get the same laws slammed at you. The technical definition is irrelevant for this conversation.
In many jurisdictions and details of the other corcumstancesthat's not true, it will get a subset of the same laws slammed at you, because their are additional offenses defined for crimes against younger children. But, in any case, I'm not the one who started the terminological games (“a pedophile is a very specific thing...”), just the one who insisted that if you are going to insist on the “very specific” meaning of terminology, you do it right. If you want to say “child sex abuser”, do that; don't use “pedophile” and insist that it has a very specific meaning which is both broader (by targeted age) and narrower (including only active offenders) than “pedophile” actually is, and exactly matching what “child sex abuser” is.
> Not everyone who went there is guilty, but given everything we now know it's not unfair to question their presence in Epstein's orbit.
That's it. I'd also argue that 1. doesn't exist because Epstein and his properties highly advertised his lifestyle.
> This is unreasonable, and it makes you kind of dumb.
You're responding to an argument no one has made.
You say while simultaneously arguing 1 doesn't exist, which is the entire point of my argument.
I certainly had no idea who the fuck epstein was before all this went down.
It’s all in the MIT report. They knew everything about him yet continued to work and socialize with him.
I find it very hard to believe all these scientist didn't know what was going on nor would I be surprised to find out they participated in it.
So the question is, was he more or less restrained in broadcasting his proclivities in the early 2000s before his first conviction? And, was he more or less restrained on his private island which was essentially constructed for the purpose of facilitating his abuse?
The evidence is there though for those that care to look. As you say, Epstein couldn't not talk about sex and young women, they were around constantly, everyone knew it was weird or they enjoyed the prospect of it.
Wow, let's not go overboard with the guilt-by-association here!
You can see Hawking surrounded by women on the island here:
I assumed from the description this was going to look like Stephen Hawking at the Playboy Mansion, but instead it's him at a bbq with two middle aged men and two middle aged women, and him in a submarine with a woman whose back is to the camera so you can't tell her age apart from not being gray-haired.
That could well be her "I'm a theoretical physicist presenting at an important conference, and the only reason that news photographer is including me in the photo is because I'm sitting at the same table as Stephen Hawking" look.
It's unprofessional at best but as we know know, many of these girls were sex trafficking victims and underage.
It's also known that Epstein's island residence was decorated with pictures of underage nude girls and a giant nude painting of Ghlisaine Maxwell. So yeah, I'd say there are quite a few red flags there.
As far as nude pictures and paintings, were they clearly underage and non artistic? There's a lot of post hoc reasoning by those who want to spread blame around that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
In contrast, the $125,000 is included in the $850,000, as indicated by the breakdown in the table on page 9. Thus, though not stated explicitly, the report indicates that the $125,000 was sent to MIT (to fund Seth Lloyd's research but not into his personal bank account).
(At any rate, the fact that he accepted a gift of any amount, especially into his personal bank account, is very concerning. Sounds like currently he has been put on administrative leave and we'll see what happens after they're done deciding what to do.)
> The actions of a senior faculty member have raised new concerns. In keeping with MIT practice on faculty discipline, I have asked his department head to consider any appropriate action. In the meantime, in consultation with the provost, dean and department head, I have placed him on leave.
Also I think administrative leave is different from other types of leave, which are all also different from sabbatical.
> Eventually, in July 2016, Professor Lloyd affirmatively contacted Epstein by email to ask for funding to support his upcoming sabbatical. On June 1, 2017, Epstein emailed his accountant and Professor Lloyd: “send 125 k to mit for seth lloyd from gratitude.”
See most people have never been faced with the position of making sure convenient sums of money offered to them are consistent with the values they represent
Tenured professors do sometimes take leaves of absence to work for a period with some company on a problem they think is interesting. And many do consulting on the side.
Tenured professor at an elite school certainly isn't a bad gig. But compensation isn't mostly at the senior engineer FAANG levels that people like to throw around. But then LOTS of jobs that people both enjoy and are useful to society aren't.
Their real world constraint is publish or perish, and they do have a timeline: the next conference. And their requirements does not include usability and maintenance.
Also writing a good paper is a long endeavor, often frustrating, sometimes with politics involved.
I live a fairly privileged life as a U.S. West Coast techie...and stopping at a private island for a few hours sounds crazy. Do non-billionaire people (active academics at that) really lead lives like this? `
Those people do sometimes have friends like us & a desire to entertain.
If a billionaire calls you up and tells you they're sending their plane to pick you up if you're interested in going, then yes. That's fairly common, in terms of billionaires sending their planes to pick folks up they want to meet with, or letting others hitch a ride.
To be fair, my entire life story has been rather topsy turvy in many ways (went to an undergrad with more grad students, went to a grad school with no undergrads).
"Everyone in this room, stand up. Every second we're going to count a million dollars. If your net worth is less than that amount, sit down."
Most people will sit down in a second or two. Some might last ten seconds.
A billionaire will still be standing 16 minutes later. Every second, a million dollars ticking away.
TWO DAYS later, you're getting to the richest people in the world. Remember, one million dollars a second.
This seems pretty unlikely. Putin has certainly done well being a corrupt leader, and probably has control over $200B, but I doubt he has holdings that reach anywhere near that level.
Gaddafi having that much money is a bit of a joke. It would require him having many multiples of the entire country's GDP in his own personal account. Perhaps theoretically possible, but hard to believe without better proof.
I think there's this view that academics are quiet home body book worms, but that's flawed. Adjuntcs maybe, but definitely not tenured professors.
So, if that lunch happened _before_ Epstein conviction, I'd give some benefit of the doubt. After, "not with a ten mile pole" is the appropriate policy and any other conduct is on him.
Lloyd should resign from MIT immediately. There is simply no excuse for soliciting money from a child trafficking racketeer like Jeffrey Epstein.
If your research is worth pursuing, compete honestly for federal research grants like everyone else.
If Epstein was in fact blackmailing the rich and famous, or running a sex trafficking operation for profit, how does he benefit from supplying donations (and whatever else he allegedly supplied) to a quantum computing professor?
Many engineering professors consult with private companies for a fee. So it seems odd that a country would need to take a roundabout and scandalous approach like this to pick a professor's brain, when they could just work though a legitimate-seeming company as an intermediary.
I also think it's easy to say "how could they do x and y with a 17 year old..." but humans are made of flesh and blood.
> After meeting Epstein in February 2013, Ito conducted what he described as “due diligence” into Epstein. Ito told us that he performed a Google search of Epstein and also spoke with certain individuals to learn more. According to Ito, the “influential” people with whom he spoke included Nicholas Negroponte, Media Lab co-founder and Professor Post-Tenure of Media Arts and Sciences; members of the Media Lab Advisory Council; tech billionaires, including a former LinkedIn senior executive and co-founder; and a well-known Harvard Law School professor. Ito also met other influential individuals at meetings with Epstein, including Woody Allen, a senior executive at the Hyatt Corporation, and a former prime minister of Israel. Ito explained that these meetings and discussions influenced his view of Epstein.
I love the word "nearly" here. Just saying.
The past 30 years have been a continuous project in weaning the institute off being merely a very large government research lab.* IMHO this process has not been successful.
* with a small school bolted onto the side: the educational side of the institute is only 16% of the budget and is run at a small loss. This might explain their interest in Epstein.
Let the Institute burn. It brought this upon itself.
I admit I was one of the lucky ones for whom it was an almost perfect environment. But even as an undergraduate I had no illusion that I was there to "attend school". I was there to learn AND do.
I am really soory if it screwed you. I have friends who had that experience.
I can tell you're not trying to insult anyone but you have to understand how that's kind of insulting.
If your point were correct and the issue were a simple question of being mentally prepared for the research slant of the school, Professor Tonegawa's son would not have killed himself in his freshman year.
Don't blame the students for what the system itself is structured to encourage. I was there to "learn and do" (to use your words), and I was still horrified by my experience there.
Can you name something concrete that the place has actually done? From where I'm sitting, it has worked on a lot of trendy bullshit which never amounted to anything, but got curiously good press.
For example, that ridiculously twee and obviously fraudulent claim to have built "personal food computers" is a recent nothingburger that comes to mind.
MIT graduates, faculty and staff have earned quite a few Nobel and Turing prizes; half a dozen graduates have walked on the moon; the lead professor in my Unified class left to become secretary of the Air Force; she was replaced by the former head of NASA. Almost every or every department has contributed in fundamental ways to its respective field.
From Chemistry to Electronics to Mechanical Engineering to Electrical Engineering to Economics to Physics...I think the modern world would be unrecognizable without MIT.
Everyone knows that MIT the school, as opposed to Negroponte's pedo-blackmailer funded wank fest, has historically done some important things. If you were originally saying MIT the school is a net positive for humanity, that's not what I am asking for clarification on at all.
Several interesting things came out of the media lab including mindstorms OTOH. Not in proportion perhaps to the amount of press, but the media lab was not funded from government grants by and large.
Media lab emphasized demos, true, but in some ways I admired it, as the rest of the institute (a part from Architecture, wher the ML sits) but you know, everywhere else was good at burying things or assuming the technical detail was all that mattered.
I ask because media labs often annoyed me with the twee "look at the future" stuff that never really panned out. The "food computer" thing mentioned above being a particularly ridiculous recent example.
I think it mostly annoys present day me in that I was taken in by this in the early 90s, when I was an avid reader of Mondo2k, Wired and the other kinds of publications Negroponte used to shill in. If the best thing that came out of the place since it was founded back in 85 is ... lego extensions... well, maybe people should stop funding them. I mean, Seymour Papert was pretty cool for his day, but he's dead.
They did eventually get enough money to build a second building. (Which has a really nice event space--so there's that.) And I assume if I went through their research I'd find some interesting things. But I certainly don't know of anything particularly world-changing off the top of my head.
For example these all before her group:
MIT, but not Mae's group or Media lab:
If the Department of Defense had not punted on the investigation, then provost Rafael Reif and his supervisor president Susan Hockfield would be serving time in a federal penitentiary with former dean of MIT Sloan School of Management Gabriel Bitran
instead of sending thank-you notes to one of the most depraved child molesters of the 20th century.
Shame on Rafael Reif and Susan Hockfield!
>The newspaper also reported that her lab produced "a grapefruit-sized, 3-D printed marble with a base that lit up", as a personal gift for Epstein that was delivered to his Manhattan apartment.
The Voo Doo MIT Journal of Humor regularly published dark tasteless jokes about MIT driving students to suicide, because it was true.
Here's an example from their Fall 2003 issue: page 12, "FORM 27B-6: STUDENT AUTHORIZATION TO SELF-TERMINATE".
>This form must be competed in its entirety by any graduate or undergraduate student wishing to end the biological process of his or her life. Postdoctorates and faculty members should not complete this form; instead, these individuals should complete alternate Form 27B-9.
Or "Fun Stuff To Pull On The Clueless":
Voo Doo also published a biting spot-on parody of "Hunter S Negroponte" and Media Lab (including a reference to his brother John Negroponte's war crimes and lies to Congress):
Generation of Bits
Tales of shame and degradation in the Big Idea Lab
by Hunter S. Negroponte
Too Many Bits
The other day I was thanking my good friend Former President Bush (or ``George'' as I call him) for pulling some strings to get my brother out of that Iran-Contra mess, and he asked me if I knew any hot technologies he could sink his Presidential Pension into. In my opinion, the smart money is on filters. It's getting so you can't read Usenet without seeing that ``Dave Jordan'' Ponzi letter followed by forty replies from dickless wannabes threatening to mail-bomb the poster's sysadmin for the ``innapropriate post.'' Of course, I personally have my staff of Elegant British Women pre-edit my .newsrc for me (God how I envy the British), but that option is not open to the unwired masses outside the Media Lab.
One way to eliminate the blather while keeping the First Amendment intact is to create active ``Filter Agents,'' as I like to call them, that presort my Netnews articles and eliminate the tiresome pseudo-commercial posts. Can you imagine what the net's raw content will look like when all the half-literate morons in the U.S. can publish any text that their tiny minds ooze? The very thought makes me want to refill my glass with the '56 Chateau Lafite. America's Intelligentsia will need some serious Digital Butlers guarding our Offramp on the Digital Highway's Mailing Lists (damn metaphors) when this comes to pass.
The Big Lie
Media Lab critics (there have been a few) have occasionally questioned the practical application of our work. Well, have you heard about the Holographic Television? No longer a device found only in the back of comic books, we've actually made this sucker work. An honest-to-god motion-picture hologram, produced in the Media Lab basement on a 2000 pound holography table by computers, lasers and mirrors spinning at 30,000 RPM. It's real! It works! Life Magazine even came in to photograph it in action (of course, they had to fill the room with smoke so the lasers would show up on film). Practical application? Sure, it requires a 2000 pound air-suspended rock table and a Connection Machine II to run, but hell, everyone knows the price of computing power and 2000 pound rock tables is cut in half every year. My point, however, is more mundane: we have created a demo literally from smoke and mirrors, and the Corporate World bought it. Even my good friend Penn (or ``Penn,'' as I call him) Jillette would be proud.
In fact, I'm a few points up on Penn. You may have heard of the Interactive Narrative work that is proceeding in the lab. Folks, I'll be honest with you for a moment. I know as well as you do that it's a stinking load of horseshit. Roger Ebert said ``Six thousand years ago sitting around a campfire a storyteller could have stopped at any time and asked his audience how they wanted the story to come out. But he didn't because that would have ruined the story.'' You think Hollywood would have learned this lesson from the monster ``success'' that Clue, the Movie enjoyed several years ago. But no! I've repackaged the ``Choose your own Adventure'' novels of childhood as Digital Information SuperHighway Yadda Yadda crap, and again, they bought it! Sony right this minute is building an interactive movie theater, with buttons the audience can push to amuse themselves as the story progresses. Dance for me, Corporate America! I'm SHIT-HOT!
Why, just the other day I listened to a member of my staff explain to potential sponsors that we had spent \$US 4,000,000 of Japanese sponsor dollars to construct a widescreen version of ``I Love Lucy'' from the original source. And HE SAID IT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE! CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE THAT? Boy, I bet those Nips wish they had their money back now! Earthquake? No, we can't do much to rebuild your city, but we SURE AS HELL can give you a 1.66:1 cut of Lucy to fit all those busted HDTVs of yours! HA HA HA!
A Sucker Born
Last week I was off the coast of Greece on my yacht ``Nippo-bux'' (I put the ``raft'' in ``graft,'' as I always say) with my close personal friend Al (``Al'') Gore. He asked me ``Nick--er, Hunter, how do you do it? You maintain a research staff of, in the words of Albert Meyer [an underfunded Course VI professor], `Science Fiction Charlatans,' yet you never fail to rake in monster sponsor bucks? I could fund Hillary's socialized medicine boondoggle in an instant if I had that kind of fiscal pull.''
I told him that it's merely a matter of understanding our sponsor's needs. Our sponsors are represented by middle-aged middle-managers who need three things: Booze, good hotels, and hookers. Keep 'em busy with free trips and the slick dog and pony shows, provide them with pre-written notes for their upper-managment, and the money will keep rolling in.
Do I worry that one day some sponsor will wake up and say ``Wait a minute--what the hell did I do last night? Did I shell out a million bucks to fund a LEGO Chair in the Media Lab? Tequila!'' Over the years I've learned not to care. I could pull the cigar out of W.C. Field's mouth and sell it back to him at a profit. And he'd thank me for the deal. I'm that goddamn good.
By the way, if you enjoyed this article, you can read it again in my upcoming book: Being Gonzo -- Life on the Digital Information SuperHighway Fast Lane. Buy one now.
Epstein was like a landing page with customer logos from LinkedIn, Microsoft, MIT, and Harvard.
From the early 40s through the early 90s MIT was essentially entirely (> 80%) funded by various organs of the US government (I used to read the budget when I was a student, and nowadays the development office sends me the budget). With the end of the Cold War that era came to an end. Interestingly Nicholas Negroponte was one of the few who really recognized this and he set up the media lab on a different structure.*
MIT really struggled to make a transition, which it has only partially made progress on. And what I like about this analogy is that it is trading on someone else's judgement and reputation. The landing page and pitch deck that uses other peoples' logos (typically without permission which I think, in the pitch deck case at least, is just fine, as long as the usage is true). "Trust us! Our B2B solution is trusted by Coca-Cola, Airbus and Lyft!"
A lot of schools name buildings and courses after people. One thing I liked about the old MIT is that they didn't really: Building 2 actually has a name but who really knows it? There were a few exceptions, but they were few. One element of the "new" MIT is that they essentially sell their own credibility ("Steven Schwartzman school of computing is merely the most notorious" and also try to trade it in reverse "Steven Schwarzmann may be a scumbag but he thought we were worth giving money to". Harvard (from its very name) Stanford, etc have all been in on this game for decades and centuries; MIT is just trying to catch up.
* I have mixed feelings about his by that's an unrelated matter
It helps that rooms are numbered with the building number up front (e.g., 2-351 is building 2 floor 3 room 51), so the number is much more informative than the name.
Also, it's only been the Simons building for 4-5 years or so; before that it was just building 2.
Additionally, buildings outside the main cluster have a cardinal direction prefix (W/NW/N/NE/E) that helps locate them.
(I know you know all that; I'm adding context for the readers.)
Social proof has usefully demonstrated exactly what they are.
>In addition to his own donations, Epstein claimed to have arranged for donations to MIT from other wealthy individuals. In 2014, Epstein claimed to have arranged for Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to provide an anonymous $2 million donation to the Media Lab.
From the PDF linked above: http://factfindingjan2020.mit.edu/files/MIT-report.pdf
In fact, Epstein left his entire estate to Boris Nikolic (guy on the far right on that NYT picture). Nikolic worked for Gates for many years.
This is Gates emailing co-workers after visiting Epstein:
> After the meeting, Epstein emailed friends and associates to boast, writing "Bill's great" in one email reviewed by The Times. In an email Gates sent to his own colleagues the next day, he wrote, "A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late."
The revelations about Epstein directing the $2M Gates donation to MIT first came out in Ronan Farrow The New Yorker piece on Joi Ito and MIT. Gates has denied it but given all the facts it seems very believable that Epstein did have something to do with that donation.
That's an extreme exaggeration that borders on character assassination - your linked article disagrees with your setup at every step (it notes repeatedly the limited nature of his interaction with Epstein). Gates met with Epstein a few times on the premise that he claimed he could raise billions of dollars for charitable causes Gates was associated with and otherwise did not have ties to him, did not do business with him or know him on a personal level.
almost certainly Alan Dershowitz, who is up to his eyeballs in epstein dirt.
> Why are the people not connected to Epstein leaving this orbit, while people connected to Epstein remain?
> Shouldn't it be the other way around?
> almost certainly Alan Dershowitz, who is up to his eyeballs in epstein dirt.
My guess is Lawrence Lessig, since he himself wrote about this ("Our conversations then were about his diligence to determine whether Epstein remained an abuser"), see
The "former prime minister of Israel" was probably Ehud Barak, who solicited $1 million in seed money from Epstein for his startup Carbyne, received large political donations from Epstein's benefactor Les Wexner, and was a frequent guest at Epstein's NYC mansion.
2)“I’ve also talked to Nicholas [Negroponte] as well who had
met him and he also agrees that we should treat Jeffrey with respect.”
3)Negroponte pushed back on concealing Epstein’s attendance, responding (in part) “Of course he
can come and would be welcome …. I would make absolutely no fuss over his coming and
welcome home [sic] 100%.”
Wow, just wow, are there no depths too low?
I like Nicholas a lot but some of his remarks do surprise me.
> Giuffre also alleges Epstein and Maxwell told her to have sex with former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson; former Democratic Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell; the late MIT computer scientist Marvin Minsky; and MC2 model agency cofounder Jean Luc Brunel, as well as an unnamed “prince,” “foreign president,” and owner of “a French hotel chain.” Giuffre previously alleged she had been forced by Epstein and Maxwell to have sex with lawyer Alan Dershowitz and Britain’s Prince Andrew.
OTOH I did read Giuffre's deposition and she says not just that she was told by Epstein to proposition various people but that it happened. I find that very hard to believe having known him so long, but she made that statement under oath. Also I'm not sure Marvin was famous enough to be worth making up a story about (as opposed to, say, a famous heir to a throne).
The deposition contains questions like "Where were you and where was Ms. Maxwell when she directed you to go have sex with Marvin Minsky?", which seem to focus entirely on Maxwell's behavior rather than telling us what Minsky's response was.
(For the record I think Minsky's conduct -- in continuing to associate with Epstein after being offered sex by a young woman on Epstein's private island and then continuing to host conferences there after Epstein's conviction -- is terrible either way, but agreeing on which facts are actually known seems important.)
My point about Marvin not being super famous is if I were making something up I'd make it up about famous people.
I'm not imagining that Giuffre made anything up. I'm just trying to work out whether, after she propositioned Minsky as she was directed to by Maxwell (from the deposition, as well as Minsky's own account to other attendees), he accepted.
I'd agree that Minsky agreeing to the proposition would be implied by those sentences in normal conversation, but depositions have carefully constructed and precise questions and answers, so that leaves me unsure.
(Again, I'm not trying to offer a strong defense of Minsky here or claim that any part of the deposition isn't true.)
> In the lawsuit, Giuffre claimed she was forced to have sex with a “large amount of people,” some of whom had not previously been named, including former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, Hyatt hotels magnate Tom Pritzker, hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin, the late Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist Marvin Minsky, modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, Dershowitz, Prince Andrew, another unnamed prince, plus “a well-known Prime Minister.”
Example quote from the deposition: "Where were you and where was Ms. Maxwell when she directed you to go have sex with Marvin Minsky?"
There was a Medium article that said Epstein brought young Eastern European women (likely trafficked) with him to campus. (If I can find it I will edit this comment) I think it says a lot about their culture, that people working there are encouraged to look the other way when a billionaire is involved.
Also, looking at the report, it is obvious that Ito was completely aware of Epstein's history, and the risks of associating with him, but continued to invite him to MIT's campus.
Interestingly, lots of these people weren't destitute. But these people (more intelligent than I am) fell for a trick I would have fallen for a hundred times faster: the slow drip. "Come visit my island. I'll fly you there". Of course I say "yes". Then when I'm there, everyone is busy having sex with kids. I'm standing there like gawking like an idiot. I have no sex with kids. I'm the only one who will say that. I'm already screwed. Well played, mob, well played. If I whistle blow the kid-screwing then they'll get in front of me. I'll commit suicide because apparently I had this secret paedophilia. The Internet will say "Well, junba wasn't a trustworthy guy ultimately. They found child porn on his computer". I'm not saying that some of the guys were innocent. I'm saying that given the existence of adversaries bent on information manipulation, no one external can determine if you're innocent or not. Better to stay far from the Eye of Sauron.
Right, they thought really hard about it and their moral compass told them to sweep it under the carpet.
Then the emails from Ito to Newton and the others at Resource Development are interesting. Here is one, Ito tries hard convince others to let him keep the money.
> I’m actively developing the relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and I’d like to know your thinking on this. More important than this $100K is what happens if he is interested in a much larger gift. My previous understanding was that if it was not accounted or named—or if the gift might be given anonymously—it was likely to be OK.
He is dangling future bags of money in front of them. "Just think of all the funding we could be getting. And look, we've already hid it as anonymous before, surely we can do it again".
That's some very effective tactics. Epstein did that too, he started giving smaller amounts of money first to see how it goes. Those processed, people made excuses. Once that happened they were hooked into the scheme and ready to be roped in even more. Ito was using the same tactics.
1) everyone is up on their high horses pretending that they somehow have an absolute moral compass that would prevent them from doing any wrong. To me it looks like people over at MIT are trying to do the right thing (with this external investigation) and maybe there will be some lessons learned from this whole episode.
2) everyone is outraged (rightfully) at what this guy/monster did but I believe we are missing a bigger point here: people abuse power every damn day. people fuck over people in a weak position - that cannot defend themselves - every damn day.
It sounds like some lives are more important than other when it comes to capturing the moral highground. What about minimum wage workers living in poverty, people that deperately need health care or civilians in war zones?
Nobody gives a damn about what has become the new normal, but we're outraged that some guy had assistants in their 20s and basically ran a prostitution ring on his island.
3) a subset of the same people that probably visited the island have decided to silence the guy because he probably knew too much. The same people that had no problem having sex with underage, sexually exploited girls, decided to abuse their power once more. And we're outraged that a bunch of MIT professors took donations to pursuit their research.
Honestly at this point I would just let law enforcement do their thing and would focus on preventing/exposing situations such of this vs being revisionists about what should have been done.
> Honestly at this point I would just let law enforcement do their thing
I don't think this will happen. Look at the phenomenal outcome of this underage prostitution case, which (from what we know) sounds pretty boring in comparison:
Something about sex trafficking seems to bring out the hitmen really quick.
Kosslyn was also responsible for creating a position for Jeffrey Epstein at Harvard in the psychology department, according to a recent report published by Harvard's president Lawrence Bacow.
Given Epstein's alleged connection to CIA, one wonders what role it played in helping land this disgraceful $20 million program in Draper's lap?
This isn't true, right? MIT knew about those engagements from as far back as 2013. This is the first sentence in the first answer to the first question and it just isn't correct. What _actually_ happened in September is a bunch of fucking terrible press for MIT. This whole thing is just so sad and at the end of all this is a bunch of human beings who were treated so poorly by some, and in some ways almost worse, treated indifferently by so many others.
The amount of money he donated is infinitesimal by MIT's standards. They must have been convinced there was tons more to come.
> In September, in response to revelations about engagements between MIT and Jeffrey Epstein, President Reif and the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation asked MIT's general counsel to retain a law firm to design and conduct a review of the facts surrounding those engagements.
It is the case that Goodwin Procter's fact-finding investigation began in September. And the report details interactions in 2012 and 2013, including who was aware of what at the time. You can read the report here: http://factfindingjan2020.mit.edu/files/MIT-report.pdf
> Senior members of the administration were aware of gifts the Media Lab received between 2013 and 2017 ... They knew in general terms about Epstein’s history – that he had been convicted and had served a sentence
So it would stand to reason that Reif knew about the relationship with Epstein, dating back to at least 2012.
Epstein brought Bill Gates's money through the door. Don't pretend the administration was unaware of his donation history, or that he was just some everyday small-potatoes donor.
Reif had his eyes open, he said thank you for the money, and now he's throwing others under the bus to preserve his own career.
Shame on Reif and Hockfield!
- Profs Lloyd and Oxman, still in service
- Joscha Bach, who is the VP of research at the AI foundation (https://aifoundation.com/about/), and declined to comment. I don’t know whether someone with such track record should be educating on the future of AI?
That's 10,000 documents and emails per person interviewed. How is that even possible?
59 people are interesting to look at.
610k documents are related to the investigation probably by search/graph.
Realistically, not all 610k are read manually.
Email is, of course, worse. For every 15-20 emails I get maybe one of them I was expecting or is personal. It's just a glorified spam box.
Basically, once his reputation was in tatters following his conviction, the Media Lab and various individuals found it profitable to rent their reputations (and MIT's) to Epstein.
"Really anonymous" might be to set up a trust, interact through a lawyer, where MIT receives no information about the person behind the scenes.
But people at MIT knew, and it helped him make connections with other people.
In addition, the donations were reciprocated. One example (going from memory, so might have details wrong) was that one of the labs was asked to make a gift for Epstein.
> Epstein had been supplying me the phone numbers of important scientists and financiers and media figures. “Do you understand what an extraordinary group of people they are, what they have accomplished in their fields?"
Yes, if there is a bias, it needs to come from somewhere? If feel it is like saying "If you haven't made a crime, you don't need an attorney." This doesn't make sense for most of people on your side of Atlantic, but try to get the rationale behind that.
Similarly, if they began talking of settlement fund, then for what they set it for to begin with, if this is a complete BS?
> When Epstein’s donations to MIT were revealed, MIT’s general counsel retained Goodwin Procter, a law firm that has worked with the Institute in the past and that has extensive experience conducting internal investigations at academic institutions. That background allowed the firm to get up to speed quickly as it began its review. Soon thereafter, the Executive Committee engaged the law firm Paul Weiss, which also has extensive experience leading internal investigations and advising boards of directors but no prior relationship with MIT. From a governance perspective, the Executive Committee felt Paul Weiss’s independence from the Institute was valuable.
The report concludes that President L. Rafael Reif was not aware that the Institute was accepting donations from a convicted sex offender and accused pedophile
Following one of the two $50,000 donations, staff prepared a standard gift-acknowledgment letter to Epstein, and President Reif signed it on Aug. 16, 2012
During the Vietnam War, Dean Epps was placed under citizen's arrest by the students of Harvard University (as he famously yelled back at them: "Unhand me, you mother-fuckers!") for that organization's complicity in what the UN has now ruled a war crime:
Got to wish protesters today the best of luck getting anywhere near that close to Rafael Reif, with the police detail that he needs to hide behind in order to protect his filthier-than-dirt, self-rationalizing ass from those who might attempt to hold him publicly accountable.
Is anyone interpreting this as "At MIT, it's reasonable to be
prejudiced against young women who claim to have a job in the
philanthropy field. Anyone actually qualified for such a job would
have a different age or a different gender."? If I'm a professor
elsewhere and visit MIT to talk about my research, can my female
graduate student (who did most of the work) safely visit at the same
time, or will she run into the same prejudice? Does the answer depend
on her physical appearance?
If you interpret it as you describe instead, I also desperately hope you are not a professor and don't visit MIT.
Why would Epstein donate $850k to MIT?
Video footage "accidentally" deleted and the backup footage also lost due to "technical errors."
His death and a cleanup so slovenly and brazenly done in front of the public eye is a mockery of America as a nation of "liberty and justice for all."
The world is not fair. There is little justice. But it's more fair and just than it's ever been before, by far. Maybe we've taken a step back in the last 10 years. It's hard to say. But compared to even 50 years ago, we are so far ahead it's unbelievable. 100 years, and it's basically a different world.
Really? You know this how?
> Only 2 generations ago, stuff like this was happening on a daily basis everywhere in the world.
And it magically stopped?
> This was basically what justice used to be.
As opposed to justice now being what money can buy?
> But it's more fair and just than it's ever been before
I disagree. The world is just as fair and just as it's ever been before. This is just recency bias like how the enlightenment crowd painted the period before them as the "dark ages" where no learning or progress was made.
> But compared to even 50 years ago, we are so far ahead it's unbelievable.
Maybe if we cherrypick some parts or aspects.
> 100 years, and it's basically a different world.
Humans are still humans.
Things aren't as terrible as you think they were. Things aren't as terrible today as some think. Things aren't as great as some think they were. Things aren't as great today as some think.
A lot of corruption in the rest of the world serves the American government interest of the interest of American corporations. America "is in it" as much as everybody else.
Like, to be blunt, Americans are snorting most of the cocaine from Latin America and having sex with most of the children in Thailand. That doesn't mean those children will wrap themselves in American flags or shoot guns after being fucked, but if you follow the money the trail ends in America and no one is doing anything to stop this. People get killed and raped in the trafficking and cocaine business all the time and I would call that pretty corrupt.
There were way more socialist and right wing dictators in the 1970s. Even in the early 90s than today.
Extrajudicial killings, independent courts, poverty via failed economic ideologies or resistance to adopting modern industry/markets, etc has all significantly declined and conditions have improved.
The world will always need constant maintenance and good things stagnant and need reforming. History has a habit of repeating itself but rarely to the same degree of failure as lessons do get learned and quality of life always increases.
Germany today definitely seems better than Nazi Germany -- copy that for almost all of Europe.
Japan today is definitely better than Tojo.
Russia today is probably better than Soviet Russia. Maybe it's worse. It's still bad.
Copy that for China, but I can't imagine it's worse than Mao. South East Asia seems a lot better off without the Khmer Rogue running around.
Isis is fucking up the middle east and MBS is terrible, but at least women have some rights and their courts aren't an absolute complete joke anymore.
I don't know much about India -- but it definitely seems like it's improving vs the recent past.
I don't really know anything about South America or Africa or Australia -- but if you think there was more justice in the Aztec or Inca Empires than there is today, you're mistaken.
Sure, things are way worse in some pockets I guarantee -- see Syria.
The world as a whole is getting better and fairer. And if you think anywhere in the world wasn't killing people on a regular basis for political motives and getting away with it Scott Free, I think you should read about Kingdoms and Empires and Slavery and Feudalism -- you know, the things civilazation ran on until relatively recently. And if you think "Modern Day Slavery" is anywhere near as bad as "Real Slavery" -- again, you're completely mistaken.
Go back 300 years, and you could kill your wife almost anywhere for almost any reason. Nevermind "Royalty" being able to get away with anything.
Meanwhile we had to drop a lawsuit against the NPD because the most vocal and hateful all turned out to be law enforcement. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, especially with the AFD reaching a nice 14% support.
> Copy that for China, but I can't imagine it's worse than Mao.
Blindly killing and starving your population for a rebuild from "scratch" vs. systematic eradication and organ harvesting. I am not sure if that counts as improvement, of course we get cheap crap from it so you might count it as a win.
> Isis is fucking up the middle east and MBS is terrible, but at least women have some rights and their courts aren't an absolute complete joke anymore.
Now if only some weird self styled world police stopped starting wars every few decades under the pretense of bringing peace. There are decades old pictures where the smoking ruins still looked a lot more western then they do now.
> Go back 300 years, and you could kill your wife almost anywhere for almost any reason.
And yet at least in Germany there were explicit laws covering "self defense against ones wife". While parsing that text hurt my brain (old German spelling + old German letters) the law text itself doesn't seem to paint the man involved in a good light from the start. So one attempt to find a law text in a language I can read and one success vs. "almost anywhere for almost any reason" - maybe I should play the lottery.
There's a difference between what is law and what's enforced.
I.E. it was illegal to mistreat your wife in Germany 300 years ago, but how often did the women win against the man compared to today? How often did they even bring up a case vs today? We don't know. But I'm skeptical it was even close to as fair as today.
Especially because the case disappearing is clearly convenient for people personally connected to the AG, or to whom the AG owes a favor.
Epstein was in Barr's custody.
Corruption seems like an easier explanation though.
If I want a conspiracy theory involving Epstein's power here, it's going to be that this is how you disappear if you're powerful enough, and the phrase "Epstein didn't kill himself" is correct not because his death wasn't a suicide, but because it's not his death.
What is the best, least crackpot looking resource to dig into the _facts_?
The chances of this happening on a high profile case are infinitesimally small. So on the contrary the great claim requiring evidence is that this was a completely normal suicide in prison. Where is the evidence this video was deleted by mistake?
You're claiming that the chances of this are infinitesimally small comes off a bit tautological. It kind of feels like you're /saying/ it's infinitesimally small because /if/ that were in fact true, it /might/ help your claim.
How do you know that?
To me, this is like saying "backups of important data do not become unrecoverable by accident." Except backups (and CCTV footage) is routine, high data volume, and very usually uninteresting, so something going wrong can very easily be missed. And things can go wrong with relatively high frequency--I would not be surprised if most attempts to restore from backups failed.
Also if you missed the latest news stories, they did save the footage for one of them but were given the wrong cell number so they had footage for the wrong floor.
This is just the general level of disorder and incompetence you can expect when you decide not to give a thing the level of funding it needs.
Even if they are ( on the claim that the high profile nature of the case decreases the odds of mechanical accident), infinitesimally small events can still happen once. The fact they happened at a time most inconvenient for holding a wealthy man accountable doesn't change the nature of probability.
I'd like links to sensible aggregate sources and discussion. I don't want to have the discussion here.
In this case, there may not be any bulletproof evidence, but everything around the case that could've gone wrong has gone wrong, to the point where it's no longer statistically plausible to be a mistake. Everything in the system had redundancy yet every part of the system "failed".
There were two guards, yet they were both "asleep". They were supposed to check him every 30m yet they didn't check him for hours exactly when he killed himself. He had attempted suicide yet he wasn't on suicide watch. His cell mate was taken away. All the footage and backup were lost.
I guess the closest evidence so far is that the autopsy shows more homicide than suicide, but that isn't much.
Yes, it is indeed a conspiracy theory at this point, but unlike what the internet will have you believe, "conspiracy" != "crackpot theory".
Further, if someone powerful was worried he'd implicate them, killing him is a terrible way to keep the secret. With him dead, his effects and possessions are now no longer subject to Constitutional privacy protections and the FBI can go over them at its leisure to string together a case against his accomplices or any who used his "services" to arrange illegal sexual encounters.
(... civil trial burden of proof is mere "preponderance of evidence," and IIUC his estate is seeking civil trial, so they may win that case, make of that what one will).
"Hours" means at least 4x longer than the normal period Epstein would have waited for the guards check in on him. Even at the 45 minute point it would be clear to Epstein that the guards were late.
Basic logic would dictate that a guy desiring to commit suicide would make an attempt exactly when it seemed likely to him the guards weren't going to show up for awhile.
So we have two options-- either Epstein was intent on committing suicide (in which case the timing is unremarkable) or he wasn't (in which case the timing is highly suspect). Given that we don't know Epstein's state of mind, and as you point out we don't have much of anything as corroborating evidence, we cannot make heads or tails of the timing. And this is the problem with conspiracy theories. It's simply too tempting to overlook that and jump to the branch that adds more intrigue to the conspiracy.
I find it useful to build a simple gate before jumping to unlock further contemplation. For example, perhaps I read about a statement from a guard claiming they were told not to check on Epstein during that time. Or even a report of some suspicious activity or event at the location that happened around the same time the regular checking procedure got interrupted. Having that gate there ensures that I don't accidentally let unrelated yet intriguing facts fill in for the corroborating evidence I desire.
It's a matter of probabilities. Surveillance video was prematurely destroyed, twice in a month, in separate incidents and in different ways. Oh and both of those incidents involved the same subject. That is statistically improbable, similar in category if not in actual magnitude, to getting struck by lightning twice. At the very least that should justify and support an investigation kicking into overdrive mode to find direct evidence. And if no such evidence is found, it may nonetheless end up being used as part of a prosecution. Interesting coincidences are always pretty persuasive.
I'm always so dissatisfied when I ask for evidence for these things.
But there are also serious questions that need to be answered - a very, very long list of serious questions about very important and influential people involved in some very suspicious events that culminated in some very rare and unusual security lapses.
Linking anyone asking those questions to "crackpots" is simply disingenuous.
A classic denialist position is to require a social process and specific outcome in order to challenge their beliefs, in the face of context. Not that it will change our society, in either case.
That's a nice, more-memorable riff on Russell's Teapot .
Do you have any explanation for that?
That he was in deep with very, very powerful people for a long time that are in the public eye we now somehow have to apply greater scrutiny to the evidence. Just, gobbledygook.
Perhaps we should realize that there really isn't much difference between the Mafia and generational political families.
All have noted how tight the security is (its often referred to as the "Gitmo of the East"), how so many failures would have to occur for him to be able to do what he did without anybody seeing it happen, or not have someone realize he was trying to kill himself and stop it.
I remember an interview with a high level jail admin and when asked about Epstein and what happened, he just laughed. The host asked why he was laughing and he basically said, "I worked there for 15 years, no way this happens with the security they have there. Someone was paid off or it was an inside job. There's no doubt in my mind when I consider the kind of people Epstein was linked to."
It's interesting how conspiracy theories seem to always have a very particular... 'conservative' bias.
At best, the doctor can affirm that Epstein died. Little more. Suicide is associating a storytelling, a blatantly lying storytelling in the face of the public as long as no proof of intent was even available when the suicide was affirmed. We basically know nothing on the circumstances of his death, so the suicide word was more than unfounded.
One toss, you couldn't really detect much smell. But 8? Does it stink?
Any one of these things, camera footage x2, cell mate, suicide watch removal, plea deal, guards asleep x2, association with the current president, Bill Clinton, actual royalty, just for starters... and we can keep going with these coincidences.
Any one, fine, happens. Any three, ok, weird, but not totally outside expectation. But we're kind of beyond that. It just stinks. If it's all just a massive coincidence that all these independent things "just happened" that needs support because it seems the assumption that all those events are independent is shaky, at best. Shaky by occam's razor heuristic.
0.9^8 is less than 50%
So it should be looked at closely on principle. With or without support from occam's razor.
For a lot of us, HN is a big part of our lives, it's our water-cooler place where we come to chat and wind down. I was myself curious to hear what folks here thought of the "Epstein didn't kill himself" trope.