On Epstein's eugenic dreams:
Jeffrey E. Epstein, the wealthy financier who is accused of sex trafficking, had an unusual dream: He hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch. (...)
On multiple occasions starting in the early 2000s, Mr. Epstein told scientists and businessmen about his ambitions to use his New Mexico ranch as a base where women would be inseminated with his sperm and would give birth to his babies, according to two award-winning scientists and an adviser to large companies and wealthy individuals, all of whom Mr. Epstein told about it.
The piece by Ronan Farrow that broke the story:
Epstein’s direct contributions to the lab were recorded as anonymous. In September, 2014, Ito wrote to Epstein soliciting a cash infusion to fund a certain researcher, asking, “Could you re-up/top-off with another $100K so we can extend his contract another year?” Epstein replied, “yes.” Forwarding the response to a member of his staff, Ito wrote, “Make sure this gets accounted for as anonymous.” Peter Cohen, the M.I.T. Media Lab’s Director of Development and Strategy at the time, reiterated, “Jeffrey money, needs to be anonymous. Thanks.”
Ronan Farrow on the relationship between him and his father:
I believe my sister. This was always true as a brother who trusted her, and, even at 5 years old, was troubled by our father's strange behavior around her: climbing into her bed in the middle of the night, forcing her to suck his thumb — behavior that had prompted him to enter into therapy focused on his inappropriate conduct with children prior to the allegations.
But more importantly, I've approached the case as an attorney and a reporter, and found her allegations to be credible. The facts are persuasive and well documented. I won't list them again here, but most have been meticulously reported by journalist Maureen Orth in Vanity Fair. The only final legal disposition is a custody ruling that found Woody Allen's behavior "grossly inappropriate" and stressed that "measures must be taken to protect [Dylan]."
Maureen Orth on the relationship between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow:
Seiger doubts that Soon-Yi could have written the statement to the press. “The words were often exactly the same as Woody Allen’s, if you compare the two,” says Priscilla Gilman, daughter of Yale drama-school professor Richard Gilman and literary agent Lynn Nesbit and an honor student at Yale, who as the longtime girlfriend of Mia’s son Matthew Previn is regarded almost as a daughter in the family.
Adam Rogers on Epstein (including John Brockman's role):
Epstein’s actual interest in science was at best dilettantish; he’d ask big questions but his attention would wander, and he’d change the subject by saying, “What does that got to do with pussy?” (...)
Just because Epstein dined alongside intellectuals doesn’t, on its own, taint their work. The scientific method still stands. The data and conclusions hold. But in the spirit of the Edge Question that Brockman used to toss out for his crowd to pontificate on, here’s a Big Question: What ideas did Jeffrey Epstein shape? A convicted sex offender, an accused child rapist, a person who would ask what quantum computing or the origin of life had to do with “pussy” … what did he incept into the work of important scientists, into the writing of influential authors? The idea that should run freon through your cortex is that Jeffrey Epstein likely helped plant some thoughts there.
On the origin of Epstein's plane "the Lolita Expresss":
Marcinko’s shifting sobriquets bring to mind the opening to Vladimir Nabokov’s novel of child rape. “She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning … She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.”
Which makes sense, as the airplane that would later help shape Marcinko’s life in America—a large-cabin Boeing 727 now associated with both high glamour and incomprehensible suffering—was known as the Lolita Express. It belonged to Jeffrey Epstein.
Stuart Pivar, a friend of Epstein's, on Epstein's motivations:
Epstein was a dilettante, and easily distracted. But he pulled so many prominent thinkers into his social circle, using the promise of his money to create “some kind of a mini university of thought,” that in Pivar’s view he did “amazing, incredible, amazing, remarkable things for science.” 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?!”
In short, he's publicly defended people who have taken Epstein's money or have been close to Epstein, in addition to having (almost certainly) crossed paths with Epstein many times via his ties to Brockman. He has not distanced himself from Edge like other authors (e.g. Evgeny Morozov) have. However, I have no evidence that he directly accepted Epstein money.
Attended "Billionaires' Dinners" with Epstein; documentation shows they were at least at the same event in 2000 (Edge.org)
2000: Nathan Myhrvold; Jeffrey Epstein; Dean Kamen; Stewart Brand; Nicholas Negroponte
Sidenote: the Edge.org site scrubbed more recent mentions of Epstein at Billionaire's Dinner, so the site might not be trustworthy: (Yahoo! Finance)
In a now deleted post on Brockman’s nonprofit The Edge Group’s website, the “Billionaires Dinner” is described as one of Epstein’s "favorite events." It added that Epstein "enjoys hanging with stimulating and provocative thoughtful minds, who have achieved a high degree of success in finance, company, high tech, and scientific research."
Publicly defends Epstein's funding in a reply to a thread about reputation laundering: (Twitter)
Bear in mind that Epstein was funding a lot of science long before he had a (deservedly!) bad reputation to launder. It was a prior genuine interest.
Publicly defends Marvin Minsky's actions: (Twitter)
Minsky had zero involvement in Epstein’s crimes. Ask his wife Gloria, who was always with him. This is nuts.
Signed a letter supporting Joi Ito's actions: (The Verge)
A number of prominent professors and thinkers involved with MIT and Harvard are listed as signers, including Harvard Law professor and Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig, Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, Media Lab co-founder Nicholas Negroponte, Harvard law professor and EFF board member Jonathan Zittrain, and synthetic biology pioneer George Church (who also had ties to Epstein).
On the content of the letter: (WBUR)
And an online letter in Ito’s defense, which first appeared on Monday, described Ito as a “visionary director” and a person of integrity — and asked him explicitly not to resign his post.