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My human rights are being trampled under quarantine in China
And then I was forcefully transported to a 15-floor room in a 4-star hotel… Can you imagine that? It is beyond me how they can just this blatantly treat me like some sort of animal. This is a concentration camp! I was given a glass stick, and told to stick it under my armpit twice a day, “to take my temperature”. It is a device that they use to break me down mentally… There must be some sort of toxins in there, or it must emit some magnetic waves or radiation that affects me mentally! There is also a 65in television in the wall, and they offer movies and TV shows on demand, but they must be mixing subtle psychoactive effects in the graphics. It’s like a telescreen from 1984… They are using the TV to break down my mind and to monitor me.
They deliver “food” for three meals a day, and the food is awful and overpriced—four dollars a meal? How can anyone afford that?? (Pictures included) I haven’t tried it yet; I’m sure they put something in there. They’re trying to get all the money out of my bank account and then kill me. How smart?!
And the doctors… They are the most terrifying part. They pretend to be nice, to be your friends, to be helpful, but really they just do that to gain your trust so they can break you. They pretend to be all cordial as they call and check in on me every day. They deliver me packages that I ordered online and things that my family sent and they pretend to apologize for my inconveniences; in reality they are making me delirious with all these chemicals that they’re pumping me up with, and harvest my organs at the end!
Help me, oh help me you American saviors of liberty, human rights and democracy; I want the luxury of living in an ICE camp; I want the liberty of being pulled over and being shot unarmed; I want the freedom of being billed hundreds of thousands of dollars for a snake bite; I want the luxury of being in a Japanese internment camp; I want the luxury of having my land robbed and being massacred right on it; I want the luxury of being excluded by the Chinese Exclusion Act; I want the luxury of being shipped to the land of the free from Africa and being lynched whenever they please…
That’s enough. I can hardly contain my laughter at this point. I know I’m going to be called a Chinese bots for what I’m about to write, but why the fuck do you suppose the Chinese government would give a shit about what you random reddit netizens think? In the grand scheme of things, neither these bigoted redactors nor me matter. It is just me who is bothered.
Okay. Let me start by asking: just where the fuck does you Americans’ sense of political, social and moral superiority come from? GDP, you said? Well, that GDP is probably not going into your bank account unless you are among the 1%. Unless you are the 1% that control 82% of the wealth, you aren’t better than the rest of the world. That’s a simple fact. Many people understand it, but do not internalize it.
Bamboo shoots and pork belly stir fry--treatment of a cattle!
Many people still say America is the best country in the world. I’d like them to watch this:
So we can establish that America is perhaps not the greatest country on Earth, at the moment. OK. But we used to be the best, right? ERRR, wrong! (That’s the right onomatopoeia for the wrong answer buzzer, yes?) See, this is what I can’t put up with—historical ignorance of your own country. People in MAGA hats romanticize America now, and almost all Americans romanticize America in the past. You can even tell in the clip, when the jittery, handheld camera motion switched to a stabilized, sentimental panning shot: “We sure used to be.” Oh, the nostalgia. Oh, the pride. Give me a break. They just had to put it in there, didn’t they? The truth is, the US government and the American people did many things that are precisely what Americans criticize China for now. Uyghur re-education camp -> Japanese internment camp. Political suppression due to ideological hysteria -> McCarthyism. Government surveillance -> Patriot Act. The list goes on and on, because these are all inevitable phenomena in a time of rapid economic growth. Criticizing China for these things is essentially this: you eat a pizza, a hamburger and then a cake for dessert. Now you’re full, and you tell other people that pizzas and hamburgers don’t fill you up, that they only need to eat dessert. Actually, you tell people that nobody is allowed to eat pizzas or hamburgers, because you’re eating your dessert. It doesn’t work like that. There are intermediate steps that are necessary, and criticizing China for those steps is essentially historical ignorance of your own country.
So I don’t understand why the fuck you think you’re better. Do you understand the economic growth of China is the past few decades? Do you understand how poor and hungry China used to be, how how many more people are being fed, educated, clothed and settled now? You don’t. You don’t because you are quick to dismiss China as a shithole country while America is the greatest country on Earth. The reality is, even I, someone from this supposed shithole country, rank among the 1% in terms of family income and go to a prestigious college that most Americans cannot afford to attend. Ironic, eh?
Repeat after me: China’s system makes perfect sense, is not dystopian, and is rather productive and efficient. Because, the truth is, most people lack the ability of critical thinking. This happens even in highly developed countries—when you give votes to these stupid cattle, you get an orange for president. (Yep. Despite my sharp criticism of American sentiments towards China, I am acknowledging that America is a highly developed and productive country.) Worse, if you are a developing country, and you choose to indulge in the hemlock of democracy, you become India. An economic sludge due to corruption, bad bureaucracy and inefficient decision-making. What sets China apart from India is we chose Mao instead of Chiang—a wise choice. The people made a decision to give up democracy for decades, if not for ever, in exchange for a government that gets shit done. All these actions that the West look down upon—censorship, elitism, breaking promises, deception, information inequity, sacrificing the very few, etc., turns out to be very productive if implemented correctly. Also, democracy doesn’t really stop those things, either.
To put in simper terms, political ideology is like food. Democracy is like something gourmet, while autocracy is fast food. Europe probably has foie gras, truffles and caviar, while America has, at best, avocado toasts (with an egg on top, if I speak generously). China lives on Big Macs. We are eating blobs of trans-fat and corn syrup not because we want to, but because we’d better. We’re putting the money where it matters—to buy our kids books so they get better jobs. On a trade school degree so we can feed the old people in the house, etc. That’s what sets China apart from India: From 1960 to 2019, China’s GDP per capita increased from $192.3 to $7755 (a 40x increase), while that of India increased from $330.2 to $2140 (a 6.5x increase; China’s percent increase is more than six times of that). (tradingeconomics.com) According to the World Bank, the average life expectancy of China increased from 43.725 to 76.41 (a 32.7-year increase), while that of India increased from 41.174 to 68.803 (a 27.6-year increase). There are many more indexes—the literacy rate, the human development index, the disposable income per household . . . all of which prove that India’s modernization is pitiful, if taking place at all, while China is approaching the standards of a modern society in strides. That’s the power of a powerful and adequate centralized government.
Americans force avocado toasts down everyone’s throat (see Operation Ernest Voice and Color Revolutions) and expects them to pay for the toasts themselves. But the truth is, those tempted to drink the hemlock have been left with economic and political chaos, while the US walks away whistling: we saved another country! We did it Reddit! (Replace reddit with CIA.) See Yellow Revolution in the Philippines, Saffron Revolution in Myanmar, Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan… They tried to start a Jasmine Revolution in China, but we’re too smart to fall for it. I’m not saying democracy is bad; I’m just saying that almost no country on Earth has citizens that are educated enough for democracy (Norway being one of the few exceptions, in my opinion). However, y’all cowboys can afford to be free because you built your infrastructure on top of the corpses of Indians, quenching your thirst with blacks’ blood and whipping the exploited Chineses railroad workers as they collapse and die after working for 20 hours a day. And Americans and Europeans caught the opportunity of the industrial revolution. And then Americans got rich from selling guns, bullets and cannons to Europeans during both world wars. How noble!
There is much more that I’d like to say, but this is all I’ll write for now. Please take my opinions with a pinch of salt.
Also, though I have sharp criticism for American sentiments towards China, I have received much help from wonderful Americans during this crisis. I feel very conflicted, but that is besides the point of this post. I believe—or I want to believe—that there are many people that are rational on reddit; I just don’t see them very often. Most people I’ve met here are great people, but I don’t know why reddit is such a place of blatant racism and bigotry. I just want these reddit McCarthyists to get off their high horses.
What kind of researcher did sex offender Jeffrey Epstein like to fund? (LINK to article and text pasted below)
He told Science before he died.submitted by ALiddleBiddle to Epstein
Link to article here
Archive link here
By Jeffrey Mervis -- Sep. 19, 2019 , 4:15 PM
Jeff reports on science policy in the United States and around the world in an effort to explain to scientists how government works. He keeps a close eye on the changing fortunes of science across the federal government. He also follows efforts to improve science and math education, as well as the factors that shape the U.S. and global scientific workforce.
Jeff has reported from five continents, including Antarctica, and speaks regularly about the politics of U.S. science to both scientific and lay audiences. He's covered science policy for more than 30 years, including a stint at Nature, and joined Science in 1993.
In August 2017, I received an email from publicist Masha Drokova asking whether I wanted to interview her client, Jeffrey Epstein.
“I saw your piece on [President Donald] Trump’s science budget,” she wrote, referring to a story on the president’s proposed massive cuts to research in his 2018 budget request to Congress. “Jeffrey has an interesting perspective on what it will take to fill the gaps. … Would you like to speak with him next week?”
Why would Science talk to a shadowy financier and convicted sex offender? I queried my editors. “How strange,” one said. “Wonder why he is seeking press now?” another asked.
Eventually, we decided I should accept the invitation, on the chance that Epstein would say something newsworthy. And on 8 September 2017, I reached him, via Skype, at his mansion in New York City’s fashionable Upper East Side. (According to federal prosecutors, that is also where Epstein engaged in sex acts with teenage girls during naked massage sessions.)
Epstein began the 80-minute interview by asking me to agree, if we wrote a story based on the interview, not to use any quotes without first getting his permission. “I have lots of detractors,” he said, “so certain things phrased the wrong way could make trouble for you and I.” I agreed to his terms.
Now, 2 years later, a more complete picture of Epstein’s alleged predations has emerged, and last month the disgraced financier hanged himself in jail after being arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking. My editors and I concluded that given Epstein’s death and the intense interest in his support of science, we could quote him in this story. What follows are Epstein’s views on scientific philanthropy and the experiences of a few of the many scientists drawn into his orbit.
“Money I understand”In the interview, Epstein was by turns modest—“I’m not more than a hobbyist in science”—and boastful—“but money I understand, [and] I’m a pretty good mathematician.” He was eager to discuss his philosophy of giving and how science works. However, some of those views struck me as contradictory, and others were outdated or discredited.
The overarching goal of his philanthropy, he said, was to compensate for “the Trump administration cutting back on pure research.” It seemed like a grandiose claim. Although he repeatedly dodged my requests for specific amounts, his scientific donations over the past 20 years are unlikely to have exceeded a few tens of millions of dollars. That sum pales next to the U.S. government’s annual research budget of $150 billion, and it’s small even compared with the nine- and 10-figure gifts to science from many superwealthy individuals.
I asked who he chooses to fund. “I’m looking for smart people who might have a great idea,” he answered. “I’m making a bet that certain people, not a lot of them, can do great things if they simply can be freed up to think, and freed up from writing grants and having to worry about the necessities of life. Remember, I’m not building a laboratory, so [my money] goes to support them in a nicer way than being on a postdoc salary.”
I asked him how that approach differs from the so-called genius awards from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which gives out 5-year grants of $600,000 and asks nothing in return.
“It’s night and day,” he replied. “If you look at [the MacArthur awards’] origins, there were scientists like [physics Nobel laureate] Murray Gell-Mann on the committee looking for the world’s smartest people. But over the years, big institutions like MacArthur have become politically correct. If you look at their awards in the past 5 years, they’re very concerned with diversity.”
“Now, I’m all for diversity, but I’m for diversity of excellent ideas, not for diversity in the people who receive grants,” Epstein continued. He seemed to view science as something done by a self-perpetuating scientific priesthood that ignored anyone not like themselves.
His next comment was even more retrograde. “Now, [the MacArthur grants] are sort of a good citizen award, for being exemplary citizens, as opposed to for being a great scientist.”
“Something you’re able to tell”Being “smart” is the sine qua non for Epstein. So how, I wondered, did he go about identifying such budding talent?
One way was to ask teachers. “I talk to lots of professors,” he told me, “and I ask them, ‘How long does it take you to figure out, in a class of 300, who the three smartest kids are?’” he explained. “And usually they’ll say they know by the end of the first class.”
But Epstein also thought that a science writer might do just as well. “OK, Jeff, who would you fund?” he asked me at one point. “You’ve met a lot of interesting people and talked to them. Who stood out?”
I demurred, saying I was a journalist, not a scientist, and that there were many people much more qualified to judge someone’s scientific potential. He responded with flattery.
“I’ve listened to the way you ask questions,” Epstein replied. “You ask good questions. When you interview someone, you must get a sense of whether they are quick, smart, or creative, or all three. … I think that people don’t trust their sense of who’s smart.”
When I refused to take the bait, he abruptly shifted the conversation to animals. “Do you have any pets?” he asked.
I don’t, but I offered up my adult daughter’s menagerie of a dog, a hamster, and several fish. Epstein plowed ahead.
“I’m not sure about the hamster,” he responded. “But if I asked you if your daughter’s dog was smart or not, my guess is that you’d say it was either a smart dog or a dumb dog. … And it wouldn’t be because you’re an expert on dogs. It’s just something that you’re able to tell after a while.”
“Tippy tip of the top”Epstein said his approach to giving was aimed at achieving scientific breakthroughs. But his view of the current state of innovation was surprisingly gloomy.
“Frankly, Jeff, since the discovery of penicillin [in 1928], there’s been no really remarkable discovery,” he said. “I’ve followed the genome project, and there’s lots of hope. But in terms of a real product, there’s probably nothing that has kept more people alive than penicillin.”
Epstein was quick to distinguish his approach from the path taken by other philanthropists, both dead and alive, many of them with wealth that far exceeded his own. “The [Bill & Melinda] Gates Foundation doesn’t search for smart people,” he asserted. “Bill wants to cure polio. He wants to eliminate poverty. But in terms of coming up with new theories of biology or some new form of mathematics, zero [interest].”
Epstein said he also dispensed with the accountability that typically goes with a grant. “When I’ve given money to a scientist, they’re usually somewhat surprised, and then they say, ‘What type of reports would you like? Is it for a milestone from my next grant?’ And I giggle and say, ‘No, the concept is, you know your field best. Letting people with lots of money have input into what you do doesn’t make any sense to me.’"
Asked whose approach to philanthropy he admired, Epstein said his sole role model was billionaire James Simons. A fellow hedge fund manager and a Ph.D. mathematician, Simons has poured some of his great wealth into a foundation that supports budding mathematicians and math educators. But unlike Simons, Epstein said he felt no obligation to help foster a more scientifically literate population.
“I’m interested in the rarefied peaks,” he said in response to why he hasn’t funded any efforts to improve science education. “I have no insight into that area, zero. Again, I’m trying to reach the smartest of the smart. It’s the same issue in terms of money. My clients are not in any way near the middle, they’re at the tippy tip of the top of the pyramid.”
Joi Ito resigned this month as director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab in Cambridge, and also gave up his university position. -- AKIO KON/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES
“Rebels who don’t fit in”The researchers Epstein chose to support, it was becoming clear, fit the old stereotype of scientists whose brilliance makes them social outcasts. “The MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] Media Lab is a good example,” he said. (The Cambridge-based university has launched an independent investigation into what its president called the “deeply disturbing” relationship between Epstein and the lab, whose director, Joi Ito, resigned following media reports that Epstein had invested in his private companies as well as donating to the lab.)
“I would say 25% of the kids there are autistic, on the spectrum,” Epstein opined. “They don’t really work in groups. They’re not taking classes. They’re not giving teaching assignments. They don’t have lots to do, they’re there to think.”
Those traits appealed to Epstein on two levels. “It’s my natural bent to move toward the maverick and rebels who don’t fit in,” he noted. “They were probably overlooked [in school]. They were definitely never class president.” Such outsiders, in Epstein’s opinion, are also less likely to kowtow to the scientific establishment, which he regarded as inherently conservative.
“The older guys usually just tell you what doesn’t work,” he asserted. “And the referees of peer-reviewed journals have also become politically sensitive. Everybody knows who the reviewer is that has turned them down because he’s been asking the same question any number of times.”
Yet Epstein readily admitted to asking prominent members of the scientific establishment to assess the potential contribution of these so-called outcasts.
“So, I had Jim Watson to the house, and I asked Watson, what does he think about this idea,” a proposal to study how the cellular mechanisms of plants might be relevant to human cancer. Watson is a Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. “Likewise with [Noam] Chomsky on artificial intelligence,” he said, referring to one of the pioneers in the field.
In fact, Epstein expressed great respect for the opinions of these elder statesmen. “It’s funny to watch Noam Chomsky rip apart these young boys who talk about having a thinking machine,” Epstein noted. “He takes out a dagger and slices them, very kindly, into little shreds.”
A notorious name dropper, Epstein clearly savored his access to scientific superstars. “As you might know, I was very close to Marvin Minsky for quite a long time [and] I funded some of Marvin’s projects,” he said about one of the founders of artificial intelligence, a longtime MIT professor who died in 2016. “And Marvin told me there was this young guy in Germany who had a very unique idea about artificial intelligence.”
Or this: “So I was just with Roger Penrose [a distinguished theoretical physicist who leads an eponymic institute in San Diego, California]. And Roger told me about an Indian woman physicist who has come up with the idea of using a Bose-Einstein condensate [a collection of supercooled atoms] to find gravitational waves.”
“I let them decide”Epstein said he usually gave out his money anonymously because he had no interest in publicity and because he understood that his notoriety might be a burden to grantees. “It’s not really a secret, but it’s private,” he explained about his gifts. “I let them decide. If you want to tell people you got it from me, fine. If you prefer not to, for your own personal reasons, that’s OK, too.”
I wondered how the recipients saw it. The researcher Minsky had flagged for Epstein, Joscha Bach, declined repeated requests from me to discuss his ties to Epstein. But a 2018 paper on his theory of consciousness acknowledges support from the Jeffrey Epstein Foundation, and Bach has been listed in media tallies of Epstein grantees.
Bach represents the type of scientist for whom Epstein claimed his money could make a big difference. “You don’t have to think about money for the next 5 years,” Epstein said he told Bach as the researcher prepared to move to MIT’s Media Lab in 2014. (Epstein says Minsky helped arrange the appointment.)
Two years later, Bach moved to Harvard University’s program for evolutionary dynamics, which was founded by Martin Nowak, another beneficiary of Epstein’s philanthropy. In February, Bach left Harvard and became vice president of research at the AI Foundation, based in San Francisco, California.
For Seth Lloyd, a self-described quantum engineer, taking Epstein’s money initially seemed a no-brainer. Already a tenured MIT professor when he met Epstein in 2004 at a party hosted by his literary agent, John Brockman, Lloyd was charmed by Epstein during several subsequent meetings at Harvard. “Mr. Epstein offered me a grant to do research, which I accepted,” Lloyd wrote in an email after declining to be interviewed. “He seemed to like my work on ideas of information and computation being the fundamental substrate of the universe.” Lloyd received additional donations from Epstein in 2012 and 2017 to support his MIT lab. “There are lots of topics in this field that were not funded by other grants,” Lloyd notes. (Last week, MIT President Rafael Reif acknowledged signing a thank you letter sent to Epstein after his 2012 donation.)
Last month, however, Lloyd publicly addressed the ethical issues involved with taking Epstein’s money. In a 22 August blog post titled *“I am writing to apologize to Jeffrey Epstein’s victims,” Lloyd related how “the job of a scientist is to look for truth, and the job of a teacher is to help people to empower themselves. I failed to do my job on both counts.”
“It would be very tempting”Ivette Fuentes is the physicist whose work on detecting gravitational waves Penrose described to Epstein. But unlike Bach and Lloyd, Fuentes says Epstein’s name immediately raised a red flag. (For the record, Fuentes grew up in Mexico, not India, and did her Ph.D. at Imperial College London.)
Penrose and Epstein had met at a June 2017 conference on the science of consciousness in San Diego. “Although the topic [of consciousness] is not what I do, when I saw the list of speakers and was offered a plenary talk, I decided that it would be a good thing for me and a good audience to hear about my experiment,” says Fuentes, a professor at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom whose work is supported by the Penrose Institute.
Shortly after returning home, Fuentes says, she and Penrose had a conversation. “Would I be interested in receiving funding from a wealthy man who had also been convicted of a sex offense?” Fuentes recalls Penrose asking her.
Fuentes immediately said no, citing ethical objections, and quickly forgot about the conversation. But 2 months ago, after reading that Epstein had been arrested, she called Penrose. “Was it Epstein?” she asked him. “And he said, ‘Yes, I think it was.’ And I said, ‘Oh God.’”
Fuentes is hoping to get a few million dollars from a European funding agency to build a prototype of her project, a room-size version of an existing facility, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, that has cost the U.S. National Science Foundation more than $1 billion. Epstein’s money might have accelerated her work, but that was never an option for her.
“The dream of my life is to build a gravitational-wave detector, and have it work,” she says. “So, if someone were to say to me, ‘I’ll give you the money to make your dream come true,’ it would be very tempting to say yes.”
“But then you have your ethical standards. Even if you lose some opportunities, [saying no] is the right thing to do. … What Epstein has taught me is how important it is to do that.”
*(Text of Seth Lloyd's letter)
I am writing to apologize to Jeffrey Epstein’s victimsSeth Lloyd
I am writing to apologize to Jeffrey Epstein’s victims.
Mr. Epstein and I met at a dinner for scientists and their supporters in 2004.
During his visits to Harvard over the next few years, he and I discussed scientific questions, and his foundation gave me a grant to support my research.
When I learned of Mr. Epstein’s arrest and subsequent conviction, I was deeply disturbed. (I should have been equally disturbed by his plea bargain. His crime was termed “soliciting prostitution.” Children are not prostitutes.)
But upon reflection, I decided to visit Mr. Epstein during his prison term in Florida.
I believed, at the time, that I was doing a good deed.
Mr. Epstein expressed remorse for his actions and assured me that he would not re-offend. I continued to acknowledge Mr. Epstein’s support in my scientific papers, and after his release, I resumed attending the discussions that Mr. Epstein convened with other scientists. I subsequently accepted two grants from his foundation, one in 2012, and a second in 2017. These were professional as well as moral failings.
The job of a scientist is to look for the truth, and the job of a teacher is to help people to empower themselves. I failed to do my job on both counts. It would have been straightforward to find the true scope of the allegations against Mr. Epstein — thanks to the work of police investigators, journalists, and the victims’ attorneys they were a matter of public record — but I failed to search for them.
By continuing to participate in discussions he had with me and other scientists and by accepting his donations, I helped Mr. Epstein protect his reputation, and I disempowered his victims. I should have focused on them instead of him.
Julie K. Brown’s November 2018 interviews with Ms. Wild, Ms. Licata, Ms. Giuffre, and Ms. Jones opened my eyes to the shocking extent of the harm Mr. Epstein had done.
My heart goes out to the survivors of Mr. Epstein’s abuse. You risked your privacy and safety and faced down taunts and scare tactics in order to get your stories told. By not listening to your voices, I participated in a system of privilege and entitlement that protected a powerful abuser and that failed you.
I apologize to you and I ask for your forgiveness.
I have committed financial resources to aid you and other survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking and will work assiduously to help make your voices heard.
Seth Lloyd Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT