Thursday, August 1, 2019

Epstein and Pinker again

Two more thoughts about this exchange between Jeffrey Epstein and Steven Pinker, reported in The New York Times:

At one session at Harvard, Mr. Epstein criticized efforts to reduce starvation and provide health care to the poor because doing so increased the risk of overpopulation, said Mr. Pinker, who was there. Mr. Pinker said he had rebutted the argument, citing research showing that high rates of infant mortality simply caused people to have more children. Mr. Epstein seemed annoyed, and a Harvard colleague later told Mr. Pinker that he had been “voted off the island” and was no longer welcome at Mr. Epstein’s gatherings.
The Survivor metaphor is either decidedly careless or decidedly purposeful, given that Epstein owns an island, Little St. James Island, that’s prominent in his career of exploitation and trafficking. But also, though I might be stating the obvious: according to the account in the Times, it was Epstein who walked away from Pinker, not Pinker who walked away from Epstein.

A related post
Epstein and Pinker

[For clarity: I mean walking away metaphorically.]

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