Jeffrey Epstein, MIT, Myopia discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

And so it's cognate with scissors, schism, skin, skin, is that which divides you from the world. Shit, or scat, is that which has been divided from you. Into the world. And so there's this cognate between science and shit or science and cutting with the whole idea being that you're dividing into parts, classifying. It's the taxonomic impulse. And to know is to know where something belongs to divide it into its parts and put it in its proper place. And that taxonomic impulse can be very static, it's actually one of the things that Darwin had to overcome in recognizing evolution that the taxonomies are in motion, but it also can lead to a kind of myopia that my job is done when I've classified something. Is this bird an X and Y or a Z? And that again can be, it can be ideological or it can not be. But scientists are humans, humans, and they're fitting in with a world with a world practice. And that's limiting. It's kind of inevitable. It's unavoidable. It's hard to be if not impossible. Out of the world that we're walking in. And it's fascinating because I think ideologies also have an impulse towards forming taxonomies. And there is so just being at MIT, I've gotten to learn about this character named Jeffrey Epstein. I didn't know who this was until all the news broke out and so on. And it started to wonder how did all these people at MIT that admire would hang out with this person? Just lightly. Just have conversations. I don't mean any of the bigger things, but even just basic conversations. And I think this has to do. You said scientists are widget builders and taxonomies. I think there's power in somebody like the Nazi regime or like a Jeffrey Epstein, just being excited about your widgets. And making you feel like the widget serves a greater purpose in the world. And so it's not like, you know, sometimes people say scientists want to make money and they have a big kind of ideological drive behind it. I think there's just nice one, the widget. You like building anyway. Somehow somebody convinces you some charismatic person that this widget is actually has a grander purpose. And you don't almost feel think about the negative or whether it's positive, just the fact that it's grand is a ready super exciting. Yeah. Yeah, I think that's right. I think that's the story of Wernher von Braun, you know, in the fascination with rockets and this will, you know, in large something in the world and here he is, he's an SS officer. He's working around slave labor. And then, but his rocket then gets compressed into the western world or the American world and basically launches us to the moon and we forget about the sauce how the sausage was made. Originally. Well, can you talk about him a little bit more because he's such a fascinating character? Because he was a Nazi, but it was also an American and it had such a grand impact on both. And there's this uncomfortable fact that he's, you know, one of the central figures they gave birth to the American space exploration efforts. Yeah, he's an interesting figure fascinated in a kind of a tunnel vision way with space flight. He meets these beautiful rockets already beginning in the 20s, early 30s. Ends up for a while at Panama using slave labor to build V two engines and so forth like that. And I remember going to panaman where people.

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