One, I applied for a job there about 2 years ago.
Second, around that time I went to the Atlantic Ag Tech panel, featuring some MIT Media Lab folks.
• No stated discipline
• You don't even need a doctorate!
• You did need an "unconventional take that doesn't respect disciplinary boundaries,"
• and a record of communicating science with the public.
I graduated with a DPM*- not PhD- in 2011, during the depths of the recession & a federal hiring freeze. I was fuuuuuuucked.
*DPM = Dr of Plant Medicine, it's like a veterinarian for crops.
Except they weren't actually hiring, bc recession. And nobody knew what was happening w the Farm Bill & future of the ag industry bc gov't shutdown.
So I got a postdoc by the skin of my teeth, and started building a consulting business. This is pretty common for crop scientists.
There's a reason I'm really confident, y'all. I am very, very good at my job.
I worked with my clients on HR, cold chain logistics, hygiene, water chemistry, bugs, site security, equipment & facility design, worker safety.
Companies technically hired me for food safety but soon realized there were all these *things* in their facilities that weren't being taken care of. So I filled the gaps.
I thought, huh. I do hella interdisciplinary real-world stuff every day, & it's mostly about talking w people to bring their different skill sets together.
I used to work with room-sized versions of these.
Back in 2001.
They're called growth chambers, they'd been standard plant physiology research tools for decades, & they ain't new at all.
I said "Listen. This food computer thing is super cute. But if you want to make something commercializable [which is ostensibly the entire point of the MITML], hire me. I got you."
It's one of the first things I ever really tweeted about, had maybe 20 followers at the time, & I was already SO SALTY.
I could not believe the stupid shit that was getting preached off this stage.
You know, the one that's done ag R&D for 150 years in the US? The largest university system in the world? That one.
like it's a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that she just found, nobody knows about it yet, but it's SUPER AUTHENTIC and ALL THE LOCALS GO THERE.
To be continued.
when their big initiative was a toy version of tech that was already antiquated when I'd worked with nearly 20 years ago.
We've known that since the 19-mothafuckin-80s! It's hydroponics 101.
but it turns out this toy version of a growth chamber DOESN'T EVEN WORK.
When donors & investors came by they had to go to Home Depot, buy 4-packs of basil plants, flick off the dirt, and pop them in the Food Computer to make it look like they grew there.
But I *am* saying that a Media Lab complex that feeds off a sugar daddy might not be terribly motivated to. like. make tech that actually works.
Now there are plenty of problems with that business model, like "who's going to do R&D for rare diseases that only 3 people have?"
But the food computer didn't even meet THAT low bar.
And that's absolutely what appears to have been going on.
But I think there's more to it, that nobody's talking about.
I mean an actual sugar daddy & sugar baby situation. Epstein wasn't just buying respectability with his science funding.
He was literally acting out eugenic sex fantasies. That's why he funded science & not, say, the humanities.
The difference is Epstein could actually afford entire labs, in addition to whatever power trip got him onto sex with young girls & "seeding the human race with his DNA."
The Media Lab's leadership catered to a superiority fetish in exchange for cash.
That's 👏 sex 👏 work 👏
If homeboy just wanted to play "seeding the human race with my DNA" with some honest hardworking grown-ass sex workers, THAT'S GREAT. Support your local artisans. God knows he had the money.
They took money from a known eugenicist. Don't let that get buried.
They launched a "Disobedience Award" for "science that doesn't care about society's norms." 🙃🙃🙃
than it was about actually doing science.
But I wondered for YEARS how they got funding to just obviously dick around like that.
but was also straight-up fraud.
You don't get that in a research institution with ANY kind of commitment to due diligence.
The entire program was sloppy. 'Cause who needs discipline when you got sugar daddy money?
But so what? They were the ones with the board seats, the National Geographic Explorer position, the name recognition, the funding, the glass-walled office.
What good would that have done? That'd just be some twitter rando yelling about sour grapes.
Epstein didn't just wreck girls' lives.
He didn't just try to popularize eugenics.
He derailed science.
I just want to make sure we don't miss the "derailed science" thing.
Shit pretend science got ahead thanks to the lack of discipline he enabled.
Good science that actually solves real problems got crowded out.
And this glamour-brothel of a research institute spent millions on a fucking toy box that doesn't even work.
That is completely inexcusable.
Pour one out for all the scientists who can't get real shit funded because administration's too busy strutting for sugar daddy.
I just want to make sure that if you think a lot of the high-profile science world seems to be useless, stupid crap,
YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
This is my best take on why that is.
It's so much worse than it looks.