[Editor’s Note: AnonyMaker spends it seems considerable time evaluating the Jeffrey Epstein matter with an attention to logic and a focus on debunking hastily concluded conspiracy theories. I appreciate his efforts.]
Checking into latest developments in the Epstein case, there doesn’t seem to be anything significant except that another prestigious Boston-area school is now enmeshed in the donations controversy, and another of his odd supporters or apologists has come forward:
Harvard Reviewing Nearly $9 Million In Donations From Epstein
Famed Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Described Epstein Victims As ‘Entirely Willing’
MIT required that Epstein’s gifts to her lab be kept confidential, “so as to not enhance his reputation by association with MIT, and with the understanding that he would not be considered a sponsor of our group’s research or have any involvement in how the funds were spent.”’
My guess is that Epstein touted those supposedly “confidential” gifts to friends and acquaintances, in an effort to trade on them as social capital in what seems to have been his prime modus operandi, worming his way into circles of the ultra-wealthy and influential through often misrepresented credentials and accomplishments.
It probably got presented to Bill Gates, for instance, that Epstein was a behind-the-scenes major donor to MIT, framing it as that he was admirably publicity-adverse rather than that institutions dared not speak his name (MIT referred to him as “Voldemort”). It occurs to me that it also would have put him in a position where ultimately he could have claimed public credit for his net donations if it suited his purposes, and MIT would have had to just stand by.
That graphic sensationally titled “EPSTEIN GURNEY PHOTOS FAKED” is another example of shoddy, easily deconstructed conspiracy theorizing.
If you get into Google Street View for New York Downtown Hospital, now Lower Manhattan Hospital – New York Presbyterian, for the address that translates to their emergency receiving dock, 69 Gold St, New York, it’s easy to verify that is in fact the location – it’s a dirty mess, with a bunch of orange gurneys against the wall to the right of the door, and the blue “Restricted Access” signs (which at the bottom say “use Gold St. entrance” – another missed clue).
So whoever took the time to put together that graphic, didn’t bother to check Google Maps, or cross-reference the street references on the two big signs visible. Stupidity, delusion, or calculated disinformation? Maybe that’s what needs to be investigated, who is making up and spreading stuff like that, and why.
The assumption that an outside emergency room wall couldn’t be dirty, and therefore that proves something is wrong with the photograph, is an error of thinking and analysis typical to conspiracy theories, a version of the the Divine Fallacy, that involves arguing for a conclusion on the grounds that it is somehow unimaginable for it not to be otherwise (often tied to the presumption that the world is always neat and orderly, and if not that is necessarily a sign of something sinister at work):
“Because you found something difficult to understand, or are unaware of how it works, you made out like it’s probably not true.”
The assumption that emergency vehicles wouldn’t be prohibited from idling outside an emergency room – particularly when it’s in a sort of enclosed bay where exhaust fumes could accumulate dangerously, as is the case at NYP – is similar:
Idling of Emergency Vehicles
“The New York State and New York City laws limit the amount of time a truck or bus may idle….
Unless in emergency operation, ambulances and first response vehicles ARE NOT exempt from the provisions of these environment conservation laws.”
That’s also in part a form of the fallacy of jumping to conclusions, or hasty conclusions, without taking adequate time to reason, research or verify.
AnonyMaker refers to logic and the fallacy of making a hasty conclusion. Without presuming to teach any of our distinguished readers, of which I believe there are many, here is is a handy definition:
Also known as: argument from small numbers, statistics of small numbers, insufficient statistics, argument by generalization, faulty generalization, hasty induction, inductive generalization, insufficient sample, lonely fact fallacy, over generality, overgeneralization, unrepresentative sample) Description: Drawing a conclusion based on a small sample size, rather than looking at statistics that are much more in line with the typical or average situation.
I think AnonyMaker makes a good point about the emergency area of the hospital where Epstein was purportedly taken – and that logically we cannot conclude that the emergency scene was staged based on the evidence we have. [It might have been staged.]
Neither can we conclude that Epstein is definitely deceased – or that if he dead – that his death was by his own hand.
Until we have more evidence [which we may not ever have] we will have to doubt – both the conspiracy theories – and the government official version. That’s simply the logical thing to do.
I still think it is good to air these various views – if for no other reason than it likely helps some of us to realize that we live in a world of doubt – and that doubting may actually be a good thing and a healthy thing.
I think it is good to doubt conspiracy theories – but it is also good to listen to them and ask “Could it be true?”
I also think it is healthy to doubt what the government tells us. I think we should ask ourselves “Could the government lie to the governed?”
What might be their motive?
Of course I am coming from an ideology that asserts “it is better that the government fear the people than vice versa.” There seem to be many who believe the opposite.
Many thanks to AnonyMaker for sticking with logic.