You’ll never guess who is a leading thinker and has a great mind!

In checking over the proofs for my forthcoming book, I have also been checking the citations. One of my citations was to a quote from an essay by MIT physicist Seth Lloyd. The quote I used was “Unlike mathematical theorems, scientific results can’t be proved. They can only be tested again and again until only a fool would refuse to believe them”. It appeared in a compilation of short essays in a 2006 book titled What We Believe but Cannot Prove: Today’s Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty that consisted of contributions from more than 100 people who were asked to write a few paragraphs on the following prompt:

Great minds can guess the truth before they have either the evidence or arguments for it. (Diderot called it having the “spirit de divination.”) What do you believe is true, even though you cannot prove it?

The ‘great minds’ who had been invited to share their thoughts consisted of writers, philosophers, scientists, other academics, and assorted intellectuals and most of the names will be familiar to many. But on scanning the list of contributors, I was taken aback to see our old friend, the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, currently in jail awaiting another trial! Yes, this person, who is described in the book as a money manager and science philanthropist (but not, oddly, as a disgusting pervert who preys on young girls), was actually invited to share his deep thoughts on this topic.

I am sure that all of you are agog to know what pearls of wisdom he handed out. To save you the trouble of combing through the book, here is his contribution in its entirety, which could well be the shortest contribution to the volume.

I believe that the mechanism for the human perception of time will be discovered. Almost another sense—the ability to distinguish past from present, in intervals long enough to convey a thought and create memories—will establish a new boundary of consciousness.

There will be found (in addition to entropy) a cost, or friction, for just moving through time. Steady states will be the classical limit. We will uncover the formula for time’s relationship to life, which will be as unique as time’s relationship to space.

That’s it? What the hell does this even mean? It is Deepak Chopra-esque levels of pseudo-profound inanities.

I wondered how and why Epstein was picked as a contributor since he has not, as far as I am aware, written anything of value or significance in his life. And yet he had been identified as a ‘leading thinker’ and a ‘great mind’ and asked to share his wisdom. I wondered if any of the other contributors might have promoted him as a great mind, so I looked through the list (click on the ‘Look inside’ link on the top right of the Amazon link for the book) and there are some possible suspects. Physicist Lawrence Krauss and biologist Robert Trivers who have both defended Epstein are contributors as is Stephen Pinker who has hobnobbed with Epstein and even flown on his private jet that has been nicknamed the Lolita Express. Did they vouch for Epstein having a great mind? And if so, on what basis? The editor of this volume John Brockman is now deceased but the publisher’s editor Sarah Lippincott may be still alive and Ian McEwan who wrote the introduction is still alive and may be able to answer.

It is quite extraordinary how some ascribe great personal qualities to people whose main distinguishing feature is that they have a lot of money and are willing to spend it on them.

Samantha Bee shares some thoughts about Epstein’s supporters and enablers.

Stephen Colbert also looked at Epstein’s celebrity cronies and even scored an exclusive interview with the “old, old, Russian woman” that lawyer Alan Dershowitz, another friend of Epstein’s as well as his lawyer, says gave him his massage.


  1. Nimal says

    It sure looks like lots of money gets you time like no other way including hard work as in sweating and hurting gets you money

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    MIT computer scientists [sic] Seth Lloyd

    Lloyd is a physicist with a background in quantum computation. I know of him through his work on quantum coherence in biology.

  3. Marshall says

    All I can say is that I absolutely cannot wait to find out the details about how in the hell Jeffrey Epstein came to be in his present form.

  4. Matt G says

    Hopefully Epstein will have plenty of time to ponder time, the human perception of time and time friction while behind bars.

  5. blf says

    Completely off-topic (Sorry !), Mano, Have been following the first ever men’s cricket test between England and Ireland, now being played at Lord’s? After two days (of an experimental four-day test format), it’s:

      England: 85ao, 303-9
      Ireland: 207ao, …

    England were skittled in the first innings, in only 23.4 overs (with the Irish bowler Tim Murtagh earning a spot on the honour’s board with five wickets for 13 in one spell of just nine overs). Ireland got off to a roaring start of 132-2, but unfortunately then had a middle-order batting collapse.

    In the second innings, England were off to an outstanding start due to the nightwatchman(!), Jack Leach, but then lost 7 wickets for 77 runs. They have one wicket left, setting Ireland a potential run-chase of about 200. That is a goal Ireland can achieve — and should they do so, a legendary victory. First ever men’s test match (between these two). And at Lord’s.

  6. bmiller says

    Wow, blf (and Mano). That last off-topic comment makes as much sense to me as the (American) Bridge columns that still traditionally and inexplicably appear in so many old school American newspapers! 🙂


  7. Mano Singham says

    blf @#6,

    No I had not been following cricket since the World Cup ended because I have been so tied up with other things and I had not known that Test matches had resumed.

    Wow, that would be sensational if Ireland wins! That should easily set a record for the quickest Test win by a country admitted to Test status,

    Thanks for the heads up!

  8. Holms says

    I wondered how and why Epstein was picked as a contributor since he has not, as far as I am aware, written anything of value or significance in his life.

    Ah, but he associated with and patronised people of value to give himself that veneer. Instant credibility, just add money.

  9. sonofrojblake says

    Given the way the post title is phrased I’d have bet money the answer was Trump.

  10. Curt Sampson says

    Samantha Bee sometimes just has a great turn of phrase, no matter what she’s talking about.

    “How in the name of baby Satan….”

  11. Mano Singham says

    Yeah, I read about Ireland’s second innings debacle. But still, their bowlers did very well,so that’s something.

  12. says

    There’s no correlation between intelligence and criminality or sociopathy, except that the intelligent might be less likely to be caught. Charisma and interpersonal skills, on the other hand, might play a role (re: Charles Manson). Yes, Ted Bundy got away with his crimes for so long because he was a white male in a white dominated society, but he knew to play up that fact, just as Epstein knew to associate with “the intelligentsia”, the powerful and well-positioned to protect himself.

  13. says

    And I’ll say it if no one else will: Epstein is the american Jimmy Savile. How many of his “friends” were participants in his crimes, just as Savile’s were?

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