>Nicholas Negroponte, a prominent architect who helped found the lab in 1985, told the crowd that he had met Mr. Epstein at least once since Mr. Epstein’s 2008 guilty plea in Florida for soliciting a minor for prostitution, and had advised Mr. Ito about the donations.
>“I told Joi to take the money,” he said, “and I would do it again.”
Negroponte really boofed up with the One-Laptop-Per-Child project. It had a lot of good intentions, but it's such a textbook example of misguided tech folks inserting themselves into an education setting. From this article, sounds like another strike for him.
I... kinda don't see what the big deal is? The article is kinda a mess and it's really hard for me to see what actual justification (or anti-justification) it's trying to push.
Yes, Epstein was a scumbag. Did Ito know he was a scumbag when he took the money? And even if he did, would taking the money put him, the Media Lab, or anyone who worked there in a compromised or awkward position in the future? Was the money itself tainted in some way, derived from scumbag activities? If not (I couldn't really glean whether or not this was the case from the article), then... so what? Money is money, and it's hard enough already to raise money for "out there" research, even with MIT's reputation. At the very least, you could know that a scumbag's money was being used to do something actually good.