Saturday, April 20, 2024

Racist Grifters Down

It isn't understood widely enough that when some rich asshole gives an important university some money they'll probably take it. It's basically renting the brand.
Oxford University this week shut down an academic institute run by one of Elon Musk’s favorite philosophers. The Future of Humanity Institute, dedicated to the long-termism movement and other Silicon Valley-endorsed ideas such as effective altruism, closed this week after 19 years of operation. Musk had donated £1m to the FIH in 2015 through a sister organization to research the threat of artificial intelligence. He had also boosted the ideas of its leader for nearly a decade on X, formerly Twitter.

The closure of Bostrom’s center is a further blow to the effective altruism and longtermism movements that the philosopher has spent decades championing, which in recent years have become mired in scandals related to racism, sexual harassment and financial fraud. Bostrom himself issued an apology last year after a decades-old email surfaced in which he claimed “Blacks are more stupid than whites” and used the N-word.
This is all just code for "the money ran out and the university might have let us stay if any of us could do any real work."
“Eventually a pressure to conform began bearing down (we were administratively housed within the faculty of philosophy, even though the majority of our research team by this time were non-philosophers), and there was a death by bureaucracy.”