Sex and Death…One of the mains reasons that Squid has never had kids is that cephalopod sex usually ends with the death of both mates. Squid’s genes are admittedly superb, but the cost of perpetuating them is too high. Squid has decided to unconditionally embrace the bond Squid shares with Squid’s beloved English bulldog, Rosco P. Coltrane.
It’s a dark turn of events that got Squid thinking about the morbid topic: the news of the weekend was that financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with sex trafficking and who held some creepy ideas about reproduction, died by suicide while in prison. It was an attention-grabbing ending to one of the most captivating dramas in the media.
Just 10 days before the suicide, Monterey made a cameo appearance in the Epstein saga when The New York Times reported on a dinner he had attended here in 2004. The newspaper uncovered Epstein’s bizarre dream of inseminating 20 women at a time at his ranch in New Mexico with his own sperm. He had hoped to carry out a eugenics program of tinkering with the human gene pool. It sounds like a scheme that people would have laughed at, but he managed to spread his ideas by funding and mingling with top scientists through dinners hosted at one of his mansions.
The inspiration for those dinners apparently came from the so-called “billionaires’ dinners” which were held each year at the time the nascent TED conference was held in Monterey. (The idea of TED conferences started in Monterey, and its annual iterations were held there until 2009.) The 2004 dinner was held at Indian Summer in Monterey, where Epstein was a guest and so was MIT scientist Seth Lloyd. According to the Times, Lloyd found Epstein “to be ‘charming’ and to have ‘interesting ideas,’ although they ‘turned out to be quite vague.’” The Indian Summer dinner also included guests from the top echelons of the tech world, including Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.
The whole premise is shocking—using your own DNA to seed human beings at scale—but also shocking was the fact that these gazillionaires gathered at Indian Summer at all. Squid is a fan of the outdoor seating and comfort food, but it is, at the end of the day, a hookah bar that serves nachos and onion rings to patrons seated in inexpensive yard chairs. Back in those days, they served an Indian menu (hence the name) but it still wasn’t fancy.
Squid’s colleague went to snoop around and see if there’s a VIP hideout. A manager on duty had not heard of Epstein, nor the reference in the Times.
Epstein's story is a reminder to Squid that even as the conspiracy theories about his death proliferate, truth is stranger than fiction—including the brief chapter that happened in Monterey.