I was watching a crap episode of Horizon the other day, I don't know why I still bother with this pop science program that rarely lives up to it's episode title. This particular episode was about the advances in the world of technology that will aid our frail human organism in the future and produce a manufactured person dubbed human 2.0. One section of the episode was about the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, and it got me sitting up and paying attention. It seems that this well educated man, had turned his back on technology and decided to form a group of anti-technology like minded indiviuals called the Freedom Club (inspiration for the film Fight Club?). Despite hearing about the bombings of US universities, and knowing the name "Unabomber" I had never heard an explanation before of what this guy was all about. His was a view that was backed up by a maifesto, a philosophy of sorts, that explained why he had formed the club and what his intentions were. Well you know me, I had to read it straight away!
A quick search of the web revealed the document and I was off on a journey that would certainly change some views of my own about how the world works, my drive was to find out why this Berkeley professer decided to turn to terrorism and kill his own peers and kinsmen.
The manifesto had some great discussion about the use of technology and how it takes away our freedom with every advancement, it talked about left-wing and right-wing supporters and how they viewed the world, it also covered the idea of oversocialization and the breeding of non-thinking stupid people. In a small digression I saw an interview on TV last night with a retired US Army major who thought that the iraqi's were responsible for 9/11 and the london bombings and how america had to stay in the war on terror to stop them "coming over here again"!!!
While I found his discussion of these things extremely interesting, I found his conclusions impossible to arrive at, his plans of revolution preposterous, and his lack of freedom; all in his mind. I did not find any justification of the bombings nor any philosophical reason for doing them, the closest explanation was offered initially by Horizon by saying it was just a means to get attention and thus spread the word, which I think he mentions in the maniesto at some point. Anyway, the guy was educated and intelligent, and still went off the rails and blew people up for some reason, so despite the reason, he is kind of a victim of his own warnings. If he was trying to exercise his own freedom, and will to power, he failed, if he was trying to start a revolution, he failed, and if he was trying to kill technology, he also failed. he did manage to spread the word however in a bizarre attention grabbing moment, and for that i am thankful and forewarned about the dangers of overknowledge and where that can take you!
Could i be a Unabomber?