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The Full Monty

March 12, 2013

When it comes to criticisms of technology and its place in our lives,  Ted Kaczynski goes about as far as you can.

“We spent two years trying to find an American publisher and nobody would take it. The original contact person was always very interested in the new book. They would go away and they would come back a few weeks later and say, ‘Our management has decided we cannot pursue this project.'”

Having a friend behind bars is never easy. Being a self-appointed literary agent is always a challenge. But it’s even tougher when your penitentiary-bound writer is a notorious domestic terrorist and enemy of the state who calls for the destruction of civilization.

Skrbina’s pen pal is Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski, the radical environmentalist and anti-civ guru who is serving life in a federal supermax prison for killing three people and injuring 23 in a campaign that ran nearly two decades. His method? He sent 16 mail bombs to universities and airlines (hence “una”) between 1978 and 1995.

Read the rest of the piece by Helen A.S. Popkin here.

Obviously, I’m not suggesting that anyone in this class (or anywhere else) should become a terrorist or should help someone with acts of terror, etc. At the same time, I am suggesting that no one ought to dismiss the anti-technology agenda just because some people – like Kaczynski – have attempted to forward it by means of terrorism. For terrorism is, to a very large degree, a means of achieving political ends, not an end in itself. And one might push almost any agenda, legitimate or not, through these means. Skepticism about technology might or might not be a reasonable position, and Kaczynski’s ideas might or might not be cogent – you have to decide that for yourself. But the way that Kaczynski tried to make his case through the use of violence should not be relevant in making up your mind.

Hat tip: Brian Leiter.

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