Text in Con — Text

Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, wrote a kind of dissertation entitled “Industrial Society and its Future.” This is well written and organized, so much so that the occasional typos seem deliberate to me.

Manhunt: Unabomber is now a Netflix show, and this was reviewed yesterday, with the idea of following up here on some of the concepts presented. In any case, a few interesting things about the manuscript, in which Kaczynski takes a swipe at both liberals and conservatives:

9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call “feelings of inferiority” and “oversocialization”. Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.

219. Leftism is a totalitarian force. Wherever leftism is in a position of power it tends to invade every private corner and force every thought into a leftist mold. In part this is because of the quasi-religious character of leftism: everything contrary to leftist beliefs represents Sin.

But also:

 50. The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.

Liberals or leftists seem to be the main target, but the overall manifesto, its essential characteristic, is a criticism of “obedience.” And conservatives more than anyone are obsessed with obedience (as seen today over the NFL flag controversy).

Industrial society is depriving people of their power and autonomy, Kaczynski says.

93. We are going to argue that industrial-technological society cannot be reformed in such a way as to prevent it from progressively narrowing the sphere of human freedom.

121. A further reason why industrial society cannot be reformed in favor of freedom is that modern technology is a unified system in which all parts are dependent on one another. You can’t get rid of the “bad” parts of technology and retain only the “good” parts.

Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell. But Kaczynski is probably right here.

152. Generally speaking, technological control over human behavior will probably not be introduced with a totalitarian intention or even through a conscious desire to restrict human freedom. Each new step in the assertion of control over the human mind will be taken as a rational response to a problem that faces society, such as curing alcoholism, reducing the crime rate or inducing young people to study science and engineering. In many cases there will be a humanitarian justification.

157. Assuming that industrial society survives, it is likely that technology will eventually acquire something approaching complete control over human behavior.

 177… In the long run (say a few centuries from now) it is likely that neither the human race nor any other important organisms will exist as we know them today, because once you start modifying organisms through genetic engineering there is no reason to stop at any particular point, so that the modifications will probably continue until man and other organisms have been utterly transformed.

Interesting stuff.

There are three possibilities (at least) regarding the Unabomber

First, Ted Kaczynski is a real person with a real history, and the mainstream narrative is accurate.

Second, Ted Kaczynski is a mind-controlled patsy, prodded into his role.

Third, Ted Kaczynski is an actor or dupe, and everything about this story is a hoax.

Personally, I’m leaning to some hybrid between #2 and #3.

There was a little too much drumroll and media sensationalism regarding whether or not the New York Times and Washington Post should print the manifesto or not…

There was simply too much hype, too many predictable turning points (the anguished brother turning him in), and too many archetypes (Abraham Lincoln meets Henry David Thoreau). Witness the kickstarting of “the hoodie” meme.

If there are elements of the Unabomber story that do not add up, then the entire production exists for one reason only: to announce to the world, and specifically to the United States, what technology is about to do: hijack human free will, autonomy, and dignity.

According to the controllers, plans such as these must be announced; afterwards, your silence is your consent.

The mini-series made a fuss over the line below, and that the Unabomber’s reversal of the proverb (in the manifesto and in a private letter) revealed his identity, sealing his fate, as this was what convinced a judge to sign the warrant.

More importantly, for us it reveals clues regarding potential hoax-crafters. Normally, we say “you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” but Kaczynski went and said the opposite.

185. As for the negative consequences of eliminating industrial society — well, you can’t eat your cake and have it too.

The MacMillan Dictionary blog says something interesting:

“The phrase makes more sense when recast as eat your cake and have it too, since this is more self-evidently impossible. Indeed, it’s how the phrase was first constructed. The later sequence of having your cake and eating it arose in the mid-18th century, and appears to have overtaken the original in the early 20th.”

And some say the phrase was changed in the 16th century. The mini-series said it changed in the 15th century.

So this phrase turned into its reverse in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, paralleling the timeline of this text. The true author just placed an Easter egg in the text – which was raised into view by the media and the mini-series – suggesting that the intelligence behind this manifesto stretches back several centuries.

The true author, therefore, would be accessing information, knowledge, and perhaps consciousness, that is over and above our timeline.

The message about our planned future is then delivered in a way that reaches maximum “impact.”

A high-impact factor indeed.

 

Here is the “manifesto” in full:

http://editions-hache.com/essais/pdf/kaczynski2.pdf

http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/an-idiom-that-has-its-cake-and-eats-it

 

 

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