Saturday, November 16, 2013

A notorious "manifesto" wouldn't have created much furor two years after newspapers ran it, once search engines worked well

I visited the Newseum in Washington DC today, mainly to see the JFK exhibits. But I revisited the FBI room downstairs, especially the OKC, Waco, and “Unabomber” (Ted Kaczynski) exhibit, and it seemed as if there was a little more material there about the publication of the “Manifesto” in the Washington Post and New York Times in 1995.

The Post still has a link, leading to the text, discussing the controversy here.
But of course the idea of publication would soon seem like a moot point, as the Internet would have made it easy to self-publish anything and, with search engines, find an audience, perhaps not always of reputable people. 

The writer tried to argue that technology hinders real freedom, an idea (Luddite) that would seem ridiculous to me now.  In fact, in only another two years or so, he could have posted his ideas himself. But it was apparent even in the decades before the Internet, that technology had made it possible for a “different” person like me live productively on his own.

His discussion of leftist “oversocialization” (paragraphs 24-32) is quite interesting, and I think largely correct.  He goes on to discuss the need for power and self-importance, and recognizes that moral philosophies keep stumbling on their own inherent inner contradictions. 
The best known example of people who live pretty much outside modern technology is The Amish (see movies, Dec, 28, 2008, and Issue blog Oct. 3, 2006 and May 10, 2012). 

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