Kaczynski versus the Internet

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Kaczynski versus the Internet

Postby hyksos on August 27th, 2018, 7:36 pm 

Ted Kaczynski is the Unabomber from the 1990s. After killing several scientists with mail bombs, the FBI cases on him went cold. Kaczynski demanded his political manifesto get published in the newspapers , or else more murders would result at his handiwork.

The manifesto was published by The New York Times and The Washington Post on September 19, 1995.

To make sense of this thread, you will be required to read most, if not all of this manifesto. We now know that Kaczynski was a so-called "eco-terrorist". These are people who are known to set fire to logging camps, or destroy equipment used in logging that leads to deforestation. Sometimes eco-terrorists try to smuggle video footage of cattle and pig farms to the outside world. In general an eco-terrorist takes direct personal action to protect the environment from industrial activity.

However, Kaczynski's eco-terrorist tendencies make up only 40% of the manifesto's content. The other 60% is comprised of a future warning about technology. In particular he emphasizes repeatedly that technology will not lead to a utopia of prosperity -- but instead lead to a dystopia of a surveillance state.

In 1995, it was really very easy to dismiss Kaczynski as a unhinged quack.

Today in 2018 : not so easy. I present the following articles below as evidence that Kaczynski was not only not crazy, but he may have even been prescient with his predictions.

The four ways that ex-internet idealists explain where it all went wrong

“Wrong!” shouted the Pessimists. “The internet facilitates surveillance and control. It serves to empower only governments, giant corporations, and on occasion an unruly, destructive mob.”


https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6118 ... ent-wrong/

Idle Android Devices Send Data to Google Nearly 10 Times More Often Than iOS Devices do to Apple, Research Finds
https://www.macrumors.com/2018/08/22/an ... -to-apple/


The NSA Continues to Violate Americans' Internet Privacy Rights
https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-secu ... et-privacy
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Re: Kaczynski versus the Internet

Postby someguy1 on August 27th, 2018, 10:26 pm 

hyksos » August 27th, 2018, 5:36 pm wrote:]

In 1995, it was really very easy to dismiss Kaczynski as a unhinged quack. \


In 2018 it's just as easy to label a homicidal maniac as such. I detest people who make a hero of this guy. Do you know David Gelertner? He's a brilliant computer scientist and philosopher. I've seen him debate on Youtube. He wears a heavy glove on one hand. Kaczynski sent him a mail bomb and blew off his hand. Gelertner understands more about technology and more about philosophy than Kaczynski ever dreamed of. Kaczynski is like one of these maniacs who comes onto forums with their half-baked ideas and claims they're brilliant and everyone else is an idiot. Except that Kaczynski sent mail bombs to people to maim and kill them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Gelernter

So that kid who killed a couple of people at a gaming event the other day. If he left a political rant that would make him ok? Less evil? What exactly?

Fuck Ted Kaczynski and shame on those who try to glorify him for any reason whatsoever. If he wrote his article and wasn't a homicidal maniac, we could discuss his ideas. You can't discuss the ideas of people who send mail bombs. Their ideas are invalid by definition. Their philosophy is nihilism and death.
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Re: Kaczynski versus the Internet

Postby hyksos on August 27th, 2018, 11:29 pm 

“Wrong!” shouted the Pessimists. “The internet facilitates surveillance and control. It serves to empower only governments, giant corporations, and on occasion an unruly, destructive mob.”

This was not written by Kaczynski. Would you discuss it now? Or not..?

The whole article I linked already covered all of these bases. But you didn't even bother skimming over them. People who describe the internet as a beautiful and democratizing, educating medium that raises up everyone with education and access --- these so-called "Optimists" are waning in number.

Pessimists (quoted above) are gaining in number and their validity is being strengthened with each headline about Facebook sending all your data to Uncle Sam's underground surveillance servers.

But it turns out you are not allowed to respond to this post : by your own admission and your own rules you cannot respond -- any response you make to address these ideas would be "nihilism and death". So don't bother responding.
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Re: Kaczynski versus the Internet

Postby SciameriKen on August 28th, 2018, 12:15 am 

hyksos » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:29 am wrote:
“Wrong!” shouted the Pessimists. “The internet facilitates surveillance and control. It serves to empower only governments, giant corporations, and on occasion an unruly, destructive mob.”

This was not written by Kaczynski. Would you discuss it now? Or not..?

The whole article I linked already covered all of these bases. But you didn't even bother skimming over them. People who describe the internet as a beautiful and democratizing, educating medium that raises up everyone with education and access --- these so-called "Optimists" are waning in number.

Pessimists (quoted above) are gaining in number and their validity is being strengthened with each headline about Facebook sending all your data to Uncle Sam's underground surveillance servers.

But it turns out you are not allowed to respond to this post : by your own admission and your own rules you cannot respond -- any response you make to address these ideas would be "nihilism and death". So don't bother responding.



I would need a better reasoned tidbit from Kacynzki than what you posted. Based on the first post it does sound like a random rant anyone could have written.
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Re: Kaczynski versus the Internet

Postby TheVat on August 28th, 2018, 9:31 am 

The article in MIT Tech Review would be a great kernel for a thread exploring internet pessimism v optimism. Dragging in a paranoid sociopath seems unnecessary. Even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day, and I'm sure TK had moments of insight. So did Charles Manson. But making such people the fulcrum of a thread seems bound to cloud an interesting topic.
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Re: Kaczynski versus the Internet

Postby kidjan on January 16th, 2019, 1:47 am 

hyksos » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:36 pm wrote:In 1995, it was really very easy to dismiss Kaczynski as a unhinged quack.

Today in 2018 : not so easy.


I think it's still quite easy.

Kaczynski basically rails on technology in general, starting with the industrial revolution. And to do this, he ignores vaccines and medical advances, improvements in transportation, improvements in work life balance, increases in life expectancy, global decreases in war and armed conflict, global decreases in infant mortality, decreases in crime, global decreases in poverty, improvements in legal protections and basic human rights, and any number of other significant improvements in the quality of life for the average human being on this rock since the inception of widespread technological advance.

Case in point: prior to the industrial revolution, he would have been lynched in most places of the world for what he did. No judicial system, no real thought to the process--probably a lynch mob. If that's the utopia he's going for, count me out.

Could he be right? Yeah, I suppose so. But his argument involves an almost willful ignorance of so much contrary evidence that it is hard to take it seriously.
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Re: Kaczynski versus the Internet

Postby hyksos on January 18th, 2019, 3:09 pm 

I'm going to have to agree with you kidjan. Also I might add that you seem to be aware of the writings of Stephen Pinker.

Maybe this might be a side bar (or maybe it's not!) but in my recent real life I have come to eschew the entire notion of the "Industrial Revolution". I understand the history of technology so much more clearly now. I think "Industrial Revolution" is a bad way to frame history in a general sense. We can get into this in more elaboration if you want. Your call.

I'm sitting here one power line away from burning wood in a fireplace to stay warm this January. Electricity was not concomitant with the "Industrial Revolution" as stuffy historians on C-SPAN3 like to demarcate its key years. The invention of radio is actually so bizarre that it, in no way, fits into any kind of narrative about "Industrial" people knowing exactly how tech and science interoperate. Even the scientists were not so sophisticated way up into the 1880s. But I'm digressing ...

Your thoughts?
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Re: Kaczynski versus the Internet

Postby kidjan on January 30th, 2019, 2:40 am 

I have not heard of Stephen Pinker, but I'll try to look him up.
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