I realized that the age of many of the people here on Hubski might mean you have no idea who the Unabomber is, or about the Unabomber Manifesto, "Industrial Society and its Future."

Big picture: Guy doesn't like technological progress (the "World Wide Web" was something a few people had access to, only at work, at this point), so he sends mail bombs to people who are, generally speaking, "intellectuals", or in some way connected with the advancement of technology. People die. People are maimed. And EVERYONE is panicked for about 15 years.

In 1996 the Unabomber demands that his Manifesto get published, for free, all over the US, or he will increase his terror campaign.

So for about a month, everywhere you went - grocery stores, bookstores, gas stations, etc - there, next to the cash register, were free printed books of the Unabomber Manifesto.

Hang on... think about that for a second... A murderer on an almost two-decade long killing spree demanded to have his writings published... and they were.

I had a copy. Might still have it in a box, somewhere.

He didn't like liberals. Thought the world was going to hell in a handbasket, and people had to stop being so nice to each other, and allowing other people to live their lives the way they wanted to. Society should be more conservative.

I'd be interested what people born after 1990 think of his writing and thoughts. I'm going to re-read it, because I don't remember it well, and am curious what it reads like today, in our current political environment.

(Final Note: This link goes to the same place the NY Times originally published the document on their web site. Same URL for 21 years.)


I read it a while ago. Some of the points and assumptions/suppositions he made were eerily close to my own thoughts. Some seemed to be spot-on. On the face value, manifesto felt consistent, but the more I was thinking about it, the more I began to disagree. I recall a few contradictions within the text itself, but right now I don't have the time to go back and check. There was also a point where I got pissed off at the text and had to take a break for a day to get back to it. Let's just say that his mathematical papers were a lot more elegant and to my liking. And terse.

I can potentially elaborate if need be, but I'd rather stay away from discussing politics and social problems.

posted by goobster: 553 days ago