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Summary

On September 19th, 1995, the New York Times printed an essay by a known terrorist in a desperate attempt to stop his string of civilian bombings. 

The newspaper’s editors dismissed “The Unabomber” as a lunatic, but his essay soon began to capture the attention of the world’s wisest political minds. As The Atlantic wrote: “[The essay] was greeted...by many thoughtful people as a work of genius.” 

"Reprehensible for murdering and maiming people...but precisely correct in many of his ideas.” (Keith Albow, author and psychiatrist) 

“If it is the work of a madman, then the writings of many political philosophers - Jean Jacques Rousseau, Tom Paine, Karl Marx - are scarcely more sane." (James Q. Wilson, professor of political science, UCLA)

“[He] was right about one thing: technology has its own agenda.” (Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of WIRED)

As the decades have passed since the essay was published, the truth behind the author’s warnings have become harder to ignore. 

Predicting society’s present addiction to technology, our challenges with data privacy, and the dramatic increase in drug overdoses and depression that have accompanied a technology-induced lack of purpose, The Unabomber’s vision of the future has become our reality. 

Of course, his means were disgusting and condemnable. But his message is more important than ever. 

If we want to thrive in an age where automation and artificial intelligence and rapidly making humans obsolete, it is our responsibility to understand and prepare for the technological machine we are up against.

©2019 Ted Kaczynski (P)2021 Ted Kaczynski

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  • Baby Bear
  • 25-04-21

This book is brilliant

I don't often get into books of this nature, but wow. I will be listening again on the plane ride home. Would highly recommend.

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  • Demiel
  • 10-05-21

Not so brilliant

Has a few interesting points, especially about the problems of modernity, technology and genetic modification but he overly idealizes primitive life. Most the book is just a series of claims without backup and an angry rant against what he sees as the Left even though he has trouble defining exactly what that is. I was hoping for more eloquence, better thought points and the like, but it was all just claims.

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  • David
  • 24-04-21

Frighteningly prescient

Scary to hear how much of 2020 he was able to predict almost 2 decades ago. Lots to learn from this short book.

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  • Lorne
  • 24-04-21

Terrifying and brilliant

I've always heard about this book but never knew what it was about, only about his horrible terrorist actions. After listening, he's obviously brilliant and it seems like the future he predicted is coming true. Not sure where that leaves us, but it's interesting to think about...