Ted Kaczynski, Berkeley (1968). Image Source: George M. Bergman via Wiki.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that Theodore Kaczyncki's belongings are being auctioned today by GSA Auctions (here and here) for the US Marshals. Kaczynski was known in his graduate days as a brilliant young mathematician. Wiki cites one of his doctoral examiners: "Maxwell Reade, a retired math professor who served on Kaczynski's dissertation committee, also commented on his thesis by noting, 'I would guess that maybe 10 or 12 men in the country understood or appreciated it.'" The first and most famous of radical opposers of the Tech Revolution, Kaczynski's life story so far reflects some of the worst things that went wrong from World War II, through the Cold War and up to the Millennium. Below the jump, the items for sale tell that story; ironically, they are going up for auction online. The benefits go to his victims and their families.
Kaczynski had a traumatic history prior to graduate school. In order to earn money as an undergraduate at Harvard, he had endured several years (1959-1962) of Henry Murray's CIA-sponsored MK ULTRA experiments, which simulated extreme psychological attacks and evaluated their effects. During World War II, Murray had served with the Office of Strategic Services - the forerunner of the CIA; the MK ULTRA experiments were administered by the CIA illegally until the late 1960s in the USA and Canada. Kaczynski had entered university early and began his participation in Murray's experiments at the age of 16. His lawyers and author Alston Chase argued that Kaczynski was emotionally stable when he entered his program; but after the "brutal" experiments, he became unstable and very suspicious of mind control.
After he got his PhD at the University of Michigan, he took a post at Berkeley, from which he abruptly resigned in 1969 at the age of 27. Reflecting the popular ecological movement at the time, he moved to a cabin in Montana, sought to become ecologically self-sufficient and practised wilderness survival skills - until the state built a highway through a backwoods plateau where he sought refuge. Gradually he became an eco-anarchist, convinced that the "techno-industrial system" had to be destroyed.
Kaczynski became the Unabomber (UNiversity and Airline Bomber), the original anti-Tech neo-Luddite, and was responsible for killing 3 people and injuring 23 others in a mail bombing campaign that lasted from 1978 to 1995. For the rest of his life, he will remain incarcerated in Supermax Prison ADX Florence, Colorado. He is unrepentant as far as his opposition to technology goes. In 2010, he published a book of collected writings entitled, Technological Slavery (the proceeds do not go to him); they include selections from his correspondence with Dr. David Skrbina, a Philosophy professor at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, who calls Kaczynski "a revolutionary for our times."
The Unabomber's violent reaction to the advent of the Computer Age and the Information Revolution was a tragedy for his victims, and for him personally. Below, the objects that will be auctioned today (Image Sources: here, here and here); at a glance, they show his ugly acceptance of ideas that ruined him and destroyed people's lives. These are not just the tenets of eco-anarchism put into action or a blank rejection of the rise of technology. They show a terrifying and meditated descent into violent isolation and murderous radicalism.
Bow and Arrows.
Personal Photographs (1976 and 1978).
Personal Book Collection (sample).
Bible (King James Version).
Wilderness Survival Manuals.
Handwritten draft of Unabomber Manifesto.
List of names.
Long Black Knife.
For my earlier posts on Kaczynski, go here and here.
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