Theodore John Kaczynski, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Ted Kaczynski) was born in 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Harvard at age sixteen, earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan and became assistant professor of mathematics at UC-Berkeley at the age of twenty-five. After two years, Kaczynski resigned his professorship and moved to a remote wilderness area of western Montana to pursue a life-long ambition of living an autonomous and self-sufficient life from the land, which he did for twenty-five years.Kaczynski has been incarcerated since 1998 in rigorous confinement at Federal Prison ADX in Florence, Colorado, after receiving a life sentence for the long-term violent campaign he undertook to call world-wide attention to the colossal dangers inherent in technological growth.
There are more than a few people who feel that society's rush toward a technological future will lead to disaster. This book presents some pointers for thinking in broad, strategic terms about getting society off that particular road. The overall goal for any organization, whether it is social, political or environmental, should be clear and simple. It can't be something vague, like "promoting democracy" or "protecting the environment." The goal also needs to be irreversible; once achieved, it can never be taken away. An example is when women got the right to vote in the early 20th century. After it happened, any politician was going to have a very hard time taking it away from them. No matter how democratic an organization claims to be, there will be times when not every issue can be placed before the entire membership for a vote. There needs to be an inner core of committed members with the authority to make such decisions. Throughout history, many people have suggested that human society needs to be "planned" or "controlled," for various reasons. A huge, chaotic thing like human society can not be controlled to any great extent. At most, it can be "nudged" in one direction or another. Who decides in what direction human society should go? What is a "good" outcome? Assume, just for a moment, that it is possible to control human society. Assume that there is a computer system big enough to handle the trillions of equations that need to be solved. Who is in charge, a person or a small group? Who gets to decide who that person, or people, should be? Can a lack of ego be guaranteed? A number of writers, including Ray Kurzweil, are looking forward to the day when human immortality, or the coming of human cyborgs or the uploading of a person's brain to a computer become reality. The author asserts that these are nonsense. For instance, immortality will only be available to the one percent, not to everyone. This book is heavy history and social science, so it is not for everyone. The reader will get a lot out of it. This is very highly recommended. Reviewer's Bookwatch: June 2018 James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review 278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575 http://www.midwestbookreview.com/rbw/jun_18.htm#paul - - Midwest Book Review