A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Opinion

Crazy but correct

“We aren’t the first to mention that the world today seems to be going crazy,” wrote Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber. Ted  Kaczynski was a serial bomber from 1978-1995. Kaczynski terrorized the San Francisco area for years killing three people and injuring another 23 with his bombs via U.S. postal services. Kaczynski attended Harvard University on a full scholarship at just the age of 16, earning his bachelor’s degree. In the middle of the woods miles from civilization, Kaczynski lived in a one-room shack with no running water or electricity in Lincoln, Montana. There is no doubt that Kaczynski was a bonafide genius with an IQ score of 167, yet many would classify him as crazy the way he lived his life in the woods and committed atrocious crimes. During his time while living isolated from society in his shack, Kaczynski wrote what is now his famous manifesto “Industrial society and its future.”  Some of the points he had made so many years ago in his manifesto are still relevant and correct today; if you disagree just look around.

 

“The system does not and cannot exist to satisfy human needs. Instead, it is human behavior that has to be modified to fit the needs of the system…”

Humans needs or wants will always outweigh what the system can give them. The human race will never be satisfied with what they have. People have grown to be so ignorant that if there is a new product on the market people will pay for it regardless of the differences between the new and the old product. After the release of the iPhone X and iPhone 8, Apple enthusiasts were ecstatic to get their hands on one of those new pieces of technology. Though there are very few and slim differences between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, such as camera quality, there will always be a desire from humans to upgrade their devices no matter the upgraded quality. Regardless of what was out before the release of these two new phones, there are always people that want the newest items on the market. Even if it is something as small as camera quality, the human’s needs for something newer will always be present.

 

“If the system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful.”

Kaczynski lived in a one-room shack in the middle of the woods during most of his adult life. With no running water or electricity, Kaczynski learned to live off the land and with the absence of technology.   Unlike most people, Kaczynski never relied on technology or the system it depends on. For everybody else, however, if there were to be a system shut-down and technology was no longer useful, the world would stop functioning. People would not be able to check email, send text messages, or update social media profiles. Without email, text messages, and social media, big business wouldn’t be able to make important decisions guiding that business or people wouldn’t be able to send a text message or phone call to the police. The consequences of a total system shut down for our modernized world would be catastrophic to most parts of the globe.

 

“…freedom and technological progress are incompatible.”

Kaczynski believed there is no way to have total freedom while using technology; he believed technology puts chains and restrictions on people instead of setting higher limits thus making technology and freedom incompatible. Cars and computers are prime examples of what Kaczynski was trying to convince people of so many years ago. Today’s job applications have a standard question asking if you have a reliable means of transportation to and from that place of work. In today’s world, you can not go anywhere without a vehicle and you can’t even get a job unless you have a car or means of transportation. Computers also support Kaczynski’s claim tremendously. Think about it, everything a person does throughout their day is on a computer. Here at West Ottawa High School all of the class work that is done throughout the day is completed on Chromebooks. If the power or wifi was to go out for even just a couple hours most if not all of our classwork would be void and unable to complete.

 

Kaczynski might have been crazy but now 20 years later his points and views on technology still stand. 

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