Noted mathematician Ted Kaczynski dead at 81

Originally published at: Noted mathematician Ted Kaczynski dead at 81 | Boing Boing


I’m sure he and Pat Robertson will get along famously.


Ted will find that his part of hell is an infinite city

I’m glad that Reddit will be going dark in a few days, the anarcho-primitivists are going to be insufferable for the next few days. They seem oblivious to the fact that Ted hated them and had a very far-right view of conservation.


Uh Huh Reaction GIF by Originals

Incidentally, did anyone watch that film about Kaczynski that came out a few years ago?

When I saw the trailer, I was a bit skeptical, because I was concerned it was going to glorify him and his ideas… Not sure how well they handled it.


Also a prominent alumnus of the Stanford Prison Experiment!


You have a citation for that? A cursory search didn’t show that, so if you have a cite on that, I’d like to see it.

[ETA] He seems to have been part of MK Ultra, which the SPE was not a part of, AFAIK…


“Mr. Trump, your cell is ready.”


“Last resident left you a letter”


Come to think of it, I wonder if Tromp bothered to leave the traditional letter for Biden.

I kinda doubt it, but if so, it must be a doozy.


There are those who say that a certain level of crime, of confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt evil, that they should lose their names, and with the sole exception of certain legal and historical documents forever after only be referred to by “Prisoner Number xxxxxx.”

Aside from unfortunate resemblances to the Soviet practice of “unpersoning” someone, and the rather fortunate right to free speech preventing it to be come law, I rather think this is a good idea, as the proper reaction to the death of such a mass murderer is to ask, “Who?”

Which is to say, excellent choice of title. It took me a few moments to make the connection.

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The FBI used the case identifier UNABOM (University and Airline Bomber) before his identity was known, resulting in the media naming him the "Unabomber.

Today I learned!


Yeah. I also like that some media outlets seem to have been downplaying the identities of mass shooters. No need to encourage potentail future ones with what some see as glorification.


It’s called damnatio memoriae. In Venice, former Doge Marin Falier was executed for treason and condemned to this so his official portrait is painted over with a black shroud.

I was at Yale when CS Professor David Gelernter was gravely injured in a bomb attack, in fact in the building right next door in the Maths department. Kaczynski’s crimes were no joke and had life-altering consequences for his victims.


In some other thread, I was going to post a link to a book by him about the 1939 New York World’s Fair, that’s basically a polemic about technology since then, and how his views were probably heavily influenced by being the victim of Kaczynski. But then I also saw that he’s a Trumper, and even worked in the Trump White House for awhile, as well as being a pretty staunch climate change denier, so I decided he didn’t need anyone’s attention from here.


It appears that the Some Asshole initiative seems to be working…


Looks like he’s missing the next reunion.

Gelertner’s work on tuple spaces is still brilliant and his Mirror Worlds is prescient and hopeful about AI. However, he’s definitely gone over the edge (he also revels in sexism and does a lot of “kids today” whinging). I’ve seen speculation that it was the attack by the recently departed arsehole that radicalised Gelertner, but from what I see he was poisoned by fundamentalist religion and his own inflated self-regard as a polymath.


This Radiolab from 2010 describes the MKULTRA related experiment at Harvard that Kaczynski was subjected to when he was a sophomore there.

(it’s the first vignette, starts about 4min in)

The piece features and draws from the work from the work of author Alston Chase who also has a book on the topic, and an article in the Atlantic circa 2000 (on the Archive).

The take-away is that as an undergrad he was a precocious but also particularly vulnerable individual who was subjected to horrendous treatment by authority figures in the Harvard academic establishment - and it likely left a significant lasting impact on his worldview.

Obviously doesn’t excuse his horrendous crimes and deaths of innocents - but it does explain some things.

Didn’t watch that one, (tend also to be skeptical of dramatizations for similar reasons).

Did watch the Netflix “Unabomber - In His Own Words” mini-series doc, features lots of footage and insights from family and others who knew him. Found that one held together pretty well on the human side and detailing the fbi investigation front.

When I was in high school my dad came home with FBI agents’ business cards and told my siblings and I some BS about how he got them, but it was actually because they interviewed him to see if he had anything to report. He didn’t, but they asked because he was on one of Ted’s lists of people to kill.