June 21, 2016

A letter from The Unabomber ridiculing Lawrence Wright — a writer at The New Yorker — for believing he'd received a letter from The Unabomber.

The letter, below, was sent to Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski, who just happens to have the same last name as The Unabomber (Ted Kaczynski).

33 comments:

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I can't imagine why he'd care.

Michael K said...

I assume that is the Lawrence Wright that wrote "The Looming Tower?"

I wonder if he is working on something about domestic terrorism? The New Yorker would pay well for that.

Anything to divert our attention from you-know-what.

David Begley said...

Unabomber shoots and scores!

Journalists are stupid and lazy. The blogosphere proves that daily.

Rob said...

So even murderous fanatics can have a valid assessment of journalists.

rehajm said...

Burn. That's so fuckin' funny. Most Harvard grads aren't that funny.

Lem said...

Ouch. You should put some ice on that.

The Drill SGT said...

David Begley said...
Unabomber shoots and scores!

mockturtle said...

Journalists are stupid and lazy.

Indeed they are! And doesn't it seem odd that The Media are never included in polls regarding trust and confidence?

Ann Althouse said...

"So even murderous fanatics can have a valid assessment of journalists."

Ever read the Unabomber's manifesto? Too bad he reasoned his way across the violence line, but he says plenty of very smart things and not just about journalism.

Click on my Kaczynski tag and you'll see an old post of mine that reprints some material from the manifesto.

mockturtle said...

It's small wonder that our populace is becoming increasingly ignorant when The Media focus on one or two stories at the total exclusion of anything else that might be happening in the world. News on the cheap. And lazy.

mockturtle said...

You're right, Ann. Kaczynski is a very insightful and intelligent man. Too bad he could not have employed those considerable gifts without using bombs.

Michael said...

To get a more sober view of Teddie boy's insight and intelligence I urge you to read "Drawing Life: Surviving the Unibomber" by David Gelernter. Here you will read the insights and intelligence of someone on the receiving end of evil.

Michael K said...

Kaczinski was a brilliant student and mathematician " While growing up in Evergreen Park he was a child prodigy, excelling academically from an early age. Kaczynski was accepted into Harvard University at the age of 16, where he earned an undergraduate degree. He subsequently earned a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He became an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley in 1967 at age 25. He resigned two years later."

He might be a high functioning paranoid schizophrenic or a rare pure paranoid psychotic.

Michael K said...

When I was a medical student I worked one summer in a VA psych hospital. One patient there was grossly psychotic, speaking mostly in "word salad" but he and I got fairly close that summer.

At night a couple, of nights a week, he had a pass to catch a bus to UCLA where he was getting a masters in mathematics.

Psychosis and math are not mutually exclusive.

Sydney said...

His assessment's right, but he's till a narcissist. And that, ultimately, is his psychiatric pathology. Not psychotic. Just extremely narcissistic.

M Jordan said...

Mr. Unabomber has neat handwriting. That's all I'm giving him.

Mike said...

Well it's hard to quibble with his description of the short-bus skill-set laughingly referred to as a "profession" in some circles.

robother said...

What our earnest ex-child prodigy doesn't seem to get is that journalists desperate for eyeballs are willing dupes in hoaxes of all sorts.

Mike said...

I direct Mockturtle's attention to the following graphical presentations of trust level for the media including this one (scroll down) comparing public attitudes to other figures of trust. And here's the trend line.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

That's hilarious.

If it weren't for the killing and maiming, I would have some degree of admiration for the man. He was living my occasional dream--retreat to cabin in Montana and everyone can just get bent.

Bob Boyd said...

I can assure you there are plenty of people getting bent in cabins in Montana.

Big Mike said...

Reminds me of the story about the guy who got a flat tire near an insane asylum. As he's changing the tire he accidentally knocks the five lug nuts into a storm drain.

"Now what will I do? The spare won't stay on without lug nuts!"

He hears a voice behind him. "Take one lug nut from each of the other three wheels. If you're careful to use a triangle pattern three lug nuts should hold the wheel on until you can get someplace where you can buy another set."

The guy starts to offer thanks, but then he realizes -- this is one of the inmates, not one of the staffers!

"Don't worry buddy. I'm in here because I'm crazy, not because I'm stupid."

Big Mike said...

My old commanding general Alexander liked that one.

Not the British General Alexander, the Macedonian one.

Quaestor said...

...it's hard to quibble with his description of the short-bus skill-set laughingly referred to as a "profession" in some circles.

That's the problem. When universities began to offer journalism as a degree program the standards began to decline. Journalism used to be something you did with a body of knowledge. Today it's a body of knowledge unto itself, however narrow and disconnected, which results in dismayingly ignorant yet iconic media personalities.

SOJO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

I thought he was dead.

No, he just looks that way.

Mary Beth said...

I was thinking about Kaczynski the other day when the DoJ was wanting to keep parts of the Orlando 911 transcripts unpublished since the DoJ had been willing to see his manifesto published.

ndspinelli said...

Ted is obviously a Trump supporter.

Michael K said...

"Ted is obviously a Trump supporter."

Gore supporter, not Trump.

Michael K said...

In fact, the Democrats, and especially Jerry Brown, are now left of Gore in 2000.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Were Althouse and the Unabomber at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at the same time? Hmm.

Eric Landgraf said...

Holden Caulfield, a retired business executive from Fairfield, CT responded that this just showed that this journalist was just another "phoney" trying to score off an imprisoned "wacko". Caulfield blamed Bill and Hilary Clinton for the collapse in modern journalist ethics.

Ann Althouse said...

"Were Althouse and the Unabomber at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at the same time? Hmm."

You got me to look that up. I went to Michigan in the fall of 1969 and graduated in spring 1973.

The Unabomber is about 10 years older than I am. From his Wikipedia page:

"Kaczynski graduated from Harvard University in 1962, at age 20, and subsequently enrolled at the University of Michigan, where he earned a PhD in mathematics.[16] Kaczynski's specialty was a branch of complex analysis known as geometric function theory. His professors at Michigan were impressed with his intellect and drive. "He was an unusual person. He was not like the other graduate students," said Peter Duren, one of Kaczynski's math professors at Michigan. "He was much more focused about his work. He had a drive to discover mathematical truth." "It is not enough to say he was smart," said George Piranian, another of his Michigan math professors.[20] Kaczynski earned his PhD with his thesis entitled "Boundary Functions"[21] by solving a problem so difficult that even Piranian could not solve it.[20] 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."[22] In 1967, Kaczynski won the University of Michigan's Sumner B. Myers Prize, which recognized his dissertation as the school's best in mathematics that year.[22] While a graduate student at Michigan, he held a National Science Foundation fellowship and taught undergraduates for three years. He also published two articles related to his dissertation in mathematical journals, and four more after leaving Michigan.[21][23]"

So, in short, he was gone 2 years before I arrived.