Unabomber’s Predictions About Technology Stir Modern Debates On AI And Innovation

Theodore Kaczynski, infamously known as the Unabomber, left a chilling legacy with his DIY mailbombing campaigns that killed three and injured 23, including notable academics and business executives. Beyond his violent acts, Kaczynski penned a 35,000-word manifesto titled “Industrial Society and Its Future,” and a 2008 follow-up, “Technological Slavery.” Despite his heinous crimes, Kaczynski’s critiques of modern technology have increasingly resonated with some experts who fear the unchecked advance of AI and other innovations.

Kaczynski’s writings warned against the dangers of postindustrial innovation, arguing that it threatened human dignity and autonomy. His radical opposition to technological progress culminated in his capture in 1996 and his eventual suicide in prison last summer at age 81. Despite his tragic end, the accuracy of his predictions about the future of technology has sparked renewed interest.

Samuel Hammond, a senior economist at the Foundation for American Innovation, discussed Kaczynski’s legacy with James Poulos on “Zero Hour.” Hammond acknowledges the risks associated with rapid technological advancements but criticizes Kaczynski’s belief that society could force itself backward into a “great regress.”

Hammond argues, “There are still many degrees of freedom in how we design and what futures we choose,” opposing those who advocate for degrowth and population control.

The conversation around Kaczynski’s warnings is particularly relevant today as fears grow about the control of AI. Experts like Hammond are re-evaluating Kaczynski’s critiques in the context of contemporary challenges, grappling with the balance between innovation and the potential for societal harm.

To explore Samuel Hammond’s insights on Kaczynski, globalist agendas, and more, watch the full episode of “Zero Hour with James Poulos.”