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Industrial Society and Its Future

I don't look up to Ted Kaczynski, and based on his actions, a priori reject his conclusions. Time only happens once—assuming the Copenhagen interpretation—so I think it's far better to design systems that thrive despite the constraints he identifies, rather than disposing of all industrialized society entirely.

Also known as The Unabomber Manifesto, Kaczynski's essay outlines his concerns with present industrialization and culture, as well as hints at his proposed solution. In short: industrialization was a bad idea and will most certainly end in doom and widespread suffering. What's fascinating about Industrial Society and Its Future is how nearly 30 years after it was written, his specific concerns of modern society still exist. Not that we've sidestepped his technological and industrial concerns (jury's out), but how his specific issues with culture are still echoed by many people today.

There's a lot to think about here, and several useful models such as the power process, surrogate activities, the industrial order, and small-scale technology vs organization dependent technology. Many of his ideas are productively reflected on in Game B. Overall, an enlightening read.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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