The Life of Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) - Podcast Episode Topics (1 Viewer)

WildVirtue

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Hey all, I'm working on topic ideas for a podcast episode on the life of Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), so if you have any reflections or would like to talk about it in text or over voice, just let me know. You can also comment directly on the google doc:

The Life of Ted Kaczynski - Podcast Episode Topics - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HgZpVe0XrMOv_ofwSRS3T-qVQ8NgVjZ-CW2Q1UuCnxs/

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Intro​


Ted Kaczynski is the Unabomber, a homegrown terrorist who over the course of 17 years planted or mailed at least 16 bombs. He killed 3 people and wounded 24. He wasn’t a religious fundamentalist, but he was a fundamentalist. His enemy was, essentially, modern society. He grew up in Chicago, attended Harvard, but he wound up living alone in a remote cabin in the Montana woods. He was arrested in 1996 after one of the most notorious and longest manhunts in history, and he was sentenced to life in prison.


Some key life moments


Separation From Parents As A Baby

A week in the hospital as a baby where he wasn't allowed to see his parents at all for nurses being understaffed and not wanting parents to be in the way. And taking a long time to trust his parents again and be receptive to them.


Loneliness After Being Moved Forward A Year At School

Being moved forward a year at school and then getting into university another year early on top of that, so struggling to make friends at school.


Psych Experiments For The CIA

Being part of Harvard psychology experiments with professors who worked with the CIA, where the professors' objective was to humiliate the student for the philosophy they held as most important to them.


Sex Change Plans & First Desire To Kill (A Psychiatrist)

Confusion about whether he wanted a sex change operation, in order to explore desires for women which he hadn't had the space to learn to understand. Which when he changed his mind, turned into hateful resentment for a society that he felt had made him confused and depressed.

Then a desire to carefully plan his murders and pick targets he thought some people would intellectually admire him for picking, as in his eyes the evilest people deserving of fighting a guerrilla war against. Could be seen as a way of getting the validation he didn’t get from friends as a child on his own terms, for being special and intelligent enough to have discovered all these connections and go after the worst offenders. Rebelling against social alienation and mediocrity/ fear of the harder task of finding meaning with others, that there’s no special meaning given to your life for just being you.


First Parcel Bomb

Kaczynski's first mail bomb was directed at Buckley Crist, a professor of materials engineering at Northwestern University. On May 25, 1978, a package bearing Crist's return address was found in a parking lot at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The package was "returned" to Crist, who was suspicious because he had not sent it, so he contacted campus police. Officer Terry Marker opened the package, which exploded and caused minor injuries.

In answer to a letter sent in to him asking ‘how/when did he decide to bomb people?’ Kaczynski answered:

It would take too much time to give a complete answer to the last part of your ninth question, but I will give you a partial answer by quoting what I wrote for my journal on August 14, 1983:

The fifth of August I began a hike to the east. I got to my hidden camp that I have in a gulch beyond what I call “Diagonal Gulch.” I stayed there through the following day, August 6. I felt the peace of the forest there. But there are few huckleberries there, and though there are deer, there is very little small game. Furthermore, it had been a long time since I had seen the beautiful and isolated plateau where the various branches of Trout Creek originate. So I decided to take off for that area on the 7th of August. A little after crossing the roads in the neighborhood of Crater Mountain I began to hear chain saws; the sound seemed to be coming from the upper reaches of Roaster Bill Creek. I assumed they were cutting trees; I didn’t like it but I thought I would be able to avoid such things when I got onto the plateau. Walking across the hillsides on my way there, I saw down below me a new road that had not been there previously, and that appeared to cross one of the ridges that close in Stemple Creek. This made me feel a little sick. Nevertheless, I went on to the plateau. What I found there broke my heart. The plateau was criss-crossed with new roads, broad and well-made for roads of that kind. The plateau is ruined forever. The only thing that could save it now would be the collapse of the technological society. I couldn’t bear it. That was the best and most beautiful and isolated place around here and I have wonderful memories of it.

One road passed within a couple of hundred feet of a lovely spot where I camped for a long time a few years ago and passed many happy hours. Full of grief and rage I went back and camped by South Fork Humbug Creek.

The next day I started for my home cabin. My route took me past a beautiful spot, a favorite place of mine where there was a spring of pure water that could safely be drunk without boiling. I stopped and said a kind of prayer to the spirit of the spring. It was a prayer in which I swore that I would take revenge for what was being done to the forest.

My journal continues: “[...] and then I returned home as quickly as I could because I have something to do!”

You can guess what it was that I had to do.


Plan To Kill A Date Who Broke Off Their Romance

To earn some money, Ted had moved back from his cabin to the family home to work at the same foam-cutting factory where his father and brother now worked. He briefly dated a female supervisor at the factory, but the woman cut off the relationship after a few dates. Ted responded by posting crude limericks about her around the factory.

Dave, who worked part time as a night supervisor, confronted Ted in the storage room. It was a turning point in their relationship.

"He looked at me as a friend," Dave recalled, "and by the time I got done speaking to him, he was all shut down."

The next day, Ted walked up to the machine where Dave was working and posted another insulting poem.

"Are you going to fire me now?" Ted defiantly asked.

Heartbroken, Dave replied, "Yes, Ted. Go home."

Ted did, shutting himself in his room for days. Dave worried he had forced some sort of "psychological break."

Ted eventually knocked on Dave's bedroom door and handed him a letter. "I'll show this to you, only on the condition that you don't discuss this with me," Ted said.

It was a note Ted intended to send to the woman, explaining himself. It was an apology of sorts, but it also contained the disturbing claim that Ted was so enraged that he had waited in the woman's car with a knife, planning to mutilate her. In the end, Ted wrote, he couldn't do it.

Attacking someone face to face proved too much for him.


Relief At Being Able To Kill People With His Bombs

In 1979, a bomb was placed in the cargo hold of American Airlines Flight 444, a Boeing 727 flying from Chicago to Washington, D.C. A faulty timing mechanism prevented the bomb from exploding, but it released smoke, which caused the pilots to carry out an emergency landing. Authorities said it had enough power to "obliterate the plane" had it exploded. Kaczynski sent his next bomb to Percy Wood, the president of United Airlines.

This was done simply due to planes flying over his cabin bothering his peace.

These first few attacks against Universities and Airlines were how he got the name UnAbomber.

He was using match heads and other scraps he could find in people’s garages while they were out. So as he was still learning he wasn’t able to make any lethal bombs. He wrote in his diary that he wished he could get his hands on some dynamite.

After he read news of managing to injure an airline executive, he wrote in his diary “I feel better, I'm still plenty angry, I'm now able to strike back.”

After reading in a newspaper that his first murder victim, computer salesman Scrutton, had been "blown to bits,” Kaczynski wrote in his journal, “Excellent. Humane way to eliminate somebody. He probably never felt a thing. $25,000 reward offered. Rather flattering.”


Offer to stop bombing for newspapers publishing his manifesto

Letter to the New York Times:

We are getting tired of making bombs. It’s no fun having to spend all your evenings and weekends preparing dangerous mixtures, filing trigger mechanisms out of scraps of metal or searching the sierras for a place isolated enough to test a bomb. So we offer a bargain. We have a long article, between 29,000 and 37,000 words, that we want to have published. If you can get it published according to our requirements we will permanently desist from terrorist activities.

Contents of the manifesto:

At 35,000 words, Industrial Society and Its Future lays very detailed blame on technology for destroying human-scale communities. Kaczynski contends that the Industrial Revolution harmed the human race by developing into a sociopolitical order that subjugates human needs beneath its own. This system, he wrote, destroys nature and suppresses individual freedom. In short, humans adapt to machines rather than vice versa, resulting in a society hostile to human potential.

Kaczynski indicts technological progress with the destruction of small human communities and rise of uninhabitable cities controlled by an unaccountable state. He contends that this relentless technological progress will not dissipate on its own because individual technological advancements are seen as good despite the sum effects of this progress. Kaczynski describes modern society as defending this order against dissent, in which individuals are adjusted to fit the system and those outside it are seen as bad. This tendency, he says, gives rise to expansive police powers, mind-numbing mass media, and indiscriminate promotion of drugs. He criticizes both big government and big business as the ineluctable result of industrialization, and holds scientists and "technophiles" responsible for recklessly pursuing power through technological advancements.

He argues that this industrialized system's collapse will be devastating and that quickening the collapse will mitigate the devastation's impact. He justifies the trade-offs that come with losing industrial society as being worth the cost. Kaczynski's ideal revolution seeks not to overthrow the government but the economic and technological foundation of modern society. He seeks to destroy existing society and protect the wilderness, the antithesis of technology.

On his arrest they found a bomb ready to be mailed, so either he never planned to keep his word or his anger drove him to carry on.


Arrest

Arrest as a result of his brother recognizing his writing in his manifesto. His brother helped build his cabin and enjoyed a life close to the wilds also, but wasn’t fundamentalist about it in the way Ted was, he had been hurt when Ted after coming over from Harvard and hardened after the psychology experiments were performed on him, had been very dismissive of his younger brothers forming ideas about politics and philosophy. Unlike the Boston bombers, luckily their paths diverged.


Court

Told lawyers they could adopt any defense they like other than an insanity defense. And they ran only the insanity defense. So fearing having his bombings labeled the work of an insane man and potentially having to take anti-psychotic drugs which might change him, first he attempted suicide, then he accepted a plea deal. A year after the sentencing he said death would be preferable to life, but the reason he stopped the first attempted suicide was fear of just becoming brain damaged.


Theory vs. Action​


He had a disgust for the university elite's ideology disconnected from the world. Had the desire to share with the world some useful philosophical theory and some not so useful action sabotaging industry which is harmful to the environment, but because his childhood was about being forced to conform to an ideal of academic success at the expense of mental health and community, he thought he was only one of few people who had woken up to the downside of this conformity, so no mass movement of people breaking with the system was possible.

But I think that idea in itself reveals a naivety about human potential and a naive optimism about an elite underclass who will always be willing enough to risk their lives to tear down industrial society, to even stop it re-emerging if it ever could be destroyed.

To an extent, social movement membership is tied to events that are hard to predict, like the children who grew up in the formerly fascist countries after WW2 formed the most active left-wing militant movements, which can be understood to be in part anger at their parents' generation for buying into fascism. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just about learning those lessons, to counsel people to take only the actions which are ethical and the consequences they are comfortable living with, to make the movement as sustainable as possible.

And obviously sometimes getting caught isn’t a total loss to the movement, the publicity received for a worthwhile act of civil disobedience, like for a Nelson Mandela can be a net gain, but it does have to be a struggle people can sympathize with.


Ethical justifications for guerrilla war​


He thinks accelerating the need to dismantle industrial society is too urgent to wait on non-violence because the effects of waiting will only be worse.

Most people agree that anyone who took it upon themselves to assassinate Hitler a day before the break out of WW2 would be seen as committing an ethical act, no matter who follows because throwing a wrench into the cult of personality spell built around Hitler would be a significant set back for the fascist state’s grip over the people. And given all the evidence pointing to the inevitability of war, such an act could easily be seen as a necessary preemptive act.

Most can sympathize with quick revolutions against dictatorships where the result is a freer society, like the Kurdish uprising in Northern Syria which took power from a regime that had rolled tanks on demonstrators and outlawed the teaching of their native language.

But, even there, there are key foundations you need to work from, like the probability you won’t just give an excuse for the oppressor committing even worse horrors as was the case with the Rohingya militants who ambushed a police checkpoint, resulting in an army & citizen campaign to burn down many villages, plus murder and rape those that couldn’t get away.

As well as a responsibility to put down arms after winning political freedoms and a majority are in favor of diplomacy through electoral politics, like in Northern Ireland today.

Under representative parliamentary systems, the sentiment of most is that even if it could be argued that a war of terror against the ruling class was the easiest route to produce a better society, that it would still be ethically wrong to be the person who takes another’s life just because it’s the easiest way. Since regardless of manufactured consent or anything else you still could have worked to build a coalition to overcome those obstacles and change the system slowly from within.

And I agree, it would be an act of self-harm to treat life with such disregard when you could have been that same deluded person shrouded in the justificatory trappings of society treating your behavior normally. I don’t think the way we win today is treating a cold bureaucratic system with equally cold disregard in whose life we had the resources to be able to intimidate this week. Time on earth is the greatest gift people have, to make mistakes and learn from them.

Still, some are tempted into violent direct action as a reaction to what they see as the state’s terrorism in the form of drone strikes or torture at Guantanamo Bay, the Vietnam war’s white phosphorous, or in my country undercover cops sleeping with and having kids with protesters they’re investigating.

As a socialist, I do think we can hypothesize the unrealistic case of 99% of society desiring a referendum on a shift from parliamentary representative system to a federated spokes council system and the MP's dragging their feet, the same way both parties gerrymander the boundaries to make it easier to win despite it being the one issue most everyone agrees is bad, and people needing to storm the halls of power to force a vote to happen.

More likely though, an opportunity for revolution might arise from such a confluence of events as climate refugees and worker gains forcing the state and corporations into trying to crack down on freedoms in order to preserve their power and enough people resisting that move, who are then able to take power and usher in radical policy change, with either the army deciding to stand down or splitting into factions.


The noble savage ideal​


There’s a quote I really like by Saul Newman about how the desire for a primitive way of life is for a more innocent time in one’s childhood, but I would need to find a way of paraphrasing it so it’s not so jargon-filled:

Where Zerzan’s argument becomes problematic is in the essentialist notion that there is a rationally intelligible presence, a social objectivity that is beyond language and discourse. To speak in Lacanian terms, the prelinguistic state of jouissance is precisely unattainable: it is always mediated by language that at the same time alienates and distorts it. It is an imaginary jouissance, an illusion created by the symbolic order itself, as the secret behind its veil. We live in a symbolic and linguistic universe, and to speculate about an original condition of authenticity and immediacy, or to imagine that an authentic presence is attainable behind the veils of the symbolic order or beyond the grasp of language, is futile. There is no getting outside language and the symbolic; nor can there be any return to the pre Oedipal real. To speak in terms of alienation, as Zerzan does, is to image a pure presence or fullness beyond alienation, which is an impossibility. While Zerzan’s attack on technology and domestication is no doubt important and valid, it is based on a highly problematic essentialism implicit in his notion of alienation.

To question this discourse of alienation is not a conservative gesture. It does not rob us of normative reasons for resisting domination, as Zerzan claims. It is to suggest that projects of resistance and emancipation do not need to be grounded in an immediate presence or positive fullness that exists beyond power and discourse. Rather, radical politics can be seen as being based on a moment of negativity: an emptiness or lack that is productive of new modes of political subjectivity and action.[29] Instead of hearkening back to a primordial authenticity that has been alienated and yet which can be recaptured – a state of harmony which would be the very eclipse of politics – I believe it is more fruitful to think in terms of a constitutive rift that is at the base of any identity, a rift that produces radical openings for political articulation and action.

Some activities connecting you to feelings you had as a child can be absolutely essential though, like the joy of experimentation where you can more easily enjoy the wonder of a forest by making up which path you’ll take as you go along.

Part of recruiting people to our political side on environmental protest sites was turning the camp into an action playground with low-down walkways for people to practice on, for people to get in touch with their younger/animal self again.

Kaczynski does argue against any utopian vision of anarcho-primitivism, he desires to go back to the middle ages of swords, bow and arrows, and water wheels because of the negative effects he sees technology having on our freedoms, although more wildlife habitat would be valuable to him, the principle for him is being anti-systems of technology which pressure us to live in towns and cities.


Primitivists, Conspiracists & The Fascist Creep​


First of all, I just want to get out the way that you can fall into the primitivist or conspiracist rabbit hole on all sides of the political compass, you can even get centrists conspiracy theorists who just think everything would be fine and could go back to the normal centrist status quo, if only it wasn’t for this big tech shadow government.

But to the extent there are these irrational rabbit holes people can fall down anywhere on the political spectrum, they can act as a kind of wormhole that fast tracks people to diametrically opposite political positions.

So how this can happen on the far-left is if you’re struggling with the contradictions of having say a personal trauma that leads you to primitivism + a kind of far-leftism which isn’t inherently against people finding value in highly technical work. So you might be worried that you could be overthrowing the current government, but will still be socially alienated from a demeaning factory work job, that is just slightly more democratic. And then from that point, find more common cause with anarcho-capitalists for just desiring to hoard what they can and kill anyone who comes onto their property, or fascists who want to hoard all the wealth for white people say.


Prison Reform​


The Unabomber wanted to be a hermit, who could read a lot of books undisturbed in a very small 1 room cabin and take short breaks to bathe in the beauty of the forest. Now he had a perfectionist mindset about desiring to find mental well-being in the forest, which was never being disturbed by other people. So it’s interesting to note that short of buying vast acres of wildlife habitat for him, guarding it so no one can get in, and not letting planes fly overhead, we’ve pretty much helped him achieve the next best thing in a prison cell as far as he is a manifestation of his traumas.

The same is true for violent people who get to extort and be violent with other prison inmates without much consequence.

And I think that presents a really interesting problem for conservatives who like to think prison is retribution because sometimes prison can be what the traumatized person desires, so they don’t have to wrestle with as much choice. And that although that may only be true of a minority of people, it can be reflective of emotional states of mind within the majority of us.

So the only real solution for me is not to be satisfied with giving traumatized people to an extent emotionally what they want, but to heal the trauma and learned pattern of behavior that leads them to that point in their life.

[There’s a quote we could add later of him acknowledging he worries that he will acclimatize to jail life.]


Further Reading


General Resources
Effect on the left-wing
Wild Reaction (ex-leftist, eco-fascist terror group inspired by the Unabomber)
Effect on the right-wing
Ted Kaczynskis' Writing

Theory
Key Life Events
Fiction
Misc. Letters
Misc. Theory
 
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A zed

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Sorry if this isn't the kind of feedback your looking for but can you elaborate on the Primitivists, Conspiracists and Fascists Creeps section? I guess my main confusion is just understanding Primitivism as anything but a post-left school of thought, I've never seen anyone refer to it as anything else, let alone centrist, so I'm interested to see what that looks like.

I'm also slightly confused about your example of "far left Primitivists" who, in wanting to oppose the alienation of work, become anarcho capitalists. Is this something your referencing? Otherwise I don't understand the logic since at least in my experience Primitivists who oppose work (including myself) oppose anarcho capitalism as much as they oppose capitalism (amd typically also just as much as they oppose left anarchy since all three of these ideologies would force them to work).
 

WildVirtue

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Sorry if this isn't the kind of feedback your looking for but can you elaborate on the Primitivists, Conspiracists and Fascists Creeps section? I guess my main confusion is just understanding Primitivism as anything but a post-left school of thought, I've never seen anyone refer to it as anything else, let alone centrist, so I'm interested to see what that looks like.

I'm also slightly confused about your example of "far left Primitivists" who, in wanting to oppose the alienation of work, become anarcho capitalists. Is this something your referencing? Otherwise I don't understand the logic since at least in my experience Primitivists who oppose work (including myself) oppose anarcho capitalism as much as they oppose capitalism (amd typically also just as much as they oppose left anarchy since all three of these ideologies would force them to work).
No worries, yeah I'm reaching out to primitivists on different platforms to get their critiques, so be as contentious as you can aha.

I'll write more soon, but basically, you can get primitivist right-wingers who don't think primitive life would be a paradise of fewer work hours, but they still want it in order to have more control over their lives, so that systems of machines aren't influencing how they would more traditionally have behaved.

So they desire to just be hermits in the forest with their white family and exploiting their sons and friends through trade, but just not organizing in any way with factory production lines or punching a clock.

If you haven't already check out the links below:

The Dark Side of Environmentalism (Eco-fascism) (8 min video)


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There are also weird ex-leftists terrorists who were inspired by anprim philosophy into wanting to wipe most humans off the earth and return to hunter-gather ways. And see their murders as a 'wild reaction' to the anger and resentment they feel at being brought up to conform to a technological society that destroys the environment;

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Those two articles are interesting but I don't see how it relates to primitivism, as you've said Kazynski is/was not a primitivist, and it doesn't seem these people call themselves primitivists either. As well, while primitivists are often called eco-fascist, eco-fascism (meaning to me- the slowing of ecological destruction through fascism) is not primitivist, and is in fact an ideology for the conservation of civilization. Which I guess is where the distinction between being against civilization and being "for nature" I think is important (and the difference between against civilizationand against industry is equally important).

Also from what I know about ITS is that they were never leftists. They were and I believe still are associated with the Post-left (I forget if they associate themselves with the post left but I know they have been associated with the milue especially with being published by LBC). I personally haven't read much of ITS, though I have a friend who's interviewed them and told me a little about them, so I'll have to read more I guess to understand where they lie in regards to this question I had, but at least my initial understanding is just that they're post-left.
 

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I went back and forth with Zed for a while on discord btw, encase anyone is confused why I haven't replied here.

I recorded the convo - The Life of Ted Kaczynski & Preventing The Fascist Creep - Podcast Episode Promo:

Kelley and I discuss the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, and his life. We discuss how his anti-technology beliefs and extreme outlook resonate with events and radical, anti-government movements in this current day and age. And finally we explore what lessons can be learned by looking at this case in hindsight.

And if you'd prefer to read the discussion, you can check out the full transcript here: Case Revisited – Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s Lingering Influence in 2021 - https://activistjourneys.wordpress.com/2021/09/01/case-revisited-unabomber-ted-kaczynskis-lingering-influence-in-2021/
 

Inhibition

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I'm sympathetic to anarcho primitive critique of civilization and I find people can be extremely dismissive because of its association with Kaczynski at least in popular conscience.

To be clear, I'm not a primitivist, but anthropological evidence does seem to indicate that hunter gatherers were more egalitarian and less exploitative than subsequent agricultural and industrial societies on average. I've read a bit about the subject and there is a concept called a 'reverse dominance hierarchy' that forms where hierarchical domination is intentionally thwarted by a society that is hyper aware of it.

It seems once societies began to accumulate surplus resources into the hands of the few (land, food, etc) humans had increased difficulty in behaving in an egalitarian way and became increasingly exploitative with rent seeking, wage slavery, and other forms of domination. So from an anarchist and left wing perspective I think there is a lot of value in the critique.

From an environmental standpoint, the rapid onset of climate change and planetary annihilating weapons as a direct result of the industrial and technological revolutions seem stupid to ignore. Humans are now on a trajectory of extinction where as these primitive societies could have continued indefinitely.

As for solutions, we can't all be hunter gatherers as the lifestyle requires more land/resources than the current population can sustain, but if we could synthesize the more important elements: a more equal distribution of resources, a society vigilant towards fighting hierarchy in all its forms, and skepticism that technology is always an advance (even if it destroys the environment or is a weapon of mass destruction), a lot could be learned from these. You might also be able to learn from small scale primitive experiments to try to figure out what works and what doesn't work.

It's just a bit frustrating that a lot of useful perspectives are dismissed out of hand. Kaczynski seemed to advocate for rugged individualism and favors primitivism for the survival of the fittest aspects and lack of capacity to harm the environment. His argument seems to be along the lines that people who need glasses are naturally inferior and that technology artificially gives them equality.


He disagrees that hunter gatherer societies are egalitarian, but I'd go with the anthropologists on that. They have actually been out in the field living with these communities while the unabomber was in his shack in the woods bombing people. If I wanted to look to a model, the society that seems most promising to me is the Batek of Malaysia. They have really practical spiritual beliefs, like 'unjustifed anger is a disease,' that no mortal is capable of owning land, and have a high degree of egalitarianism in resource sharing and gender equality.

 
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From an environmental standpoint, the rapid onset of climate change and planetary annihilating weapons as a direct result of the industrial and technological revolutions seem stupid to ignore. Humans are now on a trajectory of extinction where as these primitive societies could have continued indefinitely.
There's an implicit assumption you're making here: That there wouldn't be extinction level events without humans. An extinction level event is inevitable, and we're actually overdue for a few different varieties of extinction level events. There has been at least one time in our history where humanity was reduced to just above the number of breeding pairs we'd need for genetic variety to maintain the species. Where science and technology offer us the possibility of surviving these kinds of events, there's no hope for a primitive society in most of these situations.
 

Inhibition

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There's an implicit assumption you're making here: That there wouldn't be extinction level events without humans. An extinction level event is inevitable, and we're actually overdue for a few different varieties of extinction level events. There has been at least one time in our history where humanity was reduced to just above the number of breeding pairs we'd need for genetic variety to maintain the species. Where science and technology offer us the possibility of surviving these kinds of events, there's no hope for a primitive society in most of these situations.
That's a good point, but the current roadmap of climate change is basically a nearly guaranteed disaster. I'd definitely rather take a chance with a meteor at this point than a near certainty of 90 percent of the population dying out as the remainder compete for increasingly dwindling resources on fewer hospitable sections of the planet.

War is already primarily about resources, and if people are fighting for increasingly small pieces of the pie it will likely get uglier than at any point in human history. It's not something I would want to even be around for.

Another huge problem with industrialization/capitalism is population. Populations were at sustainable rates for basically known history until a sudden change occurred precisely at the point of industrialization/capitalism:



It's not a coincidence. So it created dual problems, of a destroyed environment with dwindling resources, with unprecedented human population. Science is not likely going to be able to fix the environmental problems and the population problem is going to be horrific as mass unprecedented death is likely the only outcome, either through force, or through lack of resources to sustain human life. It's really bleak and these outcomes are more likely to happen before a meteor. Humans have been anatomically modern for like only 100,000 to 200,000 years or so. When you consider the many millions of years dinosaurs had, prior to extinction events, if humans do suffer an extinction event now, it's a blip on history in comparison to species that went through natural consequences.
 

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Those estimates don't go far enough back to reach to any extinction-level events:


At one point in our history, just a supervolcano reduced the human population to something between 80 and 1000 breedable adults. Hunter gatherer societies just don't have the resources to survive those kinds of events reliably. Farming is necessary for long-term food stores, and science is necessary for solutions to problems like extremely low temperatures that last for a decade or more.
 

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  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $55.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully this will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $55.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $55.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.