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Unabomber Manifesto | Why Jobs Are Meaningless & How To Get Meaning Back

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Published on 16 Jun 2024 / In People & Blogs

Ted Kaczyński, in English, often pronounced as Ted Kazinski, also referred to as the Unabomber was a Polish mathematician who sent a number of letter bombs between the late 70s and early 90s.

He sent those letter bombs to prominent figures of his time who were attempting to move technological progress forward. Today, his targets would probably include Elon Musk and similar figures.

Ted had a manifesto. In his manifesto, he explains why he was sending those letter bombs.

In essence, he was sending bombs to draw attention to his manifesto. Specifically, to the thesis concerning technology that his manifesto contained.

His thesis can be summarized as follows. There are three fundamental categories under which we may classify human undertakings.

The first is the class of activities that are so far out of reach of a single person that attempting such an activity is hopeless and has no chance of succeeding. For example, neither I nor you can ever hope to build a nuclear reactor single-handedly. As such, any assertion on my part of claiming I am building such a reactor should rightfully be assumed will fail. It is simply outside of my abilities.

This can also be extended to less extreme examples. A midget attempting to play pro basketball is also doomed to fail. There are physical limits a midget has that make such a feat impossible.

An average intelligence man attempting to solve quantum mechanics is also doomed to fail and so on. As every person is different in their faculties and therefore natural limits, the scope of what is within their realm of possibilities varies.

Such limits exist for each of us. There are objectives we are cut off from having any hope of achieving. As such, these objectives are not options for us to pursue. Maybe others can do them, but not us.

This is the first class of activities in the manifesto.

The second class of activities rests on the other extreme. Activities that are so banal and easy that they possess literally no challenge and therefore are incapable of providing any satisfaction in achieving.

Sweeping the floor is such a task. Doing the laundry, washing dishes, taking out the garbage, or dusting. These are all examples of things we would call chores. We call them chores because they are tasks that need to be done, we know how to do, but we don't really want to do them. We do not nor cannot find meaning in these activities. They do not challenge us and consequent to this do not feel rewarding in performing in and of themselves. Perhaps you can feel proud of having a clean apartment but you won't feel proud of your achievement of relocating laundry from the washer to the dryer.

This is the second class of activities in the manifesto.

The third class of activities rests in the middle. The middle class of activities are those that are within our individual capacities to perform but are still challenging to us to various degrees.

Making tea may be trivial, but making croissants is not. There is a challenge to pastry making that will surely lead to mediocrity on your first several attempts. Only with repetition and practice will your croissants start to look and taste like what we understand real croissants to be. Simply put, you need to learn how to do it and no one can pick it up all willy-nilly and expect good results from the start.

All trades are like this. Art is like this. You need to earn the ability to perform these tasks, but, they are within your reach. No one can make a chair without instruction, and few still can make one of those luxury Victorian hand-carved chairs you can imagine in the dining room of an aristocrat of the 18th century. But, with enough practice, there is the potential to make a simple chair and also a fancy chair.

This is the third class of activities in the manifesto; the collection of challenging but within-reach activities that bring fulfillment when we manage to figure out how to do them.

Ted goes on to argue that what technology tends to do is demolish these middle-class activities. As in, technology predominantly replaces labor for this category of activities.

Tools like power saws, and electric screwdrivers greatly diminish the amount of labor needed in woodworking, as such, far fewer woodworkers are needed, and consequently, far fewer people will end up in that trade considering competition. Only the master craftsman can survive as machines have replaced the need for mid-tier craftsmen.

Factories mass-producing spoons and bowls are the technological replacement of meaning-granting activities for swarms of people whose potential would have been otherwise sufficient to create good-quality spoons and bowls for commercial sale.

The consequence of this, Ted argues, is that technology is creating a situation where all that is left are the two other categories of activities; namely, activities out of reach of most people or trivial chores.

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Villainous Jack
Villainous Jack 13 27 days ago

[Up Vote]
THIS is the real tool to get out of the "Valley of Despair" talked about in the "Red Pill Path".
Developing skills is the antidote to Loss of Meaning after the Red Pill Rage!

Good Video!

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NeoGeoGamer
NeoGeoGamer 27 days ago

I used to make my own cheese, a kind not available in my local stores. I would do it once every 2 weeks, and the cheese would need a week in the fridge before it's ready to eat. I don't do that anymore, but things like this can make good hobbies. Brewing is similar, but with a longer batch ready time. If your beer takes 3 months to be ready, and you brew every 2 weeks, then after the first 3 months, you'll have batches of beer coming ready every 2 weeks. It becomes like planting a tree. The sooner you start, the better.

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