I’ve started a Substack blog for occasional nonfiction articles that aren’t appropriate for Terror House Magazine or other publications, since I’ve accumulated a pile of writing over the past year. I have a more important article scheduled for tomorrow, but this is something short I wrote about the death of Ted Kaczynski:
Kaczynski’s conception of science and technology as being non-neutral and possessing a value set that innately transformed society—and not necessarily for the better—is not an idea he invented. The trope of the “mad scientist,” all-but-extinguished in modern culture with its ethos of “I fucking love science,” is a plank of Western art and culture stemming back to the Romantic era of the early 1800’s, when Britain’s rapid industrialization combined with the upheavals of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars led many to believe that technological advancement was going too far. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written in 1818, is arguably the seminal work of this strain of thought, encapsulating the anxieties many had that scientists were playing God with disastrous consequences. The parallel Luddite movement in Britain, arguing that labor-saving machines produced inferior work to traditional textile workers and were harming working class wages, was another manifestation of anxiety over unchecked technological progress; Lord Byron famously defended the Luddites in his maiden speech to the House of Lords.
Click here to read the rest.