«Chase noted that in Kaczynkski's "Unabomber Manifesto," written decades later, many of his arguments against science and technology were nearly identical to those that had been drummed into Harvard undergraduates of the 1950s. Clearly, Harvard's "culture of despair," as Chase had come to think of it, had made a lasting impression on Kaczynski.
[...]Indeed, what should be seen as most remarkable about his Unabomber manifesto, Chase explains, is not that it is especially unique or brilliant -- Chase argues that it is neither of those things -- but that it is "a compendium of philosophical and environmental clichés that expresses concerns shared by millions of Americans." In Chase's view, then, as an extreme but still representative American, Kaczynski should serve as an important warning.
[...Chase says:] There's a whole bundle of things here that concern me. Certainly high schools are incubators for alienation. The high school was, during Kaczynski's growing up, just as it tends to be today, an anti-intellectual place. If you are a young person with intellectual interests, you are almost automatically excluded or made to feel strange. Something we've seen in school killings is that kids who do it tend to be brighter than average. That's part of their problem. When my wife taught in public schools she constantly had to go to seminars on behavior modification. All this focus on behavior modification is forcing conformity by using psychological techniques. The only difference between now and Kaczynski's day is that back in the 1950s and 60s, there were a lot of thoughtful writers who published books on the subject. Today, there's very little commentary on it, except in magazine pieces here and there after another school kid goes berserk.»