Thursday, May 24, 2012

"It just isn't the same without Ted!"

I can only imagine how crushed the members of Harvard's "Class of '62" are that Ted Kaczynski is not attending their 50th reunion.

I think it's hilarious that the Harvard Alumni Association published his alumni questionnaire responses in their directory without editorial restraint:
Awards: "Eight life sentences, issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, 1998."
Heck, it sounds more impressive than my entry would be. At least we are both published authors; his book is titled Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore J. Kaczynski, a.k.a. 'The Unabomber.

Alas the association wimped out and apologized when the eccentric mathematician's entry drew undue attention: "We regret publishing Kaczynski's references to his convictions and apologize for any distress that it may have caused others." Distress? Who would be distressed by that information? I would expect most people to feel relief -- at least the guy isn't out on the streets!

I do not understand why this is such a big deal. A graduate is a graduate. You can't take that away from him (remember how your parents always told you to stay in school and get your degree because they can't take that away from you?), and you can't disown him or omit him or pretend he never existed just because he later did something you find offensive. I suspect this is really about some snooty Harvard grads who still can't accept that one of their own turned out bad. For those who can't get enough of this tempest in a teapot, there's more here and here.

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