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While reading Ray Kurzweil’s The

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 28, 2001

While reading Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines, I found the following passage related to terrorism (in a conversation about Ted Kaczynski):

Molly: “I’m still not comfortable with Kaczynski as a spokesperson. He is a confessed murderer, you know.”

Kurzweil: “Certainly, I’m glad he’s behind bars, and his tactics deserve condemnation and punishment. Unfortunately, terrorism is effective, and that’s why it survives.”

M: “I don’t see it that way. Terrorism just undermines the positions being publicized. People then see the terrorist’s propositions as crazy, or at least misguided.”

K: “That’s one reaction. But remember the society of the mind. We have more than one reaction to terrorism. One contingent in our heads says ‘those actions were evil and crazy, so the terrorist’s thesis must also be evil and crazy.’ But another contingent in our heads takes the view that ‘those actions were extreme, so he must have very strong feelings about this. Maybe there’s something to it. Perhaps a more moderate version of his views are legitimate.’”

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