Unabomber offers a joke in Harvard alumni report

The famed mathematician-turned-murderer-turned-tech author's listing in Harvard's 1962 alumni report causes controversy. Under "awards," he lists his eight life sentences.

The music on the video is Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were." I hope they paid for the rights. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"So what did you end up doing with your life?"

Such, I am sure, will be the question asked at the 50th reunion for Harvard's class of 1962. One absentee, though, still wants everyone to know what he's been up to, just in case anyone missed it.

According to The Boston Globe, Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, is listed in the 1962 Harvard Alumni Report.

What might you imagine that the mathematician who went to Harvard when he was 16 -- before killing 3 and injuring 23 with mail bombs -- would have to say about himself?

Well, he lists his occupation as "prisoner" and his home address -- should anyone care to visit as "No. 04475-046, U.S. Penitentiary--Max, P.O. Box 8500, Florence, CO 8126-8500."

It seems that many old Harvardians wax lyrical about their vast successes when asked to list them for this report. Kaczynski's entry is a mere nine lines.

However, he cannot resist the section that asks him to list his awards. He entered: "Eight life sentences, issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, 1998."

Some may not know that Kaczynski is a tech writer. Two years ago, he published "Technological Slavery," a work that some have described as neo-Luddite. For he is considerably anti-tech.

Indeed, his initial explanation for his bombing campaign was that he loathed how society was being destroyed by technologies, behind which stood huge organizations.

Naturally, relatives of his victims are appalled that Harvard has chosen to list him in this alumni report. The Globe quoted the widow of one victim, advertising exec Thomas Mosser, as saying she believed that Harvard was worried Kaczynski would sue.

Harvard told the Globe that the entry conformed to its rules.

Perhaps if he'd sent a bomb to Harvard -- as opposed to Berkeley (where he was a professor), Yale, and Northwestern, to name but three -- the university might look upon him differently.

But, here he is, the man who sent bombs to universities, attempting to be incendiary one more time.

 

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