A package bomb that injured two professors at a university here this month is the latest in a string of attacks by a new terror group inspired by the Unabomber. Its violent actions have put campuses across Mexico on alert and caused nanotechnology researchers worldwide to take precautions with their mail.(via Jamais Cascio).
Nanotechnology was singled out as a target for the attacks in manifestos posted on the Web by the group behind the bombs, which calls itself "Individualities Tending Toward Savagery." It has been linked to attacks in France, Spain, and Chile, and to a bomb sent earlier this year to a scientist at another Mexican university who specializes in nanotech. An analyst who helped identify the Unabomber—who turned out to be a former professor—says the posts show signs of someone well-educated who could be affiliated with a college.
The online rants credit the Unabomber as an inspiration. The Unabomber, a former professor of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley named Theodore Kaczynski, spread fear in academe for nearly 20 years with his mail-bombing campaign, which killed three professors and wounded 23 others until he was arrested, in 1996. Today he sits in a federal prison in Colorado with no chance of parole, but he continues to write articles calling for a revolution to achieve his dream of an end of technology and a return to hunter-gatherer societies.
While I have major reservations about some directions of current technological development, the use of violence to oppose it is deplorable and counterproductive. Peaceful protest and the ballot box are the ways to achieve societal change. Furthermore, the goal of returning to a hunter-gatherer society is ridiculous in a world of almost seven billion people. Hopefully the criminal(s) will be caught and tried expeditiously.