Mere Coincidence? | Miscellany | Chicago Reader

Mere Coincidence? 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

The FBI is scouring the country for the Unabomber--but is their search a classic case of misdirection? The best place to hide, they say, is right out in the open. Maybe the Unabomber is one of the most visible men in America. Maybe he's Bill Gates. Think about it. A close study reveals some suspicious similarities. Consider the evidence and ask yourself: why have Bill Gates and the Unabomber never been seen together in public?

UNABOMBER

Shy loner. Prefers to communicate via manifestos and mail bombs. According to a forensic psychologist consulted by the San Francisco Examiner, the Unabomber "is likely to be a white man in his mid-40's with high intelligence who lives alone."

BILL GATES

Shy loner. Prefers to communicate via E-mail and corporate mergers. Is definitely a white male in his 40s with high intelligence--who prefers to be left alone.

UNABOMBER

Poor fashion sense. Only known physical description suggests a bad haircut and unflattering glasses.

BILL GATES

Poor fashion sense. All known photographs show a bad haircut adn unflattering glasses.

UNABOMBER

Finds social interaction difficult. According to his manifesto, "Except for people who have a particularly strong drive for status, the effort required to fulfill the social drives is insufficient to satisfy adequately the need for the power process."

BILL GATES

Finds social interaction difficult. Advocates "virtual dates," in which daters in different cities attend the same movie simultaneously, then chat about it afterward vie cell phone.

UNABOMBER

Knows how to get attention. His literary debut, the manifesto "The Industrial Society and Its Future," was heralded by a massive publicity campaign via wide press coverage both before and after its publication in the Washington Post.

BILL GATES

Knows how to get attention. His literary debut, The Road Ahead, was heralded by a massive publicity campaign for Windows95 and excerpted in Newsweek.

UNABOMBER

Favorite words include "power" and "control." Computer search of the Unabomber's manifesto found that "power" appears 164 times and "control" 58 times.

BILL GATES

Favorite words include "power" and "control." Computer search for The Road Ahead by New York magazine found that "power" appears 33 times and "control" 34 times.

UNABOMBER

His writing notes the unqualified faith some people put in science and technology and sounds a cautionary note: "Oh! say technophiles. 'Science is going to fix all that! We will conquer famine, eliminate psychological suffering, make everybody healthy and happy!' Yeah, sure. That's what they said 200 years ago."

BILL GATES

His writing notes the unqualified faith some people put in science and technology and sounds a cautionary note: "A great deal of information is being gathered about each of us, by private companies as well as by government agencies, and we often have no idea how it is used or whether it is accurate...I find the prospect of documented lives a little chilling, but some people will warm to the idea."

UNABOMBER

Knows you've gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. As he notes in his manifesto, "If we had never done anything violent and had submitted the present writings to a publisher, they probably would not have been accepted....In order to get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we've had to kill people."

BILL GATES

Knows you've gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. As he notes in his book, "Each time a job is made unnecessary, the person who was filling that job is freed to do something else."

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by David Futrelle

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Guards at the Taj Steppenwolf Theatre
June 13
Music
July 15

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories