Sunday, February 21, 2010

Manifestos I Have Read But Not Read Myself

I have not read the writings of the folks who blow up buildings or crash planes into them or kill people.  Good thing that Dave Cullen has at Slate.  Better him than me. And his findings suggest a few things:

  • Despite my best efforts and the text on the right side of this blog, I may be a lousy narcissist despite my best efforts.
  • Stack, the terrorist of the week, was not oppressed by the system--he did just fine--just didn't like taxes.
  • Being in a group can be worse than being on one's own:
"Stack made some awful choices on his taxes, but surrounding himself with like-minded zealots may have been just as dangerous in the long run. In his insightful FBI study "The Lethal Triad," Dr. Kevin Gilmartin describes intellectual isolation as a key factor when extremists lash out violently. It's counterintuitive, but joining certain groups can be more isolating than living alone. Stack found a group that encouraged and validated the idea of avoiding taxation, which might have been difficult for him to sustain on his own. The moral support he found appears to have helped him sustain a rather nutty concept for 20 to 30 years, in spite of the economic distress it inflicted on him"
  •  Finally, to put it as bluntly as possible, the dude was a dick:
"Before Stack crashed the plane, he burned his family out of its home. How to justify that vindictive act in the diatribe?"

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