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Saturday, January 10, 2009

A little off topic, but a history lesson for while we wait for the Birds

Since the most recent local sports news has been either J.C. Romero (rather dreary news) or waiting for the Eagles game tomorrow (rather upbeat, but nothing much to talk about until our reaction to the game tomorrow), I'm going to go stray from the usual CM topics. So this is an interesting bit of history, for how a unique, personal vocabulary tweak destroyed a terrorist before he could continue his reign of demolition on his society.

The Unabomber (Ted Kaczsynski) was an Ivy League graduate who lived in the woods of Wyoming in the 1970s without any connection to the outside world. He did not believe in technology and his main pillar was that our current society is too focused on modern industry and capitalistic competition. In order to attempt to convince people who live in a world of increasingly improving technology to live without technology, he mailed dozens of bombs to important intellectual and political figures. He killed or injured over 20 innocent people in this way. The Unabomber then mailed letters to the NY Times and Washington Post to pressure national print media outlets to publish his Manifesto on society. He explained in these writings that he would stop killing people if his manifesto were printed in the New York Times. Since he lived without technology, it became very difficult for investigators to track down the Unabomber to stop his crime. When his writings became public in the NY Times and the Washington Post, one random reader used a unique portion of the anonymous writer's vocabulary to successfully identify the Unabomber and assist in the ultimate arrest of the terrorist. This reader's brother, Ted Kaczsynski, frequently utilized this phrase:

" can't eat your cake and have it too."

However, the popular phrase is this:

" can't have your cake and eat it too."

The reason he inverted the phrase is because, in theory, it is possible to 'have your cake' in one moment, and then immediately 'eat your cake'. However, it is not possible to 'eat your cake' in one moment, and then immediately 'have your cake'. Ted Kaczsynski's brother remembered Ted's usage of the uniquely inverted phrase and realized the mysterious terrorist bomber was his brother with whom he lost touch. Authorities used this information to identify him and Kaczsynski was then arrested for the bombings.

Kaczsynski was extremely intelligent. He went to Michigan U. for grad school after his Ivy League experience, and he solved a very complex mathematical equation that no other person had ever solved. Because of this intelligence and his distance from technology, it was very possible for him to destroy more people without getting caught. However, a fluke vocabulary tweak ultimately became his demise. Who knows how many other people would be dead if our society was clever enough to popularly reverse the 'cake phrase'? Certainly not me.

Tomorrow: Back on topic...GO BIRDS.


Anonymous said...

whats the over/under for amount of sentences uncle cholly can comprehend in this post?

Anonymous said...

Sean: Hey, Gerry, In the 1960s there was a young man that graduated from the University of Michigan. Did some brilliant work in mathematics. Specifically bounded harmonic functions. Then he went on to Berkeley. He was assistant professor. Showed amazing potential. Then he moved to Montana, and blew the competition away.
Lambeau: Yeah, so who was he?
Sean: Ted Kaczynski.
Lambeau: Haven't heard of him.
Sean: [yelling to the bartender] Hey, Timmy!
Timmy: Yo.
Sean: Who's Ted Kaczynski?
Timmy: Unabomber.

Anonymous said...

Fantasia world order.