The Unabomber or Kim Jong Un?

Some people may remember the fun parlor game from almost 20 years ago, in which the close parallels were observed between the Unabomber’s famous manifesto, “Industrial Civilization and Its Discontents” and Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance. (I extended this problematic aspect of Gore’s philosophy in this paper that noted how closely Gore unknowingly (??) tracked Heidegger.)

Now our friends at Mother Jones (heh) have equaled that feat, with a quiz feature asking: “Is It a North Korean Slogan, or a TED Talk?” It offers 14 clichés, and buttons to chose between TED and the Norks. Such as:

“Go beyond the cutting edge!”

TED or Kim Jong Un?   Kim Jong for the win!

“We are here for knowledge. Our enemy is thoughtlessness!”

And the winner is: TED. Some philosopher named Damon Horowitz. I never heard of him either.

“Do everything in an innovative and scientific way!”

Kim Jong Un. Obama’s next secretary of commerce or energy.

“Develop and make effective use of wind, tidal, geothermal, and solar energy!”

Kim Jong Un. Definitely secretary of energy. He’ll fit right in next to Valerie Jarrett and John Holdren.

“The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is: getting enough sleep!”

Not Kim Jong Un. It was uttered by a would-be madam Kim Jong at a TED Talk: Ariana Nothington Puffington Huffington.

Yes, the whole TED world is more than a little puffed up, isn’t it?  And where is Dennis Rodman when we need him?


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