No, not really… But the Chronicle of Higher Ed has an interesting piece on leading panpsychist philosopher David Skrbina called The Unabomber’s Pen Pal. It turns out that Skrbina has been corresponding with Ted Kaczynski as part of his study of the philosophy of technology.

Clearly, the way for a philosopher to get press these days is not to work on panpsychism, which is among the most challenging and philosophically trenchant (and ecologically relevant) positions to be revived in the recent “return to metaphysics,” but to work on — and publish materials by — the Unabomber.

This reminds me of David Ray Griffin, whose ceaseless work on behalf of a Whiteheadian process-relational metaphysics never made it far out of the intellectual playpen where such ideas tend to reside, but once he became a leading proponent of the 9-11 Truth Movement, he suddenly gathered large crowds — and powerful detractors.

(In our — academics’ — defense, those ideas have traditionally filtered down from that playpen — when they were good ideas — in something like a “trickle down theory” of ideas. The internet has exploded the ivory tower, an explosion still occurring in slow motion rather like the famous explosion in the desert of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point; see below. But if I didn’t believe that ideas had power, I wouldn’t be wasting your or my own time.)

There is something about the double lives of philosophers, and the relationship between ideas and action, that Skrbina’s case, like so many others’, points toward. As did Zabriskie Point…

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