Friday, February 19, 2010


When I started reading the news about the guy who flew his plane into a government building in Austin Texas, things started seeming creepy.

The guy was frustrated with his government. He was an IT professional. He worked with factory automation. I actually checked his background a little to see if I might have worked with him in the past. It's not impossible that we might have crossed paths on some project somewhere.

I read his manifesto online. It's kind of sickening that the only reason I read it, like millions of other people, was because of what he did. The only possible way for this guy to get that kind of attention to his message was by committing a horrible act. He had to make himself infamous. His infamy will only last a small number of hours, but it was enough to generate the attention he desired.

The manifesto was fairly lucid, but not really compelling because of all the self pity. This guy honestly felt like he was being treated unfairly. He felt like there was some conspiracy within the government to treat him and people like him badly. It seems like he felt that it was impossible for him to get ahead.

And by "people like him" I mean me. I'm an IT professional, I work with factory automation. I'm frustrated with my government. Good thing I don't have a pilot's license.

But that's the thing. This guy DID have a pilots license. So the guy had the spare time and the resources to learn to fly. It's doable, but it certainly isn't easy and it definitely isn't inexpensive. And he had access to a plane. That doesn't exactly scream "extreme poverty."

He cries over and over in his manifesto that he's gone broke due to unfair persecution by the government or his industry or some force that is out of his control. But what does "broke" mean? The guy wasn't starving to death. He could afford a wife and an ex-wife. I've heard that ex-wives aren't a cheap luxury. But worth every penny.

So this guy's biggest problem was...he wasn't rich. He felt like he should've be rich by now. He thought he had worked hard all his life and he deserved to be rich.

I wonder what dollar amount would have made this guy happy? Well, happy was probably not possible, but how much would have kept him from flying his plane into a building full of mostly innocent people? Twenty grand? Fifty?

In the end this guy was just a lunatic that thought the world owed him something. Something like....tenure.

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