Dead Men Left

Sunday, June 27, 2004


Resolute Cynic has a brief piece on some of the craziness nuclear weapons induce. Re-reading Philip Mirowski's Machine Dreams: economics becomes a cyborg science, a highly recommended account (and critique) of modern economics, its relationship to the US military, and its misplaced idealisation of a peculiar model of human interaction, I came across this quote, from R.W. Hamming, a computer scientist involved with devising simulations at Los Alamos in the 1940s to assess the effects of exploding a nuclear bomb:

The Los Alamos experience had a great effect on me... there was a computation of whether or not the test bomb would ignite the atmosphere. Thus the test risked, on the basis of a computation, all of life in the known universe.

Something about this worries me, somehow.