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The Glitter…

October 13, 2008


(from NYTimes) In a 1981 documentary called “The Day After Trinity,” Freeman Dyson, a reigning gray eminence of math and theoretical physics, as well as an ardent proponent of nuclear disarmament, described the seductive power that brought us the ability to create atomic energy out of nothing.

“I have felt it myself,” he warned. “The glitter of nuclear weapons. It is irresistible if you come to them as a scientist. To feel it’s there in your hands, to release this energy that fuels the stars, to let it do your bidding. To perform these miracles, to lift a million tons of rock into the sky. It is something that gives people an illusion of illimitable power, and it is, in some ways, responsible for all our troubles — this, what you might call technical arrogance, that overcomes people when they see what they can do with their minds.” (read article)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Virginia permalink
    October 19, 2008 3:49 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this – I’ve been looking for it to use to touch off a discussion on scientific inquiry in the field of bioengineering.

    I think Dyson was one of the best minds of the 20th Century and, perhaps, one of the best men.

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