Saturday, July 16, 2011

Happy anniversary

Today, July 16, is the 66th anniversary of the beginning of the nuclear age.

The first-ever explosion of an atomic bomb took place when the bomb, known as the "Gadget," was successfully set off at the Trinity test site near Alamogordo, New Mexico on this day in 1945. It was the culmination of the super-secret Manhattan Project.

The nuclear age became the nuclear war age a few weeks later when Hiroshima was almost obliterated by a single bomb. And while we don't think much about nuclear weapons these days, and while the threat of nuclear war does not seem as great as it once did, that does not mean that either that threat or the weapons which create it have disappeared.


JM said...

Considering all this recent misery, what do you think of people who choose to withdraw from society to live off the land, avoid taxes, etc? I think it's useless and can only benefit an individual.

LarryE said...

I hate to fall back on the old cliche "It depends," but it depends. If you're doing it just to get away, to isolate yourself, then yes, I agree that the benefit is just to you and those with you. That doesn't make the benefit less real, but it does make it very limited and pretty useless as far as the broader society goes.

Some folks, though, do it with the secondary idea of demonstrating that it is possible to live more simply, more cheaply, more in the broader sense of the term organically, with much less stress on the environment and resources, but without having to sacrifice things such as protections against diseases or some of the benefits of technology. They "live off the land" but do not "withdraw from society."

Those people are contributing by providing a model. It may not be one that everyone can or wants to follow, but it is one from which everyone can find something to take that they can apply to their own lives.

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