Rhodes’s Pulitzer-winning guide has been having a renaissance amongst folks grappling with the potential damaging drive of different new applied sciences. Writing in The Atlantic, Charlie Warzel referred to as it “a type of holy textual content for a sure kind of A.I. researcher — particularly, the sort who believes their creations might need the ability to kill us all.”
Lengthy earlier than “Oppenheimer,” a special portrayal of atomic science captured my creativeness. “Copenhagen,” a play by Michael Frayn, dramatizes the mysterious 1941 go to by Werner Heisenberg, the German physicist who ran the Nazis’ atomic analysis program, to the Danish scientist Nils Bohr at his house in Copenhagen.
Within the play, Heisenberg, Bohr and Bohr’s spouse Margrethe — lengthy after their deaths — argue about the true goal of Heisenberg’s go to, and whether or not he was making an attempt to hasten the daybreak of the nuclear age or delay it. (I believe it really works greatest as a stay play, however when you’re in search of streaming choices, the BBC did make a tv model starring Daniel Craig in 2002 and a radio model starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Simon Russell Beale in 2013.)
From the surface cowl, the Aug. 31, 1946, version of The New Yorker regarded like an odd summer time subject. However inside, readers discovered that all the factor was devoted to 1 single article: “Hiroshima,” by John Hersey. By the tales of six survivors, Hersey documented intimately the results of the bomb for harmless civilians:
“100 thousand folks had been killed by the atomic bomb, and these six had been among the many survivors. They nonetheless marvel why they lived when so many others died. Every of them counts many small gadgets of probability or volition — a step taken in time, a call to go indoors, catching one streetcar as a substitute of the subsequent — that spared him. And now every is aware of that within the act of survival he lived a dozen lives and noticed extra dying than he ever thought he would see. On the time, none of them knew something.”
Reader responses: Books that you just suggest
It’s at all times good to search out moments of reference to Interpreter subscribers, so I used to be happy to see that Suzanne Batchelor, a reader in Central Texas, seconded my advice of “Hiroshima” by John Hersey:
Due to a highschool summer time studying record, I learn Hersey’s easy account of the aftermath of the atomic bomb explosion: the horrific accidents, town’s devastation. His report made it clear this bomb was way over a brand new weapon, it was an enormous horror that ought to by no means be repeated.