CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

The Sanitized Rhetoric That Makes Nuclear War More Likely

To Rid the Planet of Atomic Weapons, We Should Dismantle the Language That Makes Them Possible

The nuclear age began 73 years ago when a brilliant, terrible flash lit up the pre-dawn sky in the New Mexico desert. That first explosion at the Trinity site in July 1945 came from a massive spherical bomb with radioactive plutonium at its core. It was playfully called “The Gadget.”

Can you think of a more innocuous word for a machine that could eradicate a city in seconds, incinerating both humans and buildings within a radius of several miles?

But in the moments after the blast, J. Robert Oppenheimer—who oversaw …

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