Dopesick

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
© 2018 Beth Macy
384 pages

More people are expected to die from accidental drug overdoses in the next five years than have died in the previous fifteen, part of an overall spike in what is sometimes called ‘diseases of despair’, including suicide and alcohol-linked deaths: in 2021,  overdose deaths broke records with over a hundred thousand lives cut short –  and most of these deaths owed to opioids.   The opioid crisis is particularly troublesome because it’s a manufactured one,   largely being the direct byproduct of an aggressive marketing campaign for OxyContin by Purdue Pharma in the late 1990s.   The promotion of opioids for chronic pain was a seed of despair that found fertile ground in regions of the country increasingly destitute, left behind by globalization.  In Dopesick, Beth Macy offers a history of the opioid crisis, an investigation into its roots, and an exposure of the human costs of not only government policy, but the apathetic response of the American public – a response created both by disinterest in the suffering, and by an increasing feeling that the problem is too pervasive to tackle. There is hope, though, and the book ends in Macy’s argument for an approach centered in healthcare rather than punitive measures. 

Most drug problems begin in the cities, where there are concentrated markets.  The opioid crisis, however, began in rural areas like backwoods Maine and Virginia.  These were not places marked by white-collar work: instead, men and women  worked long hours in mines and factories, pushing their bodies to the limit and looked for relief from their pain from professional men in white coats who they were supposed to trust.  In the mid-1990s,  pain was being recast as a ‘fifth vital sign’,   something that merited immediate treatment – and as luck would have it, there was suddenly a new effective painkiller on the market, one that a weak study declared was not an addiction risk for those suffering chronic pain.  It was aggressively marketed to doctors, who were told over cozy dinners and in offices filled with new OxyContin-branded  equipment that it was perfectly safe.    The pills were potent enough that physical addiction followed quickly, and those doctors who paid attention and became wary about subscribing them were  bypassed by new addicts to figure out ways to game the system – -getting prescriptions from multiple docs, for instance,   or faking pain from kidney stones.  Less scrupulous doctors embraced their increasingly compulsive repeat customers – and some became addicts themselves,  writing fake scrips to increase their access to pills.    Increasingly desperate opioid addicts  sank to criminality to feed the new monster in their head –  stealing and pawning goods, for instance, or  becoming dealers in the burgeoning non-pharmaceutical heroin market. (Sam Quinones covered the link between Oxy addicts and the increase of cheaper,  more readily available heroin in his book Dreamland, but it’s addressed more broadly here.)  Heroin dealers, well aware of the addictive potential of their product, often ‘hot-load’ initial samples by giving newcomers especially potent doses of the drug — enough to hook with one bite.

Although the opioid wave began as an irresponsible remedy to physical pain,  Macy notes that it quickly evolved.    As coal mines and factories closed,  selling pills and later heroin on the side became a viable source of income to people whose other options were relocating (difficult to do with no income) or becoming perpetual ‘draw-ers’, those who lived off of  frequently fraudulent disability claims or other forms of state handouts.    The growing market embraced its more natural customer base –  young people of wealthier classes with plenty of disposable income and a party-prone lifestyle, who had been groomed to be pill poppers by a lifetime of exposure to Ritalin and other stimulating prescriptions. Those, too, were overkill – prescribed by doctors too eager to diagnose bored boys as having an attention disorder, and too sure that neuroactive drugs were the only solution.  Wherever opioids went, they left death and sorrow in their wake – -and as Macy’s many extensive interviews showed here,   even those most primed to succeed in life could be destroyed by it.   Opioid addiction rewires the brain more quickly and more comprehensively than other drugs, and time and again readers witness people in this book going through rehab, valiantly putting their life together, and then –   as if they were possessed –  succumbing to temptation or crumbling under pressure and finding themselves in the gutter again. The story  with which Macy closes the book is especially effective at conveying the awful drama of addiction, recovery, and self-destruction. Despite the misery that saturates this book, her interviews with recovery specialists and those who have made the journey themselves indicates that Medication-Assisted Therapy, which uses opioid-like drugs to help wean addicts off of the real thing, is the most promising path forward. Macy also maintains that more government support (via Medicaid and food assistance) is needed to bouy addicts up so that they don’t resort to using their old contacts and selling drugs just to get by. Being convicted of a felony (exceedingly easy to do in Police State USA) is often the first step into a mire of unhirability and poverty that effectively forces the convicted to become perpetual clients of the welfare state or (for those with imagination or ambition) actors in criminal or black market economies.

Related:
Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction, Brett Ann Stanciu
Dreamland: The True Sale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, Sam Quinones

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Oh, hai, it’s Tuesday

Two Teases today!

Drug overdose had already taken the lives of 300,000 Americans over the past fifteen years, and experts now predicted that 300,000 more would die in only the next five. It is now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of fifty, killing more people than guns or car accidents, at a rate higher than the HIV epidemic at its peak.

Dopesick, Beth Macy

When we’re on the digital tether, she says, we’re not fully present in either our virtual or our physical life. Also, we’re not fooling anyone. Others can tell when we’re not paying attention, and it makes them less likely to share as much or as deeply. No wonder the constant presence of our phones and other communication technology has been shown to reduce the emotional quality of our conversations. As Andrew Przybylski and Netta Weinstein found in their experiments, the mere sight of phones during conversation negatively impacted “the extent to which individuals felt empathy and understanding from their partners.”

Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Lonely World, Vivek Murthy
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The Every

The Every
© 2021 Dave Eggers
608 pages

Nearly ten years ago, Dave Eggers published The Circle,   about the rise of an uber-corporation whose products had transformed not only the digital world, but were beginning to shape society as well.  Think of Google, but add to its influence that of facebook and Apple, and you have some idea of The Circle’s power – but that was only the beginning.  Having devoured a company that sounds an awful lot like Amazon , the Circle has further metastasized into something far larger,  more influential, and (to some) insidious: it is The Every.    To Delaney Wells, The Every is an architect of human tyranny that needs to be destroyed – but no legislator has the will, let alone the power, to break it. She needs to get inside and find some way to make it implode,  burying her aversion to Everything about this company long enough to subvert it.  The result is a novel far darker but just as humorous in its satire as The Circle,   targeting the technological prison we are building for itself as well as the culture of modern corporations in general. 

Delaney is not quite alone in her quest to destroy the beast; she’s aided and abetted by her roommate and friend Wes, who shares  her loathing of it in part, though he’s a techie who also occasionally mesmerized by the potential of new tools.   His ability to see and use the promise of tech makes him Delaney’s key ally:    their idea to destroy the Every is to feed it ideas that fit its appetites perfectly, but will be so obnoxious and invasive to most people that consumers will rise up in rebellion against the new Panopticon.  As a new employee, Delaney is rotated through departments to gain a concept of The Every’s scope of operations, and at nearly every stage she and Wes feed ideas into the beast. To their rising horror, though,   upping the ante doesn’t work:   the few consumers who resist the invasiness are quickly overwhelmed by popular opinion (which is God  in this hyperconnected world where thoughtcriminals can be shamed into oblivion and poverty)  or otherwise marginalized.  Delaney and Wes are expanding and perfecting the dystopia, not sowing the seed for its destruction  –  and because of its global scope, the goings-on of the Every have drastic repercussions for society.   That’s part of the problem, the sugar coating the poison of The Every’s command and control of most of the global market and most of the global populace:  its tyranny can make some things better, reducing waste, improving health, and eliminating violent crime. The only price is human flourishing. 

The Every succeeds as a tech thriller,  with few kinks in the narrative to keep things interesting. Having read Eggers before,  I had some suspicion of the ending,  but there were surprises enough to keep me wondering. Where’s it’s most effective, though, is where it doubles down on the growing horror of The Circle, in  slowly painting a picture of humans completely possessed by their own devices.   We saw in The Circle how experiences were completely reduced to sharable moments, newsfeed fodder:  everything became tragically shallow, yet was taken all the more seriously by the book’s hyperconsumer characters.  This has only increased in The Every, but is made far worse. Various Every apps constantly ping their users to  prompt them to pay attention to certainly daily goals,  so we witness characters stop in mid-conversation to start jogging in place (need those steps!), laughing randomly,  or shouting words to increase their vocabulary.   More unsettling is that this is regarded as normal behavior, at least within the Every’s campus  – an island unto itself, where skintight lycra is the norm,  and language is insipid and inoffensive when it’s not incomprehensible corporate jargon.   Although members of The Every are adapted to being nothing more than human rats in an elaborate digital Skinner box,    Delaney’s connections with those outside allow us to see more of the human costs, but more disturbingly, the ways people justify their rapidly decreasing agency by pointing to superficial material improvements. Sure,  I live in a home where every system is controlled by algorithms created by an company with its own agendas, but it’s a comfortable place and I never have to go shopping again.  It’s a new vision of Huxley. 

The Every is both amusing and deeply disturbing; amusing in the way it mocks corporate culture and demonstrates what fools we can make of ourselves, dancing to the tune played by algorithms and bowing before big data and its technocrat handlers — but profoundly disturbing in its depiction of how small and enfeebled technology and contemporary culture can and are making us. Unimaginable is the human of old, who strode across continents, enduring all kind of weather and who put his mind and muscle to work creating civilization: here we find oversized toddlers, incapable of navigating their world without the constant voice in their head telling them where to go. We find people who, at the least amount of friction, opposition, or stress, shut down and shrink into themselves — who are always plugged in, always striving to be at the center of attention and constantly fearing that they’re being left out. It’s sad because this is not fiction, merely an exaggeration of what we already witness on a daily basis, the subjugation of a given person’s humanity by the Matrix-jacked consumer-creature, his inner Gollum forever trying to find his precious among the endless newsfeed.

Related:
Optimal, J.M. Berger. A novel set in a world controlled by The System, in which every aspect of human life is provided and guided by algorithms.
The Warehouse, Rob Hart. Another technocorporate dystopia.

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Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman
© 2015 Harper Lee
288 pages

When it was announced that Harper Lee had published a sequel to her legendary book, Go Set a Watchman,  I was skeptical, as were many.  Given how close its author was to death,  the book’s sudden ‘discovery’ and publication appeared to be nothing more than rank opportunism from her lawyer. A recent lecture by Dr. Wayne Flynt, an Alabama historian who was friends with Lee for years prior to her death,  piqued my curiosity in the title: even if Lee didn’t initiate its late publication, Flynt indicated that she didn’t fight it, either. The moral questions explored in the book were interesting enough that I wanted to read it,  doubts about its legitimacy aside.   Although continuity issues discredit it from being regarded as a proper sequel,  Watchman is nonetheless thought provoking.

As most readers know, To Kill a Mockingbird was a racial & legal drama about a socially prominent southern attorney defending a black man accused of raping a young white woman,  going against the demands of respectability and squaring off against his peers and a would-be lynch mob for the sake of his conscience.  That man, Atticus Finch, became a moral icon, idealized by his young daughter Jean Louise, or ‘Scout’.In Go Set a Watchman, however, young Scout is older: Jean Louise has reached early adulthood, that charming period where the confidence of adolescence hasn’t yet been tempered by the burden of time and experience, and she has returned home for a two-week visit with her family and her part-time beau.  Jean Louise finds her hometown altered from her youth: the Civil Rights movement is sweeping the nation,  disrupting the old order and making tension in town palpable. She’s at first confused and distressed to experience cold distrust from blacks she’s known all of her life, but outright horrified when she finds her father Atticus and her suitor Hank attending a meeting of the White Citizens Council – the upright and respectable  sitting side by side of sleazy, corrupt demagogues. To see Atticus keeping company with that ilk, to see him giving an ear to the cause of resistant segregation –  voicing a distrust of a community he now viewed as Other even though he once defended the common humanity of all – breaks Jean Louise’s heart and destroys her world.  If her father, the paragon of virtue, could be compromised, what was left?

If Go Set a Watchman were merely a book about a young idealist discovering that her father is guilty of being human and preaching to him about the virtues he’s apparently forgotten, it would be sanctimonious and boring.  Instead, we find characters who are all riven with conflict. Scout fled Maycomb, but retains attachment to the world she knew: she’s dismayed to learn of property sold, of church hymns changed, and of the muted antagonism she witnesses between her town’s people, black and white.  In her great confrontation with her father,  she expresses her own reservations about the recent court decision (Brown vs. Board) on constitutional grounds –  reservations that make her father chuckle, for he declares she makes him look like a Roosevelt democrat by comparison.  Their shared attachment to what they know, though, and their shared concern over the steadily-ballooning power of DC only go so far.   Jean Louise has been absent from Maycomb and has no idea what’s been happening in the community, and neither she nor the reader are given details about the recent trouble — we only witness fragments of hostility. Whatever has been happening is enough to make Atticus and his brother Dr. Finch staunch opponents of the new activism, which they see as nothing more than the creation of outside pressure groups creating unnecessary strife. They’re particularly opposed to the insertion of the Federal government into local matters, which to them matters more than race, more than peace, or even a good name. It’s the reason that when Scout releases a sailor’s vocabulary of condemnation against her father that he sits peaceably and doesn’t twitch an eye: he can tolerate any kind of name-calling, he says afterwards, so long as it’s not true. He for one is square with his conscience. Although Scout and the reader may be prepared (or resigned) to dismiss the Finches as bigots, the back and forth arguments that constitute the second half of the book indicate that the truth is more complicated than reaction and impulse will admit.

Go Set a Watchman is a compelling book, though it’s unfinished; it begins in story then switches purely to back and forth dialogue, and there are details missing that make trying to understand Atticus’s obstinence more difficult. Whether the reader will find it worth reading varies on the reader: I was drawn in by the tension of a good man having to make stands in a more murky moral area — resisting good causes being advanced through bad means, for instance. While it’s very easy for contemporary people to assert that had they been living back then, they would have made The Right Choice, that’s extremely unlikely — and would have made for a much less interesting story. Personally, Watchman was worth reading just for the character of Dr. Finch, who in retirement has retreated into the Victorian era and is a perfect southern eccentric. It helps to know something of the novel’s history before reading it, though — the fact that it was Lee’s first idea for a novel, and that she was advised to refine the story to better advance its moral arguments. The result was To Kill a Mockingbird, which has inspired people for decades. It’s neither a prequel nor a sequel, but an interesting look into Harper Lee’s attempt to come to terms with the conflict between her community’s values as espoused and those same values as practiced.

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Teaser Tuesday: Every

Happy Tuesday! Teasing from Dave Eggers’ The Every today, the story of one woman’s quest to destroy an uber-corporation that’s Facebook/Google/Apple/Amazon rolled into one.

“Now I’m thinking if I can just kill emojis, that would be enough,” Delaney said. “You see the Secretary of State use a few today?” Wes asked. “He was celebrating the anniversary of glasnost, and he used a dancing rainbow. On the official state account. Our species has no dignity. No path to dignity.”

Well, sometimes I’ll text a friend—just something like a rainbow emoji followed by a two-way arrow and a question mark. You know, to let them know I’m happy and hope they’re happy.” “And then you wait,” Delaney said. “Right!” Shireen said. “And while I’m waiting…” “You wonder if they hate you and are plotting against you and will spread lies about you and ruin your life and you’ll want to die?” Delaney said. She expected a laugh, but the faces of Shireen and Carlo had gone gray. “I wouldn’t use those words, exactly,” Shireen said, “but—”

Capital-P Play was last year’s management theory, following multitasking, singletasking, grit, learning-from-failure, napping, cardioworking, saying no, saying yes, the wisdom of the crowd > trusting one’s gut, trusting one’s gut > the wisdom of the crowd, Viking management theory, Commissioner Gordon workflow theory, X-teams, B-teams, embracing simplicity, pursuing complexity, seeking zemblanity, creativity through radical individualism, creativity through groupthink, creativity through the rejection of groupthink, organizational mindfulness, organizational blindness, microwork, macrosloth, fear-based camaraderie, love-based terror, working while standing, working while ambulatory, learning while sleeping, and, most recently, limes.

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October 2022 in Review

Starting October, I had two things in mind: one, a nod to Mental Health Awareness Month; two, a nod to Halloween that would come in either some appropriate nonfiction (I have books on blood and skeletons) or in a look at the future-horror of the atomic age, both through nuclear testing and the rise of UFO mania. I also wanted to squeeze in something about German history if I could, in observance of Unification Day. I managed….Life and Death in the Third Reich, 2 books relating to mental health, and a scattering of randos.

Classics Club
I started reading Dune. It’s not grabbing me yet.

Mount Doom
Life and Death in the Third Reich, Peter Fritszche
Survival City: Adventures in the Ruins of Atomic America, Tom Vanderbilt

Hey, two books! That’s…something. Ignore the amount of books I bought last month and this month.

Science Survey 2022
The survey was fulfilled in September, but more fuel for the fire! An Immense World and The Skeptic’s Guide to the Future brought us up to 18 books so far. We’ll crack 20 easy, but I’d love to finish the year at 24.

Mental Health Awareness Month
Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction
Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology, and Social Networking (review in progress)

Newly Acquired:
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War, H.W. Crocker II. From the author of Armstrong, the funny alt-history novel about Custer surviving Little Bighorn and becoming a gun for hire.
Adventures with Ed: A Portrait of Abbey
Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast
Faces Along the Bar: Lore and Order in the Workingman’s Saloon
Sid Meier’s Memoir! A Life in Computer Games

The Every, Dave Eggers
8 Days in the Woods: The Making of the Blair Witch Project

Okay, new goal: make it to December without buying any books. If I do, I’ll reward myself with fried ice cream from my favorite Mexican place.

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Teaser Tuesday: Go Set a Watchman

She walked down the steps and into the shade of a live oak. She put her arm out and leaned against the trunk. She looked at Maycomb, and her throat tightened: Maycomb was looking back at her. Go away, the old buildings said. There is no place for you here. You are not wanted. We have secrets.

“Remember this also: it’s always easy to look back and see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are. If you can master that trick, you’ll get along.”

“Very well, if you won’t let me tell you what Melbourne said I’ll put it in my own words: the time your friends need you is when they’re wrong, Jean Louise. They don’t need you when they’re right.”

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Afternoons with Harper Lee

Afternoons with Harper Lee
© 2022 Wayne Flynt
256 pages

Recently I had the pleasure of listening to historian Dr. Wayne Flynt speak at my local library,  drawing from his new book, Afternoons with Harper Lee.   As with Mockingbird Songs, a collection of letters exchanged between himself and the famed author,  this memoir grows out of Flynt’s and his wife Dartie’s long friendship with the Monroeville native.  Afternoons takes its name from the Flynts’ afternoon visits with Lee in the care center she lived the last years of her life in following a stroke in her adopted city of New York.  The memoir combines a personable Harper Lee biography with a messy account of the Flynt-Lee friendship, along with musings on the meaning of  To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.    Although I’ve been dubious about Watchman since its release and have never read it because of my suspicions that its publication was done over the head of its declining author,  Flynt’s conversations with Lee here indicate that she’d finished it in 1957, but that it simply hadn’t been published.  Even more interestingly, she penned a third work, a true crime piece about a Baptist preacher who was popularly regarded as a serial killer who’d only escaped justice through voodoo until he met a vigilante gunman. The manuscript, never submitted for publication because of fear of legal suits,  was lost over the years. Go Set a Watchman, Flynt suggests, depicted Lee’s own youthful innocence dying. Atticus Finch was the unparalleled hero of Mockingbird,  but in Watchman the young adult Scout has to witness her father making compromises to prevent worse evils. While Flynt’s lecture suggested Lee had come to terms with this, in the book itself she comes off as more permanently disaffected about her father, and  bitter about the South and Monroeville in general. Flynt reiterates although Lee often presented herself as a cantankerous recluse, she was warm and funny to those she admitted into her trust. She made for difficult company as a reader, but I was drawn to this out of interest in what it might reveal about Watchman and her friendship with the legendary oral historian Kathryn Tucker Windham. The book delivers substance about the former but only a brief mention of the latter.

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Spinning Atoms in the Desert

Bombast: Spinning Atoms in the Desert
© 2010 Michon Mackedon
236 pages

Which is more breathtaking, the power of the atom bomb or the hubris of governments that use it? Michon Mackedon’s Bombast will leave readers wondering. It reviews the approach of the Atomic Energy Commission to organizing and testing a succession of increasingly more powerful bombs from the Marshall Islands to Nevada, looking at the use of language in particular to frame this testing as innocuous and positive (“bigger bombs for a brighter tomorrow”, to borrow from another history related to this subject). Despite its small pagecount, the book has the heft of a textbook, and sometimes the prose quality of one: it’s not technical, but far more academic than ‘popular’, and will be of interest primarily to those obsessed with the early atomic age. It has much to say on the cold-blooded way the state treats those are in the way of its aims, as well as the means through which dissenters’ concerns are made to look ridiculous, ignorant, and unpatriotic.

There were legitimate fears in the 1940s that the initial test of the nuclear bomb might cause a chain reaction capable of igniting the atmosphere: that the test continued says much about the stakes and excitement around nuclear weaponry’s potential. During World War 2, bombing raids against cities like Hamburg, Berlin, and Schweinfurt would consisted of scores, hundreds, and (in the case of Cologne) a thousand bombers — but the Bomb promised to drastically reduce the number of airplanes and more valuable airmen at risk. Although Hiroshima and Nagasaki demonstrated the destructive potential of the bomb more than adequately to the world, these initial mechanisms were crude: more sophisticated and potent delivery systems were being created, and they needed to be tested — both their scope, and their array of effects. This could be as crude as dropping bombs into the middle of a fleet of obsolete ships, near islands with animals chained at various intervals to test the range of destruction of organic issue, or as elaborate as nuking fake villages in the desert to examine how architecture could deflect and protect against explosive energy. The tricky part, of course, was finding land. The initial Trinity test was conducted in the New Mexico desert near White Sands and Alamogordo, but there were concerns about radiation so close to human settlements. DC had assumed control of the Marshall Islands after evicting the Japanese, and initially that seemed a good candidate for testing — especially since the few hundred people who lived on Bikini Atoll believed DC’s sale pitch that their temporary evacuation of the islands would advance science, progress, and the interests of a lasting peace. They expected to return to the islands after the tests were concluded and the sites cleaned: it would be decades before any Marshallese returned, and they would find that parts of the atolls of sacred memory were simply gone, and that debris was everywhere. In the mid-fifties, the Atomic Energy Commission switched to areas of Nevada that were deemed ‘wasteland’, of no use to anyone. Mackdeon heavily scrutinizes the simplistic approach of the AEC in judging land as useless, and the self-serving way experts were trotted out to assure Nevadans that the tests were harmless. Oh, were there cows giving birth to dead or bizarrely mutated calves? Must be malnutrition. Incidents occurred with nearly every test, as sometimes the wind would shift and radioactive particles would drift into populated areas like Sacramento, or the new devices would have unexpected power. The state often played fast and loose with the tests, at one point ordering soldiers out of a shelter immediately after a detonation to test the soldiers’ ability to perform actions amid the explosion’s aftermath (severe winds and dissipating mushroom cloud).

Despite this, government’s new ally The Science was successful in selling regular explosions as largely innocuous, as pop culture began reflecting an enthusiasm for all things atomic: Las Vegas even hosted a “Miss Atomic Bomb” beauty contest. The creation of better bombs, the continued building of the nuclear arsenal of democracy, was sold as an absolute good. Misinformation wasn’t just a matter of forgetting to communicate inconvenient facts, or thoughtlessly interpreting data in the most positive way possible: when citizens expressed concern about more powerful thermonuclear devices being tested, President Eisenhower suggested keeping the public confused about the distinction between fission (Hiroshima-level bombs) and the far more powerful fusion bombs. Mackdeon argues that the government has continued to keep citizens largely in the dark about the dangers of radioactive byproducts, and ends the book by transitioning to the debate over creating a nuclear waste disposal site in Yucca Mountain.

Although Bombast certainly isn’t for everyone, it’s a fascinating look into the early culture of nuclear testing for the obsessed.

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Teaser Tuesday: Bombast

…..wait a tic, it’s not Tuesday. Oh, well. Today’s teaser comes from Bombast: Spinning Atoms in the Desert, about the government’s efforts to convince Nevadans that dropping nukes on a regular basis a half-hour’s drive from their homes was hunky-dory.

“Ernest O. Lawrence was at first assigned the codename Ernest Lawson. When that code name was leaked, security officers assigned him the new name Oscar Wilde, because Wilde had written the play The Importance of Being Earnest.”

“During the second phase of Project Sunshine, cadavers were purchased from pathology labs so the bones might be tested for strontium-90 uptake. The AEC itself, in an internal memo, described the process as body-snatching: ‘Human samples are of great importance and if anyone knows how to do a good job of body snatching, they will really be serving their country.'”

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