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Gust of Wind


So I’m reading this NYT story on how the University of California will continue running the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The first guy quoted is Hugh Gusterson of MIT, which is appropriate because MIT is a gearhead school full of people who probably understand what they do at Los Alamos. (One of my brothers is an MIT alumnus.) Except that Gusterson isn’t a scientist or an engineer. He’s an anthropologist “who studies the nation’s nuclear arms laboratories” (as the Times puts it). Shouldn’t he be in a rainforest somewhere learning about ritual tattooing? It’s sort of sad: America doesn’t produce enough scientists to work at places like Los Alamos, but we produce anthropologists who study the “culture” of our nuke labs. Oh, and in case you had any doubts, Gusterson was capable, just a few days after 9-11, of saying this: “Imagine the real suffering and grief of people in other countries. The best way to begin a war on terrorism might be to look in the mirror.”


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