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It was a moment Anthony Carbajal will never forget: standing on the stage of one of TV’s most popular talk shows, fighting for a cause that touches him and his family profoundly. All while his mom looked proudly on.

Watch Anthony and Ellen do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and see the full interview here.

…I am not okay.  ALL the awards, Ellen.  All of them.

When I returned from the physical shock of Nagasaki, which I have described in the first page of this book, I tried to persuade my colleagues in governments and in the United Nations that Nagasaki should be preserved exactly as it was then. I wanted all future conferences on disarmament, and on other issues which weigh the fates of nations, to be held in that ashy, clinical sea of rubble. I still think as I did then, that only in this forbidding context could statesmen make realistic judgements of the problems which they handle on our behalf. Alas, my official colleagues thought nothing of my scheme; on the contrary, they pointed out to me that delegates would be uncomfortable in Nagasaki.

Jacob Bronowski (via azspot)

At first I really liked this idea. Then I wondered what the people of Nagasaki would have thought, and whether there are some colonialist assumptions driving his reasoning. Why would the UN and the governments of other nations even get a vote on how Japan handled a crisis within its borders? Why should Japan have to cede a chunk of its (very limited) land, and why should the survivors of that city be forbidden from rebuilding their lives in favor of a lofty ideal? 

That said, “it would have made the other delegates uncomfortable” is, well, kind of the point, no? The idea of launching a nuke, of even having the power to devastate entire cities, should make you goddamn uncomfortable! Perhaps we could find a compromise, like making people have disarmament talks or decide their countries’ nuclear futures in a room where the walls are covered with photos of the destruction the bombs wrought in Japan.

But then, I suspect there are people on whom suck images would have the opposite effect. If you showed them imaged of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, they would hear “look what you could do to your enemies!”; show them computer-generated images of their own cities destroyed by nukes, and they would hear “look what you must defend yourself against”. Some people are too fearful or too power-hungry or too greedy to be swayed by mere human empathy.

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