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My dad said to me a few years ago: "There's no harm in thinking." We were talking about Crazy Uncle Albert and whether it was right to use your brain to build weapons.

He said, "You can't expect people not to think. Not to know things just because they COULD be bad."

I said, "Yeah, but then they built it and a hundred thousand people died."

My dad laughed and said there were a lot of steps between the thinking and the doing.

Which I know, duh. All I was saying is that when you think of doing something, you don't always know the consequences. For a while people THOUGHT about building the bomb, but nothing happened. In the end it was a lot of different people doing a lot of different things, most of which had nothing to do with the bomb, that did make it happen.

I think about that sometimes. Who was the person who had the first thought, the one that started it all?

And after they had the thought, what was the first thing they did?

I know my uncle never thought, Hey, all this great science- one day I'll use it to kill a whole bunch of people. You just look at his picture; he's not that kind of person.

And yet, I guess in a way he sort of is.


Mariah Fredericks

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