[ExI] Who has a vote that counts?

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sun Aug 2 12:32:12 UTC 2020

On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 7:23 PM Will Steinberg via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

*>  Over a certain amount, there is no difference, as it would be enough to
> ruin the world whether it was 1000 or 10000 bombs.*


> *> What IS different is the delivery methods (like 'hypersonic' missiles,)
> which are being improved all the time, as well as delivery platforms (like
> submarines.)*

No. It's true that offense is much better today than it was in 1962 but so
is defense. Today there is virtually no chance for a Russian strategic
bomber making it all the way to a city in the USA in a war, but that was
certainly not true in 1962. And in fact the individual bombs in the nuclear
Stockpiles have gotten smaller, a lot smaller. In 1961  500 B-41 H-bombs
were manufactured and each had a yield of 25 megatons, that's 1667 times as
powerful as the Hiroshima bomb. The B-41 bomb was taken out of service in
1976 because greatly increased accuracy of delivery systems made such a
huge bomb unnecessary and the 10,690 pound weight of the B-41 could be
better utilized by making 10 or 20 individually targeted smaller bombs. In
1963 the US developed an upgraded version of the B-41 that was 35 megatons
(2,333 Hiroshimas) and only weighed 8,200 pounds, but they only made a few
of those monsters. Today the largest bomb in the stockpile is just 1.2
megatons, only 80 times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb, so if you're not
close to a strategic target you might survive the war, or at least the
first 30 minutes of it.

*> I would say we are much worse off right now than we ever were in '62.*

You might be right after all, I was pretty young at the time but in 1962 I
don't recall anybody saying things are so hopeless we shouldn't even try to
avoid a nuclear war. Will, I could be entirely wrong about this but somehow
I have the feeling that your depression has more to do with chemistry than
with current events.

John K Clark
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