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So here's a fun story from the annals of the Cold War.
I flew with a lot of C-130 guys in the Air Force. Some of these pilots were getting old and were even pilots in the 80s when Mother Russia was one serious incident away from turning our country into a fiery mushroom farm. In particular I was astonished to learn that C-130s, which are propeller driven and generally considered slow in comparison to a B-52 for instance, were completely capable of dropping nuclear ordinance, but not capable of a speedy enough departure to outrun the blast effects. This was a last resort scenario, and these were considered 100% loss scenarios for the crew.
But imagine this, a C-130 with four parachute-deployed nuclear weapons inside the cargo area. As you approach the target, the cargo bays open and the drogue chute pulls the first bomb out from the airplane where it drops to its deployment altitude and detonates. The plane will be a few miles away at this point, but not far enough for the pilots to keep their eye sight, which they might be expected to use to fly the plane. But that's why they had four bombs, because between the pilot and the co-pilot, they had four eyes and could hit four targets. So in order to keep the plane flying (possibly during anti-aircraft firing and performing maneuvers which the pilot would have to be able to see) the pilots had blackout glasses. Each one was a simple lead-lensed eye patch and there were three on the plane. The co-pilot would drop the first bomb, lose an eye, and then the pilot would lose an eye at the next bomb. Then the co drops and loses his other eye, and the final bomb drops to destroy the pilot's remaining sight. Then the plane crashes and the world is ever fucked.
That's how crazy nuclear war was already planned to be.
There are so many examples throughout history of things that were, in retrospect, unconscionable, but that were unrecognized at the time. I often think about what practices we are currently engaged in that will be judged by future generations as absurd or morally wrong or just plain sick. But its difficult, because, of course, we can only see with the moral and historical perspective that currently exists. Hindsight isn't possible in the present. What do you think? What is the worst thing about now that we accept as common, everyday practice?
I was talking withrecently, and he suggested that our food delivery system is probably the most accepted, but most morally corrupt thing in our modern world. I can't disagree. This question bothers me a lot, however, so I am very curious for any thoughts.