Thoughts from Nuclear Weapons Expert:

  Ted Taylor


From: George Dyson <>

Date: Friday, September 28, 2001 3:27 PM
Subject: FW: Curve of Binding II

Subject: Curve of Binding II
Date: Fri, Dec 17, 1999, 1:18 PM


As follows is a fragment of a conversation 2 days ago with Ted Taylor. I
have a lot more along similar lines. He is haunted by the mistake of
thinking that nuclear weapons have reached some sort plateau of perfection,
and that we are crazy to believe that others might not be far more creative
than we are (when you can do on laptop in seconds what took all the IBM
machines at Los Alamos several years). This is a very important issue,
that's only peripheral to the Orion story. Ted desperately wants to make
the world more aware of this, so if by any chance you see an Atlantic story
in it or something, by all means give him a call.

--George Dyson




Ted Taylor, telephone, 12/10/99:

"I had a dream last night, about a new form of nuclear weapon... and I'm
not telling anybody what this is, because I'm really scared of it. And what
that did was to prompt a more intense look at what kind of arms races might
be going on, in secret now, all over the world. And there's much more to be
discovered than I ever would have imagined--even having written pieces like
'Nth generation nuclear weapons' about ten years ago for the Bulletin of
the Atomic Scientists

"I have tried, I thought successfully, to hold on to a vow of just not
thinking about new types of nuclear weapons any more. And what's happened,
to put it simply, is that it has gone from my conscious to my unconscious,
and it's emerging as a dream; I cannot shut it off. People make shifts like
that; they try to put something out of their minds and it comes in
dream-wise. But this was extremely intense and explicit. And I got up for
about three hours; I woke up at 2 and went back to bed at about 6 o'clock,
and when I started writing I wound up filling up a page with notes, of not
just the dream but things that it triggered, that is, some new thoughts. I
don't know whether the concept itself is of any importance but it made
sense in the dream and it made sense when I was sitting down writing about
the dream, and it still makes sense. So it wasn't some weird possibility
that I cannot describe, but I don't see any point in doing anything but
just keeping that in my head, and, if I could, getting rid of it. The
possibilities of new ways of disabling or killing people in huge numbers,
or in small numbers from a long distance away, make me think of the sort of
prototypical example of what directed energy can do, making the transition
from a pile of high explosive to a gun, as the Chinese did, after they
invented it."

"What I am afraid is in the offing is people figuring out how to make a
transition that's as spectacular as trying to kill a deer at 200 yards with
a pile of high explosive, or by shooting at it..."


See: Nuclear Weapons Responsibilty