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I was first introduced to the term “psychic numbing” as a college junior. While participating in a semester long seminar on the cultural history of atomic physics (this was the kind of course science majors took to meet their “arts and literature” diversification requirements), we read the book Hiroshima by John Hersey. This journalistic/clinical piece of literature detailed in agonizing detail the post-nuclear lives of the immediate survivors of the bomb that didn’t end World War II.

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