By Robert N. Proctor
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Extra info for Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance
V a n M e t e r i n his " P u t t i n g F a l s e F a c e s o n F o r m u l a s " ( F o o d I n d u s t r i e s , O c t o b e r 1 9 4 1 , 4 1 - 4 2 ) advised food chemists to disguise valuable formulas "so that w o r k m e n do not g e t w i s e t o i t a n d c o m p e t i t o r s c a n n o t s t e a l it. T h e i d e a i s t o u s e a r b i t r a r y u n i t s o f m e a s u r e m e n t a n d a d o p t c o i n e d n a m e s for i n g r e d i e n t s " ( 4 1 ) . 23. W i l l i a m P o u n d s t o n e , B i g Secrets: T h e Uncensored Truth a b o u t A l l Sorts of Stuff You Are N e v e r Supposed to K n o w ( N e w York: William M o r r o w , 1985).
G e o r g e O r w e l l , 1984 Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing. PL L. M e n c k e n ( 1 8 8 0 - 1 9 5 6 ) Ignorance is king, many would not prosper by its abdication. Walter M. Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz ( 1 9 5 9 ) It's innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn't. Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook (1960) Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily Karl Popper, Reports that say be infinite. Conjectures and Refutations (1963) that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
But this m o d e r n secrecy system has its substantive start not in antiquity, but in the vast infrastructure of W o r l d War II. In part, this n e w secrecy issued from the government, and yet in no small measure it emerged in the hands of scientists themselves as they launched a discipline of self-censorship on matters relating to the nucleus. O u t of the $2 billion M a n h a t t a n Project and its subsequent evolution into the A t o m i c Energy C o m m i s s i o n ( A E C , n o w the D e p a r t m e n t of Energy) came one sector of secrecy, w i t h its t w i n classification categories of Re stricted Data and Formerly Restricted Data (FRD), this last for uninterest ing historical reasons covering military applications of nuclear w e a p o n s rather than their p r o d u c t i o n or design.
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