For thousands of years man’s capacity to destroy was limited to spears, arrows and fire. 120 years ago we learned to release chemical energy (e.g. TNT), and 70 years ago we learned to be 100 million times+ more efficient by harnessing the nuclear strong force energy with atomic weapons, first through fission and then fusion. We’ve also miniaturized these brilliant inventions and learned to mount them on ICBMs traveling at Mach 20. Unfortunately, we live in a universe where the laws of physics feature a strong asymmetry in how difficult it is to create and to destroy. This observation is also not reserved to nuclear weapons—more generally, technology monotonically increases the possible destructive damage per person per dollar. This is my favorite resolution to the Fermi paradox.
Andrej Karpathy, Review of Richard Rhodes’s The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Goodreads, December 13, 2016