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I wouldn't underestimate how much secrecy plays a role psychologically. Not being able to talk to friends, family, and loved ones about what you work on can be a real drain.

(Spoken from some experience; I did classified work at a DOE nuclear lab in the past.)

I must be odd, because I never talk about my work with my family even when I'm allowed to. None of them have the context to understand or care. It's a different compartment of my life entirely. Do normal people really do this?

Perhaps I'm the odd one then. Much of my family and most of my closest friends are perfectly capable of having informed discussions about technology when those discussions are rooted in basic physics. Actually, it goes beyond that: We all enjoy talking about those subjects.

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