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Festina Lente
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posted
SEPTEMBER 8, 2017
ALEX POURNELLE TEXTS:

Hi
I’m afraid that Jerry passed away
We had a great time at DragonCon
He did not suffer. Please feel free to post this news.

Rest in peace, Jerry. You will be missed.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 6:59 pm

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/275067/#respond

In 1985, Footfall, in which Robert A. Heinlein was a thinly veiled minor character, reached the number one spot on the New York Times Best Seller List. Another bestseller, Lucifer’s Hammer (1977), reached number two. Both novels were written with Larry Niven.

Pournelle wrote The Strategy of Technology (1970). The Strategy has been used as a textbook at the United States Military Academy (West Point), the United States Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs), the Air War College, and the National War College.

Pournelle’s work in the aerospace industry includes time he worked at Boeing in the late 1950s. While there, he worked on Project Thor, conceiving of “hypervelocity rod bundles”, also known as “rods from God”. He edited Project 75, a 1964 study of 1975 defense requirements. He worked in operations research at The Aerospace Corporation, and North American Rockwell Space Division, and was founding President of the Pepperdine Research Institute. In 1989, Pournelle, Max Hunter, and retired Army Lieutenant General Daniel O. Graham made a presentation to then Vice President Dan Quayle promoting development of the DC-X rocket.

During the 1970s and 1980s, he also published articles on military tactics and war gaming in the military simulations industry in Avalon Hill’s magazine The General. He had previously won first prize in a late 1960s essay contest run by the magazine on how to end the Vietnam war. That led him into correspondences with some of the early figures in Dungeons and Dragons and other fantasy role-playing games.



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That is sad. He will definitely be missed.
 
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Damn.



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Drug Dealer
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I enjoyed his science fiction writing and especially his Chaos Manor column in Byte magazine from the early days of personal computing (mid-70s through the 80s).

A very bright and witty guy: I felt like I knew him.

R. I. P.



When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth. - George Bernard Shaw
 
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I'm Different!
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RIP. Chaos Manor will be decidedly less so.

His last post from his Views from Chaos Manor blog:
quote:
Dreamers
By Jerry Pournelle | Sep 7, 2017 - 6:51 pm | Updated: September 7, 2017 - 6:51 pm |

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

-Robert A. Heinlein

The map is not the territory.

Alfred Korzybski

If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason;

Benjamin Disraeli

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

Between 1965 and 2011, the official poverty rate was essentially flat, while the government spending per person on poverty programs rose by more than 900% after inflation.

Peter Cove

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.

Burnham

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

We are a nation of assimilated immigrants.

Immigration without assimilation is invasion.

We have to start with the premise that the goal is to defeat the enemy.

Jim Woolsey

-----

Back from DragonCon with both a cold and the flu. Was supposed to go to the Mars Society meeting in Irvine, but I didn’t feel up to it and would have been a burden on Larry who generously offer to drive me. I suspected that would be sure exposure to this ConCrud and since he escaped it he doesn’t need it. But mostly I didn’t feel up to it. I’m still in pajamas. I type horribly as well. But that’s the way it goes. I did read all the mail and sort out a pile that needs answering.

The news is full of the Dreamers. The Constitution says the President must take care to see that the laws are faithfully enforced. Mr. Trump didn’t want to deport the “Dreamers”, particularly those who have integrated into the society, but the law gives him no leeway, and the Presidential Order Obama signed giving them amnesty is unconstitutional. He solved that dilemma by giving it back to Congress who created it. We’ll now see what happens.

I can solve part of the problem. Any volunteer of any age who serves 7 years overseas in Army or Marines gets a Green Card and an application to apply for Citizenship along with his honorable discharge. The Citizenship application and test need not be very difficult and I would expect all who applied to pass it. The swearing should be public and conducted by an officer of rank Colonel or above.

As to girls, we can think of something similar or suitable; they need not join the combat arms. Surgical Assistant comes instantly to mind.

Their parents are a more difficult problem, and it will take ingenuity to find a path that does not offend the legal immigrants who obeyed the law.

More later I’m experiencing a wave of nausea.

Bye for now.

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[Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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Well-wishing page to post thoughts & remembrances.



“Agnostic, gun owning, conservative, college educated hillbilly”
 
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goodheart
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quote:
I enjoyed his science fiction writing and especially his Chaos Manor column in Byte magazine from the early days of personal computing (mid-70s through the 80s).


Yes I remember Chaos Manor from Byte. I also enjoyed Fallen Angels written with Larry Niven, in which sci-fi nuts save the world. The scenario is a new glacial age, brought on because humanity had been so successful in controlling global warming. Heh.


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I read most of his work with Niven,

good stuff



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Geez....I reread "The Prince" (the collected Falkenberg's Legion stories) about once a year. Frown


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Another SciFi icon passed. Sad.


I grew up reading SciFi and even had a subscription to John Campbell's Analog rag back in the day.



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I loved Footfall when I was in college. Fantastic book. He had a lot of other great stories ( The Mote in God's Eye, and the Falkenberg's Legion stuff come easily to mind). This just is a sad day for the Sci-Fi community.


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The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. 'Make it evil,' he'd been told. 'Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with.'
 
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He was one of the best.
 
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goodheart
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From Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit):

quote:
Science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle offered fact-based hope for our future

Jerry Pournelle died on Friday, peacefully in his sleep. With his death, America lost an important figure.

Pournelle wrote many bestselling science fiction novels, both on his own and with Larry Niven. Of these, Lucifer’s Hammer and The Mote in God’s Eye, both major bestsellers, are probably the best known, though I think that artistically, Inferno — a reboot that I think Dante Alighieri himself would have approved — was the best. (Does a novel set in Hell count as science fiction? I don’t know, but it was exceptionally good).

But Pournelle didn’t just write fiction. His 1970 book with Stefan Possony, The Strategy of Technology, outlined a strategy for winning the Cold War (with among other things, an emphasis on strategic missile defense) that was largely followed, and successfully, by the Reagan administration. He was a driving force behind the Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy in the 1980s that helped lay the groundwork for today’s booming civilian space launch industry. And, for me, his wide-ranging columns in Galaxy Magazine, back when it was edited by star editor James Baen, were particularly influential.

I was a kid in the 1970s, which was not a great era to be a kid. We had Vietnam and Watergate, the Apollo space program quit abruptly, oil prices skyrocketed and so did inflation. Even a hamburger was expensive.

And while that was going on, the voices in the media were all preaching gloom and doom. Stanford professor Paul R. Ehrlich, in his book The Population Bomb, was predicting food riots in America due to overpopulation. A group called The Club of Rome published a report titled The Limits to Growth that suggested it was all over for Western technological civilization. Bookstore displays were filled with books like The Late Great Planet Earth that announced the end times. And if that weren’t enough, most people figured we were heading for a global thermonuclear war with the Soviet Union. It looked like we were headed for some sort of apocalyptic future in which Charlton Heston would be the only survivor besides a few apes or mutants.

But Jerry Pournelle never bought it. In his Galaxy columns — eventually collected and published in book form, and still in print — he actually did the math. The fact was, he reported, we could not only survive but, in his words, survive with style.

Claims of resource limitations were bunk, easily disproved with available data. And beyond the resources of Earth, there were the effectively limitless resources of the solar system: Energy from the Sun, captured by orbiting power satellites that never had to shut down, materials from the asteroids, and an expansionary frontier that would prevent the growth of damaging zero-sum politics on Earth.

Some people found such claims outlandish in the 1970s, but we’re pretty much living in Pournelle’s world now. The 1970s “Energy Crisis” and its turn-of-the-millennium equivalent, “Peak Oil,” have been undone by technological advances in the form of fracking. Private companies are launching rockets into space at a furious rate — Elon Musk’s SpaceX is on track to launch more rockets than Russia this year — and there are even private companies (companies, plural) working on asteroid mining.

I suspect that a lot of the people working on these things were, like me, influenced by Pournelle’s writing. (I know that some of them were, because they’ve told me so, and I doubt those are the only ones.) At one of the gloomiest times in American history, Pournelle offered not only hope, but a plan. We should all be grateful for that. I certainly am.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors.

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @USATOpinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.


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Thanks for posting that, Doc. It's an excellent commemoration.

I read his writings for many years and his death has been surprisingly depressing. His bullshit meter was very well calibrated.
 
For Whom the Bell Tolls - John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.



When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth. - George Bernard Shaw
 
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Don't Panic
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RIP, Mr. Pournelle.

Read him in Byte, read his co-authored stuff, read his solo stuff. Read his Sci-fi military history anthologies ("There Will Be War", Vols I-X) too.

An impressive mind, a sharp wit, a very entertaining writer into the bargain.

He is already missed. Frown
 
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Fire begets Fire
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Frown

Inferno, the mote in gods eye, all those books/works written with Niven ... such a Master of his craft; a major influence on my life. Talent like that will be missed greatly.





"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty."
~Robert A. Heinlein
 
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goodheart
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Reading There Will Be War, it was a free download on Kindle for a limited time.


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quote:
Originally posted by Loswsmith:
I loved Footfall when I was in college. Fantastic book. He had a lot of other great stories ( The Mote in God's Eye, and the Falkenberg's Legion stuff come easily to mind). This just is a sad day for the Sci-Fi community.
I'll always remember reading Footfall and The Mote in God's Eye. Not to mention Lucifer's Hammer. That Niven and Pournelle team was great. Always liked that cover art with the AK and the mirror.

 
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Snouts don't use AKs. Razz Big Grin


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