Jerry Pournelle has passed away
September 8th, 2017 10:39pm
Wasn't he a coach or something? Scandal?
The link isn't working for me.
He wrote some books with Larry Niven. They were all crap, though, the ones I read. Footfall. The Mote in God's Eye. Then I Stopped.
I loved the Mote in Gods Eye, and its follow up, and so did my children.
But Pournelle's fascist attitudes had to be balanced by Niven's sense of humour, and in books where Pournelle dominated, or was the only author, the militaristic heroism were hard to swallow.
September 9th, 2017 3:39am
TMiGE was an ok read but rottenly spoiled by Pournelle's cardboard cut-out stock characters:
Slimy Arabic villains well before that became a Hollywood meme - blockjawed Soviet authoritarian commanders and WASPy empire royals to swoon over. Pure schlock.
Hate to say it but Larry's also losing his touch. The collaborations with Bentford and Barns are pretty wooden efforts.
offtopic - Stross has reactivated a long-sleeping series in his "Empire Games".
I used to look forward to his column in Byte magazine, along with that circuit cellar chap.
You might like this tech blogger:
Emphasis on CAD but also likes new tech. Well, not ALL new tech.
Oh, that's sad.
Jerry Pournelle was one of the cadre of "ultraconservative Science Fiction Writers". Along with Robert Heinlein.
Unlike most conservatives, he was able to actually make arguments supporting his position, instead of simply pounding the table.
I disagreed with his positions deeply, but at least he TRIED to support them.
And his partnership with Niven was good for both men.
Heinlein as ultraconservative!
Holy shit man, that's hilarious.
Where do you come up with this stuff.
Heinlein hated western religion and was obsessed with orgies and incest, both which he wrote about extensively with graphic details in his most popular works.
His best friend was the grand master of the high chair of OTO which he inherited from Aleister Crowley.
So conservative! LOL.
I agree that conservative doesn't fit Heinlein.
I would say very right wing, in a way a radical fascist.
Although historical fascists made strong pacts with the conservatives, they themselves were radicals.
In Italy the Modernists were sort of part of the movement, and economically they had left wing tendencies.
At the core though they believed in military strength and a boost in personal experience through a strong state, so all kind of apparently contradictory ideas would be possible, like both a strong state and great personal freedom (for the elite).
September 9th, 2017 1:30pm
There were many orgies and drugs among the Nazi elite.
September 9th, 2017 2:12pm
And the internal workings of the Fascist state was 'anarchist', and driven by individuals who saw profitable possibilities, while the general administration was kind of weak because of party driven arbitrariness and nepotism.
September 9th, 2017 2:14pm
The stable bourgeois constructs of society were being shovelled aside by powerful party members.
The whole Nazi state was one patchwork of improvisation and emergency measures.
September 9th, 2017 2:18pm
Most German military successes at the start of the war involved high officers disobeying direct orders and acting on their own initiative.
When those people were later relieved of command and replaced by fearful lackeys of Hitler, one disaster followed the other.
September 9th, 2017 2:20pm
I don't want to suggest that Germany could have won the war, by the way.
They were on an illusionary road to utter disaster, but even many intelligent Germans and Austrians didn't realise this at the time, and believed there would be a truce on the status quo after a few German victories.
It was interesting to read this observation by my grand-uncle in 1940, who was trading in steel, amongst other, for the Dutch East Indies, and travelled through Germany and Austria in 1939 visiting steel and hardware factories.
And he had a conversation with the general manager of an Austrian steel plant, who advised him to involve himself in trading Austrian steel in South America, as the quick German victory in Poland should be good advertising for the quality.
September 9th, 2017 2:31pm
My grand-uncle worked for R.S. Stokvis and Sons, founded in 1849 by Rafaël Samuel Stokvis in Rotterdam and Brussels.
It was the largest trading company in Europe.
They acquired trade licenses for many core technological products, from major car and electronics brands.
They dominated the trade chain of technology in the Dutch East Indies, and ran coffee and tea gardens there.
He was detached to the East in 1936, but returned to Europe and at the start of the war his legal status was that of an East Indian.
Until the invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, he could travel as a neutral citizen through all of Europe, and after the invasion of Poland in 1939 he travelled from Switzerland through Germany to the Netherlands, and he took an irregular ferry over the North Sea to England and from there an Atlantic liner to Canada and back, planning to return to the Indies through Genoa, but on his way through in the Netherlands he was stopped by the German invasion.
September 9th, 2017 2:55pm
Sorry to press your "ridiculous" button.
Just because he wrote about shit he didn't believe in, because it sold books, doesn't mean he believed in it.
My litmus test here is "how do you write about Mutually Assured Destruction". Conservatives at the time were convinced it was a recipe for disaster, what you SHOULD do is attack when you're strongest, you can't trust MAD to stop the Soviets from attacking. Pournelle and Heinlein shared this conviction. Fortunately they were wrong.
Also, support for the Star Wars anti-missile system under Reagan.
The journey to Canada in the winter of 1939/40 was to close contracts with Canadian foresters to replace the Finish supply of plywood to East India with Canadian.
I doubt much plywood was delivered before the Japanese invasion of the Indies.
September 9th, 2017 3:13pm
And thank god for that. The dutch were such vicious and cruel slave masters, harming people, stealing, raping and exploiting everywhere they went, it was a miracle that the Japanese were able to oust them from some regions like that and establish an actual civilized government than the former exploitative barbarism that typified the dutch monsters. Three cheers for the Empire of the Sun.
What would history be if it couldn't be veiled by moral judgement?
September 9th, 2017 4:37pm
Please continue with your story. So what happened to your grand-uncle? The Nazi stopped him and then what?
He took a double seat bicycle and drove with his wife to Switzerland, through occupied France.
He was worried about his future in the Netherlands under the Germans, because the Dutch East Indies had not capitulated to the Germans, and his papers were East Indian.
But he thought that they could travel under the radar on a bicycle, which proved to be right.
And he still had a Swiss visa, as he happened to be there when the war started, and while such visa were meant to be cancelled by the Swiss government to prevent a massive influx of refugees, there had been some administrative oversight with his one.
So when he arrived at the Swiss border, they let them into the country.
September 10th, 2017 3:16am
WildRiver, Lotti's great-uncle Jan Nils Vogt wrote and published a book about his bicycle adventures. You can just buy the book and read all the details for yourself.
After Switzerland they traveled through a circuitous route to Java. From Java he immigrated to Australia as a refugee and remained there. His wife didn't make it to the boat and was sent to an internment camp. They were reunited in Australia after the war ended.
From Australia he worked for the allied intelligence service during the war.
September 10th, 2017 10:55am
Ha, this guy has the same last name.