About Me

Dr. Jerry Pournelle received his degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle. He joined the Boeing Company as a Human Factors Engineer and Aviation Psychologist, and headed the Human Factors Laboratory, where they did pioneer work on astronaut heat tolerance in extreme environments, as well as experimental tests for certifying the passenger oxygen system for the Boeing 707.

He later joined a design and analysis group as a Systems Analyst where he was involved in strategic analysis of proposed new weapons systems. In 1964, he joined the Aerospace Corporation in San Bernardino, California to become Editor of Project 75, a major USAF study of all ballistic missile technology which identified and recommended USAF investment in technologies required to build the missile force which would be required in 1975. When Project 75 was completed he became manager of several advanced concept studies. He later joined North American Space division where he took part in the Apollo program and general operations research as well as still classified studies.

The Strategy of Technology (1970), by Stefan Possony, Jerry Pournelle, and Col. Francis X. Kane became a textbook at the USAF Academy and two national war colleges.

In November 1980 following the election, he chaired the committee that wrote the Space and Defense policy papers for the incoming transition team; this committee (Citizen’s Advisory Council on National Space Policy) was
continued, by White House request, after the inauguration, and with Gen. Graham developed a policy of Strategic Defense, called “Star Wars” by opponents, which became the Strategic Defense Imitative. In 1989 the
committee developed the SSX concept, which became the DCX, the first successful reusable vertical landing rocket craft.

Red Heroin, an action/adventure mystery (Berkeley Books), his first novel, was published in 1968. He has been a full-time writer since 1972, as well as successfully managing political campaigns; science columnist for the
National Catholic Press; Analog SF Magazine columnist; and Science Editor/Columnist of Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine. After 1982 his BYTE  Magazine column was one of the two best known columns in the computer
industry, continuing from 1980 to 2008.

He has 5 Hugo and 3 Nebula Nominations, and was the first winner of the Campbell Award (previously known as the Best New Writer Hugo). He has authored or co-authored at least seven national best-sellers, of which
Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle is probably the best known, having been 21 weeks on the New York Times best-selling list. He is working on at least four books now.

Jerry Pournelle, Chaos Manor, South Room, July 2017

About This Place

This is my personal journal and day book. Subjects include civilization and technology, strategy, climate, energy policy, space access, and other issues that interest me. The Mail section is very wide ranging and one of the best on the Internet. For computer related reviews and mail, see Chaos Manor Reviews, which is a continuation of the old BYTE column I began in 1980 with BYTE Magazine. For the old home page (2006) click here.

Extensive discussions on technology and civilization, education, the space program, the future of freedom, etc., with contributions by a lot of smart people. See Current Mail and Current View.

For more on what this place is about, including permanent features, see below. For Topics of continuing interest, see below. And for more on what we are doing here, including saving the space program and desert adventures, click here. In general this site assumes interest in rational discussion of technology and civilization.

For my computer columns which formerly appeared in BYTE, see Chaos Manor Reviews. And be sure to have a look at the various Reports which include trip reports, adventures, and other special topics. For Roberta Pournelle’s Reading Program, look here.

Most of the action is in View and Mail. You should scroll way down to see what else is here.

Many of my observations are given as comments on Mail. View is mostly my comments and mini-essays on many topics. One popular permanent item is HOW TO GET MY JOB.

I can make some claim to this being The Original Blog and Daybook. I certainly started keeping a day book well before most, and long before the term “blog” or Web Log was invented. BIX, the Byte information exchange, preceded the Web by a lot, and I also had a daily journal on GE Genie. Both of those would have been considered blogs if there had been any such term. All that was long before the World Wide Web.

I note that a Google Search on “Blog” doesn’t show me, at least not in the first 10 or so pages, but then I long insisted I don’t “blog” because I find the word ugly. But I have a fair amount of traffic and a quality readership, so I can hardly complain.

This site is supported by subscribers on the “Public Radio” model: if you think it is worthwhile, please subscribe.

This Web Site supplements my column that ran in the print version of BYTE for twenty years and continues at Chaos Manor Reviews. This web page adds more, including mail to both me and the column. You’ll find: Computers, Blogs, Blogging, Operating systems, Linux, Features, Journals, Day Books, Mail, Discussions, Current Topics, Science Fact and Fiction, Space Policy, Defense Policy, Population Density, Global Warming, History, Republic or Empire?, and Other Stuff I think is interesting. It is mostly text. The main action here is in VIEW and MAIL which are updated more or less daily. There is also my work in progress. If you have not the foggiest notion of what you’ve found, click here.

NOTE: Mail sent to me not intended for publication should be clearly marked as such.

Some not very Current Topics which continue to generate interest:

How to get my job: the secret of becoming a professional writer.



George Mosse Lectures

The Iron Law of Bureaucracy

Special Reports on many subjects:



The Chaos Manor Columns

Paying for This Place

The Chaos Manor Reports Page Index: various reports of interest.

This is a content oriented site. You are not likely to find pretty new graphics here. This is not a course on web design. I do try to make things readable, and keep the download times small. Topics include: New machines, chip reports, book and game reviews, musings on many matters. The View From Chaos Manor is updated almost every day. There is a great deal of mail, on many topics. If you don’t know why you’re here, try VIEW, then “What Is This Place?” It can be confusing here, but many like it that way. Reminds them of The Adventure Game.

WARNING: this place is updated frequently. RELOAD/REFRESH early and often. Good Luck.

We have testimonials for my wife’s READING PROGRAM. If you know anyone having problems reading English, you should look into this. If you home school or know people who do you need to know about this.

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