Remembering – Pearl Harbor Day

Jerry posted this on Pearl Harbor Day 2012 (7 Dec 2012). The second remembrance is from 7 Dec 2002. – the Editor.


View 752 Friday, December 07, 2012

Pearl Harbor Day

Japan is our ally now, and China is building the Greater Southeast Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere which Japan planned. Japan sought to exclude the Western colonial powers – including the United States – from Asia in a sort of Japanese equivalent of the Monroe Doctrine. “Asia for the Asiatics!” was a common battle cry.

In practice the Sphere operated as a supply source for Japan, although the Japanese insisted that was only because the West wanted war, and the Empire had to be strong. Japan claimed to be the liberator of the Colonies: Manchuria liberated from Chinese occupation, Philippines from the US conquest, Taiwan from China, Hong Kong from Britain, Indo-China from France, Burma from Britain, Indonesia from the Dutch, The Malay States from Britain and Portugal, etc. It included Thailand, which managed to stave off occupation by joining the Sphere and even declaring war on the United States, but the Declaration of War was conveniently lost on its way to the Secretary of State and the United States never considered itself at war with Thailand.

The Pearl Harbor attack is a splendid example of a tactical victory spoiled by a failure of exploitation and pursuit. Had the Japanese carriers refueled their aircraft and sent them back to destroy all the fuel dumps around Pearl and the airfield, and destroyed the ship repair facilities, the war would have taken a different course. Japan still had no chance at victory, and Roosevelt was not open to offers of a negotiated peace. The attack was a strategic blunder of the first magnitude. Yamamoto may or may not have said that “We have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a sense of terrible purpose,” but it is an apt description of the Pearl Harbor attack and of its effect on the American people. The nation had been divided on the war in Europe, and Roosevelt only won reelection in 1940 on a platform of “Not one American boy is going to die on foreign soil,” but once the nation had been attacked the American Way of War took command, and no Japanese offer of a negotiated peace with return of the Philippines and Japanese payment of reparations was possible.


This is from 2 December 2002. – the Editor


A Policy for America

We had panels at the LASCON that included a discussion of Republic vs. Empire. It’s astonishing how many of my old friends have become warhawks. And it may be that we have gone so far in marching the king’s men up the hill that we have to do something with them other than march back down again.

Deposing Saddam Hussein will be no great problem. What we do after that is something else again. We will have two clients, either of which we could use to defeat Iraq; alas, if we use one we really alienate the other. The Turkish Army isn’t going to appreciate an independent Kurdistan on Turkey’s southern border. The Kurds aren’t going to want to overthrow Saddam for us without the promise of independence — and won’t be happy if we use the Turks to do the job.

Meaning we may have to put an appreciable army over there because we don’t have clients we can rely on. After which we will have to govern. And governing a place with that much oil is going to be a difficult task, with great temptations, and splendid opportunities for corruption.

Rome’s republic began its sharp decline after the Second Punic War when Rome inherited Sicily and Sardinia, two rich provinces that were never intended to be incorporated into the Republic and thus never to have citizenship. This meant they were governed by officials appointed in Rome and responsible to Rome, not to the people they governed; and they were rich provinces, and the tax farming was good and lucrative and being governor was worth competing for and —

Meanwhile, the stern old Good Government types stood ready to prosecute any politician (of the opposite party) who had profited in any way from being part of the government. Many of the prosecutions were justified in that they were certainly violations of the laws, but at the same time the laws were stricter than the morality and ethics of the governing class, and enforcement was largely done on political motivations. Perhaps nothing of that sort can ever happen here.

Eventually popular political figures appealed directly to the people against the court systems. Some of those popular figures were military as well as civilian politicians. Perhaps nothing of that sort can ever happen here.

And perhaps it is not too hard to see the future.

What Must Be Done

People keep asking me what I would do were I in charge.

Ideally I would bring our troops home, shore up the Navy, tell the world “We are the friends of liberty everywhere, but the guardians only of our own,” and disentangle the United States from the disputes in Europe, the Balkans, Korea, the Middle East, and generally everywhere. At the same time I would take the money at present paid in subsidies to clients and allies and others — some $4 billion a year to Israel and more than $2 billion a year to Egypt, for a start — and put that into developing energy independence programs.

I would develop and deploy light water nuclear reactors on the grounds that the fuel is nearly free: we have at least 15,000 surplus warheads, each with 2 to 4 kilograms of 90% enriched fissionables (fuel grade is about 10% enriched) so the expensive part of making nuclear fuel is a sunk cost: we may as well get some good out of it, since we ought to get rid of those warheads anyway.  I would put money into X projects to develop cheap access to space: over the long haul, solar power from orbit and orbital industries can be environmentally benign while very economically effective, given only reasonably cheap access to space.

Regarding access to space: airlines operate at about 3 to 5 times fuel costs. It takes about the same amount of fuel to get a pound to orbit as it does to fly it to Australia from the US. Rockets are not really less efficient than jet engines (they have to carry their oxidants, but they experience far less drag over the course of their flight because they aren’t in the atmosphere very long). There is no reason why getting to orbit need be much more expensive than a first class ticket to Australia. (Of course that means savable and reusable space ships, not expendables.)

Given costs of that magnitude, solar power satellites become quite cost efficient — their major cost has all always been the cost of getting to orbit. Space industries including mining and fabrication on the Moon become feasible given airline levels of costs to orbit.

None of this is science fiction or even all that hard. There is no new science needed. There is engineering development needed, and some of it is tricky. Rocket engine designs are mostly engineering but there is also a bit of the black art to them in determining chamber flows and combustion stabilities and the like — but what that really means is you have to build things and fly them because we don’t have either the inputs or computing power to do  third decimal point accuracy simulations, and most of what is needed in rocket science is third decimal accuracy. (Example: A 700,000 pound Gross Liftoff Weight [GLOW] rocket will be 90% fuel and oxidant; of the remaining 70,000 pounds, about 90% will be structure and tankage and plumbing and shrouds and life support and reserve fuel and other stuff. The remaining 7,000 pounds is payload, but note that this is down in the 3rd decimal place, and there’s a real difference between a payload of 700 pounds and one of 15,000 pounds — and the best calculations we have can’t narrow it more than that, and some show that it won’t have a payload at all [won’t quite reach orbit]. You have to build and fly things to find out what payloads you will get, and how to nickel and dime those up by redesigning structures and making things lighter.)

This is what X programs are for, and we ought to have several of them going. Of course we don’t, and NASA doesn’t want any.

In any event, while I trust the American Military, understand that what the military is good at is breaking things and killing people. I trust our engineers more than our diplomats, and I think money invested in energy independence better spent than money invested in conquests — and healthier for the republic. Conquests feed imperial ambitions.

Not Ideal

We are not in an ideal situation, and there is considerable history, including not only 911 but our response to it, and the perceptions of others. We cannot look like fools. We must not make empty promises or threats.

So: were I in charge I would begin the campaign for new energy technologies and emphasize that new policy while beginning to stand down from adventures that make people hate us (as opposed to hating their neighbors).

I would make it clear that in future we will behave like a republic, not like the World Empire. We have some continuing obligations, but we will try in future to reduce those, not expand our entangling alliances and overseas commitments. We are the friends of liberty everywhere, but we are the guardians only of our own. Our people may be horrified at the way you live, but we will not send our soldiers to impose our ways on you.

I would tell the world that we will protect our citizens, and some of them will undoubtedly try to persuade you to live in ways you do not like. That is their affair so long as they don’t use force. You may forbid them entry to your lands, but if they come in peace you must let them leave in peace if you don’t like their examples or their missionary efforts. But so long as you do that, you may have your silly — even disgusting — customs and practices.

But whether I’d invade Iraq as a demonstration of our resolve I do not know. My foreign policy would be to make it very clear to the ruling class of every nation on Earth:  “If you harbor the enemies of the people of the United States and allow them to use your nation to plan and stage attacks on the American people, you will be replaced; your protests that those who follow you will be worse are uninteresting. We have the same message for them, too.”

The Afghan campaign was a beginning at propagating that salutary message. It may be that an Iraqi campaign will be needed to drive the point home. On the other hand, it may not be: we may also teach the lesson that “If you do comply with our wishes and make it clear that you neither want to nor can harm the people of the United States, we will leave you alone no matter how great a villain you are.” And that may be what the current Administration has in mind. I am certain Colin Powell believes it.

So there we are. But whatever we do about Iraq, it is criminal that we are not pouring out the funds needed to reduce our dependence on that part of the world. We have the technology for energy independence over, if not my lifetime, certainly over yours. Why don’t we start?

Thoughts on Education

Editor’s Note: Here is another ‘remembrance’ from Dr. Pournelle’s past posts, this one a short discussion of education from June 15, 2011, followed by his thoughts from December 2004. We leave it to Jerry’s readers to determine if things have improved since these writings.

We are allowing your comments below; as always, be respectful of other’s words and opinions. The Well-Wishing page is available for general remembrances, and you can use the Contact page to send us other thoughts.

Dr. Pournelle has published the The 1914 California Sixth Grade Reader, which includes classical stories and poems that every high school student studied in that era plus his commentary. We think it would be an excellent book for a student of any age. It was published in July, 2014, and is available in ebook (Kindle) form at the above link.

If you want to be notified when a new Remembrance is posted, use the “Subscribe to Notifications” area to the right (or below on smaller screens).


June 15, 2011

The local radio station is asking random high school kids questions like “Where is Pearl Harbor?” and “Who fought in the American Revolution?” and “What was the American Revolution about?” The answers they are getting are not encouraging. Spokespeople for the education profession are saying that this neglect of American history is due to the school district’s concentration on reading and math and science. I haven’t noted any evidence of learning about reading and math and science, but perhaps I missed it. Oh — one of the questions that many of the kids could not answer was “Who fought in the Civil War?” But apparently all of them knew that the Civil War was about slavery. So was the American Revolution.

Education is now an entitlement, not an investment. You are to pay taxes to support the education establishment because the kids are entitled to an education. This really means that you must pay their teachers and administrators and other education workers no matter what they teach, or if they teach anything at all. The alternate notion, that we pay for this enormously expensive — and steadily increasingly expensive — education system because it is an investment in the future, making for better citizens and a better educated work force — is clearly no longer put forward: look at the results? Now it is a useful thing for a Republic to have its citizens be familiar with the national saga, and have well a developed sense of patriotism, but it is also hard to see that this is the result of all the money poured into the education system. I could develop that theme further, but it’s so depressing that I need to work myself up to it.

One thing is clear: we would lose nothing by abolishing the Federal Department of Education. Zero it out of the budget. We are not getting any return on that investment, and I don’t see how the kids are entitled to Federal money. Let the States handle this. Most won’t do it well, but perhaps one or two will. What we have now isn’t doing anything we would rationally want. Some of the States will do it worse — although it’s hard to figure out what could be worse than a system that is indistinguishable from an act of war against America — but some won’t do as bad, and heck, some might do things well.

For those who don’t know what that last paragraph refers to, a National Commission on Education done under Reagan concluded, in the words of Glen T. Seaborg (although drafted by Mrs. Annette Kirk who was on the commission) that “If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would consider it an act of war.” That was when things were a lot better than now.

Our increasingly undereducated work force is precisely what we don’t need in these economic times. Not only is technical knowledge down, but the knowledge of the way the Republic works, the way the world works, which can only come from history, is becoming non-existent. An uneducated electorate is far more likely to vote for entitlements and benefits from the government — which is of course what the unionized education establishment wants. Individual teachers want to teach. Educating the young is a rewarding experience. But Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy sees to it that the establishment is controlled by different goals.

And it’s lunch time.


Here’s some more thoughts on education, from a past ‘View’ – the Editor


Wednesday, December 1, 2004

I have had this forwarded to me several times:

Subject: Dumbing down: the proof

Dr Pournelle,

Dumbing down: the proof

http://www.spectator.co.uk/article.php?id=5313&issue=2004-11-27 

[quote] As a service to Spectator readers who still have any doubts about the decline in educational standards, we are printing these exam papers taken by 11-year-olds applying for places to King Edward¹s School in Birmingham in 1898.[end quote]

Read them, and weep.

(When you get to the Arithmetic questions, remember that there were no pocket calculators then. And also bear in mind that in those days, British currency consisted of pounds, shillings and pence, where one pound equaled twenty shillings and one shilling equaled twelve pence. The conventional abbreviations were ‘£’ for pound, ‘s’ for shilling & ‘d’ for penny–which came from the original Latin names for the coins, as everyone knew of course.)

Jim Mangles

We have similar articles regarding schools in the United States at about the same era; I quickly concede that the British exam was tougher than the American one of the same era, assuming both are authentic — there is a bit of controversy about the bona fides of the American 1890 school exam. Still, from my own memories of schools in the 1930’s, the content in schools has been lessened and what students are expected to know has been lowered, and this by a very great deal.

One can plausibly make the case that in 1898 in the US only about 80% of the children went to public school past 4th or 5th grade; there were many who were kept home to work, and many people who were never “in the system” at all. In the British case the number who went to the “Public Schools” (which we would call private schools in the US) was about all of the upper and middle classes, but didn’t include many from the working classes.

It may be instructive to contemplate what we lose by insisting on egalitarianism, equal treatment, and “no child left behind.” I could make the case that a society that has 40% or more people able to pass such examinations might be better off than one with “no child left behind” and only a very small percentage of the population, student or adult, able to handle such questions.

Democracy always drives toward egalitarianism, and toward cutting off the heads of the tallest poppies: that, according to Cicero, is the trouble with democracy and the reason Rome couldn’t stand it. He had equally valid criticisms of Monarchy and Aristocracy and argued for the “mixed form” of government which he called a Republic that incorporated elements of all three forms. The Framers of the US Constitution were all familiar with that view and most of them seem to have been persuaded of its truth.

But that was 1787 and we are ever so much wiser today.

The first words in the old McGuffy Reader were “No man can put off the Law of God.”  The first words in the Soviet first reader (and one presumes the present one, perhaps) were “For the joys of our childhood we thank our native land.” The first words in the most popular primer in the US at the time when most of our teachers went to school were “See Spot run, said Jane. Run Spot, run.”

It is probably time that we in the US seriously decide whether we want egalitarianism or to be able to compete in the world market since our masters seem determined that we shall have universal free trade at whatever cost to jobs and trade deficits. It is highly unlikely that we can survive without bankruptcy given the education system we have now. It is hardly too early to start reforming it. It is also highly unlikely that we will do anything at all: our schools will probably continue to move toward credential factories in which all thought of what we used to know as education has not merely vanished, but is no longer a memory.


We invite you to leave any comments below; as always, be respectful of other’s views. – the Editor

Remembering Thanksgiving

Editor’s Note: I thought that Jerry’s readers might be interested in a Thanksgiving post from November 22, 2012. We wish all a happy Thanksgiving holiday, even to those that may not observe this tradition.

If you want to be notified when a new Remembrance is posted, use the “Subscribe to Notifications” area to the right (or below on smaller screens).


View 751 Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wishing you well on Thanksgiving Day.

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And despite the election we have much to be thankful for. God reigns and the government at Washington still lives. We endure.

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Part of my day was taken up with a vain attempt to make a good brown gravy from gluten free baking flour. There are many varieties of gluten free flour. The one I tried would not brown after considerable time in a fryng pan with Imperial margarine; then started to turn black. I got all that out of it and decided to try again, this time without an attempt to brown it. It ended up a mass of grey when, when I put the pater in, made for lumps. I got rid of the lumps with a blender, but the result tasted a bit like caramel; apparently gluten-free general purpose baking flour contains some kind of sweetener. After about an hour of this I threw the whole mess away.

We saved an appropriate amount of the turkey drippings for Roberta and I used Wonder flour to make a regular roué brown gravy, which the rest of us could eat. If anyone knows a good gluten free turkey gravy recipe I’d be grateful to have it.

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Alex and his wife Dana were over for Thanksgiving. The other kids are fine with their families. I seem to be recovering from a not too severe cold. Felt rotten yesterday but in the recovering feeling state today. Tomorrow I’ll go down to LOSCON, the LASFS proprietary convention down by the airport. I should be over being contagious by then.

And happy Thanksgiving Day.

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Just an idea, my grandmother used to brown flour for roux in the oven before she added it to the fat/oil. Of course it was regular flour, might work for gluten free, worth a try anyhow, just throw a layer of flour in a pie pan or something and toss it in the oven for awhile (I’d guess 350 degrees) and check it every once in awhile. Or if you want you could try browning it on the stove top, again just put the flour in a pan over a moderate heat, you might need to stir it from time to time.

I don’t know if cornstarch has gluten in it, but that can also be used as a thickener. Tapioca flour as well, but again, no idea on gluten content for those.

Hope that helps.

-p

Cornstarch thickens nicely but doesn’t brown and has no flavor. But if you make a gravy with lots of the juice from baking a turkey, and it comes out thin, then a teaspoon of cornstarch in a small amount of cold water added to the gravy will thicken it nicely. It will also make it a bit less salty if somehow you added too much salt anywhere along the line. It’s certainly gluten free. But alas it won’t brown.

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re: It’s Time For A New (Old) Kind Of University

I read the blog you referenced with interest. I noticed in it that the author stated that costs at some universities had increased at a rate of 3X inflation for the past 20 years.

I was laid up for a week of post-op recovery in a hotel far from home earlier this year and I became (extremely) bored. At one point I went online and researched the student handbooks from Georgia Tech (my alma mater – IE ’78)) and I plotted out the costs of tuition and fees from 1976 to 2010. I made normal adjustments for the switchover from quarters (which I thought were highly sensible) to semesters that the institution made in the 90’s. I also plotted the annual costs versus inflation across that period.

My findings were that annualized tuition/fee costs across that period actually have increased at 6X inflation. At the same time, they actually (it seems to me) cover less core ground in their engineering curriculums than they did in my day.

This can’t go on.

Happy Thanksgiving

John

And the number of administrators and staff has risen exponentially as well. As well as the number of new courses and departments, most of which do not seem to teach anything useful for getting a job or adding to the economy. And it continues unabated.

Eulogy – In Remembrance

 

As requested by many in attendance at his memorial service and wake

In Remembrance of Jerry Eugene Pournelle
7 August 1933–8 September 2017

As written and delivered by his daughter Jennifer Pournelle at
St. Vincent de Sales Church, Sherman Oaks, California, September 16, 2017

I have been asked today to say his eulogy. From the Greek, as he would tell us, meaning true words, spoken in praise of the dead. And as the eldest of his children, presumed by age to know the most about his life, that duty falls to me.

But how is it possible to write truth in praise of a master of fiction? How is it possible to eulogize a man who rose to public acclaim while I was mostly away? Away to school, away to the Army, away to university, away to build my own career?

I cannot say truth about the personality—the public figure, known far better to many of you here than to me. I can only do my best to say truth about the person; about the man. About what I know to be true about the son, the husband, the father, the grandfather—and the loyalist of friends, to those fortunate to know him as a friend.

I begin with what we all know of him: his insatiable intellectual appetite. His breadth of subject was literally encyclopedic: as a child, alone on the farm, his parents away working, he entertained himself by reading the Britannica from A to Z. That reading foreshadowed an essential, but surprisingly inobvious, core trait of his character: iron discipline. Not imposed on others, but imposed on himself. The chaos we all observed around him, immortalized in the household epithet “Chaos Manor,” was actually symptomatic: the result of him making everything—absolutely everything—secondary to being done.

He quite openly expressed this sense of discipline about his writing: writing, he often said, was work. It was not difficult: you merely sat in front of a typewriter until beads of blood popped out on your forehead. Yet he did it, time and again: dozens of novels and anthologies authored and co-authored—eight of them bestsellers. Hundreds of columns, delivered weekly, on time, over decades.

But both his joking aphorism and prodigious output belie the other disciplines that lay behind them. First, his disciplined reading. He read voraciously. He read everything, on every subject. His walls at home are literally lined with enough books to fill a small library—and those are only the ones he kept. Thousands more no doubt fill others’ shelves today, donated to book sales or simply given away. And that’s the books: the breadth of periodicals, online and in print, is staggering.

He read to inform himself, and especially to form and inform his own opinions. Which leads us to his second discipline: he was disciplined in debate. He was, at core, a son of the south: where he, and his father, and grandfather, and their and their fathers back unto the foundation of the southeastern colonies were born; where he was born. And southern men of his time believed that expression of intellect demanded mastery of a style of discourse that brooked no prisoners— because, there and then, when discourse failed, violence inevitably ensued.

So, by nature more than a little reclusive, he mastered that style. And honed it. That is, he believed in the art and craft of rhetoric. He held it as a duty to be able to stand tall, in a crowded forum, command attention, sway opinion, and silence opposition. And a good deal of that mastery he learned on the road, because he was incredibly disciplined in travel. By that I mean his endless circuit of lectures, interviews, conventions, book signings, and background research. Despite his being, at heart, a homebody. He loved nowhere better than behind his own desk, in his own office, in his own home—or, failing that, in the home of his closest friends and collaborators. He loved no food better than that cooked on his own stove, or, failing that, in the kitchens of a few local dineries.

So, the frenetic travel, the speaking tours, the holding forth in yet another venue: they were all, for him, service. Duty. Discipline. A requirement of his craft and trade.

And they were also a reflection of his generosity. He was a remarkably generous man: generous with his time, his money, his possessions, and his ideas. As a son, as a husband, as a father, as a friend, and as a member of his (many) communities.

He was generous as a son. He was a Great Depression baby and a World War II latchkey kid, which made him just old enough to leave and fight for his country in Korea. So he never really knew his mother: she was out working her fingers to the bone, struggling to keep the wolf from the door, while his father struggled to craft a depression-proof future in the (then) new commercial radio industry. So, he often felt estranged from his parents, especially from a mother he felt he never saw. Yet, after his own father’s death, and well before he had earned anything like assured prosperity, with his own young sons yet to raise, he took her into his own home, where she lived out her years reclaiming the childhood he missed with her love for his children.

He was generous as a husband. He adored his wife. He loved deeply, and passionately, and never anyone more than her. The parable of the widow’s alms teaches us the truest measure of generosity: when that of which you have the least, you give most freely. So by “generous,” here I do not mean with obvious things like, like gifts and jewelry and public events (though with those too). I mean that, although always awkward as a schoolboy in showing his feelings for her, he did his utmost with what he knew how to do: jokes, and puns, and praise, and respect, and walks, and stalwart support of her career, and four sons.

And especially—and this is most telling—by listening to her, and to her alone. Certainly not always. Probably not often enough. But I do not believe that any other human being on the planet had the capacity to tell him “no” and make it stick. Because of his generous love for her, he listened, and learned how to be a better father, and an outwardly more affectionate one. To say the words out loud. She taught him that the great light of a generous heart need not be hidden beneath a bushel. He listened, and let his generous light shine on her, and everyone around them.

It certainly shined on us, his children. He was generous as a father. OK, let’s start with the obvious. There was never a check he would not roll his eyes, groan, and write. School fees? Of course. Wrecked car? Harrumph. No problem. College expenses? Well, it’s your job to get the best deal you can. It’s my job to pick up the rest. Airplane tickets, tailored mess uniforms, personal sidearms? Here you go. Need a tool, a meal, a book, a computer, a printer, a place to sleep, a bottle of white-out? There’s one here somewhere in the house. Go find it. Help yourself.

But his real generosity was with imagination. He believed in space. He believed in adventure. He believed in deep truths in myth, and deep lessons in legend. He believed in science. He believed in nature. He believed in fun. And he combined them all. Road trips, hiking trips, shooting trips; flights of imagination; cooking (badly), reading (well), brainstorming plot lines, standing up to bluster, figuring out what you need to know, then figuring out who could tell you. He’d pick up a phone in a heartbeat if he thought he could marshal support or make a contact. He’d invite you to dinners across thresholds you’d never otherwise cross—and then always pick up the tab.

And when you finished what you started, or achieved what you’d aimed, or found success in your field, his outpouring of respect was spontaneous and generous—and never seeking to curry your favor. He told everyone else how proud he was; how much respect he had. He seldom told you. For you, he was generous with what he most valued: drive. Achievement. Finding your own way, and your own mind, and (if you wanted to learn them) any skill or opportunity he’d mastered that might be of use to you.

He was similarly generous as a friend and colleague. That is the generosity of which I personally know the least. But over the past three days alone, I have lost count of the number of people who have messaged me—a person they know barely, if at all—to relay their heartfelt gratitude for what he most willingly provided: opportunity. Access. Introductions. Praise for work completed. Respect for early accomplishment.

I can add to that his remarkable financial generosity to people and causes and community. To his church. To the arts, especially the Los Angeles Opera. To battered women’s shelters, and widows & orphans funds, and of course to the greater science fiction community.

Which brings me to a final reflection, shared by one of those among us who is as close as a family member: How was it that a man so liberal with all he had, was so staunchly conservative in his political philosophy? I believe, in my very genetic soul, that this stemmed from his true and deepest belief: that we are all required to rise above adversity, and succeed, and then be generous with our success. And in the true world of his writer’s mind, this was always possible, for he could always imagine a universe in which it could be. And so he wanted us all to rise to that challenge, and having risen, to succeed.

So, from this house of God, in my own father’s name I invite you to go live your own dream. He was more than happy if you wanted to join and share in his. But he was always happiest, and most respectful, when you went and lived your own. Chin up, and soldier on.