Intellectual Elites; More chaos; Bezos goes to space; Talk Like a Pirate Day

Chaos Manor View, Saturday, September 17, 2016

Revision and additions, Sunday, 18 September


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

James 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.


Immigration without assimilation is invasion.



Monday, September 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. There are a number of Perks.




If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been invisible, there’s been another acute rise in the level of chaos here, and my week was devoured by locusts. I won’t describe all of it. [ Sunday, 18 September, 1330]  It is beginning to resettle. We were able to go to our weekly brunch without incident.  I still cannot type a sentence without at least one error, generally from hitting two keys at once, but you can’t have everything.

Last Monday I went out to Kaiser, to the optometrist. It seemed to me that my glasses were getting much less effective, and since they hadn’t been renewed since before the stroke, it was time to get that done. My former optometrist, who had been the father of at least one of my Boy Scouts back when Niven and I used to take the Scouts up into the High Sierra – back in the days before cell phones and GPS for hikers – had retired, and this was a new chap. He had new equipment, too. The eye exam was much more thorough but shorter and more efficient.

When it ended, he said “You preferred the lenses you already have, in both eyes, eye at a time. You don’t need new glasses.”

He let that sink in a bit, and added, “You’ve got the same vision in your left eye that you had the last time you were here.”

I closed my right eye, and my vision improved slightly. I let that sink in. “You’re saying I don’t need new glasses, I need a new right eye. Or at least to have the cataracts removed from it.”

Of course that was what he’d been telling me. I’ve been avoiding this for years. I don’t dictate we’ll, and I doubt I could do much dictating. I told him that, and added that I understand everything is a lot easier and more successful now, and I have had friends get their cataracts fixed in an hour with no problems at all. “And since I don’t get much good out of my right eye anyway, might as well start with it, no?”

The upshot being that I have an ophthalmology appointment – two of them, actually – in the afternoon a week from next Monday. Whether I get the operation then or just another examination I don’t know. I know I can’t lose: I actually can read slightly better with an eye patch over my right eye than without the patch – but that message doesn’t seem to get across to whatever controls my emotions, so I continue to suppress terror. That used up part of the week including some of every day.

Then there have been some time demands from SFWA. I can think all right on almost any subject, but I don’t change subjects easily – after an interruption it takes time it focus on whatever interrupted me, then more to get focused on what I was doing – and my telephone number, although unlisted, seem to be in the hands of everyone I ever gave money to, and a lot of people I never heard of but think I might give them money, and they don’t much care when they call. It’s actually easier if they call during meals; I don’t have trouble getting focused on eating again.

The remedy to that is the Monk’s Cell, where I have an ASUS computer with an excellent keyboard for hunt and peck typists, but no telephone, and I can’t hear the doorbell. Alas, Roberta has been getting infusion therapy at home from some really competent Armenian and Philippine Registered Nurses, and I’ve had to be ready to let them in. Fortunately she’s done with that, and with luck we’re over her infection and returning to normal, so next week I may get some work done. We can hope so.


I would like to write an essay on this subject, but these two pieces say it pretty well. Both are old, and I’ve been saving them to cite, but I doubt that Ill get to it, so I call your attention to:

How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen

Those in power see people at the bottom as aliens whose bizarre emotions they must try to manage.


Peggy Noonan

Aug. 11, 2016 7:47 p.m. ET


This is about distance, and detachment, and a kind of historic decoupling between the top and the bottom in the West that did not, in more moderate recent times, exist.

Recently I spoke with an acquaintance of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and the conversation quickly turned, as conversations about Ms. Merkel now always do, to her decisions on immigration. Last summer when Europe was engulfed with increasing waves of migrants and refugees from Muslim countries, Ms. Merkel, moving unilaterally, announced that Germany would take in an astounding 800,000. Naturally this was taken as an invitation, and more than a million came. The result has been widespread public furor over crime, cultural dissimilation and fears of terrorism. From such a sturdy, grounded character as Ms. Merkel the decision was puzzling—uncharacteristically romantic about people, how they live their lives, and history itself, which is more charnel house than settlement house. [snip]

Her entire essay is worth your time, and helps explain the crisis in America as well as Germany.

Then comes a site I do not know, but this article is in the theme and is worth your reading:

Guanabara Knocking

Porter / August 14, 2016

A couple of years ago I was touring an American corporate campus when my perky docent said something odd:

In the East Building we have HR and the cafeteria on the first floor, the second floor is Brazil, and on the third is accounting…

Wait, what do you mean by ‘Brazil’ on the second?

Oh, all the work on the second floor is off-shored to Brazil. I’m honestly not even sure what they do.

What is directly in my field of vision has been off-shored to Brazil? I think most people have a familiar facial countenance that emerges when it suddenly occurs they are speaking to a lunatic. With this expression probably unmistakable, I conceded my skepticism that the ‘off-shoring’ initiative had been flawlessly executed.

Chuckling in response, my escort explained that ‘Brazil’ meant the people not the place (was this a Kakistocracy reader?) and that the entire floor was occupied strictly by that country’s nationals. Whether they were imported en masse by a contractor or materialized as the result of focused internal hiring is a matter I didn’t pursue. [snip]

I have a good bit more to say about H-1B Visas – they are sometimes a good idea, particularly for recent graduates already in the United States and seeking to stay here. I do not believe there ought to be a green card stapled to every technical degree, but there are some subjects that ought automatically to rate a green card on graduation with honors. But the article is worth reading, and you may enjoy the comments.

We have reached the point where the elites simply do not interact with most of the populace. Charles Murray saw this coming many years ago, but the intellectuals were so consumed with denouncing The Bell Curve without reading it – literally; I was present as a reporter at a AAAS session hastily put together to “discuss” The Bell Curve, and the session leader proudly announced he had not read and would not read the book – to pay any attention to its conclusions, or those of any other book Dr. Murray might write. This is the essence of the modern intellectual: some truths simply cannot be questioned, while others must not be stated, else you are no true scientist or intellectual.


websites and video


I find auto run video on websites annoying. I can’t believe I’m that much different than most people. Why would web designers think that immediately playing video as soon as you reach their page would be effective? I used to use flash blockers to give me a play button, but now the websites are using JavaScript.

I find the written word much more effective at transferring information than video. Video is great for a demonstration of what you’re reading about, but to me that’s all.

Using Pocket to download just the text for later viewing helps with most sites, but not all.

I don’t know if you would recognize silicon valley anymore. People wandering around everywhere stepping into intersections with their heads buried in smart phones just assuming no one will hit them. Many people ridding bicycles in the middle of traffic inches from sudden death from a collision with an automobile. The political movement is to make bikes the equal of cars.

We are invaded not only with illegal immigrants, but with legal ones from all over the world who are not assimilated. There is no melting going on. They are bringing their little European countries with them, or Indian, or the pacific rim.





Bezos in space

As Blue Origin moves toward its goal of having “millions of people living and working in space,” the company has launched and landed the same rocket four times in a row, an unprecedented feat aimed at ultimately lowering the cost of space travel. By 2018, it plans to soon fly tourists on short jaunts past the edge of space in capsules designed with large windows. And earlier this week, Bezos announced plans to fly a new massive rocket, capable of getting to orbit, by the end of the decade.

See also

Then there is:

“I know how to get the U.S. permanently into space. Write me a check for a billion dollars, give me a letter of credit for a second billion I probably won’t have to spend, and get out of the way. I’ll take the money and vanish into the Mojave desert, China Lake for preference, Edwards Air Force Base if I must; and in about four years I’ll have a Single Stage to Orbit savable as well as recoverable and reusable spacecraft capable of putting about ten thousand pounds into orbit at costs of about five times the cost of the fuel the flight takes.”

This quote from sci-fi author and aerospace industry veteran Jerry Pournelle dates to the early days of what would later become the DC-X. Pournelle was one of many space enthusiasts actively lobbying for a small SSTO project with minimal organizational oversight. As seen in Part 2, the DC-X project found it’s ‘Skunk Works’ home in the Strategic Defence Initiative Organisation (SDIO), but Pournelle’s words turned out to be prophetic – they would just take a while to happen and the innovators behind these projects would be able to write their own billion dollar cheques…

The quote is from my Step Farther Out, which is being revised and updated by scholars on the Isle of Mann.



Why is the Navy’s largest shipbuilder looking for a subcontractor in China?

Robert K. Kawaratani

I do not know, but it might be worth finding out.


Robots will eliminate 6% of all US jobs by 2021, report says | Technology | The Guardian

I envision a future where fast food joints initially shrink to 3 employees and we all place our orders on our phones. Eventually said joints have no employees; just contracted delivery and cleaning services (which are also mostly robotic.)

Its not just entry level jobs going away though. Just as manufacturing jobs started being lost to automation 20 years ago (and never came back) now we see that  services jobs are next.

“By 2021, robots will have eliminated 6% of all jobs in the US, starting with customer service representatives and eventually truck and taxi drivers. That’s just one cheery takeaway from a report released by market research company Forrester this week.

These robots, or intelligent agents, represent a set of AI-powered systems that can understand human behavior and make decisions on our behalf. “

“These robots can be helpful for companies looking to cut costs, but not so good if you’re an employee working in a simple-to-automate field.”

John Harlow

I remain convinced that before 2024, 50% of those presently employed will be working at jobs that can be done by a robot costing no more than a year’s salary of the present jobholder. The robot will have a useful life of at least ten years, and 20 of them can be supervised by one human.


What choice but to cherrypick?

Dear Dr. Pournelle:
One of your correspondents chastised you for quoting Galatians 3:28 as an example of universalism. He pointed to neighboring verses as proving that the passage is not universalistic, exactly; really it’s tribalism for a new, bigger tribe. I agree that this is the normal course of universalism. It turns out that universal principles are as politically manipulable as tribal identity.
Your correspondent went on to mock “that favorite pass time of using the Bible to justify their personal positions”. There, I think, he went too far. Opportunistic cherry-picking of scripture is as normal as tribalized universalism, or cut-and-paste tribalism.
And why not? What alternative is there to cherry-picking? Original intent? That’s a fine theory; but in practice originalism tends to be about the original interpretations of the originalist rather than the original intent of the author.
And in the case of the New Testament, who is that original author? There are two theories: documentarian and revelatory. According to the documentary hypothesis, the New Testament was written by a committee of 2nd century Hellenized Jews. According to the revelatory hypothesis, the New Testament is the Word of God, an immortal being of infinite wisdom. Both hypotheses are troublesome for the originalist.
For if the documentary hypothesis is true, then the originalist must try to know the mind of someone from 1900 years ago. This is possible but difficult, for we know little about people from that long ago. Worse, gaining such a perspective would be of limited value to us; for they knew even less about us than we do about them.
And if the revelatory hypothesis is true, then knowing the mind of the Author would be valuable – indeed, _infinitely_ valuable – but for that very reason it would be impossible. What chance have you or I to read the mind of God? Even to claim to know infinite wisdom is folly. I know better than that; and no doubt you do too.
So the scriptural originalist must either work hard for limited value, or pine after limitless value in vain. In neither case is originalism worth the effort. Whereas opportunistic cherry-picking is simple, easy, useful and open to all. That is why cherry-picking prevails.
So scripture presents itself as a message, but in practice it is a medium. It’s a language, not a statement; you can say whatever you want to in its terms. There’s a verse for war and a verse for peace; a verse to build up and a verse to break down; a verse to laugh and a verse to weep; a verse to cast away stone and a verse to gather stones together. Scripture is more like a piano than a tune; the sound it makes depends upon the skill and intent of the player.
That too is normal. Holy texts naturally evolve towards interpretational flexibility. They survive by justifying the personal positions of the believer.
Nathaniel Hellerstein

Sacred Texts, like miracles, fall outside the domain of science, and require different standards of debate.


sideways, sort of?
Dr. Pournelle,
XKCD is getting a lot of praise from the global warming crowd for an earth temperature chart, and it is quite well drawn as well as humorous to the normal standard.
To me, drawing a hockey stick with the x and y vertices transposed doesn’t make the chart any more factual than if presented in, say, a power point slide show by a political has been. It doesn’t credit any of the data, the model, or the prediction, and doesn’t plot any atmospheric pollution or other factor. It doesn’t validate the concept of a value for a world temperature. It also misses out on including several contrarian historical observations. It fails to point out the logical impossibility between the claimed cause-and-effect and the never specifies the types of drastic and immediate action to correct the perceived problem (if it indeed represents reality, then the chart is still a Trek-style Kobayashi Maru — a lost cause, with no James Kirk, or even a Gene Roddenberry in view to game the system).
Of course, I am an ignorant and probably micro-aggressive and uncultured denier for actually writing this, and will probably be interned for re-education shortly, if the guillotine is to be avoided.
For me, Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy were the best anti-group-think writers on the “denier” side of literature. I hope there are others out there: XKCD’s style of satire is pretty effective but terribly misguided.

Modern science need not explain data, but it does have to adjust the data until it is explicable. Why that is better than the old scientific method taught is school – “If you can’t tell someone how to repeat your experiment it isn’t science” – is not clear to me. I studied Philosophy of Science under Gustav Bergmann many years ago, and perhaps was contaminated with the Weiner Kreiss philosophy, but I hope I have recovered; and I was also taught that with three parameters of adjustment I could explain anything. Apparently modern intellectuals know more, now, but they keep it well hidden from me.


Russia may rise to super power status again following US deal over Syria | The Independent

Not the path we expected, but perhaps the start of he CoDominion?


Please excuse brevity. Typed with one finger on a sheet of glass.=

It may yet be.


Illegal Immigration

I wrote the following several years ago. I work in an industry that is directly impacted by illegals. I’m a master cabinetmaker. I used to live in the Baltimore, MD area (Pikesville)…and left in December of 2014 after I couldn’t find work. Here’s a link to a post from 2011 (not looking for click bait as I’m going to include my proposal to end illegal immigration here).
There is constant argument on how to eliminate the huge problem we have with illegal immigrants in this country. This post stems from a comment on made on a Daily Caller article. You want to end illegal immigration? There are five simple steps to do so:
1. One year manadatory jail term and $10,000.00 fine for each illegal worker who is found in your employment.
2. Revoke business license for 1 year for each illegal worker who is found in your employ
3. On third violation…seize all property owned by that company…
4. Eliminate the “anchor baby” citizenship loophole…by stating that those children born to parents who are here illegally do not have citizenship.
5. Eliminate ALL federal funding to municipalities and counties that are “sanctuary” areas. (If you don’t wish to enforce federal laws…then you don’t get federal dollars.).
Those five simple steps would eliminate any and all incentives for hiring illegal workers.
I firmly believe that if our nation did the above…jobs for illegals would dry up over night (well nearly so)…because the cost of hiring illegals would be far higher than most business would be willing to pay.
Just my 2 cents.
Rich Vail


A Description of a Hillary Clinton Presidency

Dear Jerry,

Russian language media columnists – in Russia – are now analogizing Hillary Clinton to Leonid Brezhnev. What they mean by this is:
a) a sclerotic and rapidly aging person who is steadily sliding into dementia;
b) while presiding over a reactionary regime of careerist mediocrities ruling over a stagnated and failing political economy and society.
I think this is an extremely accurate preview of a Hillary Clinton Presidency, should one occur.  
Best Wishes,


Debunking more Darwinian myths

Dear Jerry:

Yesterday (9/11) you posted a link to Fred’s discourse on evolution.

Coincidentally I have been reading and laughing my way through Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech” and thought some of your readers might be interested in what that book has to say. Here’s my review:

Darwinism is an easy target for ridicule. It is a pretentious faith whose doctrines claim that it answers all questions about how life arose from a few damp chemicals and arrived eventually at me writing and you reading this review on incredibly complex electronic devices.

There is remarkable little evidence to support Darwinism’s claims.

The faith conflicts with the geological record, fails to account for the origin of life, and cannot explain the origin of information stored in our DNA. Most importantly, Darwinism cannot account for the origin of the many traits that distinguish man from other animals.

Many Darwinists, in despair of ever answering the challenges to their faith coming from discoveries in molecular biology, have fallen back to spouting vehement invective. Others bring lawsuits to prevent discussion and teaching about the failures of Darwinism. Still others engage in the politics of personal destruction in hopes of silencing those scientists who try to publish scientific results that conflict with the Darwinist faith.

These failures are sometimes recognized by prominent Darwinists. Most famous, perhaps, is the late Stephen Jay Gould. He compared Darwinian explanations to Kipling’s just-so stories. Wolfe explores that branch of critical thinking along with many others.

Is it worthwhile to read yet another book deconstructing Darwinian myths? In this case, yes. Tom Wolfe adds to the rich literature debunking Darwinism by examining Darwinist explanations of the origin of human speech.

Wolfe starts at the dawn of the Darwinian Age when world-renowned linguist Max Muller pointed out that Darwinism had no explanation for human language. Muller was arrogant and joyfully sarcastic, so he enjoyed ridiculing the origin stories invented by Darwinists. Many others through the years have continued this tradition. Wolfe ultimately arrives at a recent paper by world-renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, et. al. in which today’s most distinguished linguists conclude that 150 years of research have provided no Darwinian explanation for the origin of language.

Along the way Wolfe tells engaging, frightening, and very funny stories about scientific presumptions being overturned by individuals who actually go out into the field to gather evidence concerning those presumptions. Those who stay home at their desks and merely think about how things “must have happened” simply cannot compete in the realm of ideas.

I fault the book for lacking a table of contents and an index. Such features are vital for those of us who want to return to useful parts of the book. I also think the price of $16.25 was rather high for so few pages with so little text on each page. Then again, I am reminded that Saint Thomas Aquinas followed the reasoning of Saint Augustine and Albert us Magnus. He concluded that a just price is determined by the buyer’s willingness to pay as well as by the seller’s reluctance to sell. Readers are more willing to pay more for a Tom Wolfe essay than for one written by someone of lesser talent. At any rate, I note that Amazon has already reduced the price by 65 cents since I bought it 10 days ago, reflecting either Amazon’s recognition of buyers’

reluctance or their desire for greater sales.

Other enjoyable books deconstructing Darwinian myths about what it means to be human include G. K. Chesterton’s “The Everlasting Man”

and David Stove’s “Darwinian Fairytales”. Both are available, of course, from Amazon.

Best regards,

–Harry M.



Dr. Pournelle,
You’ve had as a banner on your blog the sentence “Migration without assimilation is invasion.” Just FYI, I mentioned the blog and the quote to an acquaintance who is of the Tohono Oldham nation. He agreed completely, and asked if Trump wins, when would I be deported to Ireland?
Considering how the EU is recently dictating Irish tax law, I told him I might just insist on Scotland as an alternative.


Dr. Pournelle,
I’m no longer wasting unrecoverable life time apologizing for failed spell checker auto-correction in my outbound messages and text, but I must attempt to correct an apparent example of same in a previous contact message which you printed on 17 September 2016. The Native American name of the Southern Arizona tribe I mentioned is Anglicized as Tohono O’odham, not “Oldham,” as I apparently sent.
Of possible interest, as with a few other “tribal” areas, the “reservation” for the Tohono O’odham actually is split by the U.S. border with Mexico. Perhaps remarkably, neither the Nation nor the U.S. Border Patrol report any significant illegal cross border traffic within the borders of the Nation: little such traffic occurs on the reservation, whose residents, I am told, transit the international border freely within the borders of the reservation. Long-time, non-native residents with adjoining ranch property on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border can no longer transit on their own property, even where it is un-fenced, and many have stopped using the land on one or the other sides. If verified, I’m curious to find out why this might be true. What might the Native Americans be doing differently than the U.S. government to control undesired smuggling and human trafficking?


Sunday,18 September

Noonan,Globalization, Detachment, Dehumanization

I am not sure if you read LTC Grossman’s work On Killing. I learned about the Stanford University Prison Experiments and the Milgram Obedience Experiments through him — I’ve since acquired several of Milgrams books.

LTC Grossman theorized that several factors allowed the United States Army to increase the rate at which soldiers would kill. These factors included, but were not limited to, group absolution, demands of authority, symbols of authority, and certain forms of distance e.g.

physical, social, cultural, mechanical. The further away or the more obscured a person is, the easier it is to deny their humanity and kill them according to Grossman’s framework. They are not people, they are “the enemy”. This is not a person, this is “the patient”. Or, this is not a citizen, this is an “emotional cripple” and not worthy of living since we’re better than him or her.

As Mister Lapham put it in the documentary/musical The American Ruling Class — standing outside the doors to the Council on Foreign Relations — and I’ll paraphrase but use quotation marks for ease of

reading: “many of the people inside these doors would not consider you fully human unless you make 250,000 per year.” I believe dehumanizing citizens has grave consequences, especially when this is done by a ruling class that….well…Teddy Roosevelt said it better than me:

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

But, what if I’m part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against someone or other? Let’s look to the left:

“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” ― Woodrow Wilson

And then we have Eisenhower’s farewell speech, which I am confident you’re familiar with and need no reminder. I’ve studied this all my life and that’s not an exaggeration. I noticed something was very wrong before I was a teenager and I looked and found a few things and kept digging. I suppose I thought I was going to save the world or something, somehow, but now I’m older and I realize that Americans have no effect on policy according to the Princeton study I forwarded to you previously.

I realize a small group of 240 corporations and less than 20 banks — essentially — “control” the world economy, according to a scholarly paper “The Global Network of Corporate Control” by some Swiss researchers. This was in Forbes Magazine and I got the article from Cornell University after reading about it in Forbes:

So, now what? Well, my plan was to talk about it and everyone would wake up and things would change. That hasn’t happened and I decided to skip the whole idealism, frustration, despondency — or worse radicalization — disease Johnson outlined. I’m not sure where we go from here but I know one thing, I remain, and I will press on with the faith that others have lived through similar circumstances. Maybe one of our overlords will take pity on me and pull me out of the slime or maybe I’ll remain here with the hostages. This is what it means to be human.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

It is not always true that elections have no effect. Gingrich with the Contract with America had a profound effect. Alas, his personal behavior resulted in the Old Establishment retaking control. We once had balanced budgets, and were paying down the Debt, in a coalition of Mr. Gingrich and President Bill Clinton. That ended when Mr. Gingrich departed as Speaker and the Establishment regained and reconsolidated control.




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



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