Mac Office users warning; Low Energy Nuclear; and other stories

Chaos Manor View, Monday, October 5, 2015


It’s bedtime. I’ve worked on Mamelukes and sort of tended to mail, but I’ve pretty well neglected this place. I’ll get back to it shortly, but I’m on a fiction roll just now.

There are a few things to notice.


LENR Status

Hello Jerry,

A presentation on the current LENR state of play by a PhD Physicist from my old department at NSWC Dahlgren:

Short, not much detail, but there is apparently growing evidence that there is really a ‘there’ there.

Of course I’ll be convinced when I can by one at Lowe’s to heat my house or a subset thereof (or as one outfit proposes, buy a car with a 30 kmile ‘LENR tank’), but in the meantime I continue to HOPE real hard.

Bob Ludwick

If there’s even a small chance of a 30,000 mile car – 30k on one filling – there are plenty of investors who will want to get in on it. And I note that the Office of Naval Research has never given up on LENR. And that most research centers are leery of press conferences; next time it won’t leave any doubts. But, as you say, the evidence that something is to be found piles up, and we can hope.


OS X El Capitan and MS Office 2011 / 2016

Dear Dr Pournelle,

A word of warning to your readers: If you use Office 2011 or OS 2016 on OS X Yosemite, you may wish to wait before upgrading to OS X El Capitan.

OS X El Capitan breaks Outlook 2011 and almost all of Office 2016. Just about everything refuses to start or crashes repeatedly. I have experienced problems myself and they are also well documented at

Microsoft is working on it, apparently.

Best wishes,

Simon Woodworth BSc MSc PhD.

Thank you.


Snowden Drama

This whole Snowden Affair looks more like a soap opera now; not that it changes anything revealed but the characters and activities are getting strange. I wonder if things aren’t so good in Moscow anymore?

Maybe his recent criticism of Russian policy wasn’t a good idea?


Edward Snowden says he has offered to return to the United States and go to jail for leaking details of National Security Agency programs to intercept electronic communications data on a vast scale.

The former NSA contractor flew to Moscow two years ago after revealing information about the previously secret eavesdropping powers, and faces U.S. charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.

Snowden told the BBC that he’d “volunteered to go to prison with the government many times,” but had not received a formal plea-deal offer.

He said that “so far they’ve said they won’t torture me, which is a start, I think. But we haven’t gotten much further than that.”


Normally, if you’re a guest in someone’s home you abide by their behavior and if you cannot bear it then you leave. You do not tell others how to live in their own home. Is this fallout from that?

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Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

There is some probability that rational decision is not the governing phenomenon here.


Tactics, strategy, and politics

This article is worth most people’s time. While I presume you have a keen grasp of the subject matter contained herein, a past contributor

— whose name escapes me at the moment — mentioned the difference between doctrine and weapons systems. If I were at my PC I run a Google search on your site and name the contributor because the point was apt. However, I’m on my mobile phone and lack the time to do it so I respectfully request allowances in this matter.

Having said that, this article touches upon that point in more detail and applies that point not only in the military sense but also stretches into its implication for the body politic. the article mentions essays and statements by other people commented on the matter and you may find it interesting even if you’re already abreast with the substance of the discussion.

@WarOnTheRocks: If one cannot tell the difference between task and purpose, how can one become a strategist?

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Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Actually, the necessity for doctrines is discussed in The Strategy of Technology by Stefan T. Possony, Jerry Pournelle, and Francis X. Kane. Of course most of the examples in that 1970 book are from the Cold War.


“These results demonstrate for the first time that, regardless of potential radiation effects on individual animals, the Chernobyl exclusion zone supports an abundant mammal community after nearly three decades of chronic radiation exposure.”


Hiroshima and Nagasaki support abundant bipedal mammal communities, too.

Kind of puts paid to the Union of Confused Scientists, doesn’t it?


Roland Dobbins

As opposed to coal mine tailings and other fossil fuel sites… With sufficient energy you can deal with any chemical wastes. And Chernobyl was a weapons reactor, not a power reactor; no positive void reactors can be licensed in the US; that’s fundamental atomic law, written into the Atomic Energy Act by Edward Teller.


‘Cyber banging’ drives new generation of gang violence


This is happening just south of you:

“Many of the people who were shot this summer seem like inexplicable targets, neither robbery victims nor gang-involved. “Somebody just drives to where the person is, walks up, shoots them, gets back in the car and drives off,” Harris-Dawson said.

“We’re used to people beefing in public,” he said. “Now the whole conflict is happening on social media. And all of us — interventionists, police, the community — are in over our heads on that.”

I’ve stayed off of social media for professional reasons, so I’ve missed all that. And really, this seems to be as much of a time-waster as television. “We’re dealing with a different generation and we’re going to have to evolve,”

Inevitable, wasn’t it?


Dear Dr. Pournelle, 

It appears that Russia is making a play to become the new international arbiter of the Middle East.

Foreign Policy’s correspondents are divided as to whether this blindsided the administration, or if this is the administration’s real plan for the Middle East — to abandon it to the Russians while we concentrate on our own domestic issues. 

Certainly the author of the piece believes the second is more likely, as Putin evidently did tell President Obama face-to-face that he was planning on escalating pressure on ISIS.  
The scope of the Pentagon’s Anti-ISIS training effort — all 60 recruits — does not project confidence in the effort.

Huffington Post suggests that there are other “black” operations under way in larger numbers
but, if so, they have neither been effective at containing ISIS or convincing the Russians of our seriousness. 
It seems that we are abandoning influence in a region we have considered of utmost importance since 1945. Regaining it will probably not happen without bloodshed. 

Brian P.






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



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