Chaos Manor Mail Sunday June 26, 2011

Chaos Manor Mail Sunday June 26, 2011

 

New Format

 

Jerry,

 

The new format works very well for me. Reading on my iPad in Landscape, the new format is easier for me to read because the length of the lines is shorter and easier to read by just scanning down.

 

I am looking forward to seeing how the new format looks with Chaos Manor Reviews.

 

Keep up the good work. Your Site is loaded with INFORMATION CRITIAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF OUR REPUBLIC!

 

The View From Chaos Manor and Mail should be required reading for EVERY member of Congress.

 

Bob Holmes

Sent from my iPad=

 


I will keep trying. Mail will probably undergo a lot of changes over time. Thanks for the kind words. In particular I need to work on backgrounds and colors, neither of which I find as satisfactory as I did in the old system.

 

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Suggestion for the new format

 

Message Body:

 

I think you might be better served to stop thinking of your “blog” as a “daybook”. Sticking strictly to a (nearly) everyday post of mail and views isn’t necessary.

 

Instead, just post reader mail as it comes in along with your own comment – each in a separate post. I would think this would be simpler for you, too, by eliminating the compilation step.

 

Then, just intersperse your own view posts as your feel the need. They don’t have to come every day… just when you feel motivated and have the time.

 

The other key benefits to this is: 1) readers can reference and link to a specific reader e-mail since it will be in it’s own post, 2) moving to a user comment section would be easier so that comments could focus on a single topic, 3) finding the post that you last read would be easier.

 

Here’s an example of a blog that uses this style and I think fits what you’re trying to do:

 

http://apocalypsecometh.wordpress.com/

 

Hope this helps! Thanks for all of your work!

 

Thanks for the suggestions, but in fact the present system feels right to me. I want to make it easy to determine the difference between Mail and View, and what’s my contribution and what is comment on someone else’s stuff. But I am open to suggestion and discussion here. Probably not today. Today was a bit exhausting.

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The new Mail format

 

Jerry

 

I’m sure you have many many items to work on, but I’ll add this: when a user sets the normal font size in Firefox to 24, your comments expand to a reasonable size, but the mail does not.

 

I don’t know why this is happening, but I have to change my Firefox settings when I go to this new site.

 

Ed

 

I don’t know what causes that. It’s an item to add to the list to work on. Thanks.

 

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Navy Plans to Scrap First Experimental Stealth Ship

 

Check this out; an adventurous photographer accidentally found the Sea Shadow in the Mothball Fleet. http://scotthaefner.com/beyond/mothball-fleet-ghost-ships/

 

-Jay

 

Entropy runs fast with boats…

 

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Using the front sight!

 

Jerry,

 

I just saw video on FOX news from Libya. The rebels have stopped firing into the air. While most are still firing from the hip using the spray and prey method of gun fighting, a few are actually putting the butt stock to their shoulder and may be using the sites. It is fortunate for them that I’m going under the knife for a new pacemaker Monday. They’d be up shit creek without a paddle if Someone such as myself was there with a .50 BMG Barrett with a couple dozen cases of ammo. It would be like hunting sage rats.

 

Jim Crawford

 

Possibly an explanation for why Qadafi is rumored to be seeking a negotiated way out. He wants to stay rich and out of jail. We want him out. Rich is a relative term, but given what we are spending, a week’s worth of war is a lot of money, and although it’s not oil sovereign rich, one could live on that quite well – it beats a Dutch prison.

 

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Decline

 

“In 2008, historian David McCullough http://photoncourier.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html#7108192311108519448 spoke to seminar of some twenty-five students at an Ivy League college, all seniors majoring in history, all honors students. “How many of you know who George Marshall was?” he asked. None did.”

 

 

http://pajamasmedia.com/eddriscoll/

 

Steve Chu

 

Decline of the West. Actually, isn’t Decadence a proper term? Barzun’s Dawn to Decadence is a big book, long, not hard to read but it does take slow reading to understand. The West had a good run. We’ll see what happens.

 

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Compare and contrast

 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/bronstein/detail?entry_id=91589

 

http://news.scotsman.com/news/Scottish-couple-thrown-in-Texas.6789097.jp

 

Steve Chu

 

Which may be illustrative of the previous point. Thanks.

 

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VIEW Sunday June 26, 2011

View June 26, 2011 0300

Corpus Christi

 

 

Second Day of New System

 

At the moment the WordPress system seems to be working but mail to jerryp@jerrypournelle.com is not getting to me. It will by the end of the day. It is very late and past my bed time. UPDATE: mail problems are fixed and all is well. Read on.

 

It is my intention to keep this open all day and add to or revise it from time to time so you should renew this if you look at it after an interval. I will have a new item for each day, but not multiple files per day. I add to the day book as needed.

 

Contempt of Cop

Coast to Coast tonight is on the contempt of cop arrest of the woman in Rochester who was videotaping the police and got arrested for it. Interesting discussions, but I am not sure much new has emerged. Any officer who thinks he can prevent people from making videos of his actions will regret thinking that if he believes that will cover up any bad procedures. Electronics are too good and too small and lenses are too good. I can understand a policeman resenting citizens making videos of their actions, but that is probably a mistake given the ubiquity of recording cameras. Police had best get in the habit of acting as if they are on stage at all times.

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And off to bed, it being very late.

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1630 Sunday After Adventures

 

We are in the process of moving to BlueHost after years of smooth and efficient service from Brian and Greg at zidane.mazin. Rick has been doing most of the work. Last night we moved the mail. This morning it was panic time. For reasons I won’t go into, essentially no mail sent to jerryp@jerrypournelle.com, my main mail address, got to me after midnight and before about 1345 this afternoon. That looked to be time for panic, particularly since there were trickles of mail to other addresses I own, one of which ought not to be getting mail. Eventually we got it all figured out, and in a good sized flood a pile came in, much of it commentary on the new site. That will make up most of today’s mail, which I will form up after I get this logbook updated and sent off.

The moral of the story is, as one might suspect, Don’t Panic. Be Logical. I used to tell my technicians and instruct the junior engineers in what I called ‘the relentless application of logic.’ That doesn’t always work in the electronics age – sometimes I think these things really do have minds of their own, and thus we are in the situation of a military commander in which no battle plan survives contact with the enemy – but in fact it almost always does work. See what works and try something beyond that. In the OR business it was the process of making as good a model as you could that would describe what you have, then take excursions from it. If those look reasonable, try physical excursions to test the model. And so forth. Bit harder to do when your model is the climate of the Earth, of course.

Anyway, mail now works. If you sent mail to me I got it. I mostly got it all at once when we solved the problem, but it wasn’t eaten, and I have reviewed most of it. I’ll get to the rest tonight or tomorrow. It’s all here.

 

The World Goes On

 

There is more happening in the world than my transition, but alas, the part of the universe I am aware of has been restricted to getting email working properly. Khaddaffi is said to be trying to negotiate a way out of Libya that doesn’t involve going to some kind of international prison forever. How much is it worth to keep him locked up? Not sure where he would go. Idi Amin fled to Libya, then the Saudis accepted him and even paid for fairly luxurious upkeep so long as he stayed out of politics. He didn’t exactly grow old gracefully, but he certainly lived better than he would have in an Dutch or Belgian jail.

Sun Tzu says that one ought to build golden bridges for one’s enemies, but Sun Tzu is concerned with strategy and victory, not morality and revenge. In any event, the question is, how much is it worth to whom, and who will pay, to get Qadafi out? I suspect that the cost of getting him out of Libya is less than we spend in a week of breaking things and killing people.

I’ll come up for air tomorrow. For today, the relief is tangible: we have View, we have Mail, and we have email. Life approaches normal again. And I’m feeling a lot better today than I did at any time last week. Time to get some work done. Thanks for the patience.

 

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CHAOS MANOR MAIL June 25, 2011

Chaos Manor Mail June 25, 2011 NEW MAIL

 

 

We have yet to work out the format of Mail under the new system. Should I attempt to put up a new entry every time I add mail, which I sometimes do several times a day, or should I try to revise each day’s entry? It is pretty certain that each day will be a separate blog entry due to the nature of the process. It is also pretty certain that each entry will have several mail items. I am making each mail subject a “heading” meaning that one ought to be able to see links to them.

 

I need to figure out how to make a template for mail. I have tried the usual method, but it has one effect: when I make a “header” of a format then it takes the coloration out of the hyperlinks. The links are there apparently but they don’t show as links. I am sure I will figure it all out.

 

I have offers of help including by phone from a number of readers. I may take a couple of you up on that once things are going since I am going to need to build templates, particularly for MAIL which has to be done largely by cut and paste, and which I much prefer to keep as nearly unchanged as possible. But I have got this page done and we will see how it looks.

 

Additional: I have published this, then saw a correction, corrected it on the Word version here on my computer, published it again, and it overwrote the old. I am now going to add an item to the bottom and reference it in the headers, and see if that works. If so this is going to be just like the old stuff and I will do this daily.

 

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Getting ready for the next big solar storm

Jerry,

You have probably received this from a variety of sources, but if not, it is well worth posting for your readers.

 

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/22jun_swef2011/

 

 

June 21, 2011: In Sept. 1859, on the eve of a below-average1 solar cycle, the sun unleashed one of the most powerful storms in centuries. The underlying flare was so unusual, researchers still aren’t sure how to categorize it. The blast peppered Earth with the most energetic protons in half-a-millennium, induced electrical currents that set telegraph offices on fire, and sparked Northern Lights over Cuba and Hawaii.

 

This week, officials have gathered at the National Press Club in Washington DC to ask themselves a simple question: What if it happens again? <snip>

 

 

Gordon Foreman

 

And we are, of course, overdue for the kind of enormous solar event that happened in the 19th Century, and which, so far as we can tell from observations of aurora events at far southern locations such as Alexandria, have been happening at about one per century since classical times. We dealt with this earlier but I don’t have the link handy.

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Woman arrested in Rochester for recording a police traffic stop –

    

“Here is another that one hopes cannot possibly be true.”

 

Sorry, this one looks very true. I have heard of this happening before, in many different venues. The link posted on your site was deleted. Apparently local markets had the clip deleted. A print media link was still there. YouTube had the clip in several spots and will likely keep the information available now.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/22/emily-good-arrested-videotaping-police-rochester_n_882122.html

 

Huffingtonpost picked up on the matter and has some commentary upon telling the story.

Interestingly, the police did a bit of revenge harassment just after this incident, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxHPW-l88f0&feature=related.

 

A bit of color on the matters prior to this one. apparently the woman doing the taping was involved in this protest. http://dailybail.com/home/rochester-ny-sends-25-policecars-and-the-swat-team-to-evict.html .

 

Things are not well with the police and community in Rochester, NY.

 

R,

Rose

 

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Hot Fudge Monday:

 

Hot Fudge Sundae … narrowly avoids becoming Hot Fudge Monday this week:

 

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/25/asteroid-to-give-earth-close-shave-monday/?test=faces

 

<snip>

 

The asteroid will make its closest approach at 9:26 a.m. EDT (1326 GMT) on June 27 and will pass just over 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface, NASA <http://www.foxnews.com/topics/space/nasa.htm#r_src=ramp> officials say. At that particular moment, the asteroid — which scientists have named 2011 MD — will be sailing high off the coast of Antarctica, almost 2,000 miles (3,218 km) south-southwest of South Africa <http://www.foxnews.com/topics/south-africa.htm#r_src=ramp> .

 

Asteroid 2011 MD was discovered Wednesday (June 22) by LINEAR, a pair of robotic telescopes in New Mexico <http://www.foxnews.com/topics/mexico.htm#r_src=ramp> that scan the skies for near-Earth asteroids <http://www.space.com/11802-nasa-asteroid-mission-dangerous-1999-rq36.html> . The best estimates suggest that this asteroid is between 29 to 98 feet (9 to 30 meters) wide.<snip>

 

After making its closest pass to Earth, the asteroid will zoom through the zone of geosynchronous satellites. The chance of a collision with a satellite or piece of space junk is exceedingly remote.<snip>

 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/25/asteroid-to-give-earth-close-shave-monday/#ixzz1QI3oAWdF

 

Jim

 

Well, it missed.

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The End of Retirement

 

I know this won’t apply to you. But, this may apply to other readers:


http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/retirement-know-dead-europacific-pento-175638657.html

 

I remember talking with my real estate tycoon friend in Chiang Mai in

2002 about the coming crash in real estate. This is the most succinct way of pointing out what some of the men in the room already knew. I don’t know how much clearer I can present it than the author of this article did. If you read it and understand it then it means that certain of us are doomed.

 

If you are retired now, you have it good. It will be worse for most people in my generation when we reach your age. Hopefully, it will be worst for the Boomers and hopefully much better for us who planned and did not laugh at facts and did not call the messengers “conspiracy theorists”.

——–

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

 

Well, some can always do as the Greeks have done, and riot to make the government pay their pensions. I note that one of the causes of the end of the Roman Republic was inability to pay pensions – that is give small farms – to retired Legionnaires who had spent their lives in the Army and had no way to make a living and support families. Military pay and pensions was a main concern for aspiring leaders, but when there wasn’t enough money to support them, leaders came forth who promised that they would.

 

Of course that can’t happen here. And while the public might support the pensions of troopers and cops, the notion of working and paying taxes to support the retirement of the Department of Education Inspector General’s SWAT team, or the retired Department of Agriculture Pet Rabbit License Inspectors might be a bit more problematical.

 

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Subject: Supremes 8-0 endorse Dyson over EPA on global warming

 

 

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/24/the-supremes-recommend-the-supreme-skeptic/#more-42189

 

 

 

<snip>

“The court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change,” reads the 8-0 decision, delivered by the court’s acclaimed liberal, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The court decision noted that the Environmental Protection Agency itself had “Acknowledg[ed] that not all scientists agreed on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures,” before suggesting readers consult “views opposing” the conventional wisdom. Specifically, the justices’ recommended reading was a superb profile of Princeton’s Freeman Dyson, perhaps America’s most respected scientist, written in the New York Times Magazine, March 29, 2009.

<snip>

Somewhat in the same vein, Justice Ginsburg notes carbon dioxide is necessary and ubiquitous, and thus shouldn’t be the target of indiscriminate attacks. “After all, we each emit carbon dioxide merely by breathing,” she notes, repeating a point that Dyson couldn’t have said better himself.

To see exactly what the Supreme Court said in its remarkable American Electric Power v. Connecticut decision, click here http://probeinternational.org/library/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/10-1741.pdf .

 

The link goes to http://probeinternational.org/library/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/10-1741.pdf which is a copy of the decision.

 

Skimming the decision … basically convinces that it needs more than a skim that while the Supremes may have avoided one trap they may have opened others; specifically, this clause on page 2 about “federal common law” caught my eye in the skim…

 

<snip>

(a) Since Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U. S. 64, 78, recognized that there “is no federal general common law,” a new federal commonlaw has emerged for subjects of national concern. When dealing”with air and water in their ambient or interstate aspects, there is a federal common law.” Milwaukee I, 406 U. S., at 103. Decisions of this Court predating Erie, but compatible with the emerging distinction between general common law and the new federal common law,have approved federal common-law suits brought by one State toabate pollution emanating from another State. See, e.g., Missouri v. Illinois, 180 U. S. 208, 241–243 . <snip>

 

Jim

 

A Federal Common Law is certainly a change from when I took (and taught) Constitutional Law. A game changer indeed.

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Navy to scrap a twenty-six year old X-Project test vehicle –

 

Dear Jerry,

 

If the airforce were ending an x-project, they would send the third item to the Smithsonian and scrap what was left without a qualm or question. A naval vessel is a different matter…it is BIG! So, if the navy has learned what the can from the 26 years of studying the vehicle, why NOT scrap it if no none wants it? I don’t understand the problem.

 

I hope you continue to feel better.

 

R,

Rose

 

Agreed. I wasn’t horrified, just not clear. Thanks

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Immigration Reform Rally

 

 

One of several photographs sent of SEIU rallies for immigration reform. One may draw any conclusion one likes.

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The Hill

 

I have discovered that I ought either to go up that hill more regularly, or stop doing it. Alas, I am more or less laid low. I hope to recover soon.

 

 

Humph….

More, not less!

 

 

mark

 

From my Oregon heart specialist friend. He is of course correct. Corragio… and thanks

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Imperial presidency and the war powers act

 

When playing Sid Meier’s Civilization with the Democracy form of government, one of the most annoying things that can happen to you is for your Senate to over-ride your attack on another player. I can imagine how real, live Presidents might feel if this would happen. It’s too bad our real, live Congress doesn’t have the moral fiber of the Senate in the Civilization game.

Nick

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Is it time to worry yet?

 

 

In his second post-FOMC press conference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

touched on every topic, admitting that the recovery was weaker than

expected and that beyond temporary factors like supply chain

disruptions in Japan and high energy prices, he was at a loss as to

what was causing the soft patch. In a Q&A session with reporters,

Bernanke said a disorderly default in Greece would have significant

effects on the U.S. economy, while adding that the Fed still had

several tools at its disposal to pump up the economy.

 

http://blogs.forbes.com/afontevecchia/2011/06/22/bernanke-admits-hes-clueless-on-economys-soft-patch/

 

When exactly do we start worrying?

 

 

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

 

I would have said the time to start worrying was when Congress forced Fannie Mae to start giving loans to people who could not pay them back. Then when TARP did nothing and there were no shovel ready jobs and… Well, there’s a lot to worry about. Ah well

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This seems like a move of quiet desperation.

 

 

To help Harrisburg out of its financial crisis, area Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have called for three days of fasting and praying for a more cooperative spirit among Harrisburg government leaders, the business community and residents.

 

The voluntary event will start at midnight on Tuesday and run through

5 p.m. Friday. During that time, various churches and temples will be open to the public.

 

Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson said she will participate in the event.

 

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/06/harrisburg_mayor_linda_thompso_36.html

 

——–

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

 

Well, it couldn’t hurt…

The View from Chaos Manor June 25, 2011

The View from Chaos Manor

June 25, 2011

 

 

 

THE NEW VIEW

 

This is a production experiment: that is, due to the imminent closure of my wonderful old ISP that Brian and Greg ran and which they were able to tweak with customizations and accommodations to my crazy style, we can’t go on as we have been. Microsoft hasn’t supported FrontPage, which as far as I am concerned worked just fine for what I was doing. Apparently I can’t go on using it with a new ISP without the tweaks that Brian and Greg did for me. All this is being handled by friends and advisors, and after some discussion we’ve chosen WordPress. I’ve done some experiments using a dummy site. This is the first “production” post. It’s as plain as it can be. I’ll start playing about with added features, graphics, customized lines, and other conventions as time goes by; first step is to get the darned thing up and running.

 

I compose all these in Word. I am then to use Word to “publish” this through commands built in to Word 2007. I expect to upgrade to Word 2010 fairly soon, but for the moment this will have to do. Each post becomes a separate file and log entry, as opposed to the old FrontPage system in which each week became a file that was updated, sometimes several times a day. I am not sure how that works here: I much prefer to be able to go in and make corrections, add notes, perhaps add links, note objecti0ns or corrections, and such like as I have been doing. It’s my intention to make as few changes in your reading experiences as possible, and what changes are made should be improvements. I suspect that won’t happen the way I expect, but we will see.

 

I’d be happier about the adventure if I could just shake off whatever seems to be afflicting me this week, but that’s another story. Meanwhile it’s a new adventure. I know I have been way behind the times in modern blogging technology despite the fact that I can make a fair claim to being the first blogger. I didn’t call it that because I still think the term is ugly, but I certainly was among the first to have an open daybook and log.

 

For the few people who have wandered in to here and have no idea of what you have found, the old Home Page for Chaos Manor sort of tells that story. I am not dead sure how we link these two places, since only one can be called www.jerrypournelle.com and someone other than me long ago grabbed www.chaosmanor.com and hasn’t let go. We’ll work something out.

 

 

That was an attempt to insert a break line. It’s not one I’ll choose. Back in the early days of this daybook I used different line images for different kinds of breaks, but that became tedious. I then went to a line of equal signs, but Word like to turn those in to a full line, and I am not sure how WordPress will display them. Probably nothing for it but to try and see.

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Satellite Solar Power Reconsidered

 

One of the results of my Space-X visit is the discovery that Elon Musk has concluded that even if the costs of putting solar power collectors into space were met, the operating costs of solar power satellites would make the entire thing uneconomical. This is completely contrary to the conclusions reached in the original studies conducted by Boeing, the NASA SSPS project study, and the consultants working with General Graham’s High Frontier.

 

I do not know what studies Musk relies on for this conclusion. A quick on-line search on SSPS operating costs reveals this, which isn’t anything I would rely on, so I assume there are more data I haven’t seen. I do know that when we did the Boeing study one of the tests was transmission of power through atmosphere using Goldstone as the transmitter to a rectenna; the efficiency of the operation, that is, the ratio of usable power out of the rectenna to the input power at Goldstone was about 90%. This was in the early days of collimation, and we may have assumed some improvements in focus – obviously the beam tested was horizontal across the desert, rather than vertical, but the point was to measure atmospheric effects and the distances chosen were to simulate the atmosphere – but the tests were done and the measurements made. There were also some tests of focus and steering. Clearly you can’t steer a power beam by mechanical movements of the transmitting antenna. Anything that uses reaction mass is prohibitively expensive. SSPS designs used electronic means of collimation (focus) and steering, and indeed the energy for the collimator comes from energy received on Earth, then retransmitted to the satellite: the point being that if the power beam walks off the rectenna, the collimator loses power and the beam disperses. That, at least, was one of the designs we worked on.

 

All this was long ago, and I don’t recall all the details; but the conclusions were agreed to by some pretty high powered people, and the operations costs of the power system were carefully considered. This was one of my areas of, if not expertise, then at least competence, and I didn’t find any absurd assumptions in the models we use.

 

Thus it was a bit disappointing to find that one of the successful space entrepreneurs doesn’t believe SSPS is economically feasible. I wasn’t given the reasoning or access to the study numbers, so I’ll have to rethink all of this on my own. I think he’s wrong. I know we worked hard not to omit significant operations costs in the models we did at Boeing, and there were some pretty good Operations Research people involved in the NASA SSPS study and conference, and of course Arthur D. Little did some serious OR studies of the SSPS concept.

 

 

This will have to do for the first day’s ‘production’ view. Now to do a production Mail.

 

It is after midnight. I have made a few additions to see if they come up properly. This has been a reasonable day’s work. Suggestions for layout changes, decorations, and other improvements are now open. Mail and View will be the primary pages but I do hope to create some reports and specials too.

And good night. The lines aren’t working. I was told that there were ways to insert lines, but I haven’t found them yet, Ah well. Not a bad beginning I hope

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