Precious Lives; Fred Thompson RIP; Gates on Energy

Chaos Manor View, Sunday, November 01, 2015

All Saints Day

Last night after I got home from Larry Niven’s Halloween party I saw, just before going to bed, messages from Eric Pobirs, my long suffering associate. He had spent part of the afternoon trying to revive Precious, my Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which I seem to have killed by trying to install the Surface Pro 4 keyboard; Precious was in an endless cycle of trying to boot up, realizing something was wrong, going into diagnostic mode, trying to fix it, thinking it had done so, then restarting, instantly perceiving that something was wrong, going into diagnostic mode, trying to fix it, thinking it had done so, then restarting – well, you get the idea. You couldn’t start in Safe Mode because it realized instantly that it was not doing well, went into diagnostic mode, etc., etc.

Eric tried booting from a USB drive, but to do that you had to get to the Bios or what passes for a Bios in a new Windows 10 machine. Not long before I left for Niven’s party Eric took off with Precious bound for the Microsoft store,

So when I got home my first message from Eric was that the Microsoft geniuses or geeks or whatever they call themselves couldn’t fix it either, but they did check the hardware and it was working and Eric had some ideas and was headed home. And just before midnight I got the short message: Precious lives.

I don’t know a lot more, but apparently much needs to be reinstalled; but the good news is that the Pro 4 keyboard is working fine with the Pro 3; and there’s yet another new build of the OS.

You can read all the details soon in an upcoming piece by Eric in Chaos Manor Reviews, which is my continuation of the BYTE column along with contributions from Chaos Manor Associates like Eric, and Peter Glaskowsky, and my son Alex; they’ll be up soon.



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Larry’s party was great, as usual, with lots of people I only see a couple of times a year at Niven’s place. I didn’t take many pictures; I’ll get a lot more at Hew Years. Here’s Alex, my friend John De Chancie with whom I’m writing an near future novel set largely in the asteroids, and LASFS secretary Kirsten.


I had to leave early; Roberta couldn’t go because she had to get up early for choir practice.


Fred Thompson, RIP

He was my candidate for President, but he didn’t have enough fire in his belly; the very characteristics that would make you a good President make it very difficult to get the office.


Here’s Bill Gates on energy and the future. I disagree with him about the urgency of reducing CO2, but clearly we can’t go on forever as we’re doing; someone’s got to invest in new energy sources, it takes a long time to replace one energy economy with another, and we haven’t got the basic technology yet. Time to look for a miracle, or least a radical innovation. I came to that conclusion in the 70’s in my Galaxy columns.

Gates is always worth paying attention to.

Phil had this to say:

I’m not surprised he feels this way. Though his commitment to R&D on energy is not a bad idea at all.

Roland was a bit more trenchant

Bill Gates loses the plot.


We need the research, and we’ve long known that there has to be a substitute – an effective and economical substitute – for fossil fuels.  Hurrah for Bill investing a couple of billion in some new ideas.  I would think it obvious, though, that before we have laws and taxes forcing people into an alternative, we had some idea of what that alternative is. At the moment the only viable alternative is nuclear fission; make the carbon taxes stiff enough and that will be the only way to go.  I used to hope for fusion, but it has remained “thirty years from now” for forty years; that hardly progress.

As to the safety of fission, it will never be totally safe; but it isn’t the scary monster it is usually painted.  The worst disaster was Japan, who saved a bit of money by building sea walls to resist a 100 year tsunami, and not designing their plants to be failsafe when the tsunami came. Note that Chernobyl was a military installation and a known dangerous design – a positive void reactor – but life is returning to Chernobyl.  TMI was a test to destruction that proved we know how to build plants to minimize the effects of full internal destruction.


Social justice has come to the United Nations and are we to expect another episode in Congress like we saw with the Iran “treaty”?


At the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, participating nations have prepared a treaty that would create an “International Tribunal of Climate Justice” giving Third World countries the power to haul the U.S. into a global court with enforcement powers.


This president gaveled himself in as chairman of the UN Security Council. This president is the first US president to do this. I will not get into the related article of the Constitution and the other popular arguments surrounding this action, but we can all agree that it is unprecedented and that this president leans more toward international institutions in some ways than previous presidents.

All this leads me to suspect this president might be more inclined toward this climate arrangement than I am. And I wonder if Paul Ryan would enable this agenda if this president pushed the point.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Be afraid. Be very afraid. But UN resolutions have no legal effect, and treaties that do need 2/3 of the senate to become law of the land.


‘In one survey cited, 82 percent of social psychologists admitted they would be less likely to support hiring a conservative colleague than a liberal scholar with equivalent qualifications.’


I’m just surprised it’s only 82 percent. One suspects at least some of the respondents toned down their responses to appear to be more reasonable.


Roland Dobbins



: Philosophical discourse 

This is taking philosophical discourse too seriously.

“I’ll give you a categorical imperative. Fuck you! How’s that for an imperative, you a priorist pig!”

Man Shot in Fight Over Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy in Russia


Man Shot in Fight Over Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy i…

In the Russian port city of Rostov-on-Don two men were having a beer this weekend and talking about the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (of course), when something went…

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




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