Jerry Pournelle Has Passed, Malthusians Celebrate.

Friday marked the passing of Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017). If you are not familiar with his works, you should be, for we are living in the world he predicted, contra the Malthusians.

Science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle offered fact-based hope for our future

The 1970s was a gloomy period to grow up in. Pournelle did the math and reported that we could survive — and, in his words, survive with style.

By Glenn Instapundit Reynolds, USA Today

I was a kid in the 1970s, which was not a great era to be a kid. We had Vietnam and Watergate, the Apollo space program quit abruptly, oil prices skyrocketed and so did inflation. Even a hamburger was expensive.

And while that was going on, the voices in the media were all preaching gloom and doom. Stanford professor Paul R. Ehrlich, in his book The Population Bomb, was predicting food riots in America due to overpopulation. A group called The Club of Rome published a report titled The Limits to Growth that suggested it was all over for Western technological civilization. Bookstore displays were filled with books like The Late Great Planet Earth that announced the end times. And if that weren’t enough, most people figured we were heading for a global thermonuclear war with the Soviet Union. It looked like we were headed for some sort of apocalyptic future in which Charlton Heston would be the only survivor besides a few apes or mutants.

But Jerry Pournelle never bought it. In his Galaxy columns — eventually collected and published in book form, and still in print — he actually did the math. The fact was, he reported, we could not only survive but, in his words, survive with style.

And so we have done that thing, and the world is a better place for it.

John R. Lott Has A Modest Proposal: Apply Background Checks For Gun Purchases To Voting
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners September 8, 2017
  • yetanotherjohn

    Jerry was one of those writers I would read anything he published. David Weber, Eric Flint, W.E.B. Griffin, David Drake, Harry Turtledove, L.E. Modesitt Jr., John Ringo, Elizabeth Moon, S.M. Stirling, Lois McMaster Bujold are in the same category. I think the first series I read of Pournelle’s was Falkenberg’s legion back in the 80’s.

    • Larry Correia’s a fun author also. Not exactly hard SF – but he writes great characters and plots like crazy…

      • yetanotherjohn

        I’ve read a few of his, liked them, but he’s not to the point I would read anything he writes.

  • Vagabond661

    If you like submariner books, you should check out “Bubbleheads”. Amazon and Barnes & Noble have it online.

  • pennywit

    You may wish to revisit the headline.

    • And I may not.

      • pennywit

        Is the deceased Jerry Pournell or Jerry Pournelle?

  • Brian Brandt

    He formulated a rule which explains much of how a bureaucracy works –

    “Iron Law of Bureaucracy”:

    In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the
    bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the
    goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less
    influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.[40]

    He eventually restated it as:

    …in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of
    people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization,
    and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education
    would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union
    representatives who work to protect any teacher including the most
    incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of
    person will always gain control of the organization, and will always
    write the rules under which the organization functions.

    [Above copied from Pournelle article in Wikipedia]