Jerry PournelleAugust 7, 1933 in Shreveport, Louisiana) is an essayist, journalist and science fiction author. He holds advanced degrees in psychology, statistics, engineering, and political science, including two PhDs.
His science fiction, much of it written in collaboration with Larry Niven, frequently has strong military themes. Several books center around a fictional mercenary infantry force known as Falkenberg's Legion.
He wrote the "Chaos Manor" column in the print version of Byte magazine for many years, describing his experiences with various hardware and software configurations. He continues to write the column for the online version and international print editions of Byte, as well as the computer programming magazine Dr. Dobb's Journal (from the December 2003 issue onwards).
He has maintained a daily Blog which predates that term. His daynotes journal is preserved and available from June 4, 1998 at Pournelle's "View from Chaos Manor" view number 1. He long resisted the term Blog because it's ugly and because his View is primarily written rather than being a collection of links.
His political experience includes serving as Executive Assistant to the Mayor and Director of Research for the City of Los Angeles. He wrote the SDI portion of Ronald Reagan's State of the Union Address.
He is noted for having moved from the left wing of American politics to what many perceive to be a conservative stance. Thus his critics are able to describe him as "slightly to the right of Genghis Khan", and he himself takes great pleasure in announcing: "I know what 'pinkos' are like, cause I used to be one".
Jerry Pournelle is also known for his Pournelle Chart, a 2-dimensional coordinate system used to distinguish political ideologies. It is similar to the Nolan Chart, only that the X axis refers to your feelings toward state and centralised government (farthest right being state worship, farthest left being the idea of a state as the "ultimate evil"), and the Y axis referring to your belief in that problems in society will be solved once your ideology of choice is implemented (top being complete confidence that your political ideology can manage the problems in the world, bottom being mindless adherence to your ideology of choice).
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