Alex Pournelle reports that his father, Jerry Pournelle, has died. Jerry Pournelle (to whose name we can now, sadly, append [1933–2017]) was a technologist, author of science fiction and fact, political operative, computer and technology journalist, and one of those people who more than deserved Robert Heinlein’s designation as a “fair witness”.
Jerry Pournelle played a key part in developing the strategy which became President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. He opposed both Gulf Wars, arguing that the money spent on them could be better spent on developing energy independence, including deployment of solar power satellites.
He invented the “Iron Law of Bureaucracy”.
In his last blog post, dated 2017-09-07, he wrote that he had just returned from DragonCon and was feeling ill.
Jerry Pournelle was one of the great visionaries of our time, a formidable fictioneer, and an observer whose eyes penetrated the spin and nonsense surrounding many issues in the public discourse. “Well, let’s work out the numbers…”.
He will be sorely missed.