Jerry Pournelle Quotes

Enjoy the top 57 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jerry Pournelle.

Jerry Pournelle Quotes

I think it takes about a million words to make a writer. I mean that youre going to throw away.
— Jerry Pournelle —

One of your most ancient writers, a historian named Herodotus, tells of a thief who was to be executed. As he was taken away he made a bargain with the king: in one year he would teach the king's favorite horse to sing hymns. The other prisoners watched the thief singing to the horse and laughed. "You will not succeed," they told him. "No one can." To which the thief replied, "I have a year, and who knows what might happen in that time. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die. And perhaps the horse will learn to sing.

— Jerry Pournelle

And meanwhile, the storytellers like me and Anderson, Silverberg ... we tell stories. People like them. They want to know how it comes out, they want to know what the ending is.

— Jerry Pournelle

I started in this racket in the early '70s, and when I was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, of which I was like the sixth president, I was the first one nobody ever heard of.

— Jerry Pournelle

To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.

— Jerry Pournelle

Mutually Assured Destruction, MAD, works only as long as it works; it does not know what to do if deterrence fails, for it envisions no defensive capabilities. A deterrent works until it is needed; then one needs defenses.

— Jerry Pournelle

Of course most people underestimate the warrior characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman peoples anyway. It takes a heap of piety to keep a Viking from wanting to go sack a city.

— Jerry Pournelle

It's the nature of government, to build enduring institutions, structures that stay long after their purpose is over. If you pay people to help the poor, you have people who won't be paid if there aren't any poor, so they'll be sure to find some.

— Jerry Pournelle

Paradoxically, the few eras of peace were times when men of war had high influence. The Pax Romana was enforced by Caesar's Legions. The Pax Brittanica was enforced by the Royal Navy and His Majesty's Forces.

— Jerry Pournelle

Grinding the faces of the poor seems to be the policy of the Greens.

— Jerry Pournelle

Gates has always understood Moore's Law better than anyone else in the industry. If you can make something run at all, get it out there -it may be slow and clunky, but hardware improvements will bail you out. If you wait until it's running perfectly on the hardware already in the field, it will be obsolete before it's released. This philosophy built Microsoft and is the main reason Microsoft won the war IBM declared back in the OS/2 days.

— Jerry Pournelle

The definition of a Dark Age is that we no longer remember what we once could do.

— Jerry Pournelle

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