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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jeff Wisoff continues on as the AD of the NIF

So Jeff Wisoff continues on as the AD of the NIF Directorate fending off reputed challenges from Dunning, a guy from LLE, and who knows who else. Sounds like business as-usual, as NIF turns more and more into a facility operations and maintenance organization.


https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2014/Jun/NR-14-06-02.html

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Omar Hurricane applied too.

Anonymous said...

How long will Ed M. be allowed to remain on site? I saw him in B482 just last week.

Anonymous said...

Should be fired and barred from coming onsite.

Anonymous said...



Hey give Omar a break he is trying to make the best of the situation.
As for Ed. M well like all good corporations the CEO's have golden parachutes. The managers will never turn on their own, they take endless training about loyalty to other managers and besides they know that if they turn on Ed that their turn will be next.

The NIF failure is and always will be on the renegade workforce of arrogant scientists and engineers who think they know better. Who else could be to blame? We all know scientists are arrogant, absent minded, weird and very creepy. Well most of them there are a few who dress well and get it but you understand my point. NIF is just another of long list of failures when you let scientists be in charge. I am sure there must of have been some science involved in making the computer but who who where the leaders that invented computers? Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet. These people where never trained as scientists yet they are the ones who made science useful. We need to get these kinds of people in the labs, people who do not have a chip on their shoulder about having gone to college, who think that a Ph.d matters. Ed did his best but he was under the constraint of dealing with such a wacko workforce. Could have done better?

Anonymous said...

That could not be farther from the truth of what went on with Ed and NIF. He picked a handful of scientists to listen to, and he picked the worst whackos, who were also clever enough to stroke his gigantic ego. Add a sociopathic need to control and a mean vindictive streak, and you get closer to the reality.

Anonymous said...

June 11, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Did the science teacher flunk you in school?



Poor bitter person.

Greetings from an arrogant,wacko, weird scientist. Hope you feel better now.

Anonymous said...

It is true that Ed is one of the few people who did his job well. The scientists in charge with designing the experiments are the ones who really failed. It's easy to blame Ed for everything. The problem is that the real scum are getting away with gross incompetence while we beat on Ed just because of his strong personality.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous comment. Remember that Moses had nothing to do with "selling" NIF - that was done by Mikey Campbell ("almost-PhD"). Moses came in when NIF was already in a serious crisis and led the project (not program) to a successful completion. Say what you want, under his leadership, the job was done, and the system works extraordinarily well, unlike many previous large projects like the SSC, Marie, etc. Those of you who were upset when he ordered you out of his chair in the conference room should think about where you'd be right now if the NIF project had failed. That would have been a serious black mark on LLNL as a whole, and another demonstration that we can't do what we set out to do. That would have done a lot more damage than bruising the egos of a few thin-skinned folks.

Anonymous said...

George Miller linked the success of ignition on NIF to Livermore's ability to certify the nuclear stockpile without nuclear testing.

Anonymous said...

Remember that Moses had nothing to do with "selling" NIF....

June 16, 2014 at 5:39 PM

The most astonishingly ignorant statement I've read in at least a week. He had everything to do with selling NIF, especially selling the notion that the program (not the project) was a straightforward engineering exercise. He destroyed entire progams, swaggering across the DOE complex, and then destroyed the credibility of those that were left.

Anonymous said...

The ones who looked at all the data and were so cock-sure that 2MJ would ignite... Ed did not and could not have led that group to those conclusions. Look carefully at how the con or self-delusion or confirmation bias or whatever you want to call it, where it originated ... Some of those experts are still at the lab.

Anonymous said...

Yes, some of them are still there. Ed's biggest mistake was listening to them, and allowing himself to be manipulated by their ego-stroking.

Anonymous said...

June 16, 2014 at 7:39 PM "The most astonishingly ignorant statement I've read in at least a week."

You must be a real newbie on this blog then.

Moses was NOT HERE when NIF was planned, evaluated, and accepted by DOE. I don't know how even you can argue otherwise.

As to "swaggering across the complex, destroying programs", again, I think you have a very narrow and naive point of view. It's just not true.

Anonymous said...

Ed's personality and actions against you caused you to lose your precious program. But it wasn't his personality and actions that caused NIF to fail. Blaming him for that smears over the fact that the lingering sources of the problem is still there at LLNL, ready to cause the next failure. Blaming Ed just enables these fail scientists to keep going.

Anonymous said...

Ed destroyed programs at LLNL, sure. most of them were small though. But complex-wide? he didn't have that kind of power to do so.

Anonymous said...

I thought this blog was about Wisoff and moving forward.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it!

This thread has diverged from its initial subject! How can that happen???

Anonymous said...

...But it wasn't his personality and actions that caused NIF to fail....

June 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM

It was exactly Ed who caused NIF to fail, precisely because of his personality and actions. He didn't design the targets or make the technical calls on margin, religious believers in AX who are mostly still around did that. But Ed chose to empower them because he wanted to believe too, vision of fame and glory, and because those same religious believers stroked his enormous arrogant ego that controlled all his decisions. Maybe it was never possible to get megajoules of yield on NIF, maybe the laser is too small, no one knows. But it was possible to position the program to have a recovery plan and know much more about where the problems are, and it could have been done if the religious believers had been kept on the sidelines and if saner voices had been in charge. Ed squandered billions and billions of dollars on the NIC, because he wanted to believe it was just an engineering job and because the designers assured him that it was, and was something he alone could champion to success. And those billions didn't go elsewhere, so he did indeed have the power to destroy programs.

Anonymous said...

Hindsight seems to be 20/20. The worst you can say is that he "Empowered" others? Shouldn't you be blaming those he empowered? There are a lot of big names there. You said it yourself... "... the designers assured him..." Why aren't they being held accountable? They are the ones still steering the ship. Or maybe the blame is for a lab incapable of big science experiments. Or maybe the problem lies with ineffective technical review committees? You tell me. Given all that has happened, Ed did what he has the most expertise in and experience and control of very well.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't even hindsight, it was obvious to many people by the mid-2000s that what happened, would happen. None of those people were listened to by Ed, because by that time all Ed saw was Nobel prizes and his face on the cover of Time. And he even managed to snow all the review committees by carefully orchestrating "the message". There's plenty of blame to go around, especially to Miller who give Moses Carte Blanche, but no lessons-learned on NIF can fail to find Moses right at the center of it all as the guy who gave the helm to the designers and got his own religion along the way. And you are right, those designers are still at the helm, maybe Wisoff will now feel positioned to make changes.

Anonymous said...

take yourself back to the mid-2000s. you could not have known that the nif target would not ignite. you would not have bet the farm that it wouldn't have because you or anyone else did not know the specific reasons why code did not match observation. complaining about "margins" doesn't count because that has absolutely no explanatory power.

Anonymous said...

the real kicker here is that despite Ed being gone, none of the root cause factors have changed. you have senior scientists who still do science the same way that they did before, complete with confirmation bias.

Anonymous said...

And, by the way, Carl Sagan (that is, June 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM) has the cost wrong. It was nowhere near "billions and billions", even if you include the cost of operating NIF during NIC.

Anonymous said...

you would not have bet the farm that it wouldn't have because you or anyone else did not know the specific reasons why code did not match observation.

June 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I would have, and it doesn't matter exactly why. You have to look at the history of the program and understand how progress is made and when the codes fail. They fail when they are extrapolated too far into unknown regimes, and ignition conditions on NIF are a totally new regime. You don't know how they will fail, or what new physics you will learn finding out why the fail, but you bet the farm they will fail and you include that in all your plans - the codes will be wrong, so how do we sneak up on the new regime in a stepwise scientific way. When you are blinded by religion, you don't worry about that because you believe in the codes. Before mid-2000's, there were plans (albeit fuzzy plans) to sneak up on it, but by the time Moses became NIF AD those were squashed.

Anonymous said...

The cost of the National Ignition Campaign was over 2 billion dollars. A breakdown in the final report is on pg. 23, http://www.trivalleycares.org/new/govdocs/NationalIgnitionCampaignReport.pdf

Anonymous said...

you're bet that it would fail with no reason is just as "faith based" as what you accuse the believers of. to say that you don't have to know why it would fail, just that it would because it's in uncharted territory is simply armchair quarterbacking by someone with 20/20 hindsight. the flip side of your argument is that there was no good reason not to try out the shot with 2MJ. Sure it failed. But again, 20/20 hindsight.

Anonymous said...

the worst case scenario for LLNL would have been if they did the shot, it failed, then it became bloody obvious what the exact reason are that make ignition impossible with 2MJ. In that case, the naysayers have the right to extract a pound of flesh for the them missing something they shouldn't have. But that didn't happen. They are still trying to figure it out. Given no ignition, this was the best possible outcome because the ignition failure is a critical observation that they can reconcile code and theory with experiment.

Anonymous said...

just because you may have predicted the outcome doesn't mean that your argument is valid especially if your argument has absolutely no explanatory power. Maybe if you stripped down the previous work supporting 2MJ your conclusion might be substantiated. But if your only argument you have to make is "the codes will be wrong, so how do we sneak up on the new regime in a stepwise scientific way" you literally have nothing. Predicting the right outcome for the wrong or absent reasons doesn't lend you any credibility.

Anonymous said...

You sound like a designer, without an understanding of where the burden of proof lies in a scientific endeavor. Or an engineer. "My code says this should work" carries far less weight than "My code says this should happen, and here is the proof. My code then extrapolates to this, and here is the proof". In the absence of such proof, the likelyhood of a big extrapolation being correct is about zero, and that's just what history shows. Thus it was entirely predictable that the NIC would fail, without evidence that intermediate regimes were being correctly simulated, and it did fail. Surprise. "Sorry about the 2 billion dollars, but we sure had fun!"

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that Ed and LLNL hurt you in the past. Your crusade against them using only empiricism and ad hominem has probably turned you into an outcast in your own scientific community. It's regrettable that you care only about outcome, not on knowledge and evidence. Look at what you wrote or even ask neutral party scientists to read what you wrote. If you can't see how you repeatedly invoke 20/20 hindsight, then you are the one with blinders on. You only fool yourself.

Anonymous said...

If your argument is only against code or engineering but you make not a single scratch against the foundational theoretical work supporting 2MJ, that means that you argument does not strike down ignition as a possibility on NIF. But your argument is: code does not extrapolate, therefore NIC will fail. Do you see the problem with your logic? And your "history shows... argument" is laughable. Ancient Mesopotamian history? Russian art history? Whose history are you talking about and what exact deductive logic are you implying? Or are you freely shifting between deduction and inference to suit whatever occarion when you want to arrive at your predetermined conclusion? Ever heard of confirmation bias?

Anonymous said...

Ed is a bad bad man. And the failure to ignite is the fault of Ed because he is a bad man. He kicked me out of my seat in a conference room once. He is bad because he delegated technical responsibility to senior scientists with decades of experience. Ed should have never listened to these science zealots. Instead he should have listened to the zealots that had even less evidence or no evidence. Ed is bad because his predecessors were wrong. Ed invented time travel and became his own predecessor, designing the 2MJ target on the back if a dirty Starbucks napkin. So in fact it is Ed's fault. Ed hurt me bad by giving me a disdainful look once. Ed bullied and threatened the technical review committees who rubber stamped everything. That's what i want to think because it supports my conclusion. So all this evidence conclusively proves that Ed is fully to blame.

Anonymous said...

Ed wielded all control over lateral or side code and experimental studies and the funding and staffing of such. They could have been helpful, and should have been done in advance. But he didn't bother and for that, he is at fault. Not necessarily for the non-ignition failure, but for not being more responsible about the scientific work considering the fact that he had complete control over it.

Anonymous said...

To June 19, 2014 at 10:44 AM:

Well done!

Great post!

Anonymous said...

some people only have the courage to go after perceived weakened targets because their reasoning is inherently weak to begin with. We didn't hear any of the code extrapolation problems prior to the alpha heating milestone failure. So it goes to show you how 20/20 hindsight prevails in weak/non-arguments.

Anonymous said...

Ed hurt me too once, by removing me from my conference room seat. But I got even with him by never giving him the opportunity to do it again. Now I stand in the back of the room at every meeting now. So who has the last laugh now? Ha!! I got you back, Ed.

Anonymous said...

Ed hurt me too once, by removing me from my conference room seat. But I got even with him by never giving him the opportunity to do it again. Now I stand in the back of the room at every meeting now. So who has the last laugh now? Ha!! I got you back, Ed.

June 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Are you still bitching about Ed Moses taking your seat? Get a life!

Anonymous said...

June 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM, you are hopeless. And you probably are a designer as well. The rest of the scientific community jokes about you, but since designers live in isolated caves and only talk to one another, you probably don't know that.

Anonymous said...

Aww dat hurts... not. You can't even come up with a valid argument. Your approach is to decide on a conclusion, then cherry pick information and warp reality to justify that conclusion. How did you get into grad school, man? Your GRE must have been abysmal. U R the religious nutcase you so accuse others of being. And tell me more about the so-called tainted technical review committees. Have you read the reports? You can't have a tainted committee without tainted or warped findings. Maybe you can point out the problems in the reports... Oh wait... You just made it up the accusation hoping that it would justify your Ed-hate. Man, he really must have hurt you...

Anonymous said...

A cave dwelling designer capable of making valid logical inferences and deduction is far more valuable than a crusading religious zealot armchair quarterback with 20-20 hindsight.

Anonymous said...

You really ought to save all your posts in this thread in a text file somewhere, then put it away and don't read it again for a year. After a year, read it again, and sheepishly try to imagine how crazy you must have sounded.

Anonymous said...

I agree. the Ed-hate sounds so absurd.

Anonymous said...

As for Jeff Wisoff - can someone say "apparatchik" with the correct accent ?

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest. Blaming Ed Moses will take the same path as the Obama Admin blaming Bush.... 6 years later and counting.

Anonymous said...

Ed Moses commands the respect and loyalty of many who have worked closely with him, and have observed his own sacrifice in making NIF a viable world-class science facility for it's intended purpose. While he is extremely demanding, he has also demonstrated genuine compassion for many under his direction.

While it did not achieve ignition, it was a tremendous feat. And as others have pointed out ... he didn't sell the original concept ... but did step in and do the best possible job at realizing earlier commitments by LLNL for the facility.

It is doubtful that any other LLNL manager could have come close to the performance demonstrated by Moses. Not surprisingly, other large-scale projects have also recognized his unusual capabilities for delivering the near-impossible, and are now putting him to work again.

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