New Questions for Socialist Thinkers: A 1950s View of Socialism and Capitalism on the Modern US Economy

(This essay was originally presented Monthly Review for publication, but their review department is unresponsive.)

A review and modern interpretation of socialist works from the 1920s to 1950s.

Paul M. Sweezy, a founding editor of The Monthly Review, wrote The Present as History in 1953 to collect and analyze many angles of socialist thought. The book includes writing by several authors across the 1920s to 1950s. This essay reviews themes from this book and compares how they specifically apply to 2016 -- the year with the most populist, nationalist, and socialist discourse.

The Present as History compiles a good variety of essays to review economic ills of the United States and considers if a proletariat revolution (socialism) is inevitable or desirable. Conflicting views on the economy and how to improve it have been a major deciding factor in elections and regime change across the world for centuries. But in 2016 a United States socialist presidential candidate came further than any…

Trump has turned media into liars

This is just one example of the continual stream of poor journalism related to US presidential candidate Donald Trump. I do not have an opinion on Trump and I do not defend him. However, when I dig a little deeper than just skimming the news, I consistently find that journalists are unethical or extremely incompetent when reporting him. And nearly every time this results painting a more damning picture of him.

This is the only US government "comment" on the theft of documents from the Democratic National Convention in 2016:
A U.S. official involved in the investigation said that the classified information collected on the hack so far "indicated beyond a reasonable doubt that it originated in Russia." The FBI has made no official statement regarding findings from its investigation into the hack, according to a search of their newsroom.

This is what Donald Trump said at the first 2016 presidential debate:
I don't think anybody knows it was…

Measuring economic growth over generations

Berkshire Hathaway's annual report was released last week and it of course includes another letter written by Warren Buffet. There are always nuggets in there to help understand our world, business management, and even obligatory diet advice (burgers and cola all the way down). But in this issue I found a theme on measuring "economic growth" over time.

The percentage of people employed in farming has decreased tremendously over the past 200 years however output increased. This resulted in many disrupted jobs but now nearly everybody has access to very affordable food. This drastic change has also happened in other industries and as we speak there are several being steamrolled right now. What tools should we use to determine if this was a good development (improvement in quality of life) or a bad one (exploitation of labor, concentration of wealth, robot conspiracy)?

Lots of numbers are available from statisticians: GDP, worker productivity, inflation, gini index and more…

Generic process to unroll any recursive algorithm

In computer programming, you run into recursive algorithms when dealing with a problem that exhibits similar substructure. Recursion will apply the exact algorithm to a subset of the problem and then combine the result in some way with the remainder of the problem. Using recursion can be very readable and elegant. You are not likely to come across a contrived usage of a recursive algorithm.

Recursion uses a finite resource, stack space, and requires an assumption that the algorithm -- with expected inputs -- will not exhaust this resource. If this assumptions fails, then you will need to "unroll" the algorithm to make it not recursive, or reconsider your approach altogether. It is always possible to rewrite a recursive algorithm as unrolled.

Here I will demonstrate a generic way to unroll any recursive algorithm. Of course, for your specific algorithm, you can surely do better.

Our example is finding tree depth, from Eric Lippert at Microsoft:

int depth(node *tree) {
  if (!tr…

Practical dreams about saving the human race

Among the things that have kept me up at night:

Your species is being attacked by a superior invader that takes apart peoples' brains and assimilates the knowledge into their collective hive. How do you stop them?

Best radio shows from from 1940s to the end of the 20th century

This is second in a series started with a review of comedy acts in the 20th century.

Old Time Radio is enjoying a comeback. There are plenty of original and creative shows recorded over the years and have expired copyright which makes them great for repackaging and reselling. There is great selection on ISOHunt and for sale on Amazon. These are a great way to pass the time if you are driving for hours each day.
The shows I downloaded several torrents and with "best of" packs as well as individual show archives. There are many series in the sets, some longer running story shows include: CBS Mystery Theater (ghost stories), X Minus One (sci-fi), Tom Corbett Space Cadet (sci-fi), Escape (variety), and Sherlock Holmes audio books. Other "late night" shows include The Bob Hope Show, and NBC Summer Theater.

The best rated show, with deserved merit, hands-down is the 1938 radio adaptation and broadcast of War of the Worlds. It is easy to understand how this broadcast cause…

Page One Power -- SEO Services Billed Hourly, Plagiarism, Claiming Others' Work, No Accountability

We have been a customer of Page One Power for 12 months and after a failure to glean results from the campaign have cancelled the campaign.

Poor results are a common result of business dealings but when a company employs tactics to cover up shortcomings, misrepresent results and fails to take any accountability, then this is blog-worthy.

The Contract We have contracted with Page One Power for SEO services including email-based linkbuilding and guest blogging and would not recommend these services to a friend. The relationship spanned 12 months starting September 2013 and was for a 5-figure sum of money.
Their Guest Blogging Approach One the P1P blog, in the few posts where they discuss strategy, guest blogging is a major component of their thinking. Of course Google's Matt Cutts discusses the fall of guest blogging as an SEO strategy in his blog. But since this is a low-cost, low-quality, high-visibility link, P1P project managers defended the practice with (emphasis mine):
Yeah W…