Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tales and Broken Links

Looks like the DNS propagation is complete. the domain now points to a  cloud base host using SSD drives ... a big improvement in speed.

I am moving files one by one to the new host and most of the links are broken.

The files are some fun short stories I wrote back in 2000 to test different web authoring tools.

Brain Washing is the tale of an apprentice janitor that I wrote in college.

The Ballad of the EcoRustlers  is a silly sci-fi story. The EcoRustlers have 'trodes that stimulate neural activity. You plug them into a cow. When the cows are legally sentient, the 'trodes register the cows with the Social Security Office and you can't butcher them. Chad is the hero trying to save the herd from the EcoRustlers.

The Detectometer is another scifi skit in which police detectives have been replace by robots. An old time detective is sitting at the crime scene and eating donuts and solves a crime that baffled the computer.

They were fun stories to write. I stopped writing fiction, as I live in Utah where people prefer to live fiction than read fiction.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Web Site Changes

PHP 7 will be released soon.

I decided to use this major upgrade as an opportunity to complete rework my web presence and move  my domains to new servers. is offering cloud based hosting using SSD disks. SSD drives are substantially faster than hard disks. The pricing for the SSD Cloud starts at $5/month. Being a cloud account, you can add disk space, CPU power and bandwidth.

The catch of VPS is that their managed services are quite expensive; So, I am breaking out my old Linux manuals and trying to figure out how to install and configure web servers.

The first domain I am moving is I am moving things over file by file. Because I want to see how the service behaves, I initiated the DNS move before I moved all the files. (Sorry about any broken links you experience.)

This subdomain ( is hosted by blogspot. So, it should not break as I break the primary domain of the site.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Subdomain v. Subdirectories

A site called currently has the top spot in Google for the topic of Sub-domain v. Sub-directory.

Apparently people at Moz site obsess over SEO and getting that precious top spot in google appeases their egos.

That an SEO obsessed group accomplished an SEO goal does not mean that the group has the best answer to this question.

I dislike SEO, I think people should develop the navigation of their websites to the benefit of people and not to the vagaries of a search engine.

IMHO, one should consider user experience before thinking about search engines.

Subdomains are extremely effective in conveying information about the structure or content of a site. I opt to use subdomains when I want to communication information about the structure of an organization, or to communicate primary information about the structure of a site.

As the subdomain appears before the domain name, they are useful for people who access your site by typing the URL in the address bar.

Likewise, it is also easier to get people to link to content differentiated by a subdomain than by a sub-directory. I find it easier to get someone to link to than

When a site uses different language, I find it more effective to communicate this a subdomain than subdirectory. I prefer and to and

Efforts to market to different areas is usually best done with subdomains. For example, in the Arizona Color project has different directories for different counties, eg is for Tucson, is for Flagstaff, etc..

I think it best to communicate different administrative functions with subdomains. The url does a better job conveying that you are at a help desk than as the name of the department comes first.

When different parts of a web project have radically different structures, I prefer to convey this with a subdomain. For example, blogs are collections of free form essays organized by date. I like to keep the blog in its own subdomain, ie

When properly developed a blog should be part of a social media effort and not part of a primary site. Ideally, one should have a social media group running the blog and not an SEO expert.

People should come first and search engines second.

Most of the large blog services these days include social marketing services. If I were in charge of the social media of a company, I would maintain a blog on each of the popular blog services and use the blogs specifically to interface with the people using the services.

I point the subdomain to blogspot. Google users can follow the blog. If I were smart, I would spend time engaging with folllowers.

I point the subdomain to a tumblr web site. If I were a social media aficionado, I would be actively engaging people one tumblr with that blog. ( is a better example. This subdomain is simply about interfacing with people who photograph the Grand Canyon State.).

In conclusion, I think that web designers who are interested in interacting with people and the market should make use of subdomains in their over all structure. Subdomains are extremely effective at communicating administrative functions or for helping sites engage in social media efforts where contact with people is more important than SEO.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I Did Not Believe It Possible, but Democrats have gotten worse

I did not believe it was possible, but the Democratic Party actually managed to get worse in the last few years.

Old people like me can remember Bill Clinton's second term. During his second term, Clinton moved toward the center and things started getting better.

I was hoping that Democratic Candidates, wanting to distance themselves from Obama's failures, would start looking to centrist solutions or even start considering free market solutions to our economic malaise.

Instead we see the half witted Bernie Sanders repeating the tired old rhetoric of Lenin and Mao 

Rather than seeking a common ground with the people of this nation, the Democratic Debate last night showed a ruling elite that's become even more isolated and detached from reality and the economic needs of the people.

The people are not in need of more government buildings, regulations and bureaucrats. The people need real economic opportunities.

One does not create economic opportunity through greater economic centralization.

Political and economic centralization was the driving theme of the three candidates.

For example, Hillary Clinton advocated limiting the role that state's play in health care because she hates the governor of Iowa.

The Democratic Candidates believe that raising the minimum wage will some how solve the problem of chronic unemployment. (Hint, raising the base cost of labor will make it harder to hire people and increase chronic unemployment.)

The debaters want us to believe that socialism is something new and untried.

When will the people of this nation realize that socialism is the tired old ideology that has failed the people of this world time and time again?

The ideals of freedom advocated by the founders and advanced in the early days the US are the shining ideas that can lead to widespread prosperity.

Socialism is a failed ideology. Socialism traces to an ideology created by King Frederic the Great called "enlightened absolutism." Enlightened Socialism is a reformulation of an ideology called "The Divine Right of Kings."

The basic idea of King Frederic was the monarchy (ie the state) was the driving force of economics and that society could achieve an egalitarian utopia through political centralization. Once the state achieves absolute political centralization, a social contract will form between the state and people leading to Utopian egalitarianism.

The reality of the socialist state is that the political centralization led to a state of massive disenfranchisement of the people and often leads to mass starvation. Hundreds of millions died under Lenin and Marx despite the fact that both were skilled at left wing rhetoric.

Now, I have to admit, enlightened absolutism makes for some great rhetoric. Populist political candidates have learned to use the rhetoric to make political centralization appear appealing.

But that rhetoric is false. Economic and political centralization march hand in hand. Despite promises of egalitarianism, the people in the centralized state become wealthy and those on the outside become disenfranchised both politically and economically.

I can actually prove this mathematically, but it takes a fairly large data set and time.

I was hoping that, by the end of Obama's second term, Democrats would start piecing together that the growing disparities in our culture are due to the political centralization.

But, The Democratic Party seems intent on proving that people are stupid and that left wing zealots can spend their entire life supporting an ideology of despotism while being completely unaware that the growing inequality in our nation is due to the despotism that they zealously support.

There is a small segment of the Democratic Party that holds to the ideals of liberty.

The segment is small and shrinking, but there is always a hope that it might gain influence. This segment is actually better at enabling free market reforms than the GOP.

Some readers might remember the second term of Bill Clinton's Administration.

During his second term, Clinton attempted to head toward the center and things were starting to get better as a result.

Unfortunately, the Clintons have a Marxian understanding of economics. The defining legislation of Clinton's second term was a thing called  "The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000."

This act passed in a lame duck session and signed by Bill Clinton created the derivatives market that played a leading role in crashing the economy in 2006.

Karl Marx wrote a huge tome on economics called "Das Kapital."

Clinton's "Commodity and Futures Modernization Act" is counter to the economic ideals of the classical liberals who see the economic activities of individuals as the driving force in the economy, but fits, to a tee, the economic model envisioned in Das Kapital.

As Clinton proved, most people on the left have a truly twisted ideas about the free market. People with twisted ideas about the free market are incapable of enacting viable free market reform.

Clinton's Security Modernization Act created an unregulated derivatives market. The failure in Clinton's thinking is that derivatives are an anti-market contrivance which were designed by Wall Street to regulate the stock market. Deregulating derivatives created a unregulated regulator. Instead of creating economic stability, the unregulated regulator amplified economic faults and turned what should have been a minor economic correction into a catastrophic economic event.

The fact that the Bill Clinton's attempt to deregulate the derivatives market blew up in our face does not nullify the argument that Clinton's turn to the right started to improve things. Clinton simply proved that stupid ideas passed in the name of the free market are still stupid ideas.

What our nation needs at this point in history is for groups to develop reforms based on a classical liberal understand of economics.

The classical liberal idea of economics is based on the idea that individual people are the driving force of economics.

(In contrast Marx sees pools of capital as the driving economic force. BTW, a market built on the ideas of Das Kapital is called "capitalism." Marx's Capitalism is almost as bad as Marx's Communism.)

I guess this aside leads into the second great problem our nation is facing.

Conservative Republicans have become enamored with Marx's Capitalism.

Just as Clinton is incapable of passing viable free market reforms, Conservatives are incapable of defining viable economic reforms as well.

Conservatism, as I am sure you are all aware, is the ideology of the Conservative Party.

The Conservative was created by Sir Robert Pool at the request of King William IV as an effort to rebrand the Tory Party in 1831.

The Tories, as you may recall, were the people who leveled their muskets at the US Founders during the Revolutionary War.

The term "conservative" was taken from the French "conservatif" which referred to efforts to restore the French Monarchy after the Napoleonic Wars.

Watch BBC and you will see that members of the Conservative Party still proudly call themselves "Tories."

The driving goal of conservatism is to conserve the class structure of the ancient regime in an age of reform.

Conservatives captured the Republican Party in the 1960s in reaction to the Civil Rights Movement.

Conservatives tend to be driven by culture war issues and tend to be blind to the actual needs of the people.

As such, conservatives are equally incapable of enacting free market reform.

The problem with conservatism is that when we follow the economic understanding of Tories like Sean Hannity and Rupert Murdock's Fox News, we end up with Fascism which is essentially the same as socialism.

The Left/Right split has created a completely untenable political and economic situation for our nation.

So watching the leftward march of the Democrats following the failed policies of Obama has me truly worried for our nation's future.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Mortality Rates Among the X-ed Group

The reporters on PBS News Hour seemed puzzled yesterday at reports of an increase in the mortality of middle aged white Americans without a college degree.

The report gave the ages between 45 and 54. This group roughly coincides with the group the Douglas Coupland referred to as Generation X. NOTE: The meaning of GenX changed. Coupland used it to refer to the people on the tail end of the Baby Boom ... those born between 1955-1965. The name GenX was too cool to waste on this group. Demographers now use GenX to describe those born between 1965-1980.

Coupland was dismissed as a whiner, but the group at the end of the baby boom (circa 1956 to circa 1965) was crunched by demographic trends.

People without a college education are more susceptible to negative trends. The lower economic spectrum is an indicator group.

Coupland's original thesis in "Generation X" was that the group at the tail end of the Baby boom was being crunched by demographic trends. The increase in mortality rates among this group vindicates this thesis.

That the term "Generation X" no longer refers to the group born between 1955 and 1965 but refers to the group born between 1965-1980 does not change the thesis.

Anyway, the increased mortality rate of people born on the tail end of the Babyboom was to be expected. I am not sure if it warrants much study. This same group is retiring at the tail end of the baby boom retirement. I suspect that college educated members of this X-ed group will have a higher mortality rate than the baby boomers.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Election 2015

The 2015 election was by mail. Being a traditionalist, I decided to put off voting until election day anyway. The news report I heard about the election said that we had to mail the ballot by 11/3.

When I went to fill out the ballot, the envelop said I had to mail the ballot prior to the 3rd.

Oops. So, made a last minute dash to the nearest polling place. The polling place was a trash can size container outside the Millcreek Police Department.

Anyway, I put my and some family member ballots into a slot on the trash can size thing ... feeling that maybe I had just thrown my vote away.

The only item on the ballot this years was a question of whether Mill Creek should be organized as a city or as a strange thing called a municipal service district with Copperton, Kearns and White City and other locations. Regardless of how I voted on this issue, a band of crooks will get their hands on tax dollars. Ironically, I decided to vote for Mill Creek to become a city because three cities would be smaller than a huge municipal district, and I like things to be small.

The second vote was about a sales tax increase to expand transportation. The ballots I put in the slot cancelled each other. One was for the increase the other against.

Quite frankly, I suspect that most of the votes from this household simply cancel out each other. Being the first election by mail in the area, this is the first time I know for certain what others voted.

Voting by mail is convenient. But I love the privacy that voting in a booth gives. If voting by mail became the norm, I fear that political bosses would start sending out activists to pressure voters.
Anyway, I put my ballot in a trash can and felt I threw my vote away. I understand that next year Salt Lake will experiment with a new liquid ballot. These we will place in a commode shaped receptacle. To vote we will pull a handle and flush.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rand Paul Does Not Deserve to Be on Stage

I have to confess. I've been a fan of Ron Paul for several decades and I like that Rand Paul was permitted to participate in the debate as I believe that Ron and Rand have consistently represented the ideals of the US Founders and the Party of Lincoln while most of the modern forms of Conservatism have sold out. Paleo-Cons, Neo-Cons, Dixiecrats, etc., are willing to sell out the ideals of liberty to favor their preferred institutions.

During the GOP debate, the GOP front runner Donald Trump made an astute observation: “First of all, Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on this stage, he’s number 11,” Trump said, “he’s got 1 percent in the polls."

Trump, Rand Paul and the ideals of limited government have such a poor showing in the GOP that he should not be on the podium.

Personally, I have never met a conservative who is willing to discuss much less support free market reform. GOP is the "Conservative Party." Conservatism is an ideology that started with efforts to restore the French Monarchy after Napoleon that was developed into a full ideology by the Tories in England.

Since the day that the Tory Party changed its name to the Conservative Party in 1831, Conservatives have never stood for liberty. Yes, Conservatives are prone to use free market rhetoric in elections. But Conservatives consistently pass legislation designed to favor the ruling class over the people.

The Party of Lincoln was, lke the US Founders, a group led by classical liberal ideals. The ideals of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and Lincoln have been soundly rejected by the socialist left and conservative right.

The ideals of liberty are in the hinterlands.

Despite decades of effort. Rand Paul does not deserve a spot on the GOP podium. Just like the Party of Jefferson disappeared after it was captured by Jackson. The Party of Lincoln disappeared forever when it was captured by conservatives.

Since the ideals of our Founders have been driven out of the Democratic Party by progressives and have been driven out of the GOP by conservatives, I am left wondering if there is any platform left where the ideals of liberty can be spoken and nutured?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Contrast v. dichotomous thinking

One of the best ways to increase understanding of a topic is to contrast ideas and approaches to a topic. To draw a contrast, one gives a name to the two approaches. This way, they can discuss the likely result of the two approaches.

When drawing a contrast, one wants to highlight differences between the items in focus so that we can better understand the difference between the two approaches.

An analogy can be found in photography. Photographers often shine lights on objects to make the object stand out. Photographers shine strong lights when they want stark contrast and diffused lights when they want soft contrast.

The fact that a photographer is shining a light on an object to take its picture does not mean that the object is the only object in the universe.

There is an unlimited number of ideas in the world meaning that there is an unlimited number of constrasts that we can draw. Even worse, there is an unlimited number of filters that we can shine on objects when we draw our contrasts.

When we are trying to draw a contrast, there is a natural tendency to present the contrast as fundamental. Again, lets imagine a wildlife photographer taking a picture of a bird in a park. Teh photographer will position the camera to ignore the telephone poles and playground equipment in the park to take a picture of the bird.

The fact that the photographer focused on the bird does not mean the playground equipment doesn't exist.

There is a great deal that we can learn by contrasting ideas. It is a mistake to treat the contrasts we draw as fundamental dichotomy.

So, I started to write a blog post about two different approaches to programming. I've hesitated to publish the post because some Nimrod out that would probably take my constrast as a fundamental dichotomy, when I am simply trying to contrast the result of different approaches to programming.

In general, I find that the process of contrasting ideas to be enlightening as the contrast helps us understand the different results from different ideas. When drawing contrasts it is helpful to shine a sharp light on the contrast. Unfortunately, when people take the sharp contrast we draw as a dichotomy, the contrast itself often become a negative, for the dichotomy causes us to lose sight of other ideas.

In my article I sought to contrast two approaches to programming: In the first approach, the programmer considers the format of the program to be of primary concern.

In the second approach, the programmer considers the data produced by the program to be of primary importance and the format of the program to be secondary.

One would suspect that concentrating on the form of the program would produce the best program.

My personal experience is that I create better programs when I concentrate on the data produced by the program than on the form of the program.

The reason for this is that the data becomes an objective measure for the quality of the form of the program.

The idea that I wish to state is that a data-centric approach to programming often produces a better result than approaches that focus primarily on the form of the program.

The reason that I want to draw this contrast is that I believe that many object oriented programmers have become too focused on the form of their programs. The end result of this obsession about form is software bloat.

NOTE: I recently bought a new laptop computer to replace my ten year old laptop computer. Although the new computer has substantially more resources and runs faster, the new software has become so bloated that the new computer is slower than the old one.

Anyway, I wish to write a series of articles that state that a good way to address the bloat of software is for programmers to concentrate more on the data produced by the software and a bit less on the form of the software.

The challenge in writing these articles is that I do not wish people to take my discussion of contrast to imply that there is some sort of fundamental dichotomy between the data centered and object oriented programming.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Major Web Site Rebuild

The PHP Group, which defines the PHP programming language, deprecated the mysql() function and replaced the function with the PDO object. The group has announced plans to completely remove the function in the upcoming release of PHP 7.

The mysql() function was open to SQL injection attacks. The function simply sends mysql commands from web server to the database server. Clever hackers learned that they could send code to web sites that could to break out of improperly formed SQL strings and take control of the server.

The PDO object has some additional features to fight such attacks. But if programmers fail to use the new features correctly, their scripts will still be subject to attack.
This change will force me to undergo a major rewrite of all of the programs I've written using PHP.

I've been anticipating this change for a few years. I've thrown hundreds of hours into experimenting with the new PDO object, and have yet to find a way to use the object elegantly.

I happen to be a fan of object design and I usually favor replacing functions with objects; so, I was surprised at my displeasure with the PDO object.

The problem I faced was not with the clunky object syntax in PHP. The problems I faced had to do with the scope of the objects. The mysql_query() function is a language construct and has a global scope. The PDO object only has local scope in the function that created it.

To use the PDO object one needs to either open multiple connections to the database to generate a web page. (which slows down web sites) or include in the code contortions to access the object as needed.

Whenever I have a problem with programming, my natural instinct is to assume that there is something wrong with me. I convinced myself that if I just kept reading programming manuals and online tutorials I would at some point light on an elegant way to employ the new PDO object.

Having read thousands of posts on (a popular coding site), it finally dawned on me. Perhaps the problem is not with me, but with the direction that the PHP Group is taking their product.

It appears that the group is trying to go after the enterprise development market by turning their back on their primary market which is webmasters who want to add server side features to a web site.

Now, I need to rewrite my PHP web sites in preparation for PHP 7.0. As I engage in this project, I will open source portions of the code and write articles defending the approach I am taking toward web development. The goal of the project is to create a web site designed to aid in general research ahd authorship.

Monday, June 01, 2015

A two line short story.

Clyve Groundspot studied web programming at the community college where he developed the habit of pacing back and forth while making design decisions.

On graduating he found the field crowded and competition intense; So he took a job in construction where he had a short lived career as a roofer.

The End

The moral of the story is that it is not prudent to make an impression too early in your career.