Category Archives: Books

Detroit’s collapse predicted 60 years ago…

The collapse of Detroit was predicted 60 years ago – by author Ayn Rand:

From The Gateway Pundit:

From the Grave to the Burial Ground– The last Republican Mayor left office in Detroit 60 years ago. Last week Detroit went bankrupt. Thanks to Democrats, Detroit is broke and broken.  (Mr. Conservative)

Daniel Hannon at The Telegraph discovered Ayn Rand’s haunting words from 60 years ago. Back then, in 1957, Detroit was, on most measures, the city with the highest per capita GDP in the United States.

Look at this description of Detroit from today’s Observer:

What isn’t dumped is stolen. Factories and homes have largely been stripped of anything of value, so thieves now target cars’ catalytic converters. Illiteracy runs at around 47%; half the adults in some areas are unemployed. In many neighbourhoods, the only sign of activity is a slow trudge to the liquor store.

Now have a look at the uncannily prophetic description of Starnesville, a Mid-Western town in Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel, Atlas Shrugged. Starnesville had been home to the great Twentieth Century Motor Company, but declined as a result of socialism:

A few houses still stood within the skeleton of what had once been an industrial town. Everything that could move, had moved away; but some human beings had remained. The empty structures were vertical rubble; they had been eaten, not by time, but by men: boards torn out at random, missing patches of roofs, holes left in gutted cellars. It looked as if blind hands had seized whatever fitted the need of the moment, with no concept of remaining in existence the next morning. The inhabited houses were scattered at random among the ruins; the smoke of their chimneys was the only movement visible in town. A shell of concrete, which had been a schoolhouse, stood on the outskirts; it looked like a skull, with the empty sockets of glassless windows, with a few strands of hair still clinging to it, in the shape of broken wires.

Beyond the town, on a distant hill, stood the factory of the Twentieth Century Motor Company. Its walls, roof lines and smokestacks looked trim, impregnable like a fortress. It would have seemed intact but for a silver water tank: the water tank was tipped sidewise.

They saw no trace of a road to the factory in the tangled miles of trees and hillsides. They drove to the door of the first house in sight that showed a feeble signal of rising smoke. The door was open.

And, Detroit is just the first city of many, destroyed by Democratic rule, that is today bankrupt.”



Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices eBook

I’m in the process of reading the Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices eBook published by Packt Publishing: This is an instructional book written by Peter Ritchie that presents ‘best practices’ to use when developing software using Microsoft’s .NET. The presented material helps both new and seasoned software developers benefit from a series of patterns that will yield consistently superior results when used in context to construct software. 

The material is divided into several chapters that each address a broad area of software development. Terminology and principles are presented, then a series of common problems are addressed. The best practices are presented as a Context – ‘when encountering this’; followed by the recommended Practice – ‘use this approach’. While this format is not one that I have seen before, it can be effective.

I’ve only read through a few chapters so far and the material is well thought out and presented. I have encountered some of the contexts that are identified and attempted to find reasonable solutions through online research – sometimes becoming more uncertain of the best approach. This eBook has provided some guidance in a those areas.



Strong recommendation to read “Atlas Shrugged”

If you’re a reader, I strongly recommend reading (or re-reading) Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. Written in the late fifties, it’s almost prescient in it’s parallels to today’s economic reality. Indeed, you can read a few pages, then pick up the newspaper and almost read the same thing – scary.