Communism is a form of socialism.

Yet, pure communism doesn't exist. Neither does pure socialism. Both words are used in so many different ways (especially socialism these days) that there is no clear distinction to be drawn, until you focus on a particular ideology.

  • Marxist Communism vs. Anarchist socialism
  • Maoism vs. Social Democracy

Socialism is a broad term used to mean a lot of different things.

For some people it's just the idea of everyone helping everyone else out to make sure no one dies from a lack of basic needs (food, water, shelter, etc.). For others it means an economic system, usually the opposite of Capitalism, where things are in place to stop how much capital (stuff that makes money) gathers up in any one person's hands. At it's core though, socialism is always concerned with the idea of the good of the larger number, rather than the pursuit of individual gain.

Some people who believe in Capitalism think that pursuing individual gain helps everyone in the end anyway, but Socialists would disagree with that.

Socialism is also used negatively to describe things people see as getting in the way of successful Capitalism. All governments place limits on the free market ideal of Capitalism to some extent, but when people strongly disagree with how far those limits go, they'll often label them socialism to let people know they think they're bad.

In the United States, for example, someone earning $500,000 a year will pay more in taxes than someone earning $50,000 a year. But (in theory) their children will have access to the same public education system – the person earning $50,000 will be getting a greater return, thanks to government redistribution. While this occasionally comes under attack, however, it is generally considered a good use of the government, so no one labels it Socialism. In many developed countries a similar system exists for health care, and it's often not labeled as Socialism.

In the United States, though, a similar system for healthcare is usually called socialism – even if it isn't nearly extreme enough for a real Socialist to think it is.

There are a lot of different types of socialism, ranging from some schools of Anarchism (like Social Libertarianism) to Communism to Democratic Socialism (like, sort of, in Venezuela) to Social Democracies (Sweden).

Communism is just a special type of socialism. There are actually many different theories of Communism, and they are pretty different. But they all grow out of the teachings of Karl Marx. Marx believed (to simplify) that one of the really important parts of achieving a socialist state was that the people had to own all of the things that made things (capital) collectively, rather than letting individuals own factories, farms, and things like that, which would allow them to become richer and buy more factories and farms. Marx's vision of pure Communism actually required massive technological advances so that we were living in a world of extreme abundance, so that everyone could have anything they needed without anyone else not having it. What most people think of as a 'Communist State' would be seen by a pure Marxist as an intermediary step on the way to real Communism – where the very ideas of capital, class, economies, etc. all disappear, because we don't need them anymore.

Like I say, the words are misused so much that it's hard to really come up with a clear difference. Some people would say the difference is that Communists believe the state has to have a fundamental change of character for a collectivist world to exist, while socialists believe it can be done within the existing state. But socialist Anarchists believe very strongly in the abolition of the state first.

In fact, the great schism between the Anarchists and the Communists in Marx's time came from the opposite disagreement – Communists believed the fastest way to achieve equality was to have the state seize all property and forcibly redistribute it. Anarchists believed that once the state seized all of the property, those in power wouldn't want to then redistribute it. Which is what happened.

To really drive this home, because this is the most important point: while people are trying to answer your question, they're doing it based on the definitions of "Communism" and "Socialism" that they choose to use.

As a result, some of the answers you get are contradicting one another, and most of them are hugely problematic. It's not your fault, because the words are used in public discourse as though they have very clear single definitions, but ultimately the question is like asking: What's the difference between a beetle and an insect?

The problem is that not only is a beetle a type of insect, but it matters a lot what kind of beetle you're talking about, and what kinds of other insects you're comparing them to.


I love it. Commercial real-estate. There is a piece sitting unused across from my home, and it has been doing so for years.

I think it was empty when we moved in.

It is run down and honestly, probably sinks the value of our home. Neighborhood children play there sometimes.

Most commercial leases are for 10 or 20 years so sometimes it's worth a pretty long wait to get your asking price.

You also don't want to have high risk businesses move in because they got lured with cheap rent. If your tenant goes bankrupt quickly, you might be out time and money. Those are pretty much the only economic reasons, assuming you don't end up making the rent so low that you can't even cover your own costs (repairs, legal fees, paying employees, and property taxes).

Another reason is that often the owner of the property has to pay to have the property outfitted for the new tenant. If the owner doesn't have spare money to pay for a new outfitting they may struggle to get a tenant.

Because of this the landlord may not want the type of businesses that need low rents. Those businesses could signal to potential customers that the neighboring businesses are of lower quality. It might be worth it to wait for a high quality tenant rather than accept on that would anger the other tenants and hurt their businesses.

If you have someone move in at a lower cost, you can't raise their rent more than a certain amount over time. It might be better to let it sit empty a few years and get someone at your original price than let a business move in at a lower price and use it for 10 years.

But in other cases, which I think is ours it comes down to an investment.

Some people, so-called wealthy investors, just do it for tax write-offs. They don't really give 2 of anything if someone pays rent.


Ever since AdultSwim canceled Aqua Teen Hunger Force I have been sort of blah.

They also canceled Metalocalypse, yet added trash like Bob's Burgers and Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell?

The consideration here is that the ratings.

I get it.

Unfortunately, for Metalocalypse this is a case where the ratings weren't up to snuff. The budget for the show was getting too high for the ratings they were pulling in. The show took way more original animation than the relative cheapness something like ATHF took to make.

Unless Mike Lazzo just was executing a personal vendetta, there doesn't seem to be a reason for the show to be gone. The idea that he personally was out to get the show (and others) seems like tin foil hat stuff.

Honestly, I'd trade pretty much any show for ATHF or a new animated Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro show. In a way I feel sort of over it but at the same time I can't help but feel bittersweet about Rick and Morty.

I just really want a new Dave and Matt animated series to mend the open wound in my heart that the cancelation of Aqua Teen left


My cousin who is close to ten years younger than I am is getting ready to finish high school.

Now of course this will make more sense if you have some background, but since the math class that she was in had 23 students the teacher decided to given them The Birthday Problem, or Paradox as I learned it.

For those of you who don't know, it goes like this: In a room with 23 people there's a 50% chance that 2 people will have the same birthday. Which there was, but more on that later.

It makes more intuitive sense if you think about all the possible pairs instead of just the total number of people.

In a room with 23 people, there are 253 (22 + 21 + 20 + ... + 1) possible birthday pairs.

The equation is a bit complicated to derive, but it's based off the idea of first calculating the probability that all birthdays are different and subtracting that from 1.

That is to say, there are 366 possible birthdays (including Feb 29). So the first person has a birthday, say Jan 1. The probability that the 2nd person's birthday is not Jan 1 is 365/366. The probability that the third person's birthday is not Jan 1 or the second birthday is 364/366. You do that as many times as people you have. When you multiply all those probabilities and subtract from 1, you get the probability that at least 2 people share a birthday, and when there are 23 people, that probability is roughly 50%.

This equation, however, assumes that all birthdays are equally probable, which we know isn't true.

Now, as it turned out there were two people with the same birthday. It is a girl that she is only acquainted with, and isn't really friends. But thanks to the problem, they did have a chance to connect.

And well, they hit it off.

Which, with teen girls, this means that they got to be good friends really quickly. I got the invitation in the main for "their" birthday party. I should clarify, I am practically like a big sister. When she was younger she spent a lot of her summer break at our home. And I took her with me when I went out on errands.

It was a nice invitation, perfect for teens, somethingt hat is really important when you celebrate a birthday at that age.

Either it is too babyish or it doesn't have the right look. They are hard to please.

It should be fun!


Have you ever wondered why cheese age for years but molds quickly in fridge?

There's a lot to talk about here:

  • All cheese molds, but of course when it's aging it's in very large blocks and only (for the most part) molds on the outside, where it can be discarded.
  • The rinds on cheeses that have them are a combination of drying and biological processes; so those do mold as well. In something like a brie the mold is actually the rind; on what's called a washed-rind cheese the rinds are (unsurprisingly) washed, so there's not much mold actively growing on them
  • you generally wrap cheese in your fridge in plastic, this holds moisture and creates a perfect environment for mold to grow. During aging cheeses will be allowed to breathe, so the rinds are drier and less susceptible to mold. If you buy an expensive cheese, it will be GREATLY improved by a couple of days wrapped in wax paper or another breathable wrapping, rather than plastic. Also - unrelated - let it warm to room temperature before you eat it!

Cheese is traditionally made in large blocks or wheels. These large chunks 'go bad' on the outside, protecting the inner cheese while it ripens. The outer rind is removed before it gets to you. The problem is that you've got a 2" thick slice of cheese that wants to form a 1" rind on both sides - there's nothing left in the middle.


The time spent making them really shows in their quality and heart.

They also take a really long time.

Most films take years to complete, when you include all of the time from when the person has the first idea to when the film is finally released.

In Pixar's case, a large fraction of the time is still dominated by getting the story right. They're known for continually rewriting the storyboard for years until they're happy with it.

Even once the storyboard is done and the voice acting and animation is ready to begin, Pixar doesn't just use off-the-shelf computer software to do their animation. They employ hundreds of programmers who specialize in writing software to generate new 3-D effects.

Each new film pushes the boundaries of what's possible in computer-generated 3-D graphics - more realistic and nuanced textures, more detail, more believable movement, plus new creative special effects that would never be possible in real life. They spent hundreds of man-years just making the fur for the movie Monsters, Inc., as one example.

That means that there's lots and lots of Man hours that go with into making the films. As well as computing hours. As the technology progresses so does the complexity of the films.