Techno-machismo teens playing games trying to get their code into the least number of characters and the least amount of memory.
Given how many programs I've used over the past decade that have required unreasonably high amounts of RAM, and/or were subsequent releases of software that solved a particular problem in earlier iterations but required 1/10th the memory to do it, I wouldn't mind a handful of these guys getting their desks back. Adobe is a great place to start.
I've had to fix or test so much of this junk and it's still just plain stupid.
I'm by no means a programmer, but from the handful of times I've seen what you're talking about, I'll say this: if it's possible to save 10% of RAM by shifting the ease-of-use burden to the comments instead of the actual code, then as an end user, I'm 100% in favor of commenting the everloving hell out of difficult to read code that saves RAM when users are running it.
You don't have to save memory! Memory is there to make your code readable. Use it!
Wrong. Use as much as necessary, but no more. I might have 12GB of RAM in my laptop, but it's not all for you. It's for EVERYTHING I do, and when I start adding VMs or large After Effects projects to what I'm doing, 12GB starts to get pretty cramped. Some RAM usage will be inevitable, but wasteful RAM usage is wasteful.
I most certainly have plenty of admiration for the Demoscene.