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Comment Yes.... (Score 1) 360

Folks, we live in an age where programmers declare integers that are going to count from 1...10 as LONG INTEGERS, eating 8 bytes of RAM, where only 1 byte is needed.

We live in an age of cloud computing, load balancers, containers, and distributed databases with stored procedures. When code runs, you have no idea where it is running and how it is spread out over cloud services. Most of the time you don't even know what country the physical box is in.

I have a pure CS degree, but as long as we can keep making things faster and bigger, I am not sure if this book will ever be a top seller. In the brave new world of computing I am not even sure what optimization means anymore. Optimize for CPU, network, compiler, database, cloud architecture??? It is maddening!

As for me, I am currently doing an embedded systems project. Am I doing it in 'C' and ASM like in the good old days? Heck, no, I am using python on a quad core ARM SOC with 1GB of RAM. Even at max processing load I am barely hitting 10% CPU while coding in Python. As long as hardware is fast and cheap, there is no need to spend this kind of time optimizing every cycle and byte. BTW, this is my first Python project. Easy-peasy language that is great for hardware interfacing projects, most libraries exist for common chips like the MCP3008 (AD convertor).

To the kids out there. This is a great time to be alive. You can build anything, learn anything, and talk to anyone. Do cool stuff. Learn everything. There are no limits and powerful hardware is cheap. Look around at how lucky you are to be alive right now. It is an amazing time!

Comment Re:Sour grapes (Score 1) 1425

To change the Electoral College process now, after the popular vote is over, is sour grapes.

FWIW, Lessig isn't actually calling for changing the process. He's pointing out that the rules-as-written all putting someone other than Trump in office, and arguing that it would be the smart thing to do.

Comment Alexander Hamilton (Score 2, Informative) 1425

supposedly argued in IIRC The Federalist #68 that one purpose of the Electoral College was to prevent anyone who was unqualified or beholden to a foreign power from becoming President.

IMO both are applicable now, but defecting electors could set a precedent that might come back and bite us later.

I can't imagine that Republican electors would defect to Clinton. AIUI, all they have to do is prevent anyone from getting 270 EV, in which case the selection would fall to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The House Democrats might all go for Clinton, and the Republicans would be very divided, but they tend to get in line when the chips are down, so we'd surely get a Republican. Romney would be my best guess, but they might decide that the appearance of legitimacy requires choosing someone who actually ran, maybe Bush or that guy from Utah, or even Pence.

I don't expect any of that to happen, and I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but then I've been wrong about everything else concerning this election, so who knows...

As for switching from the Electoral College to the popular vote, the low-population states will be very much against this. I suspect it was designed as a deliberate attempt to keep the high-population states from dominating the low-population states, but now that we have 50 with a great deal of variety, maybe that motivation isn't relevant any more.

Also, if the EC should be replaced by proportional representation or direct popular vote, where does that leave the Senate? Should it be converted to proportional representation as well? Would it be any good to us if it was just a clone of the House of Representatives?

Comment not actually very surprising (Score 2, Informative) 69

Learning internal representations are what neural networks are all about.

Conventional wisdom is that each successive layer in a feed-forward network detects higher-level features based on the lower-level features detected by the previous layer. That's why deep networks can do their magic.

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