SilasBarta

SilasBarta's Comments

You're Entitled to Arguments, But Not (That Particular) Proof

My favorite one: burning wood for heat. Better than fossil fuels for the GW problem, but really bad for local air quality.

According to Dale Carnegie, You Can't Win an Argument—and He Has a Point

To your alternative approaches I would also add Bruce Schneier's advice in Cryptographic Engineering, where he talks a little about the human element in dealing with clients. It's similar to the Socratic approach, in that you ask about a possible flaw rather than argue it exists.

Bad: "that doesn't work. Someone can just replay the messages."

Good: "what defenses does this system have against replay attacks?"

Should effective altruists care about the US gov't shutdown and can we do anything?

Why is a mere statement of contradiction voted up to five? Something I'm missing here? I could understand if it was Clippy and there was some paperclip related subtext that took a minute to "get" but ...

Should effective altruists care about the US gov't shutdown and can we do anything?

Admittedly no one's ever been charged under the ADA, but there are plenty of examples of people being disciplined for violating it.

Thinking about your experiments does not (in itself) involve expenditure of government money, so I don't see how they would prosecute you under the ADA for that. Yes, managers have to be very clear to workers not to use resources, just to keep them away from edge cases, but even with that level of overcaution, managers can't actually stop you.

Even if you came back and (for some reason) said, "Hey boss, I totally thought about this experiment from the couch when the shutdown was going on", they still don't have grounds unless you were using up resources. Now, they could fire you just for the defiance (maybe), but if they're that trigger-happy in the first place, then ...

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... and that is what being a big fish in a small pond feels like ;-) That is, most of them there won't even make it that far. At least, that was my experience.

(My approach was the cruder one of just taking a remainder modulo max size after each operation.)

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C-style integers = integers with a fixed possible range of values and the corresponding rollover -- that is, if you get a result too big to be stored in that fixed size, it rolls over from the lowest possible value.

Ruby doesn't implement that limitation. It implements integers through Fixnum and Bignum. The latter is unbounded. The former is bounded but (per the linked doc) automatically converted to the latter if it would exceed its bounds.

Even if it did, it's still useful as an exercise: get a class to respond to addition, etc operations the same way that a C integer would. (And still something most participants will have trouble with.)

Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013

+1 for a (+1 for acknowledging the inconvenient) on a subject you dislike discussion of.

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Depends on what you intend to get out of it, but you can go to an amateur hack night ("we're going to implement C-style integers in Ruby", "we're going to implement simulated annealing)", where almost everyone but you will have trouble conceptualizing the problem.

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Non-thinking-of-customers-as-fish is not a business plan.

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