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wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

Nice work! I am pretty sure I understand the problem statement... I am still working on #357, thanks for the tips!

We had some fun with the Collatz Conjecture earlier.

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What are your favourite podcasts?

EconTalk can be wonky but often has interesting guests. You (and goobster and BLOB_CASTLE) might enjoy the interview with Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man Project. She describes the history, how they price tickets, how they catch crashers, how attendees get water and what happens to the waste, and how sales are discouraged.

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: When Elephants Weep

The author bio inside the back cover is intriguing: Masson has a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Harvard, and was briefly projects director of the Sigmund Freud Archives. "The documents he found there on Freud's approach to child abuse created a major controversy in psychoanalysis."

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Fish Feel Pain. Now What?

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 3, 2018

Got a free shirt!

I often record my commute with the Charity Miles app, getting a corporate sponsor to pitch a few coins to Habitat For Humanity while I enjoy riding my bike. (The Hubski team has recorded 1790 miles so far and could use some help!)

Now and then there's a promotion. The t-shirt is cool, but a free hormone test kit was an unexpected surprise. I haven't overcome my reluctance to jab four fingers with needles, but I'm curious to see my numbers.

For the new year I am following veen's example, avoiding distractions and aiming to read more. First book finished this year was The News: A User's Manual, and was about as expected, though it got me to delete a bunch of apps, including some foreign newspaper apps that were supposed to help me practice language but just bugged me with headline alerts I had already seen in English.

The Road to Wigan Pier is wholesome misery literature that makes frozen toes on the way to work seem like no big deal.

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Happy New Year everyone!

They promised a big party. Looks like they are having one.

wasoxygen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Sam Altman: E Pur Si Muove

This reminded me of our great discussion about slavery.

    GM Hikaru Nakamura ... called the match "dishonest" and pointed out that Stockfish's methodology requires it to have an openings book for optimal performance.

I agree that's a significant handicap, and it would seem fairer to pit the algorithms against each other at full strength, running on equivalent hardware.

Still, it would merely be an exhibition to see which bot is farther along on the road to divinity.

    "I am pretty sure God himself could not beat Stockfish 75 percent of the time with White without certain handicaps."

The future is here – AlphaZero learns chess

    Approaching chess might still seem unusual. After all, although DeepMind had already shown near revolutionary breakthroughs thanks to Go, that had been a game that had yet to be ‘solved’. Chess already had its Deep Blue 20 years ago, and today even a good smartphone can beat the world number one. What is there to prove exactly?

Would the best mobile phone chess app be a favorite in a match against Carlsen?

    AlphaZero had done more than just master the game, it had attained new heights in ways considered inconceivable. The test is in the pudding of course, so before going into some of the fascinating nitty-gritty details, let’s cut to the chase. It played a match against the latest and greatest version of Stockfish, and won by an incredible score of 64 : 36, and not only that, AlphaZero had zero losses (28 wins and 72 draws)!

    Stockfish needs no introduction to ChessBase readers, but it's worth noting that the program was on a computer that was running nearly 900 times faster! Indeed, AlphaZero was calculating roughly 80 thousand positions per second, while Stockfish, running on a PC with 64 threads (likely a 32-core machine) was running at 70 million positions per second. In spite of this insane deficit, AlphaZero crushed Stockfish 64-36 with no losses at a time control of one minute per move.

    In the diagram above, we can see that in the early games, AlphaZero was quite enthusiastic about playing the French Defense, but after two hours (this so humiliating) began to play it less and less.
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