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June 07 2011

Project Euler

Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve.
Reposted fromsofias sofias

Learn to Program By Giving Yourself Open Ended Problems to Solve

Leonhard euler CTO James Somers wrote recently for The Atlantic about his multi-year struggle to learn programming. When he was a teenager, he started trying to learn with a book on C++.

"I imagined myself working montage-like through the book, smoothly accruing expertise one chapter at a time," Somers wrote. "What happened instead is that I burned out after a week." Somers writes that he repeated this process over and over again. He thought for a while that he just didn't have the right kind of brain for programming.

Eventually, though, he discovered Project Euler and his relationship to programming changed.


Project Euler is a series of computational problems, each building on the last. Each problem would be difficult and time consuming to solve by hand, so you need to write computer programs to solve them. It's structured like a game - you answer one problem, and you level up to the next.

You're only given a problem, and a text box to plug in an answer. Once you provide the correct answer to a problem, you are given access to a discussion forum based around that problem, but you're on your own to figure out how to solve them. You can use pretty much any programming language to solve the problem. The point is just to get an answer and learn the process.

"Those books that dragged me through a series of structured principles were just bad books. I should have ignored them," Somers wrote. "I should have just played."

Project Euler gave Somers a set of questions, and he was able to work on solving them on his own. It's an approach to learning math and programming that I've heard a lot about, and it's a good one. Here are some other good tips for teaching yourself new skills (not necessarily programming).

I like Project Euler and its approach to teaching computer science. But I the problems solved aren't immediately practical. Tools like Scratch (and its offspring Waterbear) make it possible to build games in only a few hours. With Google App Inventor you can make your own mobile applications. And you can quickly learn to make generative art with Processing. Project Euler is better than these at teaching computer science, but each of those projects makes the programming more immediately useful.

Has anyone seen anything that blends these approaches?


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June 06 2011

Hallo ihr Lieben, auch wenn es in den letzten Tagen etwas ruhig geworden ist im Infotopf, tun sich hier in Spanien gerade neue Dimensionen auf! Im Folgenden ein kurzer Lagebericht:

Im wesentlichen gibt es 3 neue Dimensionen/Entwicklungen:

- eine Dezentralisierung der Bewegung in die Barrios die sehr erfolgreich verlaufen ist, mit allein 120 asambleas im Großraum Madrid, die zwischen 200 und 1500 TeilnehmerInnen hatten. Das bringt neue Impulse und neuen Schwung, konkretisiert die Forderungen und hat zur Folge, dass mittlerweile 81% der Bevölkerung die Bewegung unterstützten (EL Pais)

- eine neue Orientierung hin zur arbeitenden Bevölkerung: als Modell gilt hier Malaga (von den Medien beahhrlich totgeschwiegen). Dort wurde in den poligonos industriales mobilisiert, asmableas obreras abgehalten und die ArbeiterInnen eingebunden, nachdem das in der Bewegung selbst erst sehr kontrovers diskutiert wurde mit den üblichen revisionistischen Argumenten wir wären keine ArbeiterInnen, sondern Individuen, hier gibts keine Ideologie und keine Klassen, bla bla). Das Ergebnis war überwältigend: am 27.05. erlebte Malaga eine Demo mit 25.000 Leuten, die größte seit den Antikriegsdemos 2003. Jetzt wird das Modell auch nach Madrid exportiert, und verstärkt auf Basisgewerkschaften zugegangen, die Losung des unbefristeten Generalstreiks ausgegeben. Zudem fand am 4.6. die erste landesweite asamblea statt, an der 56 Städte teilnahmen und ein Sternmarsch auf Madrid, der von den großen Krisendemos am 19.06. aus starten soll, beschlossen.

- damit zum dritten Punkt: alle asambleas in den Barrios haben beschlossen, die landesweiten Demos am 19.06. unter dem Motto "Gemeinsam gegen Krise und Kapital" zu unterstützen. Diese bewegen sich in den Städten aus den Barrios auf die Regierungsinstitutionen zu, den Senat in Madrid, sonst auf die ayuntamientos. Ich denke, dass das ein nächster Eskalationspunkt werden wird, der die Kraft der Bewegung demonstriert. Die Mobilierungskraft der Bewegung ist jetzt schon größer als die der Gewerkschaften, der Losung eines Generalstreikes kann der 19. nur gut tun. Auch inhaltlich schärft sich der Diskurs langsam, die 8 Punkte auf der HP von democracia real wurden in der landesweiten asamblea abgesegnet und werden jetzt überall für die Mobilisierungen benützt. Zudem gibt es eine sehr starke Eigendynamik in den barrios, wo anschließend an die asambleas Spontandemos abgehalten werden oder eine Metrostation gestürmt wird, in der gerade Bullen migrantisch aussehende Personen kontrollieren.

Sehr schön das Ganze hier, es geht weiter, die Bewegung wächst und wächst sich v.a. langsam zu einer wirklichen Bedrohung für die Stabilität der Herrschaft im Land aus. Mensch darf gespannt bleiben!!! V.a. auf den 19.06 und den anschließenden Sternmarsch auf Madrid, der ein bisschen an Maos langen Marsch erinnert, mit asambleas in allen Dörfern durch die gegangen wird, klingt sehr gut organisiert und nach großen Ambitionen.
Reposted fromkellerabteil kellerabteil

Learn how to code

Ein schöner Text darüber, wie Lernen im Umfeld von Computern funktionieren kann.

Nimmt Bezug auf Project Euler


// oAnth


What's especially neat about it is that someone who has never programmed -- someone who doesn't even know what a program is -- can learn to write code that solves this problem in less than three hours. I've seen it happen. All it takes is a little hunger. You just have to want the answer.

That's the pedagological ballgame: get your student to want to find something out. All that's left after that is to make yourself available for hints and questions. "That student is taught the best who is told the least."

It's like sitting a kid down at the ORIC-1. Kids are naturally curious. They love blank slates: a sandbox, a bag of LEGOs. Once you show them a little of what the machine can do they'll clamor for more. They'll want to know how to make that circle a little smaller or how to make that song go a little faster. They'll imagine a game in their head and then relentlessly fight to build it.

Along the way, of course, they'll start to pick up all the concepts you wanted to teach them in the first place. And those concepts will stick because they learned them not in a vacuum, but in the service of a problem they were itching to solve.

Project Euler, named for the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, is popular (more than 150,000 users have submitted 2,630,835 solutions) precisely because Colin Hughes -- and later, a team of eight or nine hand-picked helpers -- crafted problems that lots of people get the itch to solve. And it's an effective teacher because those problems are arranged like the programs in the ORIC-1's manual, in what Hughes calls an "inductive chain":

The problems range in difficulty and for many the experience is inductive chain learning. That is, by solving one problem it will expose you to a new concept that allows you to undertake a previously inaccessible problem. So the determined participant will slowly but surely work his/her way through every problem.

This is an idea that's long been familiar to video game designers, who know that players have the most fun when they're pushed always to the edge of their ability. The trick is to craft a ladder of increasingly difficult levels, each one building on the last. New skills are introduced with an easier version of a challenge -- a quick demonstration that's hard to screw up -- and certified with a harder version, the idea being to only let players move on when they've shown that they're ready. The result is a gradual ratcheting up the learning curve.





Reposted fromschlingel schlingel

Germany’s rights-holders hit freetards hard | The Register - Music and Media -20110531

ISPs hand over 300k addresses each month

While other countries debate how to go after freetards, Germany’s ISPs are handing over user data for 300,000 accounts per month, according to an announcement by that country’s ISP association, Eco.

The organization is claiming success against piracy, saying that the number of online pirates has declined by 20 percent in Germany since 2008, in the face of the concerted campaign by the music industry, ISPs and the courts (while broadband subscriptions continue to rise).

According to the Eco press release (Google translation), a warning letter is usually enough to deter pirates, even without financial threats, according to Eco board member Oliver Süme.

In spite of the ISPs’ position, rights-holders generally accompany their letters with demands for money, giving rise to accusations that the German regime is a court-sponsored cash cow in which investigation targets will pay up rather than go to the expense of defending themselves.

Eco’s data is published not to defend customers, but ISPs: it argues that the successful push against pirates means mooted laws imposing blocks on Torrent sites’ IP addresses would be unnecessary

personal singularity countdown

based on naive optimism, prejudice and shameless self-centeredness.
the date numbering is decimal (=not months)

new distributed search engine appears.
bitcoin gains large-scale attention.

first knowlege engines hit the high-end sector.
mesh-networks gain large-scale attention.
bitcoin discussed as official currency in north-african and middle-east countries.

bitcoin has a share of about 0.1 (10%) share of the world economy.
yahoo and bing massively integrate results of distributed search engine.
decentralized public transport starts.
engineered languages/cultures get large public attention.

knowlege engines hit the mass market.
mesh-networks have a share of about 0.07 of internet traffic
first open hardware handheld hits the mass market.
dna-sequecing of humans costs around 2000 $ (15 BTC)

relatively save BCI becomes availabe.
first islands declare anarchy.
3D-printers hit the mass-market.
first superweapon developed that is never produced.
first decentralized energy-nets are built.

open knowlege engines become popular.
open operating systems on 1/3 of desktops.
public domain becomes largest-used "open source license"
cyborg movement and primitivist movement emerges.
robot cars are allowed in some countries.
agorists in usa outnumber marxists and libertarians.

fusion of apple and microsoft.
google realeses all code and joins the distributed search cloud.
internetworking is about 1/3 mesh networks.
open hardware becomes abou 1/4 of world production.
first cultured meat (grown without a concious animal) is successfully sold.

pirate parties in most european parlaments.
BCI hits mass market.
most national currecy is irrellevant.
labour- and unemployment- movement largely modernized, many companies run without bosses.

anarchy declared in south-west asia and large parts africa. discussed in india and japan and korea.
federated social networks outweight facebook.
hackerspaces outnumber schools.
most peoplehave rudimentary engelang-skills.

2/3 if world population are atheists.
humanoid robots hit mass market.
first largely scientifically accepted AGIs exist.
first GMOs with close-to-human intelligence are born.
3 inhabited space stations active.

massive riots in usa, russia and china. government semi-defunct.
peace and anarchy in middle east.
child-liberation movements get large influence.
human genome largely understood.
bitcoin becomes obsolete.

russia and usa declare bankrupcy, many parts go anarchy, others are effectively bought by coroporations.
large facilities on moon planned.
animal meat is largely frowned upon.
new internet protocol gets specified.

geopolitical anarchy globally established.
many recognize AGI-personhood.
fossil fuels depleted. "renewable energy" 0.85 of energy supply.
geengineering in active process.

quantum computers in first practical use.
world's computer cognition almost reaches world's human cognition.

personal singularity: most things that happen are beyond my current reach of imagination.
Reposted fromsofias sofias

June 03 2011

Play fullscreen
Honduras rejoins OAS, Ecuador votes no
Following the return of former president Manuel Zelaya, OAS votes to reinstate Honduras

June 01 2011

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Massive Turnout for Zelaya Launches New Chapter of Honduran Struggle
'Largest gathering in Honduran history' receives deposed leader's return, but where to now for Honduran resistance movement? Produced by Jesse Freeston. For More Visit
Views: 230
16 ratings
Time: 08:54 More in News & Politics

May 28 2011

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Zelaya Returns to Honduras
TRNN report from Honduras: Ex-President Zelaya return to Honduras not a return to democracy Former President Manuel Zelaya Returns to Honduras as an ex-President, but 23 months after the military coup, what kind of Honduras will he return to?
Views: 39
4 ratings
Time: 07:27 More in News & Politics
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YouTube - Bork and Hayek on so-called "Intellectuals"

I think Hayek makes an excellent point. Intellectuals are used to understanding how things work and take pride in their rationality, so when they see something happening and do not understand the mechanics of it their inclination is to dismiss it as nonsense. A proper empiricist or a 1st rate intellectual would judge from the measurable results, but the 2nd rate intellectual (which is most of them - especially outside their specialty) is too arrogant to acknowledge their ignorance.
Reposted fromkonnex konnex
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