Sean, Marcin, and I are watching the cryptopals at matasano address, so if you have questions or get stuck on one of the later problems, don't hesitate to ask; the worst that'll happen is we'll take too long to reply.
Update: We WILL get to you. We're definitely getting your emails. All of your emails. All of the emails. Give us a little bit though.
Occupations aren't necessarily a good signal for intelligence or domain expertise... even a patent clerk will surprise you once and a while. ;)
Good troll either way.
The wall between STEM and the humanities is, if not artificial, quite porous, and it's in the interest of every intelligent person to bring it down.
In general, there's been quite a bit of interest in quantitative approaches to the humanities lately. Try googling for J.E.H. Smith's proposal for a data-driven survey of world philosophy, or look into Franco Moretti's work on "distant reading" in Graphs, Maps, Trees. The latter was even profiled in the New York Times Magazine several years ago.
I also like to trot out the example of Hugh Kenner, a protege of Marshall McLuhan who was one of the 20th century's great scholars of Modernism, particularly of Joyce and Pound — and who was also a contributor to Byte.
EDIT: Dumb question, but for scheduling purposes, what's an order-of-magnitude estimate for a block of 8 questions? Is this like a weekend-hackable thing, part-time during the week, month sabbatical, or what?
Regarding time commitments: it is hugely variable, mostly I think because different people put different priorities on finishing. The first set should go very quickly.
I would love it if these took a month of work, but people have gotten through them in a couple days, and there's some delay built in there because of email.
If I were working on them full time I'm confident I could get as far as I am now (mostly finished the third set) in about a week.
EDIT: Apologies, it was only 10 days ago. So I'll assume you all are just a little backed up with the volume of requests.
In any case, I have received them now, so thanks for sharing them.
We got an overwhelming response to this, which is awesome. Good news/bad news. Bad first: slight delay, while we change up the way we manage the email responses (we're pulling the emails into Mailgun, which is fantastic btw). The good news is we should have everyone squared away by the middle of this afternoon, and should be much more responsive moving forward.
We're really looking forward to watching people run through the challenges. We'll post aggregate stats when everything's done.
In the real world, if you build a bookshelf and forget to tighten one of the screws all the way, it does not burn down your house
"In a stimulating paper "On the Cruelty of Really Teaching Computer Science,"Edsger Dijkstra examines the implications of one central, controlling assumption: that computers are radically novel in the history of the world. Given this assumption, it follows that programming these unique machines will be radically different from other practical intellectual activities. This, Dijkstra believes, is because the assumption of continuity we make about the behavior of most materials and artifacts does not hold for computer systems. For most things, small changes lead to small effects, larger changes to proportionately larger effects. If I nudge the accelerator pedal a little closer to the floor, the vehicle moves a little faster. If I press the pedal hard to the floor, it moves a lot faster. As machines go, computers are very different.
A program is, as a mechanism, totally different from all the familiar analogue devices we grew up with. Like all digitally encoded information, it has, unavoidably, the uncomfortable property that the smallest possible perturbations -- i.e., changes of a single bit -- can have the most drastic consequences."
As a programmer, my core strengths have always been knowing how to apologize to users, and composing funny tweets.
Great article, OP. I laughed and learned.
How long am I likely to have to wait to receive them? It's been 5 hours so far
Again, I'm not meaning to be rude, I just want to know if I should set aside time to do them this evening, this weekend, or in a couple of weeks
I'll save it for later if it does.
After reading this article though, I figured it would be safe to assume that I'll learn as I go through them.
Awesome work guys! Cant thank you enough!
I'm using this challenge to help me teach myself Python. As it turns out, it's a great language for these types of problems!
I think I want to try, but given the current front-page status of this I think I will wait a week or so before emailing for my instructions.
I don't even know if I can manage to take this on...but we'll see :)