Neural Networks Part 2: What does Feed Forward even mean anyways?

When I set out to design a neural network for this project, I knew very little about neural networks, artificial intelligence, or anything along those lines, and so I can’t say that I chose as I did out of any deep knowledge — what I can say is that a coworker told me that a fully-connected feed forward neural network is easy to implement.

Software Engineering is a constant fight against added, unnecessary complexity so yeah, simplicity, let’s go with that!

So… what’s a fully-connected feed forward neural network and how do I build one?

Continue reading Neural Networks Part 2: What does Feed Forward even mean anyways?


This paragraph ends the acknowledgments section of Advanced Compiler Design and Implementation by Steven Muchnick, which I just started yesterday.


This acknowledgment time-traveled from 1998. Steven might not have been risking chemical castration or life like if he’d penned this less than a half-century prior, but the notion of same-sex partnership definitely wasn’t so accepted as it is today. It’s hard to imagine the courage, love, and possibly defiance that this paragraph represents.

LGBTQ colleagues, friends, neighbors, fellow countrymen, fellow world citizens: From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your contributions. We wouldn’t be where we are without you. Happy Pride.

Hacker’s Delight, Division Poem

I think that I shall never envision
An op as unlovely as division.
An op whose answer must be guessed
And then, through multiply, assessed;
An op for which we dearly pay,
In cycles wasted every day.
Division code is often hairy;
Long division’s downright scary.
The proofs can overtax your brain,
The ceiling and floor may drive you insane.
Good code to divide takes a Knuthian hero,
But even God can’t divide by zero!
– Hacker’s Delight p. 278.

Anki Japanese Challenge Week 60

60 weeks ago, I started the kanji deck that brought me to practical fluency in Japanese reading. 48 weeks ago, I started my J-E deck. In August 2014, I brought all cards into circulation from Japanese Level Up’s “The One Deck”.

This is what my forecasts and reviews look like today.


At the worst, I performed 1300 reviews/day and spent 480m/day working on Japanese in Anki. Over the last month, I reviewed an average of 160 cards/day (ignore the stat above, which counts cards I got wrong as well as review cards) and spent about 23m/day.

This doesn’t mean that I only spend 23m/day on Japanese. I also listen to NHK broadcasts approximately 40m/day, read (~1 article/day) and The Sigh of Suzumiya Haruhi (1ch/week), and play Japanese ROMs on ZSNES. These are less measurable but infinitely more pleasurable vectors for staying up on Japanese that I couldn’t have enjoyed prior to getting through the massive vocabulary and kanji binge.

I look forward to breaking under the 100 cards/day mark. The forecast says that’ll be 16 days from now, but it’s been saying that since January. I’m in no rush, since 20m/day is sustainable.

Question: Why are you posting this?
I notice very little data on people’s progress or routines — mainly because people assume no one’s interested. As an outsider, data encourages me to undertake self-improvement projects I wouldn’t dare to without information.

Besides that, it’s nice for me to have a historical record.

I’ll be posting this data once a week on Sunday.

J.K. Rowling and the Penmonkey’s Opinion

Since this is exploding all over the internet, and I’ve now made the minimum ante-in to speak about Harry Potter fandom (I watched all the movies over the month of January) I feel like I’m privy to talking about this now. Hermione and Harry would be just absolutely awful together. Not as a couple, but for the story itself. Continue reading J.K. Rowling and the Penmonkey’s Opinion

Instead of an angry internet rant, here’s my goldfish!

Today, I read a presumptuous, reductionist, condescending article about diversity in geekdom. It devolved into flamebait about white, heterosexual, male self-importance and privilege, and then to hating on male geeks.

I wrote a 1,268 word response to it, and almost clicked “Publish”, but I refuse to spread more internet hate. Instead, here are pictures of my goldfish.


Front and center, Speckles. To the right, Loam. Loam started out charcoal black, but turned orange as he grew up, which is apparently common for darkly colored goldfish.


Saya is the biggest, and the sassiest in the tank. I love watching her lumber around the tank and the indignant look she makes when she accidentally bumps the bridge (lower left of picture).


This is Blaze. He’s the fishtank’s redneck. Lauren says that according to The Internet, Blaze’s tumor is benign, and that in any case, if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be able to save him. It doesn’t seem to bother him any though.

Aren’t they cute?

Wasn’t that better than listening to an angry white geek argue with another angry white geek even though they agree on the central premise?

I thought so.