“Consider events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. There, in the aftermath of a long civil war, the government is currently zoning its forests — which cover as much as 316 million acres, an area nearly the size of France, Germany and Spain combined — in preparation for their mass allocation to logging companies. Old European timber conglomerates want to reactivate their concessions, some dating back almost to the brutal days more than a century ago when the entire country was run by King Leopold of Belgium. Logging newcomers from Malaysia and China also want a slice of the action.”
On my macbook air (Intel core i7), I get that the unpacking speed is not very sensitive to the specific number of bits: generally, the smaller the bit width, the faster the unpacking. The packing speed is much faster when the bit width is 8 or 16. Even so, the difference is only by a factor of two or so. The results are presented in the next figure. On the y axis, you have the time (smaller is better). On the the x axis, we have the number of bits we packed to. For example, when bit is 1, we pack 32 integers into a single 32-bit word. When the number of bits is set to 32 bits, we have a regular copy.
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‘As usual, we ought to leave the grand claims about “the way humans are” or “the way that it is best to live/work” to psychologists and preachers. Amongst ourselves, perhaps we should just say things like “I’ve been doing this one kind of fairly specific thing recently, and I’ve been surprised to find that X has been really helpful to me. Maybe it will help you too.”’
“Because what I hadn’t known—this is my first time grading this exam—was that it doesn’t matter how well you write, or what you think. Here we spent the year reading books and emulating great writers, constructing leads that would make everyone want to read our work, developing a voice that would engage our readers, using our imaginations to make our work unique and important, and, most of all, being honest. And none of that matters. All that matters, it turns out, is that you cite two facts from the reading material in every answer. That gives you full credit. You can compose a “Gettysburg Address” for the 21st century on the apportioned lines in your test booklet, but if you’ve provided only one fact from the text you read in preparation, then you will earn only half credit. In your constructed response—no matter how well written, correct, intelligent, noble, beautiful, and meaningful it is—if you’ve not collected any specific facts from the provided readings (even if you happen to know more information about the chosen topic than the readings provide), then you will get a zero.”
“The BSI has already admitted it did not know why it was lobbying against the UK’s open standards policy, only that is what it had been told to do by ISO in Geneva. ISO in turn says its policy is formed by constituents like BSI. Does anyone know what’s going on? BSI’s resident standards experts are from non-IT, engineering fields. It’s public policy expert is a career standards wonk who cannot explain its software policy either.
It was no surprise this week therefore when ISO was also unable to give Computer Weekly any examples of when it’s policy might be justified. That is, when it might be justified for a patent holder to make a claim on a software standard. Neither could BSI.”
“Guy Aldred is an obscure but important figure in the history of socialist thought. He sometimes crops up in histories of British socialism, syndicalist and labour organisation, but rarely in discussions of socialist theory. His uncompromising commitment to activism perhaps explains this neglect: as Aldred himself argued in a commentary on British anarchism, ideologies are too often shaped by the philosophical reflections of educated elites, leaving the thoughts of working class autodidacts who spend a lifetime standing on street corners, propagandising, ignored. Perhaps, too, his evangelical roots make his work an acquired taste: Aldred writes with moral certainty and conviction that leaves little room for debate. Most biographical accounts suggest that he was not an easy man to get along with and though he did not lack organisational skill, he found co-operation difficult. The pleasure he took in the pun of his name – ‘the man they all dread’ – was indicative of the problem. Yet Aldred’s ideas are compelling and the judgements he made in his early life were consistently revolutionary, libertarian, anarchistic and usually good. Aldred campaigned against marriage and for birth control in support of women’s liberation before the First World War; he encouraged conscientious objection in both world conflicts and publicised the vindictive abuse that COs suffered for taking their stance. In all his early writings, he elevated the struggles of common people – from religious non-conformists to convicts. Drawing on the reports of his comrades, Ethel MacDonald (1909−1960) and Jane (Jenny) Patrick (1884−1971), he supported the 1936 anarchist revolution in Spain  and until his later life, he consistently opposed the dogmatism of orthodox Marxism, whether it was expressed in the theoretical pieties of the European social democratic movement or, after the Russian Revolution, in the cold, physical brutality of the Stalinist regime. The passion with which he advanced these causes captures the spirit of an optimistic, utopian, romantic current of socialism whose hopes and ideals, squeezed by social democracy on one side and state socialism on the other, were ultimately disappointed but which remain inspiring.”