Amazon global intern hackathon :D.

You form a team of 5 with some other intern buddies, and they have two challenges and you can choose one to compete in. A video game design/implementation contest, and a more algorithmic one concerning an interesting internal problem.

A few friends and I are doing the algorithm one :3


whrrg4rb1 replied to your post: it’s great that Obama got reelected and…

I feel your pain :\ my facebook is blowing up with people from home saying they’re moving to Canada (which, of course, would not make sense if they actually thought about it)

some word-for-word statuses

"time to pack up my things and move to Canada"

"if obama won…maybe that means the world really is ending in december…?"

"well it’s 2012 and we were gonna die anyways"

"the end is near"

"who’s obama gonna blame it on when he screws up the economy the next four years?"

"Look at the bright side; now you don’t have to get a job."


Like I don’t consider myself a die hard obama fan but seriously people, he’s our president…

Friends that I live with: not as often as I kind of want to. I really like hugs. In person, I would totally cuddle up with someone (except maybe not the first time I met them), there’s just societal norms and expectations that sometimes get in the way. If you’re a really good hugger, I might just run up to you and not let go for an extended period of time (assuming I know that you understand my oddities). I also have been known to hug people like four times over the course of saying goodbye.

There is this sort of tense moment when you first meet someone and you’re not quite sure whether a hug is too presumptuous and if a handshake would be preferable, but then that sets this weird oddly formal tone for the conversation, but you totally don’t want to creep them out and be like ‘come, place your face against my chest’ the first time you see somebody.

That being said, I would hug someone I’m meeting for the first time. As formal as I am with definitions and logical discourse and whatnot, my style is really pretty laid back. I don’t think I’m overbearing or whatever. I’m reserved in large groups (mostly because my interests/views might not always match up so well with social norms), but I really prefer more intimate conversations. I like spending time alone with people who I feel happy around and who seem happy around me. In those situations, I’m extremely open (in general).

And I don’t really have issues hugging anyone (except maybe hygiene issues heh). I prefer hugs to handshakes for my male friends from high school and such, as well. It’s just a nice way to express affection and closeness. Plus they’re all soft and warm and real. In that moment, you are vulnerable, connected to this person. I like hugs.

Thanks! I emailed the recruiter, she apologized that I wasn’t contacted and asked me for other dates that I am available so that we could reschedule :D.

As for how the interview went…

Well, I’ve never had an interview, so I sort of stumbled through the parts where I was supposed to talk about myself. Also I used the phrase “cloud computing” which was a big mistake because that can mean so many things in so many different contexts (and of course, the interviewer was imagining a different context than the one I intended). Basically I learned to slow down and think about speaking clearly, but I was mostly just incredibly nervous at the time.

Other than that, the technical bit went just fine. The first question he asked was incredibly simple, but being nervous, it took me an embarrassingly long time to answer it. Once I was going though, he seemed pretty pleased with what I was saying. Then he asked the second one, and even though it was pretty hard, I had a really decent flow going at that point, it went really smoothly.

It was Amazon though, yeah, thanks for asking!

Responses to answers about power:


legumes-are-good-for-you answered your question: Is there any undeniable authority— some power…


Amorality is a possibility though; one need not subscribe to a moral code.


somnule answered your question: Is there any undeniable authority— some power…

Gravity, for the time being.


whrrg4rb1 answered your question: Is there any undeniable authority— some power…

Depends on if there is free will or not. Some would argue that entropy is the ultimate force… or more generally, the laws of physics.


modus-trollens replied to your post: Is there any undeniable authority— some power…

It could be argued that external forces can’t rob us of choice regarding things in our power (e.g. flying wouldn’t be in our power, or standing if one is paralyzed). They merely influence our will, though it is still our will through which we act.

Physical laws constrain what is physically possible, but not what is logically possible. I agree that working within the physical world would generally be more useful in this case though. If we accept the fundamental forces, can we ask what (if anything) else remains?

What is the weakest force that we cannot disobey? The lower bound on things that are stronger than ourselves. Are there any man-made forces?


specterslostintranslation answered your question: Is there any undeniable authority— some power…

You are the undeniable authority. Only you, yourself can give people power and your submission.It’s just a matter of your need for acceptance

This was kind of along the lines of my intuition: that power (as a social concept) is a construct of the mind.


antinegationism answered your question: Is there any undeniable authority— some power…

Define choice.

So I think we all agree that the question is badly defined.

A man after my own heart. I think the term is sufficiently well-defined for this instance, though. In what sort of a situation could it lead to ambiguity? And I agree it’s not terribly well-defined. My usual intention in asking questions is to get questions in return (which I think is at least part of the reason why some people get annoyed when they ask me questions and I answer with more questions).


whrrg4rb1 replied to your post: this is just me speculating but perhaps your upcoming twentieth birthday has something to do with the sappy posts? maybe you feel that more should have happened by now? idk, i’m just shooting in the dark here.

your computer is named wheatley? hah, that’s awesome.

Eeyup; I’m glad you agree ^_^

"When you stop to think what most people use computers for, you realize that it is to carry out very definite and precise tasks, which are too complex for people to do. If the computer is to be reliable, then it is necessary that it should understand, without the slightest chance of ambiguity, what it is supposed to do. It is also necessary that it should do neither more nor less than it is explicitly instructed to do.

If there is, in the cushion underneath the programmer, a program whose purpose is to ‘guess’ what the programmer wants or means, then it is quite conceivable that the programmer could try to communicate his task and be totally misunderstood.” — Are Computers Super-Flexible or Super-Rigid? from Gödel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter [x]

I figured wheatley was an apt way to keep in mind to be as precise and unambiguous as possible— a trait I strive to embody in life as a whole.

ursinenacht replied to your post: Haven’t slept in 24 hours; in…

Tell me if it’s as good as it was the one time we went. ;w; And good luck!

It was the same style but this cook today used way too much oil -___-

cabbagebot replied to your post: Haven’t slept in 24 hours; in…

best of luck!

whrrg4rb1 replied to your post: Haven’t slept in 24 hours; in…

good luck :D

Thank you each! ^__^ these are just like preliminary technical phone interviews but they’re still like equal parts excitement and anxiety haha ooh, I should totally get all y’all’s opinions on who would be good to work for (assuming they want me).

whrrg4rb1-deactivated20140720 said:

I like AI! Any cool projects you've done for that class? wait, actually - can you explain parallelized A* search? haven't seen that before, oddly enough, and it sounds quite useful. (also, good luck with midterms!)

Eh. The projects have tended to be a lot of transcription of pseudocode from lecture slides. I mean, the use of pacman as a teaching device is really intuitive so that’s cool. But the actual material covered seems fairly standard.

The parallel A* was the last question on the midterm we just had. The basic idea of the new version was: have multiple threads working to expand the children. You can see the specific formulation here.

Then there were two questions. The first asked to analyze each of four possible implementations of checking for a goal state and justify whether each was guaranteed to make the algorithm optimal and/or complete. The second was to walk through executions with two and three threads on sample graphs. (I can also get you those problem statements and/or my solutions if you’d like.)

And thank you! Still a few more before spring break x__x


whrrg4rb1 replied to your post: Are you happy?

dude you are the only other person I know who eats strawberries like that! everyone always just looks disgusted (until they try it, of course). Also, your answer reminded me somewhat of this C&H strip:

It tastes horrible and nobody should want to eat any of my terrible fruit >.> I’ll just be over here on the couch sacrificing my body to get rid of this foul combination. It’s definitely not worth trying (unless you’re going to buy your own instead of eating mine in which case you totally should).

I don’t demand euphoria, there’s just this weird thing where contentment makes me happy. If I have sufficient to get by, then I’m genuinely positive about that neutrality. I’m happy getting what I need instead of what I want. (I strive to only want what I need, though, so I guess in that case it would just be getting both since they’re ideally the same thing.) I’m gonna get back to eating more dessert now :3


whrrg4rb1 replied to your post: I wish I understood you :[ not sure if I love it…

I’m curious, how do you think understanding and love are related?

I used to think that I would love someone who understood me and someone who understood me would love me. I’m not very sure of either of those directions, though.

In general, I do think a bit of understanding can stimulate interest and interest can lead to further understanding. That cycle is a healthy one that I quite enjoy in academia, but I don’t know what happens when/if understanding is complete (if it makes sense to even talk about such a thing).

That is likely not the only relationship between the two, though. Just one that I think is less controversial.