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Profiles in Science: The Yoda of Silicon Valley

Following Dr. Knuth’s doctrine helps to ward off moronry. He is known for introducing the notion of “literate programming,” emphasizing the importance of writing code that is readable by humans as well as computers — a notion that nowadays seems almost twee. Dr. Knuth has gone so far as to …

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After Protest, Booksellers Are Victorious Against Amazon Subsidiary

Vic Zoschak, president of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, was optimistic on the sudden resolution. “I choose to believe yesterday’s dialogue between the two camps will be but a start to improved communications and relations, each dedicated to a continued win-win association,” he said. Experts in selling on Amazon …

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Nonfiction: Where Trolls Reigned Free: A New History of Reddit

It’s all here anyway: the lack of adult oversight; the suck-up press; the growth-at-any-cost mentality; the loyal employees, by turns abused and abusive (memo from management: “You do realize you were talking about penises for 90 minutes, right?”); the defense of horrendous behavior as “free speech”; the jettisoning of “free …

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Computer Stories: A.I. Is Beginning to Assist Novelists

Mr. Sloan wanted to see for himself. He acquired from the Internet Archive a database of texts: issues of Galaxy and If, two popular science fiction magazines in the 1950s and ’60s. After trial and error, the program came up with a sentence that impressed him: “The slow-sweeping tug moved …

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