Things I Wish Someone Had Explained About Functional Programming (James Sinclair) — But it’s not long before things get complicated. We start with a bunch of simple functions. Easy. But the types don’t all line up. And we need to generate some side effects, too. And handle errors. And manage state. And how do you debug this? It gets tricky, quick. Functional programming has idioms and tools to solve all these challenges. But learning them is hard if nobody shows you where to look.
Electoral Competition with Fake News — We introduce opportunities for political candidates and their media supporters to spread fake news about the policy environment and perhaps about parties’ positions into a familiar model of electoral competition. In the baseline model with full information, the parties’ positions converge to those that maximize aggregate welfare. When parties can broadcast fake news to audiences that disproportionately include their partisans, policy divergence and suboptimal outcomes can result. We study a sequence of models that impose progressively tighter constraints on false reporting and characterize situations that lead to divergence and a polarized electorate.
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Live Face De-Identification in Video — We propose a method for face de-identification that enables fully automatic video modification at high frame rates. The goal is to maximally decorrelate the identity, while having the perception (pose, illumination, and expression) fixed. We achieve this by a novel feed-forward encoder-decoder network architecture that is conditioned on the high-level representation of a person’s facial image. The network is global, in the sense that it does not need to be retrained for a given video or for a given identity, and it creates natural looking image sequences with little distortion in time.
Lessons Learned from Sendmail (Eric Allman) — Sendmail has a bad rap with the kids, but it’s worth listening to how it came about. If you ever invent something that has the market share that Sendmail had, then you’ll have regrets, too. This is a good opportunity to learn from Eric’s.