Why do I mention this? Processed food and factory farms have eliminated 90% of the labor and cost of food production in the USA, so that the time their great-grandparents spent in food production, modern people can divert to other uses, like doing fun things, or Making the World a Better Place. The Linux command line is like organic food: before 1984, it was the only way to use a computer, but it's labor-intensive. Now we have Dragon-Drop (mousing and clicking) which is measurably faster (the way processed food is faster than organic), so that ordinary people are freed up to spend their time in other uses, like doing fun things, or Making the World a Better Place (or, as I hope, both at the same time). Some people, if they so choose, can waste their extra time growing and preparing organic food. Other people can waste their extra time typing commands into a Linux command line. The rest of us will use our newly available time to Make the World a Better Place, or at least on fun things like the Autonomous Vehicle Project I am mentoring this summer.
So why am I picking on Linux? Because (like organic food) there are bigots who claim without proof that their preferred time-waster is actually better, and are trying to criticize me for choosing to do this project in Windows (which is faster than Linux). Others are criticizing me for choosing to do it in Java (which again is faster than the available alternatives). You can read my technical response, but today I want to go on public record as holding no ill will against their unfounded prejudice.
I think C++ and Linux and Neural Nets are wonderful tools, and I hope all my competitors make full use of them. I don't particularly want to use the inferior products they implement using those tools, but when our team of high school kids goes head to head against college students this fall, we can beat them because we are using better (faster) tools than they are.
Postscript: The kids chose not to use the faster
tools (see also "The Dark Side") and
the end of the summer came and went with no autonomous car to show for
it. It will be a tough act to follow.
Why Java? Why Win10?
C++ Considered Harmful
Thanking God for Factory Farms
The Problem with 21st Century AI