Somebody improved my code by 40,832,277,770%

YES, the enhancement should be 40,832,277,770%, not what I say in the video clip. The “408,322,778” multiple was correct and I did the percentage the wrong way. There will not be a follow-up video to correct that.

This is episode 038 of the A Problem Squared podcast which started it all:

Here is Benjamin Paaßen’s full grid of all results and techniques used. It also has links to all the code as well.
The article by “encody” I mentioned:

This is the reverse-frequency alphabet. Which is frequency in words, not in use (which would allow for frequency of word use; this list counts each word once).

And whynot, a whole bunch of code. All of it is better than mine. All of it. (Even if you ran it all sequentially.)

Cheers to my Patreons for helping enable these videos. Without them test running all that code I’d never know how much better an iPad is than me.
– Ha, I got the percentage around the wrong way. Should be 40,832,277,770% better.
– Yes, I missed the binary digit for the “A” in “BREAD” and everyone in the live premier chat noticed. Sorry about that. 🍞
– Let me know if you spot any other mistakes!

Filming and editing by Alex Genn-Bash
Some graphics by Benjamin Paaßen
Written and performed by Matt “32 days later” Parker
Music by Howard Carter
Design by Simon Wright and Adam Robinson


  1. Thank you for proposing the challenge Matt! It’s been fun! The solution by Landon and myself referenced at the end truly was an effort that involved everyone else already mentioned in some way.

    That 500us mentioned (currently at 300us now by the way) has its “DNA” from about 10 different people in it.
    For me, this was as much of a social exercise as it was a mathematical and programming one.

    Can’t wait for the next challenge!

    • @aether222 probably not, cpp compilers are generally very smart but potentially

    • Do y’all have a blogpost or a medium or a write up I can read?

    • @aether222 Probably just about as fast as the currently fastest version, as modern compilers already produce assembly that almost no human can beat with handwritten stuff if given the right input….
      Maybe one could trim a fer percentege points, but I would not expect orders of magnitude, like the already implemented speedups.

    • Wow 300 microseconds now, about 10 billion times faster than Matt’s original or 1 trillion percent faster.

    • Repent and believe in Jesus Christ

      Repent to Jesus Christ ““Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
      ‭‭John‬ ‭5‬:‭24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  2. It is mostly big-O notation, isn’t it.

  3. Some nerd on Reddit definitely is participating in this improval trend.

  4. Sebastiano Nicolussi Golo

    Thanks for your videos! I try to propose another optimisation problem: “Is there a 1 page proof of Riemann conjecture?” The idea would be to print out all “mathematically meaningful” 1 page arguments and read them.😅

  5. This is seriously one of Matt’s best videos

  6. I’m 1 minute in and wondering if the title is wrong or I’m missing the punchline, I’ll get back to you.

  7. Singularity in action

  8. Matt “32 days later” Parker tried, ok? That’s some of what’s important.

  9. I’m sorry but this video really sounds dishonest to me, and dangerous for people who don’t know about programming. When listening to you, it’s almost as if your program’s slowness was python’s fault. It’s absolutely not. You had missed almost every single algorithm and optimization that could have made it faster. Each of them explains a tenfold acceleration of the code. Blaming Python is really dishonest. The language you use does NOT matter as much as what beginners think. YouTube’s backend is made in python. Python can compile its modules or use compiled libraries.

  10. Im sure the mere act of timing the code running makes it take longer. I know in MATLAB timing the code

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.