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realChem

@realChem@beehaw.org

he/him

Materials Science PhD candidate in Pittsburgh, PA, USA

My profile picture is the cover art from https://buttonpoetry.com/product/not-a-lot-of-reasons-to-sing-but-enough/, and was drawn by Casper Pham (recolor by me).

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Tinder Now Letting Rizzless Sad Sacks Pay $500/Month to Message People Without Even Matching (futurism.com)

If you get a message from someone you never matched with on Tinder, it’s not a glitch — it’s part of the app’s expensive new subscription plan that it teased earlier this year, which allows “power users” to send unsolicited messages to non-matches for the small fee of $499 per month....

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

why would I want to use it?

You wouldn’t, but that’s fine with Match Group: JP Morgan[^1] are loving this new monetization strategy. If they think they can get more money out of their users they will, the experience and usefulness of their app be damned. Very similar to aggressively monetized mobile games, but extra icky since they’re monetizing human relationships.

[^1]: I’m sure other investment firms are pleased as well, but JP Morgan was the firm mentioned in the article

realChem ,
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That was a fun watch, thanks! Now what about TotK… 🤔

realChem ,
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I heard about it before release… albeit I heard from a friend that I play XIV with, so that’s certainly a selection bias.

realChem ,
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The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood! It’s a really good visual-novel-style game, but with the added element that you craft your own tarot-style divination deck and then draw cards from it during some conversations, and which cards you draw influence what kinds of readings you can give for people. It is established early on that since you were a kid your readings have never been wrong, and fittingly the game warns you early and repeatedly that your answers will affect your fate, dramatically. Well, no kidding! When I was playing yesterday I had a choice that I’d made hours earlier come back and bite me in the ass, hard. Almost made me want to quit and start over, but I’ve decided to see this play-through through and if by the end I still feel like I need to fix my mistakes I’ll maybe play it a second time.

tl;dr if you like beautiful pixel art, enigmatic beings from outside of space and time, witches, tarot, and/or choices that actually matter in your games, do give this one a go! I’m not done with it yet but I’d already love to chat with someone else who’s played it!

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

I’ve put a few hours in and I agree, it’s just a fun little game that slowly pushes you bit by bit into slightly more challenging stuff. I really like how well the game meshes the diving and sushi restaurant aspects, too. (Plus, I’m a scuba diver – still pretty new to it – and I’m a bit on the larger side, so it’s a nice bit of representation.)

realChem ,
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In FFXIV, I’m in the post-Shadowbringers DLC content. I’ve taken a bit of a break from the MSQ to get the Nier-themed alliance raids

Are you me? I’m just a bit into the post-ShB patches, and I just finished unlocking all three Nier raids. They’re really fun (although I agree: challenging). If you happen to be on Crystal DC and want to party up for some raids or something, lmk!

Think I might try a healer class next, just not sure which one

As someone who is very much a non-healer main, I quite like Sage. My first healer to 90 was actually Scholar, but a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was really into Summoner for a while: when I’m going to heal I usually hop on Sage.

realChem ,
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Agreed. Strong (and effectively enforced) worker protections are just as important as tech-specific safety regulations. Nobody should feel like they need to put themselves into a risky situation to make work happen faster, regardless of whether their employer explicitly asks them to take that risk or (more likely) uses other means like unrealistic quotas to pressure them indirectly.

There are certainly ways to make working around robots safer, e.g. soft robots, machine vision to avoid unexpected obstacles in the path of travel, inherently limiting the force a robot can exert, etc… And I’m all for moving in the direction of better inherent safety, but we also need to make sure that safer systems don’t become an excuse for employers to expose their workers to more risky situations (i.e. the paradox of safety).

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

For sure. They tend to do a good job communicating tricky science and math concepts as well. They interview experts in a coherent way, tend to take the time to properly set up the background for topics, and the writers there seem to really care about getting things right rather than being sensational. They’re one of my favorite sites for stories about math and science honestly.

I haven’t had a chance to read the article linked in this post yet, but I’ll be sitting in an airport in a few hours (I really need to go to sleep now) and I’ll look forward to reading it then!

realChem ,
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Yeah I’ve heard a lot of people talking about the copyright stuff with respect to image generation AIs, but as far as I can see there’s no fundamental reason that text generating AIs wouldn’t be subject to the same laws. We’ll see how the lawsuit goes though I suppose.

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Well I hear what you’re saying, although I don’t much appreciate being told what I should want the outcome to be.

My own wants notwithstanding, I know copyright law is notoriously thorny – fair use doubly so – and I’m no lawyer. I’d be a little bit surprised if NYT decides to raise this suit without consulting their own lawyers though, so it stands to reason that if they do indeed decide to sue then there are at least some copyright lawyers who think it’ll have a chance. As I said, we’ll see.

realChem ,
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It seems like you’re working under the core assumption that the trained model itself, rather than just the products thereof, cannot be infringing?

Generally if someone else wants to do something with your copyrighted work – for example your newspaper article – they need a license to do so. This isn’t only the case for direct distribution, it includes things like the creation of electronic copies (which must have been made during training), adaptations, and derivative works. NYT did not grant OpenAI a license to adapt their articles into a training dataset for their models. To use a copyrighted work without a license, you need to be using it under fair use. That’s why it’s relevant: is it fair use to make electronic copies of a copyrighted work and adapt them into a training dataset for a LLM?

You also seem to be assuming that a generative AI model training on a dataset is legally the same as a human learning from those same works. If that’s the case then the answer to my question in the last paragraph is definitely, “yes,” since a human reading the newspaper and learning from it is something that, as you say, “any intelligent rational human being” would agree is fine. However, as far as I know there’s not been any kind of ruling to support the idea that those things are legally equivalent at this point.

Now, if you’d like to start citing code or case law go ahead, I’m happy to be wrong. Who knows, this is the internet, maybe you’re actually a lawyer specializing in copyright law and you’ll point out some fundamental detail of one of these laws that makes my whole comment seem silly (and if so I’d honestly love to read it). I’m not trying to claim that NYT is definitely going to win or anything. My argument is just that this is not especially cut-and-dried, at least from the perspective of a non-expert.

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Exciting stuff. I’ve long since vowed never to pre-order anything from Bethesda ever again though, so I’ll be waiting to hear what the vibe is once other folks start playing it. Right now it very much seems like it could either be great or disappointing. We’ll see in a couple weeks’ time I s’pose

realChem ,
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I’m personally not so much worried about it being buggy or broken, that stuff gets patched. I’m more worried that it’ll be fundamentally disappointing in some way, which is something that I probably wouldn’t discover until long past the refund window. To be clear, I’m cautiously optimistic, but that caution leads me to wait until a week or so after release to hear what folks are saying about it.

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Maybe all of those PhD students would have their time better spent on this task than pretending, as if often the case, they’ve done some original work on an important theory that’s found something “for the first time”.

I mean I’m personally biased as a PhD student myself, but I think this is a great idea. I made the core of my project to basically take a picture of a phenomenon that has been inferred from spectroscopy but not observed directly. So verification, not exactly replication, but same idea. Turns out that doing something like this is very hard and makes a worthy PhD project. (I haven’t managed it yet, and am starting to wonder if my eventual paper might actually end up being in support of the null hypothesis…)

But I’m also not looking to go into academia after I graduate, so I’m not to worried about trying for something high impact or anything like that. I think for someone angling to be a professor the idea of a replication or verification project may be a harder sell, which is largely down to the culture of academia and how universities do their hiring of post-docs and such. I mean, even in this case more people are still going to be familiar with the names of Lee and Kim than any of the researchers who put in work on replication studies (can you name any of them without checking the article?).

tl;dr definitely a worthy goal and replications should absolutely be encouraged, but it’s going to take a while to change the whole academic culture to reinforce that they’re valuable contributions.

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

I agree completely, especially about the negative knock-on effects on the quality of science overall. Making replications worthwhile for researchers to spend time and money on is certainly going to be a challenge that the institution of academia will need to figure out sooner or later (fingers crossed for sooner, but realistically probably later).

Good luck with your PhD too! I hope it’s going well so far!

JWST Spots Giant Black Holes All Over the Early Universe | Quanta Magazine (www.quantamagazine.org)

Observations from the James Webb Space Telescope have revealed a surprising number of young galaxies containing massive black holes at their centers, churning up the gas within only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Spectroscopic data indicates that these “hidden little monsters” harbor black holes weighing...

realChem , (edited )
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

With all due respect to Penrose – who is indisputably brilliant – in probability when you start to say things like, “X is 10^10^100 times more likely than Y,” it’s actually much more likely that there’s some flaw in your priors or your model of the system than that such a number is actually reflective of reality.

That’s true even for really high probability things. Like if I were to claim that it’s 10^10^100 times more likely that the sun will rise tomorrow than that it won’t, then I would have made much too strong a claim. It’s doubly true for things like the physics of the early universe, where we know our current laws are at best an incomplete description.

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Automated drug discovery is a very interesting area at the moment, especially for cases like these where you’re confined to a relatively small subset of possible biomolecules. This kind of thing works much less well in other kinds of settings where the process chemistry can vary wildly between seemingly similar compounds. It’ll be neat to see how far they can take this idea!

How Quantum Physics Describes Earth’s Weather Patterns | Quanta Magazine (www.quantamagazine.org)

Not what I initially expected this article to be about, but I do love this kind of cross-cutting research that takes ideas from one field and applies them to a seemingly entirely different field. (Also makes me wish I’d been able to take a topology class at some point.)

realChem OP ,
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I’d not heard of him before reading this, is he a big name in climate dynamics research?

realChem ,
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Ah I had a suspicion this article would be about Ambri! I applied to work there once while I was in undergrad (didn’t get the job). Very cool tech, glad to hear that their work is coming to fruition. Good grid-level energy storage will be an important enabling technology for wider adoption of renewables.

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Installed! I’ve been unhappy with my weather app for a little while now, looking forward to giving this one a try! The fact that they’ll use an approximate location is really nice. Thank you for shouting this out!

realChem ,
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You can send downvotes using 3rd party clients, but beehaw doesn’t register or track them. Hitting the button does nothing (and it’s not even present in the web ui)

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Really interesting writeup, thank you for sharing! Many of the technical details go well over my head but nonetheless it’s very interesting to hear some of these success stories, and it also sheds light on how much work running an instance with a lot of users actually is. Here’s hoping that future versions of lemmy with (eg) more optimized database code will make life easier for all the folks in the operations team!

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

I'll hop on just to add: the little plate that says "mod" can't be turned off, but for us community moderators we can toggle a little shield icon when we're trying to speak with the "mod voice." We can only do it in our communities, but (I think) the admin team is by default modded in every community and should be able to toggle that shield wherever they are.

So if you see the shield icon next to the name, that was intentionally toggled on to show they're trying to speak as a mod and not just a community member. If you only see the little "mod" nameplate you can probably assume they're just talking as a member of the community (unless context makes it obvious that they just forgot to turn on the shield).

Edit: Here's an example of how the shield icon looks to me from one of my posts; I'm on mobile with the darkly theme so it probably looks different to you unless you're also on mobile, but hopefully still a useful example:

a screenshot showing the mod shield next to my username

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Their actual username is xtremeownage, which is why it still links that way, but lemmy lets users set a display name that's different from their username (in this case, HTTP_404_NotFound). Sounds like kbin doesn't respect lemmy display name settings.

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Yeah that makes sense, I'm not a mod in this community. If you go to one of my comments on /c/science it should display I think (although it's been a bit since I tried using Jerboa). Some of my comments there have the shield, some don't (and actually I just realized the mod nameplate doesn't render in the mobile web UI, but does on desktop... curious)

I am once again asking for your feedback: Weekly /c/science Q&A post?

Edit: Alright, it’s been more than 48 hours! We got lots more feedback this time, and most of it has been in support of the idea! I’m going to give this a try, and see if it gets any traction. If not many people end up using it I can always just unpin and let the post fall down the sorting list....

realChem , (edited )
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

I feel like I should clarify because the article didn't do a good job at explaining: perovskite is a kind of structure, not a particular material. They have the generic formula ABX3 (where A and B are different kinds of cations and X is some kind of anion), although not everything with the formula is a perovskite.

Simple perovskites include some lead-containing materials like lead titanate, but also lead-free materials like barium or strontium titanate. And in general there are a lot of different kinds of perovskites, especially because some of the structural sites can be filled by small organic molecules instead of pure elements.

Edit: I think I was misreading the journal article before my edit (it's early I'm not awake yet lol). I had said it looks like they're using a lead-based perovskite but actually I can't tell what exactly they're using with a quick skim. The article is very review-y, the formula I thought they were using is from another paper. I'll have a more thorough look later.

Edit 2: It's a review paper, and the way it was described in the linked news article is kinda misleading. Its not specifically about this company's particular composition or architecture.

realChem ,
@realChem@beehaw.org avatar

Yeah as far as I can tell without a close read of the paper – which I just don't have time to do – it's a review paper that just happens to have been written by some of the people involved in this commercial endeavor. (I imagine they don't want to share their proprietary composition and architecture.) It seems like the reporter covering this didn't catch the distinction.

To my previous comment, this means we really have no idea if they're using a lead-containing composition or not. Like I mentioned, perovskites are a large class of materials. Since the review paper has a section on the challenges around lead containing compositions I'd hope they're not using lead, but who knows 🤷‍♂️

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