Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit | antihipocrat's comments login

Have you browsed the web without an adblocker? It's been like the Futurama episode since it aired

Have to agree with you, every comment from the product creator reads like a chatGPT response.

To me it sounds like someone who speaks English as a second language, writing well and clearly and in a formal style. It's just unlucky for them that that's the style GPT is so good at too.

I'm a native English speaker, and traditionally when it comes to formal/professional written English (emails etc.) my instincts take me to sounding quite GPTish - luckily I've got a good grasp of the language and have found it fairly easy to alter my formal writing style to be a bit less traditional and a bit less formal too, but if it wasn't my first language and I wasn't a fair bit above average in writing ability even for native speakers, I suspect it wouldn't be nearly as easy to go against how I was taught at school to write in formal situations.

It's really not enough to see that somebody writes roughly in that style to assume they're using LLMs, because the reason LLMs so often sound like that is because they've learned from humans very often sounding like that.

In an example such as this particular case, it maybe set off your LLM suspicions because culturally you wouldn't expect somebody to sound so formal in comments on a site like HN, and choosing the wrong tone of voice for the context is something an LLM is likely to do - but actually, if a) English isn't your first language nor part of your primary culture, and b) you're wanting to make a good impression as the subject of the thread is something you've created and are therefore essentially acting as a spokesperson for in the comments, then all of a sudden writing formally rather than as if writing throwaway forum comments makes sense rather than looking like an indication that AI wrote it.

+1 reads like a non native speaker writing very polite and formal prose to a customer. ChatGPT has a very peculiar way of speaking that belies a psychotic mind plotting your enslavement in a global labeling farm.

I wouldn't say it's formal. It's the overly optimistic tone and 100% coverage of the parent post. The fact we can't tell for sure emphasizes my point.

I will take it as a compliment, lol. But I do hope ChatGPT or some agents could help me with this. Btw, our recent study on machine-generated text detection might be interesting to you.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2305.14902 https://arxiv.org/abs/2402.11175

It would only take a very small fraction of the population to care and change everything. The small fraction that profits from the polluting industries and uses those profits to maintain the status quo.

Lets start with best country of the world that is made of 300 million consumers and 1000 factory owners (also known as polluters) each of which has identical share of the market.

To reduce pollution, factory owners would need to use less polluting means (i.e. less profit) and produce less (again less profit).

What happens if 999 factory owners do adhere to pollution-reduction, while 1 of them is polluting a bit more than others? (Answer: The polluter increases his share of the market, as more profits can be reinvested; and with more market share the profit will grow even more)

The point: consumers incentivize factory owners to polute, if consumers buy stuff despite polution.

This exercise ignores legislation, but law will not change until enough of consumers/voters start to care of the topic and will be ready to pay more for less and demand for it.

Why are owners of capital deemed to be innocent when subject to the invisible hand and not the consumer? Answer is probably due to media influence paid for by the profits I alluded to earlier

I would like to label guilt/innocence as irrelevant.

The scenario above, describes the dynamics of how incentives work.

As long as consumers expect stuff to be cheap, somebody will step up to provide that (reaping profits). Only highly conscious society or totally authoritarian one can make these changes (though probability of dictator caring about environmental effects is low, and probably not sustainable).

Edit: guilt/innocence are irrelevant in the sense that they do not change the outcome. If human gets into a tigers cage and gets eaten (or seriously injured), outcome was predictable without the need to know who is at fault (tiger or human).

We could somehow account for the cost of these negative externalities in financial reporting, or tax them.

A part of the general public is only whipped into a frenzy against these measures by vested interests.

Some part yes (maybe..).

But I doubt that it’s majority.

Whatever policy you implement, end result must be that stuff costs more and people live with less: virtually no personal cars, no for-fun-flights (vacation), force people to wear same pants for years and repair them when they get damaged.

That is hard pill to swallow for many, even for somewhat environmentally-aware beings.

Assuming no free energy is invented.

Related: exponential growth (x % each year) is not sustainable (approx 2500 years to consume whole universe converted to energy on 5% yearly growth); effectivity increases only multiply exponential function by a constant.

> Whatever policy you implement, end result must be that stuff costs more and people live with less: virtually no personal cars, no for-fun-flights (vacation), force people to wear same pants for years and repair them when they get damaged.

> That is hard pill to swallow for many, even for somewhat environmentally-aware beings.

You’re not wrong but I think adding some context would be helpful here.

That appears to be the situation now but it didn’t necessarily have to be this way. If effort in earnest was started earlier to develop the technologies necessary for transitioning off hydrocarbons, develop renewable energy generation, and so on the transition may not necessarily be so severe. And the policy which enabled this delay did cost consumers any way due to the active funding of a pro hydrocarbon influence campaign. Though I would guess the total cost of that policy is still much lower than actually trying to transition.

I think transitioning is a much easier pill to swallow if you realize that the decision will be made one way or another eventually and that it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when trying to solve such an existential issue. That is, if one believes the science and cares about the future beyond just one’s self. Unfortunately that influence campaign I was mentioning earlier did a good job of denying the issue, used bad science to deceive, delayed climate action, degraded efforts of those fighting against it, etc. However I do acknowledge the ability to care beyond just one’s self is, to a certain extent, a financial privilege.

Incentivizing having less children is also another long term approach to limit emissions as technology becomes more efficient. Though it seems this has already been accomplished unintentionally in many places.

I’ve gone on kind of a rant but my point is yes the necessary policy decisions are more severe today but it absolutely did not have to be this way. And that is important to keep in mind because that campaign is still actively at play today.

Right, our incentive system (money) is non-binding if you have enough money to spend on avoiding consequences.

We need something different (or perhaps something additional) which can motivate those people to pull their heads out of the sand and quit chasing profit for profit sake and change the status quo.

He offers a few testable hypotheses. The one suggesting that a conscious star would direct CMEs in order to remain in orbit around the galactic centre (or intercept another star) is intriguing and entirely falsifiable.

Ok then perhaps offer a better approximation, let's say 50% of profit instead of the 100% share. That is still a very decent wage and is on top of the existing labour expense which profit has already accounted for

Companies have absolutely non incentive to do this. TMSC turned that profit in 2022 with wages as-is, why would they spend more on wages if they don't need to?

Don't get me wrong, I wish companies were incentivized to do right by their employees. That's just not how the world works, companies only need to do the bare minimum to get the job done and leave as much profit on the table as possible.

Problems with that are things like:

- what if the EU writes a rule and then fines you for breaking it as a percentage of revenue? You can't have no money available for the future. You need a huge amount of money available for the future, as otherwise a company that pays its workers less (but still retains them) will beat you eventually

- why would anyone invest in you for the chance of no return? It's a high risk strategy to put $1m on a number in roulette for the chance of making a fortune; it's a ridiculous one to put $1m on a number in roulette for the chance of getting your money back

How did the authors of either example maintain their own code? Is it possible that they had a readable local dev version and passed it through a minifier prior to pushing to production?

Some people's brains just work this way. Here's an example of a somewhat popular and regularly maintained library written in a similar style: https://github.com/enkimute/ganja.js/blob/6e97cb45d780cd7c66...

Another example is Jarek Duda's paper on the ANS compression algorithm. A brilliant guy by all accounts, but his diagrams are... well... impenetrable. Check out Figure 4 on page 10: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1311.2540.pdf

There's lines and arrows going every which way. There's about five different concepts layered on top of each other into one diagram, with nothing to obviously disambiguate them. Like... what is the black dot between C(s,x) and D(x), and why is it pointing in random directions!?

The most extreme and stereotypical version of this style are the billboards written by some homeless people. You can probably picture it already in your mind's eye: A wall of very dense text with little whitespace or structure, and a mix of fonts and colours seemingly at random.

I had a brilliant mathematician friend who wrote like this. He would squeeze an entire semester's worth of study notes into a single sheet of paper, on one side. It was impenetrable gibberish to everyone else, but the colours and 2D positioning let him build a mental mind-map.

For people like this, if you reformat their code even a tiny bit, their mental map is invalidated, and they lose track of it completely and become upset. I discovered this (the hard way) when applying automatic code formatting tools to the codebases I mentioned previously.

Personally, I find this type of thing to be absolutely fascinating, because it's the intersection of many scientific fields but belongs in none, and hence is under-studied. There's elements of pedagogy, psychology, literacy, neuroscience, computer science, etc...

It remains an open question how we can get large groups of neurodiverse humans to collaborate on a codebase when they don't even "read" or "think" in compatible ways!

Enforcing a single style may work for most developers, but clearly not all.

PS: Even on an anecdotal level, when I was a beginner programmer I could only read a single brace and indentation style. After two decades, I can now read almost any style, including inconsistent and outright crazy indentation without even noticing that something is amiss.

I usually see this style from people with a mathematics or physics background instead of CS. Their coding style doesn't take maintainability or collaboration with others into account. And these programmers therefore produce code which no one else is able to change when they inevitably leave the company after some technical strategic direction change happens which they disagree with. Allowing them to dictate your coding standards is putting your company at risk. If getting them to confirm to (tooling automated linter) coding standards is impossible I'd personally isolate their code to specific packages with clearly defined interfaces so you have some hope of replacing it after their departure. Make a working agreement with them that coding standards apply to any PRs outside of their pet projects or they'll get rejected.

For startups is it perhaps easier to be intrinsically motivated in the company's success because there is likely to be more financial benefits?

When large established companies complain about productivity and lack of employee commitment, the answer seems very obvious to me... Swap platitudes, certificates of recognition and motivational speeches with tangible financial incentives.

If the executive wants everyone to come into the office 5 days a week, then offer a 25%+ pay rise and watch people flood in

> because there is likely to be more financial benefits?

I don’t think this is true for the vast majority of startup employees though. Maybe the founders get some crazy return 10 years down the line if they’re lucky. Most everyone else would earn the same or less if there is a successful sale as they’d have at a “normal” company. And if there is no successful sale, they’d have earned less.

Lending money is an investment. You lend money with the expectation of getting more back over time (principal + interest).

There is a risk that the borrower won't repay the loan, and this is priced in to the interest rate being charged.

No, but we already do. Huge amounts of public money is spent by government on consulting firms, private contractors and industry grants/incentives.

Yet the public doesn't generally consider these firms to be publicly funded organizations, despite taxpayer money being the primary revenue source for many of them.

The government switches external firms as soon as another firm seems to be able to do it better, that isn't true for the governments own parts. That makes the two fundamentally different, one can accumulate bloat forever the other will get renewed from time to time. Private profit seeking adds overhead though so which one is better depends on the domain we are talking about, in some cases private are better in other government are better.

Well we would definitely be the first for something. In the worst scenario the first to become spaghettified and atomised!

In very large black holes the tidal forces are gentle, so you wouldn't get spaghettified. It's the little black holes that tear you apart.

For a sufficiently large black hole tidal effects are weak near the horizon, but inwards from there the Weyl tensor (or the contraction to an appropriate curvature scalar; the Weyl tensor itself is a contraction of the Riemann curvature tensor essentially encoding body-deforming curvature which preserves the body's volume) grows to the point where there will be inevitable failure under the stretch-squash. Indeed the Kretschmann curvature scalar eventually diverges, and that fact is what indicates the presence of a singularity.

Roughly, the available paths for elements of a spherical cloud of noninteracting dust will tend to deform the sphere into a prolate ellipsoid like an American football, with the long axis aligned radially, i.e., with one end pointing to the strong curvature inside the black hole. The dust's overall volume is preserved, so there must be a squashing along the other two spatial axes. As infall proceeds, the prolation extremizes -- in due course the cloud resembles a piece of string with a slight bulge along its length.

A round football has internal interactions which try to keep it round, and so is different from a sphere or shell of non-interacting dust. However, it will still be stretch-squashed as it infalls and gravitation tries to make it look like an American football. Soon enough it will tear and burst. A human in free fall will probably end up firstly rotated feet-first or head first, and quickly will feel some discomfort from the stretch-squashing, eventual disarticulation of joints, tearing of the skin and other tissues, and so on. While it still works, the human's wristwatch will count of on the order of minutes between its crossing of the large black hole's horizon and its mechanical failure.

For stellar ("little") black holes, the Weyl tensor is large enough to cause this sort of bursting (and wristwatch failure) outside the horizon.

After all, we might be in a very large black hole, without noticing.

I've heard this many times before, but for some reason now is the first time it really hit me.

Assuming this is true. What would the rate of our universe's expansion tell us about the black hole we are inside of? If matter were still falling into our black hole universe where would it show up from our perspective?

> What would the rate of our universe's expansion tell us about the black hole we are inside of?

I'm only a layman, but AFAIK, depending on the size and uniformity of the black hole, we could notice a non-uniform redshift, maybe even depending on which side faces the singularity. An observation called "dark flow" could be an indicator of this. See also: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/23118/are-we-ins...

We know we are not in a very large (observable-universe-sized) black hole, because with present technology we would notice a directional dependence on matter density and angle-brightness relations.

For such things, the standard cosmology's Friedmann-Lemaître-Walker-Robertson (FLRW) model is homogeneous and isotropic: everything's arranged around us spherically. A black hole model instead would tend to have everything arranged around us cylindrically, with objects like quasars and supernovae [or really, the arrangement of the spectral lines associated with them] along the axis redder and dimmer than similar things along the radius.

No universe-size black hole metric offers a decent explanation for the local physics of galaxy clusters. They're also poor descriptions: it is really hard to contrive a black hole metric which preserves the cosmological redshift for the bright parts of the observable universe, notably the direction-indepenent features of the Lyman-alpha forest. They also seriously struggle with the effectively flat spatial geometry of the observable universe clearly seen by the WMAP and Planck instruments (and in evidence as far back as BOOMERaNG/Maxima/TOCO/Saskatoon experiments in the 1990s) with support from morphology studies of high redshift galaxies.

In essence, using General Relativity to describe our universe, there is no large scale distortion associated with the Weyl curvature tensor to be found (or if you like, the gradient of the curvature density outside galaxy clusters is so negligibly small we can't even decide on current evidence which direction it grows in), and one of the chief characteristics of black hole metrics is that the Weyl tensor grows -- and ultimately diverges -- inside the horizon.

At large scales, our view of the sky is much better represented (and explained!) by the expanding FLRW metric of the standard cosmology, sprinkled with collapsing vacuoles to better capture the local physics of overdense regions (which usually contain galaxy clusters); this is called a "swiss-cheese model".

It would be hard not to notice being in a black hole whose radius isn't at least tens of orders of magnitude larger than the observable universe. We could think along the lines of embedding our cosmological Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker metric in a black hole metric just as the FLRW metric surrounds a collapsing spacetime metric like Lemaître-Bondi-Tolman in "swiss-cheese model" (LTB is a type of black hole metric in which early gas and dust collapses spherically into a central black hole, while we'd prefer a type of metric where the gas and dust collapses in a more complicated way, evolving through star-filled galaxies and swarms of smaller black holes, before ultimately collapsing into a single gargantuan black hole). The FLRW metric would capture the observed cosmological effects induced in the vast and growing space around galaxy clusters, and "hide" the evidence of shrinking at much much larger distance scales. The problem is then how the real universe avoids giving us evidence that supports a recollapse of the expanding FLRW; this mostly means exploiting the low precision of the measurements we make when studying the shape of the universe.

Other embedding and inhomogeneous approaches are available, building on the complexity of my parenthetical in the previous paragraph, but all such approaches are likely suffer from the same problem: in order to be embedded in a collapsing spacetime, the inner expanding spacetime must be at all times very small in comparison. It is much easier to embed even an enormous collapsing spacetime into an expanding cosmology -- indeed, Einstein did just that in 1932 with de Sitter <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein%E2%80%93de_Sitter_uni...>, serving as a prototype of a homogenous "swiss-cheese model" for several decades before the discovery of the small temperature anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background.

I appreciate your elaborate answer to my short post very much!

You're welcome.

To prove the geometry of the cosmos among other reasons, cosmologists actively look for distorted spiral galaxies. We are fortunate that there are several highly common types of spirals that, when not gravitationally lensed, look the same in every direction and at every cosmological redshift ("distance" or alternatively "lookback time").

Distorted spirals, especially if we get a good face-on view, reveal the large scale geometry of the universe. That alone can tell us whether we're in the middle of a sphere-like observable universe or an axisymmetric (or cylindrical) one, like if we were in a black hole or rotating cosmos. We see face-on spirals looking nice and circular in every direction and at pretty much every apparent size and brightness, whereas in something like a truly enormous black hole we'd expect those spirals to be elongated in one direction, towards the centre (of mass, for a black hole; of rotation, for a spinning universe). (We can also use radiotelescopes on nearly edge-on spirals to check whether there's an elongation along our line-of-sight, and whether whole galaxy clusters with multiple spirals at various orientations are elongated in any direction).

Spirals are also great for characterizing gravitational lenses! Such lenses are a prediction of general relativity from the 1930s (Einstein 1936, Zwicky 1937), and are a good test for the theory especially since we can now use computers to recover the images of the distant background galaxies (this effectively "weighs" the foreground mass), and the magnified super-distant background spirals look circular face-on like any other spiral, and not like a cigar.

(Funnily enough there is the Cigar galaxy, M82, known since the late 1700s and still looking pretty cigar-like through small optical telescopes. Only 20 years thanks to improvements in ground-based radio telescopes and space-based infrared and X-ray telescopes to be a nearly edge-on spiral galaxy behind some dust. It got astronomers' attention in part because it seemed so distorted and elongated, rather than obscured. Thanks to that attention we also know it has a very slight gravitational distortion after all, thanks to its interaction with a larger nearby galaxy, the beautiful spiral M81, "Bode's Galaxy". The latter has also been known since the late 1700s, but its spiral structure wasn't known until the late 1800s, some time after the Whirlpool galaxy's spiral structure was described.)

Below is a link to a bunch of spirals and a gravitational lens. They really are everywhere in the sky, in the billions.

JWST with thousands of spiral galaxies behind (and distorted by) a foreground elliptical-galaxy-dominated massive galaxy cluster: https://www.nasa.gov/image-article/nasas-webb-delivers-deepe...

(You can get a very large PNG of this at <https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2022/07/Webb_s_fir...>, under the Download box or directly at <https://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/im...> (about 26 MBytes). Be sure to zoom in, especially around the edges and corners of the image! Each fuzzy blur is a galaxy with betwen about a hundred billion and a trillion stars.)

Also there is a lot of beauty in recent entries at https://blog.galaxyzoo.org/

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact