Today I presented my new work for the first time. It was surprisingly easy to talk about, even though my understanding of the subject matter is not perfect.

The topic is “predicting stability of solid crystals using graph neural networks”. Far more exciting than any thermodynamics I used to do.

Today a realization struck me. A simple one, but I feel like sharing it for some reason. Envy is horrible and it is not talked about for the most part. It poisons people and hurts their relationships, while the solution is relatively simple. To not be envious of someone, it is necessary to learn to be happy for their accomplishments. It mostly works for close people, but being envious towards close people is most destructive as well.

This ability to feel joy is not “free”, it has to be learned and cultivated either in the family during adolescence or consciously later in life. And I am infinitely grateful to my family and friends who seem to have taught me that over the years.

This sounds childish now that I read it, but hey, why not. Maybe it will offset some of that gloominess of mine.

Oh well, I can’t not write, can I. Here goes 2022 in review. Hectic and unpolished because I’m lazy and excited for the day ahead and the work I need to do.

It was bloody horrible. My country started a war with a neighbor, in some sense a relative, and it keeps going. There was mobilization. Some of my close friends had to flee, but I can stay with my family. For how long? That I can’t know for sure. There are other problems in my life that weren’t solved this year and that will probably persist for a few more years.

It was magnificent. I finished bachelor degree, managed to get into masters program, worked in an office through Summer. It’s not a good lifestyle for me but the experience was well worth it. New people entered my life, some of them became friends. I arranged more parties and meetups in one year than I ever had before and probably more than I ever will. That was an overkill. I am also in a better shape that ever was and probably healthier than ever will be.

All in all, it was productive and positively horrifying. The contrast between the dreadful news and the good days spices things up, for sure. This is how our minds work.

@FailForward

It kinda is. The first 10-15 tweets contain real facts, I checked/heard from reliable sources most of them. Gang wars and the rest of the thread look questionable, I don’t think any prognosis stands a chance these days, good or bad one. We (as we-the-country) are, indeed, quite fucked, but underestimating the societal inertia is quite short-sighted.

Today I heard a saying that goes among Russian journalists: we should not humiliate ourselves with hope. Oddly inspiring, albeit gloomy.

So there is a course with no textbook or any information on it other than lecture slides. Thankfully, they are quite extensive and have a text search within pdf files. I quickly dropped a “pdfunite *.pdf merged.pdf” in the terminal and saw that the output has exactly 1769 slides in it, weighing in at almost 2 Gb. Ctrl+f takes a few seconds to parse this, even with zathura. I hope this is the last time I face such monstrosity.

@FailForward

Thanks! Honestly, way too many things turned into an utter shitshow so I just decided to ditch nearly everything and act more or less on a whim. Whatever happens – happens. I don’t really read news, barely check my mail and going to visit at least two parties before the new year hits. And throw one on the 31st-1st, because I can. Maybe I’ll get slightly more serious afterwards. Maybe not…

In reply to @FailForward ‘s Christmas post.

New Year mood: notes, essays due on a weekend, exams in two weeks and everyone’s ass is on fire these days. Happy New Year, wish everyone to survive ‘till the next one…

(okay, okay, it’s not that bad, I’ll survive, but no cookies for me this time around)

@FailForward @abde

It works reasonably well even despite the gatekeepers in the form of publishers. But the feedback loop length has become the limiting factor in the process. And some areas have lower entry barrier these days (like ML for instance), but journals and professional conferences still have high entry requirements.

A few typos there, but I got emotional and didn’t do a proper proof read. Maybe it’s better this way.

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I’m a city dweller. I pray on coffee and sandwiches on the go, sounds of cafes and subway soothe me and car fumes etched my lungs while I was infant, crippled my immune system for good. The city breathes, it has its own heartbeat, trembling under the streets. There are demons lurking in passages and walleys in the night, there are shadows of doubts and passions and sins imprinted in crosswalks and pave tiles.

I think it was in 2014 when I saw this the first time. The shift in people’s feelings, the surge of excitement and a feeble protest that was smothered in a matter of days. There were subtle hints that I couldn’t quite pick up at that age, unfortunately. Or maybe for the better.

Now I see with my own eyes, no goggles needed, the consequences of the past year. First, the police came. Two guys armed with pistols in every station, just standing there, talking to each other and squeezing money out of illegal immigrants on the occasion. Two more, with AK each, standing at the entrance during rush hour. I wonder if these weapons are off safety?

Every day I ride the subway and every day there is a drunk man lying on the floor. I haven’t seen this in a while in the city center. They don’t look homeless or too poor, you can usually tell by looking at the shoes and the coat. They look like they are lost, fell out of place, somehow ended up in the center instead of the suburb slum. Maybe boarded the wrong train or skipped a bus. Sometimes police takes them somwhere, sometimes they just watch, smirking.

I go to malls in the city for clothes and presents. Shop windows are shining with new goods, closed stores (h&m, cropp, uniqlo, and others) are replaced with new ones, either local or chinese-owned. Mostly the latter, but no one seems to care. It all looks very modern and quite civilized, there is even a robotic coffee kiosk at the entrance for some obscure reason. Someone couldn’t tolerate an old-fashioned coffee machine, can’t say I blame the man.

And now it’s not just the glamour and the overspending. It’s empty syringes in restrooms and fear in the eyes of the school students who go there for an ice cream when the weather is bad. I saw a few couples there over the years – boy with a boy, girl with a girl. Dyed hair, good clothes, albeit expressive, holding hands and laughing louder than considered polite. The capital was always a touch more tolerant than other cities, at least in places like this. Not anymore, not since December the first. Look over the shoulder before telling a joke, just in case. Not a paranoia, but a well-justified caution.

I will keep doing what I must, and try to tell the tale while I still can. Not because I am good at it, but because I cannot do it any other way, it seems.

I am a materials science major. It means that I have to often listen to the wonderful and promising properties of perovskites and the capabilities of various materials based on them. Every single one of these talks ends with a remark about low stability of these materials preventing the real-world usage. I can’t help but wonder, maybe these compounds are doomed to be decomposing to respective oxides after a few minutes? Will there be a point when people get off the dead, oxidized horse and move on?

This semester almost had me. The end is nigh, two more weeks to survive and a couple of exams in January, but I’m burned to the crisp. Not the first time, not the last, unpleasant nonetheless.

But I learned last week that our masters program is awkwardly structured: approx. 60% of all subjects and academic load is focused in the first semester. The rest should be a breeze to get through. Which is good, I’m now sure whether I have enough juice for another semester like this.

@johnabs
Thanks a lot, I’ll definitely check these! The ssh fix should really help. Now slurm queue died, so I’m waiting for support to reply :D
It’s university computer so things are a bit sketchy, but at least I dont pay for it.

@johnabs

Mine just randomly crashes like once every ten minutes. SSH session freezes and that's it. And nwchem doesn't give any readable error output if the input file is weird or incorrect, just kinda hangs. Then again, quantum chemistry packages are written mostly by scientists, not by programmers. Hence the weirdness.

Working with supercomputers is a pain in the ass. It’s a miracle these things even boot up with so many devices to keep track of, but using software gets far more weird. Half the operations work on one version and another half works on the other, but only if the number of used processors is even… Maybe it’s ompi shenanigans, who knows. Weird.

Solving dependencies for conda packages used in computational chemistry is spectacularly annoying. But while I’m at it – why not write something here.

It’s been three months of work with machine learning, and over four full years of theoretical modelling overall. I learned an important lesson: the values your model predicts are not important. It is relatively easy to make a prediction using numpy, scipy and a bunch of polynomials.

It is far more important to know the applicability domain of the model, its error and trust intervals of obtained parameters. Clean the dataset, reduce the number of parameters, write out the necessary equations and try to reduce the error using first-principle approach. Modern science studies deviations and reproducibility, and rarely values themselves. Which is a good thing.

@Pat @abde

Looks like this would work, yeah... I'm wondering how many scientists are here.

@abde

It's good, but I'm looking for something more forum-like.

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