that's cool, I don't know why, but it remined me of this (non-sequiter, just cool) thing:

"The result is a motorcycle that looks more like an organic exoskeleton than a machine. That was a very deliberate design goal for APWorks, which programmed the algorithm to use bionic structures and natural growth processes and patterns as the basis for developing a strong but lightweight structure"


Due to bandwidth limitations, I offer only an example of "organic" skeletons grown using AI to fill in minimal material for maximum structural strength... AI, being "organic" in fabrication with artificial materials is fucking cool. (even with more basics too, like out of aluminum).

It wasn't long ago, it seems, but in the 1990s I watched a guy do a talk on OLED tech and we all just went "cool, some day we can hang our TV on the wall like a picture" and went home to tell my friends who didn't believe me.

When you think of the shit we will have in 20 years, if you are smart, you instantly know, it's going to be totally different, and better in a way you haven't even thought of yet.
@freemo That is an example of random shit I go "Hmm, bet there's some really interesting reading behind the paywalls on that, I could spend an entertaining evening or two with this topic." But instead, I'm trolling fedi.

@Coyote Yup, paywalls on research is a tragedy and many researchers agree on that. But keep in mind that isnt so much the researchers fault, they need to make a living. The problem is most research in the US is done for profit and very little is 100% government funded. If americans were more willing to use their tax dollars on science rather than other wastes of money then we could actually make more research public.


No see, yea, exactly.

Step one, get funding. Where? EXTREMELY high likelihood of it being the government. That's already kinda bad news, because the competition now involves the political process.

Step B, publish, so you can get more funding, in the system that rewards paywalled publications in the highest regards, for, let's admit, reasons that are financial, and have a huge social inequity involved.

Part III. When government funding rewards what is supposed to be among our highest valued societal content outputs, primarily when the output is restricted to only the powerful and wealthy, the financial gains to society's capitalist system DO in fact break down due to bureaucratic corruption.

Scientific Research, particularly when funded by the government, should not be something we outsource critical, vital, fundamental, parts of out to a for profit entity. That's kinda not how "minimal government" under capitalism was meant to work. That's corruption of a system, but, that's IMHO.

Fundamental Scientific Research is Infrastructure for society.

And we should not be using government money to build toll roads for private companies.

@Coyote usually if a study is funded by the government then it often, though not always, wont be behind a paywall. It is public and therefore not for private infrastructure.

When a study is private it means they couldn't get government funding and they are therefore paying for the study with that paywall (albeit after the fact).

@Coyote No thats not remotely true. Funding in the vast majority of cases must come on the condition that the funding is received no matter the outcome of the study. Moreover you do not get funding specifically for favorable studies. Thats just not how it works.. Why do you think there are paywalls? You are paying for the studies, and the fact that the vast majority of those payments are subscriptions to all studies (not just the ones that agree with your biases) you can not, even if you wished to, pay for studies to be favorable.

Obviously there are always a few exceptions of fraudulent studies. But they are rare and few between and the community is quick to expose them.

Whenever a study **is** funded by a company or entity with a personal interest in the outcome it absolutely must be stated in the study itself and the conflict of interest exposed.

If you ever actually worked on peer reviewed publications in any capacity you'd understand most of what you said is not at all applicable. Most scientist will happily make 1/10th of what they could make just to ensure their work is objective and without backally deals.


"You are paying for the studies, and the fact that the vast majority of those payments are subscriptions to all studies (not just the ones that agree with your biases) you can not, even if you wished to, pay for studies to be favorable."

The reviewers are not compensated, nor should they be.

The payments to the subscriptions do not go towards any meaningful share of the research funding.

Private funding does happen, and that's fine, but it generally speaking is immediately in-sourced (hire the grad students) if any significant findings are reached, leaving only the raw initial research sitting behind both a paywall, and what likely just turned into at a minimum, a lot of trade secrets, but probably eventually patents.

Fundamental research funding is incentivized by a system that allows those who contribute the least to profit the most, through a government orchestrated and enforced system.

Paywalls for fundamental scientific research, funded by tax dollars, however indirectly, should never be behind a paywall, as a simple, moral, absolute position. Again, IMHO. And we should be working towards that end.

@Coyote That depends.. there is private funding sometimes, and as I stated when that happens if there is a conflict of interest it must and usually is mentioned in the paper.

However very often papers are funded by the paywall for sure. though it depends on the industry.

For example if you spend 50 hours writing a paper, which is very doable for a computer science paper you would be paid on average about 50$ an hour as the author from the publishing journal (which comes from the paywall).

If a peer reviewer spends about 10 hours reviewing it then likewise on average their pay would be about 50$ an hour. Again more than enough to cover their time.

However if we talk about medical studies or more expensive endeavors than that can be very different as thee are patents involved in that case and it is the patents that draw most of the money.


"For example if you spend 50 hours writing a paper, which is very doable for a computer science paper you would be paid on average about 50$ an hour as the author from the publishing journal (which comes from the paywall)."

I was unfamiliar with this, and have no (educational) computer related background (sorta, long story). That is fascinating, and, gives me a lot of ideas (see, data-mining). But in the end, wouldn't fund the kind of thing I'm personally interested in, that I can see, but this is fascinating. Thank you.

@10grans tip 0.001 to @freemo

"Funding in the vast majority of cases must come on the condition that the funding is received no matter the outcome of the study"

Wherever you think I said that, I either greatly errored in phrasing, or you in interpretation. That's not the issue at all, and I don't disagree on it.

Hi, @freemo

Thanks for the stirring presentation on the selfless, brave, pure warriors of knowledge. Yes, I'm being ironic. I know a lot of people who work in the academic sciences (and related government agencies). Some are kind, some are smart, they are all very, very human. Every human weakness is present.

Just to start:


Or to call out more concrete examples:




Never said they were perfect. Notice that the replication crisis is focused the medical field, and most especially psychology. This should not at all be surprising for many reasons. for starters it is a less exact field with a lot of unknowns. Second, it is a field where conditions change. An antibiotic that is 99% effective one year might be 10% effective a few years later. That might lead to a lack of replication but it doesnt mean that either study was in error.


@freemo @vandys @Coyote
> effective one year and not another
this is common apparently. some lab liked to redo old drug trials from time to time and found that like, aspirin or something was starting to be outcompeted by placebos a few times.


Yup, there is a very legit replication crisis in medicine, but biology changes over time, and like you said even things like aspirin change as we as a species respond to it generation after generation, or even decade after decade.

@vandys @Coyote

@freemo Something seems off in his narration. The ring at the edge of the Petri dish is explicitly set to a negative voltage, while the wire hanging over its centre is described as having a "large voltage" and notated positive. But he then goes on to say "electrons get sprayed down to the ball bearings in the dish." If anything, they should be getting sucked up into the wire, right?

But I don't even think that's the whole story. There's a couple points in the first demo where electrons actually do start flowing, and the arc is easily visible. In normal operation, I think he electrically polarises the air without an appreciable quantity of electrons travelling in either direction.

@khird well you are certainly right that he spoke incorrectly when talking about the direction of flow of the electrons.. but otherwise he is on point. with or without an arc electrons are definately flowing. At 20kV I can tell you from expiernce electrons are flying into the air. To be clear electrons are flowing both when an arc is visible and when it isnt however far more are flowing when the arc is visible. Arcs form as cascade reactions where air resistance is lowered by ionization and more and more current flows resulting in increased ionization until the air transitions suddenly from resistor to conductor.

Also keep in mind this experiment should behave identical regardless of what side is polarized as + or -.

@freemo Huh. I thought air was an extremely good insulator up until breakdown voltage. In fluid dynamics we treat it as a near-perfect insulator unless we're at very high temperatures (e.g. rocket exhaust, reentry heating) where it starts to get weird ionic species in its composition, or actively breaking it down with high voltage.

@khird It is a very good insulator up until breakdown voltage, and breakdown voltage is the point you see sparks. However while it is a good insulator it is not a perfect insulator., electrons will still flow. In fact you can **see** them flowing before breakdown or a spark gap forms.

Check out the image I attached. I took it myself. That is at about maybe 10kV or so, but what your seeing int hat picture is NOT a spark gap. witht he lights on you'd barely notice any glow except maybe right at the tips of the electrodes. Bot no spark is formed yet. That blue glow is electrons flowing and forming a corona. It isnt out of focus either, a spark would look like a sharp blue hair like path between the electrons. Prior to spark formation the corona is diffuse though still flows between the electrodes.

Because no spark gap is formed and as you pointed out the air is a good insulator, much less current is flowing for the same voltage. Once a spark gap forms current will increase tremendously, usually to the point the voltage will drop and not be able to maintain the spark.

@khird I think the part you are missing here is that air is a non-linear resistor (in technical terms we would say it has "Negative Differential Resistance"... in other words, its resistance changes as a function of the voltage/current across and through it.

Youa re corrent that normal dry air is a very close to perfect insulator. However its conductivity is directly proportional to the ions present in the air. So when you provide a high voltage across air very few electrons flow at first, but they cause ionization, the resistance drops, more ions flow, and it drops some more and it becomes increasingly conductive. At a certain point you get a runaway reaction and a spark gap forms.

Attached you will see an example of the I-V relationship in air across a very small gap. Notice the curve of is not a straight line as would be expected with a normal linear resistor. Notice how the current escapes exponentially as the voltage increases.

For this reason at low voltages the air is close enough to a perfect insulator. But at 20kV as is used int he experiment it is quite a bit more conductive than that.

@freemo I'm a little confused by the second chart. Is the knee in the curve, off to the right-hand edge, the breakdown voltage? If so, I think that's kind of showing what I was getting at - up until breakdown it's less than 50nA. That's *nanoamps*! In pretty much any context we'd treat that as an open circuit, no current - but if he thinks that counts as electrons spraying out I guess it's a matter of interpretation.

On the other hand there are some other features of the chart which make me wonder if I'm not getting something. It shows -100nA at 0V and 0A at 50V, roughly, depending on the conditions. I would expect it to pass through the origin instead, and also to be approximately antisymmetric about the y-axis. So it could just be that I don't know what I'm looking at.

@khird No the voltages are too low to show breakdown in those diagrams. breakdown is ~10kV per cm

@khird so seems the second graph doesnt imply. i read the study and it is testing plasma made from air, not air. the first one is more accurate.

@freemo @Science That reminds me of the "jumpers" that form from use of RoHS solders over time.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.

An inclusive free speech instance.
All cultures and opinions welcome.
Explicit hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.
We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.