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Comment by alexanderwales on [LINK] Author's Note 119: Shameless Begging · 2015-03-11T15:51:58.175Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think part of it is that EY writes for fun, rather than solely with some direct aim in mind, and he really likes stomping on landmines. (And who can blame him? Stomping on landmines is fun!) The fic includes a fair number of things that his average audience member dislikes, but which is there because he likes it, and would likely be unable to write as much if he kept restricting himself. There's a reason that there's a significant word count devoted to anime references, and I believe it's mostly related to what produces hedons for him.

Comment by alexanderwales on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119 · 2015-03-10T21:21:25.408Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

My bet is that the last bit will be polyamory in the epilogue.

Comment by alexanderwales on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117 · 2015-03-08T20:48:53.405Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

See here for a thread posted shortly after chapter 115:

http://www.reddit.com/r/HPMOR/comments/2xtdi5/ch_115_so/

Comment by alexanderwales on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-06T05:24:31.619Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It was an excuse to have two characters talk about the plot - doesn't seem like there was anything more to it.

Comment by alexanderwales on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T19:22:05.795Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The solution was actually posted to reddit after chapter 112, before there was a final exam at all.

Comment by alexanderwales on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T18:39:29.421Z · score: 20 (20 votes) · LW · GW

The big problem is that he left Harry his wand. If he uses more precautions against Harry, but still keeps leaving Harry his wand, then that makes the fact that he left Harry his wand less realistic, not more. So I actually think that you should go the other way with it - have him be less paranoid about Harry. Because otherwise you're making the inconsistency even worse. He's being cautious and paranoid enough to strip Harry's clothes from him, but leaves the wand in Harry's hand for one moment longer than he has to? It makes more sense if he has the Death Eaters throw a bunch of Finites at him to check for residual traps left by Dumbledore, and for that to be where he sees most of the threat coming from.

Comment by alexanderwales on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T00:49:30.928Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Planning thread over at /r/HPMOR for centralized discussion. It's probably better to have segregated groups working on this, but I don't really think that'll be a problem.

Comment by alexanderwales on xkcd on the AI box experiment · 2014-11-21T21:35:29.215Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

It's still a matter of limiting the mileage. Even if there is no formalized and ready-to-fire response (one that hasn't been written in the heat of the moment), there's always an option not to engage. Which is what I said last time he engaged, and before he engaged this time (and also after the fact). If you engage, you get stuff like this post to /r/SubredditDrama, and comments about thin skin that not even Yudkowsky really disagrees with.

It doesn't take hindsight (or even that much knowledge of human psychology and/or public relations) to see that making a twelve paragraph comment about RationalWiki absent anyone bringing RationalWiki up is not an optimal damage control strategy.

And if you posit that there's no point to damage control, why even make a comment like that?

Comment by alexanderwales on xkcd on the AI box experiment · 2014-11-21T19:40:44.413Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW · GW

It's not a matter of "winning" or "not winning". The phrase "damage control" was coined for a reason - it's not about reversing the damage, it's about making sure that the damage gets handled properly.

So seen through that lens, the question is whether EY is doing a good or bad job of controlling the damage. I personally think that having a page on Less Wrong that explains (and defangs) the Basilisk, along with his reaction to it and why that reaction was wrong (and all done with no jargon or big words for when it gets linked from somewhere, and also all done without any sarcasm, frustration, hurt feelings, accusations, or defensiveness) would be the first best step. I can tell he's trying, but think that with the knowledge that the Basilisk is going to be talked about for years to come a standardized, tone-controlled, centralized, and readily accessible response is warranted.

Comment by alexanderwales on xkcd on the AI box experiment · 2014-11-21T19:21:43.983Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

"Damn the consequences" seems like an odd thing to say on a website that's noted for its embrace of utilitarianism.

Comment by alexanderwales on Bragging Thread, August 2014 · 2014-08-05T15:26:37.319Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This seems like it would work a lot better as a computer program, where the crossword cube can be rotated by the user to see the different fields. Otherwise a 7 x 7 x 7 seems like it would be too large for a newspaper, where real estate is limited (not to mention the difficulty in doing the "depth" part of the crossword). Making it virtual (either a standalone app, web app, steam game) solves most of the potential problems.

Comment by alexanderwales on August 2014 Media Thread · 2014-08-03T05:24:47.135Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the recommendation - those always make me happy. :)

Comment by alexanderwales on Fifty Shades of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy · 2014-07-28T14:57:26.429Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think the big problem is the "filing the serial numbers off" part of it. I never read "Masters of the Universe", but it seems to me that it didn't actually involve all that much in the way of vampires or werewolves. Whereas if you had a fic about time traveling robots, a human resistance from the future, and UFAI, it would be really hard to get people to believe that it wasn't Terminator. Or if you had a story about a superhero who works as a reporter and his evil genius nemesis, people are going to see that it's Superman unless you file the story away so hard that you'd be better off rewriting it from scratch.

The best way to go about it seems to be to just start with a story that doesn't rely too heavily on whatever canon you're working with, so that once you have the readership, you can make the jump without having to refactor too terribly much.

Comment by alexanderwales on Open thread, 7-14 July 2014 · 2014-07-07T19:57:27.380Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is there anywhere that I can read it? It sounds mildly entertaining.