Posts

Comments

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T23:57:47.253Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Chapter 86

"That was how your House came to be ennobled, Mr. Potter," injected the solemn voice of Professor McGonagall. "There is an ancient law that if anyone ends a Most Ancient House, whoever avenges that blood will be made Noble. To be sure, the House of Potter was already older than some lines called Ancient. But yours was titled a Noble House of Britain after the end of the war, in recognition that you had avenged the Most Ancient House of Monroe."

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-09-04T00:32:03.619Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

. What's curious about this is that it means Snape told them enough (or maybe it was Creacher? Hm.) to narrow down its location, but not enough to get in

I think it was actually the constant use of the name Voldemort by Harry and Hermione, as they had not yet heard of the Taboo, that told the Death Eaters there was something worth investigating in the area.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97 · 2013-08-17T21:23:32.314Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Nothing for gold that I recall, but Mundungus Fletcher stole a bunch of heirloom silverware and other such valuable things from Grimmauld place after Sirius died, and possibly even while he was alive, and didn't seem to be particularly cursed, just throttled by Harry for disrespect to Sirius's memory.

On the other hand with Sirius's attitude towards his relatives he could easily have made a statement declaring his disinterest in his heritage that intentionally or unintentionally revoked his ownership over such items.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97 · 2013-08-16T21:42:34.061Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Actually her parents, or at least people claiming to be such do appear in canon, if barely. They get no dialogue, but during the shopping trip in the second book there's some mention of them being uncertain around all the magic and weirdness, Arthur Weasley saying something along the lines "oh wow, I get to meet real muggles, look they're exchanging muggle money!", and few lines about them being unnerved by the confrontation between Arthur and Lucius in the bookshop.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-08-12T14:15:39.126Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Side note: what characters have been seen to cast both Patronus and AK? Snape does it in canon I think? Does he ever cast his Patronus after he kills Dumbledore?

Yes, in book 7 he used his patronus to lure Harry to the lake where he left Gryffindor's sword.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 24, chapter 95 · 2013-07-23T03:38:53.530Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

He got 1980ish!Snape's interpretation/thoughts, 1991!Snape presumably has new ones.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 24, chapter 95 · 2013-07-23T03:23:58.654Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If it gives a positive response to humans and some/all intelligent non-humans but a negative one to people made brain-dead through purely physical means and/or various animals?

Comment by atelos on Rationality witticisms suitable for t-shirts or bumper stickers · 2013-07-19T01:26:48.795Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

You've seen/heard about the What Would Jesus Do thing, yes? This is that but with references to the Harry Potter as a Rationalist fanfic Yudkowsky is doing.

What Would Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres Do

What Would Professor Quirrel Do

Professor Quirrel Would Avada Kevadra (the Killing Curse, very efficient for removal of obstacles :P)

Comment by atelos on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-14T18:26:36.928Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Sharks are legal to eat and this is a major factor in their current risk of extinction.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 23, chapter 94 · 2013-07-08T19:15:34.299Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I'm reasonably certain time turners can't jump you forwards in time. So far as I can tell everyone who's used a time turner has taken the 'long path' to catch back up with their most advanced present.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 21, chapters 91 & 92 · 2013-07-05T18:23:20.342Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I know the blood is used to mark the Deathly Hallow symbol on the Cloak, but could you remind me where it says this relates to permanence?

Hmm, rereading the section of his Azkaban trip where Harry was making his Cloak related discoveries I seem to have confused the fact of the thestral blood symbol empowering the Cloak with someones conjecture in some discussion thread after we learned the law of potion conservation that the thestral blood suggested as a substitution in the eagle's splendor potion could have served as a modifier to make it permanent.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 21, chapters 91 & 92 · 2013-07-05T14:27:08.861Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

When Dumbledore showed Harry the comments he made in her potions textbook the potion he was commenting on was the Potion of Eagle's Splendor, which is the potion for an increase in the Charisma stat (which technically doesn't have to involve appearance but is often considered correlated with it) in 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons.

ETA: The other things which makes it more suggestive is that the potion Petunia took was dangerous or rare, else more witches would also have permanently improved their appearance, and a normal potion listed in the standard 5th year text presumably wouldn't be; The suggestion presented was thestral blood, thestral blood was implied to have a role in the permanence of the Cloak and as Harry deduced that potions making isn't creating magic but reshaping that which is there some component in Petunias potion must have an association with Permanence.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90 · 2013-07-04T09:41:57.874Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

If someone performs the ritual to summon death then they lose a sword and a noose, unless they're a particular sort of obsessed with the remnants of past crimes they wouldn't care either except that they'd need to get new material components if they want to do it again. just as we'd have to pick out another star if we sacrificed Alpha Centauri A..

It seems to me that the term sacrifice is used simply to denote that even if someone wants their spell component back they can't get it, whereas there is a spell to reverse Crystferrium if you find you prefer the original to the glass.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90 · 2013-07-04T04:58:10.383Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Somehow I doubt even those who believed Tracey's Harry summoning ritual was real believed she had ownership over Yog-Sothoth.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90 · 2013-07-03T05:57:49.834Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to me that Harry was a bit too quick to dismiss the Resurrection Stone option. Certainly if it functions according to his current conceptions of it it won't bring Hermione back in the sense he finds meaningful. However the experience of that soul/magic explosion at Hermione's death gives at least some evidence of a soul actually existing, even if still not enough to make it the most probable explanation for the stone's function, and there are other non-soul requiring ways that the stone could function such as looking back in time for the most recent functioning mind. Given the potential difficulty in finding it and the legend about how it's actually counterproductive its still probably not worth spending much effort pursuing it if you don't already know that pursuing it = convincing Riddle/Quirrelmort to go fetch it out from whatever defences he has it under or breaking them yourself, but he should still probably have put a bit more thought into it before rejecting it.

Comment by atelos on LW Women- Female privilege · 2013-05-06T11:34:34.059Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Regarding "get in the kitchen!" -- submitter seems to be making an implicit connotative jump, because she likes cooking, to take it as if the sentence were simply equivalent to "Go do your favorite thing!" But that's not the connotation that is usually there. The people saying something like that usually mean it more like "Go do this thing whether or not you like doing it all, because it's too low status for males to bother themselves with it."

Also of "you ought to be feeding us because you're not important/competent enough to otherwise contribute"

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-25T16:48:06.456Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

To spell it out more explicitly, the suggestion is that while currently she's loyal to Harry because she thinks he's Harrymort, in the event that Quirrelmort wants to deny Harry influence over her by revealing 'Actually I'm the one with the Dark Lord in his head, I was just manipulating the boy in a complicated plot, as is my style,' she still might maintain some loyalty to Harry because manipulated or not, he still broke her out of Azkaban and performed all those impressive feats for her in the process. Especially the fact that he faced down the dementors without a patronus made her think he might actually be coming to care for her even when she thought her rescuer was the dark lord, knowing that it was actually the boy he looked like who did all that for her is likely to inspire some loyalty.

On the other hand, the dark ritual assisted brainwashing she went through was so thorough she was willing to Crucio herself, so the Dark lord might be willing to rely on that to prevent her from obeying Harry instead of stealing from her the memory of what she owes him.

Either way I imagine that the obliviation Harry saw was likely to be fake, after all he would probably want her report on the events that occurred while he was unconscious in case Harry left any details out in his summary.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-24T12:52:07.809Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If the enchanted stone that the Line is made of is subject to Harry's power of partial transfiguration then instead of breaking the Line he could take a piece of the chamber and make it into a new Line for himself. 'Merlin's spirit and Magic itself have endorsed me, now actually LISTEN to what I have to say.'

ETA: Or, since a few months ago in Azkaban he had enough power/skill to make quite a large hole in the walls and he's presumably improved further since then, and still assuming that partial transfiguration isn't one of the things the special stone is protected against, he could reshape a portion of the wall to say "Release Her". 'The stones themselves cry out against the injustice of this!'

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-02-22T12:32:22.373Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Also, he could be judging the ritual most terrible on effects rather than sacrifices, and Quirrel's worldview obviously judges summoning Death, especially without the dismissal, as more terrible than making yourself some flavor of immortal.

Comment by atelos on Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics · 2011-11-11T05:02:26.208Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

However, every empirical study that has looked at CRA loans has concluded that they were safer than subprime mortgages that were purely profit driven, and CRA loans accounted for a tiny fraction of total subprime mortgages (107)

...

In November 2009 55% of commercial real estate loans were currently underwater, despite being completely unaffected by the CRA.[114]

...

He noted that approximately 50% of the subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies that were not regulated by the CRA, and another 25% to 30% came from only partially CRA regulated bank subsidiaries and affiliates. Barr noted that institutions fully regulated by CRA made "perhaps one in four" sub-prime loans, and that "the worst and most widespread abuses occurred in the institutions with the least federal oversight".[123]

From Wikipedia, but still in accord with what I've read elsewhere, and there are plenty of cites for you to check in their Community Reinvestment Act article.

Besides that, even if the bad loans were made because of 'affirmative action' that doesn't make the crisis the fault of affirmative action, just as if I loan my hypothetical shifty brother-in-law $100 that I don't expect back in order to keep peace with my equally hypothetical wife, it wouldn't be my wife's fault if I don't have rent money at the end of the month because I was budgeting as if I would get that money back.

Comment by atelos on Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics · 2011-11-09T06:10:13.850Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephebophilia or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebephilia depending on which stage of adolescence you're talking about.

Comment by atelos on Rationality Lessons Learned from Irrational Adventures in Romance · 2011-10-13T02:31:39.509Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Homicide Bomber.

There are certainly other examples, but that's the first one to come to mind.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2011-09-26T12:47:46.744Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Most of the teachers? Binns and Trelawney certainly, Snape, but arguably he's more unprofessional and unpleasant than incompetent. Often the defense professor is incompetent, I suppose. Canon!Harry had Lupin, Snape and fake Moody for competent defense professors and Quirrel, Lockhart and Umbridge for incompetent ones. We have no reason to doubt the teaching ability of Mcgonagall, Flitwick, Sprout, Sinistra, Vector or Babbling. Burbage's Muggle studies course is often a subject of ridicule in fanfiction, but that might be a result of the (inter?)-national curriculum rather than her individual competence, and so would be no better at other schools. Hagrid's Care of Magical Creature's lessons were of very uneven quality, but he could teach well when he had his head together.

As to the preeminence of Hogwarts, perhaps its as simple as Hogwarts being the only British school with a comprehensive curriculum, the others focusing on particular areas of magic and functioning more or less as magical trade schools. We don't technically know that there's no entrance exam for the common witch or wizard, we just know Harry didn't have to take one, he could have been admitted as a legacy student or simply because he's the boy-who-lived. Or the barrier could be financial.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2011-09-15T14:28:54.744Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

The next line after "If you didn't tell her at all what the spell was supposed to do, it would stop working." says

If she knew in very vague terms what the spell was supposed to do, or she was only partially wrong, then the spell would work as originally described in the book, not the way she'd been told it should.

Knowing that the spell is 'For enemies' apparently counts as knowing in very vague terms what it will do.

Comment by atelos on Safety can be dangerous · 2011-09-07T06:16:18.549Z · score: 34 (36 votes) · LW · GW

In 2005, Hurricane Rita caused 111 deaths. 3 deaths were caused by the hurricane. 90 were caused by the mass evacuation. ... Exercise for the reader: Find other cases where cautionary measures are more dangerous than nothing.

The ratio of 90 deaths from the evacuation to 3 deaths from the hurricane looks bad, but is in fact irrelevant. The proper comparison would be 90 deaths from evacuating, to X deaths that would have resulted had those people stayed put, or performed some other action in preparation. While it's possible a proper estimate of the risk of staying near the hurricane's projected path would show that it was the less dangerous course, the abstract you linked doesn't suggest that is a topic covered by the paper.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 8 · 2011-09-05T00:22:31.296Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

He may still be able to be a double agent in Quirrel's organization.

In canon, Voldemort knew Snape reported to Dumbledore, how could he not when Snape was spared Azkaban on Dumbledore's word that Snape was a spy. Voldemort however thought that Snape reported to Dumbledore only for the advantages it gave him, personally and in the form of information to be used for the Death Eaters, and not from any true loyalty to the Light or opposition to the Death Eaters.

Similarly, Quirrelmort knows Snape serves Dumbledore, but thinks (perhaps even correctly) that Snape is also plotting and acting on his own, presumably because of some difference of opinion with the Headmaster. Quirrelmort obviously won't think him a loyal Death Eater like Voldemort did, but for that matter I doubt Quirrelmort trusts anyone who hasn't been put through what Bella has to be truly loyal. Spying on him was always going to be harder than spying on canon Voldemort, but he still may relay important information to Snape in the course of asking him the 'favors' that he wants in exchange for not informing on him to Albus. Particularly if Snape's actions weren't actually against the headmaster's orders, or if he decides to come clean about them while still pretending to Quirrel that he wants his plot to remain secret.

Comment by atelos on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-04T23:34:46.373Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Causing disruption is certainly vicious in the sense of aggressive or violent, yes. I, and apparently Normal_Anomaly, read the quote from Mencken as meaning that lying is vicious in the sense of immoral, 'vice-ious', and hence unjustifiable.

Comment by atelos on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 7 · 2011-02-03T18:14:08.136Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed. Harry's personal timeline looks like this.

Wakes up, does morning stuff.

Goes to lunch with Professor Quirrell.

Azkaban!

Back in time to be picked up by the Professors at Mary's Room.

Receives coded note, delivers message to Professor Flitwick.

Reports to McGonagall's office, receives message to be passed to Flitwick.

Back in time one hour from 9 PM to send coded note through Slytherin mail to Margaret Bulstrode who will/did bring it the rest of the way back to 3 PM using her own time turner.

Visit to Dumbledore's office to hear his theory on Bellatrix's escape, and it turns out, to help Fawkes yell at him.