Posts

The Heuristic About Representativeness Heuristic 2015-09-12T23:15:38.547Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Meetup : Moscow: bayes, language and psychology, now with homework 2015-01-02T23:46:21.454Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Bayesianism for humans: prosaic priors 2014-09-02T21:45:05.432Z · score: 22 (23 votes)
Bayesianism for humans: "probable enough" 2014-09-02T21:44:54.965Z · score: 38 (41 votes)
I need help: Device of imaginary results by I J Good 2013-04-05T19:49:27.066Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Nate Silver will do an AMA on Reddit on Tuesday 2013-01-07T09:08:24.252Z · score: 2 (9 votes)
A presentation about Cox's Theorem made for my English class 2012-10-15T19:51:50.285Z · score: 3 (6 votes)
What about a line of retreat for the psychologists? 2012-07-16T20:03:19.130Z · score: -11 (18 votes)
Meetup : Moscow 11 February meetup 2012-02-09T18:39:17.773Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Moscow meetup: Saturday 6 PM 2012-02-08T21:25:58.173Z · score: 3 (4 votes)
lesswrong.ru domain for translation project? 2012-02-03T19:27:05.209Z · score: 18 (19 votes)

Comments

Comment by bt_uytya on The Heuristic About Representativeness Heuristic · 2015-09-16T15:41:48.302Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you. English isn't my first language, so for me feedback means a lot. Especially positive :)

My point was that representative heuristic made two errors: firstly, it violates "ratio rule" (= equates P(S|c) and P(c|S)), and secondly, sometimes it replaces P(c|S) with something else. That means that the popular idea "well, just treat it as P(c|S) instead of P(S|c); if you add P(c|~S) and P(S), then everything will be OK " doesn't always work.

The main point of our disagreement seem to be this:

(1) The degree to which c is representative of S is indicated by the conditional propability p (c | S)- that is, the propability of members of S have characterestic c.

1) Think about stereotypes. They are "represent" their classes well, yet it's extremely unlikely to actually meet the Platonic Ideal of Jew.

(also, sometimes there is some incentive for members of ethnic group to hide their lineage; if so, then P(stereotypical characteristics|member of group) is extremely low, yet the degree of resemblance is very high)

(this is somewhat reminds me of the section about Planning Fallacy in my earlier post).

2) I think that it can be argued that the degree of resemblance should involve P(c|~S) in some way. If it's very low, then c is very representative of S, even if P(c|S) isn't high.


Overall, inferential distances got me this time; I'm probably going to rewrite this post. If you have some ideas about how this text could be improved, I will be glad to hear them.

Comment by bt_uytya on The Heuristic About Representativeness Heuristic · 2015-09-15T21:08:37.957Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for your feedback.

Yes, I'm aware of likelihood ratios (and they're awesome, especially for log-odds). Earlier draft of this post ended at "the correct method for answering this query involves imagining world-where-H-is-true, imagining world-where-H-is-false and comparing the frequency of E between them", but I decided against it. And well, if some process involves X and Y, then it is correct (but maybe misleading) to say that in involves just X.

My point was that "what it does resemble?" (process where you go E -> H) was fundamentally different from "how likely is that?" (process where you go H -> E). If you calculate likelihood ratio using the-degree-of-resemblance instead of actual P(E|H) you will get wrong answer.

(Or maybe thinking about likelihood ratios will force you to snap out of representativeness heuristic, but I'm far from sure about it)

I think that I misjudged the level of my audience (this post is an expansion of /r/HPMOR/ comment) and hadn't made my point (that probabilistic thinking is more correct when you go H->E instead of vice versa) visible enough. Also, I was going to blog about likelihood ratios later (in terms of H->E and !H->E) — so again, wrong audience.

I now see some ways in which my post is debacle, and maybe it makes sense to completely rewrite it. So thank you for your feedback again.

Comment by bt_uytya on The Strangest Thing An AI Could Tell You · 2015-04-10T22:04:54.492Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It's interesting to note that this is almost exactly how it works in some role-playing games.

Suppose that we have Xandra the Rogue who went into dungeon, killed a hundred rats, got a level-up and now is able to bluff better and lockpick faster, despite those things having almost no connection to rat-killing.

My favorite explanation of this phenomenon was that "experience" is really a "self-esteem" stat which could be increased via success of any kind, and as character becomes more confident in herself, her performance in unrelated areas improves too.

Comment by bt_uytya on Bayesianism for humans: "probable enough" · 2014-09-04T21:00:39.973Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Making sure I understood you: you are saying that people sometimes pick "everything is fine" because:

1) they are confident that if anything goes wrong, they would be able to fix it, so everything is fine once again

2) they are so confident in it they aren't making specific plans, beliving that they would be able to fix everything on the spur of the moment

aren't you?

Looks plausible, but something must be wrong there, because planning fallacy:

a) exists (so people aren't evaluating their abilities well)

b) exists even people aren't familiar with the situation they are predicting (here, people have no ground for "ah, I'm able to fix anything anyway" effect)

c) exists even in people with low confidence (however, maybe the effect is weaker here; it's an interesting theory to test)

I blame overconfidence and similar self-serving biases.

Comment by bt_uytya on Open thread, 25-31 August 2014 · 2014-09-02T21:47:44.079Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(decided to move everything to Main)

Comment by bt_uytya on Open thread, 25-31 August 2014 · 2014-08-26T17:57:42.005Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

So, I made two posts sharing potentionally useful heuristics from Bayesianism. So what?

Should I move one of them to Main? On the one hand, these posts "discuss core Less Wrong topics". On the other, I'm honestly not sure that this stuff is awesome enough. But I feel like I should do something, so these things aren't lost (I tried to do a talk about "which useful principles can be reframed in a Bayesian terms" on a Moscow meetup once, and learned that those things weren't very easy to find using site-wide search).

Maybe we need a wiki page with a list of relevant lessons from probability theory, which can be kept up-to-date?

Comment by bt_uytya on Bayesianism for humans: prosaic priors · 2014-08-25T12:18:46.156Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Good call!

Yes, your theory is more prosaic, yet it never occured to me. I wonder whether purposefully looking for boring explanations would help with that.

Also, your theory is actually plausible, fits with some of my observations, so I think that I should look into it. Thanks!

Comment by bt_uytya on Proofs, Implications, and Models · 2014-02-08T21:05:34.168Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A conclusion which is true in any model where the axioms are true, which we know because we went through a series of transformations-of-belief, each step being licensed by some rule which guarantees that such steps never generate a false statement from a true statement.

I want to add that this idea justifies material implication ("if 2x2 = 4, then sky is blue") and other counter-intuitive properties of formal logic, like "you can prove anything, if you assume a contradiction/false statement".

Usual way to show the latter goes like this:

1) Assume that "A and not-A" are true

2) Then "A or «pigs can fly»" are true, since A is true

3) But we know that not-A is true! Therefore, the only way for "A or «pigs can fly»" to be true is to make «pigs can fly» true.

4) Therefore, pigs can fly.

The steps are clear, but this seems like cheating. Even more, this feels like a strange, alien inference. It's like putting your keys in a pocket, popping yourself on the head to induce short-term memory loss and then using your inability to remember keys' whereabouts to win a political debate. That isn't how humans usually reason about things.

But the thing is, formal logic isn't about reasoning about things. Formal logic is about preserving the truth; and if you assumed "A and not-A", then there is nothing left to preserve.

How Wikipedia puts it:

An argument (consisting of premises and a conclusion) is valid if and only if there is no possible situation in which all the premises are true and the conclusion is false.

Comment by bt_uytya on A Brief Overview of Machine Ethics · 2013-12-27T08:17:18.527Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yep, he have.

Comment by bt_uytya on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-12-15T14:24:31.847Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Took the survey and reminded my fellow Russians to participate too.

Comment by bt_uytya on Circular belief updating · 2013-12-13T17:59:47.843Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A (non-unique) best strategy for Dark is to leave the deck alone, regardless of the observer's prior

If I were a Dark, I would try to rearrange the cards so they look random to an unsophisticated observer. No long runs of same color, no obvious patterns in numbers (people are bad random number generators, they think that random string is string without any patterns, not string without big patterns, 17 is the most random number, blah blah blah).

(It's possible that the variation of it can be a good strategy even against more sophisticated agents, because if by a pure chance string of cards has low Kolmogorov complexity, agent is going to take this as evidence for Bright, and I don't want him to believe in Bright)

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes December 2013 · 2013-12-07T19:05:04.634Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

No one makes the wrong decisions for reasons they think are wrong. The more clever the man, as the Nroni were fond of saying, the more apt he was to make a fool of himself. We all argue ourselves into our mistakes.

Scott R. Bakker, The White-Luck Warrior

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes December 2013 · 2013-12-07T19:04:49.962Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Another good fictional epigraph from the same book:

Any fool can see the limits of seeing, but not even the wisest know the limits of knowing. Thus is ignorance rendered invisible, and are all Men made fools.

– Ajencis, The Third Analytic of Men

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes December 2013 · 2013-12-07T19:01:55.957Z · score: 13 (15 votes) · LW · GW

This was what made the fall of Iothiah so disastrous. <...> Strategically, the loss of Iothiah was little more than a nuisance.

Symbolically, however…

The crisis she faced was a crisis in confidence, nothing more, nothing less. The less her subjects believed in the Empire, the less some would sacrifice, the more others would resist. It was almost arithmetic. The balance was wobbling, and all the world watched to see which way the sand would spill. She had made a resolution to act as if she believed to spite all those who doubted her as much as anything else, and paradoxically, they had all started believing with her. It was a lesson Kellhus had drummed into her countless times and one she resolved never to forget again.

To know is to have power over the world; to believe is to have power over men.

Scott R. Bakker, The White-Luck Warrior

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes December 2013 · 2013-12-07T18:58:09.785Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If you find yourself taken unawares by someone you thought you knew, recall that the character revealed is as much your own as otherwise. When it comes to Men and their myriad, mercenary natures, revelation always comes in twos.

– Managoras, Ode to the Long-Lived Fool

Scott R. Bakker, The White-Luck Warrior

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes December 2013 · 2013-12-07T18:57:11.116Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

(potential spoilers removed, so if this dialogue doesn't make sense, be assured that it makes sense in context)

"Just wait," Zsoronga said. "Something auspicious will happen. Some twist will keep you here, where you can discharge your fate! Wait and see."

"And what if they know?" Sorweel finally asked, voicing the one alternative they had passed over in silence.

"They don't know."

"But wh-"

"They don't know."

Zsoronga, Sorweel was beginning to realize, possessed the enviable ability to yoke his conviction to his need - to believe, absolutely, whatever his heart required. For Sorweel, belief and want always seemed like ropes too short to bind together, forcing him to play the knot as a result.

Scott R. Bakker, The White-Luck Warrior

Comment by bt_uytya on The dangers of zero and one · 2013-11-22T15:28:53.115Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

apart from theories where what's wrong is your brain

(just amused by the possibility)

Also, it is possible that Peano arithmetic isn't consistent; if so, either the very concept of 'primality' doesn't make any sense, or it can just mess up the primality tests which were used in creation of (b) and (c), and the connection between "1159 if prime" and "this program outputs True and halts" as well.

Of course, it screws up any application of Cox's theorem here, even worse than in delusion case.

Comment by bt_uytya on Random LW-parodying Statement Generator · 2013-08-28T21:32:18.638Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In the new version of Newcomb's problem, you have to choose between a box containing the map and a box containing warm fuzzies.

Self-delusion or accurate beliefs? We all can empathize with this choice.

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes August 2013 · 2013-08-09T23:26:41.440Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, prophesy was about the ship; the spaceship crashed into Aragena, their planet, and then curious inhabitants looked inside (and found nothing dangerous). After that came the messenger of their King and told them that they all are doomed.

And they indeed were.

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes August 2013 · 2013-08-09T23:09:13.597Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Probably I'm incredible late with that, but:

a) thank you, embarrassing mistake fixed

b) I was fascinated with the "volatile atoms" bit. It feels like a line taken from a poem on reductionism. I'm not sure that I managed to convey it because I'm not so much versed in English fiction and poetry.

Also, I liked their safety measures, it's a pity they hadn't worked in the end.

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes August 2013 · 2013-08-03T13:43:31.416Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It's interesting to view this story from source-code-swap Prisoner's Dilemma / Timeless Decision Theory perspective. This can be a perfect epigraph in an article dedicated to it.

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes August 2013 · 2013-08-03T13:39:05.277Z · score: 53 (53 votes) · LW · GW

The fear people have about the idea of adherence to protocol is rigidity. They imagine mindless automatons, heads down in a checklist, incapable of looking out their windshield and coping with the real world in front of them. But what you find, when a checklist is well made, is exactly the opposite. The checklist gets the dumb stuff out of the way, the routines your brain shouldn’t have to occupy itself with (Are the elevator controls set? Did the patient get her antibiotics on time? Did the managers sell all their shares? Is everyone on the same page here?), and lets it rise above to focus on the hard stuff (Where should we land?).

Here are the details of one of the sharpest checklists I’ve seen, a checklist for engine failure during flight in a single-engine Cessna airplane—the US Airways situation, only with a solo pilot. It is slimmed down to six key steps not to miss for restarting the engine, steps like making sure the fuel shutoff valve is in the OPEN position and putting the backup fuel pump switch ON. But step one on the list is the most fascinating. It is simply: FLY THE AIRPLANE. Because pilots sometimes become so desperate trying to restart their engine, so crushed by the cognitive overload of thinking through what could have gone wrong, they forget this most basic task. FLY THE AIRPLANE. This isn’t rigidity. This is making sure everyone has their best shot at survival.

-- Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes August 2013 · 2013-08-03T13:16:46.404Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Sages and scientists heard those words, and fear seized them. However, they disbelieved the horrible prophecy, deeming the possibility of perdition too improbable. They lifted the starship from its bed, shattered it into pieces with platinum hammers, plunged the pieces into hard radiation, and thus the ship was turned into myriads of volatile atoms, which are always silent, for atoms have no history; they are identical, whatever origin they have, whether it be bright suns, dead planets or intelligent creatures, — virtuous or vile — for raw matter is same in the Cosmos, and it is other things you should be afraid of.

Still, even atoms were gathered, frozen into one clod and sent into distant sky. Only then were Enterites able to say "We are saved. Nothing threatens us now".

-- Stanislaw Lem, White Death

(as far as I know, this sweet short story never have been translated into English; I translated this passage myself from my Russian copy, so I will be glad if someone corrects my mistakes)

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes from people associated with LessWrong · 2013-07-31T06:58:40.029Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Law of Large Numbers states that sum of a large amount of i.i.d variables approaches its mathematical expectation. Roughly speaking, "big samples reliably reveal properties of population".

It doesn't state that "everything can happen in large samples".

Comment by bt_uytya on Rationality Quotes from people associated with LessWrong · 2013-07-30T22:30:25.325Z · score: 41 (41 votes) · LW · GW

The first terrifying shock comes when you realize that the rest of the world is just so incredibly stupid.

The second terrifying shock comes when you realize that they're not the only ones.

-- Nominull3 here, nearly six-years old quote

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-30T20:16:15.754Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, it was this video I had in mind.

Comment by bt_uytya on Making Rationality General-Interest · 2013-07-27T13:21:49.341Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

On the other hand, you are probably have more raw intelligence now.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-26T23:15:30.020Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This seems reasonable indeed.

(if you are interested, the thing you are pointing at is conditional Kolmogorov complexity)

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-26T20:23:30.201Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's not very useful measure.

So, there is Lesath Lestrange, an original character. Which is more likely: "Lesath thinks that Harry is his Lord" or "Lesath is a 3-level (or any specific number instead of "3") player who wants to decieve Harry, and also he is H&C which is possible because he knows how to fool anti-obliviation wards"?

Your approach will just say "I don't know what to make of it. We have already departured from the canon and I can't work here" with a sad look on face.

EDIT: I re-read my comment, and it seems to be arrogant and condescending. I didn't intend it to be so, and not sure how I should change it, so I figured I should just apologize beforehand. Your approach to assigning priors is reasonable one, it just lacking some vital parts.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-26T20:13:26.900Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Canon Tom Riddle didn't either. There are only so much words you can get from letters "TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE", after all.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T21:34:45.698Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

(non-native speaker here)

I was under impression that "to counterfeit" means only "to create imperfect copies in order to fraud someone", but it seems that it also means "to deceive". Thank you!

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T20:05:26.288Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Huh, I was sure you are able to choose your Animagus form, but it appears I was mistaken.

Apparently you become the animal that suits you best.

Still, there is a potential for a creative Legilemency and False-Memory Charm casted on oneself in order to create an appropriate self-image. Assuming Bellatrix was an Animagus before meeting Voldemort, was her Animagus form changed when she was shattered into pieces and re-combined into someone else?

Also, what if I Memory-Charm myself to believe that common characteristics of spiders are intelligence and courage? Will my Animagus form change depending on the beliefs of native population (e.g. if you are very cunning, you will be snake in Britain, fox in Russia and mongoose in Asia)?

ETA: Can't stop thinking about it. Created a topic on Reddit since I feel like Reddit is more suitable for a this discussion: LW is serious and I prefer it to stay this way.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T19:52:10.683Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Aha! Thank you!

My mistake was that I kept thinking about "false" as in "false theory" instead of "false" as in "false money".

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T19:40:05.068Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Just remembered a serious objection, originally from Tarhish on reddit:

I had been thinking about this possibility for a while, but now it also requires Dumbledore to have lied about Lily and James hearing the prophecy in the Hall of Prophecy. Because if they did, then it means they were mentioned in the prophecy, and this theory does not, at first thought, seem to allow that.

(from here, it's only 4 months old, you still can upvote that)

This argument can be somewhat handwaved away by "James is ascendant of Ignotus Peverell, and prophecy talks about several possible futures", but still.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T19:21:46.351Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think you should at least give a link to the relevant Youtube clip in A/N. I'm not sure readers unfamiliar with canon fully understand what is going on concerning Peverell brothers.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T19:13:12.875Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't get it. Could you explain it please?

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T18:18:29.619Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

(By the way, tags on the opening post are wrong. There should be a tag reading "harry_potter", not two separate tags for the first and last name.)

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T18:15:42.308Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ritual for summoning Death is just reference to the spell of Seething Death from one of the Lawrence Watt-Evans books.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T18:07:10.461Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

AK spell, which doesn't seem to affect animals in MOR,

Don't remember it. Could you give a source?

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T17:57:55.417Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also, Quirrel doesn't know the story of Weasleys' Pet Rat. Did he spend a century in Albania or something?

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T17:52:51.436Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

1) Research wandless magic

2) Become a cat Animagus

3) Cast a True Patronus Charm while in a cat form

4) Awesome, now you can impersonate Patronus of McGonnagal and no members of Order of Phoenix can trust each other anymore!

5) Ask an Auror friend to destroy your Animagus form.

6) Become a spider Animagus

7) ???

8) Terrify people!

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T17:41:59.731Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You are talking about prior probability. P(Dark Lord is Death|no specific background information) roughly equals to P(Eliezer changes things from canon), which isn't very large; so after updating both with a equally favorable piece of evidence "Death is Dark Lord" is still behind "Voldemort is Dark Lord".

You can assign prior probabilities in various ways, and one of them is giving every hypothesis an appropriate complexity penalty (or you can just judge everything as equally likely, or give everything a simplicity penalty, or penalize every hypothesis according to how many people it affects, or...). Some ways are better than others, but:

1) Why "complexity penalty" should work in fiction, even in a rationalist fiction?

2) Why hypothesis "Voldemort is Dark Lord" is simpler than "Death is Dark Lord" in the sense of program length? One can argue that the former hypothesis points to the specific human from a pool of a 6 billion people (or 100 billion, if you want to consider every human ever lived) while the latter talks about some entity likely to be very basic from the Magic viewpoint.

Hope that clears some of confusion!

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T16:56:35.730Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Thing of note:

Harry in chapter 86:

...Don't get me wrong - I do realize that my interpretation sounds stretched. Trelawney's phrasing doesn't seem natural for describing only the events that historically happened on October 31st, 1981 ... But if you think of the prophecy as being about several possible futures, only one of which was actually realized on Halloween, then the prophecy could already be complete.

The prophecy can be interpreted in two ways: "Harry fights Voldemort" and "Harry fights Death" (ignoring more exotic ones like "Harry is Dark Lord and Quirrel is the hero").

At this point, both positions are justified. Yes, some lines look strange if we assume "Harry fights Death" point of view, but some lines look strange if we assume "Harry fights Voldemort" point of view: just look at chapter 76. The passage above suggests this is normal.

I find myself in a doubt about which interpretation is correct, and it looks like this is exactly as Eliezer wanted it.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T16:46:58.991Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

[tinfoil hat]

mark him as his equal

Suppose that Killing Curse just bounced off the night Voldemort died, just refused to work for some reason. If "magically embodied preference for death over life" haven't worked on someone, I would pretty much say that it means something.

Also, possible foreshadowing in chapter 5:

"I have formed an idea..." said Professor McGonagall. "After meeting you, that is. You triumphed over the Dark Lord by being more awful than he was, and survived the Killing Curse by being more terrible than Death."

Funny to think about, but probably I just see patterns where there are none.

remnant of the other

My a bit stretched interpretation is that Bayesian Conspiracy and Chaos Legion are Harry's remnants.

[/tinfoil hat]

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T15:38:02.335Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

That sounds reasonable, but unless everything we saw about Quirrel is lie, he is unable to cast animal Patronus, being cynical sociopathic rationalist with a homicidal tendencies.

There is some possibility that Quirrel have analyzed his conversation with Harry, words about "rejection of Death as a part of natural order" and picture of stars being able to keep Dementation away and re-discovered True Patronus (there is speculation about Quirrel being enemy of Death, so it at least plausible), but True Patronus couldn't look like a snake.

PS: Your argument partly applies to the Patronus of Lucius being a snake, though.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T13:57:17.080Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's interesting that Godric's Hollow was named after Godric, not Peverells. It seems that they weren't as famous as him, for some reason.

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T12:16:42.707Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Versions already mentioned somewhere: "It was sad she died", "Harry, now you don't owe anything to House Malfoy anymore", "Father wants to disband Hogwarts because it's not safe anymore, Wizengamot vote is tomorrow".

My guess: the rationality-theme of this arc is roles, and this is relevant in almost every chapter. Probably something about Lucius playing a role of loving father instead of going off-script? Or Lucius playing the role of important Wizengamot member?

My second guess: it is connected to the (former?) belief of Lucius that Harry is Voldemort. Role of Death Eater overriding Lucius's neocortex?

Third guess: "Harry, you remember the vow you gave to me about murderer of Narcissa Malfoy? Listen carefully. I swore to find the murderer of Hermione Jean Granger and..."

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T12:07:28.584Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I believe only Quirrel knows that Harry intents to ressurect Hermione as opposed to just researching immortality. As far as Dumbledore concerned, Harry is thinking about replicating Philosopher's Stone. I don't remember any hints about ressurection, only "rejecting Death as part of natural order".

(though disappearing of HG's body can give Albus some ideas, I guess)

Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T12:02:24.560Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

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Comment by bt_uytya on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T11:32:39.354Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Relevant quote, conversation with a Sorting Hat:

"And you would find loyalty and friendship in Hufflepuff, a camaraderie that you have never had before. You would find that you could rely on others, and that would heal something inside you that is broken."

It seems that something broken was healed at last.

PS: Tangentially related to the Harry's inability to rely on others: chapter 31, chapter 70 (Maybe if there were more heroes, their lives wouldn't be so lonely, or so short.), chapter 93.