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Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 104 · 2015-03-03T21:26:52.195Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm too obsessed with antimatter

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112 · 2015-02-27T21:30:41.722Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A one-atom wide line of antimatter along his skin, down through his shoes, through the ground, and into Voldemort's brain, where you make a microgram lump. Still doesn't kill him, precisely, but it should at least make him mad

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107 · 2015-02-19T13:42:52.764Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If I were Snape, I would use a gas. Something which becomes hazardous after a certain time. Or merely change the nitrogen/oxygen balance after a certain time.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107 · 2015-02-17T07:54:50.730Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There are two prophecies at work here that I don't understand, which even now have to be vital to the ending

  • HE IS HERE. THE ONE WHO WILL TEAR APART THE VERY STARS IN HEAVEN. HE IS HERE. HE IS THE END OF THE WORLD.
  • Thrayen beyn Peverlas soona ahnd thrih heera toal thissoom Dath bey yewoonen

I really don't get why Quirrel is doing this knowing the prophecy of the stars.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 104 · 2015-02-16T19:38:30.562Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also, the transfiguration Harry is doing is an obvious hint as to the antimatter weapon ending.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 104 · 2015-02-16T19:27:22.409Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Assuming that the Mirror of Erised works the same, Bellatrix is the obvious wielder

Comment by cultureulterior on Meetup : London Social Meetups - 23/03 and 30/03 · 2014-03-29T21:38:35.304Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Weather's looking good

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101 · 2014-03-10T21:04:22.744Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101 · 2014-03-09T21:41:19.834Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Who is Sirius? Fudge!

  • It is well known that Sirius was replaced before he went to prison (the repeated "I'm not serious", the phoenix screaming particularly loudly at one particular door)
  • Fudge was present at the capture of Sirius, and made Sirius go to Azkaban without a trial- which means Fudge needs to keep the person in Sirius's body locked up for some reason.
  • Sirius can switch bodies somehow (Someone who looks like Sirius enough to fool everyone else is in prison)
  • Fudge is under the thumb of the Malfoys- why? He's using them for support, but there has to be a reason why they can dominate him completely- and being able to expose him as a death eater does that.
  • Harry predicts that Evil!Pettigrew would be with the Malfoys- or in the caribbean? Why not predict the caribbean first? Because Evil!Sirius is with the Malfoys.
  • Meta-dramatic point: Harry has never talked to Fudge. Every time he has a chance to talk to him, like during Harry Potter Day, he hasn't- even during the trial, Fudge never says anything.
Comment by cultureulterior on Meetup : London social · 2013-10-07T13:35:31.336Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Seriously? Same location again?

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98 · 2013-09-05T23:24:37.081Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm beginning to think the/a final enemy might be Dumbledore after all.

(1) Wouldn't Dumbledore, when he was invisibly following HP to the graveyard, have seen the millennia-old stone alight with prophecy?

(2) What if it was Dumbledore's troll, and Quirrel can prove it or, Dumbledore has had a troll guard and he can make it seem like this was it?

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98 · 2013-09-01T10:47:52.741Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Does Bellatrix have a horcrux backup, and if not, why not? You'd think that if Voldemort thought enough of her importance to remove her from Azkaban, he'd have made sure to back her up beforehand?

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97 · 2013-08-26T10:48:23.806Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What steps has Harry taken to investigate the characters of those killed by Voldemort? You'd think that he'd kill/order killed, in particular, people that he did not care to have around in his future realm, once he took power. I'm assuming that the Dark Mark comes with its own self-destruct switch, so he does not have make sure any Death Eater dies. People killed by Death Eaters in self defence do not count.

This might explain why, for example, he did not kill Dumbledore, or any of the truly awesome people in the OOTP (Moody, et al), because he knew that they would be reasonable subjects.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97 · 2013-08-19T21:08:04.123Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

But not in a particularly interesting way

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 23, chapter 94 · 2013-07-16T23:25:39.025Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Two points:

  • Did anyone remember to take the "42" envelope, before returning Hermione's effects to her parents?
  • Are Harry's and Hermione's parents allowed to talk to each other?
Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 21, chapters 91 & 92 · 2013-07-04T18:53:38.794Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

"Rule 8: Any technique which is good enough to defeat me once is good enough to learn myself"

Voldemort has been defeated once. What would he do, if he wanted to learn how?

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-09-24T22:23:02.460Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This does not imply that prophecies have intended recipients, though.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-09-23T19:08:51.812Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure that's the way of it in the HPMOR universe. Consider the final chapter- who were those aborted prophecies for?

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-09-22T16:54:21.247Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why doesn't voldemort have a source of prophecies? If I were him, I'd have kidnapped a known seer, and kept them locked up inside a mountain, or something like that, and recorded their output like it seems dumbledore does. Every power he sees he tries to take for himself, etc..

Comment by cultureulterior on Weekly LW Meetups: Austin, Brussels, Cambridge MA, Chicago, Madison, Melbourne, Salt Lake City, Sydney, Washington DC · 2012-09-21T22:52:21.766Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There was something this summer, but I missed it.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-06-02T19:25:47.419Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The deeper problem in Ch. 6 is that Harry’s conflict with Professor McGonagall looks too much like a victory – it is a major flaw of Methods that Harry doesn’t lose hard until Ch. 10, so he must at least not win too much before then. That’s the part I’m working on at this very instant.

Strongly disagree with this. That's the bit that caused me to continue reading. Luckily, I have the raw text downloaded, and can make my own canonical printed version.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-05-13T09:31:02.958Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

But Professor McGonagall had made other visits after her first trip, to "see how Miss Granger is doing"; and Roberta couldn't help but think that if Hermione said her parents were being troublesome about her witching career, something would be done to fix them...

This quote in particular makes that point...

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-05-10T09:09:27.949Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure the Powers that Be at Hogwarts would allow her to be taken home by her parents...

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-05-03T15:59:22.962Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I think that Salazar's Serpent was a trap Tom Riddle fell into. It was a Langford Basilisk Horcrux, like the book Ginny got in the original timeline, so When Tom Riddle read out the information embedded, he was possessed by Salazar Slytherin. That's why nppbeqvat gb Ibyqrzbeg/Evqqyr/Fnynmne vg frrzf gb unir whfg orra n terng frecrag, abg n onfvyvfx, juvpu vf whfg jung ur jbhyq fnl. Guvf nyfb rkcynvaf gur qnzntrq guvaxvat Uneel frrf.

This might well explain Harry as well, since in OT Voldemort had a giant serpent hanging around. He might not have had one in this timeline, but if he did, it would explain a lot of why he kept it around- it was a horcrux duplicator/imprinter.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-15T19:03:36.019Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I admit all the above flaws.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-13T17:00:47.180Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

In re: Interdict of Merlin- if the Interdict of Merlin did not block the creation of high-level spells, the loss of old high level spells would not matter, since newly invented high level spells would replace them. You might say that this is due to loss of knowledge, but then we have to assume that the interdict of Merlin actually limits not only spells but also knowledge.

In re: Random Effects: Booger-tasting jelly beans from OT universe would be one.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-13T16:53:58.441Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

My non-conclusive arguments for this are as follows:

  • Each rotation equals one hour.
  • We cannot privilige the human experience, and therefore the length of the earth day cannot be a physical constant.
Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-13T15:51:45.872Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

How Magic Works, Some Facts, Inferences, Conclusions, and Speculations

The Facts:

  • Wizards did not have clocks before muggles did.
  • Time turners are limited to 6 solar hours.
  • Therefore time turners were limited after the invention of Equinoctal hours, in 127CE.
  • The Aurors are planning a jinx to stop opposite reaction effect rockets, but they don't understand rockets.
  • There was a significant flux in children's spells, but children did not seem to use more or fewer spells in the past.
  • Brooms work via Aristotelian physics.
  • It's easier to put together spells to make a broom than to make a new spell to make a broom.
  • You can create semi-intelligent objects without understanding what you're doing or creating a copy of yourself or breeding.
  • Mass production of magical effect-bound objects is easier than individual crafting of individual spells for each item.
  • Objects and animals can be made to understand and respond to speech.
  • Magical animals and plants exist and contain magical power and but are all sized more or less a few orders of magnitude around the human norm. No magical ticks or ants seem to exist.
  • Created animals and object are not aware by default.
  • The Interdict of Merlin seems to be blocking the creation of new powerful spells but allow old powerful spells to be rediscovered.
  • The Interdict of Merlin does not block the creation of new spells, only new powerful spells
  • Random unwanted effects seem to seep into the creation of new spells.
  • New spell creation does not seem correlated with magical power or skill.
  • New spells are created, but not all the time- it is either random, requires effort, or requires time.
  • Nobody was as good as Merlin, and then nobody was as good as the four founders.
  • Children have unconscious magic, but not to the extent that OT Harry did.
  • Wizards seem to spend most of their time in pocket universes, otherwise you'd spot dragons and hogwarts trains on satellite imagery.

The Speculations:

  • The source of magic has a certain limited number of permitted Spell to Effect associations on each power level. These associations are susceptible for expiration when no-one knows the spell anymore. High level associations were frozen in place by the Interdict of Merlin, but low level slots are still expiring, and whatever ritual the wizards use to create spells is merely triggering a garbage collect and conditional new spell insert.

  • Upon reception of the insert ritual, the Source of Magic scans the Wizard's mind, and performs an optimization algorithm on a set of existing spells to make a new spell which is close enough in some set of dimensions to what it thinks the Wizard wants, after which it associates the spell and effect. Therefore it would use thousands of years of existing infrastructure for making intelligent object effects.

  • In this scenario a wizard might be trying to create a spell for years, until a slot opens up that he will get to first, competing with everyone else trying to make spells.

  • Wizards, of course, not willing to accept the apparent randomness of this, have additional learned behaviors about creating spells, things they believe are required, most of which are not required and boil down to daydreaming about the effect you want and practice with the spell string and wand wave.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-12T14:55:38.715Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You only need 100 votes to get nominated, and then the nomination itself will get more people reading it.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-12T13:33:45.182Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not only the attendees. People with supporting memberships can vote as well.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-12T13:28:45.724Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

All you need to vote is a supporting membership, cost $60 or so. You don't have to attend.

As soon as HPMOR is finished (hopefully not soon), I will buy a supporting membership to the next year's worldcon. On that note, let me urge Eliezer to finish HPMOR in the summer of some year, so enough supporting memberships can nominate it by January 1.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-11T15:48:05.846Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Personally, I think Eliezer keeping the train- qua train- is a mistake. It shows too much influence from the muggle universe. I mean, what did Hogwarts use as soon as 200 years ago? Why would they change it given their extremely conservative world-view? A Eberron-style lightning train would be more plausible.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-11T10:36:22.444Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Hat and Cloak might have tried the algorithm on Ron first.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-11T06:31:38.021Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure there is a difference:

"You know that spell?"

"Oh, no, it's the Charm of the Most Ancient Blade, it's only legal for Noble and Most Ancient Houses to use -"

Hermione stopped talking and looked at Harry, or Harry's grey hood rather.

"Well," said Harry's voice, "I guess I could take down the rest of the Sunshine Regiment by myself, then." She couldn't see his face, but his voice sounded like he was smiling.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-10T16:58:09.157Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, crap. Malfoy's blue krait is Voldemort's spy in the Malfoy home.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-09T15:43:45.117Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I guess you're right, even though there's no reason for that limitation either, given how the physics of transfiguration works- e.g is there really a difference between the electron clouds in a metal and clouds of gas.

Anyway, he can transfigure through the ground, up through a leg, and to the face.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-09T15:31:21.901Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

All powerful wizards have this ability and it is implied that every magical power in the world would turn against him if he tried anything that foolish.

I've always felt that that was peculiar. Iraq used chemical weapons and no-one cared in the least.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-09T15:22:24.216Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Now that I think about it, why hasn't Harry bought a pet snake yet? Having an animal minion he could command would be extremely useful in any amount of situations, and you'd think he'd make the best of his abilities. If he's worried about remembering to feed it, he can have Hermione be responsible for it.

In fact, a pet snake would be a great gift from professor Quirrel.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-08T09:44:09.800Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure I get what Harry's evidence for being able to summon the Phoenix is. It seemed more like wishful thinking to me. Any ideas on why he believed he could do that?

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-08T00:02:04.471Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm noticing the Hugo nominations just came out. I'm not sure about which category it would be eligible for, but I think it would be worth trying to push for a nomination next year. For one thing, HPMOR is definitely in the same class as Ender's Game, which did win a Hugo.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82 · 2012-04-06T12:07:45.003Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You transfigure (a one atom line in the air to the person and his face) to cyanide.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-04T08:49:43.765Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/bfo/harry_potter_and_the_methods_of_rationality/

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-01T15:15:30.092Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed. However, very few people are villains in their own minds. And You Fool! has classically been a narrative tag for villains for over a century.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-04-01T14:19:08.725Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Cube root(number of atoms in a 1m^3 cube of silicon(simplification)=number of atoms in a one atom line, assuming that the atoms were arranged in an cubic crystal(simplification). Mass-energy of those atoms, times two (for complete destruction) and then subtract for the particles that do not decay immediately (I had to look that up, I think I got about 5/6th remaining)

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-01T14:05:07.514Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The individual colored patches are the five first JKR books, and the overlapping patch is The Methods of Rationality, plotted by chapter and book, vs the number of total words written. MoR is now longer than all the first four books put together. The reason I made the graph was I was wondering if those two individual EY statements (rot13'd in my statement above) were would add up to make more than one bit of information, but they did not.

If Eliezer finishes Methods of Rationality at 150% of current length, we'd end up midway into the sixth book.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-01T10:11:59.503Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"You fools!" shouted Lucius Malfoy.

Lucius is using classical villain language (Matthew 5:22 etc...), which he really shouldn't be doing in any sensible world unless he's been contacted by Voldemort, or believes that Voldemort would have wanted him to do so. If we assume that he thinks that Voldemort wants him to play the villain role, the reason for his villainous behavior is made rather more clear.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-03-31T21:12:52.812Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Progress of Eliezer vs JKR, Fvapr Ryvrmre unf fgngrq gung gur fgbel jba'g or ybatre guna gur frira obbxf, cre jbeq, naq gung vg'f zber guna unysjnl qbar

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-18T11:11:03.377Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I like Coup d'État, by Edward Luttwak

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-17T13:50:22.139Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Have we excluded the possibility of the Sorting Hat, either by accident or design, can help you violate the Interdict of Merlin? I mean, it doesn't seem to be alive under the sense of the terms of the curse, but you never know. And, also, personally, I've always thought it was peculiar that Ravenclaw didn't do anything to preserve his knowledge in the same way as Slytherin.

Comment by cultureulterior on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-17T13:43:29.150Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm expecting Lucius to be manipulated into asking questions under veritaserum of his son that he really doesn't want the Wizengamot to hear the answer to, e.g Blood Purity, and the plausibility of same.