Comment by izeinwinter on I have just donated $10,000 to the Immortality Bus, which was the most rational decision of my life · 2015-07-19T17:14:01.794Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

This is wrong - The body isn't a closed system, but an ongoing exporter of entrophy. There is no fundamental reason why "better repair mechanisms" wouldn't result in an permanent health. I don't like calling this immortality, because.. well, mishap and violence will still get you eventually, but the whole decay and slow dying thing isn't written into the laws of physics or even biology. It's just that Azathoth never had a reason to fix it.

Comment by izeinwinter on Crazy Ideas Thread · 2015-07-15T06:21:06.289Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There are better options if you want to go nuclear for propulsion. http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/718391main_Werka_2011_PhI_FFRE.pdf

It's not an unreasonable amount of mass to get into LEO, and so very elegant as a drive.

Comment by izeinwinter on Stupid Questions July 2015 · 2015-07-04T16:45:08.445Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Eh.. There is indeed work being done on this. Google seawater greenhouse - Which is basically a way to engineer a cooler, wetter micro-climate and turn a net profit.

Comment by izeinwinter on Thoughts on minimizing designer baby drama · 2015-05-22T16:45:51.286Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In this case they would have to change already existing law in a way that is blatantly against the interests of the majority and manage to do so it globally - because if any country defects from a policy of limiting top mods to the upper class, every country has to, or get buried 20 years later. This is not a winnable political struggle.

Comment by izeinwinter on Thoughts on minimizing designer baby drama · 2015-05-21T04:34:51.896Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It can't actually - Medical patents are already borderline in terms of "political viability". A system of patents that gave the rich this kind of advantage would result in the end of patents. Heck, it is already law in many places that you cannot hold IP in human genes.

Comment by izeinwinter on How to come to a rational believe about whether someone has a crush on yo · 2015-05-15T09:27:38.726Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

People are in general very, very bad at spotting signs of interest. This is not unique to you. - The non-verbal communication channel for "I'd like to get to know you in a romantic fashion" just does not work very well at all.

Trying to become adept at reading it is, of course, possible but unless you have sky high social intelligence to begin with, I do not recommend it.

What you need to do instead is figure out how to express unambiguous, unmistakable interest in a way that does not scare the shit out of potential romantic partners. If someone doesn't do this, the both of you are potentially running around as the unwitting participants in a real-life romantic comedy where everyone is interested, but also assume that the other party is not.

So, someone has to use their words. Be clear, be honest, be flattering (but still honest), don't make it an ultimatum, and leave their lines of retreat open, both literally and socially. Feeling cornered isn't a turnon for anyone.

Rejection is not the end of the world. You are asking a question, that is all, and unless you do so in quite uniquely repulsive a manner, all that will result is that you get an honest answer, which can only leave you better off.

Comment by izeinwinter on Open Thread, Apr. 06 - Apr. 12, 2015 · 2015-04-17T07:51:31.086Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

First option doesn't exist. The third world is well and truely aware that science is a thing. As for the second.. Writing someone who is old, but not impaired by decay is very, very difficult, due to lack of examples, but I think this might be less of a leap than it seems. Necessity will force mobility upon our protag, and contact with various cultures will immunize against believing received wisdom without proof. Going from there to "reality is the final arbiter" isn't much of a leap.

.. Now I am trying to think what applicable skills someone really old might have to bring to the project of science, assuming she didn't win the cosmic lottery trice over and is both a genius and highly creative on top of unageing..

"Social-Fu, ninth dan"? Hypercompetency at organizing a group of people into working smoothly together is something which she could with very high plausibility have picked up simply from endless practice. Setting up a carpentry shop in Milan one decade, a china production in venice the next and so on conferring skills that do tranfer quite well to running a lab within budget and with abnormally low social frictions.

Comment by izeinwinter on Open Thread, Apr. 13 - Apr. 19, 2015 · 2015-04-17T06:48:28.872Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The thing is, how would you distinguish a world in which the female population of said high-school are missing five centimeters and 4 points of IQ due to dieting from the one we inhabit? Where do we get a baseline from? Arrgh.

Comment by izeinwinter on Open Thread, Apr. 13 - Apr. 19, 2015 · 2015-04-17T05:18:16.478Z · score: -6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Evo psyc is always bullshit, so what else could be causing this?

Two minutes of thinking later... and now I am suddenly getting extremely worried about teen and earlier eating habits among women.

Caloric deficits negatively impact height and a slew of other outcomes. To a first approximation, noone in the first world is short of calories growing up due to inability to get enough food.

But there is immense social pressure on women to be thin. Anorexia skews female to a very extreme degree.

It's entirely, and frighteningly, plausible that women are diverging in height because they are not eating enough during their teen years. Even short of outright disorder, just not eating their fill when it is available would not only cost them a fair few centimeters of height, but also, and far worse, points of IQ, focus during critical educational years.. Ugh.

This is a very bloody worrying possibility, which needs investigating, and stopping.

Comment by izeinwinter on Open Thread, Apr. 06 - Apr. 12, 2015 · 2015-04-09T14:31:51.893Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Honestly, I think almost all media treatments of this entire topic will be extremely problematic in hindsight once an actual cure for senescence is found.

In this particular case, I'd expect her to become... very interested in biochemistry. That would be a much better plot, wouldn't it? One woman's fight to cure ageing because she knows for a fact it can be done, but at the same time trying to not end up strapped to a lab table. Heck, for the first period, the fact that women were massively overlooked in science would be outright helpful. - Getting hired at a place which does whatever she was currently investigating would be fairly simple, and then just have some random dude steal credit for whatever results she manages. Paper trail? What paper trail?

Comment by izeinwinter on Useful Habits Repository · 2015-04-05T16:25:58.945Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

.. Clothes made by people with any sense of pride in craft? I sew for a hobby, and for the purpose of making gifts. - for example I just finished a nice summer jacket for my brothers birthday, english wool, silk lining. Cost to me: <70 euro. (and time, but eh.) I learned to what to do largely by reading on the internet and taking old clothes apart to see how they were built.

The clothes sold to women is depressing as all hell in that regard. Materials, build, functionality - Lowest bidder doesn't begin to describe it. "I don't think you even tried at all" about covers it.

I think this happens because womens clothing stores sell a ridiculously tiny fraction of the stock they purchase. The price tag on a shirt or skirt has to pay not only for that piece of clothes, but also for the 5 to nine other items on that rack nobody buys before they go hopelessly out of style. In order for that to work out to a net profit, the items on selection need to be nearly worthless. And they are.

Men's Jeans are the perfect opposite clothing item - a store can buy those home in bulk, and be assured that every single item in that consignment will eventually be sold because they are a commodity, so the gap between price and worth is much smaller.

So, in order to make better womens clothes, you need to design something which is as guaranteed a sale as a pair of mens jeans. And to not hate women. Eh.. This really does look like something I could do...

Comment by izeinwinter on Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015 · 2015-04-05T15:43:01.011Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sure it is, if you are in the vicinity of a donation site on a regular basis anyway. Pop in, donate, read while doing so, pop out again. Warm fuzzies during pleasure reading time.

Warning, my opinion on this may be influenced rather heavily by the fact that I essentially don't notice the donation, nor do I mind needles.

Comment by izeinwinter on [LINK] Amanda Knox exonerated · 2015-03-29T10:46:13.453Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Bad prior. Gang violence is a major murder statistic, but it's pretty far from being "most". Quick googling says: "1 in 6 murders". The most common motive, at 50% is "Argument". So.. men are more likely to escalate those to homocide?

Comment by izeinwinter on [LINK] Amanda Knox exonerated · 2015-03-29T06:07:53.680Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

.. The thing that puzzles me here is why Knox was ever prosecuted at all. The prosecution had Guede. Who left his fingerprints all over the scene, fled the country, had a history of burglary and knives and changed his story repeatedly. That's a pretty simple and very solid case. Why the heck the prosecution insisted on trying to pin the crime on two more people who could have no plausible reason at all for conspiring with him is just inexplicable to me. I mean, traces of dna from people who lived in the apartment? Wtf? All that proves is that they indeed, lived there.

Comment by izeinwinter on [FINAL CHAPTER] Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 122 · 2015-03-15T19:27:24.087Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It does address it. What we call heroic action is high combat ability and resources deployed for good. Hermione's point is that privileging that particular class of good works is an error - The proper measure of virtue is if you do the things which fall within your reach. Thinking in terms of heroes is a distraction,

Note that wizarding britain still largely fails hard on this count.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119 · 2015-03-12T13:01:16.714Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The description of the founding of the wizengamot. War is probably not a very descriptive term for what was going on before it - The political structure implies that it is what came after a period of feuding families. In this case, feuding families with magical might backing up the kind of stupidity bloodfeuds cause.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119 · 2015-03-11T20:07:58.762Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, the one wow I really do not get all wizards are not under is very simple. Merlin laid down his interdict due to a crisis of magic being used in wars in utterly unrestrained ways. Blocking people from learning certain kinds of magic is a daft way of stopping that. What you do is you take every single wizarding child of 8, and make them swear to never use any magic that would harm more than one person. Still free to fight, still free to defend themselves, just noone capable of area effect magics of destruction anymore.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119 · 2015-03-11T02:47:01.062Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Mostly, resurrecting dead children. The population used to be lower, but kids also used to have piss-poor odds of making it to adult-hood. In terms of QALY, this would have been the best use, and if a child goes missing from a sickbed only to wander into the kitchen feeling chipper and fine, noone would even think twice.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119 · 2015-03-10T19:40:06.216Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

It occurs to me that this limit means Flame could, in theory, have been using the stone flat out for five hundred years without anyone catching on. 56 million people died this year. If the stone was used to save as many of them as possible, at random, then with only moderate use of magic for coverup purposes compared to shit we already know the magical world is pulling of, that is just going to be utterly undetectable. "Here have a second chance at life. Also a magical compulsion to keep your mouth shut".

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-08T17:20:03.990Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Eh.. Voldemort is a legimens. But he isn't an unusually good one at all. He actively dislikes actually reading peoples minds. He simply had a very impressive talent for entirely non-magical cold reading and inference. The wizarding public heard tales of that, and in the same way they failed to consider "hidden broomstick enchantments!" credited him with scary superpowers he didn't actually have.

This is an inference from the text, but a high probability one. - However, it is also stated outright in the text that Harry's mental defenses are nothing special. He's an occlumens, but according to his teacher in that art, who bloody well should know, not a perfect one.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-07T16:21:45.462Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No, but moderating the memory charm is foolishness. He isn't even remotely proficient with that charm. He should either have gotten expert help, or gone for a total wipe.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-07T10:01:22.728Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

We have some evidence Harry has defense professor permissions and didn't trip any wards because of that. He practiced memory charms. In Hogwarts. If the castle thought of him as a student, that would have set alarms ringing, with professor permissions, no alarms. Not strong evidence, because Harry was Dumbledores pet disaster, and it is entirely possible he'd hear an alarm like that, check up on what Harry was doing, and ignore it as long as he wasn't casting it on students. But it's an implication.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-06T04:08:48.142Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

It does. I mean, it's possible "Goblet curse" trumphs Rebirth Magic,

But my preferred theory is that Flamel is Baba Yaga, and Voldemort read that story all wrong because he managed to err on the side of excessive cynicism, which is a lot simpler. No murdering took place at all, just an elopement.

This also explains why Flamel only interferes in politics by teaching chosen champions - She is still bound by the goblet rite on the Battle Magic position, so that is the only way she can oppose dark lords that don't show up at her door and try to kill her. Well, unless they graduated elsewhere, but selectively showing up and vanquishing only those fell practitioners that studied in other schools would make things just a tad obvious.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-05T20:40:26.650Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Shorter point: Your argument supposes that Harry - at age 11 - has mental defenses better than Flamel at age >600. Seriously, no. Yes, the resonance, but if Legitimancy was that powerful, he would just have someone else dig through Harry's skull.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-05T20:28:15.695Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yhea, two problems with that: 1: I really don't put it past Dumbledore to just lie about everything to Voldemort, and 2:. Flamel had access to the stunt Voldemort pulled on Hermione for a minimum of 500 years, and potentially more like a thousand. I figure good odds killing Flamel just gets you a rebirth in fire phoenix-style and an annoyed arch-wizard.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-05T19:56:00.982Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yhea, that's not a workable approach. Seriously, Flamel is centuries old and has had the key to eternal life for all of that. and the largest hoard of lore on the planet for most of it. Trying to legilimency that mind has the most likely result of you becoming a drooling vegetable. Certainly, its not going to actually work. If it did, it would be point 1 on every single aspiring dark lords to-do list. That's actually my main reason for thinking "Not dead". A lot. Really, just a an absurd number, of people must have already tried this. It doesn't even matter what "It" is. Someone tried that one already. And failed. If Voldemort had attempted it in person? Maaaaybee. A hired hit? Nope.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-05T15:14:43.244Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, Harry is really overdoing it here. It would have been much safer to pretend utter ignorance of everything, or at least to limit his reaction to falling over. The scene as set will cause sufficient theorizing without trying to force a particular narrative.

On a meta level: Getting this scene from a bystander means they are not in the mirror. So that's that.

I.. also just realized that "Flamel" can't possibly be dead. The rite Voldemort used on Hermione was not one of his own devising, but a piece of lore well known enough to have a usual result. "Flamel" had the stone of permanency for either 600 years, or much longer than that. And has more lore than Voldemort.

The best creature to assume the essence of from a defensive standpoint isn't a troll or a unicorn. Tough, heck, if there is no downside to just stacking things, maybe she did. The creature in the potterverse with the most absolute defense is the phoenix. Fiendfire? Firetravel away. AK? Respawn and laugh. So Dumbledore may have seen Flamel die, but that means absolutely nothing.

.. depending how the sacrifice works, this might not even hurt the phoenix you are using! Well, permanently anyway.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-04T15:02:27.813Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

.. My personal guess about Canon parsel-tongue is that it creates a mind in the snake you talk to based loosely on your own - Hence the python in the zoo just wanting to escape it's cramped living situation, and thus the Basilisk in hogwarts being all murdery - it's nothing more than a funhouse mirror of Voldemort.

This was never tested, because Canon Harry has brain damage from starvation and various other psychological trauma inhibiting his thinking, and never even tried asking the basilisk to back off.

The HPMOR basillisk cannot possibly bear any resemblance whatsoever to the canon one anyway, Because that thing couldn't teach anyone anything.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-04T01:32:42.519Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

...I am now!

If you want to extend your life without doing incredibly evil shit, "Adopt long-lived animagus form, shift into it when old, never shift out again" is a fairly straightforward application of magic we know wizarding kind has access to.

One obvious problem is that I doubt Salazar would murder students on request, but heck, Voldemort could have set Myrtle up without his consent.

My original thought was simply that killing the basilisk was just too obvious a problem with the lore deposit, and that for this reason there would be backups. As in "more than one snake, and don't let on to the heirs". That also increases the durability of the chamber against time - it is a line of snakes instead of just one creature, time alone will not slay it.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T22:59:58.250Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That attack wasn't actually magic. Not at the point where he attacked Voldemort. He was literally pulling on a physical thread.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T14:38:16.969Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There is no point in adopting it as a plan because it is what will happen if he does nothing at all. It's a reason to not do certain things- such as point this possibility out, but not in and of itself any kind of plan.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T10:53:43.989Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

He doesn't need to kill them - Thats why I went with "Really bright light". Voldemort ordered them all to keep their eyes on him, so any visual effect will hit every single one of them at light speed.

And he is wearing magically secured glasses. Wait, he may have prepared this as an attack... Welding goggles, mirrored sunglasses.

Oh. For. Swears Loudly

I just thought of the silliest solution ever. I don't want to assign this a probability, except "Low, unless EY really just has to poke fun at the Basilisk brouhaha". He's brought Slytherins Basilisk. He's wearing the fucking thirty foot snake on his face. Or he talked it into teaching him how to become a basilisk Animagus. Basilisk stare through tinted glasses petrify - Which is exactly the kind of attack one would want against Voldemort.

"What do you mean, didn't Voldemort Avadra it"? Firstly: He didn't say he did that in parseltongue. Secondly, that would not work. Salazar not being an idiot.

"All sensible wizards do, if can. Thus, very rare".

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T10:37:03.048Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thing is, dying isn't the worst tactical option here.

There is a chance buying the farm will just throw Harry into the horcruxi. Not certain enough to do it deliberately, but enough that any plan you come up with has to be better than the option of

"Do nothing, die, hope to hang out in the horcruxi until Voldemort buys it again, let resonance remove you both from play"

Which is a non-negligible bar to clear. Telling him a trick which might be the power he knows not to buy another minute of breathing doesn't pass muster. Telling him of the possibility doesn't pass muster.

There are very few things which are both true and acceptable to tell Voldemort, simply because any information you give him, he will use against the world. If you give him information he can't use, he will ignore it.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T08:47:43.999Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Trolls do grow up, as previously notied. That's not the most likely way for that to be a problem. Rather the reverse. I mean, if troll regen runs off your genetic template, there is a good chance she is going to wake up as the prime-of-life (22?) adult version of herself, and continuously revert to that. I would even call it likely, except that from a meta perspective it would cause.. squicky.. reactions.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T05:27:05.779Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

.. sigh the point is survival. A radiation pulse will hurt Harry the most, and will not be immediately obvious to people not fried by it. The idea is to disable opposition and summon help.

In the event no help instantly materializes, dodge and start the incantation for fiendfire - it doesn't actually matter if you can't cast it. Everyone present will recognize it, and to a blinded wizard, fleeing should be utterly reflexive at that point.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T05:19:21.033Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but given that he might be tied to the horcrux network, that is strictly a more dire defeat than just letting Voldemort kill him. There is a chance his demise will poison the horcruxi for Voldemort - if they are both in there, that should obviously set of the resonance, and that is the end of the dark lord. This is useless as a strategy because if it works at all, it is what will happen if he just does nothing, But bringing it to Voldemort's attention is a loosing move.

I spent a fair bit of time thinking of things to tell Voldemort to get him to stop, but every single idea I came up with had very similar problems to that one - The only things likely to hold his attention are things that make him more of a danger to the world, or threats to his continued existence he should remain ignorant of.

Hence the lightbomb. Then either bluff that he is casting fiend-fire or deliberately trigger the resonance.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-02-28T21:34:20.126Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Mostly I brought it up because people keep suggesting anti-matter. Anti matter could be mistaken for a nuclear weapon, which could escalate to WWIII, so the wow means he can't use it anymore. A pure light pulse wont set off those warning systems. Or at least, not at the level I'm thinking of.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-02-28T21:07:34.678Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Buffing the dark lord further is not an option. There is tonnes of things Harry could infer and then tell him that would make him delay. But this would be trading moments of life for further fucking over the world. Not a good trade.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-02-28T20:59:50.832Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Lets see..

Notes: EY didn't say that noone was aware of what was happening, just that anyone who would help Harry think he is at the game. Given the prophecy about Harry, this has disturbing implications.

Anyway: Obstacles: 39 minions in not-defensively enchanted blacks. One dark lord who can't use magic on you, but who can shoot your ass, An absolute prohibition on moves that could escalate to world threatening levels.

Assets: Naked pasty english lad. Wand. Parseltongue.

.. You know, normally in this sort of situation I'd recommend talking. Parseltongue is far and away the most potent tool he has, because he can tell Voldemort true things, and Voldemort will not be able to scoff at him.

But the problem is, the only things Harry could tell him that would make him delay killing him are things Voldemort should not be told, even at the cost of his life.

So combat it is.

Sigh. This is going to hurt.

Cant partially transfigure air, but wands are not indivisible objects, so he still has a small amount of material to work with, at least once.

Partially transfigure the tip of the wand into photons. The kind of flash of light that leaves burns. Everyone is looking at you - And now they are all blind. Possibly also on fire. Do it with the center of the tip so that you are in the shadow cast by the wand - but expect a hospital stay. And a need for a new wand. Primarily, the point is that this will attract attention. Most likely, timeturned attention. So if you do this, there is now a reason for someone to rescue you a faction of a second after the initial flash. .. Which shouldn't actually even be necessary. If I read Voldemort correctly, he will bail if actually hurt. Certainly since he has already extracted the wow...

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112 · 2015-02-26T22:25:04.948Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

He is the hogwarts headmaster. I figure they defied him in that capacity quite sufficiently. Heck, possibly even in his capacity as head honcho of the Ootp

The theory is that the prophecy was always about him - or at least that it was always a possible read on it, in the same way as Neville could have been the prophecied child. That is why it was spoken in his presence, not in Voldemorts. It isn't cheating, it is settling the open question. And well, he told people it was about Voldemort because letting it be known that you suspect you are a dark lord with prophecies about you is not very politically helpful.

Because it doesn't let him actually possess people? Being permanently intangible and voiceless makes him rather less of a threat. Or the darn thing is a monstrously powerhungry magic sink and his tests have used up dozens and dozens of horcruxes.. if it's a trap, there is a lot of things it could be doing.

And the mirror is easy, it can be programmed to let people go who believe themselves safe from it, regardless of if they are.

Heck, it occurs to me that they could be the true artefacts, just cursed - the point is that Voldemort was told about them quite deliberately, and so his use of them cannot possibly be to his benefit.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112 · 2015-02-26T15:48:11.842Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

And since todays temp work was impressively mindless, I got rather a lot of thinking done.

Fair warning, this may well just be heading right into epileptic trees turf.

Dumbledore just cast himself from time in order to fulfill the prophecy about Harry Potter.

That line about how Harry will have to find some other dark lord to vanquish? It was not about the far future at all, it was about the next four minutes.

Let me explain: As long as the prophecy is in play, only Harry can defeat the dark lord. And that is not going to work against Voldemort. An 11 year old, no matter how resourceful and clever is just not going to come out on top of that fight. But just as the prophecy could have been about Neville as well as Harry, there is also more than one dark lord it could be about. The story pointed this out earlier.

So the prophecy is no longer in effect. Voldemort can be defeated by anyone with the firepower and a counter for the horcruxes.

And Dumbledore, the order of the pheonix, and everyone else he could bring in on it have crowdsourced a smackdown, which is about to land.

Most of this smackdown is in the form of longterm plots that are about to bear fruit.

From the top: Dumbledore knew who Quirrel and Harry were, from day one. Each and every single piece of information given to Harry was relayed in the expectation that Voldemort would hear it.

Dumble, Flamel, et all made a fake true cloak of invisibility. The point of this being to provide misinformation about what the mark of the deadly hallows looks like. I don't know what the "stone of resurrection" actually is, but I think Voldy will not like what it does, not one tiny bit. At a guess, it is for mapping out the magical "net" and find the darn things?

The people who just apparated in: Not death eaters. They're masked and cloaked minions. That's such a cliche it's actually painful to contemplate.

Voldemorts use of the stone to raise the dead is not the first time it has been used to do that. The rite he intended to use is not original to him, it is an old piece of lore, and it is an old piece of lore Flamel told the order of the phoenix about. This means "Flamel" has been able to raise anyone who still had foes and servants living and known graves of ancestors.

So it isn't new. Not widely used, but not new. Note that this isn't a good rite for defeating death in general, simply because most people dont have the first two at all. But it is a very effective way to ditch an identity for any of her collaborators who are in it for the long haul. Which means a lot of very powerful, supposedly deceased wizards and witches owe her. And he just tried to have her killed. (May even have succeeded. If so, she's probably already back up and wanting her stone back before anything expires.)

That is what the hour's delay in Snapes room was about - it was to take all the deatheaters into custody, and gather people up for a seriously onesided bout. The reason this ends in "liters of blood" is that the plan is to drain Voldemort dry so that they can raise as many of his victims as possible.

Oh, and Dumbledore didn't have unique access to divination, beyond a season pass to the hall of prophecies. That would make the plot unsolvable, because we can't reason a-causally.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112 · 2015-02-26T04:45:26.896Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

General Theorem: This series of chapters ought to be named "Tom Riddle and the Illusion of VIctory".

Voldemort has a nigh-absolute escape hatch. He can escape nearly any defeat, any trap, simply by dying. Possibly it's even worse than that, and he can abandon bodies at will.

He also has a strong tendency to discount the intelligence of anyone who is not him.

The order of the pheonix was operating under the theory that he was a body-jumper from the word go.

The traps laid, the strategems in place are predicated on the central principle of allowing Voldemort to continue to think he is winning until it is much to late, and his defeat has become truely inescapable.

And I am pretty sure he's walked into several of these snares already - In cronological order: Things that were likely traps not yet triggered. The DADA job. The corridor - in particular, standing around in Snape's chamber for a full hour. The trip through the mirror, donning the cloak. Picking up the stone. Heck, Hermione's corpse. (Harry should not have succeeded in sneaking that past Dumbles. So maybe he did not?) I'm probably missing several...

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 111 · 2015-02-25T19:23:20.970Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Trolls grow up, so..

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 111 · 2015-02-25T19:15:08.072Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, either we are still running sims in the mirror, or Dumbledore hexed the ever loving fuck out of that cloak. Voldemort is acting like he just took an enormous dose of Bhal's.

Or.. he can't kill Harry, and knows it? It's plausible, as about a million people have suggested it that killing Harry would send him into Voldemort's horcruxen, which might be bad.. but no, there are lots of not-fatal at all ways of putting a stop to that prophecy...

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 111 · 2015-02-25T19:12:25.007Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Voldemort isn't that good a coder - It's a continually updating system, that loads his present mindstate onto the entire system.. And he just rekeyed it to Hermione. All backups and lore: Gone.

Dumbledore loaded the cloak with Bhals stupefication, didn't he? Some delivery mechanism that only tiggered when worn by an adult. Hence the mad cackling and very poor plan for stopping Harry from breaking the universe <,<

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 110 · 2015-02-25T17:20:42.415Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The thing is, my reasoning doesn't actually depend on the horcrux realization, tough I give it better than even odds they knew that long before he even got the Hogwarts letter. Like, some time around the bitten math teacher or the science fair incident.

The cloak is the obvious counter to the mirror. Using it isn't some super-obscure piece of lore. The mirror has power over things reflected, the cloak removes you from that category. Put yourself in Dumbledores shoes as you are packaging up that thing after spending oceans of time and effort setting up the mirror.

Just No. This is not a plausible mistake. I'm shocked and a bit dubious Voldemort is buying it, but he does think everyone is a complete idiot, so...

If Dumbledore didn't want the cloak to be used against the mirror it would be stashed someplace very obscure. Or if he was feeling smartass, in the mirror itself. Handing it over to Harry was a deliberate move to put it into play.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 110 · 2015-02-25T15:34:10.608Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Been thinking this through all day now.

Situation at the start of the school year: The stone is in the mirror, and it is anticipated Voldemort will be attempting to retrive it. Dumbledore is in possession of the true cloak of invisibility, and has "Flamel" on speed dial. Harry is known to be a harrycrux, which means Voldemort will either be taking over his body, or at least checking up on him.

There is no way Dumbledore gives Harry the cloak without anticipating Voldemort using it against the mirror. He wasn't obligated to hand that thing over to a first year, as opposed to hiding it under the proverbial rock in Greenland. Probability this was a misstep so low I can't be bothered to calculate it. It isn't just that he would have to miss the potential interaction here, every other person involved in building the trap would have to also miss it. For an entire year. So it's a plot.

This is the point where my certainties become less certain - I think what is going on is that the trap is set up to give Voldemort the false impression of victory at every step of the way while at the same time trying to take him off the board in various ways. This is being done to avoid him fleeing via blowing up Quirell's skull.

This means either Dumbledore was a fake of some kind or if actually there, that he lied through his teeth agreeing with every point of fact Quirrel brought up in order to convey zero actual information. Beyond that I thought of so many possibilities for what the actual trap could be that my head is currently spinning.

Option one : The True Cloak of invisibility is no such thing. They made a ringer. Option two: They flat out just cursed the darn thing. Option tree: The cloak has funny interactions with spirits, and the entire point is to kill voldemort while he is wearing it. Option 4.. you get the point.

I also think that there are likely plots in motion not related to the mirror at all - it would fit dumbledore's style to attack this problem at every possible point of intervention.

I am also fairly darn sure that Dumble knew or knows that Q is V - the phrasing used when professing surprise is just dripping with sarcasm.

I'm.. not at all sure Dumble actually has any unusual access to divination. See my earlier point about how he seemed to agree with every point of fact Voldemort raised, which has to be a disinformation tactic. Or the mirror just stroking his ego. Noone guesses that many things correct at this level of complexity on the first try.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 110 · 2015-02-24T23:31:51.913Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Honestly, it sounds like sarcasm. Dumble is even stranger than usual this chapter.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 110 · 2015-02-24T23:13:34.317Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

.... Okay, I've got nothing. They are.. still in the mirror?

Dumbledore was acting very strange. The part of my mind that spits out theories is going "If Dumbledore can employ future-scrying-based planning techniques, please fuck off, I refuse to anticipate the plots of gods"

Edit: After bullying my imaginary voices. for a bit:

...I'm not at all sure Dumbledore was even there! Arrgh. "Illusion" is way up there in the plausible theories range. A whole ten percent or so.

The cloak is an obvious counter to a mirror trap.. But Dumbledore put the cloak into play. So... the cloak is trapped, somehow? .. dying while wearing it would shield him from his own hocruxes or something?

It was supposed to shield Harry in the event he ran the gauntlet?

Gah.

General Theory; Dumbledore generally uses shot-gun plotting. Not just one plot, but many plots aimed at the same end. he has applied that principle to taking out Voldemort.

Still don't think "Flamel" is dead.

Comment by izeinwinter on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 109 · 2015-02-24T22:37:58.810Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The phrasing is that nothing can be taken from anyone protected by the contract. Not that gifts or trade are forbidden, Which means that if BY drops a note to the effect that she is subcontracting her responsibilities as battle magic teacher into the goblet that particular teacher is granted forbearance. So as long as the goblet was in a place she could get at, no curse.