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Comment by jonathan_elmer on The Useful Idea of Truth · 2012-10-05T02:14:22.320Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The non-existence of unicorns makes the claim that they have legs, in whatever number, inconsistent with reality.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on The Useful Idea of Truth · 2012-10-04T06:10:17.408Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Cool. : )

Is "Unicorns have 5 legs" consistent with reality? I would be quite surprised to find out that it was.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on The Useful Idea of Truth · 2012-10-04T02:04:52.991Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could you give me an example of a belief that is consistent with reality but false?

Comment by jonathan_elmer on The Useful Idea of Truth · 2012-10-03T02:09:37.646Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Tell me what Zork is and i'll let you know. : )

Comment by jonathan_elmer on The Useful Idea of Truth · 2012-10-02T19:32:24.329Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Coming up with a made up word will not solve this problem. If the word describes the content of the author's stories then there will be sensory experiences that a reader can expect when reading those stories.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on The Useful Idea of Truth · 2012-10-02T19:29:43.530Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A belief is true if it is consistent with reality.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-06-02T00:07:22.024Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The first means that a fraction of the particles were nudged into a path that was a circle rather than a line. Apparently increasing the chances of fusion. As for the second a "fraction of a line" does not really mean much but it appears to be a comment on the size and form of the glinting thing.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-27T00:16:10.696Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I have updated by learning of it's existence.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-22T01:44:26.027Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I think the reason I was reluctant to accept that Quirrell is Voldemort is that Harry is a lot smarter than me and he trusted Quirrell.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-22T01:13:06.233Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Oh god, I have this mental image of Harry standing next to a blood soaked guillotine insisting that he is a Light Lord!

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-22T01:00:00.229Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Full disclosure for me as well, I want H&C to be Snape so there may be confirmation bias at work on my part. I think that the rage inducing revelation that Snape had in chapter 22 caused Snape to abandon his canon role has Harry's protector and went back to the obvious role for him: fighting for the dark lord whom he used to serve and will soon be returning. Which means fighting against Harry.

For what its worth Harry also thinks something significant happened in that interaction:

*Just before Harry left the workroom, with his hand on the doorhandle, the boy turned back and said, "As long as we're here, have either of you noticed anything different about Professor Snape?"

"Different?" said the Headmaster.

Minerva didn't let her wry smile show on her face. Of course the boy was apprehensive about the 'evil Potions Master', since he had no way of knowing why Severus was to be trusted. It would have been odd to say the least, explaining to Harry that Severus was still in love with his mother.

"I mean, has his behavior changed recently in any way?" said Harry.

"Not that I have seen..." the Headmaster said slowly. "Why do you ask?"

Harry shook his head. "I don't want to prejudice your own observations by saying. Just keep an eye out, maybe?"

That sent a quiver of unease through Minerva in a way that no outright accusation of Severus could have.*

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-18T02:54:34.363Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think H&C is Snape. I am really confused about what was going on with H&C1 and Quirrell but everything since then is consistent with Snape plotting against Harry.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-18T00:42:36.240Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think the guy who doesn't think twice about torturing or murdering anyone who slights him will turn out to be in the right all along.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-18T00:20:34.452Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Good point.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-17T03:47:21.204Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Harry in chapter 21.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-17T02:12:53.274Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Tom Riddle needed a Voldemort for his plot so he became Voldemort for a time. Just as he needed a Quirrel and a Mister Jaffe.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-16T04:12:27.172Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

They prophecy does not say that "either he or Harry must die" it says that one will "destroy all but a remnant of the other." One way for that to be true is that Volde dies but is still exists as a spirit due to his horcrux. However even if that is the obvious answer it would be wise for him to try to determine non-obvious ways the prophecy might be fulfilled. Preferably one where he could win. For example, inserting his personality into Harry's mind so that his personality changes Harry's such that it is only a remnant of its previous form.

Prophecies are a done deal, what is said will come to pass. Considering that the obvious answer is that Harry kills Volde it might be a good idea to make sure that happens when Harry is still a baby and cannot finish him off. With the personality insert as a backup plan for fulfilling the prophecy without completely losing.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-13T05:50:34.861Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Relevant.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-13T05:21:45.587Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Ha, another magical weapon of mass destruction. Hop on a broom and repeatedly cast Arresto Momentum on the Earth.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-04T07:14:58.128Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

http://www.reddit.com/r/hpmor

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-03T05:48:07.645Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Every possible result is a negative for Harry when his closest ally is accused of murdering his next closest ally. Even if he "wins" it is going to hurt, and it did. I can't square that with the motives of someone who wants to make Harry dark and strong. It is a big risk, especially when you are stuck in an interrogation cell for the grand finale.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-01T04:18:40.379Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Regardless of the reason for the spit Harry would still have to follow through with whatever that is for the signal to be sent back in time to cause the urge to drink. Otherwise it would be like Harry escaping from that locked classroom after Draco tortured him without then going back in time and sending the Professor to let him out.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-03-30T01:20:54.466Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Why not just chose a muggle institution that has a lot of gold and is corrupt enough you don't mind stealing from(shouldn't be hard) and walk in under the cloak of invisibility, alohomora the locks and fill up the bag of holding with gold? I agree that sounds too easy to not already have been done though.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-03-30T01:08:10.850Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think the point of the groundhogs day attack was to find a convincing lie. I'm pretty sure the point was to identify a convincing memory. Once that was identified the entire conversation was oblivated and the false memory inserted.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-03-30T01:02:35.217Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

We could try to use a subreddit.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-03-28T22:14:08.835Z · score: 18 (20 votes) · LW · GW

I doubt she remembers any of that conversation.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-27T17:00:32.124Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Alternatively it could have been a way to determine the right memory charm to achieve the desired effect without using legilimency

The Potions Master was frowning thoughtfully, eyes intent. "The reaction to a False Memory Charm is hard to predict in advance, Mr. Potter, without Legilimency. The subjects do not always act as expected, when they first remember the false memories. It would have been a risky ploy. But I suppose that is one way Professor Quirrell could have done it.".

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-27T06:41:04.429Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe the reason McGonagall knew that Dumbledore was behind the Santa Claus portkey is because only the headmaster could create a portkey that would work inside the Hogwarts wards. Quirrell took Harry outside the wards in order to portkey him to Diagon Alley.

Your point still stands though because there are surely other things that they could do.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-26T17:50:10.980Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A lot of the previous speculation was colored by the fact that H&C #2 was insufficiently clever to be Quirrell and insufficiently efficient to be a legilimens, but since then we have found out that legilimency can be detected months later so legilimens are back on the table, and the apparent lack of cleverness could be explained as an artifact of Eliezer trying to help the reader understand what was going on in that confusing passage.

Everyone is back on the table IMO. Here's my speculation that H&C is Snape.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-26T09:16:24.732Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In the next thread Xachariah pointed out that Quirrel likely has possession of the resurrection stone and was very recently(at that point in the story) told by Harry how to identify it. Given Locke's observation in his reply that one of the two privacy spells that have been identified is to detect powerful artifacts it would make sense that Quirrel omitted the spell to detect power artifacts because he had the resurrection stone in his possession. I am not sure why the resurrection stone would be useful for the mission, but surely Quirrel could find something interesting to do with it in that context.

There has also been some speculation that Harry's fathers's rock is the philosophers stone. I am not sure why people would be storing important artifacts on Harry's person, but it would be hilarious to find out that Quirrel stored the resurrection stone in Harry's pouch while he was in there.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-26T06:10:38.845Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Jung vf gur rivqrapr gung Dhveery unf gur Erfheerpgvba Fgbar?

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-24T05:43:44.948Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I notice a disturbing similarity between what Dumbledore did with the note he left with the invisibility cloak and the actions of H&C 1. Dumbledore increased Harry's trust in him by having his motives impugned by a note that he then discredited. Dumbledor arranged for Zabini to achieved the highest possible pinnacle of untrustworthiness and then H&C arranged for Zabini to impugn the motives of Dumbledore to Harry's mentor.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-22T05:51:25.730Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

There has been some speculation that Snape is H&C, but what has been lacking as far as I can tell is motive. I may have one. Cannon Snape was a Death Eater who only came over to Dumbledor's side because he wanted to try to save Lilly and then stayed on his side in order to help protect Harry out of respect for Lilly's sacrifice.

However, in chapter 27 Snape has a conversation with Harry and Snape says that he almost killed harry due to the degree that he was offended and that he gained a new understanding of what Lilly saw in Harry's father. If Snape really did have a rage inducing revelation in that conversation then that could be enough for him to abandon his role as Harry's protector. If that happened then it means that Harry, pretending to be wise, took the only thing he had left really. Snape then would have nothing to keep him on Dumbledor's side, and he knows the dark lord is returning and is destined to a fight to the finish with Harry.

I think Snape is plotting against Harry for revenge and to curry favour with the dark lord.

Snape pulled the plot with Zabini to separate Harry from Dumbledor. Snape escalated SPEW to hurt Hermione. When Snapes plan(whatever it was) was foiled by Quirrels intervention in the final SPEW battle he took the opportunity of his publicly smacking her down to memory charm her into obsession in order to set up the current plot.

ETA: From Chapter 71:

The Potions Master was frowning thoughtfully, eyes intent. "The reaction to a False Memory Charm is hard to predict in advance, Mr. Potter, without Legilimency. The subjects do not always act as expected, when they first remember the false memories. It would have been a risky ploy. But I suppose that is one way Professor Quirrell could have done it."

That's what the groundhogs day attack was all about! It was Snape figuring out the details of an effective memory charm to start the obsession without using Legilimency!

Comment by jonathan_elmer on I've had it with those dark rumours about our culture rigorously suppressing opinions · 2012-03-21T23:54:59.385Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yep, Anarcho-capitalism is the best idea I can think of to fit that bill.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-18T18:50:10.677Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

We don't know that Snape wanted to eliminate bullies. Snape's intervention in SPEW battles caused a serious escalation in the conflict, but it was Quirrel's intervention in the final battle that continued the escalation to the point where something had to be done to stop it. We do not know what Snape's intention was for that final battle.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-17T16:09:31.016Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Harry also knows that Quirrell is an unregistered animagus.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-17T06:23:58.331Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ya, it turns out that mark can be seen months later. I did not expect that.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-17T05:54:27.967Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Really, all I have to do is describe someone as not a good guy and you accuse me of having a two-color view?

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-16T00:54:14.834Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The sticking point in my mind is that the groundhogs day attack should have been a lot more efficient if the attacker was a legilimens.

Abg fher vs Ryvrmre erjevgvat gur tebhaqubtf qnl nggnpx pbhagf nf "vafvqre vasbezngvba." Ebg13vat vg whfg gb or fher.

Guvaxvat nobhg guvf unf oebhtug nabgure vqrn gb zvaq. Gur nccnerag vapbzcrgrapr bs gur tebhaqubtf qnl nggnpx vf jung ernyyl pbashfrq zr bevtvanyyl nobhg gur vqragvgl bs U&P. Znal crbcyr zvfhaqrefgbbq jung unccrarq gurer naq Ryvrmre unq gb tb onpx naq erjevgr vg n ovg. Jung vs gung nccnerag vapbzcrgrapr jnf whfg n fvqr rssrpg bs Ryvrmre gelvat gb uryc gur ernqre haqrefgnaq JGS vf tbvat ba?

Gnxvat gung vagb nppbhag pnhfrf zl cebonovyvgl bs U&P orvat Dhveery be Fancr gb tb jnl hc.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-16T00:02:48.751Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That is a good point. I would love for it to turn out that Eliezer reversed what Rowling did with Snape. I don't think that you can abuse generations of children, for any reason, and still come out the other side of it a good guy.

It would be just like Eliezer to add another level to Cannon Snape's deception. Bad pretending to be good pretending to be bad. shudder

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-12T05:55:10.692Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Additionally, to meta-speculate a bit. I think it is more likely that Eliezer would pretend to destroy the relationship between Draco and Hermione that he has been carefully nudging together for many many chapters then to actually destroy the relationship.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-12T05:45:39.312Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, that sounds reasonable enough.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-12T05:42:39.137Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I really like that option as well. Rereading about Hermione's demeanor at the breakfast table it does come across to me more as playing it cool then resignation at an impending arrest.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-12T05:19:27.554Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, I assumed that H&C did what he did with Zabini and just planted the ideas that he wished in Hermione and left the results to play out rather then engaging with Hermione in a ongoing conversation.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-12T04:55:42.704Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It is highly unlikely that Hermione would agree to the duel considering her reaction to whatever H&C convinced her of, and Draco saw attacking her on the spot as a forced move. So, Hermione declined Draco's duel and Draco attacked her on the spot.

I think Hermione fought it life-or-death and did Draco serious damage.

Edit: Actually she should not have been able to do him serious damage if the wards actually work as they are alleged to work. Maybe she tried to do him serious damage, the wards did... whatever they do and Dumbledore felt compelled to report the attempt? I'm not sure any more.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-03-06T01:59:34.673Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I still think he takes it as a confirmation that Voldemort is possessing Harry. Voldemort is much closer in age to Lucius then Draco. Voldemort playing strange games with your son is much more concerning then the boy who lived playing strange games with your son. Also consider Lucius's parting statement: "And as you have asked nothing more of me, I will ask nothing more of you."

Why would the boy who lived ask anything of Lucius? Voldemort certainly would.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-03-05T03:02:49.225Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I thought the reason that that statement freaked him out is because Lucious was talking to harry as if he was possessed by Voldemort in an attempt to see if that was the case, and he interpreted the remark about age as a confirmation. It makes sense if you look at the statement as a deception because Ms. Longbottom walked up. I'm paraphrasing the first part:

I wont tell Ms. Longbottom to leave because "I prefer to deal with the part of House Malfoy that's my age" =>

I would like to tell Ms. Longbottom to leave because I prefer to deal with the part of House Malfoy that's my age(but I wont because I want to keep up appearances).

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-02-26T22:09:26.877Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What I meant is that legilimency is the reason that Quirrell knew that Zabini would slander Dumbledor when he talked to him.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-02-24T04:36:37.389Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just because Quirrell says that he recently stole it does not mean it is true. Telling harry that it is stolen property is a good way to make sure he keeps it secret without causing any suspicion about the nature of the book. I think that the diary is a horcrux and another attempt to turn Harry over to his dark side permanently.

Comment by jonathan_elmer on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-02-23T03:46:42.392Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Ya, If current generation wizards can brew a potion of luck then why not an ancient ward of luck? Sounds reasonable to me.