Posts

“Pickled Stewberries!” in HPMoR, Omake #3 2012-09-05T11:59:52.173Z · score: 1 (14 votes)
Tool/Agent distinction in the light of the AI box experiment 2012-07-15T17:29:43.466Z · score: -4 (9 votes)

Comments

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120 · 2015-03-13T13:15:41.867Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Although in canon, Lucius (and the Malfoy family) falling into Voldemort’s disgrace was caused by several events which did not happen in HPMoR, including giving away one of Voldemort’s horcruxes (the diary in book 2), failing to steal the prophecy from a handful of teenagers (book 5) and Draco’s failure to kill Dumbledore (book 6).

In HPMoR, Lucius did not fail Voldemort that often.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119 · 2015-03-12T09:57:43.358Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

How about “Girl-Whose-Name-Contains-Too-Many-Hyphens”?

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119 · 2015-03-11T23:49:18.394Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure what you mean about the basilisk. Possible I'm not remembering.

I think, CAE_Jones refers to Hermione being the one who finds out that Slytherin’s monster (in book 2) is a basilisk.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119 · 2015-03-11T18:52:07.776Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Magic doesn’t think of “information” like you do. Magic doesn’t work the way you expect it to work. If you suggest that it should, Magic will just look at you queerly, shrug its shoulders and continue to work the way wizards expect it to work. It’s "Oogely boogely!" all over again.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 118 · 2015-03-10T16:36:04.502Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The Stone would make his transfiguration permanent and thus presumably render them immune to Finite Incantatem. If he doesn’t use the Stone (e.g. in the case of Voldemort, which you are probably referring to), I don’t know of any conventional way to proof against F.I. (Knowing Harry, I’m sure he’d be able to think of some rather unconventional ideas if he sets his mind on it.)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 118 · 2015-03-09T23:04:16.551Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

It was briefly noted in chapter 111:

The Dark Lord reached into his robes, took out a Knut, and flipped it to her. "Klaudia Alicja Tabor, I command you thus. Take this Knut to the spell circle I showed you beneath the Quidditch stands and put it in the center. Then Obliviate yourself of the last six hours."

"Yes, lord," the witch said, bowing to him, and went on her way.

"I thought -" Harry said. "I thought you needed the Stone to -"

The Dark Lord was still smiling, he had never stopped smiling. "I did not say that part in Parseltongue, child. All I said in Parseltongue was that I had set events in motion to kill students, events that I would stop if I obtained the Stone. […]”

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 118 · 2015-03-09T23:01:00.753Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

So Dumbledore is not trapped but simply takes a well-deserved vacation in Atlantis!

Comment by jost on Open thread, Mar. 9 - Mar. 15, 2015 · 2015-03-09T21:09:20.429Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Not necessarily. For all we know, we might not need to simulate a human brain on an atomic level to get accurate results. Simulating a brain on a neuron level might be sufficient.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 118 · 2015-03-09T21:02:41.813Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Actually killing him (including his horcrux backup system, I assume?) would obliterate the LV-that-is and any possible LV-that-could-be. Harry obliterated the LV-that-is, but can still restore him to full health and allow him to become any one of the LV-that-could-be.

It’s a bit like taking a life but starting a new life, too.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 118 · 2015-03-09T20:15:52.147Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

And we'll make sure that Professor Quirrell's teachings never die out of Hogwarts.

Thus, Harry’s original christmas wish is at least partially fulfilled, despite PQ’s objections:

"And Mr. Potter wishes for -"

There was a pause as Professor Quirrell looked at the parchment.

Then, without any change of expression on Professor Quirrell's face, the sheet of parchment burst into flames, and burned with a brief, intense fire that left only drifting black dust sprinkling down from his hand.

"Please confine yourself to the possible, Mr. Potter," said Professor Quirrell, sounding very dry indeed.

(chapter 34)

"So what did you wish the first time?" said Draco.

[…]

"It wasn't really all that interesting," Harry said with obviously artificial lightness. "Just, I wish Professor Quirrell would teach Battle Magic again next year."

(chapter 35)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 118 · 2015-03-09T20:06:33.310Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

we can see by the part where Voldemort Confounds himself before the Mirror that he had thought about the concept of changing his mental state

Note that it was Harry, not Voldemort, who came up with that idea. (Chapter 109) So, no, Voldemort most likely did not think of that.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117 · 2015-03-09T16:22:53.001Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The Dark Lord had nearly the same level of cunning that Quirrellmort had in HPMoR. (A little less, since he was less experienced at the time.) That alone would explain Snape’s response.

Some sort of resurrection power of the Dark Mark is very unlikely, given that Voldemort is strongly predisposed not to give that sort of power to others. (Identified as one of his weaknesses in chapter 108.)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117 · 2015-03-09T10:46:06.209Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I would actually talk to Hermione first, since she’s the one most affected by this untrue explanation. Ask her, whether (and if so, whom) to tell the truth.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117 · 2015-03-08T22:16:45.884Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I mostly agree. (see my reply to Velorien, though)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117 · 2015-03-08T22:16:22.893Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I still don't think there was any good reason not to break it to them in private first.

In a perfect world, I completely agree.

In a real world, I can see that McGonagall did not have time before breakfast to talk to all of the orphaned children. I can also see that she might strongly prefer to quench the early rumors and avoid starting new rumors by calling a number of students into her office. (Delegating it to Snape, the Head of Slytherin House, was not an option; and delegating it to any other teacher would have sent a signal of McGonagall not caring enough to do it herself, making this a non-option, too.)

Given all this, I still think she should have delayed the announcement to talk to the children beforehand; but I don’t think it’s a simple choice for her.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117 · 2015-03-08T21:18:47.544Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The names would have come out over the next few days, anyway. McGonagall’s choice was to either break the news to all the students on her terms, or to have wild rumors appear within hours.

Breaking the news herself gives her the chance to declare her solidarity with the affected students in the clearest possible terms and to quench any schadenfreude immediately. She is proactive, rather than reactive. In fact, compared to the Minerva McGonagall of the very early chapters, she feels a little more grown-up now, in a way. She has developed into a more sophisticated character over the course of the story, and I like this a lot.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-06T11:45:09.242Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Iff there is an investigation.

Given what we know about the wizarding world, I’m not so sure that there will be one.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-05T23:49:42.308Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My first thought was about the centuries-old theatre trick: Harry hides a few drops of red paint in one hand, presses that hand on his forehead because “the scar hurts” … and voila, a bleeding scar.

Your thought seems simpler, though, as well as plausible:

The pain that flashed through Harry's scar was searing, it made him cry out and a red haze appear across his vision

(chapter 114; although I’m not quite sure whether that really refers to blood from his scar, or just garbled sensory input caused by the resonance)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-04T23:11:42.618Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

We know that many other Hogwarts students will invent and/or believe the weirdest theories. I’m definitely looking forward to the theories about why Hermione’s body was there for Voldemort’s rebirth, and about how she defeated him …

Any suggestions? (Aside from the obvious one: “Harry must have taught her some of his tricks!”)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-04T23:07:51.757Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Well, she’ll get an Outstanding for “defeating the Dark Lord”. So that pretty much cancels her Fail grade, right?

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T22:56:21.452Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Possibly true; although I’m not sure whether Voldemort’s spirit would still stay inside the jewel once that transfiguration is made permanent. (Less of a problem now, thanks to the obliviation, but I’d still prefer some oversight, just to be safe.)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T15:38:12.435Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree.

Also, the added complexity of distributed computations (Username’s suggestion) versus distributed real-time backups (the Horcrux 2.0) is enormous! Even for teams of extremely smart developers in 2015, distributed computing is not a simple problem. For one single “developer” in ~1990, like Voldemort (who has no like-minded individuals to discuss this with and has absolutely no background in computer science), this is near-impossible unless Magic has a built-in API that makes this extremely easy (which is unlikely, given what we know about the APIs for horcruxes, ghosts, etc.)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T13:29:24.445Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

At least she won’t be unarmed.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T09:26:30.346Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Harry can always do with the ring what Voldemort did with the Horcruxes and ensure it is lost forever.

He can’t, unless he wants to visit one of the suggested hiding places several times a day:

"Sustaining a Transfiguration is a constant drain on your magic which scales with the size of the target form. And you would need to recontact the target every few hours

(McGonagall, chapter 15)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T09:18:38.944Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

They were as close to being soul mates as two humans can possibly be.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T09:15:53.502Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

so now that Harry used his last hour, he's about 3 hours before his past self gets the note.

In that case, the big explosion would happen about 2 hours before his past self gets the note, which would make the timeline inconsistent, since no such disturbance of the Quidditch match occurred while past!Harry was there.

Given that constraint, everything that happened since Harry time-turned five hours back must have taken at least five hours.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T22:01:12.763Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

This is bloody brilliant foreshadowing!

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T21:58:35.929Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

We don’t know enough details about how the Horcrux Network and the Special Connection between V and H work, but …

"OBLIVIATE!"

And it all poured out of Harry into the spell.

Harry fell over on his side, dropping his wand, gritted screams coming from his throat, his hands going helplessly to his scar, even as the sudden blast of pain in his head began to fade. Only dimly did his eyes see that the air was filled with glowing snowflakes, drifting motes of silver light like tiny specks of Patronus Charm.

… this is highly unusual for an obliviation, so I think it is very likely that V has not left his body.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T21:48:41.191Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could you elaborate on that? (Who implanted that memory? Why? What observations would that hypothesis explain, that are not explained well (or at all) by our current assumptions?)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T19:33:33.967Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If I understand him correctly, H intends to keep V transformed until H is powerful enough to transform V’s body back to a healthy state (and make that permanent with the Stone).

Imprisonment is a possibility after that, but depending on your views on the relation between identity and memories, this might not be appropriate after the obliviation.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T19:20:25.016Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Wasn’t that resolved in chapter 79?

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T19:17:44.493Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Chapter 63:

But just in case... The Salem Witches' Institute in America accepts boys as well, despite the name. They are good people and would protect you even from Dumbledore, if you needed it. Britain holds that you need Dumbledore's permission to emigrate to magical America, but magical America disagrees. So in the final extremity, get outside the wards of Hogwarts and tear in half the King of Hearts from this deck of cards.

That you should resort to it only in the final extremity goes without saying.

Be well, Harry Potter.

- Santa Claus

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T18:59:49.088Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The strange smells are described as “coppery smells”, which probably refers to all the blood.

(Of course, the hemoglobin in blood contains iron, rather than copper, but “irony smells” would not be a great choice of words, I suppose …)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T18:49:24.825Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why raise shields, when they are instructed to hex Harry as soon as he raises his wand?

Wordless, quasi-invisible partial transfiguration is a power they know not, so they did not prepare for it.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T18:43:42.325Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks to you and everyone else for the quick replies. I really should have re-read the earlier chapters, but I just couldn’t find the time …

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-03T18:40:21.677Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe you are answering the wrong comment?

Indeed, I answered the comment that I thought you had written, not the comment that you had written. (Just a simple misunderstanding on my part; sorry about the confusion!)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T18:22:06.484Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Same here.

On the other hand, the description in chapter 114 read a lot nicer than all the suggestions that I read in the discussion thread on chapter 113. I guess there’s a difference between the bare-bones suggestion (which is clever, but unsatisfying) and the fully fleshed out story (which I found satisfying enough) and I did not think of this in my earlier comments. My apologies to everyone who got a doubtful response from me!

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T18:17:03.786Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Quick note:

Harry's eyes only saw the Dark Lord's hands and wand and gun dropping downward, and then Harry's wand was rising, pointing -

Harry screamed, "STUPORFY!"

The stunning spell is Stupefy.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T21:09:44.808Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Note that the goggles would only save his eyes, not the rest of his body. So while blinding the Death Eaters may be possible, everything else isn’t. Also, the DEs would likely start blindly shooting spells very quickly, so Harry need’s a plan to avoid those, as well.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T21:01:32.350Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

he'd have to permanant the phosphorus transfiguration anyways, though, since he doesn't want any bits of inhaled smoke to turn into wood inside people's cells.

This would most likely require the Philosopher’s Stone to be in contact with the transfigured matter for several minutes (see chapter 111), which is impossible:

"Professor," Harry said, "if the worst happens in a case like that, is there any way of maintaining the Transfiguration?"

"No," Professor McGonagall said flatly. "Sustaining a Transfiguration is a constant drain on your magic which scales with the size of the target form. And you would need to recontact the target every few hours, which is, in a case like this, impossible. Disasters like this are unrecoverable! "

(chapter 15; emphasis mine)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T20:29:01.294Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Assuming you can take down the death eaters

That’s one heck of an assumption …

In addition, you’re making the implicit assumption that LV will not react to Harry taking down the Death Eaters, which is an interesting assumption, as well.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T09:08:29.019Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There’s one problem with transfiguring toxic gases: It is unsatisfying from a story perspective, and it would need to kill instantly —

There’s two problems with transfiguring toxic gases: It is unsatisfying from a story perspective, and it would need to kill instantly (since otherwise a coughing Death Eater might still be able to use non-verbal spells to incapacitate Harry), and it would need to hit all —

There’s three problems with transfiguring toxic gases: It is unsatisfying from a story perspective, and it would need to kill instantly (since otherwise a coughing Death Eater might still be able to use non-verbal spells to incapacitate Harry), and it would need to hit all Death Eaters at exactly the same instant (otherwise one DE could still get in a shot, when he sees other DEs dying.)

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-02-28T22:41:29.022Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

1)+2) In canon, apparition and portkey creation are both pretty advanced magic. (Apparition is typically taught at Hogwarts to 6th year students, while portkey creation is not part of the curriculum, as far as I know.) Unless you have a good indication that Harry knows either of those spells, I consider this highly unlikely.

3) Even if Harry manages to force such a magical interaction near-instantly (which I will consider unlikely until I see a sufficiently detailed description), since this will not help against the Death Eaters. And before Harry is able to perform a second move, the Death Eaters will have killed him in their first move.

4)+5) Transfiguration is an interesting possibility, but both plans seems unsatisfactory to me; not quite sure, why, though. I’ll have to think about that again …

6) Again, any plan that does not incapacitate the Death Eaters very quickly, seems unlikely to work.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-02-28T22:18:49.920Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

We know that previous attempts by Voldemort to thwart a prophecy have backfired horribly. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that prophecies in HPMoR (as in canon) are self-fulfilling. (Warning: TVTropes-link!)

I therefore predict that Voldemort’s efforts to thwart this prophecy will counteract that intention and lead to the fulfillment of that same prophecy.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-02-28T20:51:18.470Z · score: 18 (22 votes) · LW · GW

If you can think of any trick that I have missed in being sure that Harry Potter's threat is ended, speak now and I shall reward you handsomely... speak now, in Merlin's name!"

Voldemort forgot a very basic ”trick”: disarming Harry first.

At the end of chapter 112, we wondered about that, too. It turns out that Harry needed to have the wand to perform the vow. With that out of the way … why does Harry still have his wand? Is this just because Eliezer wants to make sure that Harry still has a way out? Or is there some in-universe reason for Voldemort to allow this?

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 110 · 2015-02-28T20:37:02.507Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Here’s the quote from chapter 5, too:

»Aber was tut ein Zaubereiministerium?« — »Nun, seine Hauptaufgabe ist, vor den Muggels geheim zu halten, dass es landauf, landab immer noch Hexen und Zauberer gibt.«

rough back-translation:

“But what does a Ministry of Magic do?” — “Well, its main task is to keep the muggles from learning that there are still witches and wizards all over the country.”

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 110 · 2015-02-28T20:32:29.821Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! (The translation is fine, btw.)

A few lines later, McGonagall states it even more explicitly:

»Das wäre eine schöne Bescherung, wenn ausgerechnet an dem Tag, da Du-weißt-schon-wer endlich verschwindet, die Muggel alles über uns herausfinden würden.«

(rough back-translation):

“That would be a big mess, if the muggles found out all about us, right on the same day when You-Know-Who finally disappeared.”

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112 · 2015-02-28T20:20:45.684Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seems like this theory got jossed in chapter 113 …

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112 · 2015-02-26T14:15:23.699Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A leg wound, preventing him from walking, requiring his own wand to heal or some machinations on V's part to find some non-magical interaction way to heal/move Harry would have also done nicely.

To what end? He already has his wand back at that point, so this would merely be a slight inconvenience to V (but a great inconvenience to himself).

Also, for what it’s worth, Harry still has the Healing Pack (which he bought in chapter 7) in his pouch, right? So there’s a way to heal him without any magical interaction between V and H; even if H doesn’t know the appropriate healing spells.

Comment by jost on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112 · 2015-02-26T14:07:02.448Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The gas doesn’t have to be poisonous. It could be an explosive (or simply oxygen, which returns to its original solid form, while it is in someone’s lungs …)

Also, Voldemort is flexible about not killing people. He doesn’t want to rule over a pile of ashes, but he won’t abandon his plans just because they force him to kill someone. Even Harry abandoned the superhero morality after the first victim …