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Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 121 · 2015-03-13T20:12:26.268Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

"Drop dead, Potter."

OK, that one got me to chuckle out loud.

Hm. So far, while I've been enjoying these epilogue chapters, it feels like there's not ENOUGH of them. I'm not sure the story can be given a satisfying conclusion with just one more chapter.

...Of course, in theory the chapter can be 100,000 words long, but...

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120 · 2015-03-13T18:24:21.689Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There was that whole "You just used a Muggle dark ritual to permanently sacrifice your ability to believe in blood purism" bit.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120 · 2015-03-13T14:57:48.544Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True, but he was also a lot less useful - Voldemort intended to take the gloves off and have the entire Ministry either dead or imperiused within the next 24 hours, meaning Lucius's political connections suddenly mattered a whole lot less.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120 · 2015-03-13T03:56:42.462Z · score: 19 (19 votes) · LW · GW

Hm. Remember how memory charms, while removing the memories, don't necessarily remove the emotions of the erased moments?

Draco at the start of the chapter:

The feeling of emptiness that filled him up was so profound that it left no room even for pretended courtesy.

Everyone was dead.

Draco after obliviation:

The feeling of emptiness that filled him up was so profound that it left no room even for lies.

Everyone was dead.

Everyone was dead, and it had all been futile from the beginning.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120 · 2015-03-13T01:29:38.440Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Harry has, throughout the story, demonstrated a tendency to lecture people when simpler words were far more likely to get results. He is... not a good communicator.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120 · 2015-03-12T19:36:42.120Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

He's about Harry's age and Narcissa was disappeared before Voldy got kaboomed, so, yeah.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120 · 2015-03-12T19:22:25.959Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Kind of glad Draco wouldn't give an answer to Harry - it's sad, but also entirely realistic. Would have strained my suspicion of disbelief if he'd just accepted to forgive and forget.

As for Narcissa... Sweet vindication. ...And then a gutpunch as she speaks her husband's name.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117 · 2015-03-09T02:10:35.517Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hm. To be honest, I'd hoped that this chapter would include a scene of Harry explaining events (or at least a version closer to the truth) to McGonagall, Snape and Moody, since it seemed unlikely they would fall for his melodramatic psychic display. (And because keeping secrets has NOT worked well so far, as Harry recently realized.)

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-06T00:27:20.737Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

It does cast a different light on that time he asks Harry why Voldemort does the things he does.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-03T18:27:16.222Z · score: 24 (24 votes) · LW · GW

So, apparently, the final exam question was "What would Taylor Hebert do?".

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-03T17:43:17.792Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True. Which is why my final proposal involved providing something to distract the Death Eaters for a crucial moment.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-03T15:14:51.315Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

OK, here's what I ended up posting:

"Have sseveral ssecretss you would consider worth a hosstage, but before that, ssusspect your plan to get rid of me flawed. Am Tom Riddle. Might have accesss to horcruxes. Unlesss grant ssecurity of parentss firsst, will raise wand at minionss; they will casst avada kedavra, sskipping sseveral of your intended ssteps; am gambling on returning from horcrux before you hurt hosstages."

Nonplussed, Lord Voldemort gestured to his Death-Eaters. "A small change in orders, gentlemen. If the boy speaks in human tongue, makes a sudden move, or raises his wand away from the floor, don't case avada kedavra on him - cast stupefy inst-"

Before Voldemort could finish his sentence, before the Death-Eaters could switch mental tracks, Harry's wand - which had never stopped pointing at the floor - finished casting the partial transfiguration. A very thin section of the floor, in a circle surrounding Harry, was now sand. The younger Tom Riddle, along with the piece of floor he had been standing on, quickly fell to the ground below, away from the Death-Eaters' line of sight.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-03T06:41:55.139Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I kind of wish I had a better visual imagination or spatial awareness. I tend to have trouble keeping track of the environment in novels. As such, even after going back to the story, I'm not entirely sure where exactly Harry is.

The reason I bring this up is that we are told, explicitly, that the Death Eaters will kill Harry if he stops pointing his wand toward the floor.

But 1 G gravity is FAST, and they might be too surprised to react in time if Harry suddenly falls THROUGH the floor. Which may or may not be an option available to him, depending on his location, by using partial transfiguration to turn a thin section of the floor around him into sand.

Comment by ourimaler on May 2013 Media Thread · 2015-02-19T22:54:18.989Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I played it a few months ago. It was quite fun... and, yes, there's one big shout-out to HPMoR (more specifically, to the Bayesian Conspiracy) in interactions with Ellen.

Comment by ourimaler on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107 · 2015-02-19T22:50:59.913Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

What kind of impressed me about "The Truth, part 1" was the reveal.

Consider: In most mystery novels, the reveal scene(s) is where the detective explains what the reader has been struggling to figure out since the start of the story. It provides a powerful "ah-ha!" moment if done right.

Here, everything Harry figures out is stuff the reader most likely already knew, thanks to meta-knowledge. We're watching him figure out what we'd been hoping he'd figure out for dozens of chapters. By all rights, it shouldn't provide that ah-ha feeling.

And yet... it does. I think the stream of consciousness really sells it. It helped me feel like I was inside Harry's head, living through that realization.

Comment by ourimaler on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-07-27T19:35:22.339Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, it's your call. But for what it's worth, I enjoyed HtTtHnT when it was running (particularly how the protagonists handled the loss of their secret identities).

Luminosity sounds like an interesting idea, though I'll confess I've never read any of the Twilight books...

Comment by ourimaler on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-07-27T08:10:35.643Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you! And thanks again for the link - I got around 250% as many unique views in the 48 following hours as I had in the entire preceding month.

Comment by ourimaler on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-07-27T08:08:40.933Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Hello! Unless I'm mistaken, you're the author of Hi to Tsuki to Hoshi no Tama? I used to read that.

Comment by ourimaler on Tell Your Rationalist Origin Story · 2013-07-26T18:01:18.263Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I spent the first six years of my life in Israel, and the rest in France. Now, my immediate family wasn't really religious, but cultural osmosis did lead me to believe in the better-known Old Testament stories - a vague belief in God, as others might believe in Santa Claus (I also believed in the Tooth Fairy. And that she looked like Gonzo in a skirt. Muppet Babies may have been to blame).

Around age 8-10, I became enamored with science, which became central to my worldview. Now, one of the books I owned around then was a children's animal encyclopedia, and it had a couple pages explaining old animal-related superstitions, ranging from "black cats bring bad luck" to "ants fighting means an enemy army is approaching". It was my first introduction to the concept of superstitions. But then, when I stopped, and thought of those examples, and what I knew of science, and what I knew of God and all those biblical stories... It occurred to me that religion sounded remarkably like superstition. It would be an overstatement to say I became a rationalist at that specific point, but that's when I became an atheist; furthermore, it was around then that I decided superstition, and incorrect beliefs, were something to oppose and grow out of.

In retrospect, I can see that a lot of the fiction I read around that time helped shape my worldview. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court showed me superstition being used to manipulate a nation, while displaying the power of science. Odyssey from River Bend showed me post-apocalyptic heroes searching for lost scientific knowledge. Rahan showed me a caveman using reason to overcome superstition.

Of course, all of this only constituted early steps. I was years later that I would formalize my philosophy, and learn that "believing in rationalism" was, at most, the first step to actually being rational.

But if I had to point out where it all started...I'd say it was my childhood science magazine, and that animal encyclopedia.

Comment by ourimaler on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-07-26T17:19:35.885Z · score: 20 (20 votes) · LW · GW

Hello. I'm Ouri Maler, or "sun tzu" on some other forums; turning 29 in August.

I don't exactly remember when I started thinking of myself as a rationalist, but I know the core of my pro-science, pro-logic worldview was formed between the age of 8 and 10. For many years, I planned to be a physicist. In college, I studied to become a roboticist. And since that hasn't entirely panned out, I'm currently struggling to get employed as a programmer. I also write as a hobby, and I do try to reconstruct rationalism in my current urban fantasy story, "Saga of Soul".

Less Wrong has been on my "to check one of these days" list for a few years. It came to my attention again recently when Mr. Yudowsky recommended Saga of Soul on Facebook, prompting me to marathon HPatMoR over the past few days. I finished yesterday, and figured it was time to join the community and see what'll come of it.