Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 109 · 2015-02-24T21:38:44.412Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Did you ever come up with a response to the point that the Goblet was in Hogwarts for a few centuries after Baba Yaga, before being warehoused at Beauxbatons? If the curse was in effect all that time, it would have been mentioned.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-08-21T16:59:35.364Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Really late reply, but: the prophecy was made before Harry was born; Voldemort and Dumbledore found out about it at roughly the same time (almost immediately); and the attack came when Harry was fifteen months old. They knew about the prophecy while they were in hiding.

Comment by pedanterrific on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-17T18:23:20.301Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you not care about humans you can't get along with?

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 23, chapter 94 · 2013-07-11T23:21:49.155Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Do we have an example of Finite being used to cancel anything other than transfigurations or first-year level spells (Somnium)?

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 23, chapter 94 · 2013-07-11T14:08:02.210Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

It's not unique, and Dumbledore did bring it up, actually:

"How can you not believe it? " said the Headmaster, looking completely flabbergasted. "Harry, you're a wizard! You've seen ghosts! "

"Ghosts," Harry said, his voice flat. "You mean those things like portraits, stored memories and behaviors with no awareness or life, accidentally impressed into the surrounding material by the burst of magic that accompanies the violent death of a wizard -"

[...]

I asked Hermione and she said that they were just afterimages, burned into the stone of the castle by the death of a wizard, like the silhouettes left on the walls of Hiroshima.

Compare:

For a moment it seemed like the outpouring of magic might hold, take root in the castle's stone; but then the outpouring ended and the magic faded, her body stopped moving and all motion halted as Hermione Jean Granger ceased to exist -

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 23, chapter 94 · 2013-07-10T03:30:34.884Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I read that as being an excuse for the differences between Harry's Cloak and the one Neville's familiar with.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-09T23:46:47.545Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Whoops, looks like you're right, the accusation was public knowledge:

Father's own allies didn't believe him after Dumbledore just denied everything in public

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 23, chapter 94 · 2013-07-08T21:05:54.221Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

It's called Finite Incantatem.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-08T19:11:15.015Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Amelia Bones isn't a member of the Order of the Phoenix.

Emmeline wasn't a member of the Order of the Phoenix any more, they had disbanded after the end of the last war. And during the war, she'd known, they'd all known, that Director Crouch had quietly approved of their off-the-books battle.

Director Bones wasn't Crouch.

[...]

"That depends," Amelia said in a hard voice. "Are you here to help us catch criminals, or to protect them from the consequences of their actions?" Are you going to try to stop the killer of my brother from getting her well-deserved Kiss, old meddler? From what Amelia heard, Dumbledore had gotten smarter toward the end of the war, mostly due to Mad-Eye's nonstop nagging; but had relapsed into his foolish mercies the instant Voldemort's body was found.

One wonders why she would even know about it at all, if she had nothing to do with it.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-02T00:20:25.971Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Another nice touch: Quirrell's thoughts do the same.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-01T23:01:32.987Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Every day that Harry kills something is a good day, of course.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-01T22:53:45.167Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

"Prodi" is the imperative ("come forth"), "prodeas" is the subjunctive (here used in supplication, for which there is no precise English translation; perhaps "wouldst thou come forth").

Which itself suggests something quite interesting about the nature of incantations... unless it's not actually an incantation, just talking to Hogwarts in Latin.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-03-12T13:28:52.496Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I wasn't sure what time they were meeting- it seemed like it was a short time after retrieving Harry from lunch, but I couldn't find any specifics. Even if it was after three, though, they could (for example) send a Patronus to Flitwick asking where he was at three o'clock, but not to tell them anything else but that; and have Harry come there at nine, tell him to tell Flitwick not to report his arrival to anyone before nine, then Time-Turn in front of them.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-03-10T03:29:44.935Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I don't know why the test didn't involve Time-Turning such that he would appear right in front of Dumbledore or whoever at three o'clock. It shouldn't be too difficult to prevent cheating with the Cloak.

It doesn't even require having thought of the test before three, just knowing where someone (Flitwick, etc) was at three, without actually seeing it yourself.

Comment by pedanterrific on Open thread, February 15-28, 2013 · 2013-02-27T16:07:45.993Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

He can edit his own without leaving an * , for the record.

Comment by pedanterrific on Unintentional bayesian · 2013-02-19T20:49:33.857Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I can't tell if you're aware that that was Manfred's point.

Comment by pedanterrific on Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Argument · 2013-02-19T16:15:57.730Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Huh, it works even better in text with undifferentiated spelling. I'll have to remember that one.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-02-18T17:52:10.167Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

He's also a Horcrux in canon; the murder that created him was the murder of Harry's parents, which still happened.

It wasn't the murder of Harry's parents, it was

when Lily cast her own life between them as a shield, the Killing Curse rebounded upon Lord Voldemort, and a fragment of Voldemort’s soul was blasted apart from the whole, and latched itself onto the only living soul left in that collapsed building.

(Deathly Hallows, Ch 33)

The Killing-Curse-reflecting Love Shield doesn't exist in HPMoR, so if Harry is a Horcrux it's not because things happened the same as in canon.

Sirius somehow got everybody to convict and incarcerate Pettigrew in his place (Imperius + repeated doses of Polyjuice?).

He wasn't even convicted, just tossed straight into Azkaban. And another piece of evidence is the Quibbler article claiming Pettigrew and Sirius are the same person.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-02-18T17:46:13.958Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Quirrell's "ritual to summon Death" is a reference to the Seething Death from LWE's Ethshar novels, so it's a pretty safe bet.

Comment by pedanterrific on Isolated AI with no chat whatsoever · 2013-02-05T03:56:00.373Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

1) The generator would be in the isolated area.

2) Lead-lined airlock, and obviously portable electronics wouldn't be allowed in the isolated area.

3) If you have communication lines going to terminals which are not isolated, then you haven't even made an attempt at isolation in the first place.

4) This is a point about practicalities, not possibilities.

5) The relevant comparison would be the CDC, not the military.

Comment by pedanterrific on State your physical account of experienced color · 2013-02-02T03:31:58.563Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry- "minimum necessary (pieces of brain)", I meant to say. Like, probably not motor control, or language, or maybe memory.

Comment by pedanterrific on State your physical account of experienced color · 2013-02-01T19:42:29.106Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, so... we can't make computers that go from red to black, and we can't ourselves understand what it's like to go from #FF0000 to #000000, and this means what?

To me it means the things we use to do processing are very different. Say, a whole brain emulation would have our experience of color, and if we get really really good at cognitive surgery, we might be able to extract the minimum necessary bits to contain that experience of color, and bolt it onto a red-eye filter. Why bother, though? What's the relevant difference?

Comment by pedanterrific on State your physical account of experienced color · 2013-02-01T18:28:22.692Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What was wrong with this comment?

Comment by pedanterrific on State your physical account of experienced color · 2013-02-01T18:02:18.467Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not going to say the goalposts are moving, but I definitely don't know where they are any more. I was talking about red-eye filters built into cameras. You seemed to be suggesting that they do have "internal representations" of shape, but not of color, even though they recognize both shape and color in the same way. I'm trying to see what the difference is.

Essentially, why can a computer have an internal representation of shape without saying "wow, what a beautiful building" but an internal representation of color would lead it to say "wow, what a beautiful sunset"?

Comment by pedanterrific on State your physical account of experienced color · 2013-02-01T17:23:36.811Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How would it function differently if it did have "an internal representation of color as we experience it"?

Comment by pedanterrific on State your physical account of experienced color · 2013-02-01T17:11:57.114Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You lost me a little bit. We can write "see these wavelengths in this shape and make them black" (red-eye filters). What makes "seeing" shape different from "seeing" color?

Comment by pedanterrific on Isolated AI with no chat whatsoever · 2013-01-30T17:51:10.934Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why wouldn't physical isolation (a lead-lined bank vault, faraday cage, etc) solve these problems?

Comment by pedanterrific on AI box: AI has one shot at avoiding destruction - what might it say? · 2013-01-29T15:12:50.916Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I realize that. The point being, the bit in bold is still true if the Earth-destroying threat is the speaker.

Comment by pedanterrific on AI box: AI has one shot at avoiding destruction - what might it say? · 2013-01-26T20:22:06.177Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Referring to yourself in the third person doesn't help. AI DESTROYED

Comment by pedanterrific on AI box: AI has one shot at avoiding destruction - what might it say? · 2013-01-24T18:08:48.418Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Well that's a relief, then. AI DESTROYED

Comment by pedanterrific on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-11T19:47:20.610Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think the idea is that it is economical, but the patent-holder simply never thought of it.

Comment by pedanterrific on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-10T22:04:20.256Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oh. Well, that's surprising.

Sorry, I'm not in the area.

Comment by pedanterrific on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-10T21:07:54.332Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'll second drethelin; CBT is both evidence-based as a treatment method- there's evidence it works- and evidence-based in practice, meaning you don't have to believe in it or anything, you just follow the prescribed behaviors and observe the results. Really, it's highly rationalism-friendly, being mainly about noticing and combatting "cognitive distortions" (e.g. generalizing from one example, inability to disconfirm, emotional reasoning, etc.). A therapist who specializes in CBT can be pretty well assumed to not be in the habit of dragging "spirituality" into their work.

Comment by pedanterrific on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-09T16:23:01.593Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Along with things that others have already pointed out, “per land area, farms are more efficient at producing "higher" animals like pigs and cows” -- where the hell did he take that from? Pretty much everyone I've ever read about this topic agrees that growing food for N people on a mostly vegetarian diet requires way less land, energy, and water than growing food for N people on a largely meat-based diet, and there's a thermodynamic argument that makes that pretty much obvious.

The full sentence is

And if you do manage to induce less farmland and more wild land, you'll have to realize that, per land area, farms are more efficient at producing "higher" animals like pigs and cows. So there is a tradeoff between producing more farm animals with worse lives, or fewer wild animals with better lives, if in fact wild animals live better lives.

or

per land area, farms are more efficient [than wilderness is] at producing "higher" animals like pigs and cows.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-01-07T21:01:58.625Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's true in canon, yes, but this

"The Unbreakable Vow is too useful to certain wealthy Houses to be outlawed entirely - even though to bind a man's will through all his days is indeed a dread and terrible act, more fearsome than many lesser rituals that wizards shun. [...] The one who makes the Vow must be someone who could have chosen to do what the Vow demands of them, and they sacrifice that capacity for choice. And the third wizard, the binder, permanently sacrifices a small portion of their own magic, to sustain the Vow forever.

reads to me more like a sort of permanent, irresistible Imperius. I can see it could be meant the other way, though.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-01-07T20:00:44.168Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Now I'm not sure if you're serious. The last quote is from the mid-1800s, and the usage is synonymous with "forget" so it wouldn't make sense in ygert's context anyway.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-01-07T19:19:16.641Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Huh. My copy of the OED agrees with Merriam-Webster (and everything I can find online) that there's no real word between "obliterative" and "oblivion". What edition are you referencing?

Anyway, "obviate the need for" is such a common phrasing that I don't feel terribly unjustified in my presumption. I suppose that's for ygert to decide, though.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-01-07T17:13:55.745Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

obliviate

Your HPMoR-trained spellchecker has led you wrong, friend.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-01-07T17:08:46.784Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Wait, is the Unbreakable Vow really unbreakable, or does it just kill you when you break it? I thought it was the first.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-28T00:38:17.540Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

They allowed lawmakers to legalize the Unforgivables during Voldemort's uprising; I have a hard time believing a great many people would object to a bill allowing a service where Aurors Imperius Azkaban inmates to bind vows.

The larger point being, any society could find or make an outgroup sufficiently unsympathetic to allow regulated use of the Imperius for the public good.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-24T22:16:55.238Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Whether or not the True Patronus can block anyone else's Killing Curse, the way it's described above sounds pretty antithetical to me.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-24T18:01:51.603Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The Killing Curse is

"A magically embodied preference for death over life, striking within the plane of pure life force... that does sound like a difficult spell to block."

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-23T18:30:20.106Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well no, we don't, not specifically. I'd find it a little odd if it did, but I suppose blackmail or threats or FMCs would also work.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-23T07:13:35.819Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Ooh, a guessing game. I'll go with... the Giant Squid.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-22T23:15:36.142Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Implied, yeah.

"And finally," she said, "Mr. Potter says - this is a direct quote, Albus - whatever kind of Dark Wizard attractant the Headmaster is keeping here, he needs to get it out of this school, now." She couldn't stop the edge in her own voice, that time.

"I asked as much of Flamel," Albus said, the pain clear in his voice. "But Master Flamel has said - that even he can no longer keep safe the Stone - that he believes Voldemort has means of finding it wherever it is hidden - and that he does not consent for it to be guarded anywhere but Hogwarts. Minerva, I am sorry, but it must be done - must!"

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-22T20:34:11.835Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

That says nothing about priorities. It's more important to find the person who framed Hermione than it is to solve the debt, and it's more important to solve the debt than it is which of them solves it. There's no contradiction.

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-22T20:31:00.940Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"I s'pose you're going to tell me that I don't need to worry about anything and you'll take care of it all?" It came out sounding harsher than she would've wanted, and she felt another stab of guilt for being such a terrible person.

"Nah," Harry said, sounding oddly cheerful. "I can put myself in your shoes well enough to know that if you paid a bunch of money to save me, I'd be trying to pay it back. I'd know it was silly on some level, and I'd still be trying to pay it back all by myself. There's no way I wouldn't understand that, Hermione."

Hermione's face screwed up and she felt moisture in the corners of her eyes.

"Fair warning, though," Harry went on, "I might solve the debt to Lucius Malfoy myself if I see a way before you do, it's more important to get that sorted immediately than which one of us gets it sorted. Anything interesting so far?"

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-22T20:28:54.759Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

He has bigger and more urgent problems, is the short version. So?

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-22T20:26:30.474Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

He's explicitly saying he's not relying on her to do it. How could that be any clearer?

Comment by pedanterrific on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-22T20:24:41.065Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

I'm referring to the competence. Canon Draco was a small-minded bully. Remember the Most Dangerous Student in the Classroom bit? Canon Draco made enemies every time he opened his mouth.