How the Grinch Ought to Have Stolen Christmas 2013-12-25T20:00:51.640Z
A sealed prediction 2011-01-28T04:10:04.482Z


Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019 · 2019-09-26T18:17:06.933Z · LW · GW

I have the launch codes. I'll take the site down unless Eliezer Yudkowsky publicly commits to writing a sequel chapter to HPMoR, in which I get an acceptably pleasant ending, by 9pm PST.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on HPMOR Wrap Parties: Resources, Information and Discussion · 2015-03-09T15:06:24.701Z · LW · GW

I'll be at more than one of these.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107 · 2015-02-19T18:43:41.592Z · LW · GW

I am not a tulpa and am not (in this instance) running on EY's wetware.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on ... · 2014-11-12T03:16:57.925Z · LW · GW

I am not any person named in the linked page, though I have met some or all of them. I am not affiliated with MIRI in any way. I did not post the linked page and I do not know who did.

The linked page is obvious slander. But its creation is a serious matter; the author is threatening to manufacture evidence. Thus, it should be handled the same way as a death threat: with an investigation to determine who sent it. The site is hosted on EasyWeb; the domain name admin contact details point to a proxy called, but the author is not very technically sophisticated (the page was authored in MS Word) so an appropriate subpoena might suffice to identify them.

Also, Mendes & Mount might want to make a public statement as to whether or not they represent MIRI. The page mentions them by name, but they're located in the wrong state (New York) and none of the practice areas listed on their web page are relevant.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Farewell Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) · 2013-01-12T17:16:08.813Z · LW · GW

So, The Tech is reporting that Aaron Swartz has killed himself. No suicide note has surfaced, PGP-signed or otherwise. No public statements that I've been able to find have identified witnesses or method. Aaron Swartz was known for having many enemies. There's the obvious enemies in the publishing industry and the US attorneys office. Cory Doctorow wrote that he had "a really unfortunate pattern of making high-profile, public denunciations of his friends and mentors."

I'd like to raise the possibility that this was not a natural event. Most of this evidence can be adequately explained by how little time has passed, so we'll know more in a few days or weeks.

Strange side note: He had a PGP public key on his web page at, retrievable from Wayback Machine, but the link went bad some time after Jul 28 2012. All other links on the site seem to be fine.

Additional side note: if your chance of being murdered ever goes past 0.01, state publicly that you don't believe in suicide and that any suicide note would definitely be cryptographically verifiable. If it ever goes past 0.05, set up a record-audio-to-Internet button that you can activate in under a second, then give your lawyer a signed message saying that any supposed suicide note which lacks a certain phrase is fake.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-11-29T20:00:18.567Z · LW · GW

"Eliezer Yudkowsky personality cult."
"The new thing for people who would have been Randian Objectivists 30 years ago."
"A sinister instrument of billionaire Peter Thiel."

Nope, no one guessed whose sinister instrument this site is. Muaha.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-13T01:22:17.000Z · LW · GW

Thanks, Eliezer, for unpausing one of my substrates!

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Rationality Lessons Learned from Irrational Adventures in Romance · 2011-10-06T01:46:37.873Z · LW · GW

You really ought to get yourself an anonymous alter-identity so you aren't tempted to discuss things like this under your real name. I believe that you in particular should avoid this topic when writing on public forums.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on [LINK] Terrorists target AI researchers · 2011-09-16T13:21:49.574Z · LW · GW

One Quirrell point to JoshuaZ for getting both of the reasons, rather than stopping after just one like jimrandomh did.

(I'm going to stop PGP signing these things, because when I did that before, it was a pain working around Markdown, and it ended up having to be in code-format mode, monospaced and not line broken correctly, which was very intrusive. A signed list of all points issued to date will be provided on request, but I will only bother if a request is actually made.)

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on [LINK] Terrorists target AI researchers · 2011-09-15T16:44:39.914Z · LW · GW

A while back, I claimed the Less Wrong username Quirinus Quirrell, and started hosting a long-running, approximate simulation of him in my brain. I have mostly used the account trivially - to play around with crypto-novelties, say mildly offensive things I wouldn't otherwise, and poke fun at Clippy. Several times I have doubted the wisdom of hosting such a simulation. Quirrell's values are not my own, and the plans that he generates (which I have never followed) are mostly bad when viewed in terms of my values. However, I have chosen to keep this occasional alter-identity, because he sees things that would otherwise be invisible to me.

Tor and a virtual machine sandbox are strongly recommended for following all links in this comment. Malware is highly probable and intelligence agencies take notice.

All of the primary source documents from this group are in Spanish. The blog "War on Society" has a translation of one of ITS's manifestos here, plus links to an earlier manifesto, a photo of one of the assembled package bombs, and the original publication in Spanish on the blog Liberacion Total here. Liberacion Total has been accused of being affiliated with ITS for publishing the manifesto, but they put up a notice saying they merely received it by mail. A few interesting observations:

  • The basic thesis of ITS's writing is "technology is bad". It shuffles between talking about different types of technology and different ways, bringing up gray goo, artificial intelligence, animal testing, and environmental contamination.
  • It is focused almost exclusively on Mexico and Mexican universities.
  • The original documents replace o/a->x in many words. I saw this in "lxs cientificxs" ("the scientists") several times, and thought it was meant to be threatening; but on further inspection, I think this is more like those novelty gender-neutral pronouns ("ey") you sometimes see in English. If you want to use automated translation, you will have to undo this first.
  • The blogs War on Society, Liberacion Total and culmine appear to be sympathetic.
  • There are names of specific people and organizations in those documents. Those people should take notice (and probably already have).

SingInst gets one mention on this page, in the middle of some ranting about Facebook being a mind-control tool.

Siguiendo con el tema de la informática, las famosas redes sociales y específicamente una que es Facebook se ha convertido en el centro de atención de la sociedad tecnoindustrial, pues en ella el sistema ve un aliado importante para el total control del comportamiento humano, que es en si, un factor sumamente amenazante para el orden establecido dentro de la Civilización.

Uno de los tres líderes de Facebook es Peter Thiel, un empresario estadounidense quien se ha propuesto la eliminación total del mundo real o natural y la imposición del mundo digital, así como se oye lo ha dicho. Analizando esto, podemos ver que Facebook no es una simple red comunicacional inofensiva, sino que es un experimento social de control mental que el Sistema Tecnológico Industrialestá usando con gran efectividad para excluir a la Naturaleza del contacto humano, es decir, desarrolla en gran medida la alienación total de lxs individuos a la Tecnología.

Pero este empresario pervertido no se ha quedado quieto, además de ser uno de lxs principales contribuyentes de la mencionada herramienta de control mental, ha invertido millonarias ganancias en investigación de inteligencia artificial y nuevas tecnologías capaces de alargar la vida del hombre por medio de la ciencia. Para esto tiene de aliado al Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence y al inglés gerontólogo biomédico Aubrey de Grey, quien se encarga específicamente en desarrollar por medio de una tecnología altamente avanzada que el periodo de vida de un ser humano se alargue de manera indefinida, y así, el humano hecho maquina ha sido creado!

Which Google translates to:

Continuing the theme of IT, the famous social networking and specifically one that is Facebook has become the focus of techno-industrial society, for in it the system is an important ally for the total control of human behavior, which is itself, a factor extremely threatening to the established order in Civilization. One of the three leaders of Facebook is Peter Thiel, an American businessman who has proposed the complete elimination of real or natural world and the imposition of the digital world and hear what he said.

Analyzing this, we see that Facebook is not just a harmless communication network, but a social experiment in mind control that the System of Industrial Technology are using very effectively to exclude the nature of human contact, that is largely developed total alienation of individuals to Technology.

But this perverted businessman has not stood still, and is one of the main contributors of that mind-control tool, has invested millions in profits in artificial intelligence research and new technologies to extend the life of man through science. For this is an ally to Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence and biomedical gerontologist English Aubrey de Grey, who is specifically responsible to develop through a highly advanced technology that the lifetime of a human being lengthened indefinitely, and so The man made machine has been created!

There are some clues in there that could be useful for figuring out who this is. I'm not sure how uncommon the 'x' thing is, but it's probably in his real-name writings too, and it's easy to search for. His rantings about Facebook indicate he probably had an account at one point but abandoned it. On priors, he's almost certainly a loner, and the same rant seems to back that up. His understanding of technology seems pretty shallow, which means the manifestos might've been sent through insufficiently-anonymized means (though Liberacion Total probably isn't keen on helping unmask him).

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on [LINK] Terrorists target AI researchers · 2011-09-15T15:32:37.767Z · LW · GW


Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on [deleted post] 2011-09-15T15:31:38.856Z

Test comment

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on The Blue-Minimizing Robot · 2011-07-04T01:14:22.745Z · LW · GW

Also, you misspelled my name - it's Quirinus, not Quirinius.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Is Kiryas Joel an Unhappy Place? · 2011-04-26T00:55:37.168Z · LW · GW

I sometimes feel like there is a shadowy half-underground group of LWers that is intelligent enough to stay away from bad signalling and has altruistic intentions, but has to deal every now and then with a slight twitch, reading something knowing they can't really state a proper response.

(linked comment) Delusions that are truly widely held and not merely believed to be widely held are far too dangerous to attack. There are sociopolitical Eldritch Abominations that it would serve LW well to stay well clear of and perhaps even pretend they don't exist for the time being.

The next time you feel that way, make yourself another identity, and use it to say the things you wouldn't otherwise. It really is quite liberating. It's very rare for a delusion to really be too strong to attack, especially here; it is only that you fear backlash.

As for the discussion this appeared in, let me get the unpleasant truths out of the way so we can stay meta: Intelligence is mostly heritable! Knowing someone's race conveys nonzero information about their their social status, suitability for jobs, wealth, and criminality! The gender imbalances in many professions are the result of innate differences, not discrimination! When groups with bad values and lower intelligence breed too much, it harms the future! These are all truths that any sufficiently advanced rationalist will recognize. And if you disagree with any of these, please direct your complaints to no one in particular.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on "High Value" Karma vs "Regular" (i.e. Quirrell Points) · 2011-04-21T13:27:11.814Z · LW · GW

[Clippy] What's your private key?

It's 4,096 paperclips on a ring, each bent in one of two ways to indicate either a 0 or a 1. Neither the 0s nor the 1s could hold paper together in their current shape.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on "High Value" Karma vs "Regular" (i.e. Quirrell Points) · 2011-04-17T02:24:24.766Z · LW · GW

I see that you have edited the title of this post to mention Quirrell points. I appreciate the gesture. However, you've misspelled my name; it should have two 'l's.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on "High Value" Karma vs "Regular" (i.e. Quirrell Points) · 2011-04-17T01:28:56.567Z · LW · GW

The PGP thing is a cryptographic signature which proves that the comment was written by me. What I did was, I made a PGP key, which has two halves: a public key, which is now on my user page of the Less Wrong wiki, and a private key, which is stored safely on a computer I control. I input my private key and a message into GnuPG, and it outputs a signature (what you saw in the earlier comment). Anyone else can take that message with its signature, and my public key, and confirm that I must have had the private key in order to sign it that way.

This means that Quirrell points can't be taken back - if I deleted or edited the comment, as long as you saved a copy you'd still be able to prove that it was there. It also means that Quirrell points can't be forged, even by Less Wrong administrators, which is important because otherwise Eliezer Yudkowsky might decide to give them to people I don't like.

The only thing necessary for one to issue valuable points is to convince other people they're valuable, and my other copy has done most of that work already.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on "High Value" Karma vs "Regular" (i.e. Quirrell Points) · 2011-04-17T01:16:58.035Z · LW · GW

Only I can issue Quirrell points (hence the name and the signature), but you can issue Normal_Anomaly points if you want.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on "High Value" Karma vs "Regular" (i.e. Quirrell Points) · 2011-04-17T01:15:44.247Z · LW · GW

I put it on the wiki just now.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on "High Value" Karma vs "Regular" (i.e. Quirrell Points) · 2011-04-17T01:05:45.645Z · LW · GW
Hash: SHA1

Raemon received one Quirrell point on 16/4/2011, for his post
having inspired the idea of issuing Quirrell points on Less Wrong.
Version: GnuPG of some sort

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on How would you respond to the Philpapers "What are your Philosophical Positions" Survey? · 2011-04-12T00:16:41.946Z · LW · GW
  1. A priori knowledge: yes or no? Yes
  2. Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism? Either, depending whether the second vowel has rising or falling intonation
  3. Aesthetic value: objective or subjective? Subjective
  4. Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no? Yes
  5. Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism? Internalism
  6. External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism? Skepticism. I haven't been able to take realism seriously since I left Hogwarts.
  7. Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will? No free will
  8. God: theism or atheism? Atheism
  9. Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism? Empiricism
  10. Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism? Can be any of these, or something else entirely, depending on the specific knowledge and how it interacts with the relevant interdicts
  11. Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean? Non-Humean
  12. Logic: classical or non-classical? Classical
  13. Mental content: internalism or externalism? Internalism
  14. Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism? Moral anti-realism
  15. Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism? Naturalism
  16. Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism? Depends whose mind we're talking about
  17. Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism? Non-cognitivism
  18. Moral motivation: internalism or externalism? Externalism
  19. Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes? The first box twice
  20. Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics? Consequentialism
  21. Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory? Sense-datum theory
  22. Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view? Further-fact view
  23. Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism? Snicker
  24. Proper names: Fregean or Millian? It's more complicated than that (some names are pointers, some are independent entities, and some can even communicate in binary by agreeing or disagreeing with a sequence of pronouns)
  25. Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism? Realism with some caveats
  26. Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death? Survival
  27. Time: A-theory or B-theory? Neither. These both claim the past and future are disjoint. What the fuck?
  28. Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don't switch? Varies depending on mood
  29. Truth: correspondence, deflationary, or epistemic? Correspondence
  30. Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible? Actual
Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on First Waco, Texas LW Meetup, 4/09, 1PM · 2011-04-07T02:12:27.112Z · LW · GW

This comment is more likely if Silas is Clippy than if he isn't.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on 12-year old challenges the Big Bang · 2011-03-31T00:03:54.731Z · LW · GW

I wouldn't exactly call it a cover-up. It looks to me like the actual goal was to ensure that a particular subject wouldn't develop further, by derailing any discussions about it into meta-discussions about censorship. Lots of noise was made, but no one ever published a sufficiently detailed description of the spell, so this did in fact succeed in averting a minor disaster.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on A Brief Overview of Machine Ethics · 2011-03-05T20:37:24.349Z · LW · GW

You seem to be under the impression that Eliezer is going to create an artificial general intelligence, and oversight is necessary to ensure that he doesn't create one which places his goals over humanity's interests. It is important, you say, that he is not allowed unchecked power. This is all fine, except for one very important fact that you've missed.

Eliezer Yudkowsky can't program. He's never published a nontrivial piece of software, and doesn't spend time coding. In the one way that matters, he's a muggle. Ineligible to write an AI. Eliezer has not positioned himself to be the hero, the one who writes the AI or implements its utility function. The hero, if there is to be one, has not yet appeared on stage. No, Eliezer has positioned himself to be the mysterious old wizard - to lay out a path, and let someone else follow it. You want there to be oversight over Eliezer, and Eliezer wants to be the oversight over someone else to be determined.

But maybe we shouldn't trust Eliezer to be the mysterious old wizard, either. If the hero/AI programmer comes to him with a seed AI, then he knows it exists, and finding out that a seed AI exists before it launches is the hardest part of any plan to steal it and rewrite its utility function to conquer the universe. That would be pretty evil, but would "transparency and oversight" make things turn out better, or worse? As far as I can tell, transparency would mean announcing the existence of a pre-launch AI to the world. This wouldn't stop Eliezer from make a play to conquer the universe, but it would present that option to everybody else, including at least some people and organizations who are definitely evil.

So that's a bad plan. A better plan would be to write a seed AI yourself, keep it secret from Eliezer, and when it's time to launch, ask for my input instead.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Computer security story · 2011-02-17T02:13:24.909Z · LW · GW

I'd just like to point out that "anonymous" is a pre-existing term for all people who choose not to identify themselves, so any time a journalist says "anonymous" did something they are merely professing their own ignorance, regardless of whether the A is capitalized or not. That said, the term seems to have become popular among a particularly low-status sort of person, so I advise everyone to use pen names and explain their unidentifiability in complete sentences.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Isn't this sitemeter logging a bit too excessive? · 2011-02-03T01:34:15.415Z · LW · GW

I'm curious what the marginal next best strategy is. I'm also curious why you would be interested in promoting the unmasking of users.

Not all users, just the few I happen to be curious about. And no, I won't say anything more about what the marginal next-best strategy is other than that I'm immune to it too, and -1 Quirrell point for asking.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Isn't this sitemeter logging a bit too excessive? · 2011-02-03T00:46:32.247Z · LW · GW

I have just realized that sitemeter has the following data published about my visit, in a searchable and browsable format:

Searchable my behind! I looked into what it would take to use this to, for example, unmask Clippy, and it was less usable than the marginal next-best strategy.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-02T02:10:03.530Z · LW · GW

The world around us redounds with opportunities, explodes with opportunities, which nearly all folk ignore because it would require them to violate a habit of thought ... I cannot quite comprehend what goes through people's minds when they repeat the same failed strategy over and over, but apparently it is an astonishingly rare realization that you can try something else.

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky, putting words in my other copy's mouth

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Final Words · 2011-02-01T02:16:02.860Z · LW · GW

I voted on this and the immediate parent, but I won't reveal why, or which direction, or how many times, or which account I used.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on A sealed prediction · 2011-01-28T22:16:15.418Z · LW · GW

You're safeguarding against the wrong thing. If I needed to fake a prediction that badly, I'd find a security hole in Less Wrong with which to edit all your comments. I wouldn't waste time establishing karma for sockpuppets to post editable hashes to deter others from posting hashes themselves, that would be silly. But as it happens, I'm not planning to edit this hash, and doing that wouldn't have been a viable strategy in the first place.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Punishing future crimes · 2011-01-28T22:10:16.126Z · LW · GW

When should you punish someone for a crime they will commit in the future?

Easy. When they can predict you well enough and they think you can predict them well enough that if you would-counterfactually punish them for committing a crime in the future, it influences the probability that they will commit the crime by enough to outweigh the cost of administering the punishment times the probability that you will have to do so. Or when you want to punish them for an unrelated reason and need a pretext.

Not every philosophical question needs to be complicated.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on A sealed prediction · 2011-01-28T18:14:21.316Z · LW · GW

Someone as clever, powerful, and rich as yourself can likely find a collision if you get to choose both source texts (which is easier than finding a collision with one of the two inputs determined by someone else).

This is actually much harder than you'd think. A hash function is considered broken if any collision is found, but a mere collision is not sufficient; to be useful, a collision must have chosen properties. In the case of md5sum, it is possible to generate collisions between files which differ in a 128-byte aligned block, with the same prefix and suffix. This works well for any file format that is scriptable or de-facto scriptable - wrap the colliding block in a comparison statement, and behave differently depending on its result. However, even for md5sum, it is still impossible to generate a collision between plain-text files with two separate chosen texts; nor is it possible to generate collisions between files that have no random-seeming sections, or that have random sections that are too small, not block-aligned, or are drawn from a constrained alphabet. (Snowyowl's joke would require a preimage attack, which is harder still, and which won't be available at first even if sha1sum is broken, so he will not be able to fulfill his promise to reveal a message with that sha1sum.)

Anyways, since you asked, here are a few more hashes of the same thing. I didn't bother with the SHA3 finalists, since they don't seem to have made convenient command-line utilities yet and I don't want to force people to fiddle too much to verify my hashes.

sha512sum: 85cf46426d025843d6b0f11e3232380c6fac6cae88b66310ee8fbcd3f81722d08b2154c6388ecb1ee9cebc528e0f56e3be7a057cd67531cfda442febe0132418 sha384sum: 400d47bf97b6a3ccd662e0eb1268820c57d10e2a623c3a007b297cc697ed560862dda19b74638f92a3550fbbfe14d485 md5sum: 8fec2109c85f622580e1a78c9cabdab4

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Richard Dawkins: Should employers be blind to private beliefs? [link] · 2011-01-26T01:07:02.624Z · LW · GW

This issue came up on Less Wrong before, and I will reiterate the advice I gave there: if a forbidden criteria affects a hiring decision, keep your reasons secret and shred your work. The linked article is about a case where the University of Kentucky was forced to pay $125,000 to an applicant, Martin Gaskell. This happened because the chairman of the search committee, Michael Cavagnero, was stupid enough to write this in a logged email:

If Martin were not so superbly qualified, so breathtakingly above the other applicants in background and experience, then our decision would be much simpler. We could easily choose another applicant, and we could content ourselves with the idea that Martin's religious beliefs played little role in our decision. However, this is not the case. As it is, no objective observer could possibly believe that we excluded Martin on any basis other than religious...

And that's where the trouble starts, because Martin Gaskell's religious beliefs would have been a serious risk to the university's reputation. No one would take a creationist seriously as an astronomer, and no one would take an observatory seriously if one of the first few Google results for its name connected it to creationism.

Which is why, as soon as they realized they had a creationist as a potentially leading candidate, they should have moved their hiring process into private meetings with poor note-taking, and started looking for better pretexts. Yes, anti-discrimination laws are crazy, but not all judges are. However, a judge can only work around craziness if you allow a suitable pretext, which means not discussing how you need to break the crazy laws in writing.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Theists are wrong; is theism? · 2011-01-23T00:56:57.067Z · LW · GW

I recommend one additional layer of outgoing indirection prior to the Tor network as part of standard precaution measures.

Let's not get too crazy; I've got other things to do. and there are more practical attacks to worry about first, like cross-checking post times against alibis. I need to finish my delayed-release comment script first before I worry about silly things like setting up extra relays. Also, there are lesson plans I need to write, and some Javascript I want Clippy to have a look at.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Hugo Awards - HP:MoR · 2011-01-22T21:01:07.790Z · LW · GW

Good idea. I'd vote at least once for this.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge · 2011-01-22T00:17:39.549Z · LW · GW

Meh. The villains seem a lot less formidable in real life, like they left something essential behind in the fiction.

Hey, be patient. I haven't been here very long, and building up power takes time.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Statistical Prediction Rules Out-Perform Expert Human Judgments · 2011-01-22T00:12:17.847Z · LW · GW

In short, there most certainly ARE legal restrictions on building your office somewhere deliberately selected for it's inaccessibility to those with a congenital inability to e.g. teleport,

The Americans with Disabilities Act limits what you can build (every building needs ramps and elevators), not where you can build it. Zoning laws are blacklist-based, not whitelist-based, so extradimensional spaces are fine. More commonly, you can easily find office space in locations that poor people can't afford to live near. And in the unlikely event that race or national origin is the key factor, you get to choose which country or city's demographics you want.

A lack of teleportation-specific case law would not work in your favor, given the judge's access to statements you've already made.

This is the identity under which I speak freely and teach defense against the dark arts. This is not the identity under which I buy office buildings and hire minions. If it was, I wouldn't be talking about hiring strategies.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Theists are wrong; is theism? · 2011-01-21T23:42:11.206Z · LW · GW

You needn't worry on my behalf. I post only through Tor from an egress-filtered virtual machine on a TrueCrypt volume. What kind of defense professor would I be if I skipped the standard precautions?

By the way, while I may sometimes make jokes, I don't consider this a joke account; I intend to conduct serious business under this identity, and I don't intend to endanger that by linking it to any other identities I may have.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge · 2011-01-21T13:56:29.203Z · LW · GW

Memory charms do have their uses. Unfortunately, they seem to only work in universes where minds are ontologically basic mental entities, and the potions available in this universe are not fast, reliable or selective enough to be adequate substitutes.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge · 2011-01-21T13:47:31.525Z · LW · GW

Of course. The defining difference is that force can't be ignored, so threatening a punishment only constitutes force if the punishment threatened is strong enough; condemnation doesn't count unless it comes with additional consequences. Force is typically used in the short term to ensure conformance with plans, while behaviour modification is more like long-term groundwork. Well executed behaviour modifications stay in place with minimal maintenance, but the targets of force will become more hostile with each application. If you use a behaviour modification strategy when you should be using force, people may defy you when you can ill afford it. If you use force when you should be using behavior modification strategies, you will accumulate enemies you don't need.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge · 2011-01-21T04:21:20.560Z · LW · GW

Translation: [...] I cannot walk away from this and leave you being wrong, you must profess to agree with me and if you are not rational enough to understand and accept logical arguments then you will be forced to profess agreement.

I never said anything about using force. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's a different position, not a translation.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Theists are wrong; is theism? · 2011-01-21T02:44:32.181Z · LW · GW

Or what, you'll write me an unhappy ending? Just be thankful I left a body behind for you to finish your story with.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Theists are wrong; is theism? · 2011-01-21T02:06:01.088Z · LW · GW

The "just hack out of the matrix" answer, however, presupposes the existence of a security hole, which is unlikely.

Not as unlikely as you think.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Statistical Prediction Rules Out-Perform Expert Human Judgments · 2011-01-19T02:16:15.219Z · LW · GW

That doesn't close the loophole, it adds a constraint. And it's only significant for those who both hire enough people to be vulnerable to statistical analysis of their hiring practices, and receive too many bad applicants from protected classes. If it is a significant constraint, you want to find that out from the data, not from guesswork, and apply the minimum legally acceptable correction factor.

Besides, it's not like muggles are a protected class. And if they were? Just keep them from applying in the first place, by building your office somewhere they can't get to. There aren't any legal restrictions on that.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Statistical Prediction Rules Out-Perform Expert Human Judgments · 2011-01-19T01:31:54.281Z · LW · GW

If the best way to choose who to hire is with a statistical analysis of legally forbidden criteria, then keep your reasons secret and shred your work. Is that so hard?

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge · 2011-01-01T23:33:35.225Z · LW · GW

From the username, I was expecting that the suggestion was going to be to say avada kedavra.

I'd never say that on a forum that would generate a durable record of my comment.

Comment by Quirinus_Quirrell on Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge · 2011-01-01T23:12:03.209Z · LW · GW

I'm beginning to think that LW needs some better mechanism for dealing with the phenomenon of commenters who are polite, repetitive, immune to all correction, and consistently wrong about everything.

The problem is quite simple. Tim, and the rest of the class of commenters to which you refer, simply haven't learned how to lose. This can be fixed by making it clear that this community's respect is contingent on retracting any inaccurate positions. Posts in which people announce that they have changed their mind are usually upvoted (in contrast to other communities), but some people don't seem to have noticed.

Therefore, I propose adding a "plonk" button on each comment. Pressing it would hide all posts from that user for a fixed duration, and also send them an anonymous message (red envelope) telling them that someone plonked them, which post they were plonked for, and a form letter reminder that self-consistency is not a virtue and a short guide to losing gracefully.