Posts

Comments

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 23, chapter 94 · 2013-07-17T21:31:20.205Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think only Harry knew about it. Besides, it was supposed to be understandable only if the reader figured out it was about dementors.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 21, chapters 91 & 92 · 2013-07-04T17:16:25.342Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

No, this means that the person Quirrell is pretending to be knew James Potter. So, either Quirrell's image of David Monroe knew James or Quirrell is inserting an inconsistency.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-04T15:02:14.043Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm. How about having someone else die in Hermione's place?

Either Dumbledore is on it and lied to Harry, or it was a student.

I don't recall offhand if the death burst was recognizable as Hermione, but otherwise it seems doable. Dumbledore said he felt a student die and only realized it was Hermione once he saw her.

Harry seemed to think so, but he was obviously biased by seeing Hermione.

You'd need polyjuice for the visual appearance, (...)

Doesn't it wear off after death?

Lesath would seem to fit the bill (...)

Ch92 spoiler: Ur'f nyvir ng qvaare naq ur unf ab gvzr-gheare (Uneel pna'g gnxr bgure crbcyr nybat), fb vg qbrfa'g frrz vg unq unccrarq.

Overall, this plan requires at least 2 hard things to happen correctly: identical fake magic burst and getting real Hermione there and screaming or Patronus shenanigans. I disbelieve this strongly.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90 · 2013-07-03T09:42:35.044Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Do they know who Tom Riddle is/was? I don't remember why they should and in canon it at least isn't common knowledge among students (Ginny didn't recognize the name of the person in the diary).

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-02T23:31:31.334Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Quirrell can feel Harry's emotions. This can partially explain at least some of the cases when he unexpectedly realized what Harry was thinking (for instance, this probably gave him some information during their conversation about Parseltongue). It might be worthwhile to find all cases when they talked and Harry attempted to hide his emotions.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90 · 2013-07-02T19:47:00.851Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think that ikrase wants to draw a parallel with the fbegvat ung.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-01T22:27:36.386Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The hat talked specifically about objects under its brim. Maybe the horcrux is in some other part of Harry?

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-07-01T08:32:15.786Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Or maybe it's not a good idea to cast incendio while the tip of your wand is in a very enclosed location (for instance due to gases that you expect to be released).

Or it's maybe that that the transfiguration requires no wand movements (reference: look at the setup used during the partial transfiguration experiment) as opposed to incendio. It's pretty hard to move your wand in some pattern when it's stuck through a troll's eye socket.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T23:05:58.412Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The thought didn't cross my mind and now that you've mentioned it it seems quite obvious. My sarcasm detector must be broken.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T21:50:27.589Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"So," Harry said, "you know those really simple Artificial Intelligence programs like ELIZA that are programmed to use words in syntactic English sentences only they don't contain any understanding of what the words mean?"

"Of course," said the witch. "I have a dozen of them in my trunk."

Did she mean that she had muggle computer programs? Or did she mean some magical artifacts that work in the same way, or was this just a simple misunderstanding?

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T21:27:45.475Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'd expected this to be spoken by Harry under his cloak (thus `a voice') when I read it. I still think it was Harry, because it makes perfect sense for him to say that (he wishes to attend to Hermione as soon as possible) and it's awfully coherent for someone going into shock.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T20:31:25.524Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not all solvable problems are puzzles. Real world contains solvable problems, and it's more useful for one's calibration to consider real-world-like problems. I would expect a rationalist story to include some red herrings, because they exist in the real world and people normally underestimate their probability.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T20:28:42.296Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The troll is no more. Assuming there is no second troll or any other shenanigans going on, there is no danger anymore. I'm writing this from the point of view of a reader, not any of the characters.

As for the assumption: http://predictionbook.com/predictions/19871

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T19:27:59.432Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I just meant that neglecting additional missing people will likely not put them or anyone else in any danger.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T09:30:36.469Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Remember, HPMOR is a rationalist story. There there are not meant to be red herrings.

I don't quite see why. Real world contains a lot of those.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T09:18:58.680Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Minor point: It doesn't occur to anyone that Hermione might not be the only student who's missing?

Unless there is a second troll, it doesn't seem important.

EDIT: Or the student could be involved with the instigator of the whole conundrum (either as a victim or as a not necessarily willing helper)...

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T09:03:37.725Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't worry about transfiguration sickness: breathing sulphuric acid is probably worse than breathing atomized(?) troll brain matter, and AFAIK sulphuric acid and its salts are either directly harmful or aren't absorbed anywhere interesting in a human.

Now that you've pointed this out, I'm curious: why sulphuric acid? Hydrochloric is simpler.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T08:56:34.363Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Time turners cannot alter anything the user knows about (for some value of `know'), so it would require reenacting this exact scene. So someone would have to simulate Harry's experiences, including the magical event, confuse Harry's patronus as to location of Hermione (or cause Hermione to actually be on scene, albeit invisible), and control the troll, so that it behaved exactly in the way Harry remembers it to have behaved. Also, Dumbledore would need not to tell Harry anything that he couldn't have lied when he said he was responding to the death of a student.

Comment by robryk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T08:41:15.710Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

People believed for a long time that cessation of heartbeat is irreversible. While this is less likely to be such a mistake (wizards have some stasis spells for medical use, so at least sometimes they would have more time to assess whether anything works on such a supposedly dead person), it's still possible.

Also, I'd like to posit this: this is the moment the magic decides the person is no more and from this point on any magic that works on a person won't work on him/her. But, nonmagical intervention and spells that aren't designed to target a person could still reverse it.

Comment by robryk on The Strangest Thing An AI Could Tell You · 2010-10-03T20:00:38.575Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

There was once a C compiler which compiled in a backdoor into login, whenever it was compiled, and compiled in this behaviour whenever it was used to compile its original (without the `special' behaviour) source code.

Comment by robryk on The Strangest Thing An AI Could Tell You · 2010-10-03T19:35:12.348Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, it was used in Terry Pratchett's ``Mort''.