Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-04T20:35:27.045Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Didn't Harry JUST learn a lesson about not keeping secrets and assuming he's smarter than the rest of the world put together?

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T16:22:51.649Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

He could have just Obliviated himself if that's all he wanted.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T10:22:08.667Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Pretty sure the Atlantians created the Source. There's probably a dyson sphere in our star cluster providing all the power needed for magic.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T08:43:10.800Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Safest option would have been the dementor's kiss. Or, if the kiss isn't a thing in MoRverse, tossing his wand to them as Harry had mused.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115 · 2015-03-04T08:21:33.463Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Looks like I had the right idea after all. I think strands of strong acid or a highly reactive alkaline metal would have been a safer tactic than the nano-wire garrotes, since Harry wouldn't need to spend the extra action to constrict, but apparently Eliezer had this planned out from chapter one and it was too late to change it (due to the silver line, black robes, etc).

What came after, though? Not quite as convincing for me. I can't believe that Harry was able to transfigure Voldemort despite the resonance cascade. I also am skeptical that Voldemort didn't have any passive shields up against stunners. And what the hell is harry even trying to do with this convoluted ploy with Hermione anyway? Hasn't he learned anything about trying overly-complicated plots?

I'd also be VERY concerned about Voldemort having backup memories stored in his horcruxes, especially since some of them are of the old fashioned personality blueprint kind.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-02T16:13:07.257Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also,question. Do our suggestions need to be posted on fanfiction.net, or does this thread count?

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-02T16:10:08.227Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"You needed worthy opponentss,"

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-02T14:56:20.255Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It wouldn't be a projectile. It would be transfiguring part of the enemy INTO acid or some other deadly substance by including a bit of their body inside of Harry's conceptual "object."

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T21:22:12.267Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Wouldn't you need partial transfiguration to make the spike out of a piece of earth?

Regardless, that's not what I'm proposing that Harry should do. I'm saying he should use partial transfiguration to make acid or cesium threads through the air that include the death eaters and Voldemort's handgun in the transfigured material. That has never been done before, and its likely there won't be defenses against it.

Comment by tuviadulin on Cognitive Biases due to a Narcissistic Parent, Illustrated by HPMOR Quotations · 2015-03-01T21:16:32.791Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting analysis. I'd agree, except that we just learned that Harry got a big chunk of Voldemort's personality downloaded into him as a baby, and Voldemort is a narcissistic, amoral, manipulative trainwreck of a human being. Petunia might have played a role, but I think the author's intent is that these are Voldemort's traits making themselves known.

One wonders, though, if perhaps Tom Riddle had a narcissistic caretaker in the orphanage that raised him. Unlike canon!Riddle, the MoR version doesn't seem to have been born a sociopath, but rather made one.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T14:33:42.371Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Would would Harry not transfigure it from the ground? Or the air from that matter? What else does he have to work with?

And he'd be transfiguring part of their bodies too.

Wouldn't work on Voldie due to resonance cascade, but he could disable the uzi.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T14:02:35.617Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Best answers I've heard or devised so far:

  1. Leonhart's suggestion below. Probably the best rhetorical move Harry could possibly make.

  2. Harry's portkey is transfigured into a tiny chip implanted under his own skin. It would be totally in character for him to do that.

  3. If he has the range, transfigure long, thin tendrils that overlap with Voldemort and the death eaters' spinal cords at the neck level. Thin so that he doesn't have to work with as much mass/volume.

  4. Transfigure the air around him into a carbon nanotube shell, buying himself time for another spell.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 113 · 2015-03-01T13:58:36.454Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

No one has been able to transfigure a piece of the air or ground before, as far as anyone knows, so the shields might not be designed to block that.

Transfigured tendrils that intersect all the bad guys' spinal cords at the neck level would do the trick. Only question is if Harry has the range to do that.

Comment by tuviadulin on Tsuyoku Naritai! (I Want To Become Stronger) · 2013-12-25T16:20:09.023Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Regardless, there is a good reason for the plural pronoun.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 22, chapter 93 · 2013-08-15T06:16:01.273Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If he wants Harry to destroy the current universe and create a new one in its place, encouraging cynicism with the current world would make sense.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 22, chapter 93 · 2013-08-15T06:14:05.810Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It was because his father was raped? I thought Tom's sociopathy was just a random result of generations of incest on his mother's side.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 22, chapter 93 · 2013-07-06T15:24:22.805Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Calling it. Voldemort is a well-intentioned extremist who did everything that he's done for the sake of bringing a being like Harry into the world so that he can remake it into a paradise.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90 · 2013-07-03T06:07:18.475Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What I'm surprised Harry didn't think of was bringing her to a muggle hospital. A combination of muggle and wizard medicine should be able to overcome some plain old shock and blood loss, no?

Comment by tuviadulin on How to Beat Procrastination · 2013-06-15T00:20:10.537Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I just read this article instead of doing my homework.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2013-03-25T14:49:53.847Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Convincing people that intelligence explosion is a bad idea might discourage them from unleashing one. No violence there.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2013-01-23T15:27:00.328Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Conclusion: intelligence explosion might not be a good idea.

Comment by tuviadulin on Babies and Bunnies: A Caution About Evo-Psych · 2012-10-25T08:47:25.202Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This may not be the best place to ask, but is Evolutionary Psychology actually falsifiable?

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-06-07T08:14:15.950Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The fact that she was designed just for me...that in itself would ruin it for me.

Comment by tuviadulin on Special Status Needs Special Support · 2012-04-30T04:22:36.411Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That "difference" comes from the culture surrounding the two books, not any innate property or value of the books themselves.

Comment by tuviadulin on The Sword of Good · 2012-04-11T20:10:41.446Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Did you learn this from an unbiased source?"

I'm pretty sure it was in Tolkien's notes.

"Suppose you're the prime minister of a parliamentary republic, and the neighboring country is ruled by hereditary nobility that mostly hate each other, and wars between the barons ruin a lot of the land and kill a lot of the peasants. You, being a genius engineer, have figured out a way to control people, but it requires they wear the device for an extended period of time, the effects are obvious, and they can take it off before the process is complete if they feel like it."

Except that's exactly what Sauron DIDN'T do. Mordor was not a parliamentary republic; more like a military dictatorship with semi-mindless orc drones enforcing Sauron's commands over his human subjects. The monarchs who were given the rings - however just or unjust their rule might have been, and however flawed the notion of monarchy as a political system - were lied to about what the rings did, and the rings' effects were very subtle at first.

Its also worth noting that the human kings didn't become any kinder or more democratic in their sensibilities once they fell under Sauron's influence. The Witch King was still a king, and a much more murderous one than he was in life. Unleashing barrow-wrights on a partially civilian population, torturing Gollum for information, and stabbing an innocent (if possibly misguided) hobbit when he didn't have to are all things that the Witch King did in person.

"This hereditary nobility situation is obviously not going to fix itself- and you figure that the easiest way to fix it is to corrupt all the nobility, playing on their hatred of each other to get them to wear the devices long enough for them to work, and then have them give you power in a bloodless coup. As a bonus, you now have fanatically loyal assassins / spec ops forces, and an eternity of servitude seems like a fitting punishment for their misconduct as rulers."

In other words, the only way to improve the world is to become just as bad as the people currently running it? The best solution to dictatorships is to make slaves of your own, and for all eternity no less?

I think you're going out of your way to defend Brin's essay rather than actually using your own moral judgement. You can easily say that the "good guys" in Lord of the Rings weren't all that good, but Sauron was very obviously worse.

Comment by tuviadulin on The Sword of Good · 2012-04-11T19:29:32.365Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'd like to think I would have noticed the moral problems with what the "good" guys were doing on my own, and without the benefit of knowing who the author was. I think I would have, but I'm not totally confidence in my Milgram Resistance.

The ending did bother me, though. Why was Hirou willing to believe everything Vhazhar told him without trying to verify it? Why did he kill Dolf instead of accepting that Dolf was simply limited by the moral myopia of his own society, which he clearly was? Maybe exceptionally good people like Vhazhar could see the problems with the status quo, but it wouldn't take an exceptionally evil person to NOT see them, so Dolf wasn't necessarily a bad guy. Couldn't Hirou have looked for another wizard who was willing to volunteer for the process? Or, hell, found some other trustworthy person to become the new god, and let Vhazhar prove his virtue by sacrificing his OWN wizardly ass to fuel the spell? He didn't even ask Vhazhar what his new world would look like; he just decided that Vhazhar's ideas were probably good, and that he could be trusted to not become corrupt.

I guess that ending was the best we could expect from someone like Hirou.

Comment by tuviadulin on The Sword of Good · 2012-04-11T19:07:44.330Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think Sauron did enough explicitly evil stuff to make himself the bad guy. Tricking the Numenorians into destroying themselves out of spite is pretty hard to justify.

There's also the fact that orcs don't have free will. They were created from tortured elves and mindraped into obedience. The fact that Sauron was willing to use them as canon fodder rather than trying to find a way to reverse what Melkor did to them speaks worlds about his moral virtue.

Finally, the rings. Using mind control to turn foreign leaders into your obedient thralls, consoling them with the promise that they will be able to crush others under their heel as you crushed them. Real nice of Sauron.

Middle Earth was a flawed world filled with the same evils and injustices as our own, but Sauron was almost definitely the worst thing in it. I'll give David Brin some credit, though, as Tolkien did a pretty bad job of explaining the situation in Lord of the Rings. You have to read the Silmarilion (or, as in my case, talk to another guy who has read the Silmarilion, as I lacked the patience to wade through another gazillion pages of archaic English) to understand what's going on, which is a major failing of LotR.

Comment by tuviadulin on The Sword of Good · 2012-04-11T18:52:40.241Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed. His willingness to kill Dolf without asking any questions or making any attempts to verify the Dark Lord's statements just shows that Hirou still hasn't learned anything.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-04T19:03:30.758Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Dementors don't act like death incarnate, though. Death isn't reactive to human expectations and sensibilities. Death doesn't go out of its way to try to destroy people. Death is just a force of nature (or, rather, the point at which a force of nature terminates). Dementors act like a superstitious anthropomorphization of death.

We also know that there is a dark ritual that summons Death, which Quirrel knows but is afraid to perform.

We know, too, that spells modify reality based on the caster's understanding of the natural world, rather than using the most simple and nature-compliant approach.

I have a very strong suspicion that the first dementors were created by the ritual that Quirrel spoke of. They are a fearful, human-imagined depiction of death, created by the spells of primitive wizards who didn't understand death's impersonal and causal nature. What I wonder, though, is whether casting that ritual is the ONLY way to create new dementors, or if they are also capable of reproducing on their own once summoned. According to the books, dementors can reproduce via a mysterious process that bathes the countryside in fog, but Yudkowsky's dementors are already quite different from Rowling's. It may be that their numbers remain constant unless someone uses that dark ritual to create more of them or a spell like Harry's ubertronus to destroy some.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-04-04T05:51:45.763Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

That's only a legal formality, though. Harry hates the wizard society and wouldn't use its laws against her, and he'd discourage others from acknowledging it.

Still, Hermione (unlike Harry) cares what others think of her, so being surrounded by people who act as if she belongs to Harry is going to hurt her.

Comment by tuviadulin on Epilogue: Atonement (8/8) · 2012-04-03T10:05:48.290Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Does the notion of future humans being irrational, self-deluded hypocrites really strike you as so implausible? Just because they think they're smarter than our generation doesn't mean they actually are.

Comment by tuviadulin on No, Really, I've Deceived Myself · 2012-04-03T07:18:51.248Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I've thought about this as well. Its basically the same question as "If I had the option of living in a virtual reality fantasy world without ever knowing that the real world existed, and I would be happier in the VR world, would I rather live there?" Is increased happiness worth the cost of self-deception?

I've tried to do what you describe. It didn't work, and it made me feel cheap, like I wasn't respecting myself. That's just my own subjective experience of course.

Comment by tuviadulin on Fictional Bias · 2012-04-02T15:05:15.280Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I read the first few sentences and was about to start formulating my enraged response, but then I looked at the date. Well played, my friend. Well played.

Comment by tuviadulin on Building Weirdtopia · 2012-04-01T22:46:56.732Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Economic: money is obsolete. Due to the ease of travel, transportation, and communication in this world, the problems with barter have evaporated, and we've gone back to our ancestral exchange of goods and services. For those instances when the only person who has what you want doesn't want anything that you have, you can use a barter broker, which incurs an additional expense no worse than exchanging currency or buying on credit today.

Sexual: we've biologically altered ourselves to not care so ridiculously much about sex anymore. Its still a fun thing to do, and people who want it still have it, but its not something that takes up a large portion of our mental energy. Laws about sex and romance are nearly nonexistent, due to it being seen as trivial. Rape is still illegal, but its also less likely to be committed in the first place (since the people who would be rapists in our world are more likely to commit other, non-sexual crimes of domination in this one).

Governmental: human beaurocrats directed and organized by a powerful AI. The AI has a "constitution" hardcoded into it, but other than that it obeys the voters on all policy decisions. Everyone can vote on every policy question via computer terminals at their local government office. Some policies require a mere majority vote to be put into action; other, more drastic ones require a 2/3 or 3/4 vote.

Technological: we all live in the Matrix.

Cognitive: we've genetically modified ourselves into a caste-based society, with people being born with different cognitive faculties and dispositions that make them ideal for certain careers. No one is forced into a certain career, but they are born with a strong inclination to desire the kind of work that they will naturally excel at. There are three basic castes to this hive. At the bottom are unskilled laborers who are just barely sentient, and cheerfully do mindless work and enjoy simple pleasures. In the middle are specialists with IQ's and personalities tailored for various skilled jobs. At the top are hyperintelligent, omni-benevolent cyborg bureaucrats.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-04-01T20:16:58.325Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, maybe not strictly impossible, but probably harder than using one of the moons of Jupiter, or building a giant space colony with a simulated earthlike environment.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-04-01T20:11:11.854Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Personally, knowing that my verthandis were created specifically for me would make me want them less. Even if they were strong-willed, intelligent, and independent, I'd still -know- that their existence is tailored to suit my tastes, and this would prevent me from seeing them as real people. And I'd want real women.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-04-01T19:53:40.961Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see how those are mutually exclusive.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-04-01T19:35:24.136Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

The clever fool doesn't seem to have taken these facts into account. He was a fool, after all.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-04-01T19:33:58.593Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Presumably, your own personal verthandi(s) would have other hobbies, because you would want them to.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-04-01T19:24:33.105Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Well, realistically speaking Venus is probably impossible to terraform at all. The Mars and Venus thing seems to be included just for the symbolic value.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-04-01T19:06:37.551Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't get that impression, after reading this within the context of the rest of the sequence. Rather, it seems like a warning about the importance of foresight when planning a transhuman future. The "clever fool" in the story (presumably a parody of the author himself) released a self-improving AI into the world without knowing exactly what it was going to do or planning for every contingency.

Basically, the moral is: don't call the AI "friendly" until you've thought of every single last thing.

Comment by tuviadulin on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-04-01T18:57:32.029Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

When the critical 90% threshold is reached and the AI self-destructs, will there be anything left behind to ensure human safety? He said that the world he created will remain in his wake, but will it be able to maintain itself without his sentient oversight? Is there any completely reliable mechanism that could prevent ecological collapse, or a deadly mutation in the catgirls/boys, or a failure in the robots that protect people from harm?

If not, then the clever fool who created the AI was really, really a fool. You'd think he'd have at least included a contingency that makes the AI reset everything back to the way it was before it self-destructs....

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-03-28T20:17:51.777Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This is by far the likeliest explanation I've seen. It does lead one to wonder how many wizards are sitting on huge piles of muggle money and slowly converting it into galleons as needed.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-28T06:16:19.683Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is it bad that I totally want this line to appear in the story now?

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-23T06:13:18.838Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

And, as we already know, Quirrel is a very, very good con man.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-13T13:14:03.561Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If Voldemort's possession ability worked like that, though, why wouldn't he just use Quirrel's body for that? You'd think that he would make sure to use his smartest host for anything requiring puzzle solving or careful manipulation.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-03-05T19:32:40.456Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think its worse than that for Harry.

Remember that one possible means of Voldemort's resurrection is possessing someone, like he is now (presumably) possessing Quirrel. I think he ultimately plans to turn Harry into a perfect host for himself, and then jump into Harry's body once the latter has conquered the world for him.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-03-05T19:22:31.576Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Voldemort. He'd summon Voldemort's ghost and make it tell him the spells it learned from Salazar's basilisk.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-03-05T19:18:03.573Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if this is a reference to the movie "Amelie," with her seemingly supernatural ability to correctly guess how many orgasms are taking place in Paris at any given moment.

Comment by tuviadulin on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9 · 2012-03-05T19:05:34.925Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting theory. Though one wonders why Dumbledore didn't just grab the diary and bring it to a safe location before destroying it.

Maybe there was some kind of alarm that would have instantly summoned Lucius if it was taken out of the house? Then again, if you had an alarm system, you'd think someone casting the most destructive spell known to the modern world inside your house would also trip it...