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Comment by wirov on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) · 2012-05-07T18:39:57.560Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hi, I'm a (white, male) physics student from Germany and 20 years old. My main reason for not believing in any religion is Occam's razor. (I'm not sure whether this makes me atheist or agnostic. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated.)

I stumbled across HPMoR by accident in 2010 and read "Three Worlds Collide" and some other texts on Eliezer's personal website. During 2011, I did some Sequences-hopping (i.e. I started at one article and just followed inline links that sounded interesting, thus causing a tab explosion) I finally registered a few weeks ago to join the recent MoR discussion threads. For the future, I plan to read the Sequences in the intended order (which will probably take me until at least 2013) and join some other discussions from time to time.

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-26T15:39:07.412Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, okay. If I remember correctly, this was suggested by Dumbledore in canon (with some handwaving about Voldemort not noticing it, because his soul is too hurt), that's probably why this didn't occur to me.

I read the scene as the stratosphere idea being a precursor to the space idea, not an idea on it's own. Although after re-reading, I'm not so sure anymore…

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-26T15:31:27.101Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

No, this does not explain any dormant-times. See chapter 20: While Quirrell shows Harry the sphere of stars, he is not in zombie mode; he talks to Harry and even notices Dumbledore's imminent arrival.

Note though, that this doesn't not rule out the hypothesis of him visiting his Horcruxes during zombie mode – for all we know, there might be another mechanism one could use to check on one's Horcruxes.

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-26T15:24:38.933Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That they're in places with a not-so-good view? In chapter 46, Harry guesses:

"Well," said Harry, "besides trying to get [something you don't want found] into the molten core of the planet, you could bury it in solid rock a kilometer underground in a randomly selected location - maybe teleport it in, if there's some way to do that blindly, or drill a hole and repair the hole afterward; the important thing would be not to leave any traces leading there, so it's just an anonymous cubic meter somewhere in the Earth's crust. You could drop it into the Mariana Trench, that's the deepest depth of ocean on the planet - or just pick some random other ocean trench, to make it less obvious.

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-20T13:20:07.736Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

… thus killing one human per incarnation, thus creating one horcrux per incarnation.

Now, if there were some way to automate the whole getting-a-body-business …

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-14T20:56:55.451Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Well … Arthur's the one who's fond of Muggle technology. Molly didn't really approve of the flying car in the second book and she definitely didn't approve of the stitches, so it's rather unlikely that she'd approve of some Muggle invention made from rubber which Arthur suggests for contraception.

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-11T12:44:53.768Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There was a bookcase containing random books rescued from a bargain bin, and a full shelf of ancient magazines, including one from 1883.

Funny. 1883 seems to be the year Grindelwald was born. (Although that's not sure – it even says “c. 1882” in the main article.)

I can't see how this might be related to the rest of the story, and most probably this is just a way of telling us “Yes, these magazines are ancient.“ On the other hand, this 1926/1927 thing made me somewhat more susceptible to possibly meaningful dates …

Comment by wirov on Rationality Quotes April 2012 · 2012-04-05T12:00:25.044Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Could you rot13 the word fpvrapr in the last paragraph? For me, finally getting the meaning of the princess at the end was such a beautiful realization that I wouldn't like to spoil it for others…

(I highly recommend the game too. In fact, I've already bought it several times – once for me, and as a gift for others.)

Comment by wirov on SotW: Be Specific · 2012-04-05T09:21:10.139Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What I like about this exercise is, that it doesn't require any teacher/judge/… who decides what is specific enough (and may thus cause frustration in participants who disagree). Instead, the exercise ends when everyone agrees on the statements meaning – i.e. when the statement is "specific enough".

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-26T23:30:22.851Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

if [Harry] asked [Hermione] the right questions under veritaserum he could probably find out about the huge chunk of missing time she has in her memory

What huge chunk of time is missing from her memory?

The only moments she misses are (according to Harry's theory)

  • the moment in which she remembers seeing Draco and Snape plotting against her, which was implanted by a FMC and removed after the duel (leaving all the true but misleading memories of being furious at Draco in place)
  • and a short time intervall after the duel, where the false memories of her performing the Blood Cooling charm were inserted.

In addition, we can assume that these memory charms were very precisely executed because of their utmost importance to the plan. Thus, even the transitions between these false memories and the true memories surrounding them would probably be unnoticable. (Remember, a legilimency expert already checked her.)

(Of course, there is also the Groundhog Day incident when she really lost a huge chunk of time – but it's not related to this event in any way that's obvious to Harry. I'm not aware of any evidence that he even knows about that.)

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-26T08:09:02.042Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

He also believes that performing the Blood-Cooling Charm was a false memory. (At least that's how I understand the following quotes from ch. 79.) I'll admit however, that the evidence is not as clear as I thought, when I wrote the previous comment.

"Draco didn't do anything, Hermione didn't do anything, they were both False-Memory-Charmed!" Harry Potter's voice had been rising on the last words. "How is that not BLOODY OBVIOUS?"

[…]

"Ah!" Harry said suddenly. "I get it now. The first False Memory Charm was cast on Hermione after Professor Snape yelled at her, and showed, say, Draco and Professor Snape plotting to kill her. Then last night that False Memory was removed by Obliviation, leaving behind the memories of her obsessing about Draco for no apparent reason, at the same time she and Draco were given false memories of the duel."

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-26T07:43:53.879Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If it were, one could argue that Harry's certainty re: the false-memory charm deliberately fools the reader.

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-25T23:02:08.293Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

On the other hand, if I take "he's only three minutes late" as evidence that he did it, and "he's more than three minutes late" as evidence that he did it, I'm violating a principle of rationality.

If you take "he's just a few minutes late" as strong evidence that he did it, "he's quite a while late" as weak evidence that he did it and "he's early" as very strong evidence that he did not do it, this violation disappears.

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-25T19:23:56.771Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Modulo Harry, those tactics were good enough – no doubt about that. But were they optimal?

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-25T14:52:09.486Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I assumed they were referring to the Philosopher's Stone, which (at least in canon) is hidden in the third floor corridor.

Comment by wirov on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 12 · 2012-03-25T13:25:04.668Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Short detour back to chapter 79, to look closely at the night's events:

At midnight, Draco and Hermine meet for the duel. (Let's assume they did have a duel, because implanting very believable (but still false) memories into both of their brains would take about twice the time of the duel and would thus be unnecessary work.) Let's assume that the duell takes about 15 to 20 minutes, so it's now 12:20am. Enter Mister X. Mister X stuns Draco, implants false memories (< 1 min) into Hermione's brain of her doing the Blood-Cooling Charm, and finally performs the Blood-Cooling Charm on Draco in a way to make sure he survives for >6 hours. Mister X is back in his room at 12:30am and needs to wait 6 hours (plus epsilon) until all traces leading to him have vanished.

And guess what:

At 6:33am, Quirinus Quirrell had Flooed St. Mungo's from his office for immediate pickup of Draco Malfoy.

Some Bayesian updating on P(Quirrell did it | Quirrell found Draco at 6:33am) tells us that this increases the probability of "Quirrell did it" by a quite noticeable amount.

OTOH, I'm not sure whether it would be okay to just do the math, without taking into account the possibility that Eliezer chose that time deliberately to steer us in a certain direction. Any thoughts on that?