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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality PostPosted: 2012-04-20 09:30pm
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Jedi Master

Joined: 2010-06-28 10:19pm
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That's a relief. He won't accept a slashing with Malfoy. Too much human contact. The world heaves a sigh of relief.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality PostPosted: 2012-04-20 11:20pm
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Stunt Driver / Babysitter

Joined: 2005-11-24 10:35am
Posts: 2136
Location: One Mile Up
I think this conversation, from Chapter 61, sums up why I love this story nicely:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
"We had a lucky break," said Madam Bones's voice, "one of the Aurors who witnessed the escape was a Muggleborn, and she told us that the Flying-Fire spell, as we were calling it, might be no spell at all, but a Muggle artifact."

Like a punch in the stomach, that was how it felt, and the sickness in Minerva's belly redoubled. Anyone who'd watched a Chaos Legion battle knew whose hand that showed...

Madam Bones's voice continued. "We brought in Arthur Weasley from Misuse of Muggle Artifacts - he knows more about Muggle artifacts than any wizard alive - and gave him the descriptions from the Aurors on the scene, and he cracked it. It was a Muggle artifact called a rocker, and they call it that because you'd have to be off your rocker to ride one. Just six years ago one of their rockers blew up, killed hundreds of Muggles in a flash and almost set fire to the Moon. Weasley says that rockers use a special kind of science called opposite reaction, so the plan is to develop a jinx which will prevent that science from working around Azkaban."

"Thank you, Amelia," Albus said gravely. "Is that everything?"

"I'll check if we have anything from six hours forward," said the voice of Madam Bones, "if so they wouldn't have told me, but I'll have them tell you. Do you have anything you want to tell me, Albus? Which of those two possibilities is it looking like?"

"Not yet, Amelia," Albus said, "but I may have word for you soon."

He straightened up from the fire, then, which faded back to ordinary yellow flames. Every minute of the old wizard's years, every natural second since his birth and every second which Time-Turning had added, all of that plus a few extra decades for stress, was visible on his lined face.

"Severus?" the old wizard said. "What was it actually?"

"A rocket," said the half-blood Potions Master, who had grown up in the Muggle town of Spinner's End. "One of the most impressive Muggle technologies."

"How likely is Harry to know such arts?" said Minerva.

Severus drawled, "Oh, a boy like Mr. Potter knows all about rockets; that, dear Minerva, is a certainty. You must remember that things are done differently in the Muggle world."




"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality PostPosted: 2012-04-22 12:38pm
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Jedi Council Member
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Joined: 2004-10-27 01:34pm
Posts: 1794
Lurks-no-More wrote:
Yudkowsky is a nut, if an intelligent and occasionally interesting nut, and this particular fic is horribly overrated.


It's remarkable how often those who most champion and fetishize rationality, logic, or objectivism become the biggest enemies of those causes.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality PostPosted: 2012-04-24 10:24pm
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Sith Marauder
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Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Battlehymn Republic wrote:
Lurks-no-More wrote:
Yudkowsky is a nut, if an intelligent and occasionally interesting nut, and this particular fic is horribly overrated.


It's remarkable how often those who most champion and fetishize rationality, logic, or objectivism become the biggest enemies of those causes.


Having never met the man, what about him disturbs/annoys all of you so much?



"Any plan which requires the direct intervention of any deity to work can be assumed to be a very poor one."- Newbiespud

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality PostPosted: 2012-04-25 12:22am
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Jedi Council Member
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I don't think it's Yudkowsky per se, but LessWrong in general is very well-meaning in that they're a community of rationalists trying to fight against irrationalism but then they fall into their own cargo cults. RationalWiki covers it quite well. The section about the Ugly is most hilarious because the Singularitarians of the community suddenly fall into a hysterical witchhunt.

Quote:
One source of considerable HCM was the "Forbidden Post", or "basilisk". Yudkowsky is interested in what could be described as causality that goes backwards in time: future events "causing" past events[22] by the mechanism of having something in the present simulate what someone will do in the future and using the results in the present, e.g. not giving a gun to someone you predict will shoot you. This gets odd when you imagine super-human intelligences because their predictions may be near perfect.[23] Roko (a top contributor at the time) wondered if a future Friendly AI would punish people who didn't do everything in their power to further the AI research from which this AI originated, by at the very least donating all they have to it. He reasoned that every day without AI, bad things happen (150,000+ people die every day, war is fought, millions go hungry) and a future Friendly AI would want to prevent this, so it might punish those who understood the importance of donating but didn't donate all they could. He then wondered if future AIs would be more likely to punish those who had wondered if future AIs would punish them. That final thought proved too much for some LessWrong readers, who then had nightmares about being tortured for not donating enough to SIAI.[24] Eliezer Yudkowsly replied to Roko's post calling him names and claiming that posting such things on an Internet forum could have caused incalculable harm to the people who read it. Four hours later, Eliezer Yudkowsly deleted Roko's post[25] including all comments. Roko left LessWrong, deleting his thousands of posts and comments[26]. (He later briefly returned [27], and posted among other things that "I agree that the post in question should not appear in public"[28] and "I wish I had never learned about any of these ideas"[29].)

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 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality PostPosted: 2012-04-28 07:18am
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And that sort of stupid bullshit is why, despite having plenty of interest in transhumanist ideas, I can't take the Singularitarians and other such groups seriously.

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