I recall Yudkowsky circa 2004 going on about how it was absolutely critical not to get distracted from Friendly AI research, then he goes and spends the next eight years doing anything but FAI research. While the SIAI rakes in donnations on the strength of organising popsci futurism conferences. To be fair they have now published a little bit of actually valuable research, but the time and money efficiency is pretty horrible.
That's a very fair point.
I bet if you asked him, he'd say he was trying to pull a von Braun- the man was really only a mediocre rocket scientist, and he accomplished a lot more by organizing other rocket scientists than he ever would have done with his own hands and a drawing board.
But I don't really think that's a convincing or worthwhile excuse, so meh.
mr friendly guy wrote:
Can anyone tell me what makes this so different from the Potter books? Keep in mind I haven't read it, and I have only seen the first few movies, using bits of pieces of it. I did however find the fan fic where Harry uses a gun to blow up Slitherins very entertaining. In an iconoclastic kind of way.
In the books, Harry Potter is a basically normal child, with somewhat neglectful and hostile parents (I don't think they really went into full-on abuse of the "lock the kid in the basement/beat the tar out of him" variety). Also, various parties make sillier plans. That makes all the difference.
Wow. That is so incredibly lame.
Because when I think 'big flaws in Harry Potter' my first thought obviously runs to 'exchange rates don't mesh with reality' and not, you know, any of the actual flaws of the books.
It's something that was mentioned but not dwelled on, except as a background "I have an idea for making a lot of money very quickly, but that's for later." Basically, it comes up the first time Harry visits Diagon Alley, and is mentioned at most in passing after that.
I'm sure there are other flaws in the work, but I don't think mentioning
something like that is one of them; in theory gaming precious metal exchange rates would be a workable way to make a lot of money in a hurry in magical Britain, and that's all it's ever treated as.
Yeah, This also has been recommended in the fanfic forum many times. The concept remains uninteresting to me. Just like all those fanfics that boil down to ' guns always win! hurray!'.
For the really devoted fans, I think part of the interest comes in the way the author fiddles with the motivations and behavior of the characters- a lot of them act very differently, and the environment reacts to them accordingly. There are certain people who don't come across well- Dumbledore is written as one of those characters who's supposed to be at least sort of intelligent and competent, but is too mysterious and inactive and cryptic to look
competent. And I think that's one of the real flaws, not the exchange rate things.