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Open Thread, May 25 - May 31, 2015

You worry about that all-important status when you fear losing it.

Want to win? Then focus on winning, not on not-losing. You need to if you want to be seen as high-status, anyway. Fear of loss is low-status, so is worrying about what others think.

Navigate the minefield, sure. But do it from a position of strength, not of weakness.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 111

Harry pulled the trigger. Bang or click?

What happens if you AK someone keyed to the horcrux 2.0 network?

Prediction: If Hermione is AK'd, her soul will be shunted to the network. There will be no death burst and Voldemort's horcruxing attempt fails. Then things get interesting.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there seem to be two separate challenges on the Potions room parchment: a simple one consistent with canon and the skills and abilities of the target audience, and a complex one requiring an hour or so of careful and precise work. Looks like Harry and Quirrelmort focus exclusively on the long formula, ignoring the puzzle.

On rereading the relevant part of Ch. 107, it appears that Harry has an idea he doesn't want to share shortly after the broomstick conversation. On a close reading, it appears that he manages to avoid the topic, first evading a request to answer a question in parseltongue by talking about Snape, then veering further off topic with dementors.

So did Harry manage to pull a fast one? Are the Effulgence instructions forged? If so, by whom? Is the duration of one hour significant for time-turning? What did I miss?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89

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

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.

You'd need polyjuice for the visual appearance, and either Hermione's presence or a fake Patronus for past-Harry to follow. Hermione is unlikely to go along with the plan willingly sho she'd need to be tricked or incapacitated. Hard to tell which would be easier.

Given the last words, Hermione's doppelganger might need to be complicit with the plan. Easy to accomplish if it was Harry, but I think he's too utilitarian for that. He'd need someone loyal but expendable. Lesath would seem to fit the bill, but I wonder if he'd agree to literally die on Harry's command.

Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013

Lesswrongers are surprised by this? It appears figuring out metabolism and nutrition is harder than I thought.

I believe that obesity is a problem of metabolic regulation, not overeating, and this result seems to support my belief. Restricting calories to regulate your weight is akin to opening the fridge door to regulate its temperature. It might work for a while but in the long run you'll end up breaking both your fridge and your budget. Far better to figure out how to adjust the termostat.

Some of the things that upregulate your fat set point are a history of starvation (that's why calorie restriction is bad in the long run), toxins in your food, sugars (especially fructose - that stuff is toxic) and grains. Wheat is particularly bad - it can serioysly screw with your gut and is addictive to boot.

Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013

I'm pretty sure "trying to eat less" is exactly the wrong thing to do. Calorie restriction just triggers the starvation response which makes things worse in the long run.

Change what you eat, not how much.

Open Thread, April 15-30, 2013

You have it backwards. The bet you need to look at is the risk you're insuring against, not the insurance transaction.

Every day you're betting that your house won't burn down today. You're very likely to win but you're not making much of a profit when you do. What fraction of your bankroll is your house worth, how likely is it to survive the day and how much will you make when it does? That's what you need to apply the Kelly criterion to.

Personal Evidence - Superstitions as Rational Beliefs

Have you checked the house for mold? The night terrors seem pretty well-explained by mycotoxins and the odds of the other weirdness also go up if something is screwing with your biochemistry.

Arguments against the Orthogonality Thesis

Imagine that two exact replicas of a person exist in different locations, exactly the same except for an antagonism in one of their values. Both could not be correct at the same time about that value.

The two can't be perfectly identical if they disagree. You have to additionally assume that the discrepancy is in the parts that reason about their values instead of the values themselves for the conclusion to hold.

Rationality Quotes February 2013

Want to be like or appear to be like? I'm not convinced people can be relied on to make the distinction, much less choose the "correct" one.

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