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I guess it could work either way. I mean, Nagini could be obeying Voldemort by virtue of being a well-trained pet, the Basilisk for... whatever reasons the Basilisk does anything for, and Malfoy's summoned snake might listen to Harry because it's inclined to grant random non-difficult favors when asked. None of those seem any less probable than snakes winking, talking, having theory of mind, speaking in ridiculous hisses or knowing Spanish. In fact, none of the snakes in this series seem like snakes at all, so I'm not sure what my priors are regarding them.

Parseltongue speakers don't just talk with snakes, they command them.

Do they really? The boa constrictor seemed pretty interested in its own stuff, Nagini is a pet and pets in general are obedient, Harry didn't command the Basilisk... so is this actually canon? Admittedly, maybe I just missed something, but I don't remember this.

Wow. That's really cool, thank you. Upvoted you, jeremysalwen and Nornagest. :)

Could you also explain why the HPMoR universe isn't Turing computable? The time-travel involved seems simple enough to me.

If this weren't Less Wrong, I'd just slink away now and pretend I never saw this, but:

I don't understand this comment, but it sounds important. Where can I go and what can I read that will cause me to understand statements like this in the future?

this should mean that humans raised in cultural and social vacuums ought to be disproportionately talented at everything

And yet, they're actually worse at many cognitive tasks. Language, especially, is pretty hard for them to pick up after a certain point.

What if the problem isn't that it's too cognitively taxing, but that, applied in the sloppy way most people apply their heuristics, it could lead to irrational choices or selfish behavior?

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