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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread

Yes, me[2010-05] did not think of that :) I agree now

Dissolving the Question

It's like how in a dream, you can see someone and know who they're supposed to be, even though they may look and act nothing like that person they supposedly are. Or how you can be in both the first and third person perspective at the same time.

Heh, I've recently had a few weird half-lucid dreams, where on some level I seem to know that I'm dreaming, but don't follow this to its logical conclusions and don't gain much intentionality from it... In one of them, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a long time and later found he'd left something of his with me, and I wanted to return it to him. So I thought I'd look him up on Facebook and message him there; but, I reasoned, this is a dream, so what if that wasn't who I thought it was, but just someone else who looked exactly like him? So I felt I'd rather avoid going that route lest I message him and then feel foolish if it did turn out to be someone else, somehow accounting for this aspect of dreams but not noticing that this being a dream meant there was no real social risk to me and no pressing need to return his property in the first place. (Also kind of amusing that in retrospect he actually didn't look that much like the person he was supposed to be, yet in the dream I was able to know who he was while wondering "what if that was someone else who just looked like him?".)

Last night I had a dream which for some time rendered reality in aerial view as a sprite grid resembling old Gameboy RPGs, including a little pixel character who I knew was me.

Less Wrong Polls in Comments

The largest number is about 45,000,000,000, although mathematicians suspect that there may be even larger numbers. (45,000,000,001?)

Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012)

Yay, it is you!

(I've followed your blog and your various other deeds on-and-off since 2002-2003ish and have always been a fan; good to have you here.)

Help! Name suggestions needed for Rationality-Inst!

Shut Up and Multiply (SUM)

Unfortunately that's not even a very good phrase to begin with, let alone as a name for an organization. People hearing it for the first time without context mostly seem to assume that refers to reproduction, presumably by comparison to the phrase "be fruitful and multiply", or at least have that come to mind and are confused about what it has to do with rationality.

My Wild and Reckless Youth

Would a "perfect implementation of Bayes", in the sense you meant here, be a Solomonoff inductor (or similar, perhaps modified to work better with anthropic problems), or something perfect at following Bayesian probability theory but with no prior specified (or a less universal one)? If the former, you are in fact most of the way to an agent, at least some types of agents, e.g. AIXI.

POSITION: Design and Write Rationality Curriculum

I thought the same and wondered if it might have been intentional and meant ironically (since IIRC that is not meant to be the actual eventual name of the organization anyway). Either way, not the best association.

New SI publications design

Last year I formatted the TDT paper in LaTeX to teach myself LaTeX. (It's done, aside from a diagram that was missing from the original and possibly a citation or two that were underspecified.) Would this be useful to you, if I reformatted it for the new template?

New SI publications design

It's a Google Group, sending any email to that address will indeed subscribe you to the list.

Welcome to Less Wrong!

Or you've been neglecting to treat your Spontaneous Duplication.

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