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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98

... and I know I really shouldn't, but I just couldn't resist.

image, SFW, foolishness

Hope that helps with the mental association problem.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98

I thought it probably wouldn't be necessary, but I wasn't certain, and I figured it would be the better part of valor. Basically, I'm not sure how to proceed under the declaration that the identity of an extremely central character is supposed to be a spoiler now; it seems like even using the name Dhveeryzbeg unscrambled would break the rule.

I didn't make the Zoidberg connection until you pointed it out, but I did think that "D-Zbeg" was an immensely more awesome nickname than the term it was rot13'd from.

And now I can't see "Dhveeryzbeg" either without thinking it must be some relative of Dr. Zoidberg's. Dangit, now every scene he's in, I'm gonna expect him to exit going "woo-woo-woo-woo" and clacking his claws.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98

Just occurred to me that if D-Zbeg vf chggvat na njshy ybg bs rssbeg, naq nccnerag npghny pbaprea, vagb funcvat Uneel'f zvaqfrg gbjneq gur 'Qnex Fvqr', vs uvf cyna vf gb whfg gnxr cbffrffvba bs gur xvq yngre. Gung frrzf gb zr gb vzcyl svir cbffvovyvgvrf, va nfpraqvat beqre bs yvxryvubbq:

  1. D. pnerf jurgure Uneel'f orunivbe nccrnef cuvybfbcuvpnyyl pbafvfgrag;

  2. Fbzr fbeg bs 'flzcngul' orgjrra zvaqf vf arprffnel gb rssrpg cbffrffvba, be creuncf gb 'njnxra' gur fbhy-sentzrag vafvqr Uneel;

  3. D.vf irel qrqvpngrq gb uvf cuvybfbcul naq ungrf gb unir vg synhagrq ol fbzr qnza xvq;

  4. Gur cbffrffvba cneg bs gur cyna vf zrnag gb gnxr cynpr bayl nsgre Uneel unf qbar n snve nzbhag bs Qnex Ybeqvat nyernql;

  5. Gurer vf ab cbffrffvba vaibyirq, nf D. jbhyq engure or pncgnva bs gur F.F. Qnex Ybeq Uneel'f Ervta guna gur svtherurnq.

Other possibilities surely exist that I'm overlooking, including the possibility that this line of speculation is entirely up the wrong tree. Rot13'd to err on the side of caution.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98

I think this or something very close to it is strongly likely to be correct; so much so that at this point, I'm very close to shifting the question to the level of whether, univat tebbzrq Uneel nf n fgebat prageny yrnqre sbe zntvpny Oevgnva, uvf vagragvba vf gb npgviryl pynvz cbffrffvba bs Uneel, be jurgure ur jvyy or fngvfsvrq nf gur cbjre oruvaq Ehyre! Uneel'f guebar juvyr ur crefbanyyl tbrf nobhg chefhvat vzzbegnyvgl.

What Bayesianism taught me

The fact that you haven't seen a tiger in your trashcan is, however, evidence that there is no tiger in your trashcan.

Edit: Which I think is more or less harmonious with your original post. It appears to me, however, that at some step in the discussion, there was a leap of levels from "absence of evidence for goblins in the trashcan is evidence of absence of goblins from the trashcan" to "absence of evidence for goblins in the trashcan is evidence for the complete nonexistence of goblins".

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98

Hey folks!

I just got twigged back to MoR after having wandered away for a long while -- I think the chapter I had left off with before was 'Interview with the Confessor' -- so I spent most of last week re-reading the story and then working my way through the discussion threads here (most of them, anyway -- it was around the Chap. 84 discussions when the pressure of "arrrgh I just want to go back and tell all these people in the past that Hermione's trial ain't nothing on what's coming!"). Along the way I made some notes and I'd like to dump them on you, if I may.

None of these are focused toward any specific theory -- of the various speculations I've read, some strike me as more convincing than others, but I haven't got any "pets" among them. These are just things that I don't think have been remarked on much, though they may have come up in the discussion threads I skipped; I'm just putting them here in hopes they might strike some clever neurons in new ways.

  • EY, 26 Nov 2010:

    Tom Riddle got a Time-Turner in his third year and Legilimized himself.

    This offhand comment is probably a joke... but it does seem to me that Yudkowsky may on occasion have said a couple things about the idea of a self-improving intelligences being sort of noteworthy.

  • "Information cannot go back more than six hours"

    This description of the limits of time-travel in the MoRverse comes from non-Rationalist Dumbledore, so he's likely not using 'information' in the same way that, say, Claude Shannon would, but rather meaning 'knowledge' -- in the sense of 'facts known by a person'. I only mention it because a couple of debate-lines, over such things as Amelia Bones' "I have knowledge from the future" and other extrapolations of time-foolery have been pinning points on the transmission of rigorous-sense Information. But it seems more likely that the magic 'source code' only counts it in the colloquial sense. If a smarter cookie like Harry were to try to make use of things like air-current distortions to send knowledge back more than six hours, he'd probably get a DNMWT error of some sort.

  • Some discussions about the Santa Claus notes, and Dumbledore's honesty, have involved the statement that "If Dumbledore saw a chance to possess one of the Deathly Hallows he would never let it escape his grasp."

    I figure the record ought to show that while Dumbledore has been seen to let the Cloak literally escape his grasp, the sentence as written remains true, that he has never yet let the chance to possess it do so.

  • On the death of Rita Skeeter:

    I think the reason some readers were happy to be bloodthirsty over this scene has to do with something Mike Smith observed (though he was talking about about Umbridge) -- that in a sort of intuitive sense of 'dramatic balance, the narrative weight of her villainy just wasn't countered with enough weight of punishment. Skeeter, set up as someone who callously ruins careers through acts of public humiliation, racks up an emotional/dramatic debt that would call for her own career to be ruined similarly; instead, she just gets mildly humiliated in front of only two people, and left perfectly free to trash the lives of anyone who isn't Hermione's buddy.

    I can't prove it of course, but I do strongly suspect that readers would have seen less 'comically overstated satirical payback' and more 'cold-blooded murder' in the scene if she'd gotten a more satisfying come-uppance in the original book. Of course, the satirical aspect plays in here too -- MoR on the whole has a sufficient comic tone and any number of sly swipes at the original that the emotional weight of the scene as something happening to a person is easy to overlook, since the 'satire' reading encourages comparison to such gleefully bloodthirsty comedies as, say, Robot Chicken or MAD magazine, rather than comparison to murder scenes in a drama or thriller.

  • Chapter 57:

    I know," said the old wizard. "My apologies, Amelia." He sighed. "Some of the more recent prisoners had scraps of their magic left, when I looked upon them, but I sensed no uneaten power; the strongest had only as much magic left as a first-year child.

    Um, so yeah, he opened the door and looked right at Harry during the Azkaban escape. What the hell is he playing at?

  • Anyone notice how often Lethifolds are mentioned in this fic? I didn't notate them, but there seem to have been at least three or four characters saying or thinking things along the lines of "scary as being eaten by a Lethifold" or "there's bad things out there, like Lethifolds". That was mostly in earlier chapters, but it sure felt to me as though the author wanted to make sure we're all aware that Lethifolds are part of the background here.
  • re: Harry's peculiar lack of interest in pursuing the "sense of doom":

    A lot of responses keep bringing up the scene where McGonnagal firmly shuts him down on this point. Um, are a large number of readers here seriously proposing "McGonnagal said no" as a strong, ongoing influence on Harry's actions?

    I can conceive of several possible causes for Harry not to even wonder much about the weird, ominous sensation affecting his mind, but lack of permission from McGonnagal -- even when backed by a graphic, over-the-top threat -- is right down there with gravitational influence from Mars as a significant factor.

  • "I accept the bargain. Yourself to die, and the child to live."

    This bargain -- proposed by Lily, agreed to by Voldemort -- is subsequently carried out to the letter, despite a thwarted effort on her part to renege. Just tossing that out there as a flat fact about the scene; make of it what you will, but of the threads I've read through, every discussion appears to tangle this whole scene up with the 'love sacrifice' from JKR!canon while overlooking that this bargain is put forth, accepted, and carried out.

    To go from that fact to something more speculative, it looks to me like Voldemort here deliberately provokes Lily into proposing said bargain, so that he could seal it by accepting, and is amused as hell when she walks into it.

  • re: Dumbledore's Chicken:

    Friendship is Magic provides corroboration that Phoenixes (Phoenices?) look uncharacteristically goofy and awkward, to the extent of seeming an almost entirely different species, as they approach their natural immolation point.

    (Just a joke. If you don't already get it, the amusement value is not worth the necessary research.)

  • And finally:

Chap. 17:

The Remembrall was glowing bright red in his hand, blazing like a miniature sun that cast shadows on the ground in broad daylight.

Chap. 43:

And the boy in the crib saw it, the eyes, those two crimson eyes, seeming to glow bright red, to blaze like miniature suns, filling Harry's whole vision as they locked to his own

That's... quite interesting, don't you think?