Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

Harry didn't hear Hermione's testimony. Therefore, he can go back in time and change it to anything that would produce the audience reaction he saw, without causing paradox.

A singularity scenario

I almost downvoted this because when I clicked on it from my RSS reader, it appeared to have been posted on main LW instead of discussion (known bug). This might be the reason for a lot of mysterious downvoting, actually.

"Nice Guys Finish First" - Youtube Video of selected reading (by Dawkins) from The Selfish Gene

(Bug report: I was sent to this post via this link, and I see MAIN bolded above the title instead of DISCUSSION. The URL is misleading too, shouldn't urls of discussion posts contain "/r/discussion/" instead of "/lw"?)

(EDIT: Grognor just told me that "every discussion post has a main-style URL that bolds MAIN")

Cult impressions of Less Wrong/Singularity Institute

fraction of revenue that ultimately goes to paying staff wages

About a third in 2009, the last year for which we have handy data.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

Snape says this in both MoR and the original book:

"I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death"

Isn't this silly? Of course you can stopper death, because duh, poisons exist.

It might be just a slip-up in the original book, but I'm hoping it will somehow make sense in MoR. My first thought was that maybe a magical death potion couldn't be stopped using magical healing, unlike non-magical poisons.

I asked this on IRC and got some interesting ideas. feep thought it might mean that you can make a Potion of Dementor, which would fit since dementors are avatars of death in MoR and stoppering death would be actually impressive if it meant that. Orionstein suggested it might be a potion made from eg. a bullet that's killed someone, which, given what we know of how potions work from chapter 78, might also result in a potion with deathy effects above and beyond just those of poison.

The Singularity Institute's Arrogance Problem

This usually stops me from using myself as examples, sometimes with the result that the post stays unwritten or unpublished.

You could just tell the story with "me" replaced by "my friend" or "someone I know" or "Bob". I'd hate to miss a W_D post because of a trivial thing like this.

Welcome to Less Wrong!

I ... was shocked at how downright anti-informative the field is


shocked at how incredibly useless statistics is


The opposite happened with the parapsychology literature


Welcome to Less Wrong!

algorithmic probability ... does not say that naturalistic mechanistic universes are a priori more probable!


Welcome to Less Wrong!

confirmation bias ... doesn't actually exist.


Welcome to Less Wrong!

I wonder how this comment got 7 upvotes in 9 minutes.

EDIT: Probably the same way this comment got 7 upvotes in 6 minutes.

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