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Rationality Quotes Thread April 2015

It would have been wiser for the English governing class to have called upon some other god. All other gods, however weak and warring, at least boast of being constant. But science boasts of being in a flux for ever; boasts of being unstable as water.

GK Chesterton, Heretics

(for "god" read "moral principles")

HPMOR Q&A by Eliezer at Wrap Party in Berkeley [Transcription]

because that trivially leads to intelligence explosion

[FINAL CHAPTER] Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 122

The science material is presented to the reader in good faith, by the protagonist, who is only ever shown to be wrong in his attempts to link the science to magic, not the science itself. If it's attempting to be faithful to the Harry's youthful hubris, then shouldn't there be parts when Hermione says "actually Harry, you've misunderstood Kahneman and Tversky on X, Y and Z ...", like what happens for magical topics?

There is a section on the site called "science" which reads

All science mentioned in Methods is standard science except where otherwise specified (IIRC, the only two uses of nonstandard theories are Barbour’s timeless physics in Ch. 28 and my own timeless decision theory in Ch. 33). Wherever possible, I have mentioned standard terminology inside the book to make Googling easier. At some future point I may compile a complete list for all the scientific references in Methods, but this has not yet been done.

and if that weren't enough, Yudkowsky explicitly states that the science material is meant to be didactic.

Furthermore, "but it's better in the Sequences" is a terrible excuse. How many people are going to read a fun work of fiction, vs a sprawling 888 series of contrarian philosophy essays? A significant fraction of people on this very site have not read them, and then imagine what the odds are for the average fanfic reader (of whom there are an order of magnitude or two more than LessWrong users). Thousands of people are reading this story and taking what Yudkowsky says on faith (did you independently Google every science reference in the story? I sure didn't), so if the science is wrong then that's thousands of people coming away worse-off than when they started, and Yudkowsky is aware of this possibility..

[FINAL CHAPTER] Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 122

That being said, is HPMoR really meant as a didactic work?

We are talking about the fanfic where characters routinely block-quote from cogsci textbooks, aren't we?

Rationality: From AI to Zombies

Oh, I didn't mean to imply I didn't like it! It was a welcome companion for hundreds of long school bus journeys.

Rationality: From AI to Zombies

I'm getting problems too. The contents pages look like this, for example.

Rationality: From AI to Zombies

One of the most common complaints about the old Sequences was that there was no canonical default order, especially for people who didn't want to read the entire blog archive chronologically.

I was tricked into doing this. Years ago someone posted an ebook claiming to be the Sequences, but was actually just every single Yudkowsky blog post from 2006 to 2010 -_-

It took until noticing that only Yudkowsky's side of the FOOM debate was in there that I realized what had happened

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117

If Harry needed his wand to demonstrate something (which he very plausibly might have), it would have made no sense to take it away.

So have him drop it and a Death Eater confiscate it, and if he says he needs it to demonstrate something, Voldemort can ask "do you plan to usse it to attack me, sservantss, or to esscape?" before returning it to him. Then as soon as he's done, confiscate it again. That's an extra 10 seconds; which is a small price to pay to hedge against a Black Swan.

Voldemort doesn't know about Partial Transfiguration, but he does know Harry has powers he knows not, which is what this entire charade was about in the first place! I would've done it it just in case.

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