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How probable is Molecular Nanotech?

Ah, thank you. So the structure left at the end was not by any means a solid diamond.

How probable is Molecular Nanotech?

Concerning manipulation of diamond by biological molecules, what exactly is this?

(Not trying to make a point here; I am actively deferring to someone with more chemistry mojo than I have to explain this)

Meetup : Fort Collins, Colorado Meetup Thursday 7pm

Yes, although The Bean Cycle (where it will be held) closes at nine. There will likely be an afterparty-type affair, however.

The Cognitive Science of Rationality

I've seen some rather detailed discussion of the specific case of the enlarged human cranium being a rather tight squeeze through the pelvis, but I don't recall any more general discussion of selective pressures acting against intelligence.

Meetup : Fort Collins, Colorado Meetup

Was there a sign? I seem to be having trouble finding this meet up group.

The Cognitive Science of Rationality

The human brain uses something like a fifth of the oxygen the body uses. The selective pressure against general intelligence would be formidable indeed.

Fun to speculate about a different biology where cognition is not so metabolically expensive, or another where it's even dearer.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 8

Doesn't McGonnagall mention that the clocks in Hogwarts were most definitely invented by Muggles? That would be an additional datum in favor of this interpretation.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 8

I'm immediately reminded of discworld where technical improvements in magical theory have gotten to the point where a spell that originally required the sacrifice of a human being can now be performed using a few ccs of mouse blood.

Hmmm, what if the practice of magic is weaker in the present of MoR because ritually sacrificing a few dozen peasants for purely experimental ends is considered in bad taste?

I can see Dumbledore BSODing over the discovery that Hogwarts is actually powered by the hearts of ten thousand orphans somewhere down in the foundations.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 8

The most recent update would suggest that fairly standard shielding charms can stop blunt impact.

"Daphne could hardly see the movement as Susan seemed to hit the corridor wall and then bounce off it like she was a rubber ball and her legs smashed into Jugson's face, it didn't go through the shield but the sixth-year went sprawling backward with the impact"

There appears to be conservation of momentum, but the momentum from typical firearms spread out over your entire body isn't even going to leave a bruise, assuming said charms are up to dealing with something with as much sectional density and velocity as a bullet.

IMO a good model for wizard duels vis a vis muggle innovations and creative thinking is the ritualized warfare practiced in the Americas in pre-Columbian times. Lot's of punches pulled, lots of unstated mutual agreements not to escalate, and a general low-intensity level of aggression that doesn't get too many people killed.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 7

I remember the author's comments some time ago to the effect that he was surprised that many readers (myself included) weren't immediately sure that Quirrell is Voldemort. Has anyone considered that this might be a trans-forth-wall version of Bystander Effect?

The (presumably omniscient) narrator isn't pointing out that Quirrell is Voldemort. The (presumably well informed) Professor Dumbledore has disclosed no such suspicions to the reader. (Presumably cunning and logical) Rationalist!Harry hasn't made any connections between the sense of doom, harmonic magic interaction, and the constant encouragement to be evil.

Thus, any doubts the reader has about Quirrell's identity can be easily rationalized away by the apparent lack of concern from the (apparently) intelligent, fictional characters.

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