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Defense Against The Dark Arts: Case Study #1

Anecdotally, given that suffering and poor conditions are sometimes equated with learning greater control of the self, this is sort of like going looking for some trees and refusing to step into the forest because there is too much wood there.

A Much Better Life?

Personally, I find the easiest answer is that we're multi-layered agents. On a base level, the back part of our minds seeks pleasure, but on an intellectual level, our brain is specifically wired to worry about things other than hedonistic pleasure. We derive our motivation from goals regarding hedonistic gain, however are goals can (and usually do) become much more abstract and complex than that. Philosophically speaking, the fact that we are differentiated from that hind part of our brain by non-hedonistic goals is in a way related to what our goals are. Although the animal in us enjoys pleasure, the intellectual part is specifically used for achieving pleasure. Those goals are mutually incompatible, weird as it sounds. Giving us a pleasure-based heaven can also be an intellectual hell. Of course I'm being kind of abstract and philosophical here, but anyway...

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 4

Fair call. That said, including it in the reasoning whilst still doing his usual explaining would have markedly improved things without having to be dishonest.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 4

What Harry SHOULD have said was that the information was highly secret and that as she wasn't adept in Occlumency he wasn't even able to tell her. It wouldn't have gone and explained his motivations clearly, which we all know he loves to do, but it would have answered the question clearly without implying that he doesn't trust her. That's sorta his strength and his weakness.

Theism, Wednesday, and Not Being Adopted

As a member of the aforementioned subgroup, I endorse this representation. Well said.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread

You know, as I was reading chapter 32, I started thinking about how the three generals had their various weaknesses. Draco is savvy but weak against complexity, Hermione is bright but not exactly street smart, and Harry is clearly brilliant yet arrogant. It was only after I'd read it all that I realised each had fallen prey to their own specific weakness. Hermione was surprised by the combined 'For Sunshine!' Gambit against her, Draco didn't realise he was with the wrong Patil, and Harry encouraged earlier betrayal amongst his crew in order to protect him in the final battle, only to be surprised at the end. I figure this was probably a deliberate bit of writing on Eliezer's account, in which case I just want to say-Good job!