gattsuru

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Y Couchinator

I would caution that in many states -- including California -- the law specifically prohibits waiver of some tenant rights. Even where not prohibited, such waivers can be challenged easily and, even if that challenge is unsuccessful, will be both extremely expensive and time-consuming.

That style of worst-case scenario is unlikely, but it's something to be very aware about.

January 2016 Media Thread

Abrams's style of movie-making is unbearably light and facile, to the point where blowing up multiple planets doesn't even register emotionally - and how did that particular scene even make sense? does this whole movie take place in a single solar system or something?

The Starkiller Base is described as a hyperspace weapon, while the target locations were (supposedly) all in one location, and Expanded Universe physics allow bleedoff of energy or physical interaction between objects moving within hyperspace and normal space (though never for anything interesting to my knowledge). This is kinda goofy, but you're in a Star Wars setting so it's not unreasonably so.

On the other hand, the use of planets to pull the projectiles out of hyperspace doesn't really make sense with how the Falcon breaks through the base's shields, so they don't do a terribly good job of staying with or explaining those rules in the film, and it's horrible at actually passing the impact of what is supposed to be billions of people dying.

I wasn't too put off by the protagonist's Mary Suedom, since she's Corran-Horn level at worst, but agreed with most of the other complaints and frustrations. It's also worth pointing out how extremely unsurprising the film is; even with the vast lows of the Expanded Universe, it picked not from its best moments and ideas but from many of its most unremarkable and boring.

Snape's knowledge of valence shells

It's possible that he read it from Harry's mind. Snape is a powerful legilimens, does not believe that anything is cheating when he has to win, Harry had no protection or even deep knowledge of the technique, had to have been thinking of the answer, and hadn't thought to avert his gaze until later.

That said, Severus is more in tune with the Muggle world than most others in the setting, and in Chapter 61 we see Dumbledore treat him as an expert source on muggle technology :

"Severus?" the old wizard said. "What was it actually?" "A rocket," said the half-blood Potions Master, who had grown up in the Muggle town of Spinner's End. "One of the most impressive Muggle technologies."

Later in Chapter 18, we also see the phrase "Common sense is often mistaken for legilimency." Especially as a potions master and someone who retained an interest in muggle chemistry into adulthood, Snape does have more reason than most wizards to know this information. Harry also tends to overestimate both his knowledge, and both he and Quirrel tend to assume the victories of others come from innate differences rather than simple changes in planning or knowledge.

On the other hand, had Snape known that information, it would also mean he could have ended the world accidentally. Dunno what to make of that.

Discussion of Slate Star Codex: "Extremism in Thought Experiments is No Vice"

So that's an argument for why it would be better if life were fair.

If the experienced observations were to look different. Stuck with the universe we've got, though...

Discussion of Slate Star Codex: "Extremism in Thought Experiments is No Vice"

I don't see what this quote is supposed to mean, besides a deep-wisdomy way of saying that you don't want to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions.

Ah, it's not really about locus of control: the context is destitute people falling ill due to contaminated food. It's more about situations where bad things happen that are not readily controlled or avoided due to lack of knowledge or circumstance.

The point of the quote is that it is no more comforting to be Job, and to have your family killed and everything taken from you because it is a deity's plan, than it is to be a moral nihilist who has your family killed and everything taken from you because the universe is a cold and unforgiving place. To many people, Job's deal is less desirable, because railing against the fundamental unfairness of the universe is a lot more socially condoned where a lot of deities are lightning-bolt-happy.

Discussion of Slate Star Codex: "Extremism in Thought Experiments is No Vice"

Robertson doesn't strike me as a particularly scholarly thinker, but even less well-thought religious folk have confronted the problems of evil and tragedy. The story of Job is a common subject of discussion in churches and among religious folk, and it's always framed as horrible things happened to Job because of his belief in a deity and because of the deity. Christians aren't unused to the concept of bad things happened because of their faith rebounding on them.

He's fantasizing about the outside world giving 'indisputable proof' of external morality. The religious folk have /countless/ scenarios like this, and the better-spoken ones will explicitly call them tests of 'relative' morality.

There's a pretty easy response to Robertson's thought experiment even within that framing -- to borrow from Babylon 5's Marcus Cole, "wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?" -- but the state of promoted discussion by atheists is so terrible that Robertson's probably not aware of it.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120

Also, whether Harry intended it or not, he gave two separate choices: whether Harry should stay away entirely, and whether Harry should be a friend that does not manipulate or risk harming Draco ever again. At least to some extent, Draco's refusal to respond reflects a disjoint answer to both questions, and has invited Harry to remain a friend that may manipulate or harm Draco for his own good.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 120

Crouch, Nott, or Jugson, though I'd guess the latter more heavily -- Jugson's constantly in the center of the blood-purist aligned factions during one of the battle games, and mentioned as Dumbledore's example of a powerful Death Eater with a seat on the Wizengamot, as well.

Mr. White was selected for a particularly humiliating and harmful process, and coincidentally Quirrelmort had wanted to harm Lucius badly on the scale of framing him for attempted murder of his own son, and there's a pretty clear connection.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119

Possible, but Dumbledore's discussions of death and mortality in chapter 39 seemed like he was trying to avoid becoming Harry's Mentor/Opponent -- ie, if he were trying to manipulate Harry with this deep emotional reveal, he'd have done so in a different way. He continues to treat death as a normal matter in chapter 110, even though he doesn't believe Harry to be nearby and does believe that the only listener will not be able to communicate his position to Harry, and Quirrelmort says that he'd expoused such positions long before he had access or cause to access the hall of prophecies.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 119

Dumbledore is fundamentally Deathist, and not only has he personally been locked out of mortality by his own trap, several of his interventions (most obviously killing a pet rock) were less related to making Harry oppose Voldemort effectively, and more into making Harry the sort of person that would promote transhumanist ideas including anti-Deathism.

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