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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87

...there are potential Problems when you arrange the plot so that...

True conflict strengthens narrative. But then, you're not really complaining about creating problems for your characters.

Roles are Martial Arts for Agency

Perhaps I phrased my template too formally. Though as I search for examples, I notice that different uses of the word "guy" would require various replacements ("person," "someone," or "the one") in order to sound natural.

Really, I begin to think it would be simpler to alter our culture so that nobody expects "guy" to imply "male".

Roles are Martial Arts for Agency

A form like "the one who acts" sounds perfectly natural to me.

Meetup : Is there anybody from Indianapolis here?

Consider me to be among those who would establish an Indianapolis meetup.

LINK: Blood from youth keeps you young

I don't suppose there's a highly-accessible curated database of hypotheses which appear to have tested very differently between mice (or other subjects) and humans. Suddenly this strikes me as a highly valuable resource.

Now I'm wondering if there's a way to make that the start of a viable business, but of course my pondering is limited by knowledge outside my domain.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101

Doesn't this plan seem rather risky if the primary benefits are so limited?

On the other hand, now Quirrell has a way to convince Harry to help him get the Philosopher's Stone, or to consider leaving Hogwarts in spite of the danger to help him with a "life-saving ritual".

On the other other hand, telling Harry about these life-saving methods could just make him angry that no one mentioned them with respect to Hermione.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101

Who says he's blind? He won't so much as drink from his own containers in Quirrell's presence because Quirrell might teleport something nasty inside. And even if he decided that Quirrell was totally irredeemable, Harry should still be upset about losing the enjoyable aspects of Quirrell's personality.

Beyond the Reach of God

I suggest that you research the difference between instrumental values and terminal values.

Absence of Evidence Is Evidence of Absence

In the situation you describe, the settlement is weak evidence for the product not working. Weak evidence is still evidence. The flaw in "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence," is that the saying omits the detailed description of how to correctly weight the evidence, but this omission does not make the simple statement untrue.

Extreme Rationality: It's Not That Great

We simply don't have the time and computing power to use full rigor on our individual decisions, so we need an alternative strategy. As I understand it, the human brain operates largely on caching. X-rationality allows us to clean and maintain our caches more thoroughly than does traditional rationality. At first, it seems reasonable to expect this to yield higher success rates.

However, our intuition vastly underestimates the size of our personal caches. Furthermore, traditional rationality is simply faster at cleaning, even if it leaves a lot of junk behind. So it would appear that we should do most of the work with traditional rationality, then apply the slower x-rationality process for subtle refinement. But since x-rationality is so much slower and more difficult to run, it takes a whole giant heap of time and effort to get through a significant portion of the cache, and along the way many potential corrections will have already been achieved in the traditional rationality first pass.

But if we leave out the more rigorous methods entirely, deeming them too expensive, we're doomed to hit a pitfall where traditional rationality will not save us from thirty years of pursuing a bad idea. If we can notice these pitfalls quickly, we can apply the slow x-rationality process to that part of the cache right away, and we might only pursue the bad idea for thirty minutes instead.

We need to be able to reason clearly, to identify opportunities for clearer reasoning, and to identify our own terminal goals. A flaw in any of these pieces can limit our effectiveness, in addition to the limits of just being human. What other limiting factors might there be? What methods can we use to improve them? I keep coming back to Less Wrong because I imagine this is the most likely site to provide me with discourse on the matter.

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