All of SkyDK's Comments + Replies

Thank you!!! I know it's been almost three years, but I've just discovered LessWrong (and my account) and highly appreciate your help.

I look forward to reading the article.

Wasn't visiting LessWrong with my profile for a long while.

Thank you for the detailed steps.

I suspect the down-vote is for the Taoist references where some LW'ers are heavily against references to Chi since they haven't found substantial evidence for its existence.

For me, your post is a thumbs up: I appreciate the applicability of what you wrote.

Thank you!

How'd it go? Did you talk about a 2nd meeting?

A second meeting is happening this Saturday [].

I just lost a long response, because I was naive enough not to check if the "More Help" link in formatting was an in-tab link. It was. Hence a short answer (my self-allowed free-wheeling time is almost up)

First of all. Thank you for your more fulfilling answer.

First admission: In the bright light of hindsight I see that my reply was unnecessarily snide.

Second admission: Yes, I actually saw your first as being slightly noisy. Perhaps because the post on "Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate" was so fresh in my mind. Your post fit very well into ... (read more)

Here's a free link for the small groups article []

If the context loses the safety property, sing out of tune, miss the beat and do some negative association exercises. In other words I regard it as overtly cautious to fear a cult sensation before the community is even at a community level.

But for those of us that are risk-averse (which should be none of us, but probably is the majority): Do you know of any community building exercises that do not have a potential negative backlash?

[... or is our kind doomed to be one of a kind? insert ominous music of own choice]

First: Singing out of tune would be defecting on other people's community building practices, which is what I feared I might be doing by posting my comment in the first place. If a context loses the safety property and I can't fix the context, why on earth would I stick around clogging up other people's attempts at semi-random socially bonding? (Its not like I'm a seven year old being dragged to church against my will.) If a context works for others but seems bad to me, I can just exit the context rather than doing something to passive aggressively thwa... (read more)

Could you enlighten us with your preferred approach to meditation then? I've had very positive experiences just with simple breathing exercises, but I'd definitely like to improve.

Crap! I'm sorry I didn't see this. I've had a love/hate relationship with LessWrong while I've been getting as far as I can with meditation. a year late, hopefully you get this response so that it may have some use. []. In this post I describe the steps for learning the prerequisite to Taoist meditation. At the time, I was not able to properly describe Taoist meditation, despite being very familiar with it. I can at least try now. The prerequisite to Taoist meditation is about practicing being aware, and practicing controlling awareness. Controlling awareness requires being aware of what one is aware of, and so is also a practice of that. Once one becomes adequate at being aware of anything for a sufficient amount of time, the next step is about figuring out how to find and fix the problems. The most advanced way to fix a problem is to simply be aware of it until it goes away. maintaining awareness of the problem makes it go away on it's own, without requiring any additional action. However, that is too advanced for most people, and so there are other methods along the way. Step one is to be aware of tension in the body. There are a myriad of ways to activate tension to make it much easier to observe, and thus be aware of. Breath control (both the fast and slow varieties) is one such way. All tension in the body hinders the passage of fluids and mental signals. Neurons can be tense too. Step two is to slowly try relaxing everything. This is the basic form of what is known as "dissolving" in meditation. Step three involves a whole bunch of complicated ways of dissolving tension on deeper levels (Periostium is "deeper" than neurons are "deeper" than ligaments are "deeper" than muscles) To make it less complicated, there is a common practice of breathing slowly while being acutely aware of a block of tension. And in that state, try

I'd have a hard time presuming anyone to be completely rational. But I'd have an even harder time understanding why I shouldn't point that out to someone who (presumably; due to them being here and all) wants to be more rational.

About your second point: I'm probably a bad choice for identifying your conformity filters due to the rather big amount of time I've spent at salsa and tango courses. Time which takes gargantuan proportions when contrasted to the awfully little time I've spent in Cthulhulian sects.

I disagree. Techniques for spreading rationality are highly rational to learn. Considering subjects such as Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate I dare say that it's almost essential for the project of disseminating rationality that LessWrong as a group learns how group dynamics work and how successful communities are built. If we consider being rational a good thing then we ought to make it as attractive as possible to feel as part of the rationalist group.

Strong agreement with your disagreement. I just finished Haidt's The Righteous Mind [] and observe that rationalists seem to gravitate towards a liberal, individualistic moral foundation, while the rest seem to automatically balance that with, or favor, group binding moral foundations. Thus, we rationalists (and liberals in general) are seen as immoral because of our tendency to disregard others' crucial moral foundations of ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, purity/sanctity. Thus, this has never been a disagreement over facts at all, but rather, a moral loathing of our very kind.

It's not, but then LW group members can't be presumed rational. What sort of synchronized group movement or synchronized group voice or both would bypass the Cthulhulian-horror-of-conformity filters?

a) I s'pose he does expect losses. Replenishing his ranks in the long term seems to be an acceptable idea (he is, more or less, immortal) b) Pity points? Perhaps the good guys held back against a pregnant woman? c) How long is she realistically out of the game, considering wet-nurses, time-turners and so on: half a year? d) If Bellatrix had gotten reckless, having a kid might have been a good way to rein her in a little bit..

Emotional blackmail on LeStrange. Also -- half a year is too long a time period. by far. Figure without time turners but with healing magics and potions an eight month birth. Rip the kid out of her womb, and heal her back into active duty. You lose her services for maybe a month. (Up to six months in and she's still combat-capable.) Heal both kid and mother, and there you go. (also, if we can assume accelerated gestation potions then we get even more silly. No "downtime" at all No need for time turners.)

... but honestly learning languages early on is a good investment for several other reasons. Not only for social and economical reasons, but also due to it becoming a lot harder to learn languages later on in life (please do correct me if this is a myth).

If you on the other hand stay learning languages during your youth, becoming fluent in a language takes less and less time (at least according to my own experience and that of all of the polyglots I know).

Also I'd say that being able to call on different aspects of your personality is a very valuable trai... (read more)

if you can be kind and moderate in your personal behavior, you can get away with incredible amounts of institutionally-mediated violence and extremism, especially to anyone who feels like they "know" you. Hypothesis: the most dangerous people are those who can give us the illusion of "knowing" them while they command an institution whose internal operations we don't see.

This suits extremely well with both local communities relationship to known criminals and to historical figures. Politics is a mind-killer and so on, but a lot of her... (read more)

My personal experience is that I've attached different parts of my personality to my different languages. I'm currently fluent in three and passable in two others. I notice that the part of my personality I attach to a given language depends on a variety of factors, but I can have a marked impact on it by focusing on my associations while learning the language. This is particularly true when I take the language from the classroom to an an experience of immersion.

In this regard I've also noticed that languages of the same root (for me: Danish, English and G... (read more)

Nope, pride definitely is more attractive for me due to the enhanced sense of curves. If this is supposed to proof something, I'd be highly suspicious of the results. I'm really bad a judging men, but I figure the pride one to be better there as well. The happy one seems to fake.

Yeah, but due to the politics is a mind-killer thing, we don't really comment on it... just like a lot of other political hints are left alone (at least on my behalf) and I try to focus on making predictions and figuring out where the agents in this story will go given their apparent rationality (or lack thereof) and value sets. That's the reason why I read this: it's well-written entertainment I can use to train my ability to predict and phrase said predictions. Plus I like to see theories put to practice.

(upvoted chaosmosis) How is utilitarian not cold-blooded? As far as I understand, utilitarians work by assigning utility values between different outcomes and choosing the one with the most utility. That seems pretty cold-blooded.

100k years worth of life > 2 minutes of intense pain and loss of 2 years of life.

Utilitarianism has to be equally-blooded for all outcomes, but this can also be accomplished by being hot-blooded about everything. Instead of shrugging and not caring about the pain and two-year loss, you can mourn it while also grinning and clapping your hands and jumping around shouting for joy at the perspective of someone gaining so much life.

Because any utilitarian with a brain will also think of things like "What will the consequences on society be if this sort of thing becomes normal?".

I'm confused. I'm curious.

Can you see his point of view?

Do you understand why people (me included) feel that you under-clarify your arguments?

Do you realise that we (me, and I guess thornblake as well) do not mean you any harm? That harming you could not possibly help us (sorry, it could, marginally so, if it actually had a behavioural impact)?

Furthermore, it is hard to get social benefits from downvoting, since others can't see anyone downvote you. This does NOT have the same social effect as denouncing something in public.

I honestly didn't know about the posting delay, but I personally wouldn't assign a lot utility to it. And even less (close to none) to the ability to downvote others. In this case I think a 10 minute delay might help if it is used to check for illusion of transparency and/or lacking steps in his chain of reasoning.

But overall, thank you for pointing out the negative consequences of low karma. I'm reading up on it and I must admit I haven't found the right post (read the faq) to cover all the consequences. Still they seem minor at best.

One major problem concerns the legal rights of magical criminals; what if you're later found to be innocent? There'll be no way to reclaim their magic. Hence I doubt Harry would prefer this solution.

"Additionally, I reject (his?) claim that "the downvotes come from you making a claim about the quoted text that doesn't seem particularly well supported". -6 doesn't happen as a result of a factual mistake, nor does +9 for a clever rationalization; both happen as a result of dislike for me as a person and because of social influences and not as a result of a flawed claim. The intensity of reactions to my posts got much stronger as it became apparent that rejecting my arguments was the hip new trend that all the cool kids were doing."

... (read more)
Have you forgotten that people with very low or negative karma have posting delays and cannot downvote?

Even so, I doubt Quirrel would leave clues as to him killing anyone (due to him knowing Harry doesn't like killing and me believing b))

Thank you; I even managed to figure that out myself (with the help of our ever vigilant and watchful google); as seen in my response to Desrtopa (24 seconds before you clicked the comment button apparently).

FTFY. Show proper reverence, heathen!

Makes sense. I was confused so I looked it up: "And the third wizard, the binder, permanently sacrifices a small portion of their own magic, to sustain the Vow forever." I guess the self-improvement part is out of the question then...

Still; it'd be a pretty hardcore thing to do for an ambitious dying grandfather. Make his grandson, age 3, swear the vow (something along the lines: "I will never spend an awake moment on anything except improving my abilities or the situation of my family" - it could be phrased better) and then die happily.

Still; it'd be a pretty hardcore thing to do for an ambitious dying grandfather. Make his grandson, age 3, swear the vow (something along the lines: "I will never spend an awake moment on anything except improving my abilities or the situation of my family" - it could be phrased better) and then die happily.

Age three? Does the vow actually impel you adhere to it or does it just kill you when you are about to break it? (I thought the latter.) Didn't he just kill his grandson?

Not to mention perfect self-motivation.. Actually I still don't understand why it is not used that way. Unbreakable Vows only require energy until said vow is fulfilled right?

Seems to be a lot more effective than A. Robbins...

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8Eliezer Yudkowsky11y
Nope, ritual magic = permanent sacrifice.
I don't think this is ever stated, and I'd err on the side of assuming not, because that would make them easier to abuse, which would be narratively inconvenient.

Our time zones are different (hence you might have written me in the middle of my writing), but I think I reached my goal: thank you for your help. I'm still struggling a little bit with the interface.

Yes, of course. First of all, I just updated it to 0.15-0.20. This might actually be a bit high, but I've set it higher than what I feel is right due to my bias (consisting of Eliezer finding a more interesting way of writing the story).

It is "so low" due to the following:

  • a) I believe that Quirrel is not seeking a physical confrontation with Harry (earlier we saw him toss Harry a knut (that could have been a portkey to a volcano))

  • a.1.) Harry wouldn't win such a confrontation (a sneak attack would of course be much more likely to get the job d

... (read more)
Also, Harry really really doesn't want to kill ANYONE. He didn't even want to kill the nasty canon-style description of sadistic!Voldemort, for pete's sake.
Thanks, I think part of my surprise was from a different understanding of "he'll feel forced to kill Quirrel", to me that means "he'll take the decision of trying to kill Quirrel, using whatever indirect plan, surprise, henchmen, ... in the process", not just a one-to-one fight in which Harry kills Quirrel (like the way he kills Voldemort in the cannon). I agree the probability of such one-to-one fight is quite low.

Prediction time!

  • Due to Harry's new vow he'll feel forced to kill Quirrel: 0.2 > p > 0.15 [UPDATED from 0.1 > p > 0.05]

  • Due to Harry's new vow he'll feel forced to kill Dumbledore: 0.12 > p > 0.08

  • Due to Harry's new vow he'll end up killing the wrong person (bad judgement call on Harry's behalf): 0.15 > p > 0.1

  • Due to Harry's new vow he'll end up killing the wrong person (bad execution on Harry's behalf): 0.1 > p > 0.05

  • Due to Harry's new vow he'll not kill the right bad guy at the right time hence become indirectly r

... (read more)
I feel pretty confident that he won't directly kill Dumbledore (also I feel that Dumbledore is innocent, which influences my belief that Harry won't kill him). I think he'll do something based on his belief that Dumbledore is evil, and that his action will be stupid and put Dumbledore or some other people into danger, probably in danger from Quirrell. That's a standard module in these kind of stories.
Your probabilities seem way too low to me. Just one chance in 10 that because of the vow he'll be forced to kill the one we have many evidence to believe he's the arch-enemy ? Can you elaborate the reasons why you put such a low probability to that ?
Try putting an additional line break after each of your examples. That will come out more like (I infer that you) intended.

Or Justine... But perhaps that was just the wrong book to steal from my dad's library. Or right. Updated evidence from encounters later in my life would suggest the latter, public opinion the former.

No. It's just a clock. But it is there, so Dumbledore knows at which point in time he should jump back to (given the option of course) {all this is an interpretation of loserthree's post}

I meant, if whenever she queries the clock for the time, Dumbledore will have arrived already, then there was no need for him to enchant the clock further to respond to the query - he could just answer it himself, since he's already there.

I had planned to do as little as humanly possible at exactly that interval of time. Now, I guess I have to postpone it... Procrastination is a b**

Seems an awful lot of work to go through rather than just siccing an expert killer on the baby. No, I find it highly unlikely that killing Harry is the main goal. On the other hand Dumbledore's version of good seems to be very incompatible with Harry's...

I'd throw in son of Mr. Fantastic for good measure. (nobody says Lilly was faithful)

It'd be illegal in most countries, but getting very small mics is not that hard. I've used it myself for testing if I had a better idea generation state of mind while running/doing sports than when penning.

I suggest you reroll. I heal paper cuts in a couple of hours.

I suggest you reroll.

Thanks, but nah. I'm a healthy white male American with a middle class background and an intelligence greater than one standard deviation above the mean. Slow healing wounds are not enough to reroll in the face of the great risk of a less privileged life.

Both statements are true of me, depending on what's meant by "heal". Depending on where the papercut is (sensitive place, callus, etc) it might stop bothering me long after it's any risk of bleeding. Upvoted for this suggestion.

... I need a slur to describe how dumb I feel now...

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"Slow"? Edit: or no, that's the same thing, isn't it. Um. Probably a dumb question, but what's wrong with "dumb"?

Slurs? (oh you mean "idiots"? I'd refrain from that in the future; I didn't mean to be offensive EDIT: later clarified to referring to retarded which I'll also refrain from using in the future... me not being a native speaker will end up being expensive karma-wise).

Transfiguring a whole mountain would: a) take more magical energy than most wizards could muster. b) not extract any resources.

Partial transfiguring has the distinct advantage of not having to transfigure entire objects (such as mountains). Perhaps a spell could also help with actually... (read more)

MixedNuts meant "retarded" [].

I disagree. Harry can do partial transfiguration. If he cannot figure out ways to earn insane amounts of cash just through that then he is too retarded to be called rational (remember that he can actually extract resources in ways the wizarding world cannot - as I write in another place: mining ++).

Plus you underestimate the degree of separation between the two worlds plus the extreme lack of respect the wizarding world holds for muggles.

And about the 100.000 galleons: well if they're bright, ambitious and socially aware plus they're using questionable sou... (read more)

How would one legally extract money from partial transfiguration? If you have a large object you want transfigured, is it cheaper to hire the only wizard in the world who can do partial transfigurations, or a team of powerful wizards who can just work on the whole thing? And how often does that happen anyway? He could make money from teaching it, but that'd be slow. Eliezer seems to believe that wizards are selectively stupid about economics, so you're probably right about the general issue. They could need to import it because they can't produce it locally at all. Also, please don't use slurs.
I really hope Eliezer doesn't spend more than a sentence on that - and even then I would want the sentence to be mild. Any more than that and it would strike me as too much use of explicit sloppy thinking to justify narrative convenience.

Eh no... Harry has Mining++ also known as partial transfiguration. Now EY didn't believe that to be enough so he also equipped Harry with an invisibility cloak a bag AND a suitcase of holding.

If Harry is really pressed for cash and some rules against arbitrage, stock market manipulation, insurance fraud (which he should be able to do to an amount that's not even funny to think about) exist, he still has one glaringly easy way of earning shit tons. He should be able to, as soon as he is allowed to use magic outside school (which IIRC is at 17 which is befor... (read more)

Why do you not consider Snape to be an alternative? Yes, Quirrelmort has gained a lot by Hat's actions, but: a) Quirrel could be manipulating Snape. b) Quirrelmort probably has an extremely accurate mental model of Snape.

What is your mental model of Snape?

"Uncertain, ask again later". Oh, all right. : I am fairly confident that whatever models the various masterminds in play have of him are inaccurate and have been getting rapidly more so ever since he had his little chat with Harry about Lily. I suspect that he is done with being anyones pawn. Moving into blind guessing territory, I wouldnt be surprised if his actual plot is to walk off with the philosophers stone in order to duplicate it, or something else completely unrelated to the political maneuverings.

You may very well be right. Due to free-riding and buck-passing I'd still expect a lot of them to do nothing.

Recall also that they're all in internal power struggles over ink monopolies and what have you, plus Lucius lack of complete control has already been pointed out by Lucius.

For all those who think the blood debt will hurt their rivals more than themselves there's good reason not to change the framing of the debt. Not to forget being the one to start this campaign will be both financially and politically costly. A beautiful collective action problem. Either way, we've too little insights into the political power balances to make qualified estimates about the "wall-paper's" reaction.

A possibility. Though for some of the lesser wealthy houses that is probably not the first option. For some a blood debt might also be a good way to join Harry's side if he seems to start winning. For the opposite reason a lot might do nothing because they expect Lucius to crush him before he makes claim to his debts.

Free-riding and buck-passing are frequent solutions in the political game.

Highly unlikely: blood debts have probably been a significant political currency for a long time, and both due to institutional path-dependency and a lot of vested interests, I highly doubt that they'd change the importance of blood debts. Also: it seems like a lot of the justice system is built up around this concept. It would require a total overhaul of the justice system to deal with the blood debt. Otherwise they'd have to change the significance of being imperiuse'd which is also unlikely due to most of them otherwise being Azkaban(ne)d

Harry probably wont call in any blood debts himself, but any former deatheathers with substantial spare coin will jump at the possibility to get out from under a debt to Harry by giving Lucius money, so that 60.000 might well be paid in full before he makes it back to hogwarts, let alone sets any money making schemes in progress.

How about a concerted campaign to persuade the public to lessen the importance of that particular debt? Remind everyone that Harry was a baby at the time and couldn't have intended to defeat the Dark Lord, emphasise that it must have been some kind of freak accident, start spreading rumours with alternative explanations...

Anyway my point isn't about any single thing they could do; the point is that there are a lot of powerful and politically-skilled people who would very much want to do something, and I don't feel at all confident that we can assume they'll be unable to come up with anything now that the gambit is no longer a surprise one.

It would be a bad use of political capital considering how easy he could gain money in other ways while keeping a majority(? - at least combined with some help from Dumbledore's side) vote on pretty much whatever issue up his sleeve...

Now that Harry's invoked the debt and alerted all ex-death-eaters, I imagine it will remain useful only until they figure out a way to nullify or lessen its importance. Like change the law or whatever, I don't know how they'd do it but I imagine they won't sit idly. So perhaps he should cash in while he still can.

My only problem with the two listed options is that they both require him to renege on important political capital. I'd rather go for some arbitraging then (perhaps with time-turn earned lottery start-up capital).

If smartly done he'd find the number of some lottery tickets, #5 or #6; buy said tickets and get the memory removed of why and how he did it.

... In general a time turner should make the whole money-making part easier than what's worth thinking about.

It was great! It also allowed me to test a couple of thesis of generating solutions. The closest I got was doing something completely different than working directly on the generating of solutions; I can't remember the name of the theory stating that this should be the case, and while having it strengthened is somewhat disheartening it is nevertheless a useful piece of information.

Now if I weren't so bad at shaving, I might even remember to use Occam's razor next time and reduce "Harry marries Hermione" to "Harry makes Hermione part of house... (read more)

No reason not to convince them now... With the newly won time and without the considerable risks in your good (but overly complicated) plan.

Harry has already figured out quite a few solutions to the monetary problem. The long run (and cheap solution) would be to apply himself and his side to the clearing of Hermione's name. That wouldn't just earn him a 100.000 galleons it would also improve Hermione's political standing, leave Malfoy's (and to a certain extent Dumbledore's) reputation in its currently weakened state plus strengthen his argument against the political structure of Magical Britain. Not to mention he can do all this WHILE having starting his money-making schemes. Though we might ... (read more)

Wait... what?
You're right, I had completely forgotten about clearing Hermione. The first two options I listed could still be used to pay back the debt if the rules surrounding it are too ridiculous, though. This is, of course, simply an extension of his other money-making schemes or a possible source of starting capital.

[Deleted: I completely forgot I'm not allowed to talk about later chapters in this discussion thread]

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