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Open Thread, December 2-8, 2013

I'm planning to run a rationality-friendly table-top roleplaying game over IRC and am soliciting players.

The system is Unknown Armies, a game of postmodern magic set in a creepier, weirder version of our own world. Expect to investigate crimes, decipher the methods behind occult rituals, interpret symbols, and slowly go mad. This particular game will follow the misadventures of a group of fast food employees working for an occult cabal (well, more like a mailing list) that wants to make the world a better place.

Sessions will be 3-4 hours once a week over IRC or google hangouts or skype or whatever people are most comfortable with. Slots for two-three players, email me at sburnstein@gmail.com if you're interested or if I can answer any questions about the game.

I attempted the AI Box Experiment again! (And won - Twice!)

It may be possible to take advantage of multiple levels of reality within the game itself to confuse or trick the gatekeeper. For instance, must the experiment only be set in one world? Can there not be multiple layers of reality within the world you create? I feel that elaborating on this any further is dangerous. Think carefully about what this advice is trying to imply.

This is a pretty clever way of defeating precommitments. (Assuming I'm drawing the correct inferences.) How central was this tactic to your approach, if you're willing to comment?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 21, chapters 91 & 92

The bad guy(s) relative to Harry. Hermione coming back is important whichever way his morality goes.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 21, chapters 91 & 92

Quirrell is That Fucker.

Heavy spoilers for Nonjon's excellent A Black Comedy follow.

Va N Oynpx Pbzrql, Qnivq Zbaebr vf gur ragvgl perngrq jura gur Ubepehk va Evqqyr'f qvnel fhpprffshyyl erfheerpgf vgfrys, jvgu gur gjvfg gung vg jnf perngrq hfvat nyy bs Ibyqrzbeg'f 'cbfvgvir' rzbgvbaf. Guhf Qnivq Zbaebr vf bccbfrq gb Ibyqrzbeg, unf uvf zrzbevrf naq fxvyyf, naq frrf gung fgbel'f Uneel nf n cbgragvny gbby, nyyl, be rira rdhny.

Fbhaq snzvyvne? Gur anzr whfg znxrf vg boivbhf.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 21, chapters 91 & 92

Hermione will be resurrected before the conclusion of this story.

(Given that Harry wins and souls aren't real.)

Public Service Announcement Collection

PSA: There is an actual physical sensation that accompanies religious experiences. If you feel the presence of a being of awesome power and an unusual sensation of... fullness?... in your chest, don't panic or starting believing in a god or anything crazy.

It's a physiological thing that happens to people, especially in altered states (drugs, sleep deprivation, etc.), and it doesn't mean anything.

Discussion: Which futures are good enough?

Right, but not all trade-offs are equal. Thinking-rainbows-are-pretty and self-determination are worth different amounts.

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