Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions



Hello Less Wrong community members,

My name is Zoe, I'm a philosophy student, and increasingly discombobulated by the inadequacy of my field of study to teach me how to Actually Do Things. I discovered Less Wrong 18 months ago, thanks to the story Harry Potter and the Method of Rationality. I've read a number of articles and discussions since then, mostly whenever I felt like reading something both intelligent and relevant, but I have not systematically read through any sequence or topic.

I have recently formed the goal to develop the skills necessary to 'raise the waterline' of rationality in the meat space discussions in which I take part, but without appearing to put anyone down.

Working towards this goal will make me interact more with a greater proportion of the people that are around me, which is something that I need to do. Right now, apart from a few friends whose minds I love, I usually flee at the earliest politically correct time from most conversations, due to sheer boredom or annoyance and a huge lack of confidence in my ability to steer the conversation somewhere interesting. I want to change this by improving myself (since Less Wrong has well taught me that it would be foolish to wait or hope for others to change or improve when I could be changing myself.)

While so far my use of Less Wrong has been recreational, I'm creating an account now to be able to participate in discussions, not because I think I have anything really important to say, but because practicing rationality not just in my mind but while actually interacting is probably a good way to go about my newfound objective. I would really like to become able to introduce rationality into conversations with the average non-rationalist and do so tactfully, and I think Less Wrong can help me.

Do you agree with my assessment that the Less Wrong posts and discussion community have the potential to help me further my goal? If so, how do you think I should best use the resources here?

I'm looking very much forward to interact with all of you!


PS : My first language is French. I really do welcome any and all nitpicks and corrections about my English.


Does anyone else find it implausible that Quirrell would both act upon the latest prophecy moments after hearing it and act as though he interpreted it in the most literal sense possible? To suppose that he is acting out of concern when speaking to McGonagall is to accept that this is what he does.

Yet, it has been made explicit in HPMoR that prophecies are riddles addressed to the one who hears it. Quirrell knows this. I thus find it unlikely that he would jump on the first ''obvious'' literal interpretation rather than ponder the riddle.

Not to mention that if Quirrell did embrace the line about the world ending in the most explosive, catastrophic and literal sense possible, and that it alarmed him, it would be foolish of him to say nothing of the prophecy. And Quirrell--we know that at least--is not foolish.

So, if the prophecy about the end of the world is a riddle, what could be its answer?

My hypotheses so far:

  1. Harry tries to revive Hermione, and the knowledge he acquires in order to do so (whether or not he succeeds) lets him solve the riddle of what magic is/how it is ruled. He chooses to make that knowledge public, thus changing the face of the magical world to those who live it it. (50% estimate)
  2. Harry will succeed in actually cheating death, and either as a result or through the means he employs to do it, this will affect the source of magic in a way that will change some of its features. (40% estimate)
  3. Harry does not succeed in reviving Hermione, and this somehow ends up in the world catching on fire. (5% estimate).
  4. Harry is not the one whom the prophecy refers to. It could be Snape, for example. (2% estimate).