Which Voldemort is Scariest?

London Olympics Opening Ceremony

Unsurprisingly, I was rereading Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality on the way back from Bayes Camp (specifically chapters 19 and 20). And, between that and the really bizarre and delightful Olympic opening ceremonies, I ended up wondering whether Canon!Voldemort or HPMOR!Voldemort was scarier.That's not the same question as which of them would win in a fight. It's clearly the HPMOR version. I was wondering which of them would be more terrifying to live in the same world with. When I … [Read more...]

Can you help out Alexander Aan?

I'm on my way back from rationality camp and had a lovely time.  I'll have a few more updates on the experience when I return, but I'll space them out a bit with more of my usual posts.  While I'm in transit, there's a freedom and religion issue some of the readers here may want to take action on.In Indonesia, Alexander Aan is in jail because, according to CFI: Earlier this year, after stating on Facebook his doubt about the existence of God and posting some satirical cartoons about the p … [Read more...]

And now a story definitely not from rationality camp

After nearly a week of Less Wrong retreat updates, I realize some of you may want a palate cleanser. You’re in luck. My friend Tristyn, who blogs at Eschatological Psychosis, has been posting excerpts from her senior essay and soliciting comment. Her thesis was on Father John of Kronstadt, and I enjoyed reading her paper, but I did kind of wish that her whole paper had been on the role of holy fools in the Russian Orthodox once I read this section. And now you, too, can feel my longing.  Reading … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (7/27/12)

--- 1 --- Some long time ago, at some point after I'd discovered Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, I found LessWrong.  I liked the articles I stumbled on and occasionally went on link safari the way I do on TV Tropes, but I didn't start reading the Sequences in any organized way until Luke Muehlhauser (then of Common Sense Atheism, now of the Singularity Institute) started blogging through all of Yudkowsky's posts in chronological order. I flagged some of the posts as particularly i … [Read more...]

If only someone had said this to Stoic!Teenaged!Leah

I'm still at Rationality Camp, and I've noticed that a subset of classes all fall into a category of something I might call "Mitigating How Weird You Are."  There are some people talking about body language, clothing style, and other ways to smooth your relations with other people that LessWrongers could probably do better.  I read Tom and Lorenzo, so I've got a pretty good data base to induct heuristics from.The discussion in this genre I liked best so far was called Emotional API.  (An API … [Read more...]

Chatting with Eve Tushnet

I did an interview with Eve Tushnet (a fellow Patheos blogger and a friend from college debate) over at Catholic Lane.  Now that I'm reading it, it's a little embarrassing how many times Eve had to use brackets to translate a gesture or noise I was making into, y'know, words. (Meanwhile, at rationality camp, I was trying to help someone correct an error in a math question by saying "No, no, you need to throw up a [holds up forearms, perfectly parallel and makes a clicking noise] which, shoc … [Read more...]

Markets in Everything!

At Bayes Camp, we aren't just doing estimating exercises in class.  At the beginning of camp, the organizers told us that we could start prediction markets in anything we liked.  A staff member would estimate initial odds that a proposition was true or false, and we could add subsequent predictions.  You gained or lost points proportional to how much your prediction was more accurate than the one right before yours (full explanation at the bottom of the post).The markets started pretty quo … [Read more...]