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Complete Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Less Wrong - T

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by headbanger22, Mar 9, 2010.

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  1. Mountain Screamer

    Mountain Screamer Muggle

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    I'm kind of disappointed that Ron's in the story again. At least he's only there for his chess skills.
     
  2. Andro

    Andro Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    Do you have a response to Silens Cursor's or Perspicacity's quite legitimate criticisms? Harry is adopted by Richard Feynman, with all that entails - fine. How does that account for the lapses in characterisation of others?

    You took the time to register, and no one can contribute better to a discussion of a story than its author, so this is a good opportunity to shut up the annoyance that is DLP.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  3. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    This is hilarious. Nothing gets DLP angry like having its intelligence attacked. LessWrong riles us up so much because we assume him to be intelligent too. We look at his website and think "maybe he is pretty intelligent". And suddenly it's not some arrogant author attacking us like all that have come before. We allow him the position of a peer in our minds, and accordingly get more offended when he insults us. But guys, you gotta remember something pretty important here:

    LessWrong isn't a scientist. He isn't an academic (and his inability to take criticism in a good hint as to why. If he went through peer review, he'd probably shank someone). He isn't even really a philosopher, for his work contains little analysis - just exegesis. All he does is spread ideas and produce speculation about the pseudo-philosophical "methods of rationality" with an uncritical eye possessed only by the religious fanatic. I would name him an educator, but I think a more accurate word would be priest or missionary.

    So basically, we need to stop being so defensive. We think we're being attacked by a heavyweight, so we're going into full troll mode. But there's no need. We're being slandered by a research assistant. Oh noes. He might fetch-us-a-coffee to death.

    We also need to recognise that Methods of Rationality (the story) is not a story. We're criticising it for it's poor flow, characterisation, realism, and so on (all the things Silens mentioned and LessWrong promptly dismissed as completely irrelevant to fiction writing) but all our criticism goes nowhere. Why? Here's the clue:

    LessWrong's idea of a good review is not one that mentions any of the things related to the mechanics of writing fiction. He doesn't care about the kind of things that an editor would say if he tried to get a story like this published. He is only interested in his religious message, and the ability of people to root out his (not so) "hidden meaning" like theologians studying a holy text.

    And that's the crux of the matter: Methods of Rationality will never get into the library because it's not a story, and the library is for stories. It's closer to an essay than a story, in LessWrong's mind. Calling it a parable would, I think, be most accurate.

    (It's not even really such a great parable, either. It has one trick that it performs over an over again. Here's how it goes: "Look, Harry Potter mentioned a term like 'planning fallacy'. I know what that is! Aren't I clever?".)

    It's not that he won't interact with DLP because we're not smart enough, it's because we judge his work by a standard which he does not recognise as valid. But even if we were to use his standard, I should imagine that we'd find the parable lacking. All of the information contained within is pretty basic. For those interested in philosophy of science, science, cognitive psychology, behavioural psychology or epistemology (all areas with which the story "touches base") the story would be extremely unsatisfying. It contains no new information or analysis for anyone who has even a very basic education in these matters.

    And some of it is so basic that it is harmfully over-simplified, particularly those parts on scientific method. Most philosophers of science (good ones, at least), and most scientists agree: there is no defining science. There is no single characteristic which all areas of scientific investigation share, except perhaps mathematisation (a topic not touched upon at all in this parable, despite being perhaps the key part of science, and the most interesting mystery in philosophy of science - the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics").

    In the end all you can say is that science is as science does. You can try to pigeon-hole it, but science has a way of escaping pigeon-holes and talking about those things that used to be sacred (oh hey there, space and time), and in ways you couldn't have anticipated. For example, the methods presented in this story are entirely experimental, so would completely discount theoretical science and computer-based simulation and model-based science.

    TL;DR: We judge Methods of Rationality as a work of fiction, and it fails in this regard. However, LessWrong wants us to judge his work by a different standard - that of academia. Unfortunately, it also fails by this standard. It possesses the unenviable position of being half way between academics and fiction, and therefore succeeding in neither.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  4. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Just to put on a few tangents ...

    This, of course, is arguably untrue -- because what would a "false" critique look like? A critique is a critique, it can hardly be true or false.

    I think I analysed it quite correctly, in this thread -- the problem is, I don't care for your hidden information. I think that was the original point here. But right, you're not looking for criticism, as I said; that's fine.

    Do try, however, to feel LessImportant.

    I direct you here and here, for example. You ain't special.


    Edit:
    "And that's the crux of the matter: Methods of Rationality will never get into the library because it's not a story, and the library is for stories."

    And that was what I meant in the last paragraph my prior post. Taure said it better than me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  5. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I put DLP's self-important arrogant blowhards above the rest of the intertubes any day of the week.
     
  6. Blank402

    Blank402 Second Year

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    Wow, there's a lot of shit going on in this thread.

    Anyways, I liked this story at the beginning, but I got bored around the time Harry and Draco started investigating blood purity. It just wasn't very fun or interesting. It just didn't feel like Harry Potter. Considering how long this thread is, I'm sure someone's already said that.

    3/5
     
  7. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity Destroyer of Worlds ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    LessWrong does have a point: Silens Cursor make a dick move by posting a private conversation in public without seeking the other party's say-so first. There's an implied "off the record"-ness with PMs that was violated. I'd like to think that most of us saw the post in question and simply chose not to get involved in a Linda Tripp private-is-public-when-the-story-is-juicy moment.

    I'm even more annoyed with Silens Cursor for my waking up this morning and being made to sympathize with LessWrong on something.

    It's regrettable that the author will probably do no more in this community than this one post, a smug little thing engineered to fan flames and establish the pretense of a moral high ground, as opposed to participate in a discussion--regrettable, but pretty much par for the course. I agree with a prior poster who said it'd be nice to get back to discussing the story.
     
  8. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I find it difficult to be upset about Silens' posting of LessWrong's PM, given that it was utterly devoid of content. For your privacy to be violated, first there has to be something that is private.
     
  9. Link

    Link Order Member DLP Supporter

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    I've read all of the story a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't that bad, but the humor wasn't really good. It didn't feel like a story, but more like the author trying to express his philosophical views/theories to the readers, using the Harry Potter characters. It was amusing, nothing more.

    The 25 pages in this thread intrigued me though, and I skimmed through some of them.

    I saw the name Yudkowsky in this thread somewhere and wondered what it was all about, so I googled it.

    Apparently this author has his own Wikipedia page since a couple of years - and promotes his fan fiction in it :eek:. Most informations on his page are false - the article claims he is the Co-founder of the Singularity Institute, even though he isn't, according to the Singularity Institute web page. It clearly violates most rules about biographies of living persons, including unreliable sources (blogs, his own website, non published papers) and him being relatively unknown.

    On his FF.net profile..

    Now if he isn't an attention whore...
     
  10. Sooner90

    Sooner90 Groundskeeper

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    The story is back to being (quasi) serious in the latest chapter. Or, the humor is one of those secret mysteries buried in the text that must be thoroughly investigated before it can be revealed.

    So, the author continues to sacrifice story on the altar of his beliefs. For the life of me, I do not understand why this guy is writing HP fanfiction. I know it has an audience that he is trying to capitalize on, but surely there are more efficient ways that writing an unmarketable novel. He has no love for HP, no desire to improve his writing and for a review-whore, precious little respect for criticism.

    I have been a on again/off again fan of this fic and have been relatively content to ignore the pomposity of the a/n's or author's opinions. I can't do that if that author forces his butt-hurt onto this forum.

    I'm downgrading this story, not because the author is being a douche to the rest of us douches, but because the author has displayed that he has no love for the genre, no respect for criticism and sacrifices his story for the marketing of his beliefs, without the skill to make it work.

    2 stars
     
  11. Heleor

    Heleor EsperJones DLP Supporter

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    Lately, I find all the e-drama surrounding this story much more entertaining than the story itself.
     
  12. Celestin

    Celestin The Cursed Child

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    I wasn't reading this thread for some time, because I've lost interest in this story early on, but seeing how much response in last few days it got, I've got interested what it is all about.

    There isn't much to add that wasn't said already. Maybe only that it is funny how some people can't take criticism about their fanfiction work. I will repeat - fanfiction work. From fans for fans about things they borrow from original fiction they like. Reading some responses one could think we are discussing work of his life.

    Also, I think that having your own wikipage is great idea. I'll need to create one for myself ;) . More so, it seems that this Yudkowsky guy shares my interest - artificial intelligence research. I will need to find time to read if he has any interesting things to say about it.
     
  13. thomblake

    thomblake Muggle

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    He answers this at http://lesswrong.com/lw/2ab/harry_potter_and_the_methods_of_rationality/22v2

    He needed to write something quick and unimportant that would get him lots of feedback in a short period of time by putting lots of eyes on his work, so he could get motivated to write the serious book he's been putting off. Someone else suggested Twilight fanfiction, but that was less palatable. And EY is a fan of Harry Potter fanfiction. I get the impression that lots of people (elsewhere) thinking it's awesome was kind of an unintended side-effect.
     
  14. skyzio

    skyzio Squib

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    This account is tied to my RL name via my university (if you insist I can enable receiving emails and give you a reply from there). And naturally this name is not Eliezer Yudkowsky (who never went to university IIRC).
    Also, this shit is fun.:D

    Just thought I'd throw in $0.01 with regards to why someone might not read or enjoy the original books but still read the fanfic.
    "I like this fanfic so I'll read the books." My thought process didn't go beyond that.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain this to me. I always thought most Harry Potter fans liked the setting not the writing (kinda like Star Wars fans...) so not reading the original material would be excusable.

    Silens Cursor: I loled.:D
    Several pages of well thought out criticisms* followed by a response of "get lost moron". XD
    *reads further*
    LMAO!
    Wow, I don't think he could have said anything worse...:awesome

    Nitpick:
    Not according to Ayreon.

    Eh. Proof is a rather strong word.

    Taure: Nice!

    * Which still leave me enjoying this fic!
     
  15. Zennith

    Zennith Pebble Wrestler ~ Prestige ~

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    And I will stand by it. Renegade Cause is a far better fic, partly because of the fact that it actually is a story.
     
  16. IdSayWhyNot

    IdSayWhyNot Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    Meh, stories are one thing and this...work is something else. It doesn't belong in the Library, nor in the Recycling bin for that matter.

    If you try and judge MoR like you would a fic you'll be disappointed. But if you can suspend disbelief, get over the preaching tone of the author and the sheer arrogance displayed... Well, perhaps you'll still be disappointed, but it won't be that bad.

    And in my opinion, the only lulzy thing this story's got is this thread.
     
  17. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    I read half a chapter when this fic made its debut and I X'd out so I can't comment on the story as a whole. I can comment on this thread though.

    DLP is better than this. Let the delusional egojizz stain bask in his own sense of achievment, at the end of the day his claim to fame is typing out his opinion and tagging it onto the HP universe.

    LessWrong: 5k reviews, a tvtropes page and the endorsement of whatshisface and whatshisname. Ask a random girl on the street what tvtropes is.

    Silens: Those keystrokes could be better spent on Renegade Cause.
     
  18. Rin

    Rin Oberstgruppenführer DLP Supporter

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    PMs are Private by default. It's pretty explicit in the label, or do we all need to stop abbreviating it so people don't get so confused. When you publish PMs, it IS a huge violation of netiquette, and a good demonstration that you're untrustworthy.

    It doesn't matter if LessWrong's PM consisted of nothing by randomly generated letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. It is a PRIVATE Message until he or she says otherwise.

    Well, the silver lining here is that now I know that Silens is untrustworthy, and so are you given how much you're willing to defend the action.

    Edit: corrected two big typos, and . . .
    I don't really care who did what to whom. I go by the simple principle that I don't publish your PMs to me so you don't publish mine to you. Whether or not it's "rude," if for no other reason, do it for yourself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  19. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Yeah but Sesc is full of lulz. Anyway, "Netiquette" means dick all if you aren't bros.
     
  20. Blaise

    Blaise Golden Patronus

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    That's "now," and "Silens," yeah ? And it was a dickmove.

    Elli and Seratin ended this thread, though. This fic (and Lesswrong) is no longer worth discussing.
     
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