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Alicorn comments on Luminosity (Twilight Fanfic) Discussion Thread 3 - Less Wrong

10 Post author: Alicorn 30 December 2010 02:37PM

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Comment author: Alicorn 13 January 2011 10:00:53PM 1 point [-]

On the other hand, Eliezer is much better at lacing in the didacticism since it feels like the lessons has for the reader are abandoned toward the end of book 1; and there isn't much one could learn from book 2 with Elspeth.

Where story and didacticism are in tension, I chuck didacticism in favor of story.

I came into Luminosity expecting Bella to sort of be like Harry in MoR; but she's not very much like him.

Well, good, I wouldn't want to be doing the exact same thing. How redundant. (Also, have to admit that while Eliezer's writing has many strong points, writing characters I'm interested in welcoming into my brain ain't among them.)

Harry with Bella's advantages and obstacles would have taken over the world in the first few years.

I think Harry would probably have gotten himself killed the minute he wandered near Volterra and was too obtrusively dangerous. Pretty much everybody who spends any amount of time with Harry in his story figures he's probably kind of hazardous to have around, even as an ally, and he doesn't curb this tendency very quickly. This is the sort of character trait that makes the Volturi kill you. (And had they earnestly tried to kill Bella in Volterra, even her juiced-up shield wouldn't have saved her. The fact that they were willing to risk waiting a while to see how she turned out allowed her to survive.)

Vampires die easily of fire? Splendid, Bella spends a few months reading and developing a fuel-air bomb and there they go.

That would be boring and tweaks personal buttons of mine. Sorry.

(Easily justifiable, too, consequentially.)

There is a sharp limit to how much this can really surprise you if you have been paying any attention. If you want to read stories where the Good Guys reason consequentialistically, find another author.

Comment author: gwern 15 January 2011 09:19:50PM *  1 point [-]

Where story and didacticism are in tension, I chuck didacticism in favor of story.

It's too bad you can't do both; I liked Luminosity-the-articles.

Well, good, I wouldn't want to be doing the exact same thing. How redundant.

I don't think it's any more redundant than any 2 LW articles on applying probability theory or akrasia are. The universe of plots featuring sane characters ought to be as large as the usual universe of plots featuring less-than-rational characters.

Pretty much everybody who spends any amount of time with Harry in his story figures he's probably kind of hazardous to have around, even as an ally, and he doesn't curb this tendency very quickly.

Yes, and he gets away with his lack of secrecy because he knows of no live enemies. He's told pretty shortly after being introduced to the wizarding world 'oh and by the way your only real enemy or competitor is apparently dead and all his followers are keeping their heads low', and shortly thereafter he's busily recruiting the most dangerous & active of his enemies - Quirrel and the Malfoys - into being his mentor and student.

Any reasonable extrapolation of MoR Harry involves him being frightened out of his wits by depraved enemies with millions of years of experience the moment he's told of them, and if we somehow postulate that he decides to go around being scary, his visit to Volterra would cure that.

That would be boring and tweaks personal buttons of mine. Sorry.

Also unfortunate. I winced at the Demetri bit in the chapter today. Of course it matters how good Demetri is at hand-to-hand combat compared to other handy vampires, because we all know there's no other way to fight. A pity their kung fu is not best!

There is a sharp limit to how much this can really surprise you if you have been paying any attention.

A deontologist who can't justify war or bombings is in a sorry state indeed. I tend to assume you aren't writing stupid deontologists and so they ought to be considering more effective methods.

Comment author: FAWS 15 January 2011 04:58:02PM 0 points [-]

Harry with Bella's advantages and obstacles would have taken over the world in the first few years.

You mean weeks, right?

I think Harry would probably have gotten himself killed the minute he wandered near Volterra and was too obtrusively dangerous.

He wouldn't have gone there until prepared to deal with them. The very first thing Harry would have done (or possibly second after being turned) would have been experimenting with Alice's precognition. It's at least three orders of magnitudes more powerful than all other abilities combined, can be experimented on safely and instantly and allows you to do most other experiments safely and instantly as well. Given a fully cooperative Alice and his creativity the only credible opponent at that point is the author (there are no wolves around at that point, the Volturi not aware of Half Vampires [right? I have no knowledge of canon], and the "free will" limitation doesn't make sense and either can be eliminated, mitigated, or has implications that completely change the picture, like that they are in a simulation that might be hackable, or characters in a story).