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Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 02 February 2014 10:23:18AM *  10 points [-]

Given that T'Pol is from the Enterprise series, I'd discount her as a source of evidence about the Vulcans as depicted in the original series: Enterprise is too far removed from TOS, and everything we see in it might be brain bugs.

Do you remember the telephone game from grade-school? All of the kids would sit in a circle. The first kid would whisper something in the second kid's ear, who would turn around and whisper it to the third kid, and so on. By the time it came back to the first kid, the message had completely changed. Similarly, when you have many writers working on one show, each new writer tries to interpret the work of the writers that came before, and then extrapolate from it.

It's easy to see how this works like that old grade-school telephone game. Writer #1 creates a fictional universe. Writer #2 creates a story set in his interpretation of Writer #1's fictional universe. Writer #3 creates a story which is set in his interpretation of Writer #1's fictional universe, and which attempts to continue his interpretation of the story written by Writer #2. Writer #4 tries to write a story which is consistent with the story written by Writer #3, and which is set in his interpretation of Writer #1's fictional universe, but he's not too familiar with the story made by Writer #2 because he never saw it. It's pretty obvious that by the time you get to writer #50, you've got a real mess on your hands.

But this mess is not entirely random, unlike the telephone game. People have a tendency to simplify concepts in their minds because, well, it's easier that way. We see this most prominently in the case of racial stereotyping, where racists simplify an entire human race into one or two key characteristics. It seems to be an innate tendency that can only be solved through education, which may help explain why racism tends to be inversely correlated to education level. The same mentality which drives racism seems to drive many of these brain bugs. Rather than think critically or thoroughly, it's easier to seize upon the most visible or interesting characteristic and then simplify the situation so that nothing remains but that lone characteristic. And in the Berman-Braga age, simple-minded thinking is the order of the day.

Comment author: MBlume 03 February 2014 07:15:11AM 3 points [-]

Thank you for causing me to read that =)

Comment author: Doug_S. 17 October 2008 02:03:01AM 2 points [-]

What Aaron Brown said.

Anyone who wants to make blasphemy a crime is probably guilty of "hating freedom".

Comment author: MBlume 07 January 2014 05:41:32PM 0 points [-]

"Anyone who wants to make disturbing the peace a crime is probably guilty of 'hating freedom'"

No, they have different priorities from you.

Comment author: gwern 26 July 2013 07:21:10PM 3 points [-]

Voldemort's name means "full of death". (Maybe "thief of death".)

Sure? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Voldemort :

Some literary analysts have considered possible meanings in the name: Philip Nel states that Voldemort is derived from the French for "flight of death,"[10] and in a 2002 paper, Nilsen and Nilsen suggest that readers get a "creepy feeling" from the name Voldemort, because of the French word "mort" ("death") within it and that word's association with cognate English words derived from the Latin mors.[11]

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Tom_Riddle :

the most accurate etymology of Voldemort would be the French sentence "Vol de mort" which literally means "Flight of death" (accurate considering the murder waves he commited and as his unique power). It is quite plausible that is the real etymology of his name as J.K. Rowling herself speaks French and had taught it once. The Catalan expression "vol de mort", also means "flight of death" or, since "Vol" may also be from the Latin root "volere" (will or desire), may mean "death wish".

Comment author: MBlume 28 July 2013 07:00:15PM 2 points [-]

I've always assumed it meant "flight from death"

Comment author: BT_Uytya 25 July 2013 07:40:05PM *  8 points [-]

Just remembered a serious objection, originally from Tarhish on reddit:

I had been thinking about this possibility for a while, but now it also requires Dumbledore to have lied about Lily and James hearing the prophecy in the Hall of Prophecy. Because if they did, then it means they were mentioned in the prophecy, and this theory does not, at first thought, seem to allow that.

(from here, it's only 4 months old, you still can upvote that)

This argument can be somewhat handwaved away by "James is ascendant of Ignotus Peverell, and prophecy talks about several possible futures", but still.

Comment author: MBlume 28 July 2013 06:58:27PM 4 points [-]

Harry frowned. "Well, I could listen to it, or the Dark Lord... oh, my parents. Those who had thrice defied him. They were also mentioned in the prophecy, so they could hear the recording?"

"If James and Lily heard anything different from what Minerva reported," Albus said evenly, "they did not say so to me."

"You took James and Lily there? " Minerva said.

"Fawkes can go to many places," Albus said. "Do not mention the fact."

Frankly, this reads like a non-answer to me.

Comment author: MBlume 10 July 2013 03:15:14AM 6 points [-]

Fantastic work, thank you =)

For anyone else unpacking the zip file, note you'll want to create a new directory to unzip it into, not just unzip it in the middle of your home folder.

In response to Just One Sentence
Comment author: FiftyTwo 06 January 2013 03:39:00PM 8 points [-]

"The world is not made of things with minds, but of small mindless things that obey regular patterns."

In response to comment by FiftyTwo on Just One Sentence
Comment author: MBlume 08 May 2013 11:26:35PM 2 points [-]

Physicalism is the radical notion that people are made of things that aren't people.

Comment author: shminux 15 February 2013 11:01:25PM 17 points [-]

if I saw that situation in the form of a written exam question, I wouldn't think it was very complicated or difficult.

This seems like a symptom of discrepancy between your belief (I know the right thing to do in this situation) and your alief (I am not qualified/experienced enough to know the right thing to do in this situation). Sort of like walking on a narrow ledge 3 feet off the ground vs walking on a narrow ledge 300 feet off the ground. I wonder if there are exercises to work explicitly on aligning one's alief with one's belief. Maybe jimmy can chime in.

Comment author: MBlume 05 May 2013 07:46:26AM 5 points [-]

Er, walking on a narrow ledge 300 feet off the ground is still a bad idea because, y'know even with something simple like walking, sometimes you roll a natural 1 and trip.

In response to Ugh fields
Comment author: CronoDAS 12 April 2010 05:58:50PM 5 points [-]

Reading this post triggered one. I'm going to stop thinking about it now.

In response to comment by CronoDAS on Ugh fields
Comment author: MBlume 25 March 2013 09:28:02PM 3 points [-]

This seems to be a serious problem. What do you do when you have enough vague procrastinatory ugh-fields that just reading good advice about procrastination makes you deeply afraid that you're going to have to think about one of them, so you wind up afraid to read/process it?

Comment author: DSimon 14 February 2013 02:58:46PM 3 points [-]

That last sentence is just ludicrously dense with both important advice and good tips for game design. It's excellent, is what I'm saying, and thanks for writing it. :-)

Comment author: MBlume 15 February 2013 02:00:08AM 0 points [-]

Thanks XD

Comment author: Konkvistador 24 December 2012 12:27:37PM *  11 points [-]

The levels can be hard to disambiguate so I sympathize. I'll write my opinions out unironically. You can find the full arguments in my comment history (I can dig links to that up too).

  • I'm assuming you are familiar with the arguments for efficent charity and optimal employment? If not I can provide citations & links. I don't think Sea Piracy as a means to funding efficient charity is obviously worse from a utilitarian perspective than a combo with many legal professions. It may or may not be justified, I'm leaning towards it being justified on the same utilitarian grounds as government taxation can be. If not cheating on taxes to fund efficient charity is a pretty good idea. Some people's comparative advantage will lay in sea piracy.

  • Violating copyright on software or media products in the modern West is in general not a bad thing. But indiscriminately pirating everything may be bad.

In the grandfather comment I was aiming for ambiguity and humour.

Comment author: MBlume 24 December 2012 06:45:26PM 13 points [-]

I mean, assuming that sea piracy to fund efficient charity is good, media piracy to save money that you can give to efficient charity is just obviously good.

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