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Comment author: noahpocalypse 01 March 2015 05:33:50AM 3 points [-]

I think you forgot the 37(?) Death Eaters pointing their wands at Harry. You also forgot Voldie's famed reflexes, and a bullet definitely goes faster than a spell.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 March 2015 03:38:11AM 1 point [-]

Do bullets go faster than spells, or is it that it's faster to pull a trigger than to cast a spell?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 February 2015 08:55:18PM *  7 points [-]

Not a solution, but should the Death Eaters be discounted as not good for much of anything?

I don't just mean that Voldemort has shown them to be fairly incompetent, but that they may be too shaky to use whatever remains of their skills.

As an orthodox Discordian, I would be very pleased if it turned out that one of the Death Eaters has an idea which would be very useful for Voldemort, but is too afraid to say it.

Comment author: advancedatheist 26 February 2015 07:40:15PM *  1 point [-]

to reject the immoral acts of fornication

This raises something I've wondered about: These injunctions from the Abrahamic religions assume that young men have opportunities for "fornication" in the first place. What if the young women in your life do all of the rejecting to keep this from happening?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 February 2015 03:40:50PM 3 points [-]

What does this have to do with the original point?

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 February 2015 05:19:36PM 5 points [-]

Evil, defined as taking pleasure in someone else's unwanted pain, exists.

I don't think that's a good definition of evil. Feeling pleasure for punishing a person who defects from a prisoner dilemma isn't inherently evil.

When look at how clinical psychopaths are "evil" it's more complicated then simple taking pleasure in someone's unwanted pain.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 February 2015 03:13:15PM 0 points [-]


I think there are people who feel a strong impulse to cause pain. Subjectively, it may seem to them that they simply didn't think of a non-pain-causing method of achieving their other ends. For all I know, at least some of them feel causing pain as a relief of anxiety rather than pleasure.

Also, it's possible to frame just about anything as punishing defection. I've been seeing some indications that a lot of bad behavior is punishing people for claiming more status than they are felt to deserve.

Or, for something milder but closer to showing a terminal value, try this.

I'm not sure about this terminal value thing-- if someone is causing pain because they feel pleasure from it, isn't pleasure the terminal value?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 February 2015 10:32:09AM 6 points [-]

Quiz culture in India

In India, there's been a move away from simple questions about general knowledge towards complex questions which take a combination of general knowledge and deduction.

Deductive questions would probably be harder for a computer program than general knowledge questions, and inventing good deductive questions would be a lot harder.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 February 2015 10:25:17AM 2 points [-]

I think it's complicated-- what kinds of challenge are good for people, and how do you judge how much challenge of a particular type is good, and for whom?

So far as I know, being low on sleep is bad for people. Um, except that sometimes modest amounts of sleep deprivation (like an all-nighter, I think) can raise energy. Again, vague impression, but some missed sleep can work as a useful reset for some people with depression, or set off mania for people with bipolar.

Comment author: UnrequitedHope 27 February 2015 02:39:30PM 0 points [-]

Good question. How's it relevant, though?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 27 February 2015 04:51:32PM 0 points [-]

You posted as though there was something wrong with your mother for not baking cookies. I admit that when I first read it, I assumed that she was buying cookies for both you and herself, which may have been a mistake.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 27 February 2015 01:36:36PM 1 point [-]

This chapter may sort out something which got on my nerves earlier in the story-- the long sequence where Quirrell is Harry's only friend. I'm not saying that Harry should have known Quirrell was Voldemort (and I still think it might have been more interesting if Quirrell had been seriously bad news, but not Voldemort), but it seems to me that Harry liked and trusted Quirrell more than he should have. (Sorry, no details-- I'm going by memory.)

Now I think that Harry's desperate desire for an intellectual equal (which to some extent translates as someone who agrees with Harry on important issues) is somewhat a result of him being a Quirrell imprint.

I'm not clear on what being a Quirrell imprint means-- he doesn't have Quirrell's memories. He does have Quirrell's intelligence, and part of his temperament. It's interesting that a kind upbringing can have such a large effect, but I'm not sure this makes sense-- why wouldn't more of Quirrell's misanthropy have carried over?

Also, is it as plausible that death is really bad in the HPMOR universe as it is in ours? It might be true, but is it obviously true? The rules are really different with magic, and minds are much more important than in a universe where it's plausible that there's nothing but matter/energy.

Comment author: UnrequitedHope 26 February 2015 04:21:34PM *  0 points [-]

Is there anything on why people prefer to consume, rather than make things themselves?

This thought crossed my mind when my mom bought cookies today. She always buys them, never makes them.

I'm compelled to say something like "lazyness", but I could say this only applies to my mom. But on a larger scale, what makes people consume, but never produce?

(no ad hominem please)

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 27 February 2015 01:04:20AM 3 points [-]

Why aren't you baking cookies?

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 24 February 2015 01:57:23PM 0 points [-]

I believe that management is a real thing, and when done correctly it can produce a lot of value, but most managers are doing it horribly wrong.

Why are incompetent managers more successful in companies than e.g. incompetent programmers? The answer is probably in the existing feedback mechanisms. Who precisely can make the decision "this is an incompetent manager and we should tell him to improve or fire him"? Most likely a higher-level manager, who most likely is also incompetent in doing his job. Or the owner of the company; but most owners probably also don't have good management skills.

Measuring manager's output is difficult. Each company is different, each department is different, there is too much noise in the data. Managers can make decisions that save some money in short term, and cost much more in long term. Or decisions that save some money in short term, but there is a small probability of a huge loss later. If you start mesuring their outputs using crude methods, you have just provided them another incentive to make this kind of decisions.

In my life I have only met one manager whom I would call highly competent: Mr. Anton Zajac from ESET anti-virus company. (Today I learned: He has a doctorate in quantum physics.) The other managers at best did not interfere with the development process and let the team do their work; at worst actively disrupted the work of everyone else.

There is something sad about a profession where "not doing actively harm" already puts one above the average, and "actually improving things" is a rare exception. Or maybe there are actually many professions like this, only the managers are more visible.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 24 February 2015 05:06:44PM 0 points [-]

I didn't mean that there's no such thing as management-- just that there's no such thing as management in general. Competent management takes deep knowledge of a business, or at least a type of business.

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