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Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 09 March 2015 03:06:24PM 11 points [-]

I'll be at more than one of these.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 17 February 2015 03:11:49AM 7 points [-]

Quirrell can even fool people IRL. Let's hope he doesn't escape the box of the fanfiction. Maybe writing the fan fiction installed him as a tulpa on EY's wetware.

Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 19 February 2015 06:43:41PM 7 points [-]

I am not a tulpa and am not (in this instance) running on EY's wetware.

In response to ...
Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 12 November 2014 03:16:57AM 16 points [-]

I am not any person named in the linked page, though I have met some or all of them. I am not affiliated with MIRI in any way. I did not post the linked page and I do not know who did.

The linked page is obvious slander. But its creation is a serious matter; the author is threatening to manufacture evidence. Thus, it should be handled the same way as a death threat: with an investigation to determine who sent it. The site is hosted on EasyWeb; the domain name admin contact details point to a proxy called myprivacy.net, but the author is not very technically sophisticated (the page was authored in MS Word) so an appropriate subpoena might suffice to identify them.

Also, Mendes & Mount might want to make a public statement as to whether or not they represent MIRI. The page mentions them by name, but they're located in the wrong state (New York) and none of the practice areas listed on their web page are relevant.

How the Grinch Ought to Have Stolen Christmas

40 Quirinus_Quirrell 25 December 2013 08:00PM

On Dec. 24, 1957, a Mr. T. Grinch attempted to disrupt Christmas by stealing associated gifts and decorations. His plan failed, the occupants of Dr. Suess' narrative remained festive, and Mr. Grinch himself succumbed to cardiac hypertrophy. To help others avoid repeating his mistakes, I've written a brief guide to properly disrupting holidays. Holiday-positive readers should read this with the orthogonality thesis in mind. Fighting Christmas is tricky, because the obvious strategy - making a big demoralizing catastrophe - doesn't work. No matter what happens, the media will put the word Christmas in front of it and convert your scheme into even more free advertising for the holiday. It'll be a Christmas tragedy, a Christmas earthquake, a Christmas wave of foreclosures. That's no good; attacking Christmas takes more finesse.

The first thing to remember is that, whether you're stealing a holiday or a magical artifact of immense power, it's almost always a good idea to leave a decoy in its place. When people notice that something important is missing, they'll go looking to find or replace it. This rule can be generalized from physical objects to abstractions like sense of community. T. Grinch tried to prevent community gatherings by vandalizing the spaces where they would've taken place. A better strategy would've been to promise to organize a Christmas party, then skip the actual organizing and leave people to sit at home by themselves. Unfortunately, this solution is not scalable, but someone came up with a very clever solution: encourage people to watch Christmas-themed films instead of talking to each other, achieving almost as much erosion of community without the backlash.

I'd like to particularly applaud Raymond Arnold, for inventing a vaguely-Christmas-like holiday in December, with no gifts, and death (rather than cheer) as its central theme [1]. I really wish it didn't involve so much singing and community, though. I recommend raising the musical standards; people who can't sing at studio-recording quality should not be allowed to sing at all.

Gift-giving traditions are particularly important to stamp out, but stealing gifts is ineffective because they're usually cheap and replaceable. A better approach would've been to promote giving undesirable gifts, such as religious sculptures and fruitcake. Even better would be to convince the Mayor of Whoville to enact bad economic policies, and grind the Whos into a poverty that would make gift-giving difficult to sustain. Had Mr. Grinch pursued this strategy effectively, he could've stolen Christmas and Birthdays and gotten himself a Nobel Prize in Economics [2].

Finally, it's important to avoid rhyming. This is one of those things that should be completely obvious in hindsight, with a little bit of genre savvy; villains like us win much more often in prose and in life than we do in verse.

And with that, I'll leave you with a few closing thoughts. If you gave presents, your friends are disappointed with them. Any friends who didn't give you presents, it's because they don't care, and any fiends who did give you presents, they're cheap and lame presents for the same reason. If you have a Christmas tree, it's ugly, and if it's snowing, the universe is trying to freeze you to death.

Merry Christmas!


[1] I was initially concerned that the Solstice would pattern-match and mutate into a less materialistic version of Christmas, but running a Kickstarter campaign seems to have addressed that problem.

[2] This is approximately the reason why Alfred Nobel specifically opposed the existence of that prize.


Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 12 January 2013 05:16:08PM 16 points [-]

So, The Tech is reporting that Aaron Swartz has killed himself. No suicide note has surfaced, PGP-signed or otherwise. No public statements that I've been able to find have identified witnesses or method. Aaron Swartz was known for having many enemies. There's the obvious enemies in the publishing industry and the US attorneys office. Cory Doctorow wrote that he had "a really unfortunate pattern of making high-profile, public denunciations of his friends and mentors."

I'd like to raise the possibility that this was not a natural event. Most of this evidence can be adequately explained by how little time has passed, so we'll know more in a few days or weeks.

Strange side note: He had a PGP public key on his web page at http://www.aaronsw.com/pgp, retrievable from Wayback Machine, but the link went bad some time after Jul 28 2012. All other links on the site seem to be fine.

Additional side note: if your chance of being murdered ever goes past 0.01, state publicly that you don't believe in suicide and that any suicide note would definitely be cryptographically verifiable. If it ever goes past 0.05, set up a record-audio-to-Internet button that you can activate in under a second, then give your lawyer a signed message saying that any supposed suicide note which lacks a certain phrase is fake.

In response to 2012 Survey Results
Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 29 November 2012 08:00:18PM 15 points [-]

"Eliezer Yudkowsky personality cult."
"The new thing for people who would have been Randian Objectivists 30 years ago."
"A sinister instrument of billionaire Peter Thiel."

Nope, no one guessed whose sinister instrument this site is. Muaha.

Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 13 March 2012 01:22:17AM 18 points [-]

Thanks, Eliezer, for unpausing one of my substrates!

Comment author: MichaelVassar 06 October 2011 01:20:29AM *  8 points [-]

I don't think that it's particularly rational to be poly, but I do think that most people who are trying to be rational try to be poly, because being poly is a natural consequence of assumptions which sound reasonable and which few people in our society who identify with reason challenge.

Also, let me note that I see polyamory through a lens much closer to that held by many lesbians, which sees sexual orientation as primarily political, rather than the lens favored by most male homosexuals, which sees sexual orientation as primarily biological but which would seem to contradict what we know of the history of cultures such as Classical Greece.

Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 06 October 2011 01:46:37AM 8 points [-]

You really ought to get yourself an anonymous alter-identity so you aren't tempted to discuss things like this under your real name. I believe that you in particular should avoid this topic when writing on public forums.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 16 September 2011 01:42:03AM *  24 points [-]

There are two primary issues.

First, regular identities can be linked to actual people. If someone talks about how they support AI and nanotech research in this specific context it could draw the attention of the group in question.

Second, people in this thread may be tempted to discuss whether there is any actual legitimacy to the viewpoints in question. In general, Less Wrong commentators are probably more oblivious than the most people about how frank discussions can lead to bad results even when they are being discussed in a highly hypothetical fashion. For example, having the SIAI associated with even marginal, theoretical support of terrorist activity in this age could lead to be bad results.

Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 16 September 2011 01:21:49PM 9 points [-]

One Quirrell point to JoshuaZ for getting both of the reasons, rather than stopping after just one like jimrandomh did.

(I'm going to stop PGP signing these things, because when I did that before, it was a pain working around Markdown, and it ended up having to be in code-format mode, monospaced and not line broken correctly, which was very intrusive. A signed list of all points issued to date will be provided on request, but I will only bother if a request is actually made.)

Comment author: Quirinus_Quirrell 15 September 2011 04:44:39PM *  30 points [-]

A while back, I claimed the Less Wrong username Quirinus Quirrell, and started hosting a long-running, approximate simulation of him in my brain. I have mostly used the account trivially - to play around with crypto-novelties, say mildly offensive things I wouldn't otherwise, and poke fun at Clippy. Several times I have doubted the wisdom of hosting such a simulation. Quirrell's values are not my own, and the plans that he generates (which I have never followed) are mostly bad when viewed in terms of my values. However, I have chosen to keep this occasional alter-identity, because he sees things that would otherwise be invisible to me.

Tor and a virtual machine sandbox are strongly recommended for following all links in this comment. Malware is highly probable and intelligence agencies take notice.

All of the primary source documents from this group are in Spanish. The blog "War on Society" has a translation of one of ITS's manifestos here, plus links to an earlier manifesto, a photo of one of the assembled package bombs, and the original publication in Spanish on the blog Liberacion Total here. Liberacion Total has been accused of being affiliated with ITS for publishing the manifesto, but they put up a notice saying they merely received it by mail. A few interesting observations:

  • The basic thesis of ITS's writing is "technology is bad". It shuffles between talking about different types of technology and different ways, bringing up gray goo, artificial intelligence, animal testing, and environmental contamination.
  • It is focused almost exclusively on Mexico and Mexican universities.
  • The original documents replace o/a->x in many words. I saw this in "lxs cientificxs" ("the scientists") several times, and thought it was meant to be threatening; but on further inspection, I think this is more like those novelty gender-neutral pronouns ("ey") you sometimes see in English. If you want to use automated translation, you will have to undo this first.
  • The blogs War on Society, Liberacion Total and culmine appear to be sympathetic.
  • There are names of specific people and organizations in those documents. Those people should take notice (and probably already have).

SingInst gets one mention on this page, in the middle of some ranting about Facebook being a mind-control tool.

Siguiendo con el tema de la informática, las famosas redes sociales y específicamente una que es Facebook se ha convertido en el centro de atención de la sociedad tecnoindustrial, pues en ella el sistema ve un aliado importante para el total control del comportamiento humano, que es en si, un factor sumamente amenazante para el orden establecido dentro de la Civilización.

Uno de los tres líderes de Facebook es Peter Thiel, un empresario estadounidense quien se ha propuesto la eliminación total del mundo real o natural y la imposición del mundo digital, así como se oye lo ha dicho. Analizando esto, podemos ver que Facebook no es una simple red comunicacional inofensiva, sino que es un experimento social de control mental que el Sistema Tecnológico Industrialestá usando con gran efectividad para excluir a la Naturaleza del contacto humano, es decir, desarrolla en gran medida la alienación total de lxs individuos a la Tecnología.

Pero este empresario pervertido no se ha quedado quieto, además de ser uno de lxs principales contribuyentes de la mencionada herramienta de control mental, ha invertido millonarias ganancias en investigación de inteligencia artificial y nuevas tecnologías capaces de alargar la vida del hombre por medio de la ciencia. Para esto tiene de aliado al Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence y al inglés gerontólogo biomédico Aubrey de Grey, quien se encarga específicamente en desarrollar por medio de una tecnología altamente avanzada que el periodo de vida de un ser humano se alargue de manera indefinida, y así, el humano hecho maquina ha sido creado!

Which Google translates to:

Continuing the theme of IT, the famous social networking and specifically one that is Facebook has become the focus of techno-industrial society, for in it the system is an important ally for the total control of human behavior, which is itself, a factor extremely threatening to the established order in Civilization. One of the three leaders of Facebook is Peter Thiel, an American businessman who has proposed the complete elimination of real or natural world and the imposition of the digital world and hear what he said.

Analyzing this, we see that Facebook is not just a harmless communication network, but a social experiment in mind control that the System of Industrial Technology are using very effectively to exclude the nature of human contact, that is largely developed total alienation of individuals to Technology.

But this perverted businessman has not stood still, and is one of the main contributors of that mind-control tool, has invested millions in profits in artificial intelligence research and new technologies to extend the life of man through science. For this is an ally to Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence and biomedical gerontologist English Aubrey de Grey, who is specifically responsible to develop through a highly advanced technology that the lifetime of a human being lengthened indefinitely, and so The man made machine has been created!

There are some clues in there that could be useful for figuring out who this is. I'm not sure how uncommon the 'x' thing is, but it's probably in his real-name writings too, and it's easy to search for. His rantings about Facebook indicate he probably had an account at one point but abandoned it. On priors, he's almost certainly a loner, and the same rant seems to back that up. His understanding of technology seems pretty shallow, which means the manifestos might've been sent through insufficiently-anonymized means (though Liberacion Total probably isn't keen on helping unmask him).

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