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Comment author: WalterL 29 January 2015 11:26:48PM 4 points [-]

That doesn't make much sense. Villain watches Hermione getting closer and closer to the fatal information. Then she reaches it, and he kills her.

Why not just change the books, or steal them? "I'll kill anyone who tries to read this" is like the worst imaginable way to keep information in a book from being popularly known.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 30 January 2015 09:27:37AM 2 points [-]

Maybe the books are so boring that almost no one wants to read them. Hermione was an unlikely exception, and under usual circumstances no one else would bother reading the books. On the other hand, the library might have magical protection against damaging books.

Comment author: knb 30 January 2015 02:12:18AM 4 points [-]

There's some pretty compelling research that indicates most people dislike open office designs. It also seems to lower productivity.

Which leads to the question of why so many companies use open office designs. My guess is that open offices make the company seem more cool/laid-back and less stodgy than cubicle farms. This might help to attract employees, even though it actually makes them less happy in the long-run.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 30 January 2015 09:22:08AM *  0 points [-]

Maybe this is the difference between the roles of "predator" and "prey". As a "prey", you hate open spaces. As a "predator", you love them. Guess who has the power to make the decision?

The bosses are probably making the decisions that feel right to them, ignoring the research. And maybe the employees' ability to endure the increased stress is some kind of costly signalling. (Not sure what exactly is signalled here: loyalty? self-confidence? resistance to stress?)

Comment author: Salemicus 29 January 2015 04:35:57PM 0 points [-]

"Eternal suffering for non-believers" is non-mainstream in Islam. The mainstream position is that righteous Jews, Christians and Sabaeans will be OK. Pagans, however, are right out.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 30 January 2015 09:11:59AM *  0 points [-]

Uhm, this seems like saying that "eternal suffering for non-believers" is the mainstream position... it's just that People of the Book are not automatically included among the "non-believers".

Comment author: buybuydandavis 29 January 2015 11:21:06PM 4 points [-]

But if you make systematic mistakes in thinking, you will only be making them faster.

But you can get away with more mistakes, if you can loop your test and improve cycle to fix those mistakes.

There was a demo that really brought this home to me. Some robotic fingers dribbling a ping pong ball at blinding speed. Fast cameras, fast actuators, brute force stupid feedback calculations. Stupid can be good enough if you're fast enough.

For more human creative processes, speeding up the design/test/evaluate loop will often beat more genius. Many things aren't to be reasoned out as much tested out.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 30 January 2015 09:04:45AM 0 points [-]

I have this intuition that higher intelligence "unlocks" some options, and then it depends on the speed how much many points you get from the unlocked options. For example, if you have a ping-pong-playing robot with insane speed, such robot could easily win any ping-pong tournament. But still couldn't conquer the world, for example. His intelligence only unlocks the area of playing ping-pong. If the intelligence is not general, making it faster still doesn't make it general.

For general intelligences, if we ignore the time and resources, the greatest obstacle to a mind is the mind itself, its own biases. If the mind is prone to do really stupid things, giving it more power will allow it to do stupid things with greater impact. For example, if someone chooses to ignore feedback, then having more design/test/evaluate cycles available will not help.

Now let's assume that we have an intelligence which is (a) general, and (b) willing to experiment and learn from feedback. On this level, is time and resources all that matters? Would any mind on this level, given unlimited time (immoratlity) and resources, sooner or later become a god? Or is the path full of dangerous destructive attractors? Would the mind be able to successfully navigate higher and higher levels of meta-thinking, or could a mistake at some level prevent it from ever getting higher? In other words, is "don't ignore the feedback" the only issue to overcome, or is it just a first of many increasingly abstract issues that an increasingly powerful mind will have to deal with, where a failure to deal with any of them could "lock" the path to godhood even given unlimited time and resources? For example, imagine a mind that would be willing to consider feedback, but wouldn't care about developing a good theory of maths and statistics. At some moment, it would be making incorrect conclusions from the feedback.

I agree that for humans, lack of time and resources is a huge issue.

Comment author: solipsist 29 January 2015 02:03:58AM *  57 points [-]

Confirmation the prophecy isn't about Neville:

Neville Longbottom... who took this test in the Longbottom home... received a grade of Outstanding.

Harry raised the parchment with its EE+, still silent.

The Defense Professor smiled, and it went all the way to those tired eyes.

"It is the same grade... that I received in my own first year."


Comment author: Viliam_Bur 29 January 2015 12:38:26PM *  1 point [-]

Maybe that's a red herring, and the true explanation was given in the previous chapter:

The Dark Lord is Harry. The power he does not know and which will destroy him at the end is:

"Indifference," Harry whispered aloud, the secret of a spell he would never be able to cast

Unlike Quirrell, Harry considers the rest of humans to be his equals. At some moment he will need their help to change the laws of physics, but they will all ignore him. Later Harry will grow old and die. Or someone will kill him for some trivial reason. There will be no one else like him in this universe, so finally the entropy will tear the stars apart.

(Just kidding.)

Comment author: ilzolende 29 January 2015 02:47:33AM 1 point [-]

I already don't hurt people. My problem was that I was entering mental states that, if I continued to enter them, made me somewhat liable to potentially hurt someone.

Also, the people who make me extremely angry have so far been either people who I am not near in person (historical figures and people running organizations with goals directly counter to my interests), or people with power over me (I'm a disabled teenager, they're legally allowed to do all sorts of stuff and call it 'treatment' if they wanted to), both of whom are groups that I really don't want to or can't scream at. (I would like to scream at the people who state that preventing deaths from measles leads to autism, and that a chance of autism is worse than a lower chance of dying painfully, but they quite wisely avoid me.)

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 29 January 2015 10:17:35AM *  0 points [-]

Oh. :(

As my religious friends sometimes say:
"It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living doctor."
(Hebrews 10:31, more or less)

Comment author: gjm 28 January 2015 04:28:50PM *  1 point [-]

The intended meaning of the poll is less than perfectly clear to me. Are you asking about (1) working in an open space where your boss is actually, literally, nearby and behind you all the time? Or about (2) working in an open space, full stop?

(I work in an open-plan office. My boss is usually on another continent and when he's here the place where he usually sits doesn't give him direct sight of what I'm doing. I dislike open-plan offices, partly because of the feeling of being watched all the time and partly for other reasons, but it's at the "mildly uncomfortable" level. If my boss -- or anyone else, actually -- were actually sat behind me watching me work all day I'd rate it as "beyond horrible".)

[EDITED to clarify meaning.]

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 28 January 2015 08:07:28PM *  1 point [-]

I wanted to ask about working in an open space where your boss is... let's say in the same room, somewhere where he can watch you all day long.

Not necessarily immediately behind you; could be on the opposite side of the room; could be sideways. And of course sometimes he leaves the room for meetings etc., but his official sitting place is in the same room as yours, and he uses it almost every day for a few hours.

And "boss" doesn't necessarily mean the owner of the company; simply someone who is above you in the hierarchy; someone who gives you commands and who could fire you or significantly contribute to getting you fired. So it's not a room full of equals.

Comment author: bogus 28 January 2015 04:08:25PM *  2 points [-]

giggling in a high-pitched voice at every opportunity, frequently inserting little "jokes" which other women often find annoying, turning attention to their body by exaggerated movements, etc. (Not sure if I described it well; I hope you know what I mean).

To me, that behavior connotes a combination of wanting to project femininity (not so much sexual behavior or attractiveness) and having lower-than-average self esteem (i.e. perceived status). It is mostly the latter that can be slightly annoying in the workplace, since such people are often unwittingly excluded from discussion (wobster109 also raises this point).

The root problem here is not so much the behavior itself, but lack of perceived status that then leads to that behavior as a kind of overcompensation. ISTM that high self esteem often boosts both social attractiveness and effectiveness in the workplace (as long as it doesn't come with 'Type-A' overt aggressiveness, and even then sometimes), and that this broadly applies to both males and females.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 28 January 2015 04:45:46PM *  5 points [-]

Low self-esteem hypothesis is difficult to falsify, because whatever social role given person plays and however they behave, one could still say "but maybe deep inside they feel insecure". Having said that... yes, this may be an instinctive reaction of a nervous woman, but I believe I have also seen high-status women doing that strategically.

Imagine a club that has informal lectures at its meetings (not LessWrong, but similar), and a 30-something woman, a long-term relatively high-status member of the club, interrupting the lectures every few minutes with some "witty" remark. That was the most annoying example I remember. It seemed to me like she was trying to immitate a behavior of a young girl, in my opinion not very successfully, exactly because some element of shyness was missing; it was only rude. Possibly she was projecting her authority against other present women. I just shrugged this behavior off as rude and forgot it afterwards, but my girlfriend later told me she wanted to kill that person. (Which I take as an evidence that the behavior was a way of intra-gender status fight.)

Comment author: JoshuaZ 28 January 2015 04:02:11PM 4 points [-]

Was the author Gerald Durrell? I don't remember him specifically talking about that issue but he wrote a lot of humorous books about his time as a naturalist and helping run zoos.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 28 January 2015 04:24:57PM 1 point [-]

Was the author Gerald Durrell?


Comment author: Viliam_Bur 28 January 2015 03:29:19PM *  5 points [-]

I read a book from a guy who writes many funny stories about animals (sorry, I don't remember his name now). He described how ZOOs often try to provide a lot of space for animals... which is actually bad for non-predators, because their instinct is to hide, and if they cannot hide, they have high levels of stress (even when nothing is attacking them at the moment), which harms their health. Instead, he recommended to give the animals a small place to hide, where they will feel safe.

Recently (after reading "Don't Shoot the Dog", which I strongly recommend to everyone) when I read something about animals, I often think: "What could this imply for humans?"

For me, open-space offices are this kind of scary. I can't imagine working in an open-space office and keeping my sanity. On a second thought, it depends. I probably wouldn't mind having fellow employees in the same room, but the idea of my boss watching me all day long feels really uncomfortable.

Are other people okay with that? (Maybe they consider bosses to be their friends instead of predators.) Or is it just something that the bosses force upon us, and some of us pretend to be okay with it to signal being a "professional" (which is something like being a Vulcan rationalist)?

Could you work in a open space, where your boss would be sitting behind your back all day long? How would you rate such working environment? -- Please answer only if you are an employee in a situation where you make money for living (not a student, not the boss).

EDIT to clarify: I meant sitting in open-space office with your boss (defined as someone who is in hierarchy above you, who gives you commands, even if they are not at the very top of the company). And the boss does not have to sit literally behind your back, but spends most of the time in the room where you work, sitting in the place where they see you.


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