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Comment author: Normal_Anomaly 04 March 2015 08:58:26PM 7 points [-]

I'd like to request that when the date and time of a meetup is finalized, that somebody post as much LW. I don't have a facebook and would prefer to keep it that way, but I also don't want to miss the London party. Please and thank you.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 06 March 2015 12:42:36AM 2 points [-]

Yes, please! Not everyone is on Facebook.

Comment author: ZankerH 04 March 2015 09:46:40AM 1 point [-]

This bothers me as well. I don't see why rejecting the mythology should be grounds for rejecting the institution and its many social functions that have yet to be replicated in any capacity by secular organisations.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 04 March 2015 09:59:49AM 2 points [-]

Some religious social functions are denied to people who do not believe, or are unwilling to lie to their loved ones about their disbelief. It's one thing to attend church services, quite another to participate in a baptism wherein you swear to the best of your ability to raise the baptized child in a belief you think is a flat lie.

Some religious social functions may be deemed socially harmful, for instance the inculcation of false material or social beliefs in children. (I don't mean false beliefs of the form "Jesus loves you", but of the form "experiencing lust corrupts your mind", "listening to the Beatles will cause you to join a cult", or "yoga is an occult practice and doing it will cause to become insane".)

In many cases, the institution uses its access to members to advocate specific political and social positions which are opposed to humanist values; thus, the atheist humanist may see the organization as a political opponent.

Comment author: jimrandomh 03 March 2015 06:47:33PM 9 points [-]

The way he set it up gives Hermione the same credit for defeating Voldemort that Harry got when he was a baby.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 03 March 2015 06:51:56PM 9 points [-]

... which conveniently explains why Hermione has super powers now.

Comment author: Alsadius 03 March 2015 06:41:57PM *  0 points [-]

3) Voldemort is evil and cannot be persuaded to be good; the Dark Lord's utility function cannot be changed by talking to him.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 03 March 2015 06:50:44PM 8 points [-]

Voldemort doesn't want the world destroyed, and he just made Harry into a world-destruction-preventer. Pointing this out — and pointing out that Harry is now a better world-destruction-preventer than Voldemort could become — doesn't involve changing Voldemort's utility function.

(Voldemort can't swear an Unbreakable Vow akin to Harry's because nobody has trust in him that could be sacrificed to power it.)

Comment author: V_V 28 February 2015 10:08:53AM 2 points [-]

but Star Trek made a certain kind of sense in the late 1960's (nearly 50 years ago!) when the U.S. and the Soviet Union had real space programs which tried to do new things, one after another.

I haven really watched more than a few episodes of ToS, but IIUC it never even bothered to be a realistic depiction of how space exploration would look like. It was more e metaphor of the Cold War, in Space!

would people 50 years from now, in a permanently Earth-bound reality, bother to watch these ancient shows and obsess over the characters?

They will probably idolize some dude who played a vampire. Or zombie. Or BDSM vampire zombie...

Comment author: fubarobfusco 01 March 2015 07:42:04PM 3 points [-]

I haven really watched more than a few episodes of ToS, but IIUC it never even bothered to be a realistic depiction of how space exploration would look like. It was more e metaphor of the Cold War, in Space!

The original series was rarely about the political or military tension between the Federation and an opposing major power (i.e. the Klingons or Romulans). It was much more often about dropping in on some planet and solving some local problem; or some psychic effect or setup by superhuman powers causing the crew to reenact a moral or metaphorical drama. Superhuman godlike entities appear more often than the Federation's rivals.

(Klingons only appear in seven TOS episodes, and Romulans in three — out of 79 episodes produced. Alternate Earths, such as those of "Miri" and "Bread and Circuses", and explicit reenactments of Earth social systems, such as the Nazis of "Patterns of Force" or the gangsters of "A Piece of the Action", are about as common.)

Comment author: Astazha 26 February 2015 02:28:13AM *  2 points [-]

"Fire at her on my count!" shouted the leading voice. "One, two, three! " and maybe-forty voices roared spells, creating a huge concentric array of fiery bolts that lit the wide corridor brighter than the Sun -

for the short moment before the bolts struck and vanished upon a dark red octagon that appeared in the air around the girls, and then disappeared a moment later.

Hermione saw it, she saw it but she still couldn't imagine it; she couldn't imagine a Shielding Charm that powerful, a spell that would withstand an army.

From Ch. 74. It's not clear to me whether the shield was invisible until struck or if he put it up very quickly and silently.

We've also seen him just flatly stop curse bolts in midair and then flick them away, without apparent shielding or obvious effort. He's got defense options like Smaug has gold coins.

If killing him was easy, someone would have done it before. Even though he had horcruxes, it's telling that he never actually had to respawn from one until he tried juggling dynamite and blew his own self up.


Comment author: fubarobfusco 26 February 2015 05:09:50AM 6 points [-]

For what it's worth, the visual effect is that of an AT Field from Evangelion, which is normally invisible until struck.

Comment author: fezziwig 24 February 2015 11:08:55PM 1 point [-]

I'm not sure I agree. Everyone Is An Idiot Except Quirrel And Maybe Harry is a major theme of the whole series, not stronger than anti-deathism but certainly more consistent. Dumbledore bought the first level of Riddle's two-level bluff; in context that's pretty dumb, but not unusually so by MOR NPC standards.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 25 February 2015 01:30:01AM 18 points [-]

Harry is the viewpoint character, and he thinks everyone is an idiot except him and Quirrell. He is in error. He has been consistently in error about this since ... forever. It's probably a character flaw that he shares with Voldemort, although Harry has a somewhat less murderous form of it.

For instance, Harry believes that the wizarding economy should be trivially exploitable via exchange with the Muggle precious-metals market. He believes this because even though he knows about half-bloods (i.e. witches and wizards who have a Muggle parent), he thinks that he is special and that nobody else ever would have thought of that.

Similarly, he believes that he is the first to come up with the idea of combining magic and Muggle science. He isn't that, either. He doesn't realize this even after he is given the (ostensible) diary of Roger Bacon.

And here's the thing ... he doesn't update about these errors. He's not particularly curious about them. "Hey, wait, there are Muggleborns; what's the chance any of them has ever had a relative in Muggle banking, finance, or economics?" "Oh, Roger Bacon was a wizard? I had better learn me some Latin so I can find out what the history of magic/science interaction has been."

Comment author: DanielLC 24 February 2015 03:42:45AM 1 point [-]

He did read all of the books he's not supposed to.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 24 February 2015 06:47:31AM *  -1 points [-]

I'm not as smart as fictional Harry, but I knew at a younger age that books about sex (e.g. sex-ed texts intended for an adolescent audience, when I was several years from it) were books that some adults would prefer I not get into.

Comment author: Romashka 21 February 2015 03:24:13PM 1 point [-]

An anecdote: in contemporary Russian, lovers most readily translates as любовники, and not only has it a strong meaning of people having sex, but also that at least one of them is cheating upon their rightful spouse. The situation you describe would need the word влюбленньіе, literally 'those in love'.

Yet it's not impossible for 'lovers' to mean exactly 'those in love', if you speak colloquially/in a ballad mode.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 21 February 2015 09:13:47PM *  3 points [-]

In Japanese, IIRC, one of these is 'koibito' and the other 'aijin', written with almost identical kanji, both meaning 'love person'....

Comment author: Spurlock 21 February 2015 01:10:31AM *  11 points [-]

I wanted it to be an anagram of my name, but that would only have worked if I'd conveniently been given the middle name of 'Marvolo', and then it would have been a stretch. Our actual middle name is Morfin, if you're curious.

Morfin is a Riddle family name, so we can probably rule out Eliezer choosing it for its anagrams. Nevertheless, might as well have some fun:

Tom Morfin Riddle

  • Mini from toddler
  • Firm doom tendril
  • Mind meld for riot
  • Mind for time lord
  • Dirt mod of Merlin
  • MOR died from lint
  • Mr. Flirted in Doom

What else?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 21 February 2015 02:21:00AM *  14 points [-]

Norm Modifier, Ltd.
Dim dolt informer
Find old Mortimer
Doom mind trifler
I'm Milton Redford
I'm Milford rodent
Florid Tinder mom

And, ultimately ...

Lord Tim, [the] Informed

"There are some who call me ... Tim."

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