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Comment author: Viliam_Bur 18 February 2015 09:56:16AM *  25 points [-]

Quirrell will be killed by Harry at the end -- but this is all a part of the plan.

Suppose that Quirrell is not the original Riddle, but is just another Riddle's copy. If Quirrell and Harry are both copies of the original Riddle, the original Riddle had no reason to prefer Quirrell's life to Harry's life.

The story about a good hero saving the world by defeating a horrible villain: he did not have to fake it. He could make it real, by letting two of his own copies fight against each other. Realistic hero Harry will be better than a fake hero; he will be more authentic; there will be no risk of discovering his secret in the future.

Just like Harry had a magically induced blind spot in his mind, also Quirrell can be manipulated. (Memory changes, imperius, unbreakable oath... there are many options.) This is why Quirrell does not kill Harry, why he teaches him things, any why he is making him angry at the end. This all is Quirrell's purpose; he is just a tool to prepare Harry for the role of king of the world. Quirrell is not optimizing for Quirrell; he is optimizing for Riddle.

So, this is what I imagine: First Riddle created his copy, Quirrell. Maybe with a specific purpose, maybe just as a backup copy. But later he was not satisfied with the outcome, when he realized that his new memories will not be preserved. So he later created another copy, Harry, killing himself in the process. Before that, he somehow magically commanded Quirrell to train Harry for the role of the king.

Quirrell may not be aware of this, because he was magically brainwashed. This is the power he knows not, the power that will cost him his life at the end. He is actually magically forbidden from killing Harry.

Not sure if the original Riddle was a sociopath (that would explain why he doesn't mind his two copies fighting to death against each other), or whether Quirrell's personality is another effect of the magic, preparing him to be the perfect villain.

Anyway, when Harry outsmarts and kills Quirrell at the end... this is exactly what Riddle has planned from the beginning. This was his plan for becoming a hero. (Maybe there will be a moment when the victorious Harry/Riddle will regain all original Riddle's memories. Or maybe not, because that could make him behave less authentically afterwards. Or maybe yes, because discovering that your favorite teacher was actually Lord Voldemort and defeating him is the most appropriate moment for a minor personality change.)

EDIT: Oh, now it's obvious what is in the mirror, any why Harry has to be there. The mirror contains Riddle's memories that are to be implanted in Harry soon. By the way, Dumbledore already knows many of these things, and has his own plans.

Comment author: gothgirl420666 19 February 2015 02:14:29AM 1 point [-]

This theory makes sense, but I'm not sure how it could be done in a narratively satisfying way. "Harry defeats Voldemort" is a lot better than "Voldemort wins, only Harry is Voldemort, so in a way Harry wins, but really there was no battle in the first place, and..."

Comment author: gothgirl420666 05 January 2015 03:44:03PM 13 points [-]

This isn't strictly related, but I was thinking about polyamory today and I was wondering something.

I've never experienced polyamory in real life, and while aspects of it seem cool, there's a major concern I would have with it. I feel like I would deplore a situation in which I have only one partner who in turn has multiple partners. I wouldn't be able to shake the feeling that I was getting the raw end of the deal, like I had been duped into becoming a willing participant in a sort of public systematic cuckoldry.

Given that fact, I feel like any polyamorous relationship with a "primary" would be a constant battle of sorts to ensure that I have a greater than or equal to number of dating prospects as my partner. But as a man (the username is a dumb joke), I feel like this battle would be stacked against me, as women tend to have an easier time finding dates. I imagine that this is doubly true in a rationalist community where the men probably outnumber the women by a significant amount.

I'm not sure if feeling this way says more about polyamory, or my own selfishness and insecurities. Anyway, I would be interested in hearing from polyamorous people if this is an issue that ever comes up, and if so, how it's dealt with.

Comment author: Nornagest 05 January 2015 12:18:18AM *  3 points [-]

Hypothesis: a large fraction of young men in those results are coming to terms with their sexuality, while a large fraction of old men are trying to signal sexual adventurousness?

Comment author: gothgirl420666 05 January 2015 12:58:10AM 3 points [-]

Yeah, that's what I thought too. I'm just surprised that bisexuality would be something so many men imagine (perhaps correctly?) women are attracted to.

In response to comment by Error on 2014 Survey Results
Comment author: NancyLebovitz 04 January 2015 09:37:30PM 4 points [-]

Men who aren't bisexual are missing considerably less than half the potential fun, since the proportion of men who are gay or bisexual is fairly low.

Comment author: gothgirl420666 04 January 2015 10:44:11PM *  1 point [-]

Yeah, but gay men are also more promiscuous.

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 04 January 2015 10:24:15AM 10 points [-]

I also find it fascinating that bisexuality is vastly overrepresented here.

I don't. Compare it with the OkCupid data analysis. Bisexuality could be more of a signal. Admittedly at least in the (quite large) OkCupid data.

Comment author: gothgirl420666 04 January 2015 11:36:54AM *  3 points [-]

Oh, wow, that's incredibly strange/interesting, I had never seen that before. Thanks for sharing.

The fact that young bi men are almost always closeted gay men, while old bi men are almost always closeted straight men, is particularly baffling.

In response to 2014 Survey Results
Comment author: gothgirl420666 04 January 2015 07:37:44AM *  8 points [-]

I would be really interested in hearing from one of the fourteen schizophrenic rationalists. Given that one of the most prominent symptoms of schizophrenia is delusional thinking, a.k.a. irrationality... I wonder how this plays out in someone who has read the Sequences. Do these people have less severe symptoms as a result? When your brain decides to turn against you, is there a way to win?

I also find it fascinating that bisexuality is vastly overrepresented here (14.4% in LW vs. 1-2% in US), while homosexuality is not. My natural immediate interpretation of this is that bisexuality is a choice. I think Eliezer said once that he would rather be bisexual than straight, because it would allow for more opportunities to have fun. This seems like an attitude many LW members might share, given that polyamory a.k.a. pursuing a weird dating strategy because it's more fun is very popular in this community. (I personally also share Eliezer's attitude, but unfortunately I'm pretty sure I'm straight.) So to me it seems logical that the large number of bisexuals may come from a large number of people-who-want-to-be-bisexual actually becoming so. This seems more likely to me than some aspect or correlate of bisexuality (and not homosexuality) causing people to find LW.

Alternatively, and now that I think about it probably more realistically, perhaps the vast majority of people in America who are attracted to two genders decide to keep their same-sex attraction to themselves, concluding (arguably rationally) that the added sexual opportunities aren't worth the stigmatization. However, LW members are more likely to be unashamed of being weird, and also more likely to socialize e.g. with a bunch of nerds in the Bay Area, meaning that the risk of stigmatization is much lower.

Or perhaps the true answer is some sort of combination of the two I just postulated.

[Poor calibration] is not a human universal - people who put even a small amount of training into calibration can become very well calibrated very quickly.

Is there a source on this?

Comment author: BrienneYudkowsky 24 December 2014 09:11:02PM 0 points [-]

I said it because of how I think about thoughts. When i say "thought", I mean anything that is happening in consciousness. Any sensation, any mental event that you're subjectively experiencing. When I say "conscious", I mean "you're experiencing things" (and maybe also you're awake). So if you're not experiencing things, you're not conscious. So if I taboo "thought" and "conscious", then I'd express this bit as "Try to stop having mental events. (You can't actually do that while in a state that affords trying, of course. Trying is a mental event.)"

Comment author: gothgirl420666 25 December 2014 07:26:59AM 0 points [-]

Oh, okay. To me a thought means something more along the lines of the things the little voice in your head says to you.

Comment author: BrienneYudkowsky 23 December 2014 01:52:39PM 0 points [-]

It doesn't need citation. How would that help? It just needs clarification. Which will be easier if you'd tell me what you think might be wrong about it.

Comment author: gothgirl420666 23 December 2014 06:35:33PM *  0 points [-]

Sorry, I was being kind of snarky, I should have explained further. My point is that the other meditation instructions I've seen have said that it is in fact possible (but very difficult) to be successful at thinking nothing while conscious, and to a certain extent that is the point. So I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that it is impossible. I think Eliezer has written a lot about prematurely concluding that things are impossible, when in fact they are merely very difficult.

Comment author: chaosmage 23 December 2014 03:57:18PM 3 points [-]

For reducing self-reflectiveness, mindfulness is not the most effective form of meditation. I suggest you try the following: It is super easy - although with your specific problem, it might be harder for you - so if it doesn't work you'll have wasted much less time than if mindfulness doesn't.

Your conscious mind has a limited cognitive capacity, and thoughts need it to run, which is why you can't have ten thoughts at the exact same time. This capacity is not reserved for reflective thought, which is why anger, for example, can use it up, to the point where you can't run self-reflection anymore.

Say you can have seven items in your working memory (very smart!), and it takes your working memory a seventeenth of a second to switch contents (very awake!) - that means you get 119 working memory contents per second. It is like bandwidth. The numbers vary, the principle doesn't. So all you need to do to starve your self-reflection of bandwidth is to flood your cognitive capacity with lots of items that are unrelated to reflection.

And that is really easy. All you need to do is look at something (or listen, if blind) and try to notice as many details as you can. I recommend looking at a tree and trying to see every single leaf like you would if you focused on a single one - but anything with some visual texture and no text on it works. If you want to keep it up for several minutes straight, I've found the key is to continually attempt to see even more details. Maybe that's because each of the details is kept as a seperate item, so they don't coalesce into self-perpetuating thoughts. Contents of working memory that don't self-perpetuate deteriorate quite quickly, and will be replaced with new ones - so you need to make sure they're again nonreflective perceptions.

Side effect: After a few minutes, this makes whatever you're looking at really fascinating and beautiful. This is because your brain uses the self-observation that it isn't experiencing distraction as a proxy for how important the thing you're not distracted from is.

Comment author: gothgirl420666 23 December 2014 06:26:16PM 0 points [-]

Thanks for the advice, noted.

Comment author: gothgirl420666 22 December 2014 01:08:17AM 0 points [-]

This is interesting to me. It seems like you are using meditation to more frequently engage in self-reflection, meta-cognition, introspection, etc. I'm trying to meditate (in part) to do the exact opposite - I think I'm far too self-reflective to my own detriment, and the only way to stop the endless cycle of thought loops is to get better at clearing out my head.

The point is not actually to be successful at thinking nothing, as that is impossible while conscious

[citation needed]

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