Saturday, 28 February 2015

Rationality

I was going to post about how annoying everyone talking about the blue and black dress is (I saw fourteen posts about it on my Facebook newsfeed yesterday, essentially in a row) but then realised I'd just be contributing to it and I really can't be bothered. Though if anyone wants to analyze that for their Young Scientist project next year, like some people analyzed the Ice Bucket Challenge last year, go ahead. 

So, a couple of nights ago I finished Chapter 112 of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. I keep wanting to review it but I really can't because it's just too huge in scale, I could write a whole blog about it. But if I only review small parts, or talk about Harry's behaviour in x chapter, people who haven't read HPMOR won't get it. Dilemma. There are 8 chapters to go before the story finishes and I'm afraid, because I was reduced to tears by quite a few of the latest chapters and I really don't know if Less Wrong will give us a happy ending. 

So I think I'll have to make a plan and proper schedule, maybe do a series about HPMOR. If you don't want to be super confused, read the fanfic. It's quite possibly the most impressive thing I've ever read. 

It's obvious that HPMOR is just a vessel for the author to teach us about rationality, but holy hell am I persuaded. If he can write a book that good, I'll follow him. So now I'm looking into his rationality archives, but I have to admit, they're not light reading in the slightest. He calls his introduction to Bayesian probability stuff excruciatingly gentle, but I still couldn't do the first question and I don't consider myself stupid.

I think if I weren't switching between internet tabs and printed it out and studied it I might be able to make a dent. Until I have make time to do that, I can peruse some of the other things, like the Litany of Gendlin and all that. 

"What is true is already so
Owning up to it doesn't make it worse"

That's a partial quote. It's nice, and somewhat familiar given how many times Harry referenced it during the book.

It's disconcerting when you can actually feel yourself being changed by a book. And yes, I'm calling it a book rather than a fanfic and people have all these prejudiced ideas about the standard of fanfics that really annoy me. I will readily admit that many fanfics are shite, but there are some, like this one, that are better than most published works (in my opinion). 

So, three messages:

1. Read HPMOR. Do it. Do it now.
2. Don't be close-minded about fanfics.
3. I'll be starting Business Bootcamp in UCD tomorrow, so wish me luck.
4. Book blogger Aimee did a lovely interview with me recently over on her blog To The Barricade! which you can read here

Also, I just realised that I missed a Photo Friday. I am sorry.

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