This is the semimonthly open thread. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. Also:
1. Thanks to everyone who attended the meetups earlier this month. It was nice to finally get to meet some of you. For those of you at the Google meetup, Jesse has created a relevant internal mailing list at slatestarcodex-discuss
2. Relevant to the title: Harry Potter and the Methods Of Rationality is ending Saturday. For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is a Harry Potter fanfiction by Eliezer Yudkowsky, the guy who taught me most of what I know about rationality and writing. Most people either love it or hate it in a hilarious over-the-top way; since both are interesting, I can highly recommend it to people who like that sort of thing. See also the Vice article about it. You can find the story at HPMOR.com.
3. And for those of you who are familiar, you might be interested in the HPMOR wrap parties going on Saturday in various cities around the world. Check the map here to see if there’s one with you, or get more information on this page.
4. I’m on call Saturday morning, but if it’s not too hectic I’m going to try to make the Detroit party, which looks like it’s about 20 people strong now. If anyone else in Michigan is interested, come to 1481-A Wordsworth, Ferndale, Michigan 48220 at 3 PM and hopefully I’ll see you there.
5. If you are a high school student, you might want to think about applying to SPARC, a free camp for talented children focusing on game theory, cognitive science, and statistics. Many of the instructors are friends of mine and/or Slate Star Codex readers, and one of the instructors is the aforementioned Eliezer Yudkowsky. See their website for more details and the application.
6. Comment of the week is this real-life trolley problem and the British government’s weird response to it.
7. A request for legal advice, but it’s long enough that I’ll stick it in the comments rather than write it all out here.