Progress Report: November 1st

18,000 words into Ch. 86, still one scene left to go.  I’m behind on my LessWrong.com posting schedule so basically got no chance at at all to work on HPMOR this month, and I don’t know if next month is going to be any better.  I usually try to take at least one solid day per month to work on HPMOR – the day before the update – but something came up and I couldn’t work on HPMOR for that day.  Will try to make it up next month.

Under the circumstances, I think I’d better answer a question that I’ve been a bit coy about up until now:

  • I knew from literally the first chapter how the story would end.  We have not gotten lost.
  • The fic’s plot will resolve at least as much as got resolved in the original Rowling books.  All currently open plot parentheses will be closed – I never drop a stitch without meaning to pick it up.
  • We have two major story arcs (and a couple of intervening chapters) left to go before the end of the story.

I wish I could just post Ch. 86 when that monster’s done – I’m strongly tempted to – but it doesn’t come at a very good break point to leave the story.  It’s not so much a dramatic cliffhanger, as that it wouldn’t be a finished place to leave things while writing the rest of the arc.  I’ll finish Ch. 86, see if the rest goes faster, and then if it doesn’t go faster, post Ch. 86.

The fic is not abandoned; I’ve been working on it.  I just haven’t had the time to work on it for more than 30 minutes at a time.

All this non-HPMOR you’ve been getting has produced, among others, the following Less Wrong posts you might like:

After the Highly Advanced Epistemology 101 sequence (the rest of which has already been written) comes the next and really important sequence Open Problems in Friendly AI - I also have this whole day job where I try to save the world, remember.  Writing math explanations is hard if you want to do it right with the neat illustrations and everything.  But all things end, and that Sequence too shall be finite.

Good fanfiction I’ve read lately:  Harry Potter and the Natural 20 is to the great art of Munchkinism what HPMOR is to rationality-in-general (the author has confirmed that HPMOR was explicit inspiration for the story, so I’m counting it as Rationalist Fanfic).  Remember, there’s a whole genre out there waiting to be invented – you don’t have to wait for me to write it!

Elaine, she of the beautiful and haunting fan music “Sphere of Stars” for Ch. 20, has a released a new album “Personal Growth” on Bandcamp.  Listen for free, purchase for $5.

Shannon Friedman (Chaotic Shannon in Ch. 78, also my girlfriend) is still accepting coaching/counseling clients, specializing in productivity unblocking and depression.  If you’ve got a problem with either productivity blocking or depression, give this (or something like it) an immediate try to see what happens (it often beats not talking to anyone and quietly suffering).

The Center for Applied Rationality is running a 3-day intensive workshop on Rationality for Entrepreneurs, Nov 16-18 in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  This new improved workshop is aimed at attendees not previously familiar with LessWrong material – especially startup cofounders and other business leaders, but all attendees are welcome.  It’s priced higher, and will deliver value accordingly (or your attendance fee will be refunded).  If you want an intensive course on the most valuable cognitive techniques for daily life and daily entrepreneurialism, sign up now.

More generally, to anyone who wants to live in a saner world: the Center for Applied Rationality is now in that vital startup stage where every dollar matters – where donations greatly shorten the timeline to better research, and determine who can be hired as the first employees.  There’s a chance here to reach up toward that impossible dream of a better world where people aren’t crazy all the damn time, because believe it or not, nobody’s really tried anything like this before.  If you’ve got the power to fund this sort of thing – drop by our Berkeley office and talk to us, or attend a workshop and see for yourself what’s going on.  Or just act immediately.  Science, reason, and rationality – it’s what Muggles use instead of magic, and it’s all we’ve got.

The next Progress Report will be posted on Dec 1st, at 10PM Pacific Time.