Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:14 am UTC

I can't see anything at that link...
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jareds » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:27 am UTC

HungryHobo wrote:I can't see anything at that link...

With loss of formatting and links:
Spoiler:
Methods notes ch. 20 wrote:HOLY CRAP SPOILERS.

ELIEZER SHOULD NOT HAVE POSTED THIS.

TURN BACK NOW.

-----





























COME BACK AFTERWARD AND READ THIS WHEN YOU'RE DONE

It has been agonizing, waiting to get to this chapter. Up until now, all my conversations about this fic have been going like this:

Friend: "Words words Methods of Rationality words complimentary words"

Me: "Yeah... sure... thanks..."

(Thinks: Voldemort horcruxed the Pioneer plaque.)

Friend: "Words words can't wait for the next chapter words words"

Me: "Oh... okay..."

(Thinks: My version of Voldemort has read the Evil Overlord List and knows about nuclear weapons and has HORCRUXED THE PIONEER PLAQUE because MY Voldemort is SMART. But I can't tell him that.)

Friend: "Words words love what you've written so far words words"

Me: "Thanks... I guess..."

(Thinks: Just wait until he reads about Voldemort horcruxing the Pioneer plaque.)

Thanks to Yvain01 and Reborned for answering my request posted here earlier! Behold this fic's first fan art!

Version one (Yvain 01)
Version two (Reborned)
(Very slightly NSFW - contains Pioneer plaque, Pioneer plaque contains outline of a naked woman.)

This was the first chapter I wrote that made me cackle maniacally while I was writing it. I also cried for a while after writing their scene in starlight. Writing anything is about a hundred times as intense as reading it. Two orders of magnitude. Not kidding.

Don't worry, it won't be the last such chapter.

Wow was Ch. 19 controversial. Reactions ranging all the way from "I felt like I was Harry, learning what he was learning!" to "YOU SHOULD GO TO JAIL FOR ADVOCATING CHILD ABUSE." Many of you asked why Voldemort was strengthening his enemy.

Congratulations to cloudpiece on being the only reviewer to suggest that Lord Voldemort might possibly have an ulterior motive for teaching Harry Potter how to lose.

Don't get me wrong: Harry did learn a valuable lesson. It's also a dangerously double-edged lesson and someone who wasn't Lord Voldemort might have tried to teach it a little differently.

While patterns in which warm!Harry thinks are usually good techniques to learn - and this is always true if words like "rational" or "Bayesian" are invoked or Harry thinks about how he can cite literature - things which the Dark characters say should be treated with, well, suspicion? Professor Quirrell a.k.a. Lord frickin' Voldemort is not an author mouthpiece. I shall include a disclaimer at the top of Ch. 21 to this effect.

Since many reviewers are still asking if Quirrell is Voldemort, I tried putting in a final sentence from "Professor Quirrell's" point-of-view and got such reader outrage at the unsubtlety that I gave up and removed it. I am now seriously asking for help and suggestions on what I can do to make it clear to all readers that Professor Quirrell is Voldemort. So far we have the following facts:

1) canon!Tom Riddle applied to teach Defense at Hogwarts and put a curse on the position when he didn't get it.

2) canon!Quirrell is possessed by Voldemort.

3) It has been repeated within the fic that the Dark Lord has lost his last body but is somehow still alive.

4) The author has summarized the First Law of Fanfiction as "Frodo gets lightsaber, Sauron gets Death Star".

5) The Defense Professor at Hogwarts is

5a) A drooling zombie

5b) Who occasionally undergoes a drastic shift of personality and

5c) Becomes a genius who

5d) Loves the spell Avada Kedavra and

5e) Is extraordinarily knowledgeable about Battle Magic and

5f) Talks about how he always wanted to teach Defense at Hogwarts and

5g) Wanted to be a Dark Lord when he was a young Slytherin and made a list of all the mistakes he would never make and

5h) Talks about "pretending to lose", which he learned through a horribly humiliating experience in a martial arts monastery which was wiped out by Lord Voldemort shortly thereafter, except for one student who was a friend of his and

5i) Doesn't seem to understand why Harry wouldn't want to become a Dark Lord and

5j) Talks about how much he hates this flawed world and

5k) Has manipulated Harry into disliking Dumbledore and

5l) Thinks that when Harry knows him a little better, Harry will deduce that he would want to cast a spell on the Pioneer 11 plaque which will "make it last a lot longer".

The reader is supposed to know at this point that PQ is LV. How can I make it clearer without it being disruptive? If you have ideas, please share them.

hjdevnull offered a suggestion for fixing the fixed version of Ch. 19 which I tried my best to implement (change is to the section where Harry is being pushed around in a circle by the Slytherins).

On another note, some readers have complained about the part in Ch. 7 where Draco talks about raping Luna. One commenter on TV Tropes called it "random". It is not random. It serves an unsubstitutable literary purpose. There was literally nothing else I could think of that my readers would even notice, unless I wanted to have Draco eat someone's kitten, and that wouldn't make sense.

If you're wondering why I mention this now, I would like to offer the following brief exam.

Question 1: (70 points): Which of these characters has crossed the Moral Event Horizon?

(A) An eleven-year-old who talks about rape.
(B) An adult who tortures to death an entire martial arts monastery.

Question 2: (20 points): Which of the above two characters will get reviews saying that they are too horrible to read about and have permanently lost the reader's sympathy?

(A) The eleven-year-old.
(B) The adult.

Question 3: (10 points): How many reviews will even mention the thing with the monastery?

(A) 0
(B) 2

So... yeah. There was literally nothing else I could think of.

PS: This fic has now been given its own TV Tropes page.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Adam H » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Thanks for posting the link to the old author's notes. I had looked for those recently and became annoyed when I couldn't find them.

My first thought reading the author note from 26 (the above spoiler) was that:
Spoiler:
the author just wants us to think that Quirrel is Voldemort, ah ha!

But I was also kind of annoyed at that author note. Everything the author uses as obvious reasons that Quirrel=Voldemort is pretty common knowledge at Hogwarts (except manipulating Harry into mistrusting Dumbledore and horcruxing the pioneer plaque). So if it's so obvious, why does no one (Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, and Harry are pretty smart) not suspect him?

And it's pretty clear that everyone reading hpmor suspects Quirrel of being Voldemort. We just aren't certain, and we like to speculate. WHY ARE YOU TAKING THAT AWAY FROM US?

Quirrel is just so damn loveable. Hmmmm, I guess his inevitable death won't be bad for him, since it means he just hangs out in space forever. Is he just grooming Harry to be his legacy, and then he'll die and go live happily ever after? Of course, that assumes that he's only part voldemort (like he is in canon), and that he isn't as ridiculously evil as the man who tortured to death all those pacifist monks. Cause if he is, a happy ending for that man isn't going to be a happy ending at all, IMO.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby semicharmed » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:56 pm UTC

On the author's note above:
Spoiler:
It was removed due to complaints about the spoiler, by EY. And in re-reading a lot of the previous notes, he seems to be really caught up on the fact that people aren't catching his hints.

So, I'd say that we can take the spoiler as truth: Quirrell is Voldemort, at least in some capacity. MAN Harry is going to be pissed when that comes out.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jobriath » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:56 pm UTC

In other news, the latest chapter is up.

Reading Harry's internal monologue often makes me want to be a better person. I've extracted a life lesson from this one and intend to try to apply it.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:17 pm UTC

A life lesson that-
Spoiler:
-is apparently giving every seer on Earth horrible nightmares.

Yeah, this will go well.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jobriath » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:10 pm UTC

Hah! Well, if it was me you were worried about, I can reassure you of my general incompetence.
Spoiler:
A planetful of disturbed seers is disturbing. Do you think if one of the seers thought more like Harry they would be able to understand whatever it is they're seeing, and hence discharge the prophesy? Or is the future just incomprehensible, Cthulhu-style? It seems that the narrative pressure is building up and more seers are seeing: If the former, it will eventually find someone who is capable of understanding what Harry's up to.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby aleflamedyud » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:43 am UTC

WarDaft wrote:A life lesson that-
Spoiler:
-is apparently giving every seer on Earth horrible nightmares.

Yeah, this will go well.

Including the Muggleborn seers less than 8 days old.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby semicharmed » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:47 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:
WarDaft wrote:A life lesson that-
Spoiler:
-is apparently giving every seer on Earth horrible nightmares.

Yeah, this will go well.

Including the Muggleborn seers less than 8 days old.


Hmm, I'm not convinced the baby was Muggleborn. It just said (roughly paraphrasing) a land where Muggleborns get no letters.

From canon, we know there's a school in the North (Siberia? Russia? Norway? Durmstrang isn't particularly Russian, but Viktor is so who knows, also its director was a Death Eater so it's possible they don't take Muggleborns; and then a school in France and then the Salem Witches' Institute in America, which was also alluded to in MoR. And presumably, "Magical Asia" has a school. And it would be odd for there to be two Asian seers. Hermoine was talking about going to Salem, so they take Muggleborns, presumably. I think the bigger clue is that the baby wasn't old enough to be named; where are 8-day olds still not old enough to be named children not named right away?

Edit: because I read the post above mine and didn't verify the 8-day thing.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby zombie_monkey » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:14 pm UTC

semicharmed wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:
WarDaft wrote:A life lesson that-
Spoiler:
-is apparently giving every seer on Earth horrible nightmares.

Yeah, this will go well.

Including the Muggleborn seers less than 8 days old.

Durmstrang isn't particularly Russian, but Viktor is so who knows,

Hm? No, he's not.

where are 8-day olds still not old enough to be named?

It's fairly common in many cultures around the world. It ranges from a few days to a few weeks to a few years. Also, where does it say the baby is less than 8 days old?

In a land where Muggleborns received no letters of any kind, a girl-child too young to have a name of her own was rocked in the arms of her annoyed but loving mother until she stopped crying and went back to sleep.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby semicharmed » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:53 pm UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:
semicharmed wrote:Durmstrang isn't particularly Russian, but Viktor is so who knows,

Hm? No, he's not.


I wasn't clear, Viktor is a (stereotypically) common Russian name; canonViktor played Quidditch for Bulgaria so presumably he's Bulgarian. And Durmstrang doesn't admit Muggleborns, so maybe the baby was from part of Durmstrang's territory?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Adam H » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:04 pm UTC

I took "in a land where Muggleborns received no letters of any kind" to mean a remote primitive tribal community in South America or Africa or something. Rather than a land like Russia where muggleborns don't get invited to magical schools.

And it looks like we're in for another everlasting hiatus again. The next progress report from the author will come June 1.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby johnie104 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:55 pm UTC

Chapter 85 speculation:
Spoiler:
It was explained that a seer having a prophecy is because of a buildup of something huge in time. Harry had just decided what his moral code would be when the seers got their nightmares. This implies that Harry's decision will have a big impact on the future. Probably as in, the way the next wizarding war will be fought.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby sociotard » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:00 pm UTC

Notably Luna Lovegood was not on that list of nightmare-sufferers. I guess that settles the "is she or isn't she" question.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Azrael001 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:16 pm UTC

Spoiler:
No necessarily. She could be one of the few seers crazy enough to actually have been able to say something.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Yakk » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:02 pm UTC

C85:
Spoiler:
We know that the seers are disturbed (a nightmare), but the description was she could not understand what she had seen, not she saw something of unbearable horror.

Show a seer a post-singularity non-local (in time or space) galaxy-hopping society made out of magic-driven computronium, and "she could not understand what she had seen" might be the result.

Meanwhile, Luna might not suffer a nightmare from it being extremely weird.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby aleflamedyud » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:07 am UTC

Honestly, I wrote "8 days old" because MoR-verse often seems to run on EY's cultural assumptions (he's really bad at anthropology sometimes), and I'm fairly sure that EY would name his kids at 8 days old.

You can glean information by reading the author's mind, even when he's mostly wrong.

Also, how are we eventually going to wind up with Harry confronting Voldemort here? Or is it going to be Harry versus wizardly society as a whole, like it has been for most of the book?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:51 am UTC

You know really, Harry vs society as a whole isn't that unlikely. He's only had more exposure to the insanity in the Wizarding world, there's orders of magnitude more in the rest of the world. If he gets to the point where he actually declares war on the magical world, he's not very far from the point where he'll declare war on the world - and the second would be much easier to win, and provide a vast amount of resources.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Vaniver » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:17 am UTC

semicharmed wrote:And in re-reading a lot of the previous notes, he seems to be really caught up on the fact that people aren't catching his hints.
Yes and no. The discussions on LW (and probably TVTropes, but I don't read those) have examples of the hints going both ways. For example, the:
Spoiler:
Bones-Quirrell discussion in which Bones asks Quirrell to take a seat in the Wizengamot makes the most sense with one canon character: Tom Riddle. Which was really bizarre- why would Bones have a positive view of Riddle? Because so many people were settling on that, despite it being bizarre, he changed the hint that made it the likeliest canon character explanation. (It's now obvious that it's not a canon character.)


jobriath wrote:Reading Harry's internal monologue often makes me want to be a better person. I've extracted a life lesson from this one and intend to try to apply it.
I don't want to take that away from you- you really should try to be a better person, and wanting helps trying- but I really can't recommend Harry to model yourself off of. Read A Wizard of Earthsea, and it'll be clear that Harry has many of the deficiencies that harmed Ged, but many of those deficiencies are crucial to his morality.

aleflamedyud wrote:Honestly, I wrote "8 days old" because MoR-verse often seems to run on EY's cultural assumptions (he's really bad at anthropology sometimes)
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby aleflamedyud » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:26 am UTC

And, of course, Japanese. Because everyone knows Japanese and watches anime. Yup, EY, everyone is Just Like You.

Honestly, how has the cognitive bias of assuming other people are slightly-modified versions of oneself NOT been mentioned in this book? Seems a damn huge blind-spot for the author and the characters alike.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:38 am UTC

Everybody has blind spots. Nobody ever actually thinks they're wrong, even if they won't stop writing about how 'not to be wrong' and the various ways how everyone is actually wrong without realizing it.


In fact, especially then.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:56 pm UTC

After rereading chapter 35, I am sure that
Spoiler:
Quirrel is hat-and-cloak.


After what happened in the Wizengamot a couple chapters ago, it is apparent that EY's style is to furtively give you all the hints you need to deduce such things.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby TamH70 » Fri May 25, 2012 2:19 pm UTC

I think the evidence for
Spoiler:
Hat and Cloak being Quirrell
is, as Harry would put it, persuasive in its descriptive sense, rather than normative. We are probably meant to think that that is the case but I am not convinced.

Yet.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:09 pm UTC

TamH70 wrote:I think the evidence for
Spoiler:
Hat and Cloak being Quirrell
is, as Harry would put it, persuasive in its descriptive sense, rather than normative. We are probably meant to think that that is the case but I am not convinced.

Yet.

Neither am I, not at all. If Hat & Cloak's modus operandi is to Memory Charm the people he deals with, and thus leave no memory of his existence as Hat & Cloak, why can't he do the same thing as Quirrell? Would the additional associations on the memories just make them harder to alter?

If he can fool the Hogwarts wards into letting him disguise himself as Hat & Cloak and then Memory Charm students with impunity, there's no way to reason that he's the only one who could do so.

Hat & Cloak also seems to manipulate people according to their notions of narrative causality. Quirrell hates that kind of thinking, I think he would sincerely rather kill someone than tell them that they're a hero(ine) on a noble quest. He manipulates people according to incentive and interest.

Of course, with Quirrellmort, we never know how many levels of false personality we're seeing. "One level higher than you," after all.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Adam H » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:56 pm UTC

Author has a new note up (couple days old now), and I think it's pretty encouraging. He's back from a hiatus and it looks like he's still excited to be writing HPMOR. But it doesn't look like we should expect new chapters anytime soon. He's working on editing what he has so far for consistency and britishisms.

aleflamedyud wrote:If he can fool the Hogwarts wards into letting him disguise himself as Hat & Cloak and then Memory Charm students with impunity, there's no way to reason that he's the only one who could do so.
Perhaps there's dozens of powerful wizards roaming the halls of Hogwarts, memory charming everyone in their path. :lol:
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby SpaceFrank » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:03 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:Honestly, I wrote "8 days old" because MoR-verse often seems to run on EY's cultural assumptions (he's really bad at anthropology sometimes)
"Hm, what non-English language should McGonagall know? I know, Hebrew!"

"Not, uh, Scots? Or even Gaelic?"


aleflamedyud wrote:And, of course, Japanese. Because everyone knows Japanese and watches anime. Yup, EY, everyone is Just Like You.

Honestly, how has the cognitive bias of assuming other people are slightly-modified versions of oneself NOT been mentioned in this book? Seems a damn huge blind-spot for the author and the characters alike.


I hadn't even noticed this before. That's pretty hilarious, actually.

Regarding the above-mentioned topic:
Spoiler:
As far as Quirrell being H&C goes, it seems obvious to me at least. Once we were presented with the possibility of Hermione being memory-charmed to remember doing that Bad Thing, it seemed like the 2nd H&C incident was the obvious place for it to happen. Quirrell has pretty serious motive for orchestrating the latest plot arc. Maybe we readers are only supposed to think this, but I recall an author's note saying something to the effect that he tries not to intentionally mislead his readers. H&C being anyone else at this point would feel like it came way out of left field, and that "doesn't seem like EY's style..." Also, consider how much more obvious Quirrell-H&C was after the 1st appearance. It doesn't seem like the author would intentionally reverse direction.


And on that other serious spoiler topic:
Spoiler:
If it seems like the other characters in the book should be noticing strange things about Quirrell and deduce him being Voldemort, keep in mind how many readers refuse to be convinced even when they have more information. When we want something to be true, we tend to avoid contradictory thoughts. Dumbledore, McGonagall, et al would be utterly horrified to learn that Voldemort was hiding in plain sight at Hogwarts. It's been a while since I read the latest chapters, but IIRC, they only found undeniable evidence of the possibility in this latest story arc.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Vaniver » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:46 pm UTC

SpaceFrank wrote:that "doesn't seem like EY's style..."
Interestingly, EY's problem has been readers going teh other way. "Well, this obvious thing can't be true because it's obvious! EY must have some incredibly clever trick up his sleeve."
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby HungryHobo » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:10 am UTC

Vaniver wrote: "Well, this obvious thing can't be true because it's obvious! EY must have some incredibly clever trick up his sleeve."



I take the view that yes there's the obvious answer which would be the right one normally but the obvious answer is also dull dull dull and this is a story that's meant to be entertaining.

there's no fun to cutting off speculation saying "well obviously it's the dull answer"
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby SpaceFrank » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:33 pm UTC

I wouldn't say it's dull just because it's obvious. Besides, even if you know who the mysterious figure is, it's still useful characterization. The exciting part to me (and probably most people) will be what the protagonist decides to do about it when he finds out.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:56 pm UTC

jobriath wrote:How widely known is it that Harry is a perfect occlumens? I count Dumbledore, Quirrell, Mcgonagall and Snape. All of those would have to keep schtum in order for any bluff on Harry's part to work before the Wizengamot. Snape to me is a closed box---I don't know who's pulling his strings, or if he's even involved in a game any deeper than dorm politics

Grimwot's (sp? the bank) knows. His instructor probably knows that he taught Harry, even if the contents of the session were oblivated, as would the person who oblivated the instructor. I'd also considered it likely that occlumens are registered automatically and involuntary once they start their instruction (Quirell mention animagi were registered, so they register that sort of thing.)

Regarding the killing curse: as I understand/guess it it's an emotion based spell like patromius. Killing intent is a per-requisite to casting it. Quirell was able to use it as a fake-out because he was willing to risk killing the auror, even if he wanted to reduce the risk.

AlexRose wrote:I don't know. The way I read that scene, Voldemort intentionally provoked Lily who then attacked in "desperate hate", rather than in simple panic (although that was probably a component) . But Lily was indeed not a killer, and it's questionable whether even that hate was enough to seriously cast the killing curse. But keep in mind that even Hermione, who normally has the killer instinct of a wet bowl of grapes, will fight viciously when provoked. Lily's intent to kill at that critical moment is the million dollar question. I personally think she did have it, but I'll put a low vote of confidence on that opinion.

The idea that Lilly might not want to kill Voldemort in that situation seems absurd. She may be a nice person, but she's still a mammal who's child is threatened.

I wrote something about the maximum ages of houses being determined with etymology, but then I realized that "hogwarts" was founded centuries before "hog" was a word. So the universe is probably inconsitent in that regard.
Spoiler:
Adam H wrote:After some light research, I've come to the weak conclusion that Houses can be plain, Noble, or Noble and Most Ancient. Potter is definitely a Noble house, but probably not Most Ancient. In chapter 75, Astorga says "Potter has offered great insult to our Houses" to a bunch of other slytherins (Jugson, Flint, Lee, Belka, and Bole), so there can be Houses that aren't Most Ancient. It's possible that 'Houses' refers to slytherin, though, because Snape later says they dishonered their House (singular). Dunno.

Etymology places limits on the age of most of those houses. Potter wasn't even a word until the 16th century; it also implies the first member was a potter, not a noble. Is pot making even a wizarding profession?

I guess it would depend on how old a house has to be to be "most ancient". In muggle England I think the dividing line is 1066 (Norman invasion). If wizarding Britain is different it would either be Merlin's era (6th century) or the Hogwarts founders' 10th century. (apparently hog originally meant an animal reared for slaughter at a young age, disturbing if intentional.)
aleflamedyud wrote:And, of course, Japanese. Because everyone knows Japanese and watches anime. Yup, EY, everyone is Just Like You.

The point of that part of the experiment was to use a language that he knew, but the bag creator didn't. So the fault was more assuming you could only learn Japanese by watching anime DVDs. A more obscure language like Lojban would have been better. But Japanese is a decent "best I could do" language.
But yeah, the Hebrew thing was ridiculous.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:11 pm UTC

Actually, come to think of it, the time turner is totally a computable operation. By QM, there is a mindbogglingly small but non-zero chance that a perfect copy of you, save for the fact that they also have memories of the future, randomly forming out of distant space dust. There is a chance that the universe will unfold as their spontaneous memories suggest it should. Finally, there is a chance that the original you will disintegrate when you eventually use the time turner. Since this is all possible with mechanics we have now, it's definitely computable, the time turner just has to remove the 'mindbogglingly small' part from the mindbogglingly small chance of it happening. That and make it so that using the time turner is not functionally suicide.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:00 pm UTC

Is that what they mean by 'spontaneous duplication'?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:29 pm UTC

No, that's a cover-up to explain to onlookers why they might happen to see the incautious time traveler in two places at once. Only people with time turners can be seen to do this, and they all have the 'spimster wickets' to 'treat' their 'condition'. So no one who doesn't know what's going on will ever suspect anything.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:43 am UTC

No, I meant is that spontaneous duplication is what they tell the non-initiated-into-the-existence-of-time-machines-crowd when it happens? I don't know; it doesn't seem illogical.

In other words, the spimster wicket actually causes spontaneous duplication.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Woofsie » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:32 pm UTC

Regarding Mcgonagall knowing Hebrew, it is possible that Hebrew is a particularly useful language for advanced magic users to learn. Perhaps a lot of early magical research was done by Jews, and so a lot of spells are in Hebrew (I remember a few instances in MoR when obviously non-English spells were cast by Quirrel, perhaps some advanced and specialized magics are Hebrew-only).

Of course, I think it's more likely to be EY letting his cultural bias seep in, but I do think there are plausible in-universe explanations.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby PM 2Ring » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:36 pm UTC

I only just discovered this thread a day or two ago; I guess it should've been obvious that there would be one, since I originally heard of Eliezer Yudkowsky on these forums.

I first read HPMoR late last year, mostly on my "poor mans eReader": a mini photoframe with a 48mmx36mm (320x240 pixel) screen. Sure, it's small, but very portable, and it only cost me $9. :)

Several months ago, I bought a more normal-sized eReader, around about the time the latest set of chapters for HPMoR were released. I realized that I'd forgotten a lot of the details of the earlier chapters, so I decided to re-read the whole thing on my shiny new eReader. I was hoping that there'd be more chapters released in July; if the delay gets much longer I guess I may re-read the whole thing yet again.

When I first started reading HPMoR, I hadn't read any of the original books, but I'd seen a couple of the movies. HPMoR inspired me to start reading the original books, which I had access to when I visited my sister at Christmas time. I managed to read the first 3 and got halfway through Goblet of Fire, and I saw the first 6 HP movies on TV in the early months of this year.

I definitely prefer HPMoR to the original canon, although I freely admit that it's not perfect, and agree that it could be improved in many places by a good editor and some judicious re-writing. Hopefully, EY's new Scrivener software will improve some of those issues for the upcoming chapters and future revisions of the existing material.


aldonius wrote:Saw in the FF.net reviews:
New theory - Professor Quirrell is really Black Hat Guy

That works for me. :)

semicharmed wrote:EY confirms that:
Spoiler:
Quirell is Voldemort

That may be what EY wants us to think, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's true... or maybe
Spoiler:
that's what Quirrell wants Yudkowsky to think. :)
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:53 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:That may be what EY wants us to think, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's true... or maybe
Spoiler:
that's what Quirrell wants Yudkowsky to think. :)

Or maybe that's just he wants us to think that he wants us to think. In actuality he might want us to think Voyager is Voldemort.

My wildest guess on how it ends:
Spoiler:
Voldemort is actually dead, like for reals. Dumbledore is the ultimate villain whom Harry must defeat with reason, otherwise Dumbledore is right about old people needing to die.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby PM 2Ring » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:48 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Or maybe that's just he wants us to think that he wants us to think. In actuality he might want us to think Voyager is Voldemort.


Pioneer. I'm not sure why people are convinced that the plaque is a horcrux. Quirrell just said that "I cast a lovely little spell on that lovely golden plaque which will make it last a lot longer than it otherwise would". OTOH, he did want Harry to give his oath that he'd never speak about it. And,
HPMoR chapter 20 wrote:A further thought occurred to Harry. "You didn't add any extra information to the plaque, did you?"
"Extra information?" said Professor Quirrell, sounding as if the idea had never occurred to him before and he was quite intrigued.
Which made Harry rather suspicious, considering that it'd taken less than a minute for Harry to think of it.
"Maybe you included a holographic message like in Star Wars?" said Harry. "Or... hm. A portrait seems to store a whole human brain's worth of information... you couldn't have added any extra mass to the probe, but maybe you could've turned an existing part into a portrait of yourself? Or you found a volunteer dying of a terminal illness, snuck them into NASA, and cast a spell to make sure their ghost ended up in the plaque -"
"Mr. Potter," Professor Quirrell said, his voice suddenly sharp, "a spell requiring a human death would certainly be classified by the Ministry as Dark Arts, regardless of circumstances. Students should not be heard talking about such things."
And the amazing thing about the way Professor Quirrell said it was how perfectly it maintained plausible deniability. It had been said in exactly the appropriate tone for someone who wasn't willing to discuss such things and thought students should steer away from them. Harry honestly didn't know whether Professor Quirrell was just waiting to talk about it until after Harry had learned to protect his mind.

So I guess it's plausible that Quirrell did do something Dark to the plaque.


Quizatzhaderac wrote:My wildest guess on how it ends:
Spoiler:
Voldemort is actually dead, like for reals. Dumbledore is the ultimate villain whom Harry must defeat with reason, otherwise Dumbledore is right about old people needing to die.


Perhaps. Morality is certainly a lot more complex in the HPMoR world that it is in Rowling's version, which is inhabited by clear-cut Good Guys and Bad Guys. I guess Yudkowsky wants his readers to think about what we actually mean by good and evil, which is natural considering his interest in Friendly AI.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby thalia » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:34 am UTC

I'm just making my way through this for the first time. I'm on chapter 43 - it is huge! But pretty wonderful so far. Gives me a chance to learn some science, too.^^
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby PM 2Ring » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:50 am UTC

thalia wrote:I'm just making my way through this for the first time. I'm on chapter 43 - it is huge! But pretty wonderful so far. Gives me a chance to learn some science, too.^^

Ooh! You're up to a very interesting part of the story. Enjoy!
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