Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Sat May 28, 2011 5:12 am UTC

Fantastic!
Spoiler:
What a way to end a chapter.

And Harry has most surely successfully 'infected' Draco with good intentions. How that will eventually turn out, I'm not quite willing to guess.

Here's hoping not to wait nearly months for the next one!
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sat May 28, 2011 12:08 pm UTC

If only the podcast had Stephen Fry
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.

Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing


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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WaterToFire » Sun May 29, 2011 1:47 pm UTC

Yay, new chapter at long last, and yay, my cameo happened. I wasn't expecting Tanaxu to be an owl but I much appreciate it.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Mon May 30, 2011 6:09 am UTC

Oh, congratulations. That's rather neat.
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.

Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing


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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon May 30, 2011 7:17 am UTC

WaterToFire wrote:Yay, new chapter at long last, and yay, my cameo happened. I wasn't expecting Tanaxu to be an owl but I much appreciate it.

Cameo? Cool! How did that come about?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WaterToFire » Mon May 30, 2011 2:25 pm UTC

I made some fan art a while back. Right here.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Jorpho » Tue May 31, 2011 2:27 am UTC

Is someone keeping track of the number of times one character stares, mouth agape, at another?

It brings to mind that time Conan Doyle pissed off J. M. Barrie.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Robot_Raptor » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:22 pm UTC

So, i was talking with Josephine about MoR, and an interesting thought process came up.

Harry can't make a nano-assembler since it hasn't been invented.

Experiment number 1:
1. Think of something
2. try to transfigure it
3. if 2 failed, go invent it
4. try to transfigure it again

Experiment 2:
1. Read the literature, looking for things people are on the verge of inventing.
2. Repeatedly try to transfigure those things until success
3. Wait for announcement of invention, to see if it matches with the first successful transfiguration.

Experiment 3:
1. Find something uninvented
2. find someone else to invent it, and have them, in their invention include a message (carved into a strut or something)
3. When you can finally transfigure it see if the message is passed.

Experiment 4:
if the message from experiment 3 isn't passed, is it because all unnecessary information is stripped?
1. find something uninvented
2. continually try to transfigure it
3. when making the invention add useless greeble that doesn't do anything
4. see if greeble is passed to transfigured system or stripped.

Experiment 5:
If the greeble is stripped in experiment 4
1. use an evolutionary algorithm to generate an invention
2. transfigure it
3. compare original to final, to see if there are any differences (if there are then transfiguration could be used to iteratively improve a design)
4. if no differences, see if you can analyse the evolved and transfigured design to cut more away from it (if you can, then someone probably needs to *know* that part of it is greeble and unnecessary, if you can't nothing much is shown)

and we got onto magical items

Experiment 6:
1. see if an enchantment can be transfigured.

Experiment 7:
if experiment 6 can transfigure enchantments
1. Can you use that to overcome arduous reagent and skill requirements in creating an enchantments?

Experiment 8:
if experiment 6 fails
1. if you transfigure something magical and get a non-magical version of that item analyse the two of them to see what makes them different. It'll probably help narrow down what magic is.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:42 pm UTC

Anyone else listening to the podcast? The American accents make it all very weird.
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.

Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing


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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby skeptical scientist » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:49 am UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:Anyone else listening to the podcast? The American accents make it all very weird.

Nah, I already read the whole thing. The podcast is just the book read aloud, right?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Kisama » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:35 am UTC

If another chapter isn't released soon I am going to give in and start reading from the beginning again... and the consequences for my productivity shall be dire :|
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Kolko » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

I believe I have read it seven times from beginning to end now. My productivity has been doomed for a while.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Josephine » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:43 pm UTC

I don't speak French. I can read the french translation. I think I've read it a few times...
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jobriath » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:16 pm UTC

Damn you, Josephine, I was accomplishing things today.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:58 pm UTC

anyone know if the book is dead now? has the author said anything about it since the last release?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Macbi » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:anyone know if the book is dead now? has the author said anything about it since the last release?

Eliezer is still around on the internet, so presumably he would have said if he intended to stop writing.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Levi » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

I've been listening to the podcast and in chapter 17
Spoiler:
when Harry tries to test his time-turner by finding the primes, the paper says "DO NOT MESS WITH TIME". I could have sworn that the test worked perfectly when I read it the first time. Am I imagining things?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Yakk » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:57 pm UTC

Levi wrote:I've been listening to the podcast and in chapter 17
Spoiler:
when Harry tries to test his time-turner by finding the primes, the paper says "DO NOT MESS WITH TIME". I could have sworn that the test worked perfectly when I read it the first time. Am I imagining things?

Spoiler:
That was a previous loop
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Josephine » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:22 pm UTC

Although something I noticed: the very words "DO NOT MESS WITH TIME" were information gained from a loop. Same with Dumbledore's NO. I'm not sure if that's just an oversight...
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:00 pm UTC

I don't think it's an oversight, I think it's just a more powerful stable loop. When you get, in your own handwriting, "do not mess with time"... that's a message you're sure to send back.

Whereas if you just get the numbers, there's the temptation to see what happens if you try not sending it back.

IE the probability of you following through on it determines the likelihood that it is what happens.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Jorpho » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:21 am UTC

I declare, I don't much care for all this tiresome blather about Hermione and heroism at all. Kind of makes me wonder if he's written himself into a corner.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Yakk » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:00 pm UTC

Yes. HP "leveled up" too much in the previous storyline.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby 4d0m » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:06 am UTC

Eliezer just asked on less wrong for a translation of a short latin poem for HPMOR. It's good to know he's still working on it.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Jorpho » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:50 am UTC

See, I figured the obvious segue after the last chapter would be
Spoiler:
the teaching of Avada Kedavra in Defense Class
as per that handy plot hook that was left open a while ago. Not this.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby JoshuaZ » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:43 am UTC

And the next chapter is up. Hilarious and insightful.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jobriath » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:46 am UTC

Whenever we resurrect this thread, Eliezer posts. Everyone go quiet for a week!
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:02 pm UTC

That doesn't always hold.

And right now there's no need, as we're promised at least 5 more chapters in the authors note at reliable intervals. Apparently that's part of why this one took so long - getting followups ready.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby aleflamedyud » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

4d0m wrote:
Levi wrote:Bacteria.

Haha, clearly we're doing something wrong, otherwise the spell would be pretty useless.


And that picture is hilarious.

Professor Quirrell describes it as working on "anything with a brain".

Brooklynxman wrote:Every time I hear avada kedavra is unblockable I keep thinking so what?

We already know wizards can bend space like nobody's business, why not bend it so that from the spells perspective it travels in a straight line, but from your perspective it either curves around you, or disappears in front of you and reappears behind you, or any other manner of impossible without magic but clearly possible with magic temporal folds.

Problem is, they tend to think of bending space as Making a Place Bigger On the Inside rather than Bending the Fabric of Space. Without the understanding of what space is, they can figure out the former, but they can't do a battle-time space-bend to misdirect curses.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:42 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:I declare, I don't much care for all this tiresome blather about Hermione and heroism at all. Kind of makes me wonder if he's written himself into a corner.

Blew up in the last two chapters and turned awesome.

Spoiler:
Professor Quirrell's lips twisted further. "Ah, but the truly amusing thing was this. You see, Mr. Potter, the chant of every ritual names that which is to be sacrificed, and that which is to be gained. The chant which you gave to Miss Davis spoke, first, of a darkness beyond darkness, buried beneath the flow of time, whose voice echoes in the emptiness, which knows the gate, and is the gate. And the second thing spoken of, Mr. Potter, was the manifestation of your own presence. And always, in each element of the ritual, first is named that which is sacrificed, and then is said the use commanded of it."

"I... see," said Harry, as he trod through the halls of Hogwarts after Professor Quirrell, following him toward the Defense Professor's office. "So my chant, the way I wrote it, implies that the Outer God, Yog-Sothoth -"

"Was permanently sacrificed to fuel a ritual which but briefly manifested your presence," said Professor Quirrell. "I suppose we will discover tomorrow whether anyone took that seriously, when we read the newspapers and see whether all the magical nations of the world are banding together in a desperate effort to seal off your incursion into our reality."
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby mister k » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:15 pm UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:
Jorpho wrote:I declare, I don't much care for all this tiresome blather about Hermione and heroism at all. Kind of makes me wonder if he's written himself into a corner.

Blew up in the last two chapters and turned awesome.

Spoiler:
Professor Quirrell's lips twisted further. "Ah, but the truly amusing thing was this. You see, Mr. Potter, the chant of every ritual names that which is to be sacrificed, and that which is to be gained. The chant which you gave to Miss Davis spoke, first, of a darkness beyond darkness, buried beneath the flow of time, whose voice echoes in the emptiness, which knows the gate, and is the gate. And the second thing spoken of, Mr. Potter, was the manifestation of your own presence. And always, in each element of the ritual, first is named that which is sacrificed, and then is said the use commanded of it."

"I... see," said Harry, as he trod through the halls of Hogwarts after Professor Quirrell, following him toward the Defense Professor's office. "So my chant, the way I wrote it, implies that the Outer God, Yog-Sothoth -"

"Was permanently sacrificed to fuel a ritual which but briefly manifested your presence," said Professor Quirrell. "I suppose we will discover tomorrow whether anyone took that seriously, when we read the newspapers and see whether all the magical nations of the world are banding together in a desperate effort to seal off your incursion into our reality."


That was actually my least favourite thing about that chapter- felt rather obnoxiously myth building. Whenver fanfiction feels the need to bring in other worlds it always comes across as really awkward to me.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:01 am UTC

Well, it strikes me as much more likely that
Spoiler:
Quirrel is simply familiar with Lovecraft. We've known Harry to be for some time, so it's no surprise he makes reference to it in his super duper ritual, and it turns out that he just implied he's literally the worst possible thing in or beyond existence.

The bullies familiar with dark rituals are supposed to be scared, not because they recognize the Lovecraft reference, but because the ritual is so absurdly flashy compared to what great rituals typically entail.

Or are we supposed to presume that Beetlejuice is real in the wizard world two because Harry's name is spoken three times?

The 'other world' that is being brought in is, as has been repeatedly in the past, simply ours.

Now, if investigating the ritual seriously, the wizard council of whatever could no doubt find some of Lovecraft's work to determine the implication of what was said in the ritual.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:12 am UTC

Also, I think it suggests to everyone present in that room that Harry Potter's magic's source is incomprehensibly vast and ancient. The name of Yog-Sothoth would have meant nothing to them, but the words they would have understood as used to summon him were not meaningless.

(He is, to other Hogwarts students, supposed to perform impossible feats by snapping his fingers)
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Team503 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

I must say that I adore this fic, and it really got me thinking about rationality in ways I hadn't before. Which is, honestly, at all.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby mister k » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

you misunderstand me. Its not unreasonable for Harry and Quirrel to be aware of Cthulu, but it feels to me like the worst kind of winking at the audience, who are, of course, massive nerds for Cthulu. Its basically not terribly organic writing for me.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Kisama » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:16 am UTC

Well, Chapter 75 has left me with an unsatisfied feeling and I wish I had waited for Chapter 76 to appear before reading it.

Strange, now that I have read through from the beginning again I feel compelled to read each new chapter twice. I hope there isn't another long break that might cause me to add a third iteration...

On my second time through I noticed a few things to nitpick/question/bring up in this thread, but alas I didn't take notes, which is my excuse for making no contributions to the intelligent conversation on here.

</stream of consciousness>

Edit:
mister k wrote:you misunderstand me. Its not unreasonable for Harry and Quirrel to be aware of Cthulu, but it feels to me like the worst kind of winking at the audience, who are, of course, massive nerds for Cthulu. Its basically not terribly organic writing for me.
The fic is full of nerd-culture references, many of which I'm sure went right over my head (the Cthulu one is actually an example of that...) but I have enjoyed the odd chuckle at MoR!Harry's many references which must be completely incomprehensible to the wizard-borns in the story (
Spoiler:
"My hovercraft is full of eels," said Harry.
"I will not buy this record, it is scratched," chorused his four Lieutenants.
.... *giggles*) which in my opinion makes these "winks at the audience" a valid inclusion in a story about a Chaotic-Good muggle-born nerd going to Hogwarts.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby mister k » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:21 pm UTC

I don't mind a subtle wink- the speech itself wasn't that bad (but seriously, Harry must be the most culturally aware teenager ever. I understand that he is precocious, but he is familiar with first year mathematics, the principles of rationality, and the whole of geekdom, from Python to lovecraft. I guess an internet savvy youth might get those references, but usually making them means one has actually consumed said culture!), but the whole bit with Quirrel afterwards came up as too muchness.

I actually enjoyed chap 75 a bit more, weirdly, because it felt more real. The escalating stakes of the bullies just hasn't worked for me- I feel it peaked with Tonks then slumped with Quirrel. I think after Azkaban, trying to inject menace into bullies just strikes me as a bit odd (it was strongly implied in the books that bullying rarely went very far in the schools, even if it was common. After all, the only student that has died in Hogwarts over the past century was killed by the monster of slytherin.)
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:00 pm UTC

I suppose it was naive of me to hope for
Spoiler:
a happy resolution after Dumbledoor said that 'it had to end.' Now, sure, it was definitely a good resolution, but no way it was a happy one.


I really enjoyed chapters 74 and 75, and apparently the whole SPHEW didn't bother me nearly as much as it did a lot of people. I mean yeah, I wanted to know where Harry's story was going, but I didn't mind the diversion for pacing reasons. What I minded was waiting so freaking long!
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby aleflamedyud » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:52 pm UTC

The Dark ritual in the play referenced during the gossip in Chapter 75 sounds like a reference. Anyone catch it?

Also, Professor Quirrell is a gigantic troll.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:12 pm UTC

No, but if you read the author notes, he admits it was perhaps a bit too obscure, and just tells what it is.

Chapter 76: Oh. Dear.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby existentialpanda » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

Chapter 76.


WHAT.
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