Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby notzeb » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:19 am UTC

Whatever he does do, I'm going to be awfully disappointed if he doesn't
Spoiler:
snap his fingers as he pulls it off
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jobriath » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:34 am UTC

Argency wrote:I'm scared :(

Me too :(
Argency wrote:
Spoiler:
if he can keep his dark side from going all Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog for a moment or two, is confess.

That's very clever.
Spoiler:
Quirrell's lessons about losing backfires on him. Assuming you're right that all this is a calculated effort by Quirrell to make Harry lose faith in humanity, such an amelioration of loss would take some of the sting out of the supervillian origin story. Hermione is still alive, by Harry's cleverness. He will still mark the Wizengamot as an enemy.

Another wrinkle: Harry's wandless defence against dementors seems to require that he remain conscious. As soon as even his concentration slips he'll fall prey to their influence. Perhaps it would be possible for him to construct a system of semantic keys that remind him of his protection, which he would have to execute at least every time he woke up (a boot-up procedure :) ). However, I can't imagine that sleeping undefended in the presence of dementors is completely without effect, and he'd have at least a few weeks to hold out before Dumbledore started speaking words that echoed across the sky... Bottom line, Azkaban is probably bad even for Harry, unless he learns Wandless Patronus.

Back to the confession idea. One thing that concerns me is that it's testable. Has it been shown in-story that wizards can examine wands for evidence of spells cast? (I think Harry's wand was checked for use, although I don't know if that sort of examination gives any more information than that.) Nevertheless, if Lucius really doesn't (want to) believe Harry, all he has to do is demand that Harry demonstrates that he is capable of casting the memory charm. Harry could always claim that he charmed himself to forget, I suppose...


One other question:
Spoiler:
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.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Argency » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:05 pm UTC

jobriath wrote:
Spoiler:
Another wrinkle: Harry's wandless defence against dementors seems to require that he remain conscious. As soon as even his concentration slips he'll fall prey to their influence. Perhaps it would be possible for him to construct a system of semantic keys that remind him of his protection, which he would have to execute at least every time he woke up (a boot-up procedure :) ). However, I can't imagine that sleeping undefended in the presence of dementors is completely without effect, and he'd have at least a few weeks to hold out before Dumbledore started speaking words that echoed across the sky... Bottom line, Azkaban is probably bad even for Harry, unless he learns Wandless Patronus.

Back to the confession idea. One thing that concerns me is that it's testable. Has it been shown in-story that wizards can examine wands for evidence of spells cast?


One other question:
Spoiler:
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.
Spoiler:
That's a good point, I guess Harry could hold out in Azkaban for 48 hours at most unless he pulled a miracle out of his hat. More to the point, though, I don't see Dumbledore leaving him in there for even that long. I feel like Dumbledore could break anyone out of Azkaban any time he wanted, given that he can get in with Fawkes and blast his way out past anything the aurors can throw at him, and he's definitely going to suspend all the rules to save Harry. Plus, once he's in he has Harry who can cast the true patronus, that's gotta help.

I gather that Yudkowsky would be holding to canon in that wands can be interrogated to reveal the spells they've cast, but with a confession under veritaserum from Harry they'd have no reason to bother checking that, and even if they did investigate further it seems like he could lie his way around that hitch fairly easily.

People who know that Harry can beat the truth drug include Dumbles, Quirrel, McGonagall, Snape and MALFOY. Totally forgot about that one and it's important because everyone else would keep their mouth shut. I don't think that even Quirrel would try to block Harry's confession because he'd be showing his hand if he fought to have Hermione jailed. Plus I don't think Quirrel is at the trial. Malfoy, though, that'd be a problem. Then again, he might not be believed, since a perfect legimens looks exactly the same as a non-legimens and what eleven-year-old is a perfect legimens? Thinking about it I actually think it's most likely Malfoy would keep his mouth shut because he's presumably now 100% behind his father and having Harry jailed is a big victory for that side. Malfoy might even BELIEVE the confession! :shock: Harry confessing would also tell Lucius that Harry isn't possessed by the ghost of Voldemort, which is a big deal and a big motivator for Lucius to put Harry in the slammer.

I don't actually think that's exactly how it's going to go down because I think the author will find a way for Harry to bring Malfoy back on side. But that seems to me to be the smart option, so I can only hope that Harry comes up with something even smarter that I haven't seen.


EDIT: grammar.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:42 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Draco know's he's an occlumens, so Lucious knows now too. He's hardly perfect yet, but the mere fact that Draco says he claimed to be one while under veritaserum means they can dismiss anything Harry says under veritaserum.

Of course, Harry could also blackmail Lucious by threatening to convince other people how there's no such thing as blood purity just like he convinced his own son. That's probably what Lucious is most fearful of - he persuaded Draco, his methods are clearly quite convincing, there's no way Lucious predict just how much damage Harry could do to his position with this persuasion if he set his mind to it.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:32 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Does Lucius have a life debt to Harry? Harry vanquished the Dark Lord, who was imperiusing Lucius into committing atrocity after atrocity. :roll: Could Harry still cash in the debt, so to speak?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby rhetorical » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:10 pm UTC

Argency wrote:
What Harry SHOULD do,
Spoiler:
if he can keep his dark side from going all Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog for a moment or two, is confess.
*pause*... *face twist*... *pause*... *crumble*... *choke*... *sob* "I'm sorry, it was me manipulating Hermione all along. I tried to cast a memory charm on her but my magic is too weak and it backfired weirdly. I was trying to get Lucius to throw away his game to protect Draco but because I had fiddled with her memory she wen't crazy and tried to kill him! I never meant it to go this far! Please don't hurt her it's all my fault and the life debt is mine! *sob*

Harry knows that HE can hold off the dementors almost indefinitely, and he knows that neither Dumbledore NOR Quirrel will settle for leaving him in the clink, although both of them would sacrifice Hermione. He can fool veritaserum and legimancy so his testimony would be believed, Hermione gets saved, Quirrelmort fails to convert him AND he forces Dumbledore to break Azkaban. The problem is that he's depending on his dark side, which is almost certainly a horcrux of Voldemort and is therefore trapped in the failure mode of trying to be dominant.


That's brilliant.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby KrO2 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:00 am UTC

Spoiler:
I hope this line is extremely significant.
Albus Dumbledore wrote:Are you all lost? She is too young! Her mind would not withstand it! Not in three centuries has such a thing been done in Britain!
Azkaban was the method Quirrel used when he wanted to convince Harry that overruling the people is not necessarily a bad thing, and that Harry should be the next "Dark" Lord. I'm hoping this line implies that when Harry goes all dies irae on Azkaban, Dumbledore might be an ally. But that last line, "you have five days to think of something," implies that there is a more immediate action Harry will take.

Also, that theory that Lucius thinks Harry is Voldemort. This chapter seemed to be exactly what Lucius would say if he did think that but was walking out on his former master.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby jobriath » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:06 am UTC

WarDaft wrote:
Spoiler:
Of course, Harry could also blackmail Lucious by threatening to convince other people how there's no such thing as blood purity just like he convinced his own son. That's probably what Lucious is most fearful of - he persuaded Draco, his methods are clearly quite convincing, there's no way Lucious predict just how much damage Harry could do to his position with this persuasion if he set his mind to it.

Spoiler:
That's a good point, but convincing a person with whom you have some intimacy is very different from convincing a crowd and Luscious would know that. L will reason that if Harry had some way to convince a crowd he'd probably have done it already, since he clearly doesn't mind taking risks to spread his message.


Argency wrote:Malfoy might even BELIEVE the confession! Harry confessing would also tell Lucius that Harry isn't possessed by the ghost of Voldemort, which is a big deal and a big motivator for Lucius to put Harry in the slammer.[/spoiler]

Spoiler:
Ah! Here's a cool arc! Whatever Harry ends up doing, Draco is initially going to follow his father and be set against him. But at some point we're going to be treated to an anguished soliloquy whose turning point is Draco's refrain "I notice that I am confused". That will be awesome. Love conquers all. And then they can get on with that baby, which violation of nature should be little trouble for a wizard.

Also, good point on why Lucius might be afraid of Harry. Lucius didn't seem afraid of him when they spoke on the platform, but then, a lot's happened since that meeting. On the other hand, Harry's weapon against Draco was the knowledge that blood purity is bunk. That doesn't sound like the kind of weapon the (apparently-)purist-fanatic Voldemort would use.

... This is the best story.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:01 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I don't know... I think a confession would be rather transparent at this point. He has basically no motive, no magical evidence, and acted entirely out of a character for a person plotting against both of them. I guess it could buy some time if Harry played it carefully enough.


Here's my theory. Harry Potter realizes Lucius (and presumably other Death Eaters) has a life debt for breaking him out of the Imperious curse. Unlike Malfoy's debt to Harry, this is well known, verified and comparable to attempted murder, if not more so. Merely dropping the charges, however, would be incredibly cruel to Hermione. She'd be treated as a dishonorable murderer who actually thinks she's a dishonorable murderer (or merely uncertain, if she believes Harry enough). So more speculatively than the previous points, Harry requests a fair trail by jury to determine Hermione's innocence, with Lucius and co. keeping in mind that any attempt at foul play would be breaking a life debt established by the Wizengmont. Actually they'd still probably try to interfere, with Lucius just confessing and sacrificing himself for Draco's honor if they get caught.


On a completely unrelated note, what's the rough conversion rate between Galleons and Muggle money (Euros/Dollars)? Unfortunately, there's no shared commodity goods to compare, but a ballpark thing of "A sickle buys lunch, a Galleon or two buys textbooks for the year, 50 Galleons buys a very good broomstick, 10000 Galleons is a sizable fortune etc." would be nice.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Josephine » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:07 am UTC

A galleon is about 50 pounds if I remember chapter 4 right.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby sociotard » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:27 am UTC

Hmm, my theory:

Spoiler:
Harry has assumed that the plotter was competent, but was forced to use a backup (that is, intended to kill Draco and frame Hermione, removing both as Harry's potential allies, but used an almost killed Draco to get to almost the same effect.

What if we assume that Draco was never supposed to die? What if we assume that the plotter was competent, and that everything happend just as it was supposed to?

Our effects are:
A) That mudblood Hermione is going to scarytimes
B) Draco is not dead or permanantly harmed
C) Draco has more reason to distrust muggleborns
D) Harry has lost two allies (one to prison, one to distrust)

Again, everyone assumes that part D is the main thing, but what if B&C were? After all, if D were, it would have been easier just to kill both and make it look like mutually assured destruction. So, who would want to make Draco stop helping the smart mudblood girl, and might consider any method to C, so long as B was maintained?

Lucius Malfoy.

He does love his son, but he might consider this to be of such necessity to his son that it would be worth one night near death, which he would absolutely stop from ever crossing over to actual death. Sort of like a painful shot for an immunization.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:51 am UTC

Spoiler:
If Lucius was willing to risk Draco's life and send him to death's door, he'd certainly be willing to Obliviate away any 'unpleasant' life lessons he might learn. It's really not that hard to change the mind of someone who actually trusts you in the HP universe, if you're not terribly burdened by that 'ethics' stuff.

Just obliviate the stuff Harry showed him, have a squib-born (because really, that's what they actually are) offend him, and life long ingrained tendencies take over and Draco's back on track.

So it has to be someone who doesn't particularly care for Draco's well being, or Quirrel (since Quirrel found him, he could have done it without risking his life by planning to find him for whatever reason. That would hardly be the most convoluted thing Quirrel has planned.)

It is highly likely that Mr. Hat and Cloak did this, whoever Mr. Hat and Cloak turns out to be. I'm still not convinced it's Quirrel, but it would be easiest if it were him.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Argency » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:02 pm UTC

sociotard wrote:Hmm, my theory:

Spoiler:
Harry has assumed that the plotter was competent, but was forced to use a backup (that is, intended to kill Draco and frame Hermione, removing both as Harry's potential allies, but used an almost killed Draco to get to almost the same effect.

What if we assume that Draco was never supposed to die? What if we assume that the plotter was competent, and that everything happend just as it was supposed to?

Our effects are:
A) That mudblood Hermione is going to scarytimes
B) Draco is not dead or permanantly harmed
C) Draco has more reason to distrust muggleborns
D) Harry has lost two allies (one to prison, one to distrust)

Again, everyone assumes that part D is the main thing, but what if B&C were? After all, if D were, it would have been easier just to kill both and make it look like mutually assured destruction. So, who would want to make Draco stop helping the smart mudblood girl, and might consider any method to C, so long as B was maintained?

Lucius Malfoy.

He does love his son, but he might consider this to be of such necessity to his son that it would be worth one night near death, which he would absolutely stop from ever crossing over to actual death. Sort of like a painful shot for an immunization.

Oooooooh good theory!
Spoiler:
We haven't seen Lucius' hand in anything much up until now, I'd love for him to come into it as a player. If he is the culprit it's a real coup for him. I wonder if he'd work so openly against the person he was convinced was Voldemort, though? I guess though that since I'm admitting the possibility that he's smart enough to pull a coup like that off, I can't assume he does actually believe that Harry is Voldemort since he could just be faking it. Exciting stuff.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby sociotard » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:40 pm UTC

Continuing my theory:
Spoiler:
Harry will out Lucius for his plot, then have to scramble to stop the wizengamot from sending Lucius to Azkaban, lest he again lose Draco as an ally
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby not baby Newt » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:03 pm UTC

Josephine wrote:A galleon is about 50 pounds if I remember chapter 4 right.

Yeah, that's what harry guesses.

Ch 4 Authors note wrote:A/N: As others have noted, the novels seem inconsistent in the apparent purchasing power of a Galleon; I'm picking a consistent value and sticking with it. Five British pounds to the Galleon doesn't square with seven Galleons for a wand and children using hand-me-down wands.


Spoiler:
Lucius - I doubt he had any way of knowing that Quirrel would come looking. But perhaps someone else was scheduled to 'just happen to' walk through that room ten minutes later.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:25 pm UTC

Which is about 80 dollars for a Galleon, 4.50 for a Sickle and 15 cents for a Knut. That seems pretty consistent with character's reactions and payment structures (1.50 dollars for a secret message service, 550 dollars for a wand, 3200 dollars is a huge budget for a prank etc.). Rowling's pricing structure doesn't make too much sense; you'd think Hogwarts would be willing to give 50 dollars in financial aid for a critical instrument used over 7 years.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:54 am UTC

Here's a good question... how does Hogwarts function financially? There's never any mention of wizarding tuition fees so far as I can tell... if there were, Hermione would have had trouble getting in. I suppose it's possible that they have low costs, what with magical food generation and such, but they still have a faculty. Dumbeldore's low on supporters, and everything suggests that his supporters aren't from the richer nooks of the wizarding society.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby curtis95112 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:08 am UTC

Donations, patents, probably support by the ministry?
Considering that the ministry could meddle that deeply with Hogwarts affairs, I'd think that they support Hogwarts and they're discouraged but capable of dictating what happens there.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:07 am UTC

Spoiler:
CALLED IT... sort of. Wait what? What just happened?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Clumber » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:57 am UTC

Spoiler:
Well, I guessed that Harry would use the Dementor's fear of him in some way to be far more likely than destroying it right there in front of everybody. Though not exactly how he did it, I thought he would threaten it into doing something. I really liked how basically all the plausible theories were considered by Harry in one form or another.

I am interested to see the exact implications of Harry being so indebted to Lucuius.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Argency » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:57 am UTC

HHHNNNNNGGGGGGHHHHNNNNNNNGGGHHHH...

Spoiler:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. That was the best... The most amazing... I haven't fully come to terms with it yet. I'm shaking all over. I have a quiz at uni in two hours and it took me five minutes to get my password right so I could log into the fora to make this post.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:44 am UTC

Best chapter so far

Spoiler:
Though I'm not sure if that was some kind of marriage vow or a more general one for adoption into a house.

I'm not even sure it was even necessary :

"The law of this matter is clear. You have already voted on the terms of the bargain, and Lord Malfoy cannot legally decline it. As we have far exceeded our allotted time, I now, in accordance with the last decision of the survivors of the eighty-eighth Wizengamot, adjourn this session.""

and I really preferred his other plan:

"And then my Dementor, flying faster than any broomstick, is going to Kiss everyone here who voted to send a twelve-year-old girl to Azkaban."

Though worth it for possibly the best couple of lines in the story so far:

"I never learn that you've been interfering with me or any of mine. And you never find out why the unkillable soul-eating monster is scared of me. Now sit down and shut up."

"We shall be late for afternoon Transfiguration as it is. And do come back here, you're still terrifying that poor Dementor."



Side note, since the authors notes referred to Ch. 26 I went and re-read it .

this small point jumped out at me:
Spoiler:
"You are the scariest person I know," Harry said, "and one of the top reasons for that is your control. I simply can't imagine hearing that you'd hurt someone you had not made a deliberate decision to hurt."

"Give me that," said Professor Quirrell, and the newspaper leaped out of Harry's hand so fast that he got a paper cut.


It's minor but to me this hints that Quirrell was putting on an act here and actually knew exactly what was going on.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

Going back to Halloween, described in Chapter 45:

And then, at last, Lily Potter's voice shrieked in desperate hate, "Avada ke-"


Does that break the protective bond? Voldemort offered the chance to flee, and Lily was willing to sacrifice herself, hence creating the pact described in the original books. But does Lily's subsequent decision to try killing Voldemort "null" the sacrifice part and thus break the bond (even if she was completely willing to fufill the bond), or is it the thought that counts, so to speak?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby TamH70 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:50 am UTC

I think the incident with Lilly Potter is one of the "points of departure" from the canon!Harry Potter novels that Mr Yudkowsky referred to in the introduction to his book. What that means is something I can only guess at, so here goes - I would say that Harry has NO contractual immunity from Tom Riddle by virtue of his mother's "sacrifice".

Since she didn't sacrifice herself, she was just a second or two too slow when she tried to use the Killing Curse on Tom Riddle in defence of her baby son, rather than standing and passively letting Riddle's iteration of it hitting her, which the term "sacrifice" would tend to imply.

(I prefer using the Dark Lord's Muggle name rather than the one he chose for himself. Personal reasons and all that good stuff)
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Loadstone » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:59 pm UTC

I'm not so sure. Harry still survived the Killing Curse, and no explanation has even been attempted beyond the reader's prior familiarity with canon - that he was protected by Lily's sacrifice. I don't feel like attempting to fight back would break the sacrifice; that would seem like passive resistance was the only way to win, which is an impression I never got (from canon or MoR).

At the same time, I don't specifically remember if Harry and Quirrelmort have ever actually come in contact with each other (I remember he was wary enough that he floated Q's snake form instead of carrying it), so either he won't destroy Quirrel's body by touching him or they haven't touched. But I would be willing to bet that the protections are significantly less than canon. I like the direction he went with the conflicting magic, so they can't influence each other with magic. Should make for a more interesting inevitable confrontation than "just grab his face until he dies".
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:50 pm UTC

Notably, we did NOT see the Killing Curse actually cast in Chapter 43. Although we can infer Harry did not see contradictory evidence beyond that point; even with the excitement of the Patronus Charm 2.0, I rather doubt Harry would forget to mention something like "The Dark Lord didn't cast the Killing Curse".


EDIT: Wait, has Harry actually heard the supposed story of Halloween, or the part about the protective bond of Love?

@Tam Again, the operating question is "Is it the thought that counts?". At some point, she clearly intended to sacrifice herself, despite the choice to live. In canon, I believe those were the only two requirements. But would the attempt at casting Avada Kedrava also be an attempt to live (by killing the aggressor) and hence not a sacrifice?
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Azrael001 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:15 pm UTC

She was given the chance to flee. She did not despite her infinitesimally small chance of beating the Dark Lord. That I think was sufficient for her sacrifice.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby TamH70 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:00 pm UTC

From the prelude to the story that most folks, including me, jumped past at first to get to the bit where Harry and his parents have just received his acceptance letter for Hogwarts:

"Beneath the moonlight glints a tiny fragment of silver, a fraction of a line...

(black robes, falling)

...blood spills out in liters, and someone screams a word."

Whose black robes? Whose blood? And what word?

Those questions have not been answered yet.

But the biggest Chekhov's Gun in the story is simply this. (And it really should be obvious to even the wizarding world of Magical Britain, let alone us Muggles.)

Spoiler:
The Killing Curse kills everything with a brain. It cannot be blocked, only dodged.(unless an eleven-year old Harry unconsciously casts his Patronus to stop an Auror dying due to Quirrell casting the spell at him and the Patronus manages to cancel it out.) How the hell did fifteen month-old Harry survive it? I do not buy the canon explanation that it was his mother's love that did it. I do not think, therefore, that Riddle cast the Killing Curse at Harry in the first place. There is something else going on.


@Alex (hi there, fellow troper, by the way) well, as far as I am concerned, if you stick to the strict definitions of sacrifice available at
http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sacrifice , http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sacrifice and http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sacrifice for example, none of Lilly Potter's actions on facing Tom Riddle even fit. The reason for this is simple, though. She panicked.
Unlike her son, though, she lacked the intent to kill. Yes, I know, she tried to cast the Killing Curse. She was just too slow. She also was not a killer. And if you are trying to cast the Killing Curse, that does make a difference.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:31 pm UTC

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.

That said, I don't think everything went as planned that night. I have a hard time believing Voldemort would intentionally put himself in a relatively powerless spirit form. If he wanted to go undercover, why not Imperius poor Quirrell or other pawns? Obviously it's more convincing evidence if he actually leaves his body, but I think making convincingly fake evidence would be much less of a challenge than exerting influence as spirit who can only possess.

(Hey there! Your writing style looked familiar. If you look closely at my time stamps, you'll see that I'll post a theory on one site, let the discussion brew, post the results of that discussion on the other site, let that discussion brew etc.).
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:24 pm UTC

small note, the sequence of things named does not fit that of a ritual:

name first that which is to be sacrificed then that which is to be gained.

She named it the other way round. "Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead!"

I thought he might have changed the wording from the original to either fit that pattern or to avoid fitting it but it didn't fit in MOR or canon.

So given how hard he works to be consistent there's going to be no sacrifice ritual protection on harry.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby TamH70 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:19 am UTC

I am going to stick my neck out further and say that the spell Riddle cast on Harry
Spoiler:
was the one that made him one of Riddle's Horcrux. A spell that requires the death of someone's mortal body, remember?

The reasons for my assertion? Well, given all the chaos that happened at Godric's Hollow, with the death of James Evans-Potter, Lilly Potter-Evans and Tom Riddle, I do not think that whatever wizards/witches attended the crime scene actually had the time to cast Priori Incantatem on Riddle's wand and get the right answer.


They had enough evidence of the
Spoiler:
Killing Curse's effects on Lilly and James, had the burned remnants of Riddle lying on the floor next to them and a screaming fifteen-month old baby boy in his cot with a newly formed scar that was gushing blood on his head and jumped to the wrong, though understandable, conclusion. Bear in mind, knowledge of the Horcrux spell, even in canon!Harry Potter, is extremely rare, even among Dark Wizards. Even rarer than common sense... And thus, those first on the scene would not have picked up the clues correctly. No amount of smarts makes up for information you do not have.


Of course I could be completely, horribly wrong. But it makes more sense to me than just going along with the canon!explanation.
Mind you, only Mister Yudkowsky knows if he has actually done just that as of yet.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby KrO2 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:08 am UTC

New chapter up early!
Spoiler:
This space intentionally left blank; I just thought nobody would take a new chapter notice seriously without a spoiler attached.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:23 am UTC

Woah, I like the direction this one is going in.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby phlip » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:51 am UTC

Spoiler:
OK, fair play to that, it totally got me. It wasn't until the final line was within eye-glancing range that I caught on... up until then I was just all "wow, this is moving quickly...".
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby WarDaft » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:57 am UTC

Spoiler:
It was just so plausible. Quirrel really could do just that at any point, if he wished to destroy Harry's reputation irrevocably... and we have no way of knowing that he wouldn't. If he is the one who has launched this latest scheme, then it might even be high on his list of choices.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Argency » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:52 am UTC

Spoiler:
Oh derp, Argency. I fell for that one hook, line and sinker. I was all bewildered at how fast it was happening and excited for a big climactic faceoff... In fairness it was April 2nd here in Australia when I read it, but I still should have seen that coming.
Last edited by Argency on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:55 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby phlip » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:15 am UTC

Argency wrote:
Spoiler:
February 2nd

Spoiler:
I know the timezones can get confusing when interacting with the US from here, but it's not that extreme...
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby Argency » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:55 am UTC

Whoa, that's a typo. Edited and thanks - I was up late.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby sociotard » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:42 am UTC

I'm pretty sure that settles it.
Spoiler:
Dumbledore is irredeemable. I don't care what his line was about Phoenixes not sticking around if you leave the side of good. I don't care that he thinks assasinating non-combatants saved more lives, because there's really no way to prove that. Dumbledor did an evil thing. Canon Dumbledor would kill him.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Postby AlexRose » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:59 am UTC

Spoiler:
We JUST received a non-evil conjecture this very chapter.

If the underlying truth of phoenix travel really was becoming a specific instantiation of a more general Fire, then that seemed to hint you could potentially burn anywhere - even in the distant past, or in another universe, or in two places at once.


That might just be a reference for the sake of the reference, but that opens up a whole new can of worms involving Phoenix fire. That and I feel Fawkes would object to active unheroism from Dumbledore. Though it'd be a far more interesting moral dilemma if Dumbledore actually did just burn her alive.
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