Update: Discussion has moved on to a new thread.
The load more comments links are getting annoying (at least if you're not logged in), so it's time for a new Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread. We're also approaching the traditional 500-comment mark, but I think that hidden comments provide more appropriate joints to carve these threads at. So as of chapter 67, this is the place to share your thoughts about Eliezer Yudkowsky's Harry Potter fanfic.
The first 5 discussion threads are on the main page under the harry_potter tag. Threads 6 and on (including this one) are in the discussion section using its separate tag system. Also: one, two, three, four, five, six. The fanfiction.net author page is the central author-controlled HPMOR clearinghouse with links to the RSS feed, pdf version, TV Tropes pages, fan art, and more, and AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author's Notes.
As a reminder, it's often useful to start your comment by indicating which chapter you are commenting on.
Spoiler Warning: this thread is full of spoilers. With few exceptions, spoilers for MOR and canon are fair game to post, without warning or rot13. More specifically:
You do not need to rot13 anything about HP:MoR or the original Harry Potter series unless you are posting insider information from Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).
If there is evidence for X in MOR and/or canon then it's fine to post about X without rot13, even if you also have heard privately from Eliezer that X is true. But you should not post that "Eliezer said X is true" unless you use rot13.
Today I met a relative of mine named Eliezer Yudkowsky. First words out of his mouth: "Oh, it's you! You're the one who ruined my life!"
I also met Avi, who (I was told) used to come over to babysit me, and I would do his math homework for him.
And I was told that at one point during my distant youth, I was holding a camera and kept tilting it, and Uncle David kept telling me "Hold it steady!" without effect, and then Dad said "Hold it in a plane perpendicular to the floor" and that worked.
Just in case anyone was still claiming that my eleven-year-olds are unrealistic.
People still won't buy your character, because reality is unrealistic (TVTropes). Orson Scott Card got the same reactions to Ender (although I can't find the reference now).
It's in the introduction to (later printings of) Ender's Game, starting on page XIX:... (read more)
Keep in mind that Blaise's plan was Dumbledore's.
Ch. 68 I thought was particularly strong. I find I really enjoy parts of the story that dip into Hermione or Draco's POV, so I'm glad to see more of that.
Ch. 68 also mitigated a negative reaction I'd had to the previous chapter -- watching Harry and Neville wipe out all of Sunshine by themselves, my reaction was a reader was an exasperated "Okay, must we really be bludgeoned with evidence of Harry's manifest superiority to all the other canon characters? It's getting to be a bit much." So for the next chapter to dip into Hermione's head when she's having the exact same thoughts--it helps a lot to counter my objection, because it shows a self-awareness in the text. It seems to promise we're going somewhere with all this.
I also think it's kind of interesting to contrast MoR!Hermione with the canon character. Canon Hermione was pretty much totally okay with her part as a supporting player in Harry's quest. There's this exchange in the first book:
'Harry — you're a great wizard, you know.' 'I'm not as good as you,' said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him. 'Me! Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery and – oh Harry – be careful... (read more)
Good comment. Upvoted.
I've been wary of the way Hermione was presented so far. A month ago I was involved in a feminist discussion of literature, and more than one person expressed an explicit lack of interest in stories about "white dudes being responsible for saving the world." Upon reading it I thought back to MoR. I know there are constraints on the story that Eliezer doesn't control, except for choosing to have written the story in the first place. Harry's already a white dude responsible for saving the world, and adding SuperRationalist to his resume is going to inherently blow Hermione out of the water in her own sphere of influence.
At the time of the conversation about feminist literature (or lackthereof) we were at chapter 63. Hermione had yet to do anything significant. There were enough hints that Eliezer was aware of the issues facing her, both as a character in general and as "the Girl™" in particular, but those issues had merely been mentioned, not addressed. She had attempted to regain her personhood by becoming the general, and then lost everything she gained when she kissed Harry.
I had a vague faith that Eliezer would eventually address it someh... (read more)
I have no idea if this was intended, but reading the chapter reminded me strongly of these two posts.
On the one hand, it is possible that Harry has simply gone on to a level where Hermione cannot follow. This suspicion, naturally, is devastating to her ego, but it's part of what she's grappling with now. And that moment is completely part of the archetypal Nerd Journey--for a lot of us it happens in college. All our lives we've always been the smartest kid at school, but suddenly we go to a much bigger school and we're confronted for the first time with the reality that we are maybe not the colossal geniuses our high school teachers and our parents always told us we were. We realize there is a level above our own. That moment can be very difficult.
But at the same time, as Hermione grapples with this realization, she's wondering if she can go any higher, and she's being told: No, because you don't have the aura of destiny.
Of course this is a fantasy story, a world with magic, and there is a special prophecy that names Harry and does not name Hermione. But I think she's right to object when Dumbledore and McGonagall refuse to give her the kind of help they're giving Harry, merely because it's not her name on the title of the story.
Eliezer's stories are full of people who make a massive difference. That'd be a weird thing for Eliezer to criticize.
If you want to figure out the James' Rock thing yourself, you should probably stop reading now.
I read this in ch58
and (putting my contrarian nature to good use) thought, the other reason he was good at it was, he concentrated on maintaining his transfigured ring stone all the time. Then I realized that's all thanks to Dumbledore and I started to wonder if it was intentional. In search of clues I reread ch17, specifically the part where Harry got the rock, and then went on to read the Lily's potion book part because it seemed related. That's w... (read more)
As of 4:17am PDT, HPMOR is the #1 most-reviewed Harry Potter fanfiction on the entire Internet.
Hi Eliezer, one minor issue I have with this (awesome) story is the punctuation. In particular, you often use commas when other punctuation might read better. Here are a few examples from chapter 68:
Would read better as:
Would read better as:
Would read better as:
I get the impression that you often do this in order to create a sense of rushing/urgency, and it mostly works, but other times it reads awkwardly. It's particularly noticeable at the beginnin... (read more)
Hermione wears makeup? On a regular basis?! Has this been mentioned before, in MoR or canon? Seems somewhat-to-very out of character to me.
ETA: Eliezer has now removed the reference.
Yeah, I blinked a bit at that too. In canon she can't be bothered to use hair product (even though she likes the effect on her frizzy hair) because it takes too much time to put on, so it seems probable that makeup is in the same category. I could maybe see a light lip gloss, if Hogwarts is dry and her lips tend to chap.
On the other hand, Emma Watson obviously wears makeup, so perhaps this is movieverse Hermione.
Lastly, I know this opinion makes me, like, ninety years old and Amish to boot, but twelve is too young for make-up.
Given the number of people struggling with the "Azkaban Saturday" timeline, I thought I'd have a go at mapping it out and uploading the result to Google Documents. If anyone's got any corrections, feel free to say so.
Something I've mentioned before, but usually as part of a reply to something else: I strongly believe that the work would benefit from being officially divided into different books. Chapter 63 was incredibly cathartic to read, partly because it was a very intense chapter that resolved a lot of stuff, but partly because at the time, we knew a hiatus was coming and that it was the End™ of a particular section. That, in combination with the fact it touched upon every single plot thread, made it feel more potent. And the PDF version, at that time, was a little over 1000 pages, which is about right for a Harry Potter book.
It's also a daunting to get new people to read something when there's a bajillion chapters. I don't know if you're planning for two parts or three, but presumably there will be at least 120 chapters when this is done, if not 180+. I had better luck getting new people to read it when I specifically said "book 1 just finished, I can give you the PDF of that," and I think that's in part because "one book" is a friendlier way of measuring length than some large number of pages.
Fanfiction.net might have specific rules, or you might want to just keep thin... (read more)
I can't believe I couldn't figure out the countercurse was just "Unjellify!" (ETA: Act I, Part 4, 9:07, if anybody cares). (Edit June 17: link changed to be more precise; it used to be this.)
May interest HP:MoR fans (oneshot, not mine):
As Dumbledore demonstrates in Order of the Phoenix, any spell, even Avada Kadavra, can be blocked by a temporarily animate statue (the spell "kills" the statue instead). Which actually annoyed me when I read it, since that implies wizards could imbue each layer of their clothing with intelligence before a battle, and gain a bunch of extra lives.
(Having your breastplate shout taunts at your enemy also frees you up to focus on fighting.)
It wasn't the animatedness of the statue that made it block Avada Kedavra, it was that it was a huge block of solid stuff. Voldemort in the same sequence crafted a physical shield for himself, though he didn't need to block any Avada Kedavras (as Dumbledore didn't cast any).
Of course, imbuing your clothing with intelligence so it will absorb killing curses has some truly horrifying moral implications.
Quirrell distinguished himself early on in the fic as saying that the Killing Curse was a spell that solved many problems. He also said (ch 16):
Comparing sleep to death for intelligence is like comparing a screensaver to dismantling for a computer. The brain is still very active during sleep, external stimuli can still be recognized, and sleep isn't a permanent condition. I don't see how such a comparison is meaningful for discussing intelligence.
Trust me, Hermione, you're still much better off than her.
I just figured out a possible bit of twisty logic while listening to the podcast that I didn't notice on first read through.
I've spoilered this entire thing even though I probably don't need to, just so that you can can figure it out yourself If you want. I think it explains Dumbledore's otherwise incomprehensible behavior in chapter 17.
Cebsrffbe Qhzoyrqber frg hc gur ragver guvat jvgu Uneel'f Nhag, naq ur ncbybtvmrq sbe znavchyngvat guvatf va gung snfuvba. Naq Uneel qvqa'g haqrefgnaq vg orpnhfr Qhzoyrqber vf n ovg qvfgenpgvat.
Cbvag 1: Uneel'f Nhag Crghavn qenax n cbgvba sebz Yvyl Cbggre gung znqr ure fvpx sbe jrrxf, naq gura zber punevfzngvp.... (read more)
So, I was curious to see how each chapter was getting reviewed. Here are some numbers as of a few minutes ago:
The reviews cover a total of 856,252 words, more than double the size of the fic itself.
Some charts: reviews per chapter total review words per chapter avg. words per review per chapter
The 10 most reviewed chapters are:
In terms of average words per review, the top 10 are:
Top 10 for total review wordage produced per chapter:
Hermione is very much correct. If she wants to play the hero, she needs to level up.
Hermione Skills- photographic memory, high intelligence, fast learner, high level of spell casting ability. No Patronus capability (although her minions might) Minions - several capable Sunshine luitenents, Ms. McGonigal (not very forthcoming with aid) Magic items - magic bag of holding
Harry Skills - high intelligence. Natural Occlumens. Patronus 2.0 capability. Partial Transfiguration capability. Rational thinking and scientific methods. Highly intuitive with lateral thinking. Knowledge of various Muggle technologies. Parseltongue language Minions/Allies - Chaos Lieutenant Longbottom, Lesath Lestrange, Bella Lestrange, Prof. Quirrell, Prof. Dumbeldor (not very forthcoming with aid), Prof. McGonagal (somewhat forthcoming with aid), Fawkes (?), Santa (?) Magic / Items - Deathly Hallow Cloak, Time Turner, Wealth (limited access), Chest of holding, Bag of holding, various Muggle tech artifacts (batteries, arc welder, ...)
Draco Skills – high intelligence. Patronus. Learning rational thinking and scientific methods. Trained manipulator.
Minions / Allies – Lucius Malfoy, Prof. Snape, P... (read more)
through chp 70
I'm surprised that Harry hasn't tried to learn everything he can about wizarding history, wizarding society, and everyone who's important in the wizarding world. Since before he got to Hogwarts he's thought that he would have a major role in the wizarding world, possibly very soon. He needs to learn about how the wizarding world works, what problems it has that need solving, what good things need protecting, what obstacles could get in his way, what resources there are to draw on, what traps to avoid, who his potential enemies are and how they can be dealt with, and who his potential allies are and how he can win them over.
He's destined by prophecy to fight the Dark Lord (as he learned in chp 6), so you might think that Harry would be using every method available to learn as much as possible about Voldemort, but as far as we know he hasn't been doing that. Dumbledore is one of the most important people in Magical Britain and one of the main people shaping Harry's life, but we know that Harry didn't make much of an effort to learn about Dumbledore (chp 46). He ought to be learning what he can about Grindelwald's war, the Ministry of Magic, Quirrell, Lucius Malfoy, ... (read more)
Anyways, one post someone made someone made there was kinda interesting: with the Transfiguration rules being as strict as they are, deliberately breaking those rules seems like a pretty broken combat technique if you were to use them to create biological weapon-ish things. Do wizards simply anticipate that and set up appropriate charms for defense, or what? Given how strict the rules are, it's clear that Harry would NOT be the first person to think of that sort of thing.
This chapter was fun. I'd have liked somewhat better foreshadowing in regards to "what exactly is capable of blocking a magic spell?" though.
I've wondered if it would be a good idea to transfigure some antimatter (Or about 50 kg of uranium if you can transfigure that much) if you ever end up near Voldemort and a bunch of death eaters.
Come to think of it, use Imperious to make other people become your suicide bombers.
That reminds me of wondering why nobody ever made an Imperius virus where they just have each person cast it again.
Chapter 67 was a lot of fun, but why was everyone just standing around long enough to have big speeches, watch individual duels, etc? Haven't they read their TVTropes? ;)
edit: Also, I'm not sure how it was meant, but Daphne seemed more like she was under a literal spell than a figurative one, given that her crush reached sanity-compromising levels so quickly. Or was it supposed to be a long-running thing?
From Harry's POV,
Sunshine was probably glad to have a chance to defeat half of the army that they were facing while only putting one soldier at risk.
I was a bit sad to see today that the last bit of Chapter 1 had been changed. I really enjoyed the original.
There was a long silence in the backyard. Then a boy's voice said, calmly and quietly, "What."
Harry just stood there, stunned. That was... unexpected... The skeptical part of himself noted that he still hadn’t seen anything that violated the known laws of the universe. Surely a little conspiracy was far, far less improbable than the universe really working like that. But it was also a technique of rationality to notice when you were confused. To stop and say: wait a minute, that feels a little off, my understanding of the world didn’t predict for that to happen. Even if Harry tried to explain the day’s events by sudden insanity or unmotivated conspiracies, that didn’t put everything back to normal. It didn’t make the day’s events expected. It didn’t make him feel not-confused. There was no denying that something very, very, very odd was going on. Harry looked up at the sky, and began laughing. He couldn’t seem to help himself. This is the most improbable day of my life.
I can't help but think that Harry dropped an incredible idiot ball on deciding to go to Azkaban. I don't mean his deciding to trust his Professor and Mentor. I'm having trouble reconciling Harry's timeline with either his or (more importantly Quirrel's) decision making style.
8 AM - "Well, I have a big day of breaking into Azkaban today. So much to set up, I've got to be super careful!"
3 PM - "Hmm, it seems that the failsafe Quirrel setup in case anyone believes I was involved in Azkaban was triggered. Better go through with the plan anyw... (read more)
Harry got the note from himself at around 3:10pm. He left for lunch with Professor Quirrell in the late morning, went back in time, went to Azkaban, went back in time again to Mary's Room, and was grabbed by Dumbledore and rescued at around lunchtime. Those two time-loops did not intersect; they are separate time-loops.
Indeed. Harry's personal timeline looks like this.
Wakes up, does morning stuff.
Goes to lunch with Professor Quirrell.
Back in time to be picked up by the Professors at Mary's Room.
Receives coded note, delivers message to Professor Flitwick.
Reports to McGonagall's office, receives message to be passed to Flitwick.
Back in time one hour from 9 PM to send coded note through Slytherin mail to Margaret Bulstrode who will/did bring it the rest of the way back to 3 PM using her own time turner.
Visit to Dumbledore's office to hear his theory on Bellatrix's escape, and it turns out, to help Fawkes yell at him.
I was curious about the status of the review race, so I wrote a scraper to extract all HP fanfics of all ratings, with more than 40,000 words, and a bunch of data about each from ff.net. That is about 23,952 fanfics.
Here you can see the top 50 sorted by reviews, and if you know sql you can fiddle with the query whichever way you like. For those interested in the scraper itself, it's here (Click on edit to see the code. Please don't edit it unless you know what you're doing)
[edit: the data is updated daily]
Reactions to Chapter 70:
What exactly is she talking about here? From the reactions, it appears to be rape (forcible rape of women by men), but unfortunately there's no reason to go back centuries for that. Even if Sinistra ignorantly assumes that votes for women put an end to rape, she still doesn't have to go back any farther in her history than she's already gone.
A good line made great by the follow-up.... (read more)
Chapter 69 was adorable. Thank you for that, EY, it was wonderful from beginning to end. Your Hermione is recognizably the same Hermione that I loved in canon, just reacting to a somewhat different set of circumstances: I think SPHEW is an excellent twist. And I'm starting to feel extremely fond of Daphne as well.
Very small question: I was confused by the line the Hufflepuff boy was sitting up, and groaning and rubbing his skull where he'd been dropped head-first into the floor; it was a good thing he hadn't been a Muggle, Hermione realized, or he might have snapped his neck.
What is it about wizards that makes their necks less likely to snap? Can somebody explain that reference for me?
Of course, it's possible that James and Lilly would never have died in a car crash because they have no need to drive.
A question on transfiguration, timeless physics and what HJPEV could have known:
Harry's first year at Hogwarts is 1991. He transfigurates materials outside the confines of forms by thinking in terms of timeless quantum physics.
What was the state of timeless physics in 1991? Barbour's book was not published until 1999, for example, though presumably to have a book there was work leading up to it. What knowledge on the subject could Harry have had at that time, in a world without the Web as we know it, without even arXiv?
Edit: Barbour started publishing pape... (read more)
Let the man have some licence for pedagogy! The story wouldn't be worth much if it only taught lessons of things learned up to 1991.
Yup. Harry is allowed to know about cognitive psychology from arbitrary time periods, too, and have read anachronistic science books, etcetera. Science is Timeless.
Way way way way back in chapter 3, after McGonagall has told Harry about Voldemort's attack on him and his parents, it says:
Is the "something wrong" simply that if the story is correct then there we... (read more)
Ch. 67: why does metal stop spells while cloth doesn't? It's not as if spells pierced clothes and made holes where they hit. If it's about tiny holes in fabric, something like permeability to water, would plastic bags work as well as metal? If it's about thickness, would styrofoam do? And if it's honestly about metal, how about aluminum foil?
In canon, the hardness and thickness of materials are described as stopping spells, especially stunning spells. Hagrid, e.g., is able to resist several Aurors' stunning spells for a few minutes because of his thick, hard, half-giant hide. No form of cloth or wool clothing is ever described as stopping a magical attack, but Harry can hide behind (presumably granite) gravestones for some time while Death Eaters blast away at them. Toilets, which presumably are not quite as thick or hard as gravestones, are shown as stopping one offensive spell but then exploding.
IMHO wearing metal armor is a brilliantly canonic tactic. The least plausible facet of it is that first years in January, average age 11.5, probably cannot build enough muscle mass to wear a full suit of medieval armor at all, let alone in two weeks. I do not think we have seen evidence that wizards are stronger than ordinary folk, as opposed to more resilient. The captains are described as wearing only metal shirts, but they practice by swinging metal objects on their hands and feet -- this is odd.
Actual medieval plate mail, of the kind intended to be worn in battle, weighed about as much as the safety equipment that hockey goalies wear today. There was a guy in a History Channel show that did cartwheels while wearing it. So Harry wearing plate mail probably would work, assuming he could get it to fit properly.
Chain mail, however, was indeed heavy and cumbersome, and "armor" designed for merely decorative or ceremonial purposes could indeed have been heavy enough to compromise the wearer's mobility, but Harry wouldn't have been wearing something like that.
I've worn full-weight chain and plate reconstruction items while running around for a full day, and I'm not physically fit at all - I'd say that a random geeky 12 year old boy would be easily able to wear an armor suit, the main wizard-combat problems being getting winded very, very quickly if running (so they couldn't rush in the same way as Draco's troops did), and slightly slowed down arm movement, which might hinder combat spellcasting. It is not said how long the battles are - if they are less than an hour, then there shouldn't be any serious hindrances; if longer then the boys would probably want to sit down and rest occasionally or use some magic to lighten the load.
As Harry said, this was a tactic that would only work against weak first-year spells; he did have to dodge Hermione's Stupefy.
Canon already suggests spells can be stopped by solid objects, but only if they're sufficiently solid. And powerful spells have been shown to blast objects, while weak spells haven't. It's not much of a leap. In HP canon, historical wizards may or may not have worn armor of some sort, but for an adult wizard, armor is probably more trouble than it's worth. Considering how versatile a properly trained wizard can be in combat, it shouldn't be able to do more than force the opponents to slightly revise their tactics, while increasing the wearer's fatigue.
Remember that these are first years. The difference between the quality of armor they and the government can procure is much smaller than the difference between their combat ability and those of aurors or Death Eaters. If they didn't have such a demanding teacher, they would probably be incapable of anything resembling proper dueling at this point.
General rule of fiction. If there are two possibilities, neither of which is confirmed or denied in text, assume the one that makes sense.
Maybe its the same reason that broomsticks use Aristotelian physics. If magic was intelligently designed by people who didn't know much science you would expect it to obey the law of "it makes sense so long as you don't think too hard".
Muggle artifact prohibition?
This is a good question for gaining insight into the way spells work, and it seems like an easy one to investigate - one just needs to shoot several spells at another person through a bunch of shields made of different materials and of varying thicknesses, then check if any patterns emerge. If Harry's not too busy, he should look into it.
I have hesitated before posting this, "is it appropriate", "is it relevant", I wondered. But this siteis deeply concerned with morality, and the application of rationality threin. Hence, I submit the following, knowing that I am not alone in the predicament I describe, and that people who are in my current state are among the greatest obstacles we have to overcome in our way to saving humanity from the UFAI. Here is my report:
I have been rereading this fic aas of late. I am dismayed to find out that the distance between me and Rational!... (read more)
We're told that Azkaban cannot interact with its past. I take this to mean that there are no loops of causality within Azkaban, where time A affects time B, which in turn affects time A. More generally, no information from a later time in Azkaban can be sent to an earlier time in Azkaban (since the converse seems always possible). Similarly, it's implied that, even through a chain of time turners, no information can be sent more than six hours backwards in time anywhere.
By the understanding of modern physics, these cannot be hard-and-fast rules. A slig... (read more)
I wonder if Quirrelmort has been every DADA teacher since the supposed "curse". If V. was the one who supposedly cast it, it would have been simple enough to remove it, make an exception for himself, or simply not cast it in the first place. He is known to be many people, and to desire the position. Why not make maximum use of it? The constantly changing identities would both enable him to give a highly inconsistent quality of education from year to year without raising eyebrows, and would make his activities harder to track in general.
One theory I've had for a while:
Maybe the death needed to make a horocrux is not needed to preserve the mind. it is needed for the minds ability to cast independent magic. One could make a perfectly fine horocrux without killing anyone that had the only problem that you'd be a muggle when you were brought back.
This is the most important consequence of a more general theory: What a wizard means with the word "soul" is their independent magic power source, and that follows some conservation law. Evbidence for this includes wizards not considering m... (read more)
That's because, thanks to Dumbledore's knowledge of Muggles, there is no magic involved.
1) Prof. Quirrell pointed out that Harry was especially vulnerable to the "Finite Incantatem" spell (to removed his transfigured armor). How does the canon mechanics of this spell work from a tactical standpoint? Is it area of effect or targeted on a per spell basis? Can a weak 1st year dispel a casting done by Headmaster Dumbledor or does caster strength play a role in its effectivity? Depending on the answers, Harry's vulnerability could be mitigated by pure strength or recursive spell depth or minor covering spells to... (read more)
Glitches seem like a bad analogy, but cheat codes seem like potentially a pretty good one. Perhaps the developer console of the universe speaks bad Latin.
And, indeed, a story in which past events are occasionally edited.
The kind of simulation that Harry is in (that is, a piece of fiction) is admittedly not one where the initial conditions are established and it is calculated forward from there, such that X2 rather than X1 happening at time T1 necessitates Y2 rather than Y1 happening at time T2.
So, agreed, editing the chapter that describes T1 from X1->X2 doesn't necessarily cause evidence (e.g., Harry's memories) of X1 at T2 to change, so in principle he could notice the difference.
Which would in and of itself be a useful piece of information about the nature of the universe, I guess. He'd know that his perceived present is not in fact contingent on his past, but is instead separately created by some sort of external creator, who for whatever reason creates the illusion of such contingency.
As a literary choice, I disagree about its awesomeness... this kind of narrative self-reference is good for a kick-in-the-head, but it's difficult to maintain any kind of worthwhile narrative thereafter.
Then again, EY has already devoted many many words to the idea that a set of values can be both arbitrary and worthwhile, so perhaps he'd relish the challenge of writing a compelling Harry aware of his own... (read more)
Mentioned in passing in chapter 14:
Best wishes, the Less Wrong Reference Desk.
The Atlantic put up a piece today using HP:MoR as the take-off point for discussing fanfiction and fan communities.
I remember the author's comments some time ago to the effect that he was surprised that many readers (myself included) weren't immediately sure that Quirrell is Voldemort. Has anyone considered that this might be a trans-forth-wall version of Bystander Effect?
The (presumably omniscient) narrator isn't pointing out that Quirrell is Voldemort. The (presumably well informed) Professor Dumbledore has disclosed no such suspicions to the reader. (Presumably cunning and logical) Rationalist!Harry hasn't made any connections between the sense of doom, harmonic ... (read more)
I am having trouble scanning the HPMoR thread for topics I'm interested in due to both it's length and the lack of a hierarchical organization by topic. I would appreciate any help with this problem since I do not want to make comments that are simple duplicates of previous comments I failed to notice. With that in mind, is there a discussion forum or some method to scan the HPMoR discussion thread that doesn't involve a lot of effort? I have not found organizing comments by points to be useful in this respect.
Edit: I'm new and this is my 1st comment. I've read a lot of the sequences, but I don't know my way around yet. It's quite possible I'm missing a lot about how things work here.
I like this line:
At first you think that he's talking to Hermione!
All the way back in chapter 1, Petunia says:
The main (although not the only difference) between canon and HPMR is Lily and Petunia's interaction in this context. In canon, centaurs are creatures which see the future. This makes me very worried that a centaur foresaw that if Lily helped Petunia bad things would result. Since this is the main departure from canon, is this a reason to think that the story is going to have a really downer ending?
I have a couple of theories about how Fred & George managed the Rita Skeeter prank. We know from Quirrel's response that Rita Skeeter's article included evidence from a variety of sources, difficult to fake, and certainly costing more than 40 galleons. The obvious implication is that either they got some covert support (Professor Quirrell/Tom Riddle?), or they found a simpler method. I can think of two.
Modify Rita Skeeter's memories. Make her remember viewing all the evidence, when in fact she hadn't seen them. Hiring someone to do that probably woul
What Hermione really needs is Something to Protect- her own autonomy isn't big enough.
May I just say that this quote from ch. 65 sums up the Fountain of Irrationality beautifully and succinctly:... (read more)
Harry's monologue summarizes ideas discussed in "Entangled Truths, Contagious Lies" and "Dark Side Epistemology". Best wishes, the Less Wrong Reference Desk.
"...it's not like I'm an imperfect copy of someone else"
Irony alert! Or at least one more piece of evidence in favour of the Harry = Voldemort Copy theory.
I love this review
Holy crap! The audio-book podcast just tipped 1000 downloads! That's an average of 250 an episode!! I dunno if that's good or not, but it's WAY more than I was expecting for 4 weeks as an amateur! :D
Julia Galef (of Rationally Speaking) recently posted an excellent essay/review of HPMoR.
What is "Professor Barney" a reference to? (A certain purple dinosaur?)
Important note: This is not the same Eliezer Yudkowsky. This Eliezer Yudkowsky is like 13 years old or something.
Withdrawal symptoms... starting...
This seems amusing enough to post:
Listening to the Hitchhiker's Guide today, I noticed another reference in Chapter 13 that the TVTropes page seems to have missed:
Zaphod (after Trillian mentions picking up the hitchhikers): "Okay, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, yeah?"
That's because the things got added or removed when her attention was not on them, even while they remained in her field of vision, so that she thought that she would have noticed even though she didn't.
There's a name for this, but I can't remember it. Muggle researchers do it on monitors with a camera that tracks your eye movements, I think.
Did whatever Snape was planning for Rianne to do already happen?
There is his weird clap in the great hall, and his smile after chiding Jaime Astorga. Apparently he warned Jaime and others that morning, perhaps he anticipated them reacting in this particular way and be beaten by the girls? Why? And it seems the fight was fairly close run, so he shouldn't have been able to predict the result unless he just got lucky (or relied on future information). Perhaps he planned for either outcome, but what is he even trying to accomplish?
And how does Ria... (read more)
I have begun blogging an extended discussion of HP:MOR at quirrellinvenice.tumblr.com. Read it!
On #lesswrong, br1an mentioned that he wanted "to start an enjyn project to do a high quality professional grade audiobook production of HPMOR". (Enjyn is a lot like Kickstarter.)
moshez apparently listens to a lot of audio material ('escapepod, podcastle and with a little help'), and says "when they're done by a freelance voice actor, they always say how they can be hired", which suggests that VAs might be pretty cheap. One might only need a single VA, which is how a number of professional audiobooks like the Discworld books are done, a... (read more)
In a couple of conversations with Fred and George, references are made to some prank involving "kevin entwhistle's cat". Do we know what that refers to?
If anyone's looking for an example, Chapter 27 has a reference in the fourth paragraph.
Rather belated (and possibly noted already), but in case there was any lingering doubt as to Mr. Hat-and-Cloak's identity:
(Chapter 35): Mr. Hat and Cloak gave a whispery chuckle. "Indeed," said the whisper. "With the murder of one student five decades ago being the exception that proves the rule, since Salazar Slytherin would have keyed his monster into the ancient wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself."
(Chapter 49): Professor Quirrell sipped from his own waterglass again. "Well then, Mr. Potter, I shall freely tell y... (read more)
It's always delightful to see a potential enemy successfully subverted.
Oh, yeah, the play-fighting was fun too, I suppose.
Something occurred to me lately about the story. It seems likely that there's another character in the shadows (if not more then one).
What exactly has been going on with Nicholas Flamel?
He exists within the story, Dumbledore has consulted with him. The philosopher's stone is still being hidden at Hogwarts, and presumably Voldemort still wants it.
This seems like a decent hypothesis on who/what Quirrell is if he isn't Voldemort.
Re: chapter 70...
A nice capsule summary of the problem with endorsing non-instrumental heroism.
That said, Hermione raises a decent question that gets lost by the end:
Dumbledore has a clear opinion on the matter, and he does have some credibility, but he isn't showing his work. And Hermione's skepticism seems warranted.
If Hermione is actually interested in finding out, it would seem th... (read more)
"(Hermione was starting to worry about what exactly the impressionable youths of the Chaos Legion were learning from Harry Potter.)"
I am confused as to why Quirrell/Voldemort would leave behind the false clue of the animagi potion. Revealing an escape mechanism that may prove usefull later doesn't make sense.
So now Amelia Bones changed the rules of visitation at Azkaban to prevent forming a new animagus. However, the prison is still vulnerable to an unregistered Animagus from escaping (unless they have detection methods?). Escape like this would still lead to a Sirius style manhunt unless a realistic corpse was left behind.
Interestingly, Sirius whom in this fiction is probably a... (read more)
The reason for it was actually ingenious- look at the actual result:
Since Quirrellmort wanted to divert suspicion from Harry in the event of some mishap, he left what amounts to a "VOLDEMORT WAS HERE" flag at the scene of the crime. Not even Mad-Eye Moody would suspect that Voldemort and Harry Potter pulled off the prison break together.
It just occured to me that HRMOR strikes me as a bit similar in mode to Ender's Game in the way that Prof. Quirrell set Harry up right at the start to being "different and better" to isolate him and force him to excel. He caves a little with offering advice, support, and hints,; whereas Graff would have told Ender he would have to figure it out how to win or he'd find another special kid.
I'm somewhat surprised that Dumbledor didn't intervene, say with a side quest, to bind some friends and allies to Harry. Guess he likes what Quirrell brings to the table.
I really enjoy the deep game being played out in this story.
The first half of the first year is over in HP MOR. Prof. Quirrell's degraded health and the Curse of the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor are looming larger.
I speculate that Voldemort/Quirrel'smotivation in breaking Bellatrix out of Azkaban is insurance for a new body/host in the near future. I imagine that a willing host is not only easier to possess but might enable him with more of his powers.
Did anyone else not get the fanfiction.net email notifications for these new chapters? I didn't know there were new chapters until I saw this thread.
I'm curious: did the "plausible deniability" theme of chapter 72 arise from the very beginning, because of Harry's explanation, or did you come up with it later in the chapter and then reinforce earlier scenes to make it more cohesive?
The Rachel Aaron interview mentioned in the latest Author's Notes update should probably appear under celebrity endorsements. I should probably post that as a review, but right now I don't feel like registering an account there.
Has Eliezer said how long the story will be? How many chapters the full story will have, or do we possibly have an expected ending date? I've read and enjoyed the first several chapters, but i'd rather have the entire thing when it's done instead of waiting for each next chapter. The current author's notes state that there is a predetermined ending to the plot arc, but i haven't seen an estimate of how far along the story currently is.
What sort of books would Harry have lent to Padma?
As of Chapter 70, we now have both Patil sisters acting together, probably on an adventure of sorts; I wonder if we'll see any evidence of her recent reading!
Damn, another good line! Where do you get all this, Eliezer?
Am I just in an agreeable mood today, or is this really that good?
And the end, of course, is the Crowning Moment of Awesome.
A great line, at least for those of us who know the canon history. One might hope that Dumbledore would have learnt a lesson from this (the lesson that Hermione has no need to learn), but apparently not.
Well, maybe he did know!
I'm sorry in advance if someone already has mentioned these ideas but I'm not sorting through 1000+ comments to find out
Quirrel/Voldemorts ultimate goal with battlemagic is to teach the students of Hogwarts how to be more useful soldiers in an army to be lead by Harry. The purpose of the three armies is obviously a continuation of this plan, with the goal of teaching harry to be a good general, giving Harry a platform to develop a cult of personality around himself (an important thing to have for any aspiring Dark Lord), and finding and developing lieuten... (read more)
Hypothesis: Quirrell is positioning Harry to be forced to figure out how to dissolve the wards at Hogwarts. (or at least that's the branch of the Xanatos pileup we're on.)
(This comment contains idle speculation about the psychology of Eliezer's writing process. Eliezer, you may or may not want to continue reading.)
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(Ncbybtvrf sbe zl fyvtu... (read more)
Fanfiction.net user Black Logician has announced Harry's Game, a spinoff of HP:MoR which branches out around Chapter 65-67 of the original fic. From his post at the HP:MoR review board:
Please use ROT13 for spoilers when discussing Harry's Game.
I approve of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles reference.
Ouch (ch 68):... (read more)
I don't like some of the changes to the chapter where Harry and Quirrel first go to Mary's Room. The lack of any transition sentence between Harry being shocked and the mention of the crushed beetle make it almost sound like Harry is shocked by that, which is obviously not the case. The earlier version was better. At minimum, there should be some sort of transitional note like saying how he didn't see the beetle.
Eliezer has posted a new chapter (the 73rd) and I've started a new discussion thread (the 8th).
Is this thread the right place for asking when I can expect the next chapter by?
Just finished the existing chapters. I may have some fan art on the way.
So, I was curious to see how each chapter was getting reviewed. Here are some numbers as of a few minutes ago:
The reviews cover a total of 856,252 words, more than double the size of the fic itself.
The 10 most reviewed chapters are:
In terms of average words per review, the top 10 are:
How long until the next update?
Just noticed, they new matrix omake.
I found it awesome, but noticed that the last line is a plot hole. Even if the world doesn't run on mathematics, that doesn't preclude physics textbooks.
After all, humanity must have understood how the world works well enough at some point to built the AIs.
RE Chapter 64: Would a Dragon Ball Z o-make be possible? Or is there just too much stupid in it to get rid of?
ARRR!!! I just started going to the New York Rationality group, and next week when they're doing an actual HP:MOR meetup, I'm going to be in.... San Francisco, of all places.
Don't supposed the meetup could be Sunday....?
I'm surprised that Harry bothered to mention the LimDems in 1992. graph
ETA: The graph is a bit misleading, since the low point in 1992 (April) hasn't quite happened yet (right?).
His parents probably voted Lib Dem.
A prediction I made a while back, posted here for posterity. Rot13'd to avoid spoilers.
Fnagn Pynhf vf Avpubynf Synzry.
If anyone has made this prediction before, I'd love to see it discussed.
Also, do we know offhand:
1) What the shield is? I want to say Shield of Hufflepuff, but googling that didn't produce anything useful. Is it something I should know about?
2) What the flash of gold is? I have a vague feeling of something being introduced earlier in the story that'd be relevant, but I can't remember.
"Because you are a responsible git, just like your dad." Sirius sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. It was still a bit long, but much neater than Harry remembered. "Coming back the way you did," his godfather said after a moment, "you have a lot of advantages. But it's not everything. Maybe it's easier to feel like it's your fault than admit you can't control everything."
Harry thought about that for a moment. There was a certain… perverse logic to that, he supposed. At the same time, he felt bands around his heart, ba... (read more)
Also I hate to be one of those people screaming, 'UPDATE UPDATE' but does anyone who has been following this longer then me have any clue when the next update is coming? There's nothing in the author's notes and there has been over a month long delay from the last posting.
This is a poll.
Upvote this if you think neither.
Upvote this if you think MoR has been getting better lately.