A lot of people think that Voldemort was going too easy on Harry, making this a "Coil vs. Taylor in the burning building" violation of suspension-of-disbelief for some of them. I am considering rewriting 113 with the following changes:

  • Most Death Eaters are watching the surrounding area, not Harry; Voldemort's primary hypothesis for how Time might thwart him involves outside interference.
  • Voldemort tells Harry to point his wand outward and downward at the ground, then has a Death Eater paralyze Harry (except heart/lungs/mouth/eyes) in that position before the unbreakable Vow. This would also require a retroedit to 15 or 28 to make it clear that Transfiguration does not require an exact finger position on the wand.


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For what it's worth, I felt that Taylor's survival was much more believable than Harry's. Maybe that's because I knew in advance that Taylor's problems would not stop with defeating Coil? :-)

0ArisKatsaris5yInstead of "having a Death Eater paralyze Harry", I suggest that Voldemort paralyzes Harry himself before the Death Eaters arrive by throwing a trapped Knut at him with Petrificus Totalis set on it to trigger or something. Then Voldemort, just before the Vow, asks one of the Death Eaters to partially remove the paralysis just from Harry's head. This looks all the way simpler. A paralysis is good from Voldemort's perspective, but if it is good to have it would be good to have from the start -- so as to be in better control of the situation rather than depend solely on the abilities of the Death Eaters -- and don't tell me that Voldemort couldn't have found indirect ways to inflict a variety of magical effect on Harry the moment he realized his magic couldn't touch him directly. EDIT TO ADD: Ugh, no, that solution I just suggested (trapped Knut with paralysis spell) has the problem of leaving Harry paralyzed afterwards, while the paralysis spell would be dissolved at the Death Eater's death...
5dxu5yWhat I'm uncertain about is what was going through Voldemort's mind at the time. I have no idea what he was thinking when he let Harry keep his wand, and so for me, that part kind of fell flat, especially when it turned out there was no explanation other than, "He was overconfident"... which sounds like an explanation, but isn't one, not really. It's just like saying "magic" or "phlogiston". How does the mokeskin pouch work? "Magic!" What causes fire? "Phlogiston!" Why did Voldemort let Harry keep his wand? "Overconfidence!" For me, that just isn't specific enough of an explanation to actually allow me to make predictions. My model of Voldemort can't receive "overconfidence" as an argument and spit out the action "let Harry keep his wand"; the argument isn't well-specified enough. How was he overconfident? What was his exact train of thought? As Harry put it in 108: Since the explanation "overconfidence" didn't make me feel like I would have predicted Voldemort's actions in advance, it remained an improbability. I'm not suggesting for you to add a scene from Voldemort's point of view into Chapter 113 or something--that would be a jarring shift in perspective, IMO. (Although it would be nice if you could somehow give a hint at Voldemort's motives--I particularly liked Luke_A_Somers' suggestion [http://lesswrong.com/lw/lt7/harry_potter_and_the_methods_of_rationality/c346].) That being said, I am curious: what was your model of Voldemort thinking when you had him let Harry keep his wand? If not too inconvenient, could you elaborate on what you were modeling Voldemort's thoughts as?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 114 + chapter 115

by Gondolinian 1 min read3rd Mar 2015430 comments


This is a new thread to discuss Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality and anything related to it. This thread is intended for discussing chapter 114, and also, as a special case due to the exceptionally close posting times, chapter 115.

There is a site dedicated to the story at hpmor.com, which is now the place to go to find the authors notes and all sorts of other goodies. AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author’s Notes. (This goes up to the notes for chapter 76, and is now not updating. The authors notes from chapter 77 onwards are on hpmor.com.)

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.