I'm interested in discussing the world Eliezer has created. Its alternate in obvious and subtle ways. Obviously, in this world both Harry and Quirrelmort are rationalists, but lots of other elements have changed.

-Dumbledore seems more changed by war than his book incarnation, to the point where he is making some obviously bad choices that have impacts on the school -The school is a more dangerous place than it was in the books. By this, I mean that in books 1-4, despite some hijinks, the actual danger was pretty darn low- in first year Harry had to actively try to get into mortal danger (ignoring some deeply unsubtle assasination attempts by Quirrel). In particular other students are never a danger to each other, yet theres a strong implication that here fights really can escalate- or at least that was the attempt with the Heromione arc. This is probably due in part to Dumbledore's approach (I don't believe that the 'Dore of the books would have tolerated such an escalation at all), and the beefing up of Slytherin house, and the Malfoy's in particular. While Lucius Malfoy was clearly a powerful individual in the books, his manipulations were fairly clunky, and nowhere near as subtle as portrayed here.

I think I need to have it in my head that many of the characters are subtly different here, because sometimes I read their portrayal as mocking the attitude in the books, and while sometimes that IS whats happening, sometimes its just because the characters aren't quite the same.

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Yes. I don't see Dumbledore in canon being so stupid as to fail to either ward his room against time-travel or recognise that that was how Harry got in.

3rdb9yIn part 7, Michaelos observed [http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/3rb/harry_potter_and_the_methods_of_rationality/4n5u] that Dumbledore blames himself for Harry being left with his evil stepparents, and wrote the comment on Lily's musing on modifying the (D&D-style) Eagle's Splendor potion in her text book while she slept. Ch 1. "And Lily would tell me no, and make up the most ridiculous excuses, like the world would end if she were nice to her sister, or a centaur told her not to - the most ridiculous things, and I hated her for it. ... "Anyway," Petunia said, her voice small, "she gave in. She told me it was dangerous, and I said I didn't care any more, and I drank this potion and I was sick for weeks, but when I got better my skin cleared up and I finally filled out and... I was beautiful, people were nice to me," her voice broke, "and after that I couldn't hate my sister any more, especially when I learned what her magic brought her in the end -" Perhaps, the brighter Lily, child of the enlightenment, growing up in the technological optimism of the 60s had determined to help her sister, and minimize the risks as she understood them. Giving Petunia the potion being a major change in the time line. Dumbledore may have been trying to prevent that.
1Sniffnoy9ySyntax note: End a line with two spaces to enforce a line break.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

by Oscar_Cunningham 1 min read9th Sep 2011725 comments


(The HPMOR discussion thread after this one is here.)

The previous thread is over the 500-comment threshold, so let's start a new Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread.  This is the place to discuss Eliezer Yudkowsky's Harry Potter fanfic and anything related to it. The latest chapter as of 09/09/2011 is Ch. 77.

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, seven, eight.  The fanfiction.net author page is the central location for information about updates and links to HPMOR-related goodies, 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.