Eliezer has already mentioned things like Atlantis. History would probably play a role in finding out how magic works in general. Harry, from a political perspective, would do well to learn how the situation arose, and it may be an opportunity for Eliezer to set up an Aesop.

And it wouldn't necessarily change history. The muggle world as it is in canon is very similar to how it is in the real world, down to things like Playstations, yet Rowling invents a wizarding history that manages to not change much. All of the science Eliezer has mentioned is historically accurate to the year. It's not a stretch to say that the only part about HPMOR that is an alternate universe from canon is wizarding history, because even the existence of a wizarding world in canon didn't manage to change much.

Of course, this would be impossible to discuss in-universe without many-worlds magic. Harry can't find out why the existence of a wizarding world has not changed history if, from his perspective, there was no other "reality" for him to compare it to that he can actually draw evidence from.

However, wizards having their own history means they have their own documentation of that history. This means there are far more primary sources that may have been magically preserved, and muggles could, in the future, use these to learn more about their own history. They might even be able to settle historical debates that have gone on for decades, like what the actual pathogen that devastated Europe during the Black Plague was (since there is significant controversy over whether it was in fact the bubonic plague). Not to mention the existence of things like Pensieves. Magical historians are comparatively spoiled rotten when it comes to primary sources of historical events.

So the implications would be that, instead of changing muggle history, muggles would be more knowledgeable about what actually happened.

For things that canon changed about Muggle history, try Wikia:Mistakes in the Harry Potter books. (Most of that is irrelevant continuity errors, but some of that is contradictions with the real world.) Also see remarks about calendars in the HP Lexicon timeline.

4Oscar_Cunningham9yNicolas Flamel was born c. 1330. Why use a primary source when you can have a zeroth source?

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.