There are certainly some analytical charms that give you some sort of idea how magical objects work. For example where Harry offers Dumbledore and Quirrel some Comed Tea, they both analyze it before drinking.

The complexity of such analytics probably scales withe complexity of the magical object that is being analyzed, so finding out about the dial was probably immensely difficult, but not by collecting and correlating data, but by inspecting the device rather closely.

Not that I disagree, precisely, but I'm not sure you can use the Comed-Tea thing as evidence that it's possible to analyze how magical objects work: Quirrell and Dumbledore both seemed taken by surprise by the actual effect, after all. The charm(s) they used seem more likely to be poison/biologically-interactive-potion detectors.

Or maybe they both decided to fake being caught off guard. That seems like Dumbledore's style, anyway.

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 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Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).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.