I would use Aluminium, in small amounts. It wouldn't so much be terrorism as it would be counterintelligence. Literally. Do some experimentation (on political prisoners) first and then some calculations on air dispersal concentrations and work out how much the human body can absorb via untranfiguration without being detected. Then proceed to provide a chronic internal dose of Aluminium to select enemy targets over an extended period. The slow but steady cognitive decline would have no apparent source and would be noticed only after it has been resulting in poor decision making for a long time. Just what you need when you are planning a magical war.

Aluminum sounds like it'd have a long half-life and leave elevated levels in the blood and hair for a long time - and so is easily tested for. It'd be better to use something which washes out quicker. Lots of drugs damage cognition and disappear quickly; maybe scopolamine, but there are probably better suggestions.

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Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).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