Sorry if that wasn't clear.

The first part is a response to your observation about abnormal intelligent. My point was that there are around six million people of Harry's intelligence level, so being that intelligent is not a good reason to think one is a protagonist.

I then agreed that Harry's aware of the genre in question which might help slightly.

My point about Gryffindor and the like was that even if Harry thinks he's in a story he doesn't have good reason to necessarily assume he's the protagonist. In fact, look at the confusion from other genre aware characters about what genre they are in. So Harry could be a well simulated villain for later use.

Harry under the sorting Hat thinks he's important. That's not the same thing as thinking one is a protagonist in a story. Being willing to believe that one is the prophesied hero upon everything will fall is something lots of little kids want to believe. A lot of them convince themselves that they are somehow important or unique. (A weird example are Emo and Goth kids who convince themselves that they somehow have terrible suffering which no one else understands. Similarly, this is why X-Men is such a popular comic.)

The hindsight bias is that you know that Harry really is the main character. So in that context it is easy for you to look at all the evidence and say "yeah! See. It is obvious."

(If I implied that Harry should know he's the main character then I take that back; I only meant to say he should know he's character of note in a story.)

0Will_Newsome9yI think that Harry's supposed to be about one in 2 million intelligence, since Eliezer was at one in a million and Harry's supposed to be somewhat smarter than Eliezer. Has this been discussed here before? If so, what were the conclusions?
0Will_Newsome9yInterestingly it might be less hindsight bias than typical mind fallacy/heuristic. Harry is like Eliezer, I am like Eliezer, I am like Harry, and I've always guiltily thought I was the main character, and I'm pretty sure that Eliezer and Harry have too. (Luckily there are many stories going on.) Combined with all the explicit cues about wanting to become God and thinking he's incredibly important and then being sorta vindicated by the prophecy... "Being the Messiah is like being Athlete of the Year."

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.