Something I've been trying to puzzle out for the past day, and failing. From Chapter 39, as Harry is talking to Dumbledore:

"The obvious test to see if the Resurrection Stone is really calling back the dead, or just projecting an image from the user's mind, is to ask a question whose answer you don't know, but the dead person would, and that can be definitely verified in this world. For example, call back -"

Then Harry paused, because this time he'd managed to think it through one step ahead of his tongue, fast enough to not say the first name and test that had sprung to mind.

Who was the first name (and test) that had sprung to Harry's mind? The quick rejection implies it would be something that would make Dumbledore think he is evil, or reveal to Dumbledore that Harry has some information that Harry doesn't want Dumbledore to know he has, or emotionally wound Dumbledore. And yet the shade would also have knowledge that no one alive would know, but the dead person would, and could be tested in the real world.

Things that have recently happened and might be on the tip of Harry's mind: Harry had a mysterious confrontation with Lucius Malfoy on platform 9.75, has met Neville's grandmother, and has discussed with Dumbledore what mischief Quirrell could unleash if he tricked the Headmaster into letting a Dementor onto the school grounds. They've also discussed immortality and afterlives (with some focus on Harry's parents).

Any guesses? I have a couple, but they seem quite weak to me.

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Since people don't seem to be noticing matheist's answer, I'm copy-pasting it here:

He talks to Quirrell later about not making the obvious suggestion in front of Dumbledore, and goes on to say:

"If you happen to see a stone with that symbol," said Harry, "and it does talk to the afterlife, do let me know. I have a few questions for Merlin or anyone who was around in Atlantis." (Ch. 40)

1TuviaDulin8yVoldemort. He'd summon Voldemort's ghost and make it tell him the spells it learned from Salazar's basilisk.
2BrazenWord8yHPEV was likely thinking of Merlin, but a much simpler test would be to call back Pierre de Fermat. Granted, there wouldn't be a solid "no" if the remarkable proof were faulty, and perhaps you would be better off having a mathematical novice do the summoning just to be certain.

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.