Here's a thought: Hogwarts is described as being the only magical school with a zero percent fatality rate, and it's implied that the last time a student died was Myrtle, fifty years ago. Except all students are taught within the first week enough about Transfiguration to know how to kill someone with it. I can believe the murder rate is that low, but what about the suicide rate? Not one teenager in fifty years?

[anonymous]8y1

Hogwarts is described as being the only magical school with a zero percent fatality rate, and it's implied that the last time a student died was Myrtle, fifty years ago.

These two things are incompatible with each other. Perhaps Hogwarts is lying about the former.

0Nornagest8yIf I remember right, it's implied that botched Transfiguration is a painful way to go -- it's compared to a severe illness. If its consequences are sufficiently well-known and unpleasant, it could be that it's not attractive as a suicide method. On the other hand, Transfiguring your brain into aspic or something like that sounds pretty quick and reliable to me. Perhaps that's difficult for technical reasons.
0thomblake8yAccording to a random Google first-page result, the annual suicide rate amongst teens is about 0.01%. While HPMOR's Hogwarts has a higher population, in canon (Word of God, really) the population was around 100 students per year, which suggests we'd see a teen suicide at Hogwarts about every century. Rough figures say 20% of teens attempting suicide end up killing themselves; assuming all Hogwarts attempted suicides are successful, you'd still only have one every 20 years. And I'd suspect teens would be less suicidal at Hogwarts, and despite warnings would not try effective things like transfiguration very often.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

by Oscar_Cunningham 1 min read9th Sep 2011725 comments

10


(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.