It's really hard for me to answer your first question. Basically everything about HP:MoR has been optimized to be a good story, so I'm tempted to answer "everything", but I realize that isn't helpful.

I'm not sure someone in a good story would recognize that they are in a story even when it is highly optimized. From the reader's perspective Harry might be interesting but even from his perspective he's spent days in classes, he's spent hours listening to Professor Binns drone on, he's had to do tedious homework, and he's had 11 years where he was just like a lot of other very smart kids, many of whom beat him in math contests.

Right, if you start from decision theory then the prior is high and if you start from naive realism then the prior is really low, but I mean, the likelihood ratio started out high the very moment he realized he was abnormally intelligent and he had three last names, and ever since then it just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and...

He lost in math contests, but I think he thought himself smarter than almost all other humans along the dimensions that actually mattered. He explicitly has a messianic complex.

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.