A hypothesis I'm currently toying with: Quirrell and HJPEV are different versions of the same individual, in some sense, and the Quirrell version is using some form of magic (probably involving breaking the 6-hour-limit on sending information backwards through time, possibly involving possession of a real Quirrell) to carry out a process of recursive self-improvement on himself. The story we're currently reading takes place in one iteration of the loop.

Has anyone posted this idea before on the net?

There are some serious problems with this hypothesis:

  • Quirrell and HJPEV appear to have very different utility functions.
  • Performing recursive self-improvement starting with a human hardly seems like the kind of thing Eliezer would advocate, considering the likelihood of ending up with an unfriendly superintelligence.

So it's probably wrong, but I thought it was interesting enough to post.

Showing 3 of 4 replies (Click to show all)

My theory is that when Voldie shot baby Harry, he copied one of his horcruxes into Harry, overwriting Harry's original soul/mind. HJPEV is what Voldie/Quirrel might have been like if raised under different circumstances.

1Eneasz8yI don't think this fits the style. Much in the same vein as Stross's "Palimpsest" (and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure for that matter), the reader/viewer always sees only the final iteration, because that's what the subjective experience would be to someone experiencing this. So if this is the case, we're reading the last iteration (see both the initial time-turner prank and the attempted use of the time-turner to factor in polynomial time). That being said, it's my pet theory that Harry goes dark and does something horrible in the future, and sends himself way back to try to stop all that, and we're reading the final iteration of that. And that future Harry is Mr Hat-and-Cloak. But that's just me, and this isn't well supported.
3Jonathan_Elmer8yQuirrell is definitely Voldemort, or rather Voldemort and Quirrell are alternate identities of Tom Riddle.

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.