I think it also sort of implies that Eliezer has a coherent metaphysics going on behind the scenes. The decision theoretic generalization of anthropic selection, reifcation of good story selection effects like conservation of detail or whatchamacallit from tvtropes, things like that. I heard that he once wrote a story about time machines? Or at least one about "outcome pumps". I wouldn't be surprised if he reuses his cleverest ideas from there in HP:MoR.

One question about theology, miracles, and Newcomblike problems that intrigues me:

If I was in a Harry Potter fanfic I would probably find out within 3 hours and then spend the next two weeks reading about common plot twists of Harry Potter fanfiction, knowing that my breaking the fourth wall so explicitly was either happening behind the scenes or I was in the fanfic of a very meta-cognizant author.

But what if that's a bad idea? The author has a model of me in his head, and if he knows that I'm the type of person who does that then he might change the story to make my metaness futile (because the only reason you'd write a story like that is to include irony of some kind), or less saliently he might just decide not to write the story in the first place. So should I not allow myself to think certain thoughts about what characteristics the author of the farce is likely to have, because doing that is like asking to be made the subject of an ironic twist?

Unfortunately IRL I'm in a Will_Newsome story where the hidden rules are significantly harder to think about.

Showing 3 of 5 replies (Click to show all)

I wish I could up-vote this multiple times. Do you know of any actual fiction written with this premise (that's also good)?

1wedrifid9yWhich means whenever Harry and Dumbledore are disagreeing about the world being a story with Heroes, etc, Wil\l_Newsome would realise that Harry's skepticism was irrational and Dumbledore had it nailed.
7Nominull9yYou won't think of it. You just won't discover you're in a fanfic! The laws of physics are running on an author, and that author doesn't want you to discover you're in a fanfic. I expect you will have trouble thinking thoughts physics itself does not want you to think.

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.