The next discussion thread is here.
This is a new thread to discuss Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality and anything related to it. This thread is intended for discussing chapter 84. The previous thread has passed 500 comments. Comment in the 14th thread until you read chapter 84.
There is now a site dedicated to the story at hpmor.com, which is now the place to go to find the authors notes and all sorts of other goodies. AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author’s Notes. (This goes up to the notes for chapter 76, and is now not updating. The authors notes from chapter 77 onwards are on hpmor.com.)
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: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
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Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).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.
I had this idea about Tom Riddle's plan that I appreciated having criticized.
Tom Riddle grew up in the shadow of WWII. He saw much of the Muggle world unite against a threat they all called evil, and he saw Europe's savior, the US, eventually treated as the new world leader afterward, though it was somewhat contested, of course. That threat strongly defined it's own presentation and style, and so that style and presentation were associated with evil afterward.
Tom didn't want to be Hitler. Tom wanted to actually win and to rule in the longer term, not just until people got tired of his shit and went all Guy Fawks on his ass. He knew that life isn't easy for great rules, but thought that was worthwhile. He knew that life was even harder for great rulers who ruled by fear, so that wasn't his plan.
So Tom needed two sides, good and evil. To this end he needed two identities, a hero and a villain.
I guess he didn't think the villain didn't need to have any kind of history. Maybe he didn't think the villain would matter much or for long. Voldemort was just there for the hero to strike down. That was a mistake, because he lacked a decoy his enemies were eventually able to discover ... (read more)
That's a really good explanation for how Dumbledore's recollection of the purposeless evil of Voldemort can be reconciled with the clearly purposeful evil of Quirrell.
Right now this post has 53 points. WHY?
The post where put down the theory this grew from only has 2 points. Don't go voting it up just because I mentioned that. I don't want anything 'fixed' I just want an explanation.
This isn't written any better than my other posts, which commonly stay under 3 points and go negative often enough. Those other posts are totally contributions to the conversation. Some of them are even helpful.
I left points hanging. I didn't defend what I was saying. I just told a story. That's what you want?
I'm not even the first to revisit this speculation since my low vote theory post. Chris Hallquist was saying pretty much the same thing and he didn't get over 40 upvotes.
What are you upvoting?
Why hello there! We are called humans, have you met us before?
Because votes come more from the location in the thread than from quality of the post - sheer numbers of people reading it swamp a better post made 400 spots downthread. Also, it puts down in decent fashion a thesis that's getting kicked around a lot and that is rather appealing.
Did you just get burned by the Illusion of Transparency while referencing the Illusion of Transparency?
Perhaps not so much. We may believe Voldemort to truly be Tom Riddle for the following few reasons.
But canon doesn't count, this fic diverges strongly in places.
And knowledgeable, otherwise competent characters are wrong about things.
And, most tellingly, we now know that Voldemort in his Quirrell mask has been dropping hints that he is actually your Scion X (or David Monroe or whomever). He could just as easily be falsely hinting at the Riddle identity.
Yes, I am suggesting that the studen... (read more)
This strikes me as the least characteristic part of your idea. Quirrellmort doesn't seem like someone who would have taken a few years kicking it around trying to come up with a new plan.
ETA: I think that for the most part this seems like a pretty likely outline. I think the evidence stacks up in favor of the new character being a dupe of Voldemort, and this strikes me as the most plausible motivation for him to be playing both sides. I think his plan would probably even have been workable in the sense of making the heroic identity the de facto leader of the country, but he called it quits when he realized that the prize for heroism was not being lavished with adulation, but being treated as responsible for being a hero all the time, whereas the prize for being a Dark Lord was fawning obedience. There are a... (read more)
I've been thinking along the same lines, probably because I watched Code Geass not too long ago, and this is basically the "Zero Requiem" gambit employed by Lelouch. He creates a totem of pure evil as a target of the world's hatred, then publicly destroys it, establishing a hero as savior-king. Riddle, like Lelouche, is portrayed as a "Byronic hero"--mysterious, cynical, cunning, arrogant, and brilliant. If this interpretation is correct, Harry might not be his future meatpuppet, but actually the "chosen one", who will fulfill the role of the hero and unite the world as savior-king after destroying the risen Voldemort.
But of course it could have just been a "Palpatine Gambit". In this version, Riddle was using his Voldemort persona to create fear, which his other persona takes advantage of to turn Magical Britain into the Empire, consolidating all power to himself. But in this version, much to the consternation of Tom Riddle, the "Republic" actually doesn't give up power to the obviously qualified hero (due to diffusion of responsibility, political maneuvering, etc.) So instead he decides to just seize power as Voldemort, but by bad... (read more)
In case it's relevant, remember that Hitler was just a muggle pawn of Grindlewald, and the Holocaust existed to fuel Gindlewald's dark rituals.
I wouldn't. Sign me up for unworthy adversaries all the way.
Just to put slightly differently what others have already said: We're talking here about a version of Voldemort who has read the Evil Overlord List (or written his own version or something of the kind). It is hard to reconcile either half of that with taking considerable trouble and risk to raise up a "worthy adversary".
Am I losing my mind, or was there a change made to Chap 16? I recall this section:
" No, there is exactly one monster which can threaten you once you are fully grown. The single most dangerous monster in all the world, so dangerous that nothing else comes close. The adult wizard. That is the only thing that will still be able to threaten you."
However now it reads:
" No, there is exactly one monster which can threaten you once you are fully grown. The single most dangerous monster in all the world, so dangerous that nothing else comes close. The Dark Wizard. That is the only thing that will still be able to threaten you."
If it was changed... why the change? The original was better, and (perhaps more to the point) more in keeping with Quirrell's character. He wouldn't distinguish between adult and Dark wizards when it comes to threat-to-his-students assessment.
You're right. I search the PDF version, and have been told it doesn't receive edits in it's build (currently - though that's the plan for the future).
"The adult wizard." pg. 226
And I agree. I don't like the change either. Thinking that other adult wizards aren't a threat to you unless they're Dark is a horribly mistaken bias in more ways that one.
Definitely not insane. Do not like this change.
Yeah. I dislike this change. "Dark" makes sense for Quirrell to say for purposes of not sounding too evil, for not sounding like he's encouraging being dangerous. But at that point in the story, it was pretty clear Quirrell thought it was a good thing to be dangerous, and saying "adult" wizard is more consistent with that. It's also more consistent with his decision to call "Defense Against the Dark Arts" "Battle Magic."
If you're losing your mind, then either I am too or the nature of your mind-losing is a hallucination about what the chapter says now. I remember the same original text as you do (or, at any rate, the words "the adult wizard" and certainly not "the Dark wizard"). And I strongly agree that the original version is better.
Best rationalization I can think of, but I still don't approve of the change. Let us remember that Quirrell intends to help Harry become a Dark Wizard, in which case, since Harry is in the classroom, he should include Light Wizards in the class of people who can threaten the students present.
It also makes more sense to say "the adult wizard" since that sentence is the conclusion of a list of species that are dangerous, and "adult" sounds more biological.
Maybe there's an important reason for this change, but otherwise I think this is too much like a composer making inane changes to a piece after it's already written, or like George Lucas messing with the original Star Wars trilogy.
I didn't say evil people will be susceptible to such arguments.
I was naming three reasons that good people have to not be evil, not three arguments that would cause evil people to stop being evil.
Eliezer, in an edit, just reminded me that Tom Riddle is 65 years old. And from there I got to looking that other ages. Dumbledore is 110. Bahry One-Hand and Mad Eye Moody are each at least ~120. From chapter 39, I got the impression that 150 years old is uncomfortably old (maybe 90 in muggle years) and 200 is unthinkably old (110+ for muggles). So now I'm confused again.
Where are all the old people? What would family trees look like if people really lived to be 120+ regularly? If you're a child you've got two parents, and 4 grandparents, but what about the 8 great grandparents...and the 16 great^2 grandparents...32 great^3 grandparents...64 great^4 grandparents... 128 great^5 grandparents...256 ...512 etc? Plus, imagine the number of children each couple would have if people jumped from 40 fertile years to 80. I could buy that with older ages, people would wait longer to have kids (In canon they mention that it was slightly unusual for people to be having children at 20 years old). That would explain why there aren't 7-10 generations of family at the reunions, but on the other hand, I wouldn't expect Wizards to be big fans of birth control or abortion. Plus, that doesn'... (read more)
In recent history they've had two devastating wars. Plotting and infighting seems perpetual. Most adults spend a reasonable amount of their time using dangerous magic (there was some mention of wizard specific diseases like 'dragon pox' in canon). And everyone in the world can kill you instantly with their wand. So even if their notional life expectancy is high the number of dangers that reduce the population is enormous.
Actually given how easy deadly curses are I'm surprised there are any wizards left... Possibly explains why age correlates with magical power/skill.
Probably for the same reason the existence of guns hasn't resulted in human extinction.
This, at least, does not confuse me. It's not like this is a historical constant, for most of human history most people have spent less.
Anyway, it's implied that vocational training exists after one is finished with one's mandatory education.
Are you assuming vaguely medieval tech = Catholic = opposed to birth control and abortion?
The Catholic Church didn't declare that all abortion was murder until the Renaissance, and I don't think there's any reason to think that wizards are generally Catholics. ETA Nor is there any reason to think that Catholics are reliably obedient to Popes.
The simplest explanation might be that wizards (like Tolkien's elves, but less so) just aren't very fertile.
There are only thirty hours in a day and every child means greater demands on your time. It's not like they can hire muggles to raise their kids, like affluent muggle families might hire less-affluent folk to look after theirs. And we don't hear about anyone being raised by house elves.
Why wouldn't they want sex without conception?
1a) Also that other war before that one
3) Dumbledore uses his Time Tuner all the time. If he received it in his teens there could be almost twenty five extra years on that airframe.
(nods) And the Fetusmouths were driven into isolated seclusion in the early 1200s due to ethical concerns, and also they were really annoying at baby showers.
The Weasleys do seem to be more cosmetically poor than anything else. I mean, we're told they're poor, and that they wear shabby clothing and have hand-me-down wands, but they own a big house and land and broomsticks and a car(!) and everyone of age in the family is gainfully employed, often in reasonably respectable and lucrative jobs. Makes you wonder where the money's going.
EY doesn't seem so fond of Rand, and it's like he's building her up as the great bugaboo of the story. That whole talk with Hermione was one of those "Gault Recruits a Striker" speeches.
If you live in a world where you are punished for what was called Good:
And rewarded for what was called Evil:... (read more)
You should break up your quote blocks with an extra line so they look like separate quotes..
I took it as Ron approving of killing Malfoys. That doesn't seem unreasonable considering their families were on opposite sides of an extremely bloody war within recent memory.
And that he's twelve.
I've edited the birthdate of the person Amelia refers to, to be 1927 - too many people were interpreting that as "She thinks he's Tom Riddle" despite the House incongruence, an interpretation I'd honestly never thought of due to Illusion of Transparency.
I recommend checking out what your hints mean in canon, because that's what we have to go off of. The first thing I did when I saw 1926 was head over to the Harry Potter wiki and figure out who was born in 1926. It's Riddle and three of his Death Eater pals, all from Slytherin, of which the obvious option is Riddle. Riddle fits the biographical details you give, with minor modification consistent with the upgrades people get from canon (a MOR Riddle might decide to not murder his family while still in school, for example). The canon rules for Houses appear to be "only Black is Noble and Most Ancient," and so we really don't have any idea which houses are the seven mentioned by Bones, and what the eighth missing house could be. Gaunt is a way better option than, say, Lestrange (where we know Lesath is alive).
In a fanfic, you should expect people to suspect that new characters are canon characters rather than completely new characters, which the person Bones is describing now appears to be (no canon births in 1927).
I think you're underestimating how quick people are to latch onto a detected pattern at the tiniest bit of evidence, and highly overestimating how quick they're to let go of the pattern they (brilliantly) detected when evidence to the contrary appears.
Any date at around that era will keep making people think she identified him as Tom Riddle, no matter any other evidence to the contrary, unless you explicitly have her mention a different name for him by chapter's end.
If you don't want people to have that confusion by chapter's end, just edit the chapter to have her name him with whatever non-Tom-Riddle name she thinks him to be.
I don't think that's an issue. It's a really long anagram - 'I am Lord Voldemort' to 'Tom Marvolo Riddle'. You need his middle name, you need to use 'Tom' rather than 'Thomas', and how many would think of prepending 'I am Lord' to 'Voldemort', especially when 'Lord' is mostly (exclusively?) used by Death Eaters. (Did anyone in the entire world besides Rowling get that anagram before it was published in Book 2? No one in canon but Harry seems to know.)
Remember that folks like Hook would publish hash - I mean, anagram - precommitments to their great scientific discoveries. Against humans without computers, anagrams are pretty effective trapdoor functions. (And that's when you know there's an anagram in the first place.)
EDIT: For 'Tom Marvolo Riddle', the AWAD anagram server says 74,669 possible anagrams. Some are quite ominous, eg. 'Dread Mil Volt Room'.
That, and an anagram that long can become almost anything. Exapmles: Armored doll vomit, odd immoral revolt, and my favorite, devil marmot drool. So even with the "marvolo", and even with the knowledge that it anagrams to something you're not going to spontaneously make that association unless you have prior reason to suspect voldemortiness.
Of course - it's so obvious in retrospect! And it even encodes a hint about Quirrel's future activities too:
(If you squint, his resemblance to a devil marmot is clear.)
In fairness, I think the first anyone heard of "Marvolo" as Riddle's middle niddle -- er, I mean name -- was when he anagrammed it for Harry in the Chamber of Secrets. So it's not a big surprise that no one else guessed the anagram.
It's dawned on me that one of the biggest themes of this fic may be the importance of being able to notice flaws in one's models of other people. Virtually every time something has gone wrong in one of Voldemort's plans, it is because he is weak in this area:
Then there's Lucius, seeing everything in terms of self-interested plots, and concluding Harry is Voldemort because of it.
And finally, the bit in chapter 81 about how Harry is wiser than either Dumbledore or Voldemort, because he realizes he's able to realize when he doesn't understand people.
(I think one of those Azkabans should be a Hogwarts.)
There's also the two miscalculations in the speech before Yule- Harry's wish (which I think genuinely caught him by surprise) and Harry's publicly disagreeing with him (likewise).
In the spirit of making people flee screaming out of the room, propelled by a bone-deep terror as if Cthulhu had erupted from the podium:
One thing I really enjoy about HPMoR is how it likes to show intelligent people taking unreasonable-seeming ( = actually reasonable) precautions. Amelia Bones in chapter 84, and also in the Azkaban arc, Dumbledore and Snape and even Minerva on various occasions... not quite sure why but I really enjoy reading that sort of a thing.
Nicholas Flamel (born 1340) could be almost as good a source of ancient spells lost to the Interdict of Merlin as Slytherin's Monster (exact creation date unknown, but Godric Gryffindor was alive in 1202 and Slytherin was a contemporary). He also seems to be dependent on Albus Dumbledore for protection; maybe it's time Dumbledore called in some quid pro quo if he hasn't already?
From Chapter 77:
So Dumbledore's already using some of Flamel's knowledge in his efforts against Voldemort.
I'm experimenting with reproducing the sound of the really horrible humming in Mathematica. I haven't changed the duration of notes yet, but I've experimented with trying to make things sound as horribly off-key as possible. I've started out with just changing the pitches of the notes by adding normally-distributed noise. So far the main discovery I've made is that for greater effect, the magnitude of the change should be proportional to the length of the note. Any ideas for things to try?
I'm using MIDI sounds, which are the simplest to set up, but also have the drawback that every pitch must correspond to an integral semitone, which limits how horrible things can sound. Also, what is a good standard MIDI instrument for simulating humming?
After several hours of experimentation, I have figured out what the trick is. Quirrell did nothing except hum the same song for four hours. The Auror's mind filled in the rest. After four hours of listening to the same fifty-one notes over and over again, I'd be calling code RJ-L20 too.
I would think the real key to horrible humming would not be to have it be uniformly horrible, but so close to brilliant that the horrible notes punctuate and pierce the melody so completely that it starts driving you mad- a song filled with unresolved suspensions, minor 2nds where they just should not belong, that then somehow modulate into something which sounds normal just long enough for you to think you are safe, when it collapses again, and the new key is offensive both to the original and to the modulation. This is not just random sounds, this is purposeful song writing, with the intent to unsettle- in my mind, something like sondheim at his most twisted, but without any resolution ever.
I'm not sure how much music you know, and I'm not sure how much music Mathematica knows, so if this is all Greek or too hard, disregard it all:
Try different diatonic modes and different scales altogether. Switch from Major to Phrygian in the middle of a phrase. Switch to different sets of keys depending on whether consecutive tones are ascending or descending. Use a lot of Locrian mode, it is generally wrong-sounding. Try mapping diatonic scale degrees to octatonic ones somehow, and switch between the two octatonic scales at random. See if you can produce a portamento between two notes, and use it a lot when two notes are separated by only a semitone.
Tolerance for rejection is a much harder qualifier to meet for success in standup than being funny is. Just, you know, so you know.
I am reminded of the first time Australian musician Lester Vat did his famous show Why Am I A Pie? (there's audio and video there.) He got up on stage at a rock'n'roll pub - it was a "What Is Music?" weird noise festival, but no-one expected this - went up to the microphone, and for forty-five minutes, just repeated the words:
"Why ... am I ... a pie?"
"Why ... am I ... a pie?"
"Why ... am I ... a pie?"
After fifteen minutes people didn't even have the energy left to tell him to fuck off. By twenty minutes people were slamdancing to it.
Repetition. It's powerful stuff.
Quirrell would probably have sneezed it away, again.
I've always had a soft spot for Quirrell. It's made me blind to a lot of his flaws, so I've tried to actively focus on his evil actions and how much I would hate someone doing that to me. But this latest chapter made me love him all over again. Even though I realize it probably contains huge amounts of misrepresentation if not outright lies.
I'm worried I may be turning Bad.
OTOH, this may just be superb writing, to make the villain so completely relate-able. Either way, every time a chapter goes Quirrell-heavy I swoon. Glad we got one in the current arc so I don't have to wait longer.
You need not trouble yourself. Examining Quirrell's actions has merely made you realize how much you would like to have his power. "Bad" is just a label applied by those too weak to seize that power.
Do not fear the dark side - we have cookies!
Could be both. In any case I think it's a fair assumption that Quirrell is always up to something.
I'm confident that is how Quirrell is meant to appear. But the villain's real face may be a bit of a riddle.
This seems to suggest that her memories of the duel are a fabrication (or the "Draco" she was fighting was someone else under the influence of polyjuice). Draco has no particular reason to further provoke her and was genuinely unsure whether he could beat her. It doesn't seem obvious why anyone would do that if there was going to be a genuine duel anyway, though. Maybe the the genuine memories were just touched up a bit? Alternatively, why might Draco behave as in that memory when there's no one else around? (the behavior would have made more sense for the second, public duel)
I notice that the only thing we're told about Hermione's appearance in Chapter 78 is that she has bags under her eyes, no mention of a cut on her cheek.
I suggest you reroll. I heal paper cuts in a couple of hours.
Thanks, but nah. I'm a healthy white male American with a middle class background and an intelligence greater than one standard deviation above the mean. Slow healing wounds are not enough to reroll in the face of the great risk of a less privileged life.
I needed chocolate to recover from reading this chapter. ;_;
You warm my terrible heart.
That doesn't sound right. If you're looking for ways Harry could win, why not take Harry's advice and draw up a list of his relative advantages? He does have them - knowledge of superrationality, knowledge of science, ability to empathize with non-psychopaths, to name three - and they're likely to be part of the solution.
No one seems to be commenting on the way that dumbledore identified quirrel to the wards. It seemed to me to be a very clear hint that someone else was somehow within that circle and so is also recognised as the defence professor, has top level Hogwarts permissions etc. Possibly Mr hat and cloak?
I wonder how long it'll be till everyone in Hogwarts realizes that the whole recent attempted-murder plot was designed by Quirrel for the sole purpose of having both Slytherin and Ravenclaw win the House Cup at the same time (because when Slytherin and Ravenclaw lose students mid-terms, the school rules are ambiguous about whether the points earned by those students should be counted towards winning the House Cup)
I'm expecting the plot to have also contained as a crucial component a Golden Snitch with a delayed-action memory charm, which will cause the Ministry to overreact by banning Golden Snitches on school grounds, thus fullfilling Harry's wish of Snitch-less Quidditch as well.
I'm only half-joking with the above.
Or if catching the snitch gave you the option of ending the game or of having it re-released after a short random time. That way a seeker of the losing team could still engage in snitch denial other than trying to crash his counterpart into the ground.
Canonically the situation was quite reversed, the Snitch (or rather it's predecessor, the Snidget) having been introduced to the already existing Quidditch game by a noble's quirk. I doubt this is different for MoR.
You seem to be working from a unified view of the mind in which there is one single personality with one single voice, and deviations from this structure are pathological. I don't think this is accurate.
Even if it was, it is common for people to hold internal dialogues, and not unusual for patterns to develop where certain kinds of thought are given certain labels. I don't think this says anything special about Harry, except that he has a rich and vibrant inner life.
Also, a Public Service Announcement: "schizophrenia" is an umbrella term for a long list of possible symptoms whose main common feature is disconnection from reality or warped perception of it. You are thinking of Dissociative Identity Disorder (commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), which is a completely different thing altogether.
This is another brick in the wall of the Prophecy and Potter massacre being a setup by Dumbledore.
Hmm? We have no good evidence to distinguish between the following two hypotheses:
All we know is Quirrell has let hints drop that he was the hero who disappeared. There is no reason to expect that any of his hints are anything other than deliberate lies. If a competent investigation would discover that Qurrell's not really Qurrell, then the deception absolutely requires a second layer to last the year, so people like Bones can feel satisfied that they've discovered "the truth" about Quirrell without suspecting he's Voldemort. The existence of this second-layer deception now does not provide any evidence that the same deception existed eighteen years earlier.
Quirrell certainly talks about the need to act exactly as the person you're impersonating would act. His speech to Hermione would be no evidence at all if it were delivered by someone who practised what Quirrell preaches.
But that isn't Quirrell. Far from putting up a perfect facade, Quirrell's mask is constantly slipping. He "makes a game of lying with truths, playing with words to conceal his meanings in plain sight." His dialogue is peppered with hints to his identity, his past, and his intentions. Almost everything he says about himself is a clue.
His love of the killing curse and his intent to kill. His childhood ambition to become a Dark Lord. The Muggle dojo. The Pioneer plaque. His intention to crush Rita Skeeter. Repeated use of the word 'Riddle'. His willingness to be identified as having eaten 'death'. His wish for Britain to grow strong under a strong leader. The story of Merope's enslavement of Tom Riddle Sr. His theft of Quirrell's body using incredibly dark magic.
I think you've confused the actual character of Quirrell with the master of deception that he claims to b... (read more)
I don't actually go to meetups, but Harry's comments about anti-conformity training made me wonder if it'd be worth trying.
You could retest the original experiment, see if lesswrongians can avoid it through knowledge of the effect.
You could mock obviously true statements to practice withstanding opposition.
You could practice the ability to do harmless but nonconformist things to gain the ability to do so if the situation called for something unusual, but you might otherwise be too conformist or embarassed. (each meeting attendee shall order a coffee whilst wearing the ceremonial tea-cosy!). I suspect some of this overlaps with PUA a little and easily veers into general confidence building.
I don't know if rehearsals would do any good, but you could go through the motions of not complying with the Milgram experiment, making people handle little fake emergencies...
You could wonder if EY is planning things like this for the Center for Modern Rationality.
Really, this is how I feel. I'd be really surprised if a setup like that actually worked. I'm not sure Harry is supposed to actually believe (with any confidence) that it works for Chaos. Ultimately you know and everyone else knows that it's just a charade, and that really your "nonconforming" is just conforming one level below surface: You stand there and take abuse that you know to be insincere, and then get a pat on the back about it later, just like everyone else did on their turn.
Hopefully CMR has a better exercise in mind. A really good anti-Asch training tool seems like a great thing to have.
The danger with this seems to be that you'll also be developing skills for attacking correct positions. It's training you to develop tactics for entrenching yourself in incorrect beliefs. Also it seems to lend itself to the view of arguments as status conflicts rather than group truth-investigation (though I suppose we do need to at least practice how to handle arguments with people who do perceive them this way).
I disagree. I think it would have a very good chance to work.
To a perfect Bayesian, the importance of an act is not what it looks like on the surface, but the state of the world that makes such an act possible. Unfortunately (or fortunately in this case), human minds are not perfectly Bayesian.
To the human mind, merely resembling another thing is enough for the mind to form connections and associations between the two. This is why public speaking courses can improve people's abilities and lessen their fears of public speech. Even though people know they're just speaking in front of a class who is obligated to receive the speech well, their mind naturally reduces the anxiety they feel for any future speaking engagements. The mind says "eh, it's close enough. I can do this," just like how anti-conformity training should fool the mind into considering it 'close enough' to real disagreement. Speech classes don't not work perfectly, just like chaos training (I assume) doesn't work perfectly, but it's pretty good.
Anti-conformity training seems practically identical to a proven training method, and thus I rate it highly likely to work.
Well, I guess it's just an empirical question where we differ in predictions. Personally I don't think the analogy with public speaking is very strong, because public speaking classes are actually public speaking. People stand up and speak in front of lots of people, that's just what it is.
Upon reflection though, it does seem like there's one way that it might help, which is that it might help you figure out how to go about non-conformity, what exactly you can do or say in such a situation. So even if your mind doesn't buy into the charade, roleplaying with good partners might help you figure out ways to navigate a non-conformity situation. Having those methods worked out in advance might make you less hesitant to speak out in real world situations, but only to the extent that your hesitation is about not knowing what exactly to say or do (as opposed to fear of social punishment, the usual explanation for Asch's results).
What I've always wondered about with Asch's experiment is how much of a difference a small monetary incentive (say, $1 per correct answer) would make. It seems like the experiment is odd in that there is no incentive to give correct answers, but at least a potential or perceived social incentive to give conforming ones. This seems like it would be relevant to our disagreement because it's a question of whether the situation becomes different when something is actually on the line. Unfortunately I can't seem to google up any examples of variations like this.
I think that if you've got a deeply habitual inhibition against firmly disagreeing with people, even a known-to-be-simulated experience of breaking the inhibition can help quite a bit.
Based on my own experiences being a lone dissenter, the main thing that has allowed me to stand up and maintain my position consistently in the face of uniform opposition and derision, was not expecting much of everyone else in the first place.
For example, in an introductory logic course, when the professor made a mistake, which everyone else in the class agreed with, and I was the sole person to disagree, and attempt to explain it in the face of the entire class brushing me off and laughing about how I thought I knew better when the answer was so obvious to everyone else, it didn't seem weird to me at all that every other person would make the same mistake and I would be the only one to notice it. It wasn't confusing to me, and my success in showing the professor in a couple minutes after class that she had been mistaken after all confirmed for me that my expectations were on track.
Conforming to the beliefs of the crowd is perfectly sensible behavior, in domains where you have no reason to expect yourself to be more accurate than anyone else. Learning to disregard conforming instincts completely is a bad idea, because a lot of the time, it really will be everyone else who's right,... (read more)
Given that places can be made unplottable, I'd guess identities can be made unknowable. Uncertainty in potterverse can be a quality of the thing itself...
Ron approves of trying to murder Draco Malfoy?
I'm pretty sure even canon Ron would at least say he approves of killing Draco.
Why wasn't one of the first things Harry did when returning from the trial exposing Hermione to the light of the True Patronus while she was still unconscious (it looks like it didn't happen at least)? He already knows it restores recent Dementor damage, has a plausible reason to know in that he experienced it himself under Dumbledore's eyes and could have told Dumbledore to secure his cooperation. Is his anger at Dumbledore getting in the way?
Since I don't anticipate getting a chance to point it out inside the fic itself, and the hint is unreasonably subtle:
Harry didn't think of it instantly, but given a little time...
This chapter significantly increased my probability estimate that Quirrell was entirely behind the plot to > 90%. Also, the humming torture was awesome, but not helping his case.
Also, who the hell was Bones' story referring to? That whole section heavily confused me.
The humming torture sounds similar to Vetinari's clock, only taken to the next level. I liked it too.
EDIT: Now that I think about it, the memetic attack is also similar to "The Book" in Anathem, though the delivery vector is different.
Same. The part about disappearing in Albania is from canon-Quirrell's backstory - that's where he ran into Voldemort's wandering ghost, so it's interesting that in MoR he supposedly went there before the war. The rest of the background recounted by Bones and by Quirrell himself don't really ring a bell with me, the closest thing I can think of is him needing "reconciliation" with the Lady of the House being reminiscent of Sirius Black and his spat with his family, but Sirius already exists in MoR and had a different history.
It might be possible that in MoR the house of Gaunt (the one canon!Voldemort is from) did not fall into poverty and retained their household and Wizengamot influence? If the general 'powering up' of characters can go that far back it would be plausible. And now that I think of it, Quirrell initiated talk about witch-on-Muggle magical seduction during the SPHEW arc, which could suggest that that part of his family background was carried over from canon.
(One of the things that annoy me about HPMoR is that when I can't quickly figure out what a certain passage might be hinting to, I have to assign a frustratingly high probability to the event that it's simply a reference/homage/in-joke to one of the myriad HP fanfictions.)
How many instances can y'all remember where Eliezer has repeated himself in an oddly specific way?
Chapter 17, when Harry picks up Neville's Remembrall: "The Remembrall was glowing bright red in his hand, blazing like a miniature sun that cast shadows on the ground in broad daylight."
Chapter 43, when Harry has a Dementor-induced flashback of the night... something happened in Godric's Hollow: "And the boy in the crib saw it, the eyes, those two crimson eyes, seeming to glow bright red, to blaze like miniature suns, filling Harry's whole vision as they locked to his own -"
That really sets off my deliberate-hint senses - so much is repeated that it's got to be intentional. (My apologies if this was already discussed to death in the considerable time since #43 was posted.)
Likewise the basilisk, which I know was discussed at some point:
Chapter 35, H&C speaking: "Salazar Slytherin would have keyed his monster into the ancient wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself."
Chapter 49, the Defense Professor speaking: "or by some entity which Salazar Slytherin keyed into his wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself."
I'm sure I could find more if I put my mind to it, but that's all I've got for now.
If it must, then Dumbledore overrode it.
He did so specifically to prevent himself from learning the Defense Professor's identity, because that was the term stipulated by Quirrell.
Those lines were specifically included to keep the story from prematurely reaching its climax as soon as Quirrell returns to Hogwarts. I think you will enjoy stories more if you accept that sometimes things happen for story reasons.
Wizarding police have to allow for the fact that some possible prisoners (Dumbledore, Grindelwald, Voldemort) are capable of beating up the whole police department put together. When someone displays surprising power, it makes sense to back off, at least until you're sure you can take him.
Yeah, MoR has a much more well-thought-through concept of what it means to be a powerful wizard, and the difference between that and a normal wizard.
And even in canon, I'm not sure it makes sense for them to be surprised he could escape- everyone thinks of Dumbledore as the most powerful wizard alive- but they could have conceivably been expecting him not to attempt to resist arrest, because he's generally more law-abiding than that.
Two things: one, that first downvote was mine, not ArisKatsaris's. It's still there, someone else just upvoted you.
Two: Quirrell's not stupid. He went through that whole Groundhog Day Attack rigmarole to avoid leaving detectable Legilimency traces; he would be a fool to try it now, after Dumbledore's specifically warded her against "hostile magic [...], or any spirit".
Alternatively, the Arresto Momentum spell is quite instantly deadly if you use the right frame of reference.
Presumably, you'd need some kind of conceptual shift like with partial Transfiguration before you could do this. It seems like an implicit rule of Potterverse magic that it works according to the laws of physics you instinctively expect (or perhaps the ones the designer expected), so you have to "jailbreak" the spell before it can work in an updated, relativistic model.
Incidentally, are there no Author's Notes for chapter 84?
I'm not sure canon Ron was good in the sense of regarding slytherins as people. Harry potter has a rather jolly tendency to rank getting people into detention on a simular scale to getting thwm savaged by a hippogriff, particularly in the early books.
I recall that when Harry discovers curses of unknown effect in the Half-Blood Prince's book, the first thing he does is go and try them out on Slytherins to see what they do. In fact, Eliezer references this.
An interpretation of the revelations of Chapter 84 that is almost surely wrong, but was first to rise to my attention:
Quirrell's description of the War to Hermione was an honest description of the conflict between Voldemort and Dumbledore from Voldemort's point of view. Voldemort, like Draco's father and his friends, thought Dumbledore was an evil wizard who needed to be stopped at all cost. But even as people shored up support for Dumbledore, they reviled Voldemort.
And Dumbledore has realized he was the bad guy. When he says:
he's referring to the darkness he saw in himself, when he began to "resent Harry's innocence", and looking back on the way he's lived his life.
As I said, this interpretation is almost certainly not true; Amelia was clearly talking about someone the public would think of as a hero, so didn't mean Voldemort (and it's not supposed to be Tom Riddle's story).
“People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.” -- The Grim Grotto
I thought this bit was interesting:
I'm wondering if EY is going to come through on this whole "Dumbledore is the Dark Lord and Quirrelmort was in the right all along" approach that he has hinted at recently. There's a precedent here which raises my probability estimate of this slightly, [rot13 for spoilers from another EY story] va uvf fgbel "Gur Fjbeq bs Tbbq" gur gjvfg jnf gung gur ureb'f pubvpr orgjrra tbbq naq rivy jnfa'g n pubvpr bs juvpu bar gb sbyybj (gung jbhyq or boivbhf, pyrneyl) vg jnf gur zhpu uneqre pubvpr bs juvpu jnf juvpu. Gur "tbbq thlf" ghearq bhg gb or rivy naq gur "onq thlf" ghearq bhg gb or tbbq.
So from recent chapters it seems like we're supposed to at least be considering the possibility of that Quirrelmort has been playing some colossal super-villain gambit this whole time in order to set up the rise of Light Lord Harry and defeat death once and for all, and that the Dark Lord prophesied to oppose all this is Dumbledore, who has marked Harry for his equal by nominating him as the future leader of the people he mistakenly believes to be The Good Guys and who wants us all to embrace death when it comes.
This concerns me a little bit, not because I do... (read more)
It was labeled as made by them, which isn’t necessarily reliable information, considering the incantation you use to activate it. And at one point it’s shown to locate and identify people under the True Cloak of Invisibility, which seems like powerful magic. (It could also be “made” in the sense that they found some sort of magical ingredient or component, ancient and much more powerful than they could make, which the integrated into the map, or even just that they customized an existing map with their silly “access code”.)
And in MoR, Dumbledore himself needed to use the map. Which suggests it was much more powerful than what four of his students could have made.
Eliezer has retracted that comment, and has stated that such retractions should be spoilered as they are no longer common knowledge.
We can't force you to ROT13 your original comment as well as this one, but you're not being fair to the spirit of the fanfiction and you should expect to take a karma hit if you don't.
The rot13 policy indicates your third sentence should be in cipher, in case you weren't aware.
A very minor mistake at ch.84
This of course should be something like "save them from bullies" or "save people from bullies".
A question not on the latest chapter but ch4:
Did we ever find out whether the bounties were collected? I was wondering whether 40k Galleons was a reasonable sum for last heir of ancient family + entire wizarding world's bounties on Voldemort, but I can't remember the question ever being answered in the first place.
No fractional-reserve banking does not imply this - there could be lenders (whether goblins or wizards) with a large supply of their own gold which they use to make loans. Or landowners could sell property with a "rent to own" payment plan. Fractional-reserve banking is only necessary if you want to lend someone else's gold.
Why do you find repeated condom malfunction more plausible than wanting a big family?
Anyone care to name three?
Surely "You've broken at least 3 school rules" belongs at the top of Hermione's list.
People like you worry me.
I identify as 'evil' when it's safe to do so, because it's apt. I worry about people who think they're not evil but act evil when they think no one could ever know, or who think they're outright good but may one day be faced with a traumatically delivered realization of the fiction that is the ordered, punishment-delivering universe their parents conditioned them to act as though they believed in, or who surrender their judgement of right and wrong to the mob.
Those sorts of people tend to not be very good at being good, and to be even worse at being bad. They can't be depended on to either follow a system of laws or their own self-interest to the best of their ability. They are difficult to model and surprisingly volatile.
Of course, my problem with this might be my fault. I'm not sayin'; I'm just sayin'.
There are many parts of Eliezer that are casting votes for good and against evil, for quite widely separated reasons ranging from the silly to the extremely approvable, and once I realized that instead of thinking that there had to be "the" reason, I understood myself a lot better.
But not a million reasons, though. Hermione is severely exaggerating.
1) In most situations, it is not the most efficient means to an end (interestingly, in Voldemort's case, it may have come close).
2) A reputation for defection in PD-like situations means nobody will ally with you. Unless you are in an undisputed leadership position, this is a very bad thing.
3) People are likely to try to kill you.
FYI, in the tuning system commonly used for western music, all notes except A are irrational frequencies in hertz. Example: A below middle C is 220 hertz, and middle C is
(220 * (2 ^ (1/12)) ^ 3) hertz ~= 261.6255653006 hertz.
(To go up a half step, you multiply the frequency by the 12th root of 2.)
I'm pretty sure that he does believe that if an AI goes FOOM, it's going to win, period, moral or no. The idea that an AI would not simply be more preferable, but actually win over another AI on account of being more moral strikes me as, well, rather silly, and not at all in accordance with what I think Eliezer actually believes.
As one of the downvoters, haven't we always downvoted bad jokes?
This was a bad joke, not in the sense of inappropriateness (a similar but better joke at http://lesswrong.com/lw/ams/harry_potter_and_the_methods_of_rationality/61ew was heavily upvoted), but in the sense of being strained, weak, and largely unfunny.
Please stop talking about your karma. I am tired of seeing these huge long threads arguing with you about your karma and whether lesswrong has groupthink and whether other people are being rude or disingenuous or whatever. You have singlehandedly lowered the quality of my experience reading LW this past week, and I am earnestly requesting that you stop it.
Can you explain what part of the comments by ArisKatsaris that you found disingenuous? I'm not seeing it at all.
No, he echoes her thought the instant she physically reacts to move away from him. NOT the "instant she decides". Keep the facts straight, please.
We've already been told that common sense is often mistaken for Legimancy. This event doesn't require reading her mind, it just requires reading her body language.... (read more)
Can somebody explain to me why Harry was so into House points before Azkaban recalibrated his sense of perspective? It makes sense why most people seek them; you take several dozen kids, split them up into different groups, and soon enough you hear them talking about how they can't let those Gryffindor jerkasses win the House Cup and so on. But it seems to me like you need to identify with your House to an unhealthy degree to take so much pleasure in earning points for it. Hermione obviously has that problem (cf. her speech about House Ravenclaw in ch. 34)... (read more)
Dumbledore explicitly warded her against mental interference as soon as he got her back - Which is presumably why Quirrell didnt use the groundhog day attack again. He only got one try to sway her this time, and while his mental model was more accurate based on the data from the last go.. nope, fail.
The edit to 53 recently mentioned seems to be here:
As of last week Eliezer didn't have any plans to include an allegory to FAI, and expected any such allegory to work very badly in story terms ("suck like a black hole").
If you'll all forgive me a few moments of horrible nerdiness, and the attendant fictional evidence, I've said before that MoR's construction of heroic effort makes a good deal more sense once you've played Fate/stay night. This chapter certainly hasn't given me any reason to doubt that, but after Quirrell's speech with Hermione I think I might need to add watching Revolutionary Girl Utena as another prerequisite. The early parts of that exchange could have been lifted wholesale from Utena's princes and witches, and the world's expectations of them.
Yes... this is a fact of combat. Not sure why you said this.
"Accio frontal lobe."
Or "Imperio, kill yourself."
Or for that matter "Obliviate."
Edit: Actually, I'm pretty sure Somnium is invisible. It doesn't kill immediately, of course, but that's easily rectified.
Too bad, agreeing to follow the rules of the thread, even if that means editing/rot13ing past comments, would have been the easiest way to get your karma back.
Edited to add: Some Quirrel-type lesson about learning when to lose, and the costs of needless escalation, seems appropriate.
My comment from fanfic.net:
I loved the chapter- there was nothing wrong with the previous two, but this the mixed bag of very good stuff pointing in multiple directions that I hadn't realized I was missing. I'm talking about psychological/philosophical/emotional material more than the potential plot twists.
I've suddenly realized that this is a chapter in which almost nothing happens in terms of physical action- it's all talk and thought and emotion (and a bit of humming), and it's incredibly engrossing.
Is Hermione's inability to think that she might have b... (read more)
I would hypothesise that, to an ordinary person who has not learned about the fallibility of memory in general, the idea that something that feels like a completely real memory would be false is a very challenging one. Thinking "have I been memory-charmed?" is like thinking "I could be wrong about absolutely anything I remember" for the first time. It would be very difficult, and exactly the kind of thought one flinches away from.
From personal experience, I remember recalling a very emotionally charged MSN conversation months later, and thinking about an agreement I'd made with someone in it. But searching through the logs (and I logged everything), I could find no mention of any such agreement ever. It was pretty traumatic to discover that my memory was so fallible on something so important, and I'm not sure I could have accepted it without such firm evidence.
In regard to detail, I'm not sure people ever go through their memories and say "huh, this memory lacks detail so something must be off". Unless some key feature is missing (say, Hermione being unable to recall the words of the curse she used), I imagine any given detail's absence could be easily rationalised.
I'm pretty sure he was inviting everyone in Ravenclaw.
Actually, maybe this is the glitch in the Marauder's Map? 'the Defense Professor' is a little unusual a tag opposed to 'Minerva McGonagall' or ordinary names. (Although yes, it could also be reading 'Tom Riddle' or whatever, and Dumbledore wouldn't notice because IIRC he only grabs the Map from the twins to check for Riddle in Hogwarts after Quirrel goes to the Ministry.)
Thank Donny for noticing this, but apparently there's a distinction being drawn between 'Noble' Houses like Potter and 'Noble and Most Ancient' Houses like Malfoy, Longbottom, Greengrass and Black.
I'm not. It's easy enough to say that "character X is Y", but what does that mean ? The motivations of character Y in HP:MoR are very different from what they are in canon. Merely knowing the label "Y" tells you very little; the greater mystery is not what label we should apply to X, but what his goals are, and what actions he has already taken, or is planning to take, and what his overall grand design looks like. Everything we observe the character saying or doing is evidence that can help us expose this design. His canon counterpart's actions in the original HP books, on the other hand, are not.
He acts as different people in Azkaban, as Hat and Cloak (and/or Ghost Lady). He has a different face to every person he interacts with, from Snape to Harry to the public at the ceremony, and in this chapter presenting an entirely new, almost caring face to Hermione.
Which makes perfect sense, since, via his dictionary attack (that took place in earlier chapters), he'd already learned that this is the easiest way to manipulate her.
Wanting a child does not necessitate responsibility.
Funny thing about the combat in TSPE, we get this little digression:... (read more)
I wonder if Quirrel simply had a bad model when he tried to play the hero:
The theory about Qu... (read more)
Hm, so to rewrite the ending...
Look. It's very simple. The only response necessary is a gesture toward the main post:... (read more)
No, Flamel and his wife were mentioned as the users of the elixir.
So, it seems more likely that Quirrel was behind the plot.
The thing about there only being seven houses seems big, though, and as far I can tell isn't from canon. (The list of purebloods, for example, doesn't include Jugson, though 500 years old might not be enough to be Most Ancient. I think we have HPMOR confirmation of Malfoy, Potter, Greengrass, and Longbottom, and I think in canon the only ones that get that description are Malfoy, Black, and maybe Potter (really, Peverell).
The 1926 hint narrows it down to four canon characters (though, of course, Bon... (read more)
We know Dumbledore thinks Tom Riddle was Voldemort, because when he's looking for Voldemort within Hogwarts he tells the map to find Tom Riddle.
Tom Riddle wasn't a hero. He was a villain whose villainous plot was to create a fake villain named Voldemort for him to defeat. He arranged for there to be a kidnapping attempt on the daughter of the minister of magic so that he could save her and be propelled into herodom. But things did not go according to plan:... (read more)
Hmm. It seems it was supposed to be obvious it wasn't Riddle. How odd.
I evaluated your arguments, I precisely showed how you were wrong in one case (his words didn't exactly echo her thought), how her eyes burning can't be treated as evidence of Legimancy if burning eyes are never correlated with Legimancy.
At this point the only specific argument you got left that I didn't address was that Quirrel is mentioned staring at her. So here, let me address that one as well: In chapter 70 (one of the Self Actualization chapters) Quirrel is again mentioned to be looking at her:... (read more)
It's also not the same as the sort of LifeAlert wards Quirrell (claims that he) put on Draco, which we know (that Quirrell claimed that) Heh specifically forbade.
Well, for one thing, he might look at the Map again. (He suspects Voldemort is trying to influence Hermione's mind; the Defence Prof is caught trying to read Hermione's mind; it doesn't take a genius.)... (read more)
No, Argency summarized it well. It isn't a treatise on moral relativism.
Hm. If we were using physics here, I'd observe that a usable time turner has to be tied into things like the rotation and movement of the earth, because traveling back in time without taking those things into account somehow leaves one stranded in interplanetary or interstellar space. Given that we're talking magic, well, who knows. But sure, I agree that it's suggestive but inconclusive.
The dark side is ridiculously afraid of death, which we know to be a Voldemort trait. It's also very much separate from Harry.
I don't think he really believes in magic... he just points out that belief is not necessary since it can be tested:
Although... (read more)
In canon, Snape was able to shut down everything Harry tried against him in combat in the sixth book, because as long as Harry hadn't mastered occlumency or silent spellcasting, his attacks were all sufficiently telegraphed that a superior duelist and leglimens like Snape could simply counter them all before he could fire them off.
You should probably cipher a bit of that. This part, specifically:
I mean, unless you intend specifically to not follow a rule while criticizing the rule. You might notice that seems to attract disapproval.
It happens they did not. We know that, because he isn't broken and there's no sign they tried, other than the mention that he has apparently sneezed more than once. Also, he's not under arrest.
Magical Britain has a history of exceedingly powerful individuals that the muggle world just doesn't. It is not unreasonable that law enforcement developed differently as a result.
In Methods of Rationality, the Weasley twins refer to the Map as being part of the Hogwarts security system. So it probably gets the information from the wards.
My interpretation of the quote is that the Headmaster overrode the usual process of identification (which is automatic) in order to protect Quirrell's privacy; in that case, the Map would also know nothing beyond "The Defense Professor".
An alternative interpretation, however, is that the circle-drawing bit was only meant to key Quirrell into the wards as a professor. Normally, I suppose, ... (read more)
Here's a vote for not-mind-reading. This seems deliberately written to suggest Quirrell's reacting to body language, not thought:
How likely is it that the outcome of the Defense Professor's talk with Hermione was genuinely not what he wanted? Surely he has to have realized by now that Hermione is the sort of person who'd act like that, however incomprehensible it may be to him. I am reminded of the passage in the LotR omake that reads:
Maybe he truly doesn't un... (read more)
Hermione came very very close to agreeing with the Defense Professor, and we see him using all the ways and mannerisms which cause her to trust him a little bit more -- not to 'acquire extra suspicion'.
So, no, I think Quirrel made a very very good attempt at what he wanted -- getting Hermione away. He simply failed.
"Why did he not let"? I don't see any place where Quirrel isn't "letting" Harry do these things. Perhaps your question should be better phrased why he didn't ask Harry to do these things?
I think a simple enough answer is that he feels he has a better chance of convincing Hermione to leave, than to convince Harry to force Hermione to leave against her will. Since Bellatrix, Harry has learned to inquire about what is in it for Quirrel when Quirrel asks him to do things. And he'll see that wanting Hermione to leave may be to the advantage of whomever wanted to frame her in the first place, as both events lead to a Hogwarts without Hermione in it.
I don't understand your usage of the term. It's me who's saying he wanted her to leave (aka non-reverse psychology), it's LKtheGreat and you who seem to be saying he was applying reverse-psychology and that he really wanted her to stay.... (read more)
The length of an earth day is part of all Earth life experience, not uniquely human.
Quirrell sure loves his stealth puns. Is there any reason he is not openly telling Hermione about Dumbledore's time turner?
Is Quirrell's half-smile a reference to Robin Hanson's picture?
I was originally going to put a quote here, but it turned out to be pretty much half the chapter, so... Chapter 56. In particular, when you read
Think back to Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36: King's Cross, specifically the bit... (read more)
Not so, good sir. Do you call me a liar? I would challenge you on the field of honor, had I any.
Is anyone logging anecdotes? We've got one here!
Okay. That's coo... (read more)
He said "responding to unmarked edit" as though there was something wrong with failing to mark a simple addition made 10 seconds after the original post. I was confused, since it was not my experience that anyone considered this a problem anywhere.
Yes. It sounds like it takes them twenty minutes to start making the best of things.
In general, when someone says something is a spoiler and should be put in ROT13, the polite thing to do is to comply. You can then argue that it shouldn't be necessary, after the damage control is done.
If you're failing to do that, then the only recourse the rest of us have is to downvote the comment several times so that it is by default hidden from view. I will generally check back in a day to see if the spoiler has been ROT13'd, and reverse my downvote if... (read more)
Are you suggesting there's some rule about what a post 'deserves' in terms of votes?
The actual mechanic is that scores or hundreds of individuals read each post. If they like it, they hit upvote. If they don't like it, they hit downvote. Some voters may think "this has enough upvotes already" and not upvote even though they like a post. Some voters may think "this has enough downvotes to collapse and I only get a limited number of downvotes myself so I'll save them for things other people aren't downvoting." But in the end it is mo... (read more)
What exactly is this supposed to evoke?
The prophecy (at least canon - I remember MOR having a slightly different one, but cannot find it offhand) could point to two identities of Tom Riddle. The hero and the villain. Neither can (truly) live while the other survives.