All of 75th's Comments + Replies

You're referring to the problem with people being mean to each other within a given online community. I'm thinking more of people hating each other more in real life because the Internet lets them seek out unfiltered outrage from people with similar beliefs, with nothing tempered by gatekeepers as in the days before the Internet and the rise of cable news.

I don't have the feeling that it's hard to speak about politics in the social circles in which I move in real life. But then I don't live in the US but in Germany.

Heh, I know. I chose that phrase to express despair more than to describe objective reality.

Here's a blog post about how everyone hates each other over politics more than before. Eliezer commented on it on Facebook, hypothesizing that it's a slow-growing effect of the Internet.

I cursed aloud when I read that comment, because I've had that exact idea and an accompanying sick feeling for a while now, and this is the first time I've seen it repeated.

(it's never a good sign when Eliezer Yudkowsky is the one to express your deepest fears about why everything's and everyone's brokenness is unstoppably accelerating)

I wish to read more about the "T... (read more)

When was the first time you got online? For me I think, 1994-1995-ish. And it was a surreal place largely because the Internet was and still is a lawless anarchistic Wild West. Nazi types set up their Geocities websites because hate speech laws were not enforced. Restrictions on pornography in certain countries were overriden by looking at it from abroad. Age verification, a fairly important rule, was overridden so much that lately many porn sites don't even care anymore and now minors can access it. Hoax websites scammed people out of money. Socially inept nerds became millionaires. Filesharing and piracy. Uncontrolled free speech and under pseudonyms, so you are not only allowed to wear a smear campaign against a political big dog but even they don't know who you are. It was the Wild West where Anything Goes. I and many "old-timers" got attached this anarchy online because freedom. It is at some level romantic in the Samizdata / Doctorow sense and of course in many things even useful. But look, can we realistically happen it will always stay an uncontrolled Wild West or sooner or later the Real Powers in the Real World will bend the Internet to their world? I think they will. We will probably lose this marvelous, crazy, anarchistic freedom. But we will probably also overcome these problems as well, as in the longer run it will be corporate controlled, almost like a somewhat more interactive TV. For a lot of people, the Internet basically became Facebook. Much of what they are interested in is controlled by one corporation. And Facebook AFAIK is trying to become more media like.
Personal opinion: less has changed than people think. The walls of Pompei have preserved graffiti on them that amounts to 4chan trolling. Political parties once published their own newspapers and newsmagazines that pushed an explicitly partisan viewpoint and served as people's only access to information about world affairs. Most people are fine, provided that you get them in the right circumstances and mindset. What's amazing about the world's problems sometimes is how you occasionally find out How Problem X Happened, and while it wasn't a conspiracy of card-carrying villains in a smoke-filled room, it often was one person in an office who was feeling particularly malevolent or uncaring, and was able to make up rationalizations they could spout in public without actually being fired from their job. Like racism. Maybe there's an evil genie out of its bottle that causes epidemics of crime and violence and the police are stuck in a bad incentive gradient. Or maybe someone in power is, deep down, just as much a hateful jerk as your average YouTube commenter, and the ever-so-tragic Unavoidable Genie Problems are actually just that one hateful jerk forcing his hateful-jerk policies on whole groups of people.

I think the article makes some sweeping and unjustified statements.

Just a few generations ago, everyone knew that there were two subjects not broached in polite company: religion & politics.

This is not true; in many parts of the USA for instance it was (and is) a quite common question to ask someone which church they go to. This might sometimes literally be the third question you get asked right after "what's your name?" and "where do you come from?"

And, of course, many other parts of the world openly debated politics and religi... (read more)

Here's a blog post about how everyone hates each other over politics more than before. [And so on.]

So...I suspect my beliefs on this topic are out of step with the rest of LW, and even if I limit myself to the empirical aspects (i.e. set aside my normative differences) it's going to take a bit of effort to explain & justify my disagreements/doubts.

The first thing I notice is that the blog post talks about political polarization, as well as hatred/intolerance. Something I didn't realize until I glanced at the political science literature on polarizat... (read more)

I think you (and the following chain you have gathered) are wrong on your prediction on this matter. I would not be unwilling to say that Eliezer's prediction (in your direction) is also an inaccurate prediction of the future. (before I go on; I should warn that this very topic has developed a gang opinion; with echo chambers where it is possible for many people to share the same view on the topic without being disputed) I believe that the world is still growing in its understanding of what is this internet thing. In doing so; I believe we are yet to get to the "less caring" point of time. if we look at politics ~40 years ago; there was a big politically active shift. Many joined in; many cared! Many protested. And then it all cooled off again. People cared less; people wanted to continue with their lives more and spend less time talking about politics. I predict many of the public are soon to hit the there is too much politic and not enough living in my life, at which point; people will care less of politics and share less politics. everyone will still have pet issues; and dagnamit! if you can't anger a dog-lover by telling them that dog-lovers are inferior; then it wouldn't be planet earth. Instead of; "this is all getting worse"; I predict its about to get better. if you disagree; feel free to discuss.
See the recent discussion of echo chambers in here.
Penny Arcade has just written about this as well. Comic strip, column.

If you went to a party (meaning a social event) and started loudly proclaiming that anyone who does not vote for your favourite political party is a selfish git, people would tell you you were being rude, and you might be asked to leave (unless everyone there shares your views).

But on facebook, this sort of behaviour is perfectly acceptable. And once you get used to this online, it carries over into offline life. Faced with this onslaught, people with descenting views either shut up about it or change their views to match the majority.

I dunno if I use anec... (read more)

I like Venkatesh Rao's perspective on this, in his blog post about "escaped realities". He argues that our games and mental models of the world are becoming closer to reality over time, "less escaped", rather than more escapist. He points out that geography is a much bigger filter than online groups regarding the variety of ideas that a person is exposed to. If anything, the internet, overall, seems to be widening people's perspectives. (Although it also lets people get better organized with their tribalism.) I think the United States is undergoing a sort of cultural civil war right now, which I think makes the perspective of people living there somewhat different than people living in other parts of the world. I don't think that it would be as easy to make the case for "the internet encourages tribalism in politics" in other countries. I don't think that the internet is the reason for the social tensions in the United States right now, (and there are many.)
Here's my half-baked idea. Since the world is becoming safer, we have less real threats to prevent general ennui and so petty status games start to take on more importance.

(it's never a good sign when Eliezer Yudkowsky is the one to express your deepest fears about why everything's and everyone's brokenness is unstoppably accelerating)

What's his track record with these so far?

(it's never a good sign when Eliezer Yudkowsky is the one to express your deepest fears about why everything's and everyone's brokenness is unstoppably accelerating)

You should be dubious about "unstoppably accelerating"-- prediction is difficult, especially about the future.

It's conceivable that people could get sick of the current level of nastiness.

I think programmers helping each other on Stackoverflow is an example of people being nice by helping each other. It's possible to create any kind of social norm in an online community. Often the problem is that there's often no moderation that enforces any community norms. Most newspapers don't invest the necessary resources that would be required to get decently moderated comment threads.

Here's my diagnosis of the problem.

Before the internet: "Hey Bob, here's why you're wrong."

On the internet: "Hey everyone, here's my witty response to Bob, explaining why he's wrong and evil."

You can see how that kind of discussion would make people radicalized.

I've been thinking of an online discussion site based on exchanges of personal messages, which eventually get released to the public only if both participants agree. Maybe that would work. At least there would be no name-calling, because that's useless in a one-on-one setting.

I'm not sure how much influence Narcissa's going to have on him, since Draco's already 12. Maybe if Narcissa eschews blood purism and actively tries to teach Draco, perhaps, but I think she's going to be busy running around screaming "BLECH! ECH! POISON MUGGLE LIPS!" for a while if she had any blood purist inclinations before the memory charm.

I vote no on this theory. "All the good martial artists live" in Asia, so that may be the reason this combat instructor was said to be Asian, but if he was trying to get a random Muggle in, (1) Quirrellmort would have said "Muggle instructor", and (2) there would have been more legitimate resistance than just a smugly smiling clerk.

That may even be the reason he has, as he said, changed his mind about teaching Harry any magical secrets.

Definitely this.

I think there's a bonus feature to having two hops in the middle. If the sender finds that the recipient never received the message, he immediately distrusts his first hop and perhaps publishes the knowledge. If the first hop wasn't the culprit, he either publishes the second hop's unreliability or takes horrible devious Slytheriny vengeance on them.

So, due to mutually assured destruction, neither hop wants to defect and risk losing a nice income source permanently.

So your hypothesis is that Harry will win by doing the thing he already tried and failed to do, and got a stern warning from the Universe for trying. The one thing that he can't do, that's the thing he'll do.

Okay, except you've not done the work. If Eliezer puts a huge road block in front of an obvious solution to the story — "NOPE, can't do that, sorry" — and your hypothesis is "No he'll do it anyway", then the actual work is not just saying he'll do it (since the story explicitly states the insane power Harry would have if it did work... (read more)

In many cases hatred would peter out into indifference

Perhaps, but this is not likely to happen in the middle of a battle where you're trying to kill each other. And even if you felt indifference, you would still have to think of trying to cast Avada Kedavra from your indifference, not from your hate, which is how you learned to cast AK in the first place and never questioned. You would have to force a new mindset of calm emptiness upon yourself, which would take practice. Even the worst Death Eaters are not likely to have taken an analytical approach t... (read more)

Merlin created the Interdict because he believed, based on prophecy, that this would prevent the otherwise inevitable end of the world and its magic.

He hoped it would, but he didn't live to ask the remaining seers if it actually worked.

If resolved!Harry is "the end of the world", as per Trelawney's prophecy, then whatever he is going to do must therefore involve bypassing the Interdict of Merlin.

This doesn't really make sense, or is irrelevant, or is sort of a tautology, or something. The Interdict of Merlin is not a magical universe-savin... (read more)

Apparently word of god is that there is going to be no AI.

I was thinking about this recently, and I realized that maybe it should be kind of obvious why he doesn't usually do fiction about AI: because (he believes, at least, that) the first strong AI is either an instant win condition or instant failure condition for the entire universe, and neither immutable utopia nor irrecoverable catastrophe make for very interesting stories. So anything interesting or uncertain or suspenseful about AI has to be written about disguised as other topics, where things can go wrong but then realistically be set right.

AI is not an instant-win condition, but it would be fairly quick. There could be drama with the AI trying to develop nanotech, (running up against physical speed constraints rather than mental) before some sort of disaster hits, although this does remove agency from the humans who would mostly be following the AI's commands. I think AI can still be part of a story, provided it's kept towards the final chapter. Developing true self-improving superhuman AI is rather like throwing the ring into Mt Doom - all that remains it to crown the king, mourn the (non-recoverable) dead, and write that everyone lived happily ever after. Apologies for the self-obsessed diversion, but this is on topic: I'm writing a story which involves not AI but recursively self-improving IA, and I'm beginning to think that this might have been a bad idea for this sort of reason. In my story the situation is somewhat improved by the presence of a good reason why multiple entities begin self-improvement at approximately the same time, which means that conflicts remain. I can't write superintelligent dialogue, but I've handwaved this as saying that most of the character's mental energy is going towards other activities, leaving their verbal IQ within normal human ranges. The remaining problem is that the other characters become rapidly sidelined.

"Tor" stands for "The Onion Router", and I could have sworn that Harry explicitly thought of the Slytherin System as "onion routing" at one point but I can't seem to find it.

the current time/reality in which Hermione is irrevocably dead will be destroyed as a result of Harry deciding to change the fact.

Harry himself appears to be pretty firmly set against that:

"And while I hate to get all PHILOSOPHICAL," Harry desperately tried to lower his voice to something under a shriek, "has anyone thought about the IMPLICATIONS of going back six hours and doing something that changes time which would pretty much DELETE ALL THE PEOPLE AFFECTED and REPLACE THEM WITH DIFFERENT VERSIONS -"

So I wouldn't say never, b... (read more)

The quote by Harry that you provide comes from very early in the story, before he resolved to become the next "Dark Lord" (in the sense of someone willing to defy the tyranny of majority if necessary) and before he resolved to undo Hermione's death doing whatever it takes. More generally, my sense is that HPMOR Harry is partial to utilitarian logic (recall his qualms related to the possibility of sentient grass). Even if his worldview hadn't evolved as much as it did since the beginning of the story, I would not rule out him going against his feelings expressed in the quote if he believed the net welfare gain to humanity warranted it. On a slightly related note, I always found the Comed-Tea horribly overpowered. Not only does the soda drink look forward in time (anticipating choke-worthy events in advance) but also is powerful enough to affect the mind of the drinker to make him/her feel the urge to drink it. The programming/magic behind the drink's creation seems absurdly advanced for the end purpose used. Merlin's spell being able to affect all wizards of all time or the very existence of time travel - all these seem to narrow down significantly the set of possible physical realities as imagined by Eliezer, perhaps even his own timeless physics, but that's just pure speculation on my part as I am in no way an expert in physics.

First, it seems improbable that Salazar entrusted all his magical knowledge to the basilisk, if only because that would have been a ridiculous amount of magical knowledge.

Well, it's not like he had to teach the Basilisk a full Hogwarts curriculum; he only had to teach it what he knew that triggered the Interdict of Merlin, which is only the top whateverth percentile of his repertoire.

Salazar wouldn't have known which pieces of knowledge from his time were going to become lost,

Sure he could have. All he had to do was write down the most powerful stuf... (read more)

Fair point. I'd forgotten about the Interdict. With that said (and this applies to your second point as well), it seems unlikely that the Interdict of Merlin is the only reason for knowledge to be lost over time. For example, Riddle apparently found the horcrux ritual in a book, and that seems like powerful mostly-lost knowledge. Also, wizard society generally seems much worse at knowledge maximisation than muggle society. (side thought: is there even a single mention in either canon of wizard universities?) True. One has to wonder, generally speaking, just how the whole thing worked, given that Parseltongue seems to blur terms for which it does not have an exact parallel ("schoolmaster", "hourglass to move through time"), and that seems like it would be a problem for advanced spell instructions. We don't know that. The four founders came together to raise Hogwarts in the first place, suggesting that each of them knew only some of the magic necessary. There is no reason to believe that Salazar was the one who knew the magic for the Hogwarts wards, rather than, say, Rowena. Additionally, you don't need to revoke a spell from the Source of Magic to prevent someone else making use of it. Going back to the computer analogy, being a system's original programmer doesn't mean you can automatically hack into any instance of that system. It is worth remembering that once Salazar left, it would have been three magical prodigies against one in the matter of establishing Hogwarts security. Likewise don't get me wrong, I think it's reasonable to assume that whoever got the basilisk's knowledge got at least some very powerful magic from Slytherin; I just don't think we should overestimate how much that was.

We definitely don't know enough specifics about HPMoR-alchemy to come to any firm conclusions.

Does the "alchemical circle" that has to be so precise refer to just the containing circle itself, or to all the runes inside it, too? If the former, then the circle could be a permanent part of the room, while the runes are drawn (the earlier passage does say the Transfiguration studio's diagram was "drawn") slightly more crudely in some way that's erasable. If the latter, then,

Are there different runes for different alchemies, or is it always... (read more)

Or maybe he goes to the room, gets the Mirror, and looking into the Mirror to correct himself, draws the circle just right. (Since he does want to be able to make a Philosopher's stone, not just to get one - he wants 'mass-produced immortality'. And he had suggeted to Hermione that magical objects could be used to draw objects more precisely (only they were discussing a different object). And he had already used a supposedly-significant stone in battle in a least-magic-demanding way. And we haven't seen even in Rowling's world that the Mirror can only show 'real-sized things', so it can potentially magnify them.)

/u/solipsist, in another comment on this thread:

Do not try to obtain Sstone yoursself. I forbid.

This was said by Quirrell in Parseltongue. If you can only tell the truth in Parseltongue, then Quirrell was really forbidding Harry from obtaining the stone himself.

If Quirrell can't lie in Parseltongue (and not just Harry, since Harry's speaking as a standard Parselmouth but Quirrell is speaking as a sentient snake), and if that prohibition enforces the sincerity of imperative commands and not just declarative statements, then clearly what Quirrell is s... (read more)

I guess I know what Harry told Fred/George to buy him in Chapter 98. The greatest alchemist tool ever! :D
On the other hand, strongly implies that different alchemical procedures require different circles. What are the odds that Dumbledore just happens to have the right circle for philosopher's stone creation ready, given that he has no desire for immortality, no special need for gold, and access to an existing philosopher's stone anyway?

I don't think any of it fits. "Tiny fragment" and "fraction of a line" don't sound like blood spatters, or anything liquid. The sound of black robes falling doesn't sound like bodies hitting the ground, and if this were the fulfillment of the Chapter 1 epigraph, I would expect there to be at least a mention of their robes.

This whole scene doesn't seem significant enough to be such a heavily anticipated revelation. I'm going with "No" on this one.

It could happen, though I think it will take a few more chapters than that to wrap everything up.

If you're implying that Eliezer has purposely sought to achieve a certain number of chapters, though, I'm almost certain that's not correct. He's mentioned too often his uncertainty as to whether certain plot points would be resolved in a single chapter or split into two. He's expressed regret at writing ten full chapters of the Self Actualization arc instead of accomplishing its intended purpose in a few paragraphs. He's certainly had a plot outline from the beginning, but it almost certainly wasn't chapter-by-chapter granular.

This again.

"He does have other avenues to life, should he perceive this one blocked," Snape said dryly, uncapping a fourth bottle. "And before you ask, it must be the original grave, the place of first burial, the bone removed during the ritual and not before.

I think all the sacrifices, including the blood of the enemy, must be made during the ritual.

That is supposition. Reasonable supposition, but supposition nonetheless. It's worth noting that this quote also occurs in the same chapter.

I think "likely" may be an overstatement at this juncture. The entire Deathly Hallows insignia hardly seems like "a tiny fragment… a fraction of a line". I suppose it's possible that some ritual results in the glowy part being erased until only a small portion of the wand is left. But the word "glint" sounds like it's a metallic object moving and flashing light briefly, not something glowing with its own light continually for a time. And while it's possible that Harry will be driven to spill liters of blood to resurrect Hermio... (read more)

Dumbledore's "They learned not to mess with our families" line clued me in that he did it. The line is too on-point for anything else

Saying "They learned not to mess with our families" with a stone cold look on his face is what you'd expect Dumbledore to do whether or not he killed Narcissa. The statement is a simple fact. The memory of Aberforth's death and mere knowledge of Narcissa's seems to me plenty sufficient to produce that line and that look. Harry has even explicitly thought that Dumbledore has acted consistent with either ... (read more)

An interesting thought, and one that I had not considered in this light. And yet, right afterwards: This seems to make it clear to me that it is not that Dumbledore thought that he would never kill, and then Voldemort's war changed that, and he killed. It's that he thought that he should never kill, and then Voldemort himself became the exception, changed the rules so that he should kill Voldemort. At least, it is an alternate possibility.

I don't think Amelia Bones is the kind of woman who needs to be manipulated by Dumbledore to get revenge. My similar hypothesis is that Amelia needed Dumbledore's help to infiltrate Malfoy Manor and pull it off. Aberforth's death provided the impetus for Dumbledore to help, but he didn't cast the spell.

Maybe not 10:1, no. But one thing that does seem to have been lacking in all the dissents from my theory is any textual clues pointing to anyone else.

Sometimes the people who object have harebrained ideas, like the person on Reddit who said that Regulus Black was a more likely suspect than Amelia Bones. Sometimes, they're committed that Dumbledore did it. But so far as I can tell — and please, please, please tell me if I'm missing anything — the only evidence for Dumbledore's guilt is

  1. Lucius says that Dumbledore told him he did it.
  2. Narcissa's death repres
... (read more)
There is, of course, the Third Option. Dumbledore did it, but he did not do it personally. If Dumbledore manipulated Bones into murdering Narcissa, then we would have a universe where both Dumbledore and Bones would be emotionally affected by her death, where Bones would not want Dumbledore to take the legal blame and where Dumbledore would willingly take the (informal) blame.
And yet, textual analysis of the same sort is exactly what led me to the Dumbledore theory. I wrote off Draco's comment as propaganda, and then Dumbledore's "They learned not to mess with our families" line clued me in that he did it. The line is too on-point for anything else - certainly more so than any of the Bones evidence. His motive is better, his textual clues are clearer, and he explicitly said that he did it. Doesn't a confession count for anything any more? I agree with your analytical methods. I just think you're misapplying them egregiously.

Or it was some random lady who used the word "burn" once. You know, whatever.

If that were indeed an accurate summary of the situation, I would agree with you. I did agree with you, when that was the only potential clue I knew of. All three major clues would be circumstantial in real life, but when you step out a level and see that Eliezer writes this story, choosing every word we read, it's clear that he wants us to figure out that Amelia has something more to do with Narcissa's death.

One of these twists is revealing of important informatio

... (read more)
Observation bias. Just because the two people mentioned speak up about it (presumably) so much more than others doesn't mean that they are the only ones who hold this belief. I share this belief with you, for instance. I find those hints to be convincing, narratively speaking.
As someone who takes clues in the form of literary convention, extrapolation of authorial intent, etc. on a regular basis, I just think you're really reaching.
Eliezer's overconfidence script is dangerous.

You think it's not an interesting puzzle because you think it's not a puzzle at all. :) And wouldn't it only be a double-twist if Dumbledore did do it? If Amelia Bones did it it would just be a single twist.

Baseline assumption: Team Death Eater is slandering Dumbledore when they claim he burned Narcissa Malfoy alive. Twist: Nope, Dumbledore actually did it. Double Twist: Or it was some random lady who used the word "burn" once. You know, whatever. One of these twists is revealing of important information about a main character, future motivation for interesting developments(Harry being forced to choose between Draco and Dumbledore over the promise, or Draco having to forgive his mother's murderer), a subversion of our expectations, and is reasonably predictable from evidence dropped in advance. One of them is irrelevant and a complete cop-out of all the character development built into the original twist. Take a guess which one I assume is more likely to be true. Amelia killing Narcissa would be the sort of thing M Night Shyamalan would write.

Dumbledore's motive is almost certainly stronger than Amelia's.

Which is why I think it a significant possibility that Dumbledore helped in some way.

Any of those defenses might be sufficient for a single clue, but you have to take the clues together. Three successive clues (plus her character) pointing to Amelia, and only some words spoken to Lucius that we never saw pointing to Albus (and everything else we know of his character pointing away from him, though I know some would argue that), increase the probability of Amelia's guilt quite a bit more than linearly.

How is it more interesting storytelling for the guy everyone thinks did it to have done it, as opposed to "Here's a puzzle and the clues to figure it out"?

Because it was a puzzle for the first what, 80 chapters? We're getting close to the end of the story as of about two arcs ago, it's time for puzzles to get solved. it's not an interesting enough puzzle to justify a double twist, IMO.

Well, I think Lucius probably made sure a long time ago that everyone knew what Dumbledore (supposedly) said to him. I didn't get the feeling from that scene in the Wizengamot that Dumbledore-killing-Narcissa was any kind of a secret idea that people were just then finding out about.

This does rather change my view of some of the peripheral details, though. Previously, one possibility I pictured was Dumbledore restraining Amelia from her vengeance until Aberforth died, then relenting. I knew Amelia Bones wasn't in the OotP, and I knew she felt distaste at D... (read more)

Whoops, looks like you're right, the accusation was public knowledge:

The Wizengamot's response to the death of Draco Malfoy's supposed assassin and Lucius Malfoy's hated enemy will not, no matter the circumstances, be to flock to Lucius' side.

I think you're being generous to the wizarding public. Lucius Malfoy can probably prove — the Hogwarts wards can possibly prove — that neither Lucius nor Draco has been in Hogwarts for quite some time. It won't be too hard for Lucius to say the better-written equivalent of

"Regardless of my personal feelings for Miss Granger, I would never besmirch House Malfoy by reneging in su... (read more)

Honestly, I think you're the one overestimating the Wizarding public. The arguments from the wards aren't bad ones, necessarily, but they're technical ones. They won't play well. At best, they'll turn into conspiracy theories. Most of the public is going to look at the scene and see Lucius triumphant and Dumbledore with a black eye, and make the obvious conclusion. It will still be basically the same in front of the Wizengamot. Having Hermione killed under his own protection means trouble for Dumbledore - it would be the second major security incident at Hogwarts in less than a month, and the first student killed in fifty years. It's not an impossible black eye for Dumbledore to overcome, and he could surely take it if necessary. But... Dumbledore doesn't have a compelling reason to take the hit. Framing Lucius is not an especially good motive, particularly considering that half of the Wizengamot cares not one whit about Hermione Granger's life or death. And, if he did want her dead, he could have avoided the fallout by sending her home over Spring Break with a snake in her trunk. The technical argument... is still a bit above the Wizengamot. They might understand, "well, because of the wards this should have been impossible," but this will translate to "Lucius Malfoy found a way to trick Dumbledore's magic" and not "Hmm. Should Lucius Malfoy and his hired help really be in the same weight class as the Founders' wards?" Finally, you're assuming that Lucius wants to clear his name. I don't think this makes very much sense, either. Sure, it's bad PR in many circles, but Lucius already has a horrible reputation, and I don't expect he'll be terribly concerned. On the other hand, killing a student right under Dumbledore's nose would be an excellent show of force, and it would impress people that he cares rather more about. It might be exactly what he needs, in fact - I imagine his credibility took quite a hit when Hermione Granger managed to escape punishment for an a

The Headmaster can feel when a student dies in Hogwarts. That's how he showed up the moment Hermione died.

But the Headmaster can also feel when a creature unknown to Hogwarts is in Hogwarts. That's how he showed up when Harry rejected his phoenix.

But so why didn't Dumbledore feel the troll and intercept it much sooner? I expect before long the Dumbledore-haters — both those in the story and those on Less Wrong and Reddit — will latch on to this as proof that Dumbledore has been evil all along.

The problem is, we know a thing or two about Hogwarts's wards by... (read more)

To be fair, Methods trolls are significantly more powerful, in keeping with the First Law of Fanfiction - or maybe just to lay the groundwork for this O_o
In canon, the troll was in Hogwarts already, because Dumbledore brought it in to guard the Sorcerer's Stone. If he did something similar in Methods!canon, then Quirrell could easily have taken advantage of this to escape notice by the wards.

Lucius is going to be outraged and lead an opposition to Dumbledore because the attempted murderer of his son, who he tried to send to Azkaban for 10 years, got killed in Hogwarts? I think that would seem a bit odd to everyone involved.

Lucius has means of his own, and had every reason to arrange Hermione's death.

The Headmaster was off campus; it's not necessarily true that he can access all the Hogwarts wards from off campus. He did notice when Hermione died, but considering the giant soulsplosion it's likely that this was somewhat more obvious to him than a wards violation. Furthermore, considering the timing of his absences, it's likely that Dumbledore was off hunting Horcruxes - an excellent opportunity, therefore, for Quirrell to lure Dumbledore into a trap to induce magical radio silence. Politically speaking, it makes no sense for Dumbledore to kill Hermione. Even the Daily Prophet would have a hard time spinning that particular story. The Wizengamot's response to the death of Draco Malfoy's supposed assassin and Lucius Malfoy's hated enemy will not, no matter the circumstances, be to flock to Lucius' side. It would, however, still reflect very badly on Dumbledore; obviously, mountain trolls should not show up in schools, and the responsibility for preventing such things lies with him.

It was a surprisingly good day because he didn't intend Harry to try to rescue Hermione. Harry was supposed to find out about her death later. He couldn't be absolutely sure her death would have the precisely correct effect on Harry, either. It was surprisingly good because he got Dead Hermione and Dark Harry out of the deal; an expectedly good day would have been just getting the former.

Care to elaborate? Quirrel's involvement in this attack does not seem quite that intuitively obvious to me.

Arf, didn't mean to start this again, but here's my usual litany:

Gur bayl rivqrapr jr unir gung Qhzoyrqber xvyyrq Anepvffn vf gung Yhpvhf fnlf Qhzoyrqber gbyq uvz fb. Jr qba'g xabj gur rknpg jbeqf Qhzoyrqber hfrq, naq oheavat fbzrbar nyvir ernyyl qbrfa'g frrz yvxr Qhzoyrqber'f fglyr (nygubhtu V jvyy fnl gung Puncgre 89 vf gur svefg gvzr V'ir gubhtug gur Qhzoyrqber-vf-rivy pebjq zvtug npghnyyl unir fbzrguvat fhofgnagvir gb jbex jvgu). Zrnajuvyr:

  1. Nzryvn'f qrsnhyg gubhtug jura eriratr pbzrf gb zvaq vf "Fbzrbar jbhyq ohea sbe guvf."
  2. Anepvffn'f fvfgr
... (read more)
1) Gryyvat fbzrbar gung lbh qvq fbzrguvat frrzf yvxr sne fgebatre rivqrapr gb zr guna hfvat n fvzvyne jbeq bapr. 2) Erzrzore, gur oheavat unccrarq evtug nsgre Noresbegu jnf xvyyrq, fb Qhzoyrqber'f zbgvir vf nyzbfg pregnvayl fgebatre guna Nzryvn'f. 3) Nyy guvf erdhverf vf na nyyl pybfr rabhtu gb xabj jung lbh'er guvaxvat naq gb trg lbh gb onpx qbja. V qba'g qbhog gung Nzryvn xabjf nobhg vg, V whfg qba'g guvax fur jnf gur bar jub crefbanyyl qvq vg. Tvira gung Obarf naq ZpTbantnyy ner(V guvax) gur bayl BBGC zrzoref va gur ebbz ng gur gvzr, vg'f irel jrnx rivqrapr - gur cebonovyvgl gung fur'f fcrnxvat hc nf na nyyl vf nyzbfg nf uvtu nf gur cebonovyvgl gung fur'f fcrnxvat hc nf gur thvygl cnegl. Lbhe gurbel vf abg penml, ohg vg'f yrff cebonoyr guna gur Qhzoyrqber gurbel fb sne nf V pna gryy.

Ha, you've got me all wrong. I am woefully under-read, particularly in fiction. I get a very small percentage of the references Eliezer makes in Methods; most of the time, I find out that he's borrowed something months (or, let's face it, years) after I read it, only by seeing someone else explicitly point out the reference. I have had my life ruined by TV Tropes, but most of what I'm familiar with there is video games, and not too awfully many of those.

But it's not a matter of picking up on specific tropes, exactly. It's more a matter of getting into the... (read more)

Re the rot13 bit, I called it that Qhzoyrqber xvyyrq ure based on text evidence before that was revealed, so the idea that it's Obarf has always seemed wrong to me. They can't both have done it, you know?

Hermione's lips were moving, just a tiny bit but they were moving.

"your... fault..."

Time froze. Harry should have told her not to talk, to save her breath, only he couldn't unblock his lips.

Hermione drew in another breath, and her lips whispered, "Not your fault."

"Of course it was my fault. There's no one else here who could be responsible for anything."

"One of my classmates gets bitten by a horrible monster, and as I scrabble frantically in my mokeskin pouch for something that could help her, she looks at me sadly and with her last breath says, 'Why weren't you prepared?' And then she dies, and I know as her eyes close that she won't ever forgive me -"

He had the opportunity to make more than that prediction, and he failed to take it.

I totally get the point of the rest of your comment, but not this sentence. A correct prediction is meaningless because it wasn't accompanied by another correct prediction?

I'm not trying to toot my own horn here; I've gotten things wrong too, and my original comment in question here was much more about expressing my despair at Chapter 84 than trying to register a prediction for later credit. But I don't see how I had any particular "opportunity to make more than that prediction" that I failed to take, beyond the fact that anyone can make any prediction they feel like any time they feel like it.

A correct prediction is meaningless because it wasn't accompanied by another correct prediction?

More or less. Think of it in terms of selection bias: a bunch of people enter a lottery of some sort. After the lottery concludes, the lottery organizer Yliezer Eudkowsky praises the winner, entrant #57, for their deep insights into lotteries and how to guess the winning number and admonishes everyone who told #57 to not get his hopes up. Do we now credit #57 for wisdom and study his numerology? No, not really.

Now, if #57 had simultaneously entered 5 other lo... (read more)

Ha, interesting take. That last sentence was not actually an endorsement of horrible murderous things happening, it was just my way of saying "Now let's get down to business" about the home stretch of the story.

Thanks for the clarification! I retract my objections. As for the common criticism, although I'm as adamant as the next person here that "p=1" is impossible without infinite evidence, I don't think that fact demands that every casual conversation must quantify "1 minus epsilon" or even explicitly acknowledge it.

Can't tell by your phrasing here whether you're aware of this or not, but no use of a Time Turner in canon altered the timeline, either. Everything that Harry and Hermione did while time-turned was exactly what the trio saw the first time through. That part of HPMoR's time travel rules are identical to canon's, just more thoroughly explained.

Yes, that's what the (apparently) was for. The point is that this is a canon example where a character thought someone was dead and used a Time Turner to rescue them, but the timeline ended up working out so that they were never dead in the first place (as it had to).

It couldn't have been Dumbledore or McGonagall or Snape, could it? Because at the time they thought of testing Harry they had already not-experienced Harry appearing in front of them at 3:00. Which itself, though, I suppose, could be a clue pointing to Harry's guilt. But maybe that's too much like "messing with time"?

I wasn't sure what time they were meeting- it seemed like it was a short time after retrieving Harry from lunch, but I couldn't find any specifics. Even if it was after three, though, they could (for example) send a Patronus to Flitwick asking where he was at three o'clock, but not to tell them anything else but that; and have Harry come there at nine, tell him to tell Flitwick not to report his arrival to anyone before nine, then Time-Turn in front of them.

Not a computer error on your end; the HPMoR Facebook page spammed its followers with a post for every single chapter, too.

The Bone of the Father must be removed during the ritual, not before; it stands to reason that the flesh and blood must be sacrificed during the ritual as well.

I do feel required to point out that that very chapter also contained this tidbit:

I've often thought about how Quidditch could be made into a better game, without simply getting rid of Seekers and Snitches. My idea:

  • Each team has three Chasers; at any time, one of them is acting as Seeker.
  • There are five Snitches, each of which is worth 50 points when caught.
  • When a Seeker catches a Snitch, (s)he becomes a Chaser, and the next Chaser in line becomes the new Seeker.
  • A caught Snitch flies to the goals of the team who caught it; it places itself in the exact center of the leftmost or rightmost goal hoop (at the option of the team's Keeper
... (read more)

(8) is because he knew that the moment Dumbledore learned of the potion, he would conclude that Harry Potter was not the mastermind of the escape. "to fathom a strange plot, one technique was to look at what ended up happening, assume it was the intended result, and ask who benefited."

This is very unrealistic, people get over things

Yes, but sometimes very slowly. I can tell you from first-hand experience that fixations on people with whom the fixator has zero contact for eight years do exist, and from second-hand knowledge that upwards of 13-year-long ones almost certainly exist as well. It's quite unhealthy and quite irrational, but it happens.

Hangonasec. Is this, like, real? Are there jellyfish that don't die of age? Because your comment seems too random if it's not a real thing. But I'm not going to look it up, because if I do I might see pictures of undying deep sea creatures, which I don't think I can handle.

EDIT: Looked it up, and sure enough. Turritopsis nutricula. No pictures. And maybe lobsters, too. Crazy.

I agree that the new scene seems very awkward, though I'm not sure whether I would have thought so if I weren't already familiar with the old version.

Eliezer has said that some people would have "massively bad associations" to songs in fanfics. I don't read fan fiction in general, so I have no idea what he's specifically referring to. But, err, given the interactions I've had with fandom people, I can definitely imagine them being utterly unable to see past their preconceived notions and snap judgments to logically evaluate a given scene on its own merits and subtleties.

He got a LOT of complaints in the reviews about the Ghostbusters song.

"The adult wizard" was changed quite a while before the most recent round of retcons. Most of the other changes I can understand, even the removal of Ghostbusters, but this one seems completely indefensible. He's listing species that are dangerous, so it makes more sense to use a biology-type word like "adult".

And as Quirrell is perfectly open later on in telling everyone that he believes Harry wishes to become a Dark Lord, and also that he still wishes to teach Harry how to defeat his foes, there's no reason for him to put on false air... (read more)

If you can understand the removal of Ghostbusters, please explain it to me. There's nothing entertaining about that part of the chapter any more. I mean, I do know that some people in the reviews were unhappy with how 'now it's a songfic', but others liked it - I certainly did, it was funny to imagine - and at least the scene made sense. While now you have people just shouting Harry Potter! out of the blue, and basically everything happening and everyone reacting exactly as before for little apparent reason.
2Joshua Hobbes12y
Yeah, I'd really like to know Eliezer's reasoning here. What are the possible advantages of this change? I suppose it is technically more accurate, since not all adult wizards are more dangerous than Dementors or Trolls. Dark Wizards, on the other hand, specifically train to be so.
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