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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

...That's a very Harry-like exclamation. But I don't think even HJPEV could manage to replace Mad-Eye Moody with a Polyjuiced and Time-Turned version of himself. But then again, this whole chapter was in distant third person, and we don't know what Harry knows or how he knows it...

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

I don't think we've seen evidence that normal minors can make and enter contracts - I think Harry's just been implicitly granted an exception to all the rules of normal minors because he's the Chosen One. But the bad thing about implicit agreements is that the ones with official power can revoke them when convenient and the other party has no recourse.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

Wait, even if he did write it in the meeting room, can't the Eye of Vance see through walls?

Now I want to know what exactly the limit of Moody's superpower is. How far can the Eye see in every direction? How many barriers can it see through? How far can it "zoom", if at all? To what resolution? Can the Eye read fine print from 1000 feet away?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

I think you misunderstood. I wasn't claiming to be offended myself, I was trying to get at the cause of people's emotional reactions. Whether or not you believe those emotions are justified, they are almost always triggered by something.

I also specified that HPMOR values wit and scheming on its surface - that is, the scheming is what provides almost all the entertainment value and keeps people in their chairs long enough to hear the deeper ideology. What do we want from characters in a story at their most basic level? We want to have fun watching them. That's why most people read stories, and it's why most people read HPMOR. And the ones who are the most fun to watch are the male characters.

I didn't claim this was intentional, nor that it was wrong, just that it was probably the cause of feminist complaints. It was in part an answer to "But the female characters are good people". Being a good person is not always the same as being good in the story. In Disney movies, you have to be a wide-eyed dreamer. In Tarantino movies you have to be a stone-cold killing machine. In HPMOR (and Death Note) you have to be a hyperintelligent byzantine plotter. And then comes the ideology.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

Yes, but "The Defense Professor" and "anyone else who can rig the wards" shouldn't have the same probability in his mind. What with all the rest of Quirrell's strange behavior and the curse on the position, "The Defense Professor" should be allotted a massive probability, with a comparatively smaller piece left for "whoever else has the ability to do this." He should be suspect number one by far.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

That's true, and in this context it doesn't seem like Harry was being entirely fair. I liked that line better the first time around, when Harry applied it to how Quirrell used him. He was wrong, but I thought it was interesting that he chose to view it in that light.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

I don't know about the parent, but personally I liked this line because it debunks the cached thought that "using" someone is always wrong. Humans use one another all the time for all sorts of things, from a grad student using his mentor to advance his career to an overworked executive using her goofy laid-back friends to keep her blood pressure down. People tend to only consider one very narrow and destructive meaning of the word "use", and then come to the conclusion that you can't have a genuine caring relationship with someone if you pursue it for personal benefit. The grad student can still admire and love his mentor even though the main point of that relationship is so he can get a PhD. If you do care about the person, you'd try to arrange it so that your use will help them too.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

I would have loved to read a counterfactual HPMOR with Bones in the role of McGonagall (or McGonagall with the personality of Bones). It's true that her personality makes more sense in an Auror than a teacher, and that means we don't get to see her very much. But then again, virtually every major male authority figure in Hogwarts looks like he should belong in an elite war chamber rather than a classroom. Seriously, what are these people doing running a boarding school?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

I'm concerned if, this late in the game, Harry's only reason for suspecting the Defense Professor is "just because he's the Defense Professor." It would seem that he has way too many excellent reasons to suspect Quirrell no matter what his title. The sense of doom. The fact that he was able to cast Avada Kedavra on a random guard. The fact that he carried Harry off on a disastrous plot to free Bellatrix Black. The fact that he happened to be there on time to save Draco's life when the wards were disabled. The fact that he is one of only a handful of wizards with the ability to disable Hogwarts' wards. The impassioned speech advocating benevolent fascism. The fact that no one knows who he really is and Harry can think of at least three different identities he's taken on. The weird zombie mode that seems to roughly correlate with Bad Things happening. The excessively harsh and sometimes downright abusive way he runs his class. The lack of empathy and inability to accept or even understand love.

My question is, do you think Harry has realized all this and is really strongly suspecting Quirrell for other reasons, and he only told Lucius that the only reason was the curse on the Defense Professor's position? Or do you think Harry is still reluctant to seriously entertain the possibility that it was Quirrell?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

I think this is the heart of feminist complaints about this story. Yes, the female characters are honest, and levelheaded, and moral, and quite a bit more realistic than male characters. Yes, the male characters have massive, gaping flaws in their character, and if you tried to have a conversation with them in the real world they would appear unbearably pompous. Yes, clever repartee does not replace genuine kindness. I agree with all that.

But the thing is, this fic (on its surface) doesn't value kindness and morality nearly as much as suave, articulate word-poker and beautifully intricate schemes and counter-schemes and "I know that you know that I know..." insanity. I think you're going to get people accusing you of sexism even if you provide your female characters with traits that are valued and truly matter in the real world, as long as you still hold back the traits that are valued in-story.

In the original Harry Potter, Hermione was quite a bit more immature in her first year than in HPMOR - but the backbone of HP was bold derring-do and wandsmanship and remembering the right spell, and she (and McGonagall and Ginny) was essential in that environment. Intricate conversations and ingenious plots like this are the backbone of HPMOR, and we don't see any women involved there. That's what people are complaining about, I think.

I predict that if Hermione's death had come at the end of a long, complicated plot/investigation carried out by her, there would be far fewer complaints. As it is, she did not win anything other than Harry's increased resolve - didn't reveal any schemes, didn't execute any of her own, didn't discover any MacGuffins (as far as I know).

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