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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82

Because a Dark Ritual could force a sacrifice that adds redundancy. Leave the Basilisk alone, mostly satisfied. Kill it and you are bound to transfer the knowledge to the next heir. Attempt to kill the heir and end up as a horcrux.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82

2d) Something Voldemort didn't expect. If Slytherin's Monster transferred it's secrets with a Dark Ritual, Salazar could have planned for Rule 12 and plotted to transfer secrets to future heirs. How would you identify a baby as a parselmouth?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

Harry & Draco have learnt to send Patronus messages. With the goal of preserving Hermione unbroken while working towards her exoneration, Harry could

  • Arrange teaching of sending messages to any Patronus wielders in SPHEW/Sunshine or anyone else willing to help Hermione ** will confirm whether it is possible to maintain a Patronus at a distance for long periods
  • Arrange teaching of Patronus to those willing to help who don't know it.
  • Given the Cloak & Harry's Patronus hide those protected from Dementors, research Rituals/Potions to confer that ** An aim of Quirrel's?
  • Enlist help in finding evidence for Hermione's memory charming (Daphne noting she missed the Sunshine army council of war in 79).
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

Last night Damian Conway talked about Lingua-Romana-Perligata as part of his "Fun with Dead Languages" talk. He makes the point that Latin's suffixes don't constrain the word order. Given Harry's dream of destroying Azkaban and Dumbledore in Ch 79 muttering strange incantations that sounded not quite like Latin and echoed in their ears in an unusually creepy fashion, maybe Latin provides a larger space to search for a mnemonic phrase that the Source of Magic will match and action, than languages with a more constrained grammar.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

Perhaps Imperius is one of the charms detected by Hogwart's wards.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

If transfiguration can only result in non-magical substances, then science would help to transfigure to CBW agents - ending up too close for comfort. Wards cast in transfiguration classrooms and dormitories to detect intent to violate transfiguration rules would catch those, a wise expansive interpretation would catch the worst I can think of (critical mass of fissile material => will generate gas). The Hogwarts House system should force conformity and channel risk-taking into known paths. If failing to attempt homework would lose points, depression and mental illness could be caught early. Would the wizarding world have something of the culture of manners of the Diamond Ages's Victorians, with wards and parlours working as firewalls and time for threat assessment/decontamination?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

Why not use the epub or mobipocket versions, depending what the Kobo supports? Calibre reads both, the mobipocket is fine on my iRex and I have an epub version on my phone.

http://ikeran.org/rationality.epub http://ikeran.org/rationality.mobi

(mentioned on http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2269863/Less_Wrong ) Android, iPhone/iPad app links there too.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

Chapter 24: Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis: Act 2 ... The line of reasoning continued: Atlantis had been an isolated civilization that had somehow brought into being the Source of Magic, and told it to serve only people with the Atlantean genetic marker, the blood of Atlantis.

And by similar logic: The words a wizard spoke, the wand movements, those weren't complicated enough of themselves to build up the spell effects from scratch - not the way that the three billion base pairs of human DNA actually were complicated enough to build a human body from scratch, not the way that computer programs took up thousands of bytes of data.

So the words and wand movements were just triggers, levers pulled on some hidden and more complex machine. Buttons, not blueprints.

And just like a computer program wouldn't compile if you made a single spelling error, the Source of Magic wouldn't respond to you unless you cast your spells in exactly the right way.

The chain of logic was inexorable.

Under that hypothesis, accidental magic by wizarding children — otherwise without appreciable magic power, could be a Source of Magic initiated emergency "Help" spell.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

In part 7, Michaelos observed that Dumbledore blames himself for Harry being left with his evil stepparents, and wrote the comment on Lily's musing on modifying the (D&D-style) Eagle's Splendor potion in her text book while she slept.

Ch 1. "And Lily would tell me no, and make up the most ridiculous excuses, like the world would end if she were nice to her sister, or a centaur told her not to - the most ridiculous things, and I hated her for it. ... "Anyway," Petunia said, her voice small, "she gave in. She told me it was dangerous, and I said I didn't care any more, and I drank this potion and I was sick for weeks, but when I got better my skin cleared up and I finally filled out and... I was beautiful, people were nice to me," her voice broke, "and after that I couldn't hate my sister any more, especially when I learned what her magic brought her in the end -"

Perhaps, the brighter Lily, child of the enlightenment, growing up in the technological optimism of the 60s had determined to help her sister, and minimize the risks as she understood them. Giving Petunia the potion being a major change in the time line. Dumbledore may have been trying to prevent that.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 8

If Salazar Slytherin foresaw use of Rule 12, a hidden requirement to pass on the knowledge to the next heir in the transfer ritual could explain Harry's survival. The transfer ritual requiring a later deposit, a checkpoint of the recipient's state, could explain why Quirrell seems more than how Voldemort has been described - if he does contain multitudes. Or the different instantiation has avoided physical pathologies Voldemort lived with.

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