Fanfic Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality Discussion

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09:53:01 PM Oct 5th 2016
Some jerk seems to have deleted two-thirds of the page.
07:23:49 PM Mar 11th 2015
There should be a separate tab for Logic Tropes. Unless… Can I just put those straight on the page?
04:51:24 AM Mar 12th 2015
Straight on the page.
12:43:32 PM Nov 10th 2014
A crazy person has changed the Main page to the Character page. Can someone correct this? I only have an iPad to work from, making it complicated to do so myself.
01:10:10 PM Nov 10th 2014
Did that.
01:15:41 PM Nov 10th 2014
Thank you. :)
02:24:28 AM Oct 7th 2014
The way "The War on Straw" is currently worded clearly makes it a YMMV trope. The tone of the entry is "uh huh! nuh uh!" It should be moved or edited.
10:20:59 AM Oct 7th 2014
That entry is a Zero-Context Example and not supposed to be used as YMMV anyhow. On top of that, it's described as an aversion.

I've pulled the entry.
07:10:38 AM Dec 13th 2013
Any idea what "Inspector Léon" refers to?
11:58:46 AM Oct 19th 2013
Okay, maybe I ought to read the story first before suggesting someone add this, but...Harry Potter as a scientist? Did anyone else happen to think of Eridan Ampora and wonder at a possible Hilarious in Hindsight moment?
09:50:10 PM Mar 21st 2013
Chapter 75 has a pretty solid example (subversion?) of The Maiden Name Debate between Harry and Hermione.

"You mean your name would be Potter-Evans-Verres-Granger and mine would be Granger-Potter-Evans-Verres," said Hermione. "It's too horrible to imagine."

This isn't a spoiler, is it?
08:38:02 AM Apr 22nd 2013
edited by
They are wrong about British naming traditions, but maybe that's beside the point.
05:34:10 AM Apr 23rd 2015
It's sort of unclear where the hell Harry is getting his name from, and why he's chosen this specific manner of arranging it. I mean, it is absurdly impractical to simply accumulate EVERY family name of every family member; this would lead to BOUNDLESS GROWTH, especially if you're not only factoring in ancestors, but also spouses. And in Harry's case, ADOPTIVE parents, as well. By his (not actually) logic (in fact, it's a sentimental breach of basic reasoning), a child by Hermione would (ignoring the name-order problem), his grandchildren would have SIX family names, and that's not considering a first and middle name. And that's assuming HE'S the only person doing this - if his descendants encountered another hyphenated name, the problem would increase.

Basically, it was a gag that sets the character apart from a meta-textual perspective, but a really terrible idea that conflicts quite wildly with Harry's otherwise Rationalist nature.
07:16:30 PM Nov 16th 2012
Uh, one of the tropes listed isn't—that is, there's an entry that runs: "Deliberately invoked by Harry in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, in which it is defied, inverted played with, and deconstructed.

Harry himself develops a reputation at Hogwarts for being able to do anything with his trademark finger snap, but that comes to bite him in the ass when Lesath Lestrange, certain that he can do anything, went on his knees and begged Harry to release his mother Bellatrix Black from Azkaban. He makes sure that The Daily Prophet releases absolutely ridiculous rumors about him, so that no one ever believes what the papers say about him anymore. He scares a Dementor in front of the Winzengamot, and they take it in stride, because he's The Boy-Who-Lived and it fits story logic. Well, most of them do. Draco Malfoy cannot do a good deed without everyone thinking he is plotting something nefarious. Dumbledore's Obfuscating Insanity confuses people as to whether he's sane pretending to be insane, or insane pretending to be sane pretending to be insane. He may or may not have used Obfuscating Evil on the Death Eater faction to stop them from taking people's families hostage, but now they think Dumbledore isn't above stooping to any law. But people still have trouble believing that he's set fire to a chicken. Defense Professors have had such a terrible record over the last decades that any accusation against them is plausible... which is why the teachers don't want to hear them, because they don't want to have to fire the professors mid-year; this is for the sake of their students' education."

Please note that what trope this refers to is never explicitly identified. I'd try to fix this, but I have no idea what the trope it's talking about IS.
01:00:03 AM Nov 17th 2012
edited by Telcontar
Thanks for catching it. It looks like the result of crosswicking mindlessly, so checking the Related To page might help. The bullets were added by The Handle on the 15th of September; I'll send him a PM about what the trope is if that doesn't work. In the meantime, pulling the entry.

Edit: The first method worked; it's The Tyson Zone. Added back in proper place.
02:56:24 AM Jun 24th 2011
Also, may I suggest the creation of a character page? I'm thinking this fan fic, if any fan fic, deserves one.
07:55:29 PM Jun 19th 2011
I just want to add my two cents to the discussion. From what I've seen, Harry is not a Mary Sue. He's not perfect, no one is. He doesn't have a perfect morality, he isn't perfect as a scientist, and he doesn't know everything. Everyone seems to want to say that Harry is absolutely perfect in everything and than go on criticizing him for not being perfect especially in things like his discussion with Dumbledore in chapter 39. He's also young and lacks a certain amount of experience. He is extraordinarily smart and logical, maybe even more so than he should be even if he was raised by a college professor, but he still lacks experience and isn't perfect.

That is all.

Also, this fan fic is one of the greatest things I've ever read, even surpassing Rowling in some areas.
06:36:52 AM Dec 16th 2011
Agreed. In many ways, I find it more enjoyable to read than the actual series, and I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, too. I've never really liked the idea of fanfics; I always thought that the author's characters are her own and no one else should really be writing them. But this fanfic changed my mind about that, it takes everything great from the original series and adds elements that couldn't have worked with the themes of Rowling's characters. It's brilliant.
01:08:59 PM Nov 30th 2012
I consider him a Mary Sue because he's a blatant author-avatar. Especially the way things bend to make him look special while he's actually a jerkass in personality.
12:42:30 AM Oct 6th 2013
Troll Alert. Your Confirmation Bias is quite funny from a reader's perspective.
04:48:19 AM Mar 18th 2016
It's a blatant Mary Sue! (Particularly of the Canon Sue variety). The author's notes compare his own thinking and knowledge at the age and the era (his knowledge of the quark names...).
01:21:57 AM Jan 18th 2011
"It's implied that Quirrell/Voldemort immolated Narcissa (Lucius's wife) to make Lucius hate Dumbledore. Members of a big happy family don't murder each others' spouses."

Wait, wait, wait. Where is it implied? Am I missing something?
12:08:53 AM Jan 19th 2011
edited by Ronfar
It isn't, at least not any more than any other fan theory. I'm going to delete it.
05:59:18 PM Dec 13th 2010
edited by 75thTrombone
I haven't seen a lot of discussion about what I consider the most significant and shocking departure from the books:

"And then, at last, Lily Potter's voice shrieked in desperate hate, "Avada ke-"

The lethal voice finished first, the curse rapid and precise.


That is earth-shatteringly major; Lily tried to defend herself. The whole point of Lily's sacrifice in the books is that she shielded Harry, willingly sacrificed herself, without trying to defend herself. The non-aggression of the sacrifice was the entire reason it protected Harry from the curse. Our esteemed author is entirely redefining what made one-year-old Harry special.
01:38:14 AM Dec 19th 2010
I don't think that's such a huge departure. Nowhere in the books was it said that Lily's non-aggression was the important part of the sacrifice - this would imply giving up with a grand gesture is preferable to trying to fight to the last. Defending herself would have been a better way of defending Harry - was there really any chance that if she stood there and let Voldemort kill her, he would just go away? The important thing was that she put herself in a position such that if she failed, she would die first. The magic came from Lily placing Harry's life wholly above her own, not from "letting" Voldemort kill her.
07:09:49 PM Dec 28th 2010
edited by jaimeastorga2000
This is a fan theory. It's never been stated in the books or by Rowling that Lily's total lack of resistance was important, or that Voldemort's willingness to spare her for Snape's sake was key, or any number of other things that fans have come up with to explain why things happened the way they did. As far as I can remember, the only thing that's ever mentioned is that Harry is protected because Lily's sacrifice is powerful magic.
01:43:50 AM Feb 28th 2011
edited by KamishiroRin
"... Is she a Christian?

'Yes, I am,' she says. 'Which seems to offend the religious right far worse than if I said I thought there was no God. Every time I've been asked if I believe in God, I've said yes, because I do, but no one ever really has gone any more deeply into it than that, and I have to say that does suit me, because if I talk too freely about that I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what's coming in the books." - [1]

I bring that up because I think it's important here. Rowling was making a point that fighting back in any form is not willing sacrifice for others. She's almost directly referencing that when Jesus was nailed to the cross, he could have come down off the cross unharmed and smitten his tormentors and executioners for their sin against God (if you happen to believe that he was the son of God as Christians are wont to do). Instead, he allowed himself to be killed on the cross to conquer death and so on. Harry does this at the end of DH and Lily does it for Harry. She asks Voldemort to take her instead of Harry. She doesn't fight back, she stands between Voldemort and Harry and she died.

In DH, Harry does the same thing. He doesn't fight back. He goes to Voldemort and he dies basically for everyone. After he wakes back up, Voldemort's curses affect no one in the battle because of Harry's sacrifice.

Thus, I see Lily fighting back - and with the ultimate dark curse no less - as antithetic to Rowling's intent. You can argue all you want about Yudkowsky's intent for the characters in his story, but I think that Rowling's intent is actually pretty clear when one bothers to seek it. Lord knows she can't seem to stop herself from making every other little bit of minutia transparent as glass.
07:44:19 PM Mar 7th 2011
Well, a consideration. In this continuity, Voldemort accepted Lily's proposal that he would kill her, and Harry would live. I guess it's interesting to consider if someone can be tricked into an Unbreakable Vow.
06:45:13 PM Mar 29th 2011
The Christian angle makes sense given what we know about Yudkowsky's ideas about "Lifeism" and "Deathism". He's certainly, I now believe, directly trying to make the point that attempting to defend yourself from murder is no less heroic or good or agreeable a sacrifice than submitting without a fight.

It will be interesting to see if Lily's changed sacrifice is still what made Harry survive the curse or if it's something completely different.
02:57:59 AM Jun 8th 2011
One thing I did note: Voldemort said "I accept," when Lily said, "Take me instead."*

I don't know about Yudkowsky, but I've read a good number of books where the oath of a magical being is binding, and I'd posit that old Voldie had done enough to himself that he counted, when he accepted Lily's bargain of her life for her son's. Also, murder has been shown, both in Yudkowsky's story and in canon, to do impressive things to magic, whether it be the horcruxes, or Lily's sacrifice.

  • paraphrased for the sake of not looking it up and getting caught in the story again.
02:37:45 PM Jul 11th 2011
I was under the impression that in mor!verse the whole "sacrifice" thing was just a conclusion that Dumbledore jumped to out of the blue, and the actual reason Harry survived was revealed in the Azkaban arc - Harry and Voldemort's magics can't interact without catastrophic resonation.

Though, in that case, one has to wonder why Harry didn't explode just like Voldemort did...
05:54:37 PM Aug 16th 2011
I was under the impression that the sacrifice thing was why their magics couldn't interact, similar to how Canon!Harry could burn Quirrellmort by touching him.
06:32:37 AM Dec 16th 2011
Doesn't it also explicitly say in the 7th book that the rest of the fighters were granted protection from Voldemort after Harry willingly died for them without fighting back?
07:12:53 AM Nov 16th 2012
...What, nobody is complaining about the fact that she's using an illegal (And possibly ineffective, considering what happened when Harry tried to use Avada kedavra) unforgivable curse instead of a more practical spell?
02:26:01 PM Jul 31st 2013
Harry didn't sacrifice himself because he honestly believed it would give the others protection, he did it because him dying was actually the only way for Voldemort to be defeated because he was a horcrux. Allowing himself to be killed was actually a form of aggression because it was a necessary step in destroying voldemort and not simply a passive sacrifice.
12:33:40 AM Nov 29th 2010
SUGGESTIONS/CORRECTIONS This is for people who don't want to make a login ID for whatever reason but still want to contribute. PLEASE REMOVE ITEMS as you put them into the article.

—In "Idiot Ball", a new section stating as follows: "In Chapter 61, it is revealed that Arthur Weasley's understanding of Muggles appears to be EXACTLY as good as canon, and the Ministry of Magic seeks and takes his advice on magical defenses against Muggle technology."
10:45:19 PM Dec 6th 2010
Similar to post above, I can't decide if Mc Gonnagal sending Harry to deliver a message to Flitwick in the past by himself, rather than asking him to use his time turner in her presence qualifies as Idiot Ball or Plot Induced Stupidity, so I shall just leave this here in hopes that someone with a firmer grasp of the subtleties gives an opinion. All I can say is that I DID yell "You idiot!" at my screen when I realized that after everything she knows Harry is capable of, she still chose to let him travel to the past without her tagging along as confirmation.
09:25:58 AM Dec 15th 2010
Harry's Time-Turner can only transport Harry... and any Animagi in his pouch, as it turns out, but the Unspeakables haven't realized that yet.
12:48:33 PM Jan 27th 2011
edited by
Not So different: Quirrel said in chapter 34: "But I say that if a whole country were to find a leader as strong as the Dark Lord, but honorable and pure, and take his Mark; then they could crush any Dark Lord like an insect, and all the rest of our divided magical world could not threaten them."

Dumbledore said in chapter 68: "...I would have been a thousand times happier if I could have belonged to someone like Harry Potter. Someone made of sterner stuff than I, to make the hard decisions, and yet worthy to lead me."

Author Saving Throw as well. From his author notes for chapters 68-69: "...I didn't realize what Dumbledore was up to until I wrote his Aftermath conversation with Minerva. I was reading the reviews, looking over what I'd written, and thinking, "Huh, why is Dumbledore being so insensitive?" and still didn't figure out why until later. Brains are scary things, aren't they?"
07:53:42 PM Nov 22nd 2010
I really don't get how the wizard genetics works. If every wizard has two magic genes, and squibs are born from pure-blood wizards, then it would be impossible to be born a squib since you can only get 'magic' genes!

Or is this something ridiculosly obvious that I'm just not seeing? Never mind, feel free to delete.
03:46:50 AM Nov 27th 2010
edited by
According to, about 1 in 100,000 children would have a new mutation on any given gene. Squibs in pure-blood families would be rare, but probably not unheard of.
11:26:31 PM Nov 28th 2010
Considering that there are only thousands of wizards in Britain (3000 minimum, likely more though), and at least 2 squibs in canon (plus the implication that squibs, while relatively rare, aren't unheard of overall), this seems quite a bit lower than it should be.
03:13:46 PM Nov 30th 2010
There's always infidelity...
03:40:36 PM Nov 30th 2010
edited by Ronfar
JKR is terrible at genetics. No, really; she says that "magic is a rare and dominant gene", which would make Muggleborns essentially impossible. That's fine; she wasn't writing a book on genetics. See here.

If you want a handwave as to why Squibs aren't vanishingly rare, consider that certain genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome (yes, I know, it's trisomy rather than a point mutation) have an incidence of closer to 1 in 1000. Apparently there are certain effects that can make particular genetic effects far more likely than mere chance.

But in any case, yes, the Squib effect is caused by a birth defect. Squibs still carry one copy of the recessive magic gene, and, given random mixing, you have Muggleborns popping up in accordance with the Hardy-Weinberg principle. If one in a thousand Muggles is actually a Squib, then in the next generation, one in a million will be a Muggleborn wizard.
04:57:30 PM Dec 30th 2010
I don't think Jo Rowling is "terrible" at genetics. That's rather hyperbolic, in fact, to say so. I think she's not a geneticist (because she's not), but her layman's understanding of genetics is just fine. Not perfect, but serviceable enough for a fantasy series, and no worse than anybody else her age or even quite a bit younger, who passed secondary school science classes with high grades but never bothered reading about science or pursuing it as a career afterward. "Terrible" implies that it is considerably, irredeemably worse than average, and I really don't think that would apply here. This is "passed all her science courses just fine, but ended up writing fantasy novels for a living", not Critical Research Failure . In fact, arguing that a gene being both "rare" and "dominant" means people having the trait without having a parent having it are "essentially impossible" is itself bordering on Critical Research Failure! (Or have you forgotten what the word "heterozygous" means?)

Your entire argument about how Squibs necessarily always have to be "birth defects" (which is rather like saying being born with five fingers, i.e. born the way most people are despite most people having recessive genes for that trait, is "a birth defect") is nonsensical and overlooks simple genetics, as well as the fact that "Squib" and "Muggle" ARE NOT genetic terms created by scientists, they are basically nothing more than slurs created by wizards to refer to people who are non-magical but born into otherwise magical families, and non-magical people born to non-magical families, respectively.

A Squib is nothing more than a Muggle born to a pair of wizards, in other words. He lacks the dominant wizard gene, but he's born the way most people are. (Again, much like people are born with five fingers - the gene for six fingers per hand is actually dominant, but most people don't carry it, and even two people who carry it and both have six fingers still stand as high as a 50% chance of having a kid with five fingers, assuming they're both only heterozygous for the six-fingers trait)

Also: because a "dominant gene" would explain how squibs and half-borns are possible, particularly when you take into account that Rowling likely means the kind of dominant gene that will override a recessive version in the case of a heterozygous individual. With it being a dominant gene, a half-born need only inherit it from his wizarding parent, and keep in mind that wizards/witches often marry only other wizards/witches (hell, this is even true of Hermione in canon, despite her being a Muggleborn herself), often ones with long histories of wizard/witch ancestors. If the population is inbred enough (and canon suggests it is for the Pureblood families, at any rate), squibs WOULD be rare (and in fact canon suggests they are), because they'd (unless you had mutation in play) have to inherit the recessive, non-magical version of the gene from BOTH parents which after a certain point would be statistically improbable for each parent to even have.

Additionally, Muggleborns are possible, even plausible, with the "dominant gene" situation, because Jo Rowling believes in a little something called "evolution", which requires occasional mutation. It's simple: it's rare, yes, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still pop up on rare occasions as a mutation. In fact, there is a version of Polycystic Kidney Disease - already a relatively rare condition that effects only a few thousands of people a year, IIRC - that is caused by a dominant gene and yet occurs as a RANDOM mutation in approximately 25% of recorded cases! And since it's described as a completely dominant trait, all you would need is for ONE parent's genes to mutate during the copying/remixing portion of reproduction, in order to get it.

Furthermore, while Rowling is probably unaware of "epigentics", let me point out that you can't rule out that either. It's entirely possible that squibs are even rather than the raw statistics would suggest, precisely because the nature of magical bloodlines alters said probabilities in favor of producing magical offspring. That would of course be an environmental factor.

In other words: dude, please brush up on your Punnet squares. Rowling said the gene was DOMINANT, not "homozygous". You seem to have inexplicably confused the two, though I'm not sure how, as they're very different terms that mean very different things and don't even sound alike.
11:52:15 AM Jan 6th 2011
In fact, grendelkhan is correct. If the magical gene were dominant, then it would be impossible for a child to be born a wizard if neither parent was one. A dominant trait, by definition, is expressed in the heterozygous case as well. For the same reason, the "six fingered" case you bring up would in theory have a chance of the homozygous recessive genotype of 25% - not 50%. That is, 1/4 children would have five fingers following the standard Mendelian 1-2-1 ratios.

I suggest that you brush up on your punnet squares and stop talking out of your ass.

On a related note: Presuming it is a genetic thing at all, I've no idea why people assume it can't be poly-allelic or -genetic (in canon at least, Mo R is a different story, I guess). It seems immediately indecipherable enough for this to be likely.
10:55:54 PM Jan 7th 2011
edited by Ronfar
"In fact, grendelkhan is correct. If the magical gene were dominant, then it would be impossible for a child to be born a wizard if neither parent was one."

Well, there are always mutations. (And infidelity.)
06:51:29 PM Jan 11th 2011
This is true, but putting aside mutagenic changes to germline cells, the replication error rate is something like 1 base pair in 10 billion. Commensurately, the likelihood that a given gene is mutated is very low. The chance that it will be mutated to become a specifically *magical* allele is even slimmer. Personally, I would have expected the Atlanteans or whoever it is that Mo R!Harry speculates granted certain people the magical gene gave it some kind of preternatural protection against dilution of this kind.

I like the infidelity idea (and find it much more likely), if only because it puts me in mind of Arthur Weasley "experimenting" with muggles covertly.
01:16:14 AM Feb 28th 2011
edited by KamishiroRin
Rowling probably accidentally used the term "dominant" to describe wizard genes without understanding that the term actually means something very specific in genetics.

That said, the books, and Word of God (she stated in an interview that muggleborns have magical ancestry), demonstrate that the magic gene is probably recessive (mm), and that squibs result from a dominant mutation (Mm, mM, or MM). True muggles have neither gene at all (00). This is where Rowling's "dominate" probably comes in: if a wizard and a muggle get together, magic forces the insertion of a full, complete set of the magic gene (mm) into the child's DNA where otherwise it would have been (0m).

Squibs are shown in the books to be rejects from the magical world (Arabella Fig and Argus Filch are exceptions to the rule, not examples of common practice. Even the Weasleys mention their accountant squib relation that no one talks about).

If a squib carries (mM or Mm, but not MM), then their children on down the line do as well. Though, for all intents and purposes, those descendants are "muggles" they're really not. They're squibs. Finally, when two of these squibs eventually get together, they have the possibility of producing a "muggleborn" (mM + mM = mm, mM, Mm, and MM, potentially). That (mm) is a muggleborn witch or wizard.

This explains why Lily was a "muggleborn" witch and Petunia was not magical. More likely, Petunia was shafted with that (mM), or worse, (MM). If (MM), then she need never worry about her Duddikins ever producing a witch or wizard, but if (mM), it's possible that Dudly might sire a witch or wizard.

Unfortunately, this results in the following: But Squib (mM) + Wizard (mm) = (mm, mm, Mm, Mm), or 50% chance of producing another Squib, so Wizarding families would be wise to reject their Squibs into the muggle world.

However, none of this supports Pureblood supremacy: Hermione is (mm) ever bit as much as Draco Malfoy is. And if, God Forbid, they had children, those children would be (mm), unless a mutation occurred, causing (mM).
02:13:00 AM Jul 5th 2013
Could also be a genetic flaw, something that would be enhanced by the inbreeding between pureblood families. Like that British Royal House with all the bleeders.

Plus, it could easily be a combination of more than one magical gene from each parent. Yudkowsky even says so in the AN for that chapter: Harry only knows about Mendelian genetics. He is only eleven.
01:09:09 PM Nov 22nd 2010

  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Harry politely telling Draco to "burst into flames and die" in chapter five gets a lot less funny once you know what happened to his mother. May or may not have been intentional.

If I didn't think of this and no other reader thought of this, then plausibly neither did Draco. (Who perhaps has heard of lots of cases of people being set on fire, and doesn't associate it all that strongly with his mother.) Anyway it just seems an extreme shame to spoil that particular moment for readers of the main page. Hope no one minds.
01:58:13 PM Nov 27th 2010
Well, Funny Aneurysm Moment is from the viewpoint of the audience, not of the characters themselves, and now that I have seen it, I can't exactly unsee it either.

It fits the trope very well.
10:46:29 AM Dec 6th 2010
I say we keep it.
02:14:31 AM Jul 5th 2013
History of Magic ought to be full of people who got set on fire.
09:16:27 AM Nov 10th 2010
Mighty Whitey? Seriously? That'd make Hermione in the regular novels Mighty Whitey as well! The trope name has so many negative connotations behind it it needs to be renamed or split if it's just going to be used for "outsider masters skills faster" because putting that trope on a page is a really nice way of just saying "This work is RAAAAAAAAAAACIST".

It's especially dumb because we know WHY Harry is doing better; not only is he studying very hard, he's the first person to take the scientific approach to magic. It is because he has brought outside knowledge in. Mighty Whitey is when the outsider is inexplicity better than those who've done it their whole life. Harry happens to be better than (most) other students, of his own year, because he's very smart, very driven, and has access to knowledge and skills the others don't as a direct result of his outsider nature. I don't think that counts.

I'm going to remove it but we seriously need to discuss when use of that trope is approprete.
11:39:03 AM Nov 10th 2010
It is true, though, that the story is primarily about someone with a massively alien mindset single-handedly turning a culture on its head. How's about The Only One as a more accurate trope?
12:26:03 PM Nov 10th 2010
I wouldn't say that is accurate either; Harry is looking for problems so he can solve them. He's like a troublemaker for a good cause... do we have a trope for that?
09:31:46 PM Nov 10th 2010
To the degree that Mo R!Harry or canon!Hermione has an advantage due to 20th century First World education, it looks like a fairly common variant of [1]/[2] (Muggles, in this case) where science is their unique power that elves/demons/wizards/etc. have never quite figured out, still bowing to the wisdom of their ancestors.

To the degree that Mo R!Harry was an exceptional individual in the Muggle world, before he ever heard of Hogwarts, it's a case of child prodigy and falls under some other completely different trope.
09:31:49 PM Nov 10th 2010
edited by
To the degree that MOR!Harry or canon!Hermione has an advantage due to 20th century First World education, it looks like a fairly common variant of [Humans Are Special]/[Humanity Is Superior] (Muggles, in this case) where science is their unique power that elves/demons/wizards/etc. have never quite figured out, still bowing to the wisdom of their ancestors.

To the degree that MOR!Harry was an exceptional individual in the Muggle world, before he ever heard of Hogwarts, it's a case of child prodigy and falls under some other completely different trope.
09:44:49 PM Nov 10th 2010
Hrm. It's been established both in and out of canon that wizards are very traditional and, frankly, idiots when it comes to anything to do with Muggles. They figure out that something works, and their understanding of the how is almost deliberately limited to "I say these words in this inflection, waving a wand in this manner."

It makes sense that someone with significant Muggle knowledge would have a natural edge when working with magic, as they understand how things like Physics work and can therefore figure out how the magic works. Someone who knows these things before they even began learning magic, such as MOR!Harry, would have an even greater edge as they can begin applying their knowledge toward wizarding first principles even as they learn them.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Snape and Quirrel are far from ignorant of Muggle sciences and they (along with Dumbledore, who at least is aware of Muggle sciences if not knowledgable about it) are among the most powerful people in Hogwarts, if not Britain, if not the entire wizarding world. That Harry is proving so proficient at age 11 is incidental and, as the previous poster said, simply a matter of Child Prodigy.
05:37:33 PM Apr 2nd 2011
Where does the idea that Snape knows anything about Muggle science come from? The only time that I can recall that intersection in the story was when Harry asked Snape about carbon. Unfortunately, this gambit failed Harry because Snape is a skillful legilimancer; Harry knew the answer to the question, and therefore Snape knew as well.
03:21:37 AM Jun 8th 2011
Snape knew of and was willing to use LSD. Further, he correctly identified a rocket, from A. Weasley's 'rocker'.
03:47:42 PM Nov 7th 2010
Is "I'm not serious" really a Dark Knight reference? I assumed it was just supposed to be a nasty reminder that they're rescuing the wrong Black (and possibly a hint that in this continuity, the man in Sirius's cell isn't who he's supposed to be).
08:28:48 PM Nov 7th 2010
I'm trying to figure that out...
01:02:39 AM Nov 26th 2010
I also read it as a hint (although I haven't seen The Dark Knight, so the connection to it could be stronger than I'm assuming).
04:39:58 PM Dec 19th 2012
In the Quibbler, it said that Sirius Black and Pettigrew were the same person. We know that in canon, the Quibbler was right about Sirius being innocent. So maybe the "Sirius Black" in Azkaban is actually Peter Pettigrew under some sort of spell that makes him look like Sirius, or makes people think he's Sirius.
03:54:01 PM Oct 25th 2010
edited by RawPower
We need a High Octane Nightmare Fuel Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality page to cover the latest events. There was some of it until now, but Bellatrix's backstory is just... not family friendly... (despite the fact that there are Real Life families that are like that... which makes it horribly more plausible...)
01:31:16 PM Oct 17th 2010
edited by EliezerYudkowsky
Quirrellmort is a standard fan nickname, not specific to Methods. And who uses Harryzer?
01:55:23 PM Oct 17th 2010
About Quirrellmort: yes, and? What matters is that readers use that name often enough.

About Harryzer: wedrifid does here:

(he actually spelled it 'Harrizer', my bad.) It may not qualify as a genuine Fan Nickname, because it was only used once, but it sounded amusing and I included it anyway. I'll delete it if you insist.
03:54:41 PM Oct 25th 2010
Harryzer is pretty lame... Reminds me of UFO Robo Grendizer...
04:12:55 PM Dec 30th 2010
I would hazard a guess it's a play on "hair-raiser", which is what troublemaking children are sometimes referred to as.
06:54:43 PM Jan 11th 2011
Am I right in speculating that it's a portmanteau of Harry and Eliezer? I would have called the mixture "Harryezer" in order to maintain the number of syllables.
11:56:19 PM Jan 11th 2011
Yes, that's what it was supposed to be. Nobody actually uses it, though.
08:10:37 PM Aug 31st 2010
Prediction: The title of the chapter in which Harry learns that Quirrell is in fact EVIL will be titled "Halo Effect". Why? Because Harry shows clear signs of this in his thinking about Quirrell. Somehow, despite relatively clear evidence to the contrary, Harry comes out in chapter 30 as thinking that "Quirrell, despite his affected Dark atmosphere and his pretense of neutrality in the conflict between Good and Evil, was secretly backing Good."

Admittedly, Quirrell hadn't proposed a magical dictatorship at that point, but there's been no evidence that Harry has edited his thinking to be able to see the forest of Quirell that's been obscured by the trees of things Quirell has done. He still seems to see Quirrell as too much of a mentor, and when he does finally figure out not only that he's gone wrong but how he went wrong, I also predict some level of What Have I Done happening.
01:20:59 PM Oct 1st 2010
Doesn't this stuff go on the WMG page?
05:38:56 AM Aug 30th 2010
where did Yudkowsky make the mistake regarding Lilly and Snape. When i read it i did not spot any. Or did he fix it afterwards and i missed it?
01:40:45 AM Sep 1st 2010
edited by Ronfar
It was mostly in an Author's Note...

Those of you who are all like "Lily Evans was a good and virtuous woman and she broke off her friendship with Snape because he was studying Dark Arts, and she didn't go anywhere near James Potter until he stopped bullying", remember, Harry only knows the information Severus gave him. But also... a plain and poor boy is a good friend to a beautiful girl for years, and loves her, and pursues her fruitlessly; and then when the rich and handsome bully cleans up his act a bit, she goes home with him soon after... considering just how normal that is, I don't think you're allowed to write it and not have people at least wonder.
05:37:45 AM Sep 1st 2010
edited by
I read this particular authors note but did not note the implications that Lily and Snape were dating.In fact, I still don't.Maybe I'm just dense but i only know that this is what is supposedly being implied by the reading the Did Not Do The Research edit. Does the author make this clearer at some other point?
06:06:18 AM Sep 1st 2010
He did, though it was outside the story.

Here's the basic rundown of what happened. In the initial author's notes of the chapter where Harry and Snape had their conversation, Yudkowsky implied that Lily should have forgiven Severus more easily, given their pre-existing relationship. A lot of reviewers objected to this, and the author eventually admitted that since he hadn't read the later books of the series, he'd been getting most of his info from fanfic and Wikipedia. This had left him with the impression that Snape and Lily's friendship had been rather... closer than it actually was prior to the whole racial slur business.
10:55:17 AM Sep 1st 2010
I see. Thanks for aswering this, its been bugging me for a while.
08:26:23 PM Sep 1st 2010
Although, to be fair, there have been many who have complained that Lily should have been more forgiving of Snape for the "Mudblood" incident in cannon, even considering they were just friends. This troper felt it was odd when he read it, because if they'd really been friends before Hogwarts, she should have forgiven him the slur, especially since the moments prior to it James Potter had been badly humiliating Snape. It wouldn't be the first time a boy snapped something he didn't mean at a girl after being embarrassed. Heck, that's probably a trope.
11:02:59 PM Sep 1st 2010
This has been discussed in the Harry Potter Just Bugs Me pages. The conclusion most people get is we don't have the whole story. We don't know what was going on between Lily and Snape during the year and perhaps she was tired of making excuses. Regardless the event happened for a reason and Lily doesn't seem to be painted as the person to just drop a friendship over a one time event, that was probably just her breaking point.
05:32:15 PM Dec 13th 2010
In the original canon, Snape behaved as though Lily's entire problem was him calling her "Mudblood", but Lily immediately says something to the effect of "Why shouldn't you call me that? It's what you call everyone else like me!" She then proceeds to berate him for all the evil tendencies he's developed, for being a Death Eater-wannabe and hanging out with other ones. THAT, explicitly, was her real problem. She could have forgiven him calling her "Mudblood" once, but it was his pattern of evil behavior, explicitly, that made her turn her back on him for good.

Now, whether or not any of this is still true in Mo R!canon (did I do that right?) remains to be seen.

(Can someone point me to a reference that explains the origin of this exclamation point notation I see around all this Fan Fic stuff?)
04:09:51 PM Dec 30th 2010
Trombone, all I know is it has been in usage since at least 2004-ish, since I seem to remember posters on a wide variety of fanfic forums and sites using it pretty consistently even on pages I was only visiting around 2004-2006. I think somebody, somewhere, a few years back even did a research paper for their linguistics course on what they termed the "! Convention", and consulted people on how they used it; it was really genuinely that common. Which begs the question of whether or not it has a trope page yet, and if not, why not.

And though it's rare to see a fanfic's storyline referred to as "canon", modifying the word via the ! Convention like that does get across your meaning just fine, assuming one knows what "Mo R" stands for. Your osmosis!knowledge is perfectly functional ;)
01:06:39 PM Jan 26th 2011
When Dumbledore gave HJPEV his mother's potions book, it originally said that she thought Dumbledore's responses where from "her boyfriend." Now it says, "her friend."

In Mo R, the reason she turned on Severus Snape isn't because he called her a mudblood, it's because Dumbledore had agitated her at length while posing as Snape in her potions book. He did this with the intention of driving them apart and it worked.

And that's why Snape is going to kill Dumbledore.
12:54:02 AM Oct 6th 2013
Loserthree, the way you typed your sentences is worthy of a story.
09:58:22 PM Aug 29th 2010
"And then Janet was a Squib" has nothing to do with And Then John Was a Zombie. — Less Wrong.
05:14:09 PM Oct 25th 2010
edited by RawPower
11:25:29 AM Nov 5th 2010
10:46:12 AM Nov 7th 2010
Not to be confused with Author Existence Failure, which thankfully does not apply here.
10:38:49 AM Dec 6th 2010
^^ Read the page. Basically is: "I don't care what you intended to say, I'll interpret whatever is reasonably interpretable."
10:31:33 AM Aug 27th 2010
  • Spit Take: There's practically a whole subplot devoted to the idea, with a still-to-be-tested conjecture that it's the key to omnipotence.

This entry of mine was edited and I've just edited it back. In the spirit of Methods of Rationality, it's important to note that we still don't know how Comed-Tea works. Harry surmised that it works through time-travel/prophecy after learning about the Time Turner, but he hasn't yet been able to test that. Coming up with an alternative conjecture is not the same as falsifying the original one.
11:34:52 AM Aug 27th 2010
Harry only surmised that it was possible because he couldn't imagine any other way it would work. Remember how he felt an urge to drink Comed-Tea right before seeing the Mary's Room tea receipt? I don't think there's much grounds for doubt at the moment.
02:59:39 PM Aug 26th 2010
edited by RobinZimm
I see some natter forming here, regarding the discussion of immortality:

* The War on Straw: Yudkowsky has... difficulties in coming up with arguments based on religion and other matters of faith, as demonstrated here in Harry and Dumbledore's afterlife conversation, where the latter managed little more than grave condescension in the place of counterpoints. An interesting case, in that the strawman argument is for the side that the author acknowledges to be entirely correct in-universe.
** It's difficult NOT to war on straw as finding decent counterpoints to life-ism that Dumbledore would actually use is difficult.

There's two issues, here:

1. Is the story actually attacking a strawman? There are probably tropers watching this page who have discussed the circumstances under which death should be judged bad — if a fair number of people can be found arguing as Dumbledore does, that would suggest removing the entry.

2. If it is a strawman, how should the entry be phrased on the main page to satisfy both parties?
01:04:01 AM Nov 5th 2010
edited by
Happening elsewhere:
  • False Dichotomy: Harry, oddly, succumbs to this fallacy in chapter 39, when he asserts that everyone must either want to die or want to live forever — ignoring the fact that just because one or the other outcome has to happen, that doesn't mean everyone has to have an active preference for one or the other. Likewise, his 'the afterlife would be just as dull as staying alive' argument only works if one assumes the only two options are 'keep living' and 'go to an afterlife identical to this one'. There's a fair few conceptions of the afterlife, after all, that see it as transcendence rather than continuation.
To quote Desertopa on the same subject, "Notice how religious threads have a tendency to stretch out over ten pages on a regular basis?". Maybe there should be a standing policy against discussing the subject in the main page.
03:58:31 PM Dec 30th 2010
I think the False Dichotomy entry is fine as written (since, well, it's accurate enough), but an eye should also be kept on it lest it occasionally attract natter in the future. Removing it wholesale would be rather unfair, as there's not much wrong with it.
05:14:37 PM Feb 3rd 2012
It's not a False Dichotomy. If you do not want to ever die, then by definition you want to live forever. If you do not want to live forever, you must necessarily prefer death.
03:36:53 PM Jul 1st 2012
You may also (for example) ignore problem.
12:56:45 AM Oct 6th 2013
Those are some biased judgement. We need to look at opinions from a systematic objective view point. Wether it's one or the other is quite subjective and altered by personal opinions.
11:43:53 AM Aug 16th 2010
edited by
Transferring the natter about the rape conversation here. If you want to discuss it, this is where to do so.

  • While young Harry may certainly believe that such things simply no longer happen in most Muggle societies, readers can point out that wealth and privilege (and the abuse of such) exist just about everywhere, and were baffled by the seeming implication that this sort of thing just didn't happen.
  • Yes, but those readers were missing the point. It's not about whether the abuse happens, it's about the social acceptability of that abuse, and where it fits into the general framework of people's thoughts in a given culture.
  • Also, consider culture A, where the rule is "rape is illegal, because it is a breach of a woman's human rights" versus culture B, where the rule is "rape is illegal, because it is a breach of her husband's property rights". Both of these cultures will have fewer rapes than one with no rule at all, but nevertheless you would not call them equally ethical.
  • In this case the "seeming implication" was seen mostly by readers who were told to see it by a popular feminist blog. Judging by earlier reviews on Ch. 7, most readers before then read the author's intended implication, that in some societies it's the exception and in others the quietly accepted rule.
    • Which blog would that be? I tried looking for it but my Google-fu failed me.
06:27:53 AM Aug 17th 2010
I'm not sure the rich wizards from Harry Potter can get away with rape any more than a rich person from our world. Malfoy has the Minister in his pocket but he is still afraid of ministry raids on his house and them discovering his dark artifacts. Besides in the books the muggleborns may be looked down on by the old pure blood families but it is never implied that they were denied rights or persecuted by the government. They could get jobs in the ministry and teach at Hogwarts like any pure blood. The only ones that seem to actually be persecuted are the half or non humans. And finally that line felt weird randomly coming from an 11 year old boy.
06:45:51 AM Aug 17th 2010
edited by Iaculus
Agreed that it was bizarre all around, but the question is whether the lines in our main article qualify as Unfortunate Implications. Since I'm the one who did the most recent edit of the example, I'd say yes - in no way did the Enlightenment stop the rich and privileged from getting away with crimes like rape, and instances like the Roman Polanski case show that even self-confessed fugitive rapists can get plenty of public support in Western countries if they move in the right circles.

In light of the most recent remark on the page, I'd note that whilst some cultures are indeed more tolerant of rape than others, this is not directly and wholly linked to their descent from the Enlightenment, and is not divided into the extremes suggested by the quote.

On a slightly more personal note, which blog was this? I, for one, first noted the oddity whilst reading the story - it was only later that I encountered several others saying the same thing on the Internet.
07:12:27 PM Aug 24th 2010
edited by HonoreDB
Incidentally, you really will meet gifted 11-year-old boys who will, if they think they're in a safe space, talk about rape like that. In Real Life Muggle America.

I think Harry (as well as probably Yudkowsky) is a little ignorant of how much pre-Enlightenment thinking still infests every culture. But I agree with the basic sentiment Harry is expressing.
05:33:08 PM Sep 7th 2010
I'm certain *someone* who complained about the issue was also a reader of some of the feminist blogs I read, because the text on the entry before I edited it (before it was moved to the discussion page) made use of terminology that comes from those circles - not just 'privilege' but also 'rape culture'. (Which I removed and paraphrased because those terms are both offputting and confusing to outside readers and were preventing the actual POINT from getting across.)

So I can be reasonably certain that someone _from my blog subculture_ was raising a fuss, but I never saw any posts about it on any of my blogs and certainly no call to arms. It may well have been just a couple of random readers who happen to be HP fans. :)
03:02:33 PM Nov 30th 2010
Honore DB: "Incidentally, you really will meet gifted 11-year-old boys who will, if they think they're in a safe space, talk about rape like that. In Real Life Muggle America."

Is this gifted 11-year-old boys specifically, or privileged 11-year-old boys, or just 11-year-old boys in general?
09:00:42 PM Nov 30th 2010
My only actual data here is that on two separate instances, I've had a pre-pubescent boy of well-above-average intelligence talk to me about the prospect of raping women, and do so in a detached, amused, amoral way. More like the revised text than the original. One was from a liberal academic family, and what he said was that he knew he could get away with rape if he were in the military. I imagine he'd gotten that from his nonfiction books. He grew up into, as far as I know, a good man. I think he just didn't apprehend the horror of the idea at the age of 11. But it's worth noting that he did not join a military, so he's not in the culture he was talking about. I don't remember much about the other one.
03:54:35 PM Dec 30th 2010
You know, in respect to the terms used, "privilege" isn't just used on feminist blogs (I've seen it on blogs about race and ethnicity as well, and also in non-feminist, non-ethnic, non-race related discussions about politics, in which it was used to discuss simply the disparity in resources and quality of life between rich and poor people); likewise, though I read feminist blogs on occasion, the first time I ever saw or heard the words "rape culture" was actually in a random YouTube video that was from somebody's high school ethics project or something.

So, it's not impossible for them to have heard the words from places OTHER than just a certain subculture of feminist blogs. Note that this is not an argument necessarily in disagreement with the idea that whomever wrote it originally also visits those blogs, I'm just pointing out that it's not airtight evidence, either. ;)
05:49:12 PM Dec 19th 2012
"Privilege" is an academic term. It refers to advantages or rights given to certain people because of the way society is structured. This can refer to whites, males, straight people, cisgender (not transgender) people, rich people, whatever. For example, "white privilege" refers to advantages whites have over non-whites, like less adversarial treatment from the police, seeing themselves represented in mainstream media, etc. In the context of Methods, it could refer to the advantages that Purebloods have, like the knowledge of magic they already have before they start school, less likely to be accused or convicted of a crime, etc. This is shown clearly with the contrast between Draco, who's convinced he could get away with a crime, and Hermione, who's tried in a Kangaroo Court.

From Wikipedia: "rape culture is a concept used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape." An example of this is victim blaming ("she was asking for it," "but she invited him into her house," "but she slept with this other guy, clearly she was a slut"), which is prevalent in our own culture.
04:30:45 AM Aug 16th 2010
"Also, the crack about Padma Patil, 'whose parents came from a non-English-speaking culture and thus had raised her with an actual work ethic'."

What exactly is the Unfortunate Implication at work here?
06:18:04 AM Aug 16th 2010
Apparently people from English-speaking cultures felt offended.
09:48:17 AM Aug 16th 2010
edited by Ronfar
02:54:24 AM Aug 19th 2010
Here, let me reword that a little. Tell me if you can spot the unfortunate implications in this version:

"...John Doe, whose parents came from a non-Ebonics-speaking culture and thus had raised him with an actual sense of responsibility to provide for his children..."
06:56:15 AM Aug 24th 2010
I'm not sure suggesting that a particular subculture of a particular racial subgroup is guilty of being lazy parents is comparable to suggesting that the entire English-speaking world is guilty of being lazy students.
07:51:38 AM Aug 24th 2010
They're similarly ridiculous overgeneralisations, no? In fact, I'd say that the second is rather worse.

Also, the whole 'model minority' thing always comes across as disturbingly patronising, if we want to go into why it's Unfortunate Implications again.
01:01:27 PM Aug 26th 2010
Apparently people think Harry is completely flawless and would never stereotype...
03:00:56 PM Nov 30th 2010
jaimeastorga2000, that doesn't quite work; the marked category in this case is the one being praised. Try this: "...John Doe, whose parents came from the Far East and thus had raised him with an actual understanding of mathematics..."
03:43:13 PM Dec 30th 2010
How about the additional fact that a.) we have no evidence the Patils'parents weren't born in England themselves (England has had ethnic Indian minorities for years) and b.) owing to English imperial rule years ago, modern India, particularly every remotely educated area, in fact SPEAKS ENGLISH. Granted, it is now arguably a subdialect with its own accent and quirks owing to years of use by people who also spoke other languages (then again, the same is true of Canadian, American, and Australian English), but it's one of, if not the, standard lingua franca of the subcontinent! And has been for years! How exactly does coming from a culture in which it is a standard second language count as "coming from a non-English-speaking" culture? Has the author never remotely heard of either a lingua franca or bilingualism/multilingualism/polyglots?

'Cause that totally leapt right out at me, just sayin'.
02:19:05 PM Dec 16th 2011
Its Self Depreciation, which in my book gets a free pass because the author also insults himself.
12:06:56 PM Aug 9th 2010
Question: Who removed the CMOA/CMOF entries, and why? They seemed entirely appropriate to me.
12:12:37 PM Aug 9th 2010
They were moved on their separate pages. Click on the little heart, medal or smily face symbols on top of the page.
01:08:45 PM Aug 7th 2010
A quick question.In chapter 37 how did Voldemort get pass the blood wards? or do they dont exist in this story?
01:04:31 PM Aug 8th 2010
I strongly suspect it's not a coincidence that Quirrelmort never entered the actual house itself.
03:32:28 PM Aug 8th 2010
Entirely possible since he mentioned having trouble getting around the wards that he had to make sure he meant no harm to anyone inside while visiting.
04:23:36 PM Aug 9th 2010
weird for some reason i always figured that the wards also protected the front and backyard but now that i think about it nothing should have given that impression. Still I'm not sure just meaning no harm to the people inside would work since someone like Dumbledore and Voldemort would have noticed such an obvious loophole.Besides if the wards worked by intent then Vernon shouldn't have been able to pass either.
06:17:51 PM Aug 9th 2010
True I suppose that's merely a fanon theory and it's never really explained how the wards keep people out in canon so it's heavily up to interpretation. I suppose he must have found some loophole or just overpowered them to some extent, but we'll probably find out eventually.
07:25:46 PM Aug 11th 2010
I am the original poster. What i was actually asking was if the wards are still in the story (have they been mentioned at all?) since so many things are different i wouldn't be surprised if Voldemort attempting to kill Harry played out differently. Also by the looks of things(Harry's scar not hurting when he hangs around Quirrelmort) Harry doesn't have a Horucrux this time around.
08:54:46 PM Aug 11th 2010
Well Quirrel mentions that he had to get around wards of some nature but we're not told what kind they were. It's entirely possible they're normal wards and there are no blood wards or whatever Dumbledore put on the Dursley's in canon. With as much that has changed in the story we'll just have to wait and see if they're touched on or not.
04:48:13 PM Jul 11th 2010
edited by
Eliezer Yudkowsky speaking:

So... that line about Did Not Do The Research hurts a bit. I tried to read the later books after Prisoner Of Azkaban, I just couldn't make my brain to it. The problem might have been that I already knew the plot from having read fanfiction and seen the movie, and that took out the tension. Or it could just be that the series lost whatever mysterious factor made it fun for me personally to read before then. The point is, I tried to read it, and when I couldn't, I read the Harry Potter Wikia and did the research as best I could. I admit that I made a mistake with Snape, and now that I know what it was, and look back at the Wikia entry on him, I don't even know how I got the impression that Snape was Lily's boyfriend... but I did read it and managed to keep the misapprehension anyway. If there's some kind of appropriate trope for that sort of dumb screwup, I guess I deserve it...

But the Did Not Do The Research trope, according to its main page, is for people who could have easily known better and didn't even try to read the manual because they just disrespected the subject matter. And that is seriously not me, and the current page gives the impression that I disrespect the Potterverse too much to bother doing the research, which is seriously not true.

Although it might be illuminating to realize that I'm writing this fic in the Potterverse, not so much because I adored the original books, but because I liked reading Harry Potter fanfiction. That might be the other reason I couldn't read further than Prisoner of Azkaban; I'd read those three books before encountering any fanfiction, but after that, my brain started comparing the children's-book Harry to all the fanfiction for grownups I'd read. With that said, I immensely respect the fact that J. K. Rowling got literally millions of children interested in reading. Writing children's books is a totally different task from writing for grownups. I can't write children's books. And unless this fic turns on millions of adults to rationality, it won't ever be comparable to the real-world literary accomplishment represented by Rowling's Harry Potter. But nonetheless, what I personally ended up enjoying was the universe of Harry Potter fanfiction that came afterward.

(And the reason my big screwup was with respect to revelations made in Deathly Hallows was that a lot of the fanfiction I read was written before then.)
05:30:32 PM Jul 11th 2010
05:08:39 PM Oct 25th 2010
You read Fan Fiction before reading the originals?

Talk about Lonely Dissent...
12:39:52 AM Nov 5th 2010
edited by DocumentN
Personally I find listening to a book in audio format while doing other things to be helpful in that situation, although YMMV.
04:14:24 PM May 28th 2010
edited by
Self Insert denied. This is Eliezer Yudkowsky speaking, I'd consider it inappropriate to edit the main page so I'm adding this remark. Harry is drawing on my skills and intelligence, as does e.g. Professor Quirrell, and he's even drawing to some extent on my ethics and morals, but his personality isn't me as a child or me as an adult, and he makes plenty of mistakes that get him slapped down by reality or other characters. I don't consider "Self Insert" necessarily pejorative, it would be fine if I were writing a character who was an actual AI researcher, but it does bug me if any competent character gets accused of being one. The term "Author Avatar" is clearly inappropriate if you look at the actual page; that's for characters with no role in the plot. Harry also launches into occasional rationality lectures on topics I've previously covered, but that's because this is - unabashedly, deliberately, openly, and with full intent to educate the readers - an Author Tract.

PS: Explanation under Genius Bonus of how to arbitrage Muggle and wizarding gold-to-silver exchange rates is incorrect, see chapter 4 for correct details.
01:13:02 PM May 29th 2010
Fixed, I hope.

And you don't have to worry about editing the main page directly. This is not Wikipedia, after all! We're much more relaxed about that sort of thing, and we have the entire Troper Works section for showing off our own stuff.

Crono DAS on Less Wrong
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