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Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality

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ArcanGenth Geekling from Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
Mar 12th 2012 at 12:22:57 PM

Hurry up Thursday!

TamH70 Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Mar 12th 2012 at 12:26:19 PM

Is it worth waiting until this sequence has been finished before downloading the chapters? I have other stuff to read in the mean time.

Mar 12th 2012 at 1:04:19 PM

My copypasta ramblings from XKCD.

I smell Lucius' influence in Hermione's arrest. A(n) accusation like that doesn't... seem like Draco's style at this point. Plus his initial plan was to keep the duel private, a probe of Hermione's strength. More likely, the duel was lost or indecisive, Draco asks his father how to proceed, the issue is a serious enough infringement on Malfoy House's honor to prompt Lucius' intervention, with Draco going along to save face with his father. Unless Hermione actually did try to kill Draco, which would be rather more interesting.

:EDIT: Actually...

"a Auror trio?" Hermione said in a strange bright voice. "Why, I wonder what they'd be doing here."

Huh. So Hermione wasn't surprised at the trio's' presence, which implies there was some mediation on Draco's part. Or he attempted to intimidate her, then his father actually carried out the threats. Or Hermione actually did something illegal, and was aware it was illegal.

edited 12th Mar '12 1:10:06 PM by AlexRose

Mar 12th 2012 at 1:13:46 PM

I wouldn't put it past Hermione to report it anonymously, but I think it's more likely someone pieced it together after the fact, and badly since I can't imagine her attempting and failing. When it comes to thinking things through poorly, the names Goyle and Crabbe come first to mind though really almost any first year could have misfigured out what happened and reported it.

edited 12th Mar '12 1:14:18 PM by anotherblackhat

TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 12th 2012 at 1:15:42 PM Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Mar 13th 2012 at 12:25:02 AM

The highest probability is that she dropped him off at madam palfreys in remarkably bad shape. And didnt comment on it at all, because the terms of the challenge prohibited her from doing so. Which would rather imply that the duel was impressively onesided, as she appears completely unscratched.

alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher from ňa
Shadowed Philosopher
Mar 13th 2012 at 1:24:05 AM

Well. If that's the case, then it would take a truly remarkable leap of logic to get to 'attempted murder charge'. Assault charge, maybe, but if someone is dropping someone else off at the hospital, then you'd imagine that they aren't actively trying to kill them at the time.

Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 13th 2012 at 3:05:03 AM

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
loserthree loser from Seattle
Mar 13th 2012 at 6:04:01 AM

" I would recommend rereading chapters 14, 21, 26, 35, 43-47, 56-57, 63, 66, 73-77..."

Edit: "I forgot to include Ch. 40 on the previous list of chapters to reread..."

This is clearly worth cataloging. I'm spoiler-gaurding this but frankly if you haven't read these chapters what the fuck are you doing this deep in this particular thread?

Chapter 14: The Unknown and the Unknowable

HJPEV tells Mc Gonagall about the message for Slytherin's Heir, refuses point-based reward, receives Time Turner, freaks the fuck out about receiving a time machine to treat his sleep disorder, has another 'you turned into a cat' moment, receives invisibility cloak from unknown person, learns what getting lost in Hogwarts entails, pranks himself, learns "There was something wrong with Harry Potter."

Chapter 21: Rationalization

Hermione deludes herself about why she likes beating HJPEV, chooses love, displays knowledge of Planning Fallacy, claims her prize; HJPEV creeps it up with Draco, claims Hermione as his own, traps Draco with promises of power, mentions that Draco should test the strength of muggleborn magic personally, agrees that human sacrifice is easier than changing his mind, establishes tradition of secrecy in the magical sciences, establishes Bayesian Conspiracy, receives a book, advice, and petty cash from 'Santa Claus,' receives 12-candle cake from twins, hears "HE COMES-' prophecy, summarizes the first 21 chapters for us, and writes home.

Chapter 26: Noticing Confusion

Quirrell dishes a Take That on cannon, lowers room temperatures, thoughtfully tortures inkwell to death, concedes that remedial education for mugleborn students is worthwhile damage control, and is cheered up; HJPEV learns the results of his proxy-prank on Rita Skeeter, is permitted to see uncommon expressions on Quirrell's face, takes a papercut that this reader once thought might have left Quirrell with a drop of his blood, becomes frustrated when Quirrell claims to have figured the prank out and refuses to share, is thwarted and dismayed at the bank, realizes what he did to Skeeter, is forced to say some things contrary to his good nature, and receives Roger Bacon's stolen diary; Quirrell foreshadows knowing where the Resurrection Stone is and kills Skeeter.

Chapter 35: Coordination Problems

HJPEV stares down Quirrell in a dispute over government models, Blaise Zabini meets Quirrel's eyes, while lying, while possessing knowledge of Mr. Hat-and-Cloak, and tells Quirrell and the hidden HJPEV that Dumbledore sent bullies after his cousin; Quirrell sells the story of Dumbledore's plotting and tells HJPEV that Dumbledore is "insane pretending to be sane pretending to be insane," then telegraphs his additional meeting to the reader; HJPEV demonstrates a preference for Heroic Sacrifice and shows the reader his allegiance to the muggles, not the magic; Mr. Hat-and-Cloak checks in on Blaise, uses the phrase "Salazar Slytherin would have keyed his monster into the ancient wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself" which is almost repeated by Quirrell in chapter 49, "some entity which Salazar Slytherin keyed into his wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself," and wipes himself from Blaise's memories; Mc Gonagall tries to talk to Hermione about reasonable safety concerns and what good girls should be up to, fails; HJPEV uses ham-fisted reverse psychology on Draco, succeeds, and confesses his unnatural love for Quirrell.

Chapter 40: Pretending to be Wise

Quirrell lectures HJPEV on becoming vulnerable to Let's You And Him Fight (which is tragically a trope that diverges from the original meaning of the phrase and so is not linked here), answers some questions about the afterlife, lowers room temperatures, makes a joke with two of his favorite words as the punchline, learns that he already knows where the Resurrection Stone is (despite having _just_ _told_ HJPEV that he should be careful when sharing information), drops a hint regarding his (modestly successful) quest for immortality, and runs off to steal a Deathly Hallow which he has almost certainly possessed since that very afternoon.

Chapter 43-47: Humanism & Personhood Theory

Dumbledore thinks Dementor Day is part of a cunning plan; Quirrell wins a bet against Dumbledore with an unknown prize; Hermione and HJPEV want to Patronus, but cannot, and so they both embarass themselves and logically enough end up kissing after HJPEV experiences a memory a human brain could not contain and explores Utilitarianism; HJPEV explains his position on death, symbolically kills it while the author reveals the nature of Dementors, then refuses to tell anyone else how it's done; Quirrell punningly says that he does not mind being called a Death Eater, which is surprising considering what he did to the last person we know of who made that accusation, identifies Dumbledore as the most attractive target in all of Hogwarts, calls HJPEV on Confirmation Bias, and elicits a Top Five Hiding Places list from HJPEV, which turns out to be 'riddle' of some sort (or just another opportunity to pun his name in); HJPEV sends Hermione a How To (Symbolically) Defeat Death pamphlet, and figures some things out about his "I Was an Infant Honeypot" origin story, or so he thinks; Draco Patronuses, realizes that HJPEV is a Slytherin, hears about the insidious evils of discrimination, tells HJPEV about Dumbledore's evil deeds, the two boys talk about their dead mothers and bond under starlight; snakes briefly appear sentient

Chapter 56: The Stanford Prison Experiment, Constrained Optimization & Constrained Cognition

HJPEV lies to Mc Gonagall; Dumbledore's Patronus can hunt; HJPEV dominates Bella, his dark side, his invisibility cloak, and a handful of Dementors, he hides from Dumbledore and transfigures some impressive things

Chapter 63: The Stanford Prison Experiment, Aftermaths

HJPEV & Hermione talk about what Phoenixes are for; HJPEV trusts Draco with a letter form Lucius; Neville does not get the support he might have expected from HJPEV in his proposed vengeance on Bella; Lesath Lestrange pledges himself to HJPEV, fails; Amelia Bones learns that someone was looking out for her people, draws the wrong conclusions in entirely an understandable fashion; Dumbledore tells the twins not to let HJPEV out of Hogwarts for any reason, appears successful; Moody supplies some of the best not-quite internal monologue in the whole fic while he and Snape punk the wrong bones; HJPEV muses on the nature and consequences of dishonesty and other depressing things related to human nature, then gets all mortal and human with Hermione, but not _that_ way; Santa Claus strikes again; Sybill Trelawney speaks prophesies we are not told.

Chapter 66: Self Actualization

HJPEV cares about what Draco and Hermione think of him, tells Quirrell so; Hermione hears that HJPEV and Neville have been hanging with Edward and learning to be hardcore; HJPEV and Neville are hanging with Edward and learning to be hardcore.

Chapter 73-77: Self Actualization and Sunk Costs

It's an adventure. Lots of things happen. It's all too close to be sure of what parts are hints about what, except for Mr. Hat-and-Cloak, who we are to understand is most certainly Quirrell, hitting Hermione with a dictionary attack and turning her into someone less useful to HJPEV, I guess.


  • time travel
  • unknown ex-cloak-possessor who says the cloak itself wanted to return to HJPEV and references history repeating itself
  • what is wrong with HJPEV


  • Hermione rationalizes
  • HJPEV claims Hermione in front of Draco and threatens harm to any who'd do her harm
  • unknown ex-cloak-possessor appears to possess incomplete information


  • the big damn prank
  • the Resurrection Stone
  • Roger Bacon's diary


  • Quirrell wouldn't leave Blaise's mind unread while Blaise lied to him, so knows about Mr. Hat-and-Cloak
  • Quirrell runs off after Blaise, then Blaise meets Mr. Hat-and-Cloak
  • Quirrell _is_ Mr. Hat-and-Cloak. We're supposed to get this.


  • Lucius is a gun pointed at whomever he thinks threatens his son.
  • You got that part where You-Know-Damn-Well-Who has the fucking Resurrection Stone now, didn't you?
  • It's possible we should find and compare all the times the narrator comments on the things cooling down. This _could_ be some Sixth Sense shit, you know?


  • Hermione's feelings for HJPEV?
  • What was everyone else to on Dementor Day?
  • The hiding places and how HJPEV guessed them?
  • There's a lot of material here, but I don't understand what of it is related to chapter 78


  • How to fuck with Dementors?
  • Dumbledore's Patronus can ID HJPEV's Patronus?
  • Again, I don't understand how this relates to chapter 78


  • There are probable clues in every Santa Claus letter that we're supposed to make sense out of now or soon
  • There's another prophesy, but once again it's kept from the readers
  • Just who was meant to hear that prophesy, anyway?
  • What role, if any, did Lesath play in the Bully arc?


  • Almost certainly the clue here is that HJPEV values Hermione and Draco's regard for him, and Quirrell means to change that


  • Mr. Hat-and-Cloak asks Hermione important questions and gives out important details in the asking
  • Mr. Hat-and-Cloak might almost have justified his opinion of HJPEV based on time travel, maybe

edited 16th Mar '12 4:09:55 AM by loserthree

TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 13th 2012 at 9:01:29 AM

Mr. Hat And Cloak kind of sucks at understanding genuinely good people, or at least people who don't share his particular sense of cool.

Also, I was right about Hat & Cloak all along! Sometimes the obvious answer is the right one!

edited 13th Mar '12 9:01:42 AM by TheHandle

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Mar 13th 2012 at 10:20:11 AM

The last scene of the chapter is. Gah, I am so very unsure what actually went down in that trophy room, because quite a few scenarios are compatible with Hermonies behavior. She was expecting the arrest. Was she expecting that specific charge? If so she and malfoy are definately up to something, but if she was merely expecting an asssault charge....

Sessalisk from Wheeeeeeeee
Mar 13th 2012 at 11:42:56 AM

  • ignores the rest of the chapter*

Omg! Potionmaking was discussed! And the story finally got back to the whole law of conservation of energy/mass! My life is complete and my faith in this story has been restored! :D

That was wonderful. grin

Caaan anybody find me... Somebody to ♠
moocow1452 The Web Wanderer from The Internet
The Web Wanderer
Mar 13th 2012 at 12:18:01 PM

Wish I didn't think of this right when a new chapter popped up, but I would have been interested how Methods!Harry's first year would have been if he was held back a year and was foiled against Luna Lovegood, mostly because everyone in the Methodsverse seems to either want to eat out of Harry's hand or bend him to their ideals. To have a support that doesn't really give a damn about the boy who lived or rationality would probably spur Harry into interesting directions, and would blow a major hole in Lesswrongers not being able to poke fun at themselves.

My webzone.
TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 13th 2012 at 1:51:29 PM

Lesswrongers not being able to poke fun at themselves

Actually we can, and we do, just don't ask us to laugh at bad jokes.

edited 13th Mar '12 1:52:00 PM by TheHandle

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
loserthree loser from Seattle
Mar 13th 2012 at 2:48:13 PM

In the end scene of 78, Hermione is acting normal again because Mr. Hat-and-Cloak, no doubt in the guise of Ms. Floating-Pretty-Lady, has gone back in and cleaned herself out of Hermione's memory, just like he wrapped things up with Blaise.

In 77, when Hermione asks Mr. Hat-and-Cloak his name he answers with a damn pun, again.

I am still puzzled about how a few of those catch-up chapters relate to 78, but I suspect we are meant to figure out who Santa Claus is. Unlike Mr. Hat-and-Cloak, I find neither telegraphed relationships, common phrases, nor puns.

It may be time to list everything we know about Santa Claus.

TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 13th 2012 at 3:09:03 PM

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Mar 13th 2012 at 3:16:46 PM

That doesnt work - she is fairly clearly expecting the aurors. If Hat and cloak had wiped his final conversation, and only that, then her subsequent actions would make very little sense to her, which would increase her level of freaked outness, not lower it. If he wiped the conversation and everything since the conversation, she would be calm until she saw a daily prophet or other indicator of what the date was, but she would not be expecting the aurors. Possible mindstates: She has rejected the words of hat and cloak for whatever reason, and is playing some longer game with her new best slytherin friend.

The duel turned into sufficiently of a clusterfuck that she is now wholly onboard with Hat and Cloaks pitch - thus not conflicted. Aurors are expected because she left him in a bad state. Dont like this one, but it is possible.

The duel got interrupted by one of the gazillion other plots floating around hogwarts. Hermonie isnt so much calm as "And next, I expect an invasion from outer space. I give up". Very unlikely for her character.

There was no duel, because she arrived to find him mostly dead, and she can spot a setup when she sees one. Calm because this at least clarifies who the bad guys are not.

"Things not occured to me yet". Large number of scenarios, here.

edited 13th Mar '12 3:19:05 PM by Izeinsummer

Shinziril Compulsive Researcher from the internet
Compulsive Researcher
Mar 13th 2012 at 8:24:14 PM

Theory: Draco was intending the duel to be a test of Hermione's abilities. If he won, he would have tried to repeat it in public, as soon as possible. Given that he does not seem to have done so, we can presume he did not win. In such a case, he would have to come up with some other way to deal with her. Conveniently, due to the terms of the duel, having any witnesses to what happened during said duel would have been illegal. As such, it is his word against Hermione's as to what happened during that duel, and we have already seen that Draco knows perfectly well that he and/or his father basically own the courts, and can fool Veritaserum if necessary.

As such, falsely accusing Hermione of attempted murder would seem to be one possible way of dealing with her.

It is interesting to note the effects of Hat and Cloak's manipulations on the relationships here. Draco was, in fact, not plotting against Hermione until she beat him in public, so to him her accusation seems completely unexpected and offensive (this is of course despite the fact that literally everyone else in the school had the same opinion- humans can be like that). On Hermione's side, she seemed to be giving him the benefit of the doubt (in accordance with her generally nice nature and Harry's advice) up until Hat and Cloak made her suspicious . . . and the first thing Draco does after the confrontation is to start doing terrible things to her. Given that she seemed to anticipate the arrival of the Auror trio, it's entirely possible (if my above theory is correct) that when she beat Draco in the duel, he informed her that he was going to falsely accuse her and that there wouldn't be anything she could do about it. Not only is this sort of thing likely to eliminate any developing friendliness between the two, it could even weaken her relationship with Harry (he's the one who told her Draco might actually be being straight with her, after all, opposed by basically everyone else in the school).

If we wanted to use this as a point of triangulation towards Hat and Cloak's identity, we could ask who would benefit from destroying Hermione and Draco's relationship and possibly weakening Hermione and Harry's relationship. I'm not sure who this might be at the moment . . . any ideas?

edited 13th Mar '12 8:35:55 PM by Shinziril

loserthree loser from Seattle
Mar 13th 2012 at 10:14:38 PM

Izeinsummer, it works just fine. When Blaise stumbled after leaving his last conversation Mr. Hat-and-Cloak he still remembered the battle and still remembered all the plotting that made him a quadruple agent. But he did not remember ever talking with Mr. Hat-and-Cloak. Mr. Hat-and-Cloak starts that conversation with "Report." so we know that Blaise remembers his previous conversations with Mr. Hat-and-Cloak at that time.

Likewise, now that Mr. Hat-and-Cloak has gotten results out of his work with Hermione he has removed from her mind all memories of their conversations. But he did not remove any memories of the days in between or the things she did.

When Snape obliviated Rianne Felthorne at the end of Chapter 76 he filled in not only reasons why she was in that cavern and had that gem, but reasons for her to hide the fact that she had found it. Likewise we are meant to understand that Hermione remembers what she has done publicly, as Blaise does, and had new, false reasons for doing the things she has done, as Rianne has.

We have evidence that obliviate and memory charms can pick and choose memories from at least the recent past.

Shinziril, Mr. Hat-and-Cloak is Quirrell, who is also Voldemort in some meaningful fashion. We know this because the author wants us to know this and so had left us some rather obvious clues that you can find in previous posts. But I'll put them here, anyway. Quirrell and Mr. Hat-and-cloak use the same phrase to describe the way Slytherin's Monster could kill within Hogwarts. Quirrell runs off in a specific direction and Mr. Hat-and-Cloak shows up in that direction very shortly thereafter. All of Mr. Hat-and-Cloak's actions benefit Quirrell's goal of isolating HJPEV.

These tidbits weren't thrown in the story arbitrarily, the author meant us to understand something from them. When, in the past, the author has found that a bit of text was misleading his readers, he has changed that text. The author has not changed these bits of text, and so we may have some confidence that they are not misleading us.

Mar 14th 2012 at 12:28:00 AM

That works for blaize, because none of blaizes plotting suddenly stops making sense when you remove hat and cloak. His internal state still looks consistent to him, because adding in one more pole to his plotting was a fairly minor change. Hermonie is not equivalent. In her case, what the last couple of weeks would look like is "I lost a night, and then got completely hostile to Malfoy and very stressed". Which would send her screaming to madam palfrey instantly.

.. are there any defenses against memory charms? Other than "Become an occulmentis" because given the byzantine plotting that goes on, defending the integrity of your mind from magical interference seems quite direly needed.

Hmm.. If Hermonie is plotting with Malfoy, presumably the goal is to establish her as sufficently scary that Malfoy the elder (and house Slytherin in general) will accept him allying with her. Trouncing an attempted murder rap against him in the courts might accomplish that. I mean, at least, hooking up with a girl charged with attempting to kill him establishes that he has nerves of steel.

edited 14th Mar '12 4:20:24 AM by Izeinsummer

loserthree loser from Seattle
Mar 14th 2012 at 1:09:09 AM

Izeinsummer, everyone else accepts that she is stressed because of how her anti-bully project shaped out. She might accept that without having her mind tinkered with, and is almost certain to do so after said tinkering.

Everyone else also accepts that Draco is plotting against her. As far as anyone but HJPEV and Draco knows, Draco has _no_ plausible deniability. HJPEV hasn't told and hasn't been mind-read; Draco _can't_ tell without ruining his life and we're to assume that no one with access to Draco would dare to read Draco's mind. So Hermione will find very few people encouraging her to doubt that Draco was scheming against her, and then there's the tinkering.

Losing a night is even easier. I can't count the number of times I've blacked out while drunk and didn't know until someone told me something I didn't remember. The brain assumes the brain is working properly, doesn't examine itself to closely without prompting, and fills in blanks with plausible events whenever possible.Getting bored and going to bed early, for example, is weighted more plausible than blacking out in brain-ranking. Also, tinker-tinker.

Shinziril Compulsive Researcher from the internet
Compulsive Researcher
Mar 14th 2012 at 10:07:37 AM

Well, yes, I do remember people talking about the hints towards Hat and Cloak's identity that you mentioned in those spoilers, Loserthree. I think I was just a bit paranoid about coming to conclusions . . . perhaps I've been reading too much Homestuck. EY doesn't troll quite that hard.

Your mentioned motive does make sense.

Bluelantern2814 Mage of Life-Breath-Doom
Mage of Life-Breath-Doom
Mar 15th 2012 at 8:05:20 PM

So.... latest chapter.... broke my ability to especulate .__.

"Here to welcome our new golden-eyed overlords," said Addy promptly.
Mar 15th 2012 at 9:34:38 PM

See, this is where I call bullshit on the people who say HPJEV is "amoral" or stuff like that. The boy is spending all of his advantages, putting forward all of the aces he kept on his sleeve, for the sake of his friends. I cannot stress how impressive that is, coming from such a cautious man.

Bluelantern2814 Mage of Life-Breath-Doom
Mage of Life-Breath-Doom
Mar 15th 2012 at 9:47:37 PM

[up]What kind of people say that Harry is amoral???

"Here to welcome our new golden-eyed overlords," said Addy promptly.