|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| WaxWings chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
Thanks for the update.
After I read this chapter, I remained a little unsatisfied, and I believe I know why. Consider this bit of, hopefully, helpful criticism.
It seems that Harry's characterization has drifted unnaturally fast. In the begining he was a precocious child, but he was now where near the schemer and manipulator he is now. You previously referenced "Death Note." In the begining of the story I do not believe I would have been able to draw any parrallels between Harry and Light, now however, those parrallels are beginning to develop, and there was no prior indication that Harry might develop in that direction.
Make of that what you will, it was just an initial impression.
The anachronatic pacing of this chapter was an interesting effect and for me served a welcome change of pace.
The title of this chapter, "Hold off on Proposing Solutions," is this supposed to by advice directed at Harry as well? My frustration with Harry right now (and provoking an emotional response from the reader can be a good thing) is that he seems to be pulling his hypothesis about the nature of magic out of thin air. For all he preaches about the proper method of conducting science, he seems to be woefully ignorant of its application. There is not a single honest scientist in the world who, when intrigued by a problem, would not first learn all they could from the literature. Until that point, they would not what questions to ask.
For example, Harry's current theory about the origin of magic would not be valid if he learned that spell development was an active field, and what went into developing a spell. Or if he learned that incantation for the levitation charm was taught as "Wingardium Leviosa" at Hogwarts, but that it varied by region. He doesn't have enough background information yet.
Truly good science is based upon questioning the assumitions that others have made, but Harry still seems to be living in the fantasy that he will be able to swoop into this new world and instantly find success ... through science!
| anon chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
lol I keep thinking about those Chuck Norris sayings when the twins talk about making Harry impossible.
| TD Master chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
There are some problems with Harry's thought pattern in Act 2. He goes on about there not be multiple genes that make up magic, and this making it not complex, which isn't entirely true. After all, if EVERYONE has all the other genes and chromosomes required to do magic, and the one gene that is missing is just the final connection that turns otherwise useful, but not magical, circuitry into magical stuff, you can still have complex stuff, yet one chromosome/gen.
But that's not the real big one. He goes on about understanding magic and how difficult it is, because it's artificial. This doesn't make much rational sense. If magic is artificial, there's a machine or machines (the Earth is large and a sphere after all) that are the source of magic, scientifically trying to master magic is rather useless; because you won't be understanding the underlying laws of physics that govern it; you'd be trying to figure out some people's minds and how they set up their magic machines.
His real, rational goal, should be to find the source(s) of magic, and understand the actual underlying physics. In that case, Harry could build his own source of magic; and shut down the old one. That way, only he, and those he trusts, can wield magic, and everyone else is f'ed! :buwahahaha!:
PS: It would rather imply that any magical creature and plant, are (magically) genetically engineered, which would fit with there being no fossils of predecessors in the fossil record. Also, the fact that you would need certain plants and roots to make the machine(s) / source(S) of magic take notice and do your bidding; makes Magic the biggest and far reaching prank ever perpetrated by anyone of the human species. Hell, the creator, or however set the final settings, might even have been insane:
Person1: "Hey, so and so spell doesn't work anymore!"
Person2: "Yeah, what the hell happened."
Dr. Insano: "Oh, from now on, you need mandrake root to make it work!"
Person1: "Why would we need a funny shaped root to make the machine do the spell!"
Dr. Insano: "No, you need the living breathing with human face and mouth root that screams out its pain as you rip it out of the ground root."
Person2: "That's an old-wives tale, it doesn't actually exist."
Dr. Insano (brings forth pot: "Not anymore!" Yanks the plant out which starts screaming than tosses it to the people, and runs of cackling madly.
| fsdfasefe chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
Lol ! awesome
| Raw Power chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
I -challenge- you to ship Malfoygonnagall. DO IT! For the lulz! For great justice! For empiricism! DU MUSST!
Also, any dates for the next chapter, or do you plan to leave us on a horribly stressful cliffanger for a good while?
| David305 chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
I've been enjoying your very good story.
I (and I assume the other regular readers) have accommodated myself to your rather unorthodox (or perhaps eccentric) habit of putting each chapter's notes on the author page, then eliminating (replacing) them once the next chapter's been posted.
While, obviously, this is your story and you may do as you wish, I feel bad for readers who, for whatever reason, come upon the story late. Some might not discover the story until months or even years from now, and then they will not have the benefit of these expository and illuminating notes. This isn't a typical story, and the complex ideas presented do benefit from some explanation. Where would the harm have been in putting a horizontal line at the end of the chapter, followed by that chapter's notes - so as not to give future readers the feeling of having been left out?
(As you've repeatedly pointed out yourself: Even great scientists can have bad or unworkable ideas.)
At any rate, I hope you have saved all those now-deleted chapter notes; that way you could at least put them in a summary form at the bottom of the final chapter.
Keep it up! cheers,
| SapientissimaAmae chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
Fred and George were just way too much fun to read about! I love how epic feeling this whole business is, even though it is in essence a prank, albeit a purpose-serving one.
| Blackdex chapter 24 . 6/12/2010
So, the pureblood watch tv? note that xanatos is the hero, not that i could argue that, while he is definitly sinister and manipulitive, he is human enough to be worked with, so long as you dont try and work 'around' him, becuase, lets face it, you cant outmanuver xanatos. ciao
| Jaxtopher chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
You sir, rock.
Chapters 24 and 25 were fantastic. Up to your usual high standards. Malfoy's plotting and Potters theorizing both felt like they fleshed out the characters more, as well as providing the interesting rationalist bits the regular readers of the story obviously love. Your versions of the characters are nuanced and interesting, without departing too far from the source material.
In short, give us the next one. _
| Phygmalion chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
This was a brilliant chapter - educational, insightful, and humurous all at the same time. I can't wait to see how the twins hit Rita Skeeter with a prank! It'll be totally AWESOME! Great job, and good luck! Looking forward to the next chapter!
| Kageshimaru chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
I love the discombobulation used for story telling purposes. As ever I can't wait for the next chapter.
| Morbious20 chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
Brilliant I have a feeling I'm going to end up having to read the last couple of chapters 50 times before I completely understand them and or what's truly happening in them, although if I do manage it it'll probably create the apocolypse so maybe I'll just admit defeat and keep reading . Keep up the amasing work and post again soon.
| AngelForm chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
Odd order, no doubt building up to something.
Missing part three I note. Wonder what Draco had to say.
Loved act 1 by the way.
| Wanderer-Brown-Sheep chapter 25 . 6/12/2010
You broke my brain a few times here. Sufficient enough to make me pause and actively work at it. There are times when I completely understand and other times where I pause and move on to another thing for a while until my mind has spiraled towards comprehension. So I congratulate you on writing such a story. I am both fascinated and weary.
| Morbious20 chapter 24 . 6/12/2010
Great chapter I gotta go read number 25 now .