Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
colah chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
The second scene of this chapter was amazing.

The following are my thoughts regarding how to test between the possibilities and general musings:

- It sounds like Harry is going to assume a nice single gene for magic...

- What has been happening to other magical species? Have Dragons been getting weaker?

- The abundance of magical species are interesting.

- Canon mentions creating magical creatures (eg. Basalisk egg sat on by frog?) which has tremendous implications.

- On the other hand, most species seem to be natural'. The abundance of species means that:

- either magic evolves very easily

- magic would be heavily selected for, at least in humans thus this seems unlikely as the population would dominate

- or the mutation occured early on (blast-ended skrewts are insects and have magic)

- Does the geographic distribution of magic change? Is it easier to cast magic in some areas than others?

- Does using magic make it more difficult to cast magic in an area?

- The premise could be wrong: how do we know that magic has actually been weakening? Glorifying the past is nothing new.

- Has the wizarding world undergone cultural changes promoting having/not having children?

- Are there any examples of the children of powerful wizards?

- Alternate hypotheses:

- exposure at a young age causes magic... cultural change

- magical power is associated with perspective, wizarding culture has changed

- inbreeding

- there's only so much magic to go around: growing population

- the population's belief in magic


In any case, great story. Feel free to use this.
Lord Dragon Claw chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
This version of Hermione is really naieve, isn't she? I know that in a previous chapter you had her think of people either being good or bad, no shades of gray (most children think like that, so it was okay) but the fact that she believes that the magicians who came before, regardless of whether or not they were hacks, are smarter than everyone else simply because they were published.

Being an aspiring author who is husband to another aspiring author... well, we know that isn't exactly true. Christopher Paolini wrote a very derivative series but he knew what would sell. For example, strip Eragon of all the names and Star Wars Episode IV of all of it's names and you have two stories that are almost identical. I know that originality has nothing to do with intelligence, but Mr. Paolini wasn't smart enough to disguise the elements he stole from other things well enough to make them his own. Hadarac Desert? Dune. Eragon? Change the "D" on dragon to the next letter. Also sounds like Aragorn, who also falls in love with an elf princess. Book three has a character who suddenly starts acting like a dictator with no hints in the previous two books to show her going mad with power or anything of the sort.

The list goes on.

Anyway, my original point was that people who are published are not necessarily smarter than those who are not, and Hermione's belief that "if it is printed it is true" irks me, but I do know some people who are kind of like that. Many of them are religious nutjobs.
Hayden Elrics chapter 22 . 6/6/2010
Aaaaaaaaah! Why'd you have to stop?

I favor the house-elf hypothesis meself...


SomeGuyFawkes chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Hermione was very entertaining this chapter, nicely LOL-worthy.
Khadon chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Alright, I'm all caught up now and you get my third review.


This is a great fic. Your characters are original and not just J.K.R.'s put in different situations.

Your plot is interesting, engaging, and above all creative. While reading I actually have to think(this is a good thing).

It's so good I haven't stopped reading since I started and now find myself awake at 2:00am in desperate need of some sleep. I just couldn't stop until I was caught up. You've posted that the next chapter will hopefully be posted tomorrow (or should I say today?) and I'll hope your prediction is accurate. Seriously, I can't wait for more.
The Alec chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Yay, we finally get to the science. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I agree that Harry's scientific method is a little sloppy but considering that he an excitable 11 year old boy I think it is really quite realistic.

I am continuing to love Harry and Hermione's rivalry. Every time you have had the two interact has been pure gold. They are perfect foils for each other.

As for a new summary for the fic I would go with something like:

"As a child prodigy Harry knew that he was destined for great things. Like his adopted father he would dedicate his life to science. Then he got his Hogwarts letter. Now Harry must face a life far darker and more illogical then anything he ever planned for."

I think the most important elements of the summary should be to warn new readers that this Harry will be more intelligent/arrogant than the original and that the fic will be dark in places.
kirb099 chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
Nice up date.

Is there a reason you started to call him "Harry Potter" half way through the story, as opposed to Harry?
ByLanternLight chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This is exciting and fascinating. A real plot like this really could turn Draco to the side of light, even if it turns out that magic isn't fading out. I'd give tis a 6/5.
Kasanra chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
I got chills. Thank you Less Wrong for not making me wait too much for the next chapter.
witowsmp chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
My theory is that the inbreeding of purebloods has weakened their magic. One piece of supporting evidence is that the most powerful wizards like Dumbledore and Voldemort are half-bloods. Of course, like a loyal Death Eater, Dumbledore has protected the secret of Voldemort's origin so that neither Harry nor Draco knows it. (I firmly believe that if Dumbledore had made Riddle's ancestry known, Voldemort wouldn't have had half as many followers.)
TenshiReike chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
With a chapter this good its no surprise it took long to update.
Always-Underrated chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
A very intriguing hypothesis. Magic fading... I wonder why that never occurred to anyone before...

And Harry's 'pronunciation doesn't matter' theory. -snickers- Poor darling; but really, I'm not surprised he was proven wrong. Though I wonder if the reason you have to pronounce the spell exactly as the creator of the spell intended it to be pronounced could have anything to do with said person's magic unintentionally leaving a 'mark' on the spell, sort of like a copy right, so that anyone and their brother can't just waltz up, change the pronunciation on a spell/give it a new name while keeping the result, and then claim it as their own. Though... I guess I'm basing this off of the possibility that you can change the name itself, and not just the pronunciation.

Though really, I don't get how Harry thought he could prove his theory. I mean, it just makes sense to me that if someone tried to cast a spell but mispronounced it, it wouldn't work because whoever created it intended for it to work based on that exact pronunciation and wand movement. Er. Or something.

And this also brings to mind the question: how are spells created in the first place?

I think the answer Harry's looking for lies somewhere in that question.


All of that really made a lot more sense in my head.

All these thoughts running around, not really making sense and refusing to write themselves down coherently... I'm going to have to think about this. Hopefully, I can come up with something interesting. And coherent. But no promises.

Oh, and I found it almost... refreshing for Harry to be wrong about his theory, in that it helped remind me that Harry IS still an 11? year old kid. He's not infallible by any means, despite his beliefs to the contrary.

Amazing chapter, interesting and thought provoking. I can't wait for the next one.
bluepard chapter 22 . 6/5/2010
This fic makes me laugh so much. I really appreciate the characters as they're presented, full of flaws. Someone really needs to tell Harry that humans aren't the only ones who can do magic, don't they?
Khadon chapter 19 . 6/5/2010
Okay, I just had to stop mid chapter to give you credit again for the awesome Valdemar reference.

Mornelithe Falconsbane

Now there was a good name for an evil wizard.
Khadon chapter 18 . 6/5/2010
"And from that day onward, no matter what Hermione tried to tell anyone, it would be an accepted legend of Hogwarts that Harry Potter could make absolutely anything happen by snapping his fingers."

Okay, I just managed to get my laughter under control after two minutes of uncontrolled laughter. Seriously, people were staring and asking if I was ok.

Even rereading that line now makes me start to chuckle again. It's lines like that which elevate a fic from Exceeds Expectations to Outstanding.

I'm going to continue reading the rest now and let it be a forgone conclusion that I'll be eagerly awaiting updates.

P.S. I love how so many characters seem to ACTUALLY be insane.
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