|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Gnasher chapter 77 . 9/7/2011
This kinda creeped me out. But hey, Snape is a pretty creepy guy so it's not that different . . . . . um . . . yeah.
| shhIwasn'there chapter 77 . 9/7/2011
Rianne Felthorne seems to be the only person in this entire story that I can identify with.
wow a chapter with no Harry in it. that was a much awaited break, no rationality here. just human confusion.
I was reading William James' 'The Will to Believe' last night, and every other paragraph I kept wondering what would your Harry think about it all. He has sorta become my role model. it just makes me feel pathetic that he is just 11 and knows so much more than me. I really hope there are no children like that around in the real world.
| Simplex chapter 77 . 9/7/2011
Looking forward to the next chapter, hopefully a week from now with any luck.
Mikko - Pleasant coincidence, i recently finished reading a pile of Egan books, at the (somewhat indirect) recommendation of Yudkowsky. ( - The author is mentioned somewhere in there, and i really do recommend his books for everyone who doesn't mind a bit of good sci-fi).
It was rather touching to see Snape not having to worry about his image, and being more 'himself', however much of a meaning that concept would have to an accomplished legilimens.
I was also rather disturbed when i realised what was happening to poor Hermione (the sense of fatigue in her fingers was what gave it away for me), one can only hope she's observant enough to notice the disparity between her memories and her aching muscles.
| sizuka2 chapter 76 . 9/7/2011
A few thoughts about the identity of Mr. Hat and Cloak. The clear suspect is Quirrellmort, who is certainly capable of it, and may desire a deniable pseudonym. The actions taken don't line up neatly, yet: an allegation to Quirrell, with Harry watching invisibly, of Dumbledore endorsing bullying to pressure Zabini set a wedge between Dumbledore and either Harry or Quirrell. The attempt to gain Hermione's trust has no purpose visible - yet. Two others are capable - Snape and Dumbledore. Dumbledore only makes sense if we assume he's pretending to be crazy and thinking in stories - both of which are true - but arranging for Zabini to betray Dumbledore to Dumbledore is exotic, even for a man who would set a chicken on fire.
Snape - Snape is a real possibility. He uses memory charms extensively in this arc - to cover up his presence at the battle wherein Tracey channeled dread powers, to cover up the pipeline through which he provided Hermione with intel about bullies. Snape is "moving on his own," to quote Quirrell, and surely needs anonymity from both Quirrell AND Dumbledore more than anyone when doing that. And... perhaps he really does want to help Hermione. Dumbledore believed Potter had set Quirrell to protect SPHEW, invisibly... false, until the last, though Dumbledore was certain that no first year could have achieved the results they did (and yes, he specifically references a duel before Tonks joins in). But if Snape were doing that all along... perhaps this is what he would like to do, if unchained from memories of Lily. He does hate bullies after all. And, with Millicent's outing, who else has just lost their channel for communicating with Hermione, and stands in need of a new one? Looking at the evidence, Snape seems most likely.
And still,I keep wondering about a long shot. Hat and Cloak is always and repeatedly described as... black. And if that prisoner indeed was not Sirius... perhaps, just perhaps...Black.
| dayum chapter 77 . 9/7/2011
that was some poignant sh*t
loved that scene
| Mikko Rauhala chapter 77 . 9/7/2011
Okay, so I couldn't help but be disappointed in the shortness. That was, until I read it. At which point, well. Awwwww. Snape with the shields down. Wonderful.
Also, nice to touch upon Obliviation's nature as a local death (for the benefit of other readers, term from Greg Egan for losing a part of your continuity, generally mitigated by having a backup).
To continue on Chapter 76, uhh. Yeah, I did see the Groundhog attack for what it was, and figured that we're not seeing all the rounds, but. I'm not sure if you added the stuff about Hermie being assaulted at least for hours after I read it first time to clarify it, or if I merely missed it altogether the first time I read it (classifying the rather strong hints as mood-creating aura effects of Mr. Hat and then forgetting about them). But yeah, the extent just makes the already rather creepy attack that much creepier.
Mr. Hat being Quirrel would be the obvious choice, so I doubt it's that simple. He doesn't seem to be quite so cunning either. Still possible, though.
I've earlier speculated about Quirrel actually being a personality amalgam of Quirrel and Voldemort, merged on a deeper level than in canon. I'll elaborate: Mr. Hat is pure Voldemort (Hermie would probably recognize him from having seen pictures), roaming separated from Quirrel. The process by which they merged leaves Quirrel a bit ... drooly when there's only him around (possibly as side effect also at other times to conserve strength).
And to retouch on my pet redemption theory, Voldie by himself isn't redeemable, but the Quirrelmort amalgam is. Just add more binding.
'course, I've been rather wrong before, and this is somewhat spesific as speculation goes, so I'm not overly confident on this. (I _feel_ confident about it, but much of that is recognizable as pro-redemption bias, so, meh.)
| ByLanternLight chapter 77 . 9/7/2011
I think I might cry a bit, now.
Poor Snape, trying in his own way to be a hero and save Slytherin from itself.
| J chapter 77 . 9/7/2011
"But why is Hermione not in this chapter?"
| Math and Chaos chapter 77 . 9/6/2011
Okay. That resolved part of the bullies plot I'd been guessing at for a while.
But why is Hermione not in this chapter?
I'm worried about her, dammit. I think I understand the ellipses now, and am consequently really disturbed.
Ah well. Next week, hopefully.
| bakapervert chapter 77 . 9/6/2011
Thanks for the update.
| Mavarax chapter 77 . 9/6/2011
So Harry, Draco, Dumbles, SQuirrel, Snape, M.I.S.P and possibly Hermione are all plotting. Hogwarts is going to blow up in a few weeks now I think.
| KickAir 8P chapter 77 . 9/6/2011
Retcon, obliviation, whatever-you-call-it - it's a particularly nasty form of death.
Is Snape's enunciation of the prophecy supposed to sound German? If so, that'd be a clue . . .
| VFR6 chapter 77 . 9/6/2011
Hmm, I know I'm not the only one who notice this Fridge Logic, but Snape is still a virgin? Lol!
| timunderwood9 chapter 77 . 9/6/2011
I really need to read things more closely. Or more specifically I need to notice when I'm confused and pause to figure it out. On the other hand generally in fiction my attitude is sort of like, I'll figure it out eventually and I'm not reading for the puzzle, but the jokes, or fluff or whatever.
On the other hand after I was told there was a puzzle there to be solved, it was both obvious and fun. Obliviation.
Seriously though I feel a need at some point soon to reread through the whole Self Actualization sequence, and try to carefully think about the ideas embedded here. Its fun if nothing else as a trigger for my own thinking, for example trying to get what it is like to be Dumbledore in the previous chapter.
| saintjimmy84 chapter 77 . 9/6/2011
I wanted to thank you for writing this story. It bounces back and forth between extremes - sometimes hilarious and other times heartbreaking, sometimes suspenseful and other times serene. Sometimes it weighs heavy on the mind for days afterwards (like, for example, the discussion of the lonely hero in the last few chapters) and other times it's a brilliant way to sit down and escape from the vexing troubles of the day. No matter what extreme it's at, though, it's a joy to read in the way that all the best stories are.
One thing you do that I haven't seen in any (and this is not exaggeration in the slightest) other FanFiction since I started browsing in 2002 is you present an honest, true clash of ideals.
Every other fanfic I've read, even the best, has either had a sort of muted, cookie cutter approach to their ideological clashes or has avoided them altogether. Many fall into the straw man fallacy, building up the ideals of one character by turning their opponents into crude caricatures of what they should be. Some elaborate brilliantly on one central theme but without any sort of disagreement or conflict between the characters.
You've taken several characters in this story (Malfoy, Harry, Dumbledore and Quirrel, to name just a few) and woven real, honest thought into the words that compose them. Their ideals are real and human and persuasive and deeply felt, and I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with them, alternately cheering them on in their moments of glory and cursing them when they're being petty. It's almost like interacting with a real human being (and in a sense it is real, since it's just the readers interacting with you, the author.) You paint them with both virtues and flaws, and with enough grace that oftentimes it's difficult to tell the two apart and the reader is forced to choose for themselves who is right instead of being spoon-fed the author's philosophy.
I don't mean to gush too much - I'm walking a fine line here between an honest review and simple, empty flattery. I'm not sure if you've written fiction before but it seems to me that you have a wealth of experience under your belt when it comes to speaking truths, and that's perhaps the mark of the best fiction-that the author spins an imaginary world to share their truths, and the truths shared lend the imaginary world substance and weight until the readers have trouble splitting the author's world and their own apart. I know that I carry a bit of your characters with me when I leave the computer. Thanks for the good read.