Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
ds862 chapter 4 . 7/7/2011
Hahahaha... this story is HILARIOUS! You put so much effort into writing this... I adore this Harry (AND his parents!). As a science teacher myself (though my brain tends to prefer the biology side of nerdery, rather than the mathematical/physics side), I can completely understand and respect this Harry Potter and I'm already comparing him to several brilliant students I've had over the last 7 years of my teaching.

... back to reading. And laughing. (the galleons to sickles thing was amazing.. I also wondered about the conversion that Harry thought was silly)
BobH-199 chapter 72 . 7/7/2011
What can I say really? I've loved this series since it came out and finally signed up with fanfic just to be able to review it since that's the plea of the Author.

Love the series, love the (many, many) concept(s) in it. But, unfortunately, am loving it less and less.

A shame really. The first 5 to 10 chapters or so had me laughing so hard I almost peed myself at times. Others, like Harry visiting Hermione's parents and the killing of the first Dementor, were *deeply* satisfying without the laughing part. But ever since about the visit to the Dementor guarded Prison (can't think of the spelling) the writing seems to have a lot *less* of the satisfying parts (the laughing ones *or* the other kinds). I don't know if Eli has just written himself into a corner or is struggling to "teach" more of what he wants to say but he does seem to be having a lot less fun with it than at the beginning. Don't know.

Still worth it.
asdsd chapter 72 . 7/7/2011
I'm new to fanfiction in general. I used to intentionally avoid it, but after reading a synopsis of this, I knew that I had to read it. And now, a week later, I am at the end of an amazing story and can't wait for more. This is everything I could have wanted out of a fanfiction, and it will definitely have me checking out other stories until the next chapter of this is released. The only thing I am disappointed in is that now I have to wait for each chapter instead of reading 72 chapters back to back! I should have known I'd get to this point eventually, especially after it has happened with a few other online fiction books I've read, but I am sad nonetheless.
Sarcasm Dragon chapter 64 . 7/7/2011
How interesting that your author's note at the beginning mentioned 5 hours past bed time and then the 404 error. It was 4:04 in the morning when I read that. Spooky.

I've enjoyed every bit of this story. Some of it has been really brilliant, and the rest, at the least entertaining.

The surprising thing to me is that you've had all of this occurring while Harry is still in year one. Feels like this should at least be year 3.
RougeAngleOfSatin chapter 72 . 7/7/2011
I would say that this story deserves to be the most reviewed HP fanfic on the web.

There is just so much to reccomed it-where to start? It's not just a fanfic, it's a carefully constructed dissection of Harry Potter characters, and it also attempts to dissect the very way humans think. It goes against JK Rowlings original work in a few places, but I honestly find that it was totally necessary.

And Professor Quirell- CHARACTER INTERPRETATION EVER.

As an agnostic, I'm one of those annoying people caught somewhere between science and spiritualism/fantasy, and as this is a blend of both I like it a great deal.
WhenasInSilks chapter 72 . 7/7/2011
I don't know how I can possibly praise this story enough. This was recommended me by a friend, and I approached with a certain amount of trepidation (yeah, it would be great if Harry was actually intelligent, ha ha, but how good could it really be?). But this has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable books (of any kind) I have read in quite a long time. The humor opposed to the human drama, the strong characterization, the deep philosophical and moral questions, the enlightenment philosophy - all of it is fantastic. I've certainly been inspired to look into rationality. Please, please keep writing.
Ollyis Gonzalin chapter 1 . 7/6/2011
Pre-review: I cannot guarantee that you will ever find my Mid-reviews or Post-Review (they will be written, though), but here is my opinion and the inclinations I have felt on your story before I have even read a single letter in your tale.

Something gives me the impression that you are exceptional at writing, it may be the referral I got to read the story, or it may be the sheer amount of effort you appear to have put into the story. Regardless, I think that this will be a very enjoyable read.

Sincerely, Ollyis Gonzalin
Onuey chapter 2 . 7/6/2011
McGonagall Is Amazing! Love it.
humans are tasty chapter 72 . 7/6/2011
I wonder whether the author realizes that his "reasons" for slow updates are just excuses. I guess it's a bit ironic that even one of the champions of rationality succumbs to rationalizations. "For it is a sad rule that whenever you are most in need of your

art as a rationalist, that is when you are most likely to forget it."
Joel chapter 25 . 7/6/2011
I wish you would stop trying to explain the genetics. It is really getting difficult to read. You are clearly not a geneticist. For instance:

"If magic had been like that, a big complex adaptation with lots of necessary genes, then a wizard mating with a Muggle would have resulted in a child with only half those parts and half the machine wouldn't do much. And so there would have been no Muggleborns, ever. Even if all the pieces had individually gotten into the Muggle gene pool, they'd never reassemble all in one place to form a wizard."

I think you are completely neglecting not only positive selection, but many other genetic mechanisms in these explanations (such as meiotic drive and others). Its getting tiresome to read genetic explanations that do not conform to what we know about genetics at all. You state that all this science is correct. It is not. Furthermore the proof offered in favor of mendelian inheritance is not a large enough sample, is anecdotal, and does not even consider the underlying DNA sequence in its assumptions. This pattern can be explained by a number of other (equally likely) possibilities which you did not consider. Therefore, it is not the most probable explanation. It is a convenient one. These are key assumptions that cannot be overlooked when studying genetics. I hope this does not continue. Again, these oversights are making your character extremely inconsistent and it is becoming difficult to keep reading.
Joel chapter 24 . 7/6/2011
Hi Less Wrong,

I am so far enjoying this story quite a bit. As a scientist, it is fun to think of the combination of science and magic. It's funny though, compared to the other ways of scientific thinking your Harry has demonstrated, his explanation of genetics was rather awful. In the context of the story, I understood that Harry was merely trying to teach Draco about DNA. It was a total departure from your earlier character though. The main thing was that Harry ascribed the passing on of paternal/maternal copy of DNA to luck. I don't think any geneticist or evolutionary biologist worth their salt thinks that genes get passed on by luck, particularly one so putatively advantageous as magic. Especially when Dumbledore and Harry both admitted that the universe functions according to laws, and that just because we didn't understand them doesn't mean they don't exist. Furthermore, I think the real question is not how magic is transmitted (mendelian or otherwise). Rather, I think the real question is why do non-magic people still exist? Magic seemingly offers a competitive advantage in every single possible scenario. However, Muggles are in the vast majority. Therefore, being a muggle must confer profound benefits to be able to resist the competition presented by Magical people. Also, I think this offers a more challenging argument to Malfoy's general perspective than simply disproving the decay of magic. It is rather akin to the question of how sex persists in the presence of asexual competitors. If you would like more reading on this, I suggest John Maynard Smith's The Evolution of Sex. Given that your Harry is a self-proclaimed genius, I would have thought he show more advanced understanding of evolution than a high school kid. Other than that, I really enjoy reading this story. I hope you don't take my criticism negatively, just that Harry seemed a little inconsistent when investigating magical genetics compared to his earlier planning. I am excited to read the rest of this!

Thank you!
The Defense Professor chapter 72 . 7/6/2011
This fic is pretty fucking awesome
Alex chapter 23 . 7/6/2011
Two flaws in the conclusion invalidating the blood hypothesis:

One, the evidence which supports the prediction of the single-gene hypothesis, which is that 25% of children born to Squibs would be wizards, is statistically weak. A one-proportion z-test returns a roughly two-thirds chance that this proportion is true for the population (the sample size of 28 is just about large enough to assume a roughly normal distribution).

Two, the prediction of 25%, if true, does not invalidate the blood hypothesis. What it does do is provide support for a "master switch," which determines whether someone's magic is on or off, as Harry predicted. What it does not do is disprove the existence of genes which do not code for the presence or absence of magic, but rather its strength, which may or may not be diluted by intermarriage with Muggleborns and Squibs.

Further, given that so many physical realities which Harry considers fundamentally true are being disproven, he should consider that blood may not be synonymous with DNA. Perhaps there are elements to heritability which have not been observed by Muggle instruments which dictate the presence and strength of magic that do not follow Mendellian inheritance. As a character and a scientist, Harry is being hypocritical by failing to accept the possibility of the unknown.
Frostyvale chapter 72 . 7/6/2011
Yay! The consequences of character development!
Wandering Airhead chapter 63 . 7/6/2011
I can't really review on the whole fic in one review, since it's just too long for that. You have a really great style, compromising some great humour with a serious general plot. There were various points that weren't up to that standard, but I can't really recall even a fraction of them at this point. The worst part of the story so far was the aftermath for Harry Potter in this chapter, which proved plainly boring at some point. The same effect and the same content could be described using half the number of words, and it would work much, much better. But then again, it's pretty much the only point in the story that I can really call boring or bad.

The thing I'm a bit concerned about is the pace of the story. I mean you wrote 400k words and you didn't even reach the end of first year. I am impressed how you managed to fit all this development into a single year, where Harry still has hardly any magical power, but I can't quite stop thinking of stories as having some kind of end. You mentioned it's supposed to be like a TV drama, but at the rate it's going now I can't help but fear that you will never get to the really juicy parts.
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