|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| TheoreticalMagicist chapter 22 . 1/21/2011
I discovered your story about four days ago and finished chapter 67 yesterday, which I guess demonstrates better than anything else I could say how much I'm enjoying it. I wanted to show my appreciation, and I picked this chapter so that i could comment on some of the science.
Quite a few reviewers have pointed out Harry's lapse in assuming that wizardry is weakening without really testing it (although partly he may simply be looking for an excuse to demonstrate to Draco that it isn't the fault of mixed bloodlines, rather than actually carrying out a proper peer review standard experiment). Most people seem to have focussed on the fact that rose-tinted spectacles may be responsible for exaggerating the powers of past wizards, but I'd like to point out another reason to doubt the original observation.
At this point I should say that I haven't read the books, so I'm only working from the films and this fanfic, but the only evidence I remember seeing is that Dumbledore (the current most powerful wizard) can't do as much as the four founders of Hogwarts who, in turn, couldn't do as much as Merlin. If there is other evidence, my point might be destroyed, but otherwise, even if we assume that these comparisons are verifiably true, it is not just weak, but non-existent, evidence for wizardry failing.
Presuming (and this is normally a safe bet in reality) that wizards follow some kind of random continuous distribution, then you would expect that at some point in the past, there was a wizard stronger than the current strongest, and at some point further in the past, there was an even stronger wizard than that. Similarly, at some point in the future, there will be a stronger wizard than now, and at a point after that, there will be an even stronger wizard again.
In other words, the weakening of wizardry is entirely consistent with Merlin being stronger than the Hogwarts four being stronger than Dumbledore, but the strengthening of wizardry and the equilibrium of wizardry are equally consistent. True or not, it tells you the square root of, er, not very much. This is the danger of making wide-reaching conclusions on swan colouration based on a cursory study of black ones.
I guess what I'm saying is I'd like to see more explicitly science based chapters like this one so you can explore some issues more thoroughly, but I can understand your focus on less important but more "fashionable" devices such as characterisation and plot (please not, typing fingers in cheek).
I also just want to share an idea I had while reading this for technological use of magic. It's the kind of thing I suspect Harry would get a kick out of, and maybe you will too, if you haven't already thought of it.
It's based on the fact that the invisibility cloak seems to transmit all light through/around whatever it covers, but it also allows the wearer to see out. Therefore, it must in some way create light. This fact can be used quite elegantly to create an infinite power supply.
First, trap some light inside two mirrors (easy enough, hence the existence of lasers). Second, place the invisibility cloak in the path of the light, between the two mirrors. This will not reduce the amount of light passing through at all, but everytime it passes through the cloak, some fraction of the light will be created inside the cloak. Third, place photovoltaic cells inside the cloak. Fourth, sell your free electricity for billions, whilst simultaneously solving poverty, pollution, climate change, and probably a few wars into the bargain.
| Madork Gunna chapter 67 . 1/21/2011
Metal boxes! They are hiding in METAL BOXES! Brilliant as always, I hope that one day I can be at least half as good as you are. Wonderful story, I eagerly await for more. Thank you for these most enjoyable hours of reading.
| Madork Gunna chapter 39 . 1/21/2011
Wow, back up here! Dumbeldore is drumming his fingers on WHAT? Leliel? As in, the angel Leliel from NGE? The sentient wormhole that tries to kill us all? Well, possibly kill us all, I don't know what 'Third Impact' would look like if an Angel initiated... What would happen actually? Never seen the show so I dunno if there is a preset definition or anything. But, I digress. Is or is that not Leliel?
| someone chapter 20 . 1/21/2011
Quirrell likes the space program? Voldemort tried to learn from Muggles?
that makes no sense
| Guy chapter 67 . 1/21/2011
Love it, more please.
Criticism/question: it seems strange when Daphne says "hight" - is that a typo or intentional?
| Forsake chapter 67 . 1/21/2011
First, my cousin has mentioned that he saw a link to a fanfiction about Harry as a son of a professor. I've remembered the title. Oh my, how fortunate it was.
After two weeks the title appeared in my head, out of the blue. And I knew that I HAVE TO read it, as I'm a dedicated fan of every rationally thinking character. Uncle Google showed me this link as the first result. I started reading. All chapters, one by one. You know, I had a very important competition last Monday. And you're evil. I should've known it right away. It HAS TO be a perfect, evil plan if it happens that you have such a masterpiece to read. I should've known better.
But this fanfiction made me spend at least an hour a day in front of a computer with on. That's not the end. I copied some chapters to the .txt file. (Don't worry, I'm not using it anywhere without your permission. It's already a deleted file. Though I would be sooo grateful if I had your permission to try translating it into Polish. It would take me ages, but I would be honoured. Really, no joking.)
And then, these chapters were supposed to be enough to be an entertainment for two days I spent in a train. (Don't ask, our trains are really slow. "Delay may increase or decrease", as you can hear on the station. And in these two days I didn't cross the border. But that's not what I wan to talk about...) Unfortunately, I hadn't thought that I read fast - and even faster when its THE fanfiction. First day, morning - and it was already read. Horrible. My brain wanted more. I was thinking in narration. English narration. Couldn't stop. Just because my brain was still into the text.
So I've finished reading all parts. And I've decided to leave a comment - rare for me. And I've seen a number of comment's pages. More than 7 hundred. "Oh my". I don't know if my comment means anything in the ocean of others...
I won't criticise any plot you've made. It would be of no use. I'm convinced that you have made no mistake and everything I'm wondering about will be cleared in the next parts.
In my language, I'd wish you to break your pen. But probably in English there's no such an idiom - or it means something opposite, if I'm unlucky enough. Saying "many brilliant ideas" would be also inappropriate - you have them already. So I say only "good luck", so that I don't make myself an idiot.
| richard chapter 64 . 1/21/2011
regarding Lord of the Rationality, have you seen Jeff Alexander and Tom Bissell's a href" . "Chomsky and Zinn commentary on LoTR/a?
iOne of the problems with the perspective offered by the Man-Elf coalition is that you have to try so hard to get at the truth of the conflict, at what is really going on; it's so obscured by their propaganda and relentless militarism. /i
| alchymie chapter 67 . 1/20/2011
Harry is indeed becoming the hero and leader that we wish he'd become by the end of Book 7. Thank you for that, if nothing else.
I confess I don't know whether this story will end "happily" or not. There's no reason it should, except that when reading a story of Light vs. Darkness, most readers enjoy it when Light triumphs. Not sure how that can happen, with a Voldemort smart enough to send a Horcrux into space. (Unless, as I suspect, magic is so closely tied to life itself that magic fails in space.)
But I do wonder something that Harry could not, since he doesn't share the readers' knowledge that Quirrell houses Voldemort. A very intelligent Voldemort, one who long ago hid his father's grave so it would be available to him, one who actually plans ahead.
Why is Voldemort teaching at Hogwarts?
In canon, it was for the opportunity to steal the Philosopher's Stone and return to the living again. If the Stone has been mentioned since the Welcoming Feast, I missed it. (Well, when Harry suggested the Dementor was being brought to campus as a distraction, Dumbledore may have been thinking about the Stone then, but the readers don't see what comes of that. We don't _see_ the Stone.) So it doesn't appear Voldemort's at Hogwarts for the Stone.
He could have possessed Quirrell and taught Battle Magic at any time. Why this year?
It must be because this is the first year Harry's at Hogwarts. Harry was out of reach before now. Harry is young; he will never be more vulnerable. One might think Voldemort had planned to finish the job he started at Godric's Hollow (I assume Voldemort still knows that bit of the prophecy which led him to Godric's Hollow in the first place), but the Dark Lord has had ample opportunity to destroy Harry without risk, and he hasn't done so.
So either Voldemort intends to turn Harry - corrupt him while he's young and impressionable (and Hermione would say he's succeeding), and make him a worthy lieutenant to the Dark Lord...
Or Voldemort is studying Harry, biding his time until he _can_ safely destroy him. You've set up the story so that the Bone of the Father and the Flesh of the Servant are now readily at hand... only the Blood of the Enemy remains. For that ritual to work, Harry must consider himself Voldemort's enemy, and the blood must be taken by force. It must be through conflict. And with each battle scenario, Voldemort learns more about how General Chaos thinks; his strengths, his weaknesses. He will be prepared to defeat Harry, when the time comes.
I can't think of any other reason why Voldemort would bother teaching a full year at Hogwarts. And this is a Voldemort who does nothing without a good reason.
It will be interesting to see if my speculations pan out. In any case, thank you once again for what may be the most engrossing HP fanfic I've ever read.
| LancasterianEra chapter 67 . 1/20/2011
OH MY GOD, This is the most amazing story I have EVER read, and the best part of all about it is that all the Science i can actually use. This is some of the good stuff here. I'm telling people about this, it's AWESOME.
| Darkly Dreaming chapter 67 . 1/20/2011
I see that this was last updated a week ago, so I have hope that I may see the end. And that's exactly why I'm not screaming at you to update as soon as possible. ;)
I admit I am confused about certain things that will no doubt be brought to light later, such as Prof. Quirrel's true intentions (indeed, Prof. Quirrel period), and whether or not Harry's actually going to turn Draco away from the Dark Lord. And the whole Bellatrix being tricked or whatever seems *plausible* but not really...likely, I suppose. There are myriad other things I'm confused about, but I'm sure you'll straighten everything out later, so I'll stop pestering you.
| kpm chapter 30 . 1/20/2011
AWESOME! Thank you very much!
| Lihrah chapter 67 . 1/20/2011
Amazing, simply amazing. I'll write a longer and more detailed review once I've had time to completely process and analyze my thoughts. Thank you for writing a fanfiction that educates as well as entertains!
| He Who Rules With an Iron Hoof chapter 67 . 1/20/2011
Harry is annoyed that people think he's a god, the correct term is "God Emperor of Humanism".
| Draic chapter 64 . 1/20/2011
| Re'Lar chapter 9 . 1/20/2011
I loved the song D
This story is great! Well done. No Really, Well. Done.