Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
shhIwasn'there chapter 17 . 8/15/2011
just please answer this question before I lose my mind!

what would have happened if harry refused to copy what he had seen on paper-2 on paper-1? or...or refused to do the same thing his future self did? for example, what if he kept both papers instead of sending paper-1 back in time? wouldn't he have been left with two papers? when in reality there was only one? isn't that like a mass materializing out of nothing?

gahhh I'll never understand time travel.
RndmprsnlilY chapter 30 . 8/15/2011
100 points to whichever House you want for the Enders's Game reference P
TwentyTawnyTigers chapter 7 . 8/14/2011
Wow, I don't even have words for what I have just read. You have somehow put into print everything that has ever danced across the edge of my mind, but has been too...complex or better yet abstract and undefinable to string into coherant thought. All I can say is thank you.
TwentyTawnyTigers chapter 5 . 8/14/2011
Oh geeze, that is perhaps the funniest thing I have ever read in a fic. I laughed for so long and at such a high volume that by the time my face reached the tomato red stage my Mom was coming in to check if I was still alive. Perfect! :D
Svenion chapter 72 . 8/14/2011
I actually gave up on this story around chapter 16, but i'm glad i came back to it. i still have no idea where it's heading, but i hope you finish it. Oh, and yes, i was one of those that was up way past when i should have been earlier on. i look forward to the next chapter.
AuthorOfDreamsXVII chapter 2 . 8/14/2011
This is funny! I didn't think I'd find laughs in this one, just big words and inteligence. I can't wait to see what happens next! I like how Harry flipped out when He saw McGonagall turn into a cat, though I would probably react like that too if I was brought up scientifically. But I wonder what else you got in store for us. One Love.
Harouki chapter 5 . 8/14/2011
What...the hell...just happened?

It was hilarious of course...but what?

Excuse me, I need a new gut from the laughter
lieselotte chapter 21 . 8/14/2011
I never managed to get past this chapter. This kind of story just doesn't work for me. I laughed once (at the Khan reference) and maybe smiled twice.

Now it's about two months since I stopped reading and, to be honest, the only thing I remember about the story is the Khan thing.
Taayluur chapter 5 . 8/13/2011
Taayluur chapter 2 . 8/13/2011
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Taayluur chapter 1 . 8/13/2011
Awesome fic... No wonder people call it the best fan fiction ever written
Spaz86 chapter 34 . 8/13/2011
I loved the Enders game reference! I love Orson Scott card! One of the few high school reading I really enjoyed and then pursued after the class subject changed.
Jonathan chapter 72 . 8/13/2011
write more
Guest chapter 1 . 8/13/2011
very good
SparklingSnowfall chapter 72 . 8/13/2011
Please excuse me, I read this all in one sitting and my brain and vision are practically fried.

You may not be interested in the review of an average female. However, it is quite possible that you are conducting an experiment as well as attempting to teach the general public rationalism. In the event that you are gathering statistics from the responses to your story, I have decided to chime in with my much less than highly-educated thoughts. You will need them to have unbiased results.

I have watched one Harry Potter movie and was so unimpressed that I refused to read the books or watch further movies, though some rather well-done fanfiction was pleasant reading. You may find how I happened to stumble upon your fic quite amusing. I was in...Wal-Mart (yes, I'm that low on the socio-economic scale) and a female commented in passing that she liked my Inuyasha T-shirt. A discussion was struck up with her and her male companion. Her male companion avidly suggested, despite my dislike of HP, I should read your story because of the real science involved. He was very enthusiastic. Considering that on my own, I have done everything short of attempting to understand the actual formula's of quantum mechanics, quantum physics, maths above algebra, (I now have a brain injury that can wipe or hide memories and I would probably never reach adequate proficiency) the story was irresistible.

Oh, concerning failing educational systems, you might find it interesting that after sixth grade, not a single one of my math teachers were actually proficient enough to finish a problem on the board. They had not majored in math. I even tried to get help from another teacher who refused after I answered her question of who my teacher was...the Communications teacher. Yes, I had a wonderful time trying to learn math, which I had wanted to do since fourth grade when I saw a book by Isaac Asimov, 'Algebra is for Dummies'. It was a direct challenge. I simply knew I didn't have the background to understand it at that time. Do you know how I learned how to learn rather than memorize? Sleeping in class, which I did in protest. That's when I learned how to do it on my own. Now...why didn't the schools teach me the mental and physical mechanics of how to actually learn? And how did I learn the big picture in algebra? In a dream! Uh yeah, I problem solve there, too.

Ahem, anyway!

I have spent every waking moment reading up the the current chapter 72, Pt. 7. Of course, I will go back and do the studying, though I am familiar with much of the concepts.

Your story is intelligent. Waiting for the next subplot to screw everything up and send out five or ten red herrings is exciting. You made me laugh several times, and I was tempted to tear up a few times. Learning is exciting, and I have learned. Of some things I have been reminded.

Because I am only barely familiar with Harry Potter, it would be nice to have more detailed descriptions of some of the characters. Your choice, of course. It's understandable that you skim those things when you have targeted a strictly HP crowd. Outside of that crowd, however, without enough references, the characters blend together when you begin to introduce many lesser known characters through subplots. It gets even harder to keep them separate when several display lecturing mode.

Science fiction by true scientists is what I find to be the most enlightening reads. You can hear the 'but' coming. There is one thing that I've noticed about scientist authors. Eventually, they all go into professor mode because it is easier than writing a scene that moves. Narration or character dialogue is used as the podium. It can feel stagnating and suffocating to the less than highly-educated, or the less than terribly curious. That can lose you a lot of readers, but then again, they might not be 'useful' to you. I do not know your goals or from what portions of the populace you might need in order to conduct whatever experiment it is possible that you may be conducting, but it is something to drop out there in case it might be helpful to you. Regardless, you have done a good job with the balancing act, but occasionally you do get heavy-handed on the lectures.

You must be very, very careful, LessWrong, to heed your own advice. You have casually, subtly, or perhaps unknowingly slipped in what might appear to you to be well-known 'facts' without having stepped out of the box to consult the 'enemy'. One of Harry's first mistakes. There is nothing like direct observation. Also, don't forget to account for your theories and methods in the actual design of the story. If you screw up there, it reduces your credibility.

I applaud your efforts and hope that you reach a wide spectrum of the masses. This information is desperately needed. Keep teaching people how to learn. Don't let them forget by inundating them with information while forgetting to keep the ground solid beneath there feet. And also realize...your choice of materials will show your own bias - and you do have biases, so don't forget that disclaimer and don't forget to tell people not to just take your word for it, not to just 'trust' you and your choices for them. Encourage them to get out and find information on their own, to find the source materials.

Sigh, you bring back my old desires to be able to read Latin and other important languages, desires to understand the most complex theories of the workings of the universe with the ability to read actual mathematical language.

BTW, I was very impressed with your lessons on losing. Insomnia (all your fault btw), doesn't help me to design diplomatic reviews where I spend pages on the so many things I liked, such as Harry's irreverence. Just be glad I didn't get into child development. *yawns* At some point, you will get a random review from me that will have bits and pieces from many different chapters, the things that affected me most.

Good luck! Bonzai! Etc., etc. _
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