|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| A Fan chapter 61 . 12/3/2010
I suppose I can forgive Mr. Potter for that Azkaban gig as long as McGonagall does, but if he EVER tries ANYTHING like that again I swear I am going to kill him. I'll find a way.
| Tangshou chapter 1 . 12/3/2010
This is my second time through this story. I didn't review much the first time through so you'll be getting 50 more reviews from me over the next month.
This chapter is a great introduction to the series. It does a great job of introducing Harry and contrasting his idea of rationality and science with with his father's, which is what many people think science is. I also like the argument between his mother and father, where she wants him to 'trust her just this once.' That sounds exactly like discussions that one of my professor's has with his wife.
Classic: 'His father was sitting in the living-room and reading a book of higher math to show how smart he was; and his mother was in the kitchen preparing one of his father's favorite dishes to show how loving she was.'
| uo-chou chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
Interesting! I liked it immensely, as I have all of your other chapters. Please keep up the great work!
| steffiii07 chapter 5 . 12/3/2010
I think I love you... just for writing this story, I have never ever lauhed so damn hard at something im reading or loved it so much, I just woke my dad up at 4:25 AM because I was laughing that loud, best storu EVER!
| WisteriaAndHoneysuckle chapter 2 . 12/3/2010
Well done! It's been ages since I've seen a Bayesian updating reference outside of academia and your "plague of giant zebras" made me laugh out loud. An interesting premise so far.
| Vermouth chapter 17 . 12/3/2010
This has got to be the most original yet solid portrayal of Harry I've ever had the pleasure to read. And this chapter has reduced me to tears of laughter, well done!
| Guest chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
So, I was walking around campus today and found a bunch of lovely chalk drawings. In between pictures of smiley faces, spongebob, and trogdor was written "Less Wrong is awesome. "
Seeing that made up for not having any MoR to read, at least a little bit.
| madbrad chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
I'm a sappy HP romantic, but I love Harry's view of Hermione. I fear you'll eventually do the expected twist and have her fail, become corrupted in some way. I hope not. Or if she strays somehow maybe Harry can help pull her back (and vice versa). But there's probably a lot of pressure on an author to have not even one character as simply pure and good, no doubt you have readers pushing at you to be 'complex' or 'realistic'. Sigh.
It's quite amazing how much a (potential) relationship can be, how strongly one can feel for it, when the two characters concerned are fleshed out in such solid detail. Compare this story to the HP canon where Ginny is a cardboard cut-out and Harry a thoroughly stolid and the premiere 'romance' falls completely flat and emotionally lifeless. Versus the substantial relationship that you already have in this story. So much more satisfying to witness the interrelationship of two *thinking* people who think and feel and whose thoughts and feelings are detailed and substantial.
That image of Harry, Hermione and maybe others who can cast a 'true patronus' coming back one day and razing Azkaban to the ground, it continues to captivate me. I do hope to see that one day.
I *loved* the humour you injected into this chapter. '"Molly Weasley against Bellatrix Black? Who does she even think she's kidding' - HA HA HA. Excellent. And Mad-Eye was a nice refreshing spot of humour too. Good show!
Hopefully the auror will make a 'full recovery', it would be sad if Harry's mistake/mission did have any permanent bad repercussions.
On the other hand, Bellatrix being free is no doubt a huge colossal repercussion that's going to come back and bite everyone ...
Thank you so much for continuing to put so much effort into your fan fiction novel. It's thoroughly entertaining. Have a good break!
| Shirotora chan chapter 1 . 12/3/2010
Love the story. It's dark, interesting, and has enough going on to keep the reader interested, if not completely overwhelming him/her. Keep up the great work! I really enjoyed reading it. :)
| rhymz-worange chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
Great reviews of this fanfic were passed from my friend's boyfriend to her, and after she read it, from her to me. Upon reading the first few chapters, I then passed on glowing reviews to another three people who themselves have started reading this. A story this good deserves to be viral! As a scientist, I particularly appreciate the Sorting Hat dilemma- be mediocre and be happy, or contribute as much as you can at the sacrifice of your personal wellbeing? I appreciate Harry's almost irrational fear of the first.
It seems hard to suggest anything to make it better, especially considering that I have never written fiction myself. But as a sci-fi reader, I notice that there are certain similarities between your Harry and Ender from Ender's Game (I did note the reference in the underwater battle scene). So perhaps diverging from the path Orson Scott Card made for Ender in the subsequent novels to Ender's Game would be interesting. Its seemed to me that adult Ender never got over his guilt over the negative consequences of his actions as a powerful and semi-arrogant child prodigy. Will Harry JPEV have the same issues?
Thanks so much for this enjoyable work, I hope you continue writing!
| Zargon chapter 62 . 12/3/2010
I'd also like to note that I really really like that the characters have vastly different strengths and weaknesses, and that it shows not just in what they do, but how they do it.
Most notably, I like McGonagall. She's probably the least cunning of the major players (as evidenced by her plan to verify Harry's time turner, although do I hope time-turners are keyed a specific person, otherwise it would have been ridiculously silly for her not to have used it herself), but I'm pretty sure that if anybody sees through Harry, it will be her, due to her emotional bond with Harry. (Lucius doesn't count, his conclusion is correct, but it's correct for the wrong reasons, and he certainly hasn't seen through Harry)
| Fhyve chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
To references made in the story:
I liked the reference to iocane powder in this chapter
I did not like the reference to death note in an earlier chapter where it is a play that Draco saw.
I like my references to be more subtle, it feels less artificial or breaking of the fourth wall.
Also, a reader below me said something about the characters being slightly off from their canonical counterparts, like when Dumbledore rages at Quirrell for getting Harry beaten up.
Would like to see how the twins pulled off their prank but it seems far enough from plot significance at this point to likely be never revealed.
Would also like to see Hagrid, he was a major part of the canon story.
Would also like to see some low-to-average intelligence characters. I think some people reading this will have trouble relating to most of the characters that get plot significance. Maybe someone that Harry is forced to involve significantly in some plot and must rely on them to make intelligent decisions? Maybe the making of an average rationalist? Does it take a level of intelligence to be a rationalist? Does being a rationalist make you smarter?
OMFG THIS IS THE BEST FANFIC I HAVE EVER READ!
It also beats a lot of ordinary fiction. I certainly learned more from this than I did reading anything in highschool... but that's highschool.
New near-top priority on list of things to do: become a rationalist. Not far below is to get this read by as many people as possible.
Thanks for this. You should consider writing original fiction, I think it has much more of a chance of being widely read and therefore these ideas will be more widely read. It is sort of odd telling people, "OMG I just read this totally awesome HP fanfic! you should read it too!"
| Paraprosdokian chapter 20 . 12/3/2010
I am about to do something which I have never done, which is to give a completely, unabashedly fanboy review of this work. The sparking originality of this storyline is just sheer brilliance, whether I regard it as a stand-alone story or (even more impressively) regarding it as a derivative story in which you are constrained by the rules of another story (ie a fanfiction). As a work of satire, I think I am justified in saying that this is an equal to the work of Douglas Adams (he of the Hitchhiker's Guide) or early Terry Pratchett novels. And it was Terry Pratchett who turned me to the dark path of atheism. As a work of fiction, your skillful navigation of the twists and turns of this plotline is simply masterful. To draw another comparison, such deviousness is matched only by the work of Stephen Moffat (a writer for the new Doctor Who series). What impresses me also is the sheer intelligence which evinces itself from every word you write. It reminds me very much of my favourite book, a Secret History by Donna Tartt.
I say all this, because each of these works I have chosen are my favourite works for those reasons I have cited. So to say that you have matched them is a resounding achievement. Congratulations - or, more to the point, thank you for crafting such a wonderful addition not just to the world of fanfiction, but to the world of fanfiction. As an finance/economics student, I must say that I was particularly fond of chapter 4 on the Efficient Market Hypothesis.
And let me say also, as the founding president of a secular humanist society at university, that you have created a powerfully didactic work that shows the piercing power of rational thought. Thank you again. It makes a mockery of my own attempts to do the same through my blog ( .com)
I think the greatest tribute I can give to you is to offer a critique of your work, but sadly, I am unable to find many flaws.
Firstly, your explanation for the Sorting Hat is flawed (though brilliant) - assuming the Hat was not itself lieing. If the Sorting Hat only has consciousness when placed upon the head of a freshman student, then it cannot possibly have sufficient information to make the statements it makes. Yes, it knows from the minds of later wizard-born students that there was a Lord Voldemort and it knows that it must have once sat upon the head of Lord Voldemort. But, if it does not have the specific memory of sitting upon the head of Lord Voldemort, how can it (to use the language of the scientific method) link the experiment to the result? Therefore, I must conclude that the Sorting Hat must have some way of foreseeing the future path of a student (or of remembering that students' future). Perhaps a psychic link to each student?
Secondly, some characters seem a little off-base in terms of their canon personalities. For example, Dumbledore's reaction to Quirrell's unorthodox methods in this chapter doesn't quite match the restrained face that canon Dumbledore puts to the world. But, I am not a huge HP fan, so perhaps I am wrong on this point.
More usefully, though, for you as a writer. I think what you can take out of this review is the strengths I have highlighted. Obviously, you are fantastic at setting the right atmosphere for your fiction (something I myself am incapable of doing) but those are the things that make your fiction truly stand out.
And that is as far as I get in terms of criticism. Alas, your writing is too brilliant for me to show a more sustained and withering critique as I often do with other works of fiction.
| Konsta chapter 63 . 12/3/2010
...Now that Harry can't use "muggle" technology in battles, maybe he'll start using "muggle" math and science to develop new spells? Could he come up with a power-enhancing ritual similar to something Voldemort used to increase his magic? Knowing Harry, he's probably going to offer that ability to others... (gasp)
... too painful to think about...
Keep 'em coming - can't wait for the next installment. :)
| Konsta chapter 1 . 12/3/2010
Harry should study Arithmancy over the summer. If NEWT level formulas only use "basic trigonometry", then with his Calculus abilities, can you imagine what kind of spells and rituals Harry would be able to create? It's scary to think about...