|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Jim chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
You did it, sir. Great two chapters, excellent battle sequence, though the humor has been on the wane for some time. You score points for plot and ingenuity though. Hope you enjoyed your stay at Oxford!
| braindoll chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
I find it disappointing that Sunshine does nothing at all interesting with the compasses. My plan would be:
Split Sunshine into three nearly-equal groups, with one of them having one more soldier. The smaller ones get one compass each, and first go a short distance in a random direction not directly towards either other army, then go into action to attack the army they can "see". As soon as Dragon army is sighted, one person runs the Dragon compass back to the larger group, by retracing steps. (If corridors have physically moved, that person immediately turns around and goes back to join their contingent). The larger one just stays put in defensive formation. If the Dragon compass comes back (or the Chaos compass, after the first "largest contingent" of Chaos was defeated), they move to attack. Also, if either the anti-Dragon or the anti-Chaos contingent hears a dragon/chaos battle, they remain hidden if possible for some time to allow their sister regiment time to move into place and to allow beneficial attrition of the battle to proceed, before attacking. They do NOT wait for the battle to end completely, though, since they want to see some example of tactics.
Given the Chaos and Dragon strategies shown here, this would probably have resulted in a Sunshine win. Harry and Neville would easily have trounced the largest Sunshine contingent, and then proceeded back to the larger battle; but the other two Sunshine contingents would have seen the Chaos/Dragon battle and benefitted from Draco's insight, then mopped up the surviving Chaos forces, and would have been ready to easily take on Harry and Neville.
Another nice trick would be to have a the largest group find a place where they can post a sentry within earshot but not within vision, and immediately split up (making the enemy compasses jump to another Sunshine contingent) as soon as the sentry sights the enemy. If the enemy follows the bearing to the previous location of the largest group, that enemy can be attacked from two sides or avoided (if the sentry had sent word that the enemy had clear numerical superiority).
| Violintide chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
Good lord, I had made it to the mid-
30s then lost track of this story, and a comment from someone I recced it to reminded me to come back and see what was new.. Just spent 2 days rereading the whole thing and I am completely flabbergasted at how you've managed to sustain not only such a great plot but also such creativity, speed, and skill. I can't wait to read more! (And you're awakening memories of lots of vaguely-recalled research studies and causal reasoning classes.. Rare that a fic inspires me to go back and look at old textbooks!)
| Delma chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
One of our lectures at university mentioned your work in a pedagogic science seminary on anchored learning(stuff like sesame street). And says you show that these things also work on adults.
It took me a while to find it though, as he wrote "Eliezer Yudikovski" on the blackboard...
| braindoll chapter 66 . 1/14/2011
Annoying comma-splice, could easily be a period: "A few moments later, Hermione was walking back to her place at the table with a sweet smile plastered onto her young face, it wasn't the terrible cold glare of Harry's dark side but it was the scariest face she knew how to make."
Also: Draco would certainly say that Azkaban was stupid. But would Hermione say it was evil? I think she'd basically just agree with Draco. (Although Draco thinks the plan is stupid because it's not rationally self-serving to be manipulated for unknown ends, and Hermione thinks the plan is stupid because it's not rationally good to do so. But "not rationally good" is not the same as "evil", even for Hermione.)
OK, I guess that Hermione might say that Azkaban plan is unacceptably arrogant in assuming to understand consequences better than elders, and that such arrogance is one road to becoming evil. She might also say the same thing about Harry's "true and original reason" for agreeing to the plan (as stated in chapter 63). Because even that reason - essentially, misguided Gryffindor - is not in itself evil, just a possible road to evil.
So it's probably asking too much, but I would think that this would be better if the sentence were "...make girl-child friend think I am becoming evil..."
| The Fuzy Llama chapter 8 . 1/14/2011
If I could favorite this story five times, I would. No, make that ten times. Plus the hard work and effort to convince friends, acquaintances, and family to do the same. Kudos! It's hard to find a story that makes me laugh as much as this one has and yet at the same time is intelligently written and has so many things for me to type into google. I've never seen a fanfiction (and scarely ever a book) that presents the argument of science so convincingly.
| Swurt chapter 65 . 1/14/2011
Great follow up to the big events and consequences of azkaban.
I wonder if or when Harry will stop letting himself get lead around by Quirrelmort. It's good drama for sure... Quirrelmort makes good cases, it's just that Harry lets Quirrelmort tell him what to think about. You are mixing things up, with stating Harry is taking step away and actually showing that step away, which I like. Some sort of conflict is inevitable, and I'm glad you're hinting at what may come.
Your break was well spent. Very high quality chapter. Don't make this a job and spend as much time on this fiction as you want! I get nerd chills thinking some enlightened conspiracy figure is giggling over combining Harry Potter fanfiction and meta-thinking. No giggling and the image just doesn't gel.
As always, your fiction is one of the best (perhaps the best?) I have ever read. I have read much fanfiction and my memory is foggy. I have a feeling people will be talking about your work for a long time if fanfiction sticks around.
Gold Leader, over and out.
| m chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
Yay Daphne! I was afraid her role in endgame will be only coincidental, but things are looking up.
Please tell me Voldemort won't get a Death Star!
| Gogolu chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
| Shadowhawke chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
These battle chapters are *so fun!*. You must have a ball writing them. :D I certainly have a ball reading them. It is also absolutely, absolutely amazing to finally see Harry (potentially!) working his way towards winning one! Have to say, as much as I enjoyed the way the other battles went I was always rooting for the dear old protag, heh.
What can I say? As always, greatly enjoying all the insane and awesome and touching aspects of this story. Thanks again. :)
| Shadowhawke chapter 66 . 1/14/2011
Great to see Harry thinking things through! (Yes, I know, the irony). It's amazing how many things you say in this fic that make inherent sense, that can be gleaned as important life lessons. Heh. Also loved the little snippet at the end, can't wait to press 'Next'! Thanks for writing and sharing even though you're so busy. Really enjoying it.
| Yqael chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
I just wanted to mention that I love your Hogwarts. Your depiction of the castle itself, that is. It's ever-changing, vast, mysterious, and seemingly unlearnable. Canon Hogwarts seemed to be not quite massive enough sometimes, since I recall times when characters had difficulty finding empty classrooms, unused spaces, and characters were able to seek or run into others a little too easily. You've effectively used elements and ideas from the canon version (moving staircases, secret passages, direction-giving portraits, etc) to create something much more complex, with entire unused levels that exist to be explored. It brings back memories of my own childhood imaginings of infinitely explorable castles with labyrinthine architectures. It's wonderfully done.
| Paganimagus chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
Its sad, and great really, how I keep on underestimating YOU.
| fotherington chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
Every time I think this story can't get better, it does. Lightsabers, indeed! And flying. And robes. I can understand no force lightning, but landspeeder chases on brooms through the corridor next? I think we need cameos of the teachers watching the action via the wards, too - Pomfrey, Dumbledore and Quirrell at least must be monitoring everything very carefully. And I should think all the others would be watching it for the prestige the students might bring to their House, or for pure amusement. If there's not a betting pool going on (run by Sinistra, as the closest thing to a mathematician?), I'd be amazed.
| richard chapter 67 . 1/14/2011
By the Power!
I know that strange little shop, just off Cornmarket.
Please, please go to the History of Science museum, next to the Bodleian courtyard - look for John Dee's Holy Table; a procedural method for deriving the names of demons. Also the Pitt Rivers museum in the back of the University museum, a treasure chest of shrunken heads, votive silver spleens and Japanese armour. And the print room at the Taylorian/Ashmolean, where they have an original edition of Piranesi's Carceri. And Ben's Cookies in the covered market.
Man, I wish I was there.
Review! I see what you're doing, with battles in place of Quidditch, and it's better but I'd like to see you mix it up again (maybe you will), blurring the boundaries between battle world and the rest of the school world, showing how artificial battles are imperfect training...
So I guess Quirrell never said actual duelling curses were against the rules? Stupefy strikes me as massively physically destructive in canon (to the point where I can't figure out how it's supposed to be a "stunning" spell: it seems often to be more effective to knock over a statue/break a window next to the target with it) and when McGonagal gets hit by multiple ones it gets labeled as highly dangerous when used properly - I imagine there will be words, or revisions to the rules, after this.
As soon as I saw the compasses I figured someone would game them: I'm delighted that you've created a setting here where that sort of reader communication works. I would love to see more development of Hermione, though. I even think that the end-of-year hiatus could be an excellent place for a focus shift, from Harry to other characters. Maybe we're seeing that? And I'm loving the Chaucerian courtship discussion going on in Daphne's head, barely disguising her power calculations - those wizards, so medieval, so political, in so many ways. Are we going to start to see not only how (Wizard) Britain doesn't get rationalists, but also how rationalists don't get their environment, in certain crucial ways?