Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
mikewj93 chapter 45 . 4/24
well. that happened.
ack1308 chapter 45 . 4/7
Okay. Did not expect that.

Bet the Dementor didn't either.
httpkirby chapter 45 . 3/19
I had to do a fist-pump into the air for Harry. That was epic.
Liberonscien chapter 45 . 1/29
I cried tears of joy and sadness near the end. I loved it.
Bregenor chapter 45 . 1/1
Let me begin by saying for the most part reading this work of yours has been an absolute joy. Learning about the methods of rational thought, the way humans interact etc. etc. through the world of Harry Potter has been better than any rollercoaster could ever be. I rate media on three different aspects, in descending importance; Elevate, Educate, and Entertain. You have excelled so well at both Educating and Entertaining that it even was a bit Elevating (or inspiring one might say). That said, I have finally been disappointed.

It took you over 700 pages and almost forty five chapters but you finally failed. I was about to say that the Methods of Rationality failed you but that is incorrect. Rather, your understanding of them failed. You see you fail to be able to imagine, much less consider, the ideas of an experiment that gives results only to the person experimenting. As if something can only be real if it is observed by more than one person at once.

Death is not what is at the center of a Dementor, and the fact that you have the boldness to declare it so, in such a blatant fashion, in what "could have been" one of the greatest works of literature I have ever read, shows you have a severe lacking of understanding of the original work from which it has been written.
The natural question is of course "Well, if Death isn't what is at the center of a Dementor what is?" (I would possibly add a sarcastic "Hmmm?" At the end but hopefully you ask with some sincerity)

Let me start with a quote.

"God is the most rational being in the universe and humans are only irrational because they know so little."

That which lies at the center of a Dementor is the Unknown. Our Fear is merely a Reflection upon it. Death is merely one face of the Unknown, though a common one to fear, which is why so many people see dead family members etc. when cornered by a Dementor (or a boggart at that). All our fears of course come from our imagination. Even if a fear has real weight to it, as in someone is pointing a gun at me and I feel a fear of death, I must first be able to IMAGINE myself getting hit by the bullet, to draw my last breath to...as almost all would at such a moment...imagine never being able to see my loved ones again. I MUST be able to imagine that before I can feel fear. If I cannot imagine something I cannot fear it.

That is the first reason your portrayal of Death being the singular center of a Dementor is wrong.
It's simply wrong.

The second is Harry's reaction or response to it. He rejects Death. I cannot BELIEVE you did that. DID YOU EVEN READ THE HARRY POTTER SERIES OR DID YOU ONLY READ THE SYNOBSIS ON WIKIPEDIA? By rejecting Death he is rejecting what he fears, in other words he is running away! THAT IS NOT HOW YOU DEAL WITH FEAR! Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to face it! HEAD ON. How could you mess that up? (I'm sorry, I really don't want to sound condensending it's just I'm so doidkdjjdjeikskekjeje disappointed). I thought everyone understood that, that's fear and courage basics.

But the hits didn't stop coming there, you didn't just mess something up in your narrative you messed it up and then GAVE IT POWER. HARRY KILLS AN UNKILLABLE DEMENTOR WITH IT!

I had been hoping until that moment that despite you messing up it wouldn't cause any fundamental damage to the narrative. Nail in the coffin. Last.

So for someone whose knowledge of the field of rationality I deeply respect allow me to remind you of something you should know but have likely forgotten.

We know almost nothing.

By rationality there is literally only one thing we can actually know for sure, with out any doubts. And that is only what we are experiencing right now in the instant of the present. That is the only thing we can be 100% sure of. Note that I said experiencing, not what is actually happening. Because to know every other thing with 100% certainty, we would HAVE to know everything else, all of it. In other words we would have to be God (Omniscient or "All-knowing"). So in an existence where we know practically nothing but by necessity we must act as if we know everything how do we get by? Well, we rationalize, we experiment, we get statistics but most importantly;

We have Faith.

And that is what is at the center of every Patronus. That is what is at the center of Courage. That is what, when we face the darkness and start imagining all that could go wrong allows us to instead see all that could go right.

I understand there are around eighty more chapters, but I'm afraid now that it has reverted to a simple fan fiction I probably won't end up reading them. It's sad really, as it could have equaled, if not exceeded, it's source.
Jatok chapter 45 . 11/15/2016
Hmm, how does how a spell is said affect it if wandless and soundless magic exists? Curious.
melissa chapter 45 . 9/2/2016
I shed tears... this is so far the BEST CHAPTER. I love you... this chapter is so very epic.
The Anguished One chapter 45 . 6/21/2016
Wow. I'm guessing whoever rigged Harry to be exposed to the Dementor for that long hadn't expected this outcome.
Guest chapter 45 . 6/2/2016
Well then. That turned out better than expected. My only annoyance is a disagreement with Harry's base argument but that can be put aside for now.
Guest chapter 45 . 5/29/2016
This made me cry.
You are an incredible writer and I had intended to comment a while ago how it is amazing how well you imitate jk Rowling's style, and how clearly articulated your ideas are, and how maturely the whole thing is written. But this chapter was especially special.
Thank you so much.

-Momo 3
SirMandokarla chapter 45 . 3/15/2016
It's very sad to realize Hermione's fear of Dementors and her eventual fate.

On another note, Harry is an amazingly arrogant person, even beyond what is usually evident about him. The idea that somebody would denounce the inevitability of death, it's almost galling, especially given the Manifest Destiny he seems to envision for humanity among the stars. I'm with the Dementor here: give up, your fate is determined, no matter how you feel about the eventuality, whether it be as Dumbledore or as Harry, or that everybody simply ceases, and that's fine, too.

Is this all stuff real people believe? That humanity can surpass death? In this universe, I mean. I've definitely known at least one person (of questionable mental health) who believes we might transcend our physical forms within a generation or two. Timeline aside, the idea is still preposterous.
Guest chapter 45 . 3/11/2016
Ahhhh ANOTHER VICTORY FOR HARRY POTTER
Guest chapter 45 . 1/31/2016
Nice.
Montara chapter 45 . 1/23/2016
Wow! He did it! He destroyed the dementor!
Qwerty chapter 45 . 12/11/2015
JESUS CHRIST THAT WAS SO FRICKING AMAZING!

ARRRRAAAAGHHHHHH!

SKWHCHFUEIWJSJD!KAKMDMSJ!

:,D
Kaylin881 chapter 45 . 12/10/2015
I think I've figured it out. How Quirrell's going to do it. He makes it so the Snitch both DOES AND DOES NOT count in Quidditch. Then, Ravenclaw wins if it doesn't count, and Slytherin wins if it does. Or the other way round. What do you think? (If I'm wrong, don't tell me what it actually is, just that I'm wrong.)
WatchingTheWatchman chapter 45 . 12/7/2015
Gorgeous chapter. There's really nothing more I can say; this is an incredible chapter.
ShadowLDrago chapter 45 . 10/20/2015
Harry, destroyed, a Dementor, with a homo sapeins corporeal Expecto Patronum. Impressive. Most impressive.
Zyxis chapter 45 . 8/16/2015
This was awesome. One of the best moments I've seen in this fanfic and I loved every second of it. I couldn't stop reading, which is why I forgot to review last chapter. Sorry about that. I actually predicted what his Patronus would be.
kabs chapter 45 . 7/12/2015
WHOOO!
n-khotomos chapter 45 . 7/10/2015
It's always truly wonderful when someone conveys the love of life in words. Thanks
deathless.smile chapter 45 . 6/15/2015
Sigh. You truly struck me this time. Your work is awe-inspiring, and deserves to be published. Harry is truly wise for one of his age. Death, huh. I don't think it's a wound in the world, though. I think, it's like darkness. Without it, we cannot define life, just as there is no light without darkness. I LOVE THIS STORY! :D
PA chapter 45 . 5/20/2015
Oh sh-!
Berlin chapter 45 . 5/16/2015
OH MY COD
G Roelofs chapter 45 . 4/30/2015
Glorious!

This chapter is one of the crown jewels of the entire book; the book itself is equal to the best of Rowling's series and arguably is better than the first three or four books. In no way do I mean to diminish her accomplishments in creating the world, the characters, and the canonical story in the first place, but Yudkowsky's retake absolutely deserves to sit on the shelf next to the Seven as their peer. I've read a _lot_ of fantasy and science fiction over the past four decades, and rarely have I been this impressed. Bravo!
Anonymouse chapter 45 . 4/22/2015
Just re-reading this, and I'd forgotten how wonderful this chapter is - the perfect answer to the bovine placidity of Dumbledore (in this fiction) and all those ridiculous people (in real life) who just accept death as inevitable. Although I hope to live long enough to see a world where death is optional rather than compulsory I recognise that may not, but the last couple of paragraphs of this chapter give me great comfort that there are others in this world who believe as I do, and give me hope that one day our species will transcend this.
HgSpartan chapter 45 . 3/31/2015
To me it sounds as if the Dementors are a question. Not a reflection of death. They are a question of uncertainty. The fear a child has for the dark. The fear of the unknown. That is what humans are most afraid of after all. What is? Time and time again humans have lashed out at the unknown because they are afraid. I think Dementors are simply the quintessence of the question that is life. In a way death may not be a wrong answer from my point of view either. As death is the greatest question humans have been asked.
Village-Mystic chapter 45 . 3/26/2015
Wow. Cool. He did it or nearly did it. Great twist on the image of humanity that doesn't fear death.
poteau chapter 45 . 3/20/2015
Bullshit. Someone told me that you are not even a "proper" scientiest, but why, you have the common arrogance of some scientists who think mankind will eventually defeat death. At the very least, give this chapter its proper name. What Harry is believing in is called transhumanism, not humanism. And seeing that transhumanism is completely against the theme of original HP series...
MagiKKal chapter 45 . 3/3/2015
HOLY CRAP. I could kiss you.

THIS IS TEAR-WORTHY.

This.

Is.

Amazing.
Anon chapter 45 . 3/2/2015
This was literally the most awesome combination of words I have ever ingested. Ever.

I actually read that twice, then went ahead and played the instrumental version of Radioactive (Imagine Dragons), and then read it a third time.

I had tears in my eyes.

I cannot overstate how perfectly that aligned with my own views on human progress and on death.

Tl;dr, that was AWESOME.
Guest chapter 45 . 2/24/2015
SkepticRecursion THANK YOU
SkepticRecursion chapter 45 . 2/16/2015
I'm sorry, faith in humanism-or perhaps humanism itself-is the one true light that can extinguish the fear inherent in the human condition? No one has had such great belief in eternal life, such certainty in the eternal nature of the human soul, that they could overcome the fear of death to see the dementor in its true form, let alone destroy it? Deep down, no matter what religion or philosophy guides them, no matter how serene they may outwardly appear to be, literally everyone who's encountered a dementor (and by analogy, everyone who isn't the product of enlightened scientific reason) has secretly feared death? Yet an eleven year old was able to face down and destroy this primal human trait through the magic of faith in science and mankind's intergalactic manifest destiny? That's cranking up the arrogant sense of the infallibility of one's own beliefs to Dawkins-esque levels. Not everyone who defies death is a glorious champion of scientific reason, and there are more ways to overcome a fear of death than a single philosophy. I'm largely a fan of what I've read so far, but this chapter manages to be both preachy and so heavy handed in its use of metaphors that it left bruises.
tymofey chapter 45 . 2/2/2015
*Slow clapping*
philharmony chapter 45 . 12/31/2014
Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhh! I want to be the most enthusiastic reviewer! I wish it to be so!
YOU chapter 45 . 12/31/2014
I know it's just a story, but Harry's determination gives me hope that someday the phenomenon known as Death really WILL be ended...
Guest chapter 45 . 12/27/2014
Mary-Sue can do no wrong
wisety chapter 45 . 11/20/2014
Harry sees the dementors as representing death, and the solution: that one day humanity will discover the means to prevent their own demise, both individually and as a species, and thus progress toward the infinite in space, time, intelligence, etc.

I was moved by this idea, for it is core to my (non-humanist) beliefs, and I wished then that I could get in contact with Eliezer and converse with him on the subject, for there is more that I would like to ask him, and some things I would like to tell him about:

Most Christians believe in the resurrection, but they don't always know WHY they believe in it. Lately I've been considering with my friends the question of whether death is good or bad. One very wise friend describes death as an aspect of chaos, which he equates with evil. It makes sense, then, that Christ was given power over death - power to reverse it and, in the end, to destroy it.

Harry proceeds to destroy the dementor by means of the idea that death is not, in fact, inevitable, but that he himself (or those who follow) will one day displace death entirely. The idea that Harry Potter could do what was impossible for other wizards, by his advanced intelligence, reflects upon his character as the Boy-Who-Lived, which in turn is a literary reflection of Christ. I think that both Eliezer and J. K. Rowling have hit upon various aspects of His character, and of man's connection to Him. Where Harry comes from a scientific family to the wizarding world, Christ comes from Heaven to earth, and from a mortal family he returns to his immortal Father. Two sets of parents - sound familiar?

I started out thinking: Well, Harry's human, so this author can't make him so powerful so fast - Harry needs to learn humility and patience. But then I realized that humility is sometimes mistaken for powerlessness, instead of as simply recognizing the source of your power. Harry gets to have godlike intelligence because he is the main character, and it's fun to write about a powerful character. But this truth holds as well: that true principles give people power that seems impossible until you understand them, and these principles can be learned by anyone. God is God because he is "more intelligent than they all." Man is lowly because he sometimes acts on false principles.
M chapter 45 . 10/24/2014
I love the subtle miscommunication between HJPEV and PQ here about throwing the dementor into the sun. Definitely the kind of thing that makes rereading more enjoyable.

I still don't get the whole sense of doom thing though, unless the author is just lamp shading the whole turban-scar pain thing from the canon. I think there was even an omake about that. What the heck does a sense of doom even feel like, anyway? And HJPEV has this mysterious and very bad feeling that is very noticably and obviously inversely proportional to his distance from the defense professor, and he just... ignores it? Seems out of character.
DAMEIPHANTOMHIVE chapter 45 . 9/23/2014
HOLY CRAP!1
Anastasoula chapter 45 . 8/30/2014
Oh my goood, OH MY GOOOD!
The human being thing was such a good idea... This story... *mentally tears up*
thepkrmgc chapter 45 . 8/2/2014
**** YEA!: Go Harry and the power of his unadulterated faith in the human race! this chapter is the best character development so far and has more pure awesome badass triumph then all the other fics ive read put togeather
Dustubuni chapter 45 . 7/27/2014
Yep. Harry is officially a Mary-Sue now.
SamusOlderBrother chapter 45 . 7/21/2014
I read this chapter every couple of months. Because it makes me feel better.
Anonymouse chapter 45 . 7/7/2014
Like another reviewer of this chapter, I am one of Heinlein's children, and I have to say there is something of Heinlein about you - not perhaps in the way you write, but in the power of your ideas.

I always love reading this chapter, because its sentiments are so very true. And, as always with your writing, there is a clear disjunction between the humanist reviewers, who understand what you're saying, and the Dumbledores, with their elegant explanations of the value and inevitability of death. I suppose we can console ourselves with the thought that over time even the smallest-minded can learn.

You're an excellent advocate for transhumanism.
silverrain-shiningsun chapter 45 . 5/21/2014
It is a common misconception, thought Harry, that all the best rationalists are Sorted into Ravenclaw, leaving none for other Houses. This is not so; being Sorted into Ravenclaw indicates that your strongest virtue is curiosity, wondering and desiring to know the true answer. And this is not the only virtue a rationalist needs. Sometimes you have to work hard on a problem, and stick to it for a while. Sometimes you need a clever plan for finding out. And sometimes what you need more than anything else to see an answer, is the courage to face it...

I loved this chapter.
O chapter 45 . 5/15/2014
Review #4: It should have ended like this.

Like waking up from a dream, like opening his eyes after sleep, Harry's gaze moved away from the cage, he looked around and saw that everyone was staring at him.

Albus Dumbledore was staring at him.

Professor Quirrell was staring at him.

The Auror trio was staring at him.

That is when the dark presence enveloped Harry's mind, forcing a tortured expression to twist slowly onto his face, followed by an agonizing scream of terrible realization. Underneath that tattered cloak was an image of the entire universe drifting apart. Like clockwork, supernovae exploded further and further apart, signaling a recent discovery Harry had read and not given much though about. The universe's expansion had reached escape velocity... it would never slow, and all matter would eventually drift apart until the collapse of relativity.

Dying cold and alone, Harry's mind tried to make sense of everything. Harry's last image was that of some gold identifying text above the Dementor which read "Stardrinker".

The level 99 Abyssal Dementor then gave Harry his last kiss.

*Boop boop tink tink merp* Feynman Down engages from inventory medial kit and Harry is quantum resurrected.

Disclaimer: Barely checked for spelling and grammar, campy stuff (even by our standards) intentionally added to help offset your realization of the inescapable doom of the universe.
SixPerfections chapter 45 . 5/10/2014
You know... Harry has some rather odd ideas about Death. I'm guessing since his ideas 'conquered' Death that you share them too? Well w/e not important.

Harry's understanding of death is very immature and incomplete. Not really feel like writing a big rant (this is a subject I consider important) but in short he should have used his really amazing technique to learn how to transfigure parts of something on himself. Deconstruct everything that he thinks will 'end' when he 'dies', and what the hell is it that dies in the first place that makes you so afraid? The mind? If you start deconstructing the mind and consciousness itself reality starts to get disturbing... that is a true scientific endeavor
xvector chapter 45 . 5/10/2014
Best chapter ever. I was crying at the end. Harry grows, comes of age here.
Guest chapter 45 . 3/7/2014
Rest enough for the individual man - too much, and too soon - and we call it death. But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning.

- Things to Come
Annie chapter 45 . 2/18/2014
Thank you.
For this chapter, for the tears that it invoked in me, and for the happiness that this series gives me.
Thank you so very much. Please, have a good day, and a bright, brilliant existence.
I'll finish reading this even if it costs me my sanity.
larperdoodle chapter 45 . 2/2/2014
I quite literally cried at Harry's Description of his thoughts and the future of humanity before he killed the dementor. And that is the first time in my life I've openly wept at what I was reading. And not of sadness, but of joy. Thank you for this.
Talonis Wolf chapter 45 . 1/27/2014
Holy crap.

That is a new level of badass...

If it weren't for Harry's reasoning, I'd have said it approached Mary Sue levels. You walked on dangerous ground here, but you took the chance and WON. That says a lot about your level of skill, and it can only get better.
Alexja2013 chapter 45 . 1/25/2014
What a fucking beast. The human patronus that kills dementors. In the story RuneMaster, Harry's (stag) patronus produced such powerful happiness that it engulfed the dementors and that's how they died. But this is just sewing up a hole in the universe? I'm not quite sure how exactly Harry's patronus killed it
Grizzmon chapter 45 . 1/14/2014
So, again, he did what everyone thought it was impossible.
Makokam chapter 45 . 1/11/2014
Bravo.
Guest chapter 45 . 1/5/2014
Wow... Harry's Patronus is a Human! Those words were justified if not some distant fantasy of humanity becoming immortal... did he kill the dementor or merely banish it away from 'reality'?
Nikomaru chapter 45 . 12/15/2013
Wow. That was great. Wow. I was touched by the near Sagan-istic futurism you presented. I love that shit. Like the song of a Phoenix, it was, my vision blurred by the tears of hope and somehow remembrance, like I'd also enjoyed that thought process personally, on a deep and resounding level. It's good to know that more and many people think that way. It gives me how for our future, even as in your story or gives Harry hope. Thank you
FireInLife chapter 45 . 12/1/2013
I at first guessed that the Dementor symbolized corruption, however death works just as well if not better.

And this scene was just amazing. I'm surprised that Harry didn't give off an almost insane sounding giggle. I know that I certainly did.
z1dytd12901z7018273f18y2f31238 chapter 45 . 11/29/2013
WOW. I did not expect THAT to happen.

But. It was beautifully written, (as always) and the descriptions about the stars and the things Harry was happy about were things I could relate to too, especially as some of them are fairly common (like making a new friend, helping your parents, etc), and some of those things were already mentioned in the previous chapters of the story, giving them more clarity.

The last line was epic, it said very little, and yet it said everything.

Also, I love how Harry's patronus was a homo sapien, which makes sense as humans are animals - a fact that I feel is overlooked in the magical world, and if most animals aren't afraid of patronus', why not homo sapiens?

The only thing that I'm interested about is the fact generated by the last line, and what Harry will do about that. How will he explain everything to the ministry of magic, seeing as it is likely they will demand an answer or explanation.
Neloska chapter 45 . 10/15/2013
I am not a fan of science fiction. The idea that humans would one day populate the whole universe seems to me very unlikely. I don't know whether I am a realist or a pessimist, by thinking that humans are just one species of many and one day we are gonna die out as is the natural order of things with new species evolving and dieing out again and again.
Still Harry's dream is beatiful and I can only wonder whether it is possible for someone to really be so sure of themselves and their abilities. And of course it will be interesting to see whether he will slowly achieve his dreams, or grow up to be disillusioned. I guess that would be saddest ending, considering how much he believes in his ideas.
M.P chapter 45 . 8/28/2013
existential shock therapy... This was brilliant. I am crying - pain, pride and hope all mixted up. Thank you :)
addikhabbo chapter 45 . 8/21/2013
LOVE IT!
John chapter 45 . 7/9/2013
All I can say is- faggy and laden down with a mighty author tract.
rdsubhas chapter 45 . 7/8/2013
Loving this fanfic!

What lies at the center of a Dementor?

Somehow I almost wished the answer was a miniature black hole. Or at least some associations with a black hole there...
Silvering chapter 45 . 6/26/2013
O_O

...

Nope, no words.

O_O
Thestral's Wings chapter 45 . 6/22/2013
The most inspiring excerpt in history to everyone, especially humanists.

"You are not invincible, and someday the human species will end you.

I will end you if I can, by the power of mind and magic and science.

I won't cower in fear of Death, not while I have a chance of winning.

I won't let Death touch me, I won't let Death touch the ones I love.

And even if you do end me before I end you,

Another will take my place, and another,

Until the wound in the world is healed at last..."
L.E chapter 45 . 5/14/2013
This is one of the most exceptional peices of literature that I have ever read. At least, that's what feels like, after reading that last line.
Brad chapter 45 . 5/9/2013
I have enjoyed the story so far, it has made me laugh, smile, cringe, and cry, but some part of this chapter seemed to touch true beauty. thank you for sharing your awesome mind and ideas.
RussianDestruction chapter 45 . 4/29/2013
OMG did he actually kill it? *reads on*
PoptartProdigy chapter 45 . 4/23/2013
What? No! The idea of getting rid of death is nice and happy and pleasant, but that's not reality! Human beings inevitably die; this just in, death rate still 100%! It's the one thing that we all have to go through, and Harry's viewpoint on this is just denial.

He tries to justify it by saying that Death is a childish thing that we haven't grown out of yet, but there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to suggest that we ever will! That's him violating his ideals for a childish bit of hope! We are defined by death; everything we do, we do in the implicit knowledge that there's a time limit on this. To merely shove it aside and proclaim, "Nah, doesn't count," is just intellectual dishonesty.

Harry doesn't want to face death; it's clear in everything he does that death terrifies him. He claims to be so good at facing down terrible truths, but when he and Dumbledore argued over it, Harry immediately clamped down, got angry, and started searching for counterpoints. More than that, he thinks in blacks and whites; he believes that either you fear death, or you want to die. He doesn't yet possess the intellectual maturity to understand that there's a difference between wanting to live and fearing death, and between wanting to die and not being afraid of it.

Fearing death is childish. It holds you back and is pointless anyway - after all, it is something that happens to absolutely everybody and we have no reason to believe it will ever disappear. The key is to move beyond that fear, not stick one's fingers in one's ears and go, "NA, NA, NOT LISTENING," like Harry's doing here. The mark of the person whom has mastered death as it appears in human lives is one who can look back upon their life and say that it was a life worth living and they have no regrets. Not that they want to die, they merely aren't afraid for their lives to stand as they are and feel no need to artificially prolong things in order to feel worthy about themselves.

Harry's the other kind of person, who proclaims that death isn't fair and shouldn't exist. Well sorry, child, it does, and life really doesn't care about you or your conventions of what consitutes "fairness." You've got to live with it; this isn't a negotiation. Harry's idea of defeating death is never going to happen on a species-wide scale. Sure, there are things like Horcruxes (which he wouldn't {currently} use), or Philosopher's Stones (which are insanely difficult to make and probably impossible to mass-produce, but on a massive scale? As something that's just the norm? He's delusional. Harry's afraid of death, and that's going to color everything he does until he can grow up. He needs to move past it; not to embrace death as a friend or think of it as some childish thing, but to understand that it happens to everybody and that the mark of a person whom is truly wise about death is one who understands that it will happen and simply tries to make their life as good as possible in the time they have.

Otherwise, Harry will always be The-Boy-Who-Lived. And nothing more. Just a child prodigy that flashes bright and burns down, wasting their strength on a childish dream they never really outgrew.

And THAT would be the real tragedy. Not that he died, but that he died a waste.
lastcrazyhorn chapter 45 . 4/5/2013
O_O Wow to this chapter.
Enei Emmu chapter 45 . 2/4/2013
Harry, son of James and Michael, Dementor-Slayer. it has a nice ring to it.
bclaire chapter 45 . 2/2/2013
hmmmm... i was so moved, but after reading a previous comment i can imagine this being a fun read or...it could transcend that and really say something ineffably evolutionary. it will be interesting to follow along and see how it unfolds.
Vinyali chapter 45 . 1/5/2013
Wow. Chills throughout the second half of the chapter. I never thought I would say this, but I actually prefer HPMOR over the canon series. I want to thank you for writing this. I'm already dreading reaching the end (so far) and waiting for the next chapter.
kitsuneko1976 chapter 45 . 12/28/2012
WOW. Very deep, utterly moving. Words fail me.

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.
StrangeoneXD chapter 45 . 12/22/2012
Holy crap...O.o
WildCard-Yes Man chapter 45 . 12/20/2012
THAT WAS THE COOLEST THING EVER! HANDS DOWN! ABSAFUCKINGLUTLY AMAZING! WIN!
Honoria Granger chapter 45 . 12/16/2012
WOW. That was beautiful. And stunningly powerful. You write like a hero. Thank you.
Rjalker chapter 45 . 12/12/2012
O.O
Guest chapter 45 . 11/9/2012
I usually like this story, but this chapter was terrible. If there's one thing I learned from reading Narnia, it's that putting your political or spiritual beliefs in a story (at least, doing it this bluntly) ruins it. And that whole dementorsdeath thing is a huge stretch, all for the purpose of introducing something that just makes the story a lot worse. And Harry's reaction doesn't make any sense either - everyone secretly believes they're immortal, Harry having a different rationalization for it shouldn't make him superpowered.
Ghost chapter 45 . 11/6/2012
Now, this is a very well written fanfic, I admit that. In fact, it's brilliant in many ways. But in other ways, I also find it occasionally annoying, just a lot of little things that constantly rub me the wrong way. This part right here, with the dementors, is one of the major ones. It was the part that made me stop reading the first time I gave this fic a shot.

See, it's one thing to change the characters, or add new things to the setting. For this particular kind of fic, I consider that acceptable. But here you have taken the dementors and actually changed what they represent and how they function mostly for that sake of a, frankly, kinda heavy handed message. I can't help but feel like that is cheating - that it strays into the territory of original fiction and breaks down the basic purpose of fanfiction, which I believe is the attempt to add more of what the original work delivered.

So, not only have you changed the characters, but you have also changed important aspects of the setting, and I think we can safely agree that the general style and themes are very different. This begs the question exactly how much substance of the original Harry Potter actually remains.

It's things like this that makes me question wether you are at all interested in telling a Harry Potter story, or if you just view it as a handy tool you can exploit to tell an original story without the required effort of establishing your own premise. It makes it hard for me to genuinely enjoy this fanfic, which is a shame since it's such a good story otherwise.
currently-in-orbit chapter 45 . 9/28/2012
Wow. Just honestly, wow. I'll be damned if that was not one of the most amazing things I have ever read. Finished the chapter, just sat there for a moment, then started applauding.

What a piece of literature you have going here, and I really mean litereature. I think it has pretty much reached that point where a story on this site transcends the simple title of "fanfiction," and I have so enjoyed myself reading it over the past few weeks. Your story, besides being completely unique plot-wise, is incredibly well written. The characters are wonderful, the story line unpredictable, and it just keeps /growing/. I have no words for how much I love watching the development in these characters, plot lines, and ideas. Don't even get me started on the science. As a proud geek and budding scientist, I have been over the moon with all of the details and jokes. The scientific elements are varied, deep, and well researched. Truly, I think you have the most sophisticated story on this site.

Keep up the fantastic work
-Channing
IdleSpeculation chapter 45 . 9/20/2012
So if magic is actually shaped almost entirely by people's perceptions of how it works, then that means that Harry's certainty in humanity's ability to overcome death just outweighed the collective belief in the certainty of death and fear of death of every other witch and wizard in the world. Or maybe because his belief is more closely based on reality that the wizarding world's belief he has an advantage in altering magic.
Deucalion chapter 45 . 8/12/2012
I'm on my 3rd or 4th re-reading and the end of ch.45 still makes me cry. Holy crap well done, sir. Amazingly crafted.
voodooqueen126 chapter 45 . 8/2/2012
That was easily your best chapter.
Poetheather1 chapter 45 . 7/29/2012
Nicely done. And a human as his patronus form... excellent... totally crazy but excellent. Very fitting for this Harry.
Guest chapter 45 . 7/12/2012
This is unspeakably beautiful, a light of hope that faces the truest horror of humanity, producing a beacon stronger than "the fist of God"-science.
PinkMusicalCherry chapter 45 . 7/1/2012
BEST PATRONUS EVER! WISH EVERYONE HAD SEEN!
Matt L chapter 45 . 6/8/2012
This is, by far, one of my favorite chapters in this series. When I read and re-read the section where Harry understands the potential of the human spirit, the treatment of death as a problem to be solved, and the drive to slip the surly bonds of Earth and travel throughout the galaxy and the universe, I want to shout out, "Yes! That's the way I feel."
GravekeeperBat chapter 45 . 6/1/2012
O.O

Booya!

Sorry, gotta wait a second for my brain to reset to read the next chapter. That was a little too much awesomeness all at once.
Tokillagod chapter 45 . 5/24/2012
I think we have officially left the satirical phase of this story.
Corinne chapter 45 . 5/10/2012
That was very, very beautiful and inspiring.
ElTighre chapter 45 . 4/24/2012
I just thought I'd mention that Chapter 45 made me tear up even the second time I read it. Great moment.
Foreverhope23 chapter 45 . 4/23/2012
Holy wow. That was wicked. Nicely plotted!
Finariona chapter 45 . 4/20/2012
Did he really destroy it! I will find out in the next chapter.

But before, I just wanted to say that you have managed to bring this episode with the dementor, nay, this whole fic, into a realm of awe and inspiring grandeur... you make a very good advocate for the future of humanity or at least for the value of dreaming about it in such a fashion. I'm getting a lot more out of this fic than I expected of any fic... thanks!

On the penmanship level, I must say that the three lines at the end where you summarized how everyone was staring at him was possibly the best way to follow-up the grandiose moment you had just written. It's funny enough to diffuse the tension and serious enough to lend even more might to what just happened.

And last but not least... a Patronus as a homo sapiens... that's just genius beyond compare. I wholeheartedly approve. I imagined it to be like the vitruvian man. Is that how you pictured it? Or is it a clothed figure resembling Harry? Or resembling someone else? And also, what does that mean for Harry's potential animagus form that his patronus is a man?
of course chapter 45 . 3/31/2012
lolz, very sasuke-esque, everyone needs to die and of course harry outdoes himself and destroys the dementor of course
The fear of death chapter 45 . 3/4/2012
I had to wipe away a tear as I concluded this chapter. I'm in complete awe of the powerful vision of humanity and the future Yudkowsky presents and the simple, playful way it's integrated in the story and becomes a silver bullet aimed at the heart of death itself. I suspect Humanism may be a strongly favored science for the author, but if so then he is in good company.
RationalGirl chapter 45 . 3/1/2012
This whole story is simply amazing. I'm on my third re-reading, I love it!

Ch. 45 is one of my favorites. It is so utterly, beautifully written.

This passage "...and that would help them, someday, understanding that the Boy-Who-Lived could also be hurt, could be wretched. So that when they were hurt and wretched themselves, they would remember seeing Harry writhing on the ground, and know that their own pain and troubles didn't mean they'd never amount to anything." always brings tears to my eyes. I think of all the people that these stories help. Help to ease their pain or worries, help to understand the world, help to find joy.

And then when Harry is first conjuring his images to cast the Patronus...

"The Earth, blazing blue and white with reflected sunlight as it hung in space, amid the black void and the brilliant points of light. It belonged there, within that image, because it was what gave everything else its meaning. The Earth was what made the stars significant"... "And Death is not something I will ever embrace.

It is only a childish thing, that the human species has not yet outgrown.

And someday...

We'll get over it...

And people won't have to say goodbye any more...

The wand rose up and leveled straight at the Dementor.

'EXPECTO PATRONUM!'"

Just awesome. I hope you know, Mr. Yudkowsky, how much your story means to us.

I check back every day to see if new chapters or updates have been posted. We know you are a busy man and have other projects, but I wanted to let you know, your story does make a great difference to a great many people.
that man chapter 45 . 2/13/2012
biasedeyes - HPMoR is entertainment first and foremost, and can only be an introduction to the topics on the Less Wrong website. In this function it has already succeeded, because you were intrigued enough by HPMoR to go browse Less Wrong for a more complete coverage of the relevant topics. No doubt that's why you find some of Harry's arguments or viewpoints in HPMoR incomplete and perhaps overly simplistic; they were never meant to be complete in the first place. Nor are the characters (even Harry) merely author mouthpieces that are without flaws in their thinking or their personalities.

And as some guy pointed out, the author of HPMoR and the poster Eliezer_Yudkowsky on are the same person.
biasedeyes chapter 45 . 2/13/2012
I find myself forced to submit this review, as the only way in which I can permit myself to continue reading is to give voice to my incredible dismay at the writing of this chapter (Chapter 45), and I do want to continue, as the authors writing style is (in general) both informative and unique.

First, let me say that this fiction, as awesome as it may otherwise be, has a glaring Achilles heel, being that much of its content is borrowed from other sources. Obviously, the characters are borrowed from Harry Potter, though the writer obviously has the skill to create characters (I refer you to the fleshing out of Professor Quirrell, Professor McGonagall, the sorting hat...). I suspect, however, that if the author created new characters, that this text would not be quite as famous as it now is. The other portion of major borrowing comes from the Less Wrong site and the ideas contained therein. Of course, there is no intrinsic problem with borrowing ideas, as long as the borrower makes sure to logically consider and understand the ideas enough to make them their own. It is very easily seen that that is what has happened on the Harry Potter side. On the Less Wrong side, however, it is less clear that the author has thoroughly digested the ideas.

What do I mean? Well, I was so intrigued by the authors writing style and the ideas presented in the text that I made my way to the Less Wrong site and spent some time there. Enough to realize that Dumbledore's comment about Roman chariot races was more or less a direct quote from one of the posts. This comment didn't mesh very well with the story, and it was quite jarring to see it there. The author would hardly have put a quote directly from one of the Harry Potter books into this story (at least, it might result in some legal troubles if the story contained extensive quotes from the J.K. Rowling books). There are other instances before this chapter where the author does not thoroughly consider the method of thought which he embraces, but they are all fairly minor. Then, in this chapter, the author gives a full embrace to a sickeningly simple version of transhumanism without a second thought.

I quite enjoyed the debate between Harry Potter and Dumbledore in this text, where Dumbledore hardheadedly embraces the afterlife, as I agree with Harry's side of the argument. It is quite natural to strive to live forever, and, it fact, it is what one should do. But this is only true in the sense that forever represents the furthest point in time. If I told you that you had a choice, that you were now reaching a point in your life after which you would not have all the requisite stem cells likely required to live forever, and that you could either be cryogenically frozen, in which case there would be a small chance that you would be woken up in the future to live forever, or you could continue living and be assured of another sixty years but would definitely die, which would you choose? Life, in my opinion, is for living as far as possible, forever if possible.

Death in itself is a word which escapes rationality, and is ultimately tied to our lives as biological beings, with nothing to do with our minds. Are you the same person as you were ten years ago? If not, what happened to that person? This is why I thought (and was quite disappointed to be mistaken) that the answer to the dementor's riddle was oblivion. In fact, were I to write this chapter, I would replace death with oblivion, eternal life with comprehension, and would ensure that the dementor did not disappear so quickly or entirely. The main strength of humankind is its capability for reason and understanding, and its main enemy is ignorance. It should never be so easy to defeat such a powerful foe.

Of course, it is possible, even though it does not seem so from the writing style, that the author has set this up as a character flaw of our hero. If that is the case, my only complaint is the heavy lifting from transhumanist sources which seems to occur. The borrowing of these other trains of thought reminds me of nothing so much as one the one post on Less Wrong about cached thoughts, which I would posit that the author is relying too heavily on. To the author: next time, try writing only on those ideas which you have made thoroughly your own.

And now, I have a story to get back to. :)
Lady Anaia Lionel chapter 45 . 1/28/2012
Okay so 1. I cried. Two. HOLEY CRAP HE KILLED A DEMENTOR.

Part of me cried because gosh darn it parts of it were like little pokes at my heart and Smart Harry as my friend and I call him IS AWESOME.
Deadzepplin chapter 45 . 1/20/2012
I wonder what a real Spartan would see considering that the thing they all look forward too is dieing in battle would it be some glorious figure or what? Maybe they would see and obstacle and bitchslap the dementor out of the way
Laura M chapter 45 . 1/15/2012
my mind is officially blown... omg the awesomeness
Remzal Von Enili chapter 45 . 1/4/2012
harry just kicked ass
Mantis FA chapter 45 . 12/18/2011
Just about every chapter has something to make me laugh, but this was the first one to move me to tears. That vision of the earth... I count myself among the metaphorical children of Carl Sagan and of Robert A. Heinlein - they were my mentors, as much as any teacher I ever had, and that vision is the heart of the humanism I learned from their works.

Speaking of Heinlein's children, I'm wondering if you've ever read Spider Robinson's Lifehouse Trilogy? If the magic of the Potterverse can reach backward through time - as it clearly can in at least a limited fashion - than perhaps Harry could even achieve Robinson's vision, and not merely conquer death but take back every mind it has stolen from the human race through all of our history.
Setsuna529 chapter 45 . 12/15/2011
This series of chapters (Humanism pts 1-3) marked a major turning point in my appreciation of this fic. Up to this point, it had merely been a witty, silly, and wonderfully-crafted parody.

I do believe, with these last three chapters, that you may have transcended all that JKR ever accomplished with the original series. Maybe that is too high of praise, but this is more than just a Harry Potter fic to me now, and I hope that it only continues to be as intriguing, interesting, smart, and Deeply Wise.
Asparagus chapter 45 . 10/18/2011
Ahahahahahahahaha! I did not see that coming! This is one way to tell that you are (at the very least) a decent author. If readers who have spend days browsing TvTropes are not able to see things coming, you are doing something correctly.
Squirrelloid chapter 45 . 10/17/2011
Much of HPMoR makes me laugh uncontrollably (which is of course why i read it). This chapter, however, is the only one that can make me cry. I am absolutely convinced that the author knows exactly what he's doing here, why Man is a fitting symbol. Man as a heroic being. Man triumphing with reason against the darkness. HPs thoughts as he summons it may not be the most ordered, and his specific beliefs about dementors not the whole truth, but in this fanfic he is an avatar of rationality however imperfect, and that gives this symbol great power. That man, with the power of truth, can and will triumph.

Its not the most rational chapter, nor does it come out and say precisely what it means, but to someone who values reason _and_ can interpret metaphor it makes the most forceful statement of values, good and proper values, in the entire fanfic.
AR chapter 45 . 9/22/2011
I concede to your brilliance.

You obviously know what you are writing...and I shall not judge again.

An amazing amazing chapter...if you could see my smile right now..it would have explained it all
Cathy chapter 45 . 9/13/2011
I love this entire "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" in so many ways...but this is the finest chapter I've read so far. I was cheering and waving two thumbs up while reading the casting of the spell, and the thoughts against death...

I've long felt that way that Harry thinks in this chapter, and every now and then I am reminded that this is NOT a normal way to think in 2011, that I am surrounded by people who accept the "natural order" as immutable, and believe that the future will just be more of the past. Thank you so much for reminding me that humanists do exist, and that their ideas will ultimately overcome the fears and doubts that have plagued us for thousands of years of sentience.

Tieing in the Patronus-as-animals, giving it a reason, and making v2.0 a human Patronus was the icing on the cake. Bravo, and three cheers!
packman23 chapter 45 . 9/4/2011
Overall good so far, the characters interact in a realistic way, the story plots are gripping and the world is just similar enough to canon to make me believe that most of your explanations for things would (and should) be widely accepted in the wizarding world. I have some trouble liking Harry when he mistakes his belief in science for not being belief but really that happens whenever I find such a well thought out and written character that I disagree with. I'm also a little worried about people's willingness to tell Harry things and his skills, which occasionally come off as an attempt to finish the whole story in his first year.

Why do I review here, well this is the only chapter I've had a major problem with so far. Understanding a dementor, not a problem. Destroying it with logic, in your first year is slightly more worrying. I'd sort of more expected that Harry would go off and worry about his lack of ability to understand a dementor, get told by everyone that it was just fear, refuse to accept that and eventually work it out. The idea that this is accomplished in a matter of paragraphs seems impossible even if he is a genius. On top of that Patronuses are little more than magnified happiness, you can hardly destroy death by telling it to go away and throwing thoughts at it; unlike partial transfiguration it's not conceptual boundary death is a simple fact of life (possibly conquerable I'll admit but hardly within the reach of someone who admits to not understanding it).

A possible other problem is his thoughts at the time, the thoughts of family and of the stars were very nice and well put but some of the later part came off as somewhat of an author filibuster for me. Unfortunately it also drives home a sort of idea that when it comes to how the world works Harry (an eleven year old who learnt about all this world less than a year ago and hasn't yet sat even his first set of exams) is always right when compared to Quirrel (a very clever man who spent his life studying), Dumbledore (a debateably clever but certainly powerful experienced man who used to spend his time experimenting with magic) and the rest of the world at least some of whom must have thought to try and explain how the world works (after all given Quirrel's world view it's perfectly possible that 90% of people have heard of science and are just keeping it a secret from everyone else).

All this ranting aside I'm just going to view this as one miss from an author who has otherwise created one of the most gripping, interesting, involved and certainly the most informative and totally insane story I have ever read. That said I'm sure I won't be disappointed by the next chapters so thank you for writing this.

Packman23
madeyemarauder chapter 45 . 9/2/2011
Magnificent!
narutonejii chapter 45 . 8/29/2011
Harry's human patronus and the inner-monologue that followed - it was beautiful, and I teared.
ironhair chapter 45 . 8/29/2011
if it was a master idea dating back to atlantis on how to invoke magic.. then why make defensive spells like the patronos so complicated?
ironhair chapter 45 . 8/29/2011
ah... this was harry like :p

Rational super Harry.
This Charade chapter 45 . 7/26/2011
This chapter was absolutely incredible. I think the tone did wonders in matching the contents, going from empty to calm to magnificent. And the ideas, too, were wonderful. I'll have to think about this more as I keep reading for it to really sink in. But amazing job on this one.
The Prince of Mathematics chapter 45 . 7/24/2011
I am somewhat shocked to admit that the end of this chapter brought tears to my eyes. Well played, sir.
Isa Knightwalker chapter 45 . 7/17/2011
Okay, well I found this chapter rather ridiculous. I think that Harry is the immature one for believing that everyone should live forever and ever and refusing to embrace death. Also his Patronus is a human? That's so weird. I also don't really like how you portray Harry as being smarter and wiser than Dumbledore since it seems unlikely that an 11 year old (no matter how intelligent) would know more than someone who had lived over 100 years and was also born a genius. (Maybe you honestly believe that an 11 year old genius could be more intelligent that someone who had lived many years, learning new things and such, but I just can't accept that myself based on my own experiences). It just annoys me I guess, since I dislike the trend of portraying elderly individuals as senile/stupid and overvaluing youth which is obviously a key future of Western society (and has been shown to be one reason why older people in Eastern countries actually don't lose as much intelligence/etc compared to Western countries where they get no respect and expect to get more stupid). So I suppose I see how you portray Harry and Dumbledore in that same way, as thought you think young people are much more intelligent than older individuals and consequently devalue the wisdom that age brings with it.

Annoying chapter! Especially since I feel like it was a bit ridiculous for Harry to already be able to destroy a Dementor with his very first Patronus.
LostHeart4 chapter 45 . 6/25/2011
At the end of this chapter I could just think one thing: "Wooaaah, awesome."

which is as close as I ever got to being rendered speechless.

So, big compliment.

It seldom happens, that I comment on a story without reading as far as I can get (though this story already has so many chapters that it had a much higher probability of achieving this effect) - I'm just not someone who can stop and think about a comment when I could just read on.

So, what I like to do is read as far as the story has progressed and at the end go back to the first chapter that I want to comment, write something, go to the next part that was significant, comment, etc.

Only when something blows my mind I comment right away. So this is that.

If you wonder: Yes, I already told other people about this story and no I haven't visited the website to learn everything that Harry knows, yet. I want to see when I stop understanding what he is talking and thinking about before I do (but I already bookmarked it just in case).

So all in all, because I can't think that good, when my mind had just been blown by awesomeness. I just send you my highest compliments and read on.

Best wishes,

LostHeart
pleeppleep chapter 45 . 6/18/2011
I realize that I'm meant to critique the writing here more than just praising it, but i just had to say that, the speech at the end, it drove me to tears. literally. I have seen movies and even television shows that have made me cry, but no book or anything else that was written has ever had that effect. It... it was just beautiful. I don't know if you'll ever read this, but I just had to thank you for that, I signed up on the site just for this message. I love this fanfiction, and I have learned more from your writing than from five years of public education. If its not going too far, i think some of the points you've made have given me new purpose in life, so thank you.

That said, I suppose you would want an actual review instead of just fanmail. I find this to be a great way to end Harry's dementor experience. The way he was horribly defeated at first threw me off and I wasn't expecting him to try again the way he did. I was glad that you didnt just have Harry show how much of a magical prodigy he was, showing him to falter occasionally and yet still manage to assert his ability as protagonist. I half expected the alternate interpretation of the nature of the dementors, but even so must say that it seems far superior to the way J.K. Rowling created them. It seems much more hopeful to say that they can be destroyed entirely rather than be temporarily subdued. And of course I must go back to the speech Harry worked out in his head as he was facing his enemy. I am an extraordinarily cynical and pessimistic person, but Harry's faith and determination really spoke to me in a way that nothing else has for a long time. I suppose it wouldn't have as much of an effect if i wasn't under the assumption that you, the author were speaking through the character, that his faith and determination isn't something merely confined to the work of fiction. i think your writings are the first thing ive ever heard to manage to convince me that, not only CAN death be beaten, but that it SHOULD be. The speech was truly beautiful and added more to the story than i could possibly describe.

I am very sorry if i have wasted any of you time, but i just had to thank you and let you know how much this meant to me. Lately i've sort of just lost my sense of purpose in life, and while i was never really suicidal, i was ready to throw everything away, metaphorically close my eyes, and allowed the world to just move around me and wait to die. In a way, i think you may have saved my life by writing this, and for that i could never thank you enough. Please excuse the probably poor manner in which this message is written as I am only a high school sophomore, and also please excuse the length and lack of substance in it as I am a bit overcome with emotion and cannot think to write anything more constructive. i really dont mean to sound whiny or seem like i have too much angst, i have never really said anything with anywhere close to the level of angst, self-pity, and worship that undoubtedly fills this note, but your writing really did just get to me. This letter truly comes from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

-Pleeppleep

AKA, Josh
mendota chapter 45 . 6/8/2011
I suppose at this point even entropy is being thrown out? :/
Death by manga chapter 45 . 6/7/2011
OK. that was a bit cliche don't you think?

Personally? I would have made a Fullmetal Alchemist reference and had Dementors symbolize the truth. The truth that all humans were afriad to face, and to protect themselves, they created mental barriers to protect themselves, similar to how a traumatized child creates barriers to protect them from truths that they have not matured enough to understand. Maybe before Atlantis ell, they created the Dementors to stop anyone from pursuing this truth without the necessary maturity to comprehend it without traumatizing themselves.
Fizzfaldt chapter 45 . 6/4/2011
This is my fifth read-through, and I still cry every time I read the last scene in this chapter.
SciFi43 chapter 45 . 5/5/2011
Ok, it's official. That was the most original and brilliant idea for a patronus/dementor situation I've ever read. Which makes you the most brilliant and clever author on this website.

I echo the other reviewers when I repeat how beautiful Harry's 'speech' was. Wow. There are no words to describe the power in it.

Just wow. Thank You.
Gedusa chapter 45 . 4/25/2011
I cried, obviously. This chapter is unbelievably awesome.

Also, I'm desperate to find that hint mentioned in the author's notes. I'm guessing it's something to do with the Dementor wanting to hunt down Qurriellmort, McGonagall guarding the philosopher's stone or the strange word in Harry's mind.

Great, now I'm convinced that the strange word is the hint and going to have re-read the entire fic up to this point...
MouetteHeartsErik chapter 45 . 4/12/2011
Beautiful.
ShineX chapter 45 . 3/26/2011
awesome :)
VFR6 chapter 45 . 3/24/2011
What a badass boast near the end of the chapter! Sorry for reviewing this late and not at the start of the story, but with 11k reviews, this one review is quite insignificant isn't it?

Wow, in almost a year, and 70 chapters, you have 11k reviews, that is just beyond impossible, just to quote from tvtropes.

Anyway, I'll be marking this as a favourite and marked it for update notice. See ya!
Jay Schweikert chapter 45 . 3/23/2011
I've loved every chapter of your story, but this chapter just completely blew my mind. When I finished it, I had to just sit and let is process for several minutes, it was so overwhelming. I've finished through chapter 70 at this point, and I can't wait to see what else you have in store. I've also been sending this around to all of my friends who might be interested. Thanks so much for this incredible work.
The Karlminion chapter 45 . 3/21/2011
That was awesome. That sort of feeling Harry had when he killed Death is what makes man awesome, is what makes us the undisputed badasses of the universe. That we're even capable of it, even vicariously... Awesome.

-Karl
MikeK chapter 45 . 3/5/2011
This is an inspiring and very well thought out chapter.

Nait:

There is no risk of running out of matter, the universe has a very large mass and in time this will all be easy to convert into food and other supplies. When people cannot die, they may lose of urge to reproduce, and hence there may not be exponential growth. There is no scientific reason why immortality cannot work.

Is it so difficult to understand that death is necessary for life to exist?

There is nothing that is "difficult to understand". This is wrong because it takes your opinion and presents it as fact. I exist right now, and I am alive. I could die tomorrow or I could die in 50 years. Why is this hypothetical future death necessary for me to be here right now? What difference does it make if it were extended to 50000 years or even infinity? It makes *no difference* to what is happening right at this moment, in which I definitely exist and am definitely alive.

Death requires life, but this is a one way requirement that comes from the definition of death. Life is not defined as something that must be able to die.

That life itself is worthless, if you never die?

This is another opinion being presented as fact.

Different people measure the value of life differently. It would be far more logical to measure the value of life by your contributions to the world than by the simple fact that you died. Living for 100 years allows you to contribute more than living for 50 years. Living for n1 years allows more contribution than n years. If "life value" is considered to be a function of contribution, then it can only grow as life duration grows.

Applying your logic, a car is worthless if it never gets stolen.

To continue this analogy (in a slightly different direction) a car may indeed become less valuable over time, and may indeed suddenly become valuable when you get your insurance payment after it is stolen, but even if you paid nothing and received nothing the car would not be "worthless" since it was useful to you for the period in which you had it. The longer you have it, the longer it will be useful to you, the more valuable it will be.

Death was necessary for life to advance to where it is now, but ever since humanity developed consciousness, it has become unnecessary. No further "internal advancement" is needed. It may be useful, but that does not mean it is required.

Many may not be ready for immortality (you included), but I doubt you would be forced to join the rest of us if the option became available.
TheNStorm chapter 45 . 3/5/2011
Very well done. A moving littany, good dialogue, and a well-composed image. Nice existential undertones, you really managed to showcase the beauty of the existential humanist movement, from antiquity on. You even managed to encorporate a very nice sci-fi finish with that particular end-sequence: that repetition of a beautiful image through original means taht one sometimes gets from reading a good sci-fi story.

My recommendation for this chapter is that you show just a hair more description (colors, mostly). But at this point that's more a preferance issue.

Keep it up
Guest chapter 45 . 3/4/2011
Nait:

I will be the first to admit that, for a fiction espousing rationality, this one makes some assumptions I disagree with, and just carries on with them, without looking at its own bias. Such as the metric of assuming to maximize the utility for all people, instead of for just oneself (or, for that matter, creating paperclips). Or assuming that the other people are rational - for all coldness of Harry, and disregarding people assuming they will be useless (Hagrid, Ron), he errs on the other side and assume other people will be rational (Draco, Quirrell).

But then you go forth and also starts criticizing it by making an assumptions: limited biomass. The space is large. Yeah, economical considerations may slow it down, but it will be a while before I am willing to say it is impossible to expand.

How do you assign value to life? I certainly do not do it based on death; I do it based on life itself, or the satisfaction I obtain from the experiences I've been through. It is not a relative scale. What you call unchanging is ever changing, as opposed to changing and then failing to keep existing. The desire to experience itself is the impulse to action, not a time limit.

You do assume too much. "Disheartening" is a subjective evaluation (though it makes me wonder how you arrived at that particular cognitive state). Since when are emotions a requirement to use a technology? Nothing is required to use a tool other than understanding how to use it, and desiring to do so. The actual reasons do not matter.

Yeah, the protagonist is naive. This arc is not about rationality, it is about transhumanism. But you are guilty of being stuck onto your assumptions behind a screen of rationality just as well, different as they may be.
Nait chapter 45 . 3/4/2011
Goodness, I can hardly express the horror at the image of a world without death and the striking naivity of people who actually would go

as far as to wish for such a world.

It does not regard the idea of a limited amount of biomass, scientifically speaking.

In other words: There would be more and more and more humans, until there is nothing no food no rocks no nothing but humans.

Exponential growth in a field of *limited* Biomass? Goodness, who ever may come up with such lunacy?

Is it so difficult to understand that death is necessary for life to exist? That life itself is worthless, if you never die?

Surely the principle of exact trade in all things and the prinicple of the pendulum of balance should suggest that

the very idea of a world of immortality is the most frightening thing imagineable. It means more death than death itself - it is the apex of unchaning nothingness.

Life is, simply said, nothing but a frequency of changes. Immortality means an absolutely unchaning state without any impulse to change. EVER.

And let's not think about Harry's far too positive idea of humanity.

There are two kinds of advancement. Internal and external. External advancement are tools such as scientific methods, physical tools, knowledge, etc.

Internal advancement is the understanding of how and when these methods should be utilized, among other things.

During the last 50.000 years there was almost no internal advancement in the human species, the emotional system is virtually unchanged.

Science has advanced yes, but human *behaviour* has been the same - it is merely an adaption based on the altered external circumstances.

As such the very idea of a human race in its current logical abilities and emotional circuits attempting to settle other planets and to expand further is incredibly disheartening. Before such advancement should even be considered, one might be reminded that the thing that makes a machine work is not the plating and not the exterior, but its internal workings. No matter what sort of wonderful new technologies are invented, humankind would simply be unable to utilize them correctly.

As such the idea of an expanding immortal hummanity would be, perhaps, one of the singular most scary ideas that mankind could think up.

In short: After Harry's speech I felt neither empowered nor encouraged, but disheartened by his naivety and ignorance, and his inability to use his very logical (rational) methods, in other directions than the one he wishes to use them to. Harry did not write an essay in the last chapter. He wrote the conclusion, and than took some nice sounding arguments - to use his explanation from a previous chapter. That is neither clever, nor congruent but simply a hypocrite saying what pleases him.

As such, along these lines of *missing* rationality in the last chapters, I did not enjoy them much. Indeed I can only hope such foolish notions end shortly, and I can once again enjoy the more rational and logical elements.
ARMH chapter 45 . 2/26/2011
This was actually one of my favorite chapters. Harry's internal monologue was fantastic.
Mystamir chapter 45 . 2/4/2011
Powerfully written; my compliments. The words seem inadequate when punctuated by a mere period, however exclamation points somehow lessen their gravity.
Cara chapter 45 . 1/31/2011
My grandfather was killed today. To cope, I reread this chapter.
Media theorist chapter 45 . 1/29/2011
This chapter is simply brilliant. It changes everything. Sad that you can't make money from this. Ended Potter would be a great addition to any junior high school science curriculum. That said, I am confident that, with your own characters and stories, you will.
iamnuff chapter 45 . 1/21/2011
WHAT?

?

i have no words
AlexMBrennan chapter 45 . 12/30/2010
The following is probably not all that helpful, but the death/immortality themed scenes here (and in previous chapters) seriously made me want to stop reading - I read this for my enjoyment, and there are things I don't enjoy reading.

That's a bit unfortunately as the story is otherwise quite interesting.
E.A.V chapter 45 . 11/29/2010
Whoah! Whoah! What? What just happened here? I love LOVE love LOVE this story!
HoosYourDaddy chapter 45 . 11/24/2010
Very impressive way to get rid of the dementor, and a very stirring speech from Harry. Well done.
Arturo Vandorien chapter 45 . 11/8/2010
Great chapter. I loved Harry's thoughts as he cast is patronus. And it seems like Quirrell's zombie-state has been explained, somewhat. Half-kissed perhaps?
NormalAnomaly chapter 45 . 11/7/2010
That was beautiful. Tons of authors have tried to do it, but it has never been that satisfying, or that epic. In fact, I think that was the first time I've seen Harry destroy a dementor other than by throwing ridiculous amounts of power at it.
AspergianStoryteller chapter 45 . 11/4/2010
Whoa again. While I take what I read with a pinch of salt, your story really makes me think and feel. I've never read of a human Patronus before. Not saying that humans are perfect or that I'm above death, but still, original.
subnormalized chapter 45 . 10/31/2010
Harry destroyed a Dementor in chapter 45, yes, but with what?

If it was with uniquely Rationalists beliefs, then it is somewhat unlikely that anyone accomplished the same feat earlier, outside of lost-arts-of-Atlantis speculation.

If it was with a belief that Death Will Die, and a Love of People, then Rationalism is probably not the sole path to the True Patronus. Many faiths believe in an eventual End to Death, or perceive it as a bigger illusion than Reality itself, or some other *possibly* property-preserving mapping.

The main stumbling block is this: how many Wizards/Witches *truly* believe any Faith that asserts "Death Will Die."? True faith like that is rarer than the claims of such, but it does exist among muggles, Rationalist and Religious. But the Harry Potter canon was not originally Rationalist, and seemed somewhat spiritually sparse.

I'm just putting this idea out there to give the Author some wiggle room. If Rationalism is the One True Faith of this world, it's a valid design decision. But it's better, storywise, if it's proven to be the *Best* True Idea of this world, but gets honestly challenged and improved by contact with Other Good Ideas of this world.

Screw with Harry's world even more. Do something like, e.g., evidence turns up that a strongly non-Rationalist mindset created a Patronus 2.1 (add features! maybe one supported by multiple casters?). Then Harry stumbles until he can wrap his head around a concept he automatically rejects.

I vote for Mysticism-as-Mindset eventually being a valid (necessary?) wizardry tool or ingredient. Gives a reason for the whole Dumbledore being taken in by Harry's cliche-generator in ch. 39. Also forces Harry to mess with his own head/beliefs mentally or mystically if he wants some spells. But others probably can come up with other, better ideas.

I dunno. I just want to see Harry/Rationalism honestly challenged by a *truly* strong, foreign mindset. Quirrel is too much philosophically like him, and Dumbledore, for all his lateral thinking, is currently depicted as a philosophical and spiritual lightweight. Without new adults, or a different take, Harry/Rationalism triumphs too easily, unchallenged and unchanged.

Fun series. A little strong on the Author Tract trope, and the strawmen Harry builds earlier in ch 39 need to be torn down and rebuilt into stronger opponents, eventually. And given the current ratio of story to chronological time, it's going to be a while before new adults capable of such appear/are revealed. But darned fun stuff, at least for readers like me. Thanks for writing this stuff.

Jonathan Fisher
Indigo Ziona chapter 45 . 10/28/2010
I am rendered mostly speechless. I shall say this.

Cooool.
The Wind God chapter 45 . 10/27/2010
Stunning, beautiful, powerful on so many levels. That was an astonishing little speech/whatever it was. Writings and quotes and similar things that are related to humanity and presented in the way that you presented it here always blow me away and I love them. That was fantastic, and I love this story on so many levels.
TJeanetteT chapter 45 . 10/25/2010
OMG! I think I love you! Such an amazing chapter along with all the other new ones!
GradStudent chapter 45 . 10/19/2010
Well, this is the most strikingly transhumanist chapter yet. Good show.
bluewillow chapter 45 . 10/19/2010
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,

Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,

Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,

And soonest our best men with thee do go,

Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.

Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;

And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well

And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

- John Donne
Kutta chapter 45 . 10/14/2010
Great chapter
lipasnape chapter 45 . 10/10/2010
Aah, to be so young and confident! Voldemort with a scientific mission. I fear the end of your story.
LunaSlashSea chapter 45 . 10/8/2010
Excellent chapter
NQ chapter 45 . 10/6/2010
This chapter was absolutely amazing. I wish I had something deep to say, but all I can say is that I hope more of my friends read this so that they might have a better chance at understanding the desire to surpass death.
Thom Blake chapter 45 . 10/6/2010
I don't tend to write reviews of these, largely because there doesn't seem to be much to say. Short inferential distance and all that. But you asked for reviews...

I don't think I know anyone who read this chapter and did not break into tears.
John chapter 45 . 10/5/2010
G. K. Chesterton said, "A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author." Methods of Rationality does both; what am I to think of it?

On one hand, this is quite simply a damn good story. Innovative premise, very detailed realization of it, new and very fresh characterization... I could go on and on if I thought long enough, but most of the other reviews as well as the actual story should speak well enough.

On the other hand... I had a VERY long rant about how I disliked this chapter, complete with such well-worn words as "preachy", "heavy-handed", and "soapbox", but after reading more reviews I rethought my stance. Yudkowsky took a risk. He poured his opinions and his conviction into this chapter and received MASSIVE positive reactions. It's relatively unimportant that a fringe group like me, who's going to be hooked on the fiction regardless, was nauseated and disgusted by this speech. I congratulate Yudkowsky on creating such an emotionally charged scene.
Beneficia chapter 45 . 10/2/2010
Voldemort horcruxed a Dementor, didn't he? I've thought about it, and since Dementors cannot be destroyed (at least until Harry came along) the only reason why he wouldn't was if he couldn't.

It would also explain the Dementors comments the Quirrell, and also give Quirrell a reason to want to keep Harry's knowledge from spreading.

But now I'm wondering what else might exist in the world that can't be destroyed. Also, is there a size or distance limit on objects that can be horcruxed? Like, could he have horcruxed Mount Everest or the moon? There must be, otherwise anyone in the past who had made horcruxes would just horcrux the Earth and then it would take the destruction of the whole planet (and not just a small patch of dirt) to destroy the horcrux. So there must be a size limit, and it must be a specific object distinctly separate from all other matter. I wonder if you can horcrux a building?
Another Lazy Rationalist chapter 45 . 10/2/2010
"He had regained an impossible memory, for all that the Dementor had made him desecrate it. A strange word kept echoing in his mind."

What strange word and what does it have to do with anything?
Another Lazy Rationalist chapter 45 . 10/2/2010
"Suppose you threw it into the Sun? Would it be destroyed?"

I don't understand how that would be much worse than sitting on earth in 1 atm of pressure. In order to destroy the sun the Dementor would have to remove the sun's mass (or it's heat/light at a far faster flux than physics allows). Since dementors aren't doing either on Earth why should they in the sun?
Another Lazy Rationalist chapter 45 . 10/2/2010
"...and that would help them, someday, understanding that the Boy-Who-Lived could also be hurt, could be wretched. So that when they were hurt and wretched themselves, they would remember seeing Harry writhing on the ground, and know that their own pain and troubles didn't mean they'd never amount to anything. Had the Headmaster calculated that, when he had let the other students stay and watch?"

Am I wrong in seeing this as a classic example of putting the best mental spin on one's past hurts for one's psychological well being? It seems likely Harry would never opt for a dementing (or other public torture) given the choice.
Eli chapter 45 . 10/1/2010
OK, Eliezer, I'm calling you on this. Humanism is not rational, any more than any other normative philosophy is rational. They all carry the seed of an irrational assumption, normativity, at their heart and grow outward from that. Now, you could have called Harry out on that, but so far you don't seem to have done so at all. It's almost like you believe something without good reason!

All that said... I had "Libera Me from hell" stuck in my head as Harry went up for his second try. Row, row, fight the power!
Zargon chapter 45 . 10/1/2010
For what it's worth, I've re-read chapter 45, and I don't see anything that even looks like a hint.

So either it's so obvious I'm not even noticing, or as the author you see things and make connections in your stories that seem obvious only to you, much like people who look at their own work too much have difficulties finding errors due to unconsciously filling in missing stuff, or I'm just dense.

I mean, chapter 46 has that bit about Harry describing hiding places, and that's obviously a non-trivial puzzle that may or may not be directly revealed at some later occasion, but chapter 45 seems very straightforward. Not that that's a bad thing, either.
Joe chapter 45 . 9/30/2010
You're picking dementor traits to fit your death conclusion. I'm sure someone has articulately argued for this by now (hopefully you did not dismiss it). You should probably take the thing about dementors being death out of your author profile, it's pissing people off. All this suggests that you are unreasonable when it comes to death, so maybe avoid it.

This should have been about the crushing meaninglessness that some people feel when it comes to the cold cosmos, and then how some people don't feel that at all. Or about how great humans are, and how that's such a happy thought. Or whatever. But just not that.

Finally, if dementors are sentient, Harry seems to have murdered for the damn hell of it. (What did he do, snuff out a mere corporeal symbol of death? That's not how symbols work in stories.) Other options were available.

Other than that, the story is brain porn, and often hilarious when poking rationalist fun at the canon. Though it's degenerating into generic fan fiction by focusing too much on a story, and not enough on rationality.
Brendan Byron chapter 45 . 9/30/2010
Quirrell, who is canonically (and, I believe fanfictionally) Voldemort spitting at the Dementor, who is (in your Author's note for Chapter 46) symbolic of death. Voldemort spitting at death. Is that all?

On another note: I've fallen in love with this series. I'm surprised that I've not come across a story of this sort before; its obvious in hindsight - a scientifically rigorous Spock character in a fantasy setting. Since this is my first Harry Potter Fanfic (or, for that matter, fanfic) there's probably others, but hey. It's gone on my bookmark bar.

This is truly magnificent: a fanfic that is hysterically funny, educational, gripping, and philosophically pointed. The romantic bits between Harry and Hermione take away from the light-hearted fun of the piece, especially considering that they're 12. Still: this is a fantastic work that if not a fan-fic would very likely be a book. You have a unique thing going here. Please, keep it up.
Casper chapter 45 . 9/28/2010
By "clue" do you mean Quirels Fiendyfire reference? Or Fawkes comunicating with Harry? Cant immagine what else might count as a clue.

Another great chapter, as always.
Shrlck chapter 45 . 9/28/2010
I have read this chapter twice, i have cried two times.
Robin Message chapter 45 . 9/28/2010
This story is of course fantastic.

After reading the author notes, I reread this to look for the clue and realised this:

"Ron Weasley put up an adequate shield of sparkling mist"

A shield of sparkling mist? That holds back a dementor? That doesn't sound canon to me, so maybe that is the clue? Dammed if I know what it means though.
senpuki chapter 45 . 9/27/2010
What's Professor McGonagall's mysterious important business? I can't understand why she would just take off after something so obviously traumatizing for Harry.
bocaJ chapter 45 . 9/26/2010
Well, if I were pressed to find an obvious hint, would it be that Quirrell destroyed the Sorting Hat? Or at least something involving the Sorting Hat and cursed fire is coming up?

I'll go leave you some more reviews now ;-)
Armagnac chapter 45 . 9/26/2010
The thing in this chapter that sounds most like a hint:

'"There is a certain extremely dangerous and destructive spell," Professor Quirrell said, "which I will not name here; a spell of cursed fire. It is what you would use to destroy an ancient device such as the Sorting Hat. It has no effect on Dementors. They are undying."'

Sounds like this fire spell will be relevant to the plot at some point. I hadn't heard of Fiendfyre, but having read tadrinth's comment, I Googled it. It seems obvious that this is the dangerous spell of "cursed fire" that Quirrell is referring to and won't name. And it seems tandrinth is almost certainly right that Narcissa killed herself with uncontrolled Fiendfyre (it was specifically highlighted that she was not a fighter).

Firendfyre is also one of the very few ways to destroy a Horcrux - I wonder if that will turn out to be relevant?
tadrinth chapter 45 . 9/26/2010
Converting a Dementor into a Horcrux would be clever, but also exceedingly dangerous, especially since Voldemort cannot cast a Patronus and is probably very vulnerable to their aura of fear (he feels it through a Patronus, like Harry). All of his other horcrux ideas could be implemented quite safely.

All Fawkes seems to have said to Harry is "riddle." Not sure that is enough to imply sentience.

Fawkes threw himself at the dementor because dementors are death and phoenixes are rebirth. Natural enemies. I think he just did it as a show of defiance and teleported out, because he knows he can't destroy it.

Harry cannot hear the Dementor's voice because like the image of a dead or decayed man under the cloak, the voice is a trick of the brain filling in something appropriate. Harry's brain is trained not to fill in any blanks, so just as he doesn't see anything under the cloak, he doesn't hear the voice. As for what the Dementor says, it seems pretty likely that Quirrell is Voldemort and that the Dementor can sense Voldemort. Death knows Voldemort, is very upset over his attempts at immortality, and would like to hunt him down and kill him no matter how many Horcruxes he makes.

Lily Potter still died trying to protect her son, so Harry should still be protected.

Most epic and awesome chapter so far.
sithwalrus chapter 45 . 9/26/2010
Well... I have not read through all of MoR again, documenting all the hints, but a few things jumped out at me in this chapter.

First, Mcgonagall was not there, which surprised me a bit, so the previous guess that she was guarding the philosophers stone makes sense.

Second, Quirrel believes dementors are impossible to destroy, so wouldn't that mean he would have used one as a horcrux? (If possible) The fact that people tend to avoid them at all costs is another plus, and if he is also going for seven horcruxes, there may be another one out there.

Third, fawkes talks to harry, therefore phoenixes are probably sentient as well, which makes me wonder why he did not have his epic reaction earlier

And fourth, no explanation whatsoever seems to be given for why fawkes threw himself at the dementor, especially knowing he wanted harry to take another shot. Did Fawkes weaken it? Was he commiting suicide since he was tired of reincarnating?
Seadog Driftwood chapter 45 . 9/26/2010
Harry's thought-narration at the end of the chapter reads almost like the lyrics to a song, or a melodrama (spoken text with musical accompaniment - e.g. "Peter and the Wolf" or "Ett Ensamt Skidspår" by Sibelius).

While I cannot hear the music itself, I can certainly sense the sectional structure of it. Three parts, matching the three general thought-narrative sections, with breaks where the plot-narration interrupts.

The first part would have to start quietly, possibly with tremolo cellos and basses and low brass, all /piano/; a somewhat empty sound, yet with some latent tension. After a short introduction in this vein, it would continue similarly as the first sentence is spoken/sung. The second sentence would bring with it a /forte / fortissimo/ sunburst of glory, possibly in the form of a brass chorale/fanfare. This would ease into a gentler, but still /con moto/ (with motion) accompaniment for the third sentence, adding (at the very least) the lower strings, followed by the higher strings; the theme for this section anticipates the theme of the third part. For the fourth and fifth sentences, a gradual crescendo and adding of orchestral instruments, leading up towards a climax as sentence six draws to an end-

only to suddenly return to the quiet of the beginning. This is the start of the second part. Woodwind calls, however, make it clear that this is not the clay stagnation depicted before. The calls continue as the first phrase of the sentence (up to the first comma) is stated. The strings come in, gentle and chorale-like, with the second phrase (up to the semicolon); the horns come in softly around the word "until". A small rising motion accompanies "and when they learn," leading to a more melancholy mood to match the remainder of the sentence - melancholy, but not without brightness.

The third and final part opens with a /forte/ chorale with strings, woodwinds & brass; the narration begins immediately with them. This majestic and steadfast mood continues for the next four sentences until "and even if you do end me before I end you", whereat the dynamics drop down in preparation for a final climax on the last line. A final statement of the chorale theme rounds everything off.

In all seriousness, these lines are just that inspirational.
Lalaith Yamainu chapter 45 . 9/25/2010
So... I just re-read 45 like you said to... and I didn't see any hints like you described. Sorry, guess you weren't being as obvious as you thought you were.
Work Designer chapter 45 . 9/25/2010
Read it again after the Author's notes after Chapter 47. Hmm. I think the hint might have to do with any of the following possibilities.

with Harry's inability to hear the dementor's voice. Though, I don't think I've the mental calibre to work out what that means in this universe. I thought about his not being able to listen to semi-sentient stuff but he carried out a long and proper conversation with the sorting hat as well as he understands fawkes well enough.

The hole through which warmth goes out of the world. Reference to Second law of thermodynamics or entropy by any chance?

- Reinforced when Harry seems to be feeling better in Chapter 46 after the patronus charm, instead of drained. Might this be the first magic positive charm?
Kerensky287 chapter 45 . 9/25/2010
Probably my favourite chapter in this already excellent story. The ending of the chapter was just outstanding - it kind of reminded me of Gurren Lagann, actually, what with the whole "doing the impossible through sheer self-belief" feeling.

Also, I'm having difficulty imagining Harry's Patronus as anything but Dr Manhattan.
Speechwriter chapter 45 . 9/25/2010
Hold on. Is this the hint you were referencing in your author's note?

"It said to me," said Professor Quirrell, "that it knew me, and that it would hunt me down someday, wherever I tried to hide." His face was rigid, showing no fright.

Because I've been wondering since chapter 19 if it was a hint when Quirrell said this:

"I learned this from the single surviving student, whom the Dark Lord had left alive to tell the tale, and who had been a friend of mine..."

If Quirrell WAS the single surviving student, then wouldn't he have narrowly evaded death? Which would explain the Dementor/Death's desire to hunt him down?

And this -

"The Dark Lord was foolish to wish that story retold."

This, said while he is retelling the story? Plus, given that the original Quirrell is fastened to the Dark Lord... it makes me think that perhaps your alteration is that a psychological part of Voldemort is embedded in Quirrell, rather than a physical Voldy-face sticking out the back of his head.

Maybe I'm completely off the mark. But hey, I'm theorizing. The only thing I can see that outright goes against this theory is that Quirrell says he leaves the dojo, and only then does the Dark Lord arrive. But that could simply be creative license on his part.

AH WELL
deactivated32456i chapter 45 . 9/25/2010
(oh, in that last review I meant to say chapter 45- I think I accidently typed 42) also, just a little confused- did Fawkes in this chapter just vanish magicaly on its own and will be back, or did the dementor destroy/kill 'for good' Fawkes?
ejhawman chapter 45 . 9/19/2010
Looked at a few other reviews. The change to Lily's actions is subtle, but risks profound consequences. Does Harry have the protection of Love, now? Or did Lily's self-defense make that impossible?

Harry has had a hard time coming up with happy thoughts. In the books, he hadn't had many before Hogwarts; one has to imagine that after he started, he got them left and right, just living in an environment that accepted him on a fundamental level, something he hadn't known until then. Here, HPEV has the ordinary gamut of children's happy emotions from early on, and more recently his happiness is connected to his studies and rationalist activities; but this beefier arsenal isn't enough.

Dementors can't be killed? Is this a change to book 6, wherein they breed? It seems it must be, because it is hard to imagine conditions in that book were much worse for people, and much better for breeding Dementors, than, say, WWII or the Thirty Years' War or the Black Death. The world should be full of Dementors if they can't be destroyed.

Dumbledore says they are not truly undying - but then says it is because they are not truly alive. So he AGREES they are indestructible.

But then you take the position, often seen in stories, that a Patronus of sufficient strength can kill them. Surely someone must have done it at some point in the past? Is Harry just that special, that he is the first to do it? Seems trite.

The understanding of the Dementors' nature: they are an image of Death, not bodily death but soul-death. This, Harry rejects, as a transhumanist who believes Death will be beaten someday. Attempts at immortality have a long history, but not much faith behind them. Harry has absolute faith, founded in facts known at the time and grown stronger since. Is this why he succeeds where others fail? One needs not so much desire, as faith?
Please tell me chapter 45 . 9/11/2010
That Harry's patronus in some way resembles the God Emperor of Man.

THE EMPEROR PROTECTS!
David Brin chapter 45 . 9/9/2010
Okay, Eliezer. I have enjoyed all of these chapters, some of them immensely, and I have touted the series online... and to my kids...

But this one was your graduation exercise.

Finish this, write something that will best-seller into 20 languages. Draw more people back into the Enlightenment.

david
L.L chapter 45 . 9/9/2010
The dramatic effect is better if you end with "They were all looking at him as if he had just destroyed a Dementor." Switch it back?
xn3ct chapter 45 . 9/9/2010
OMG, Harry's patronus in form of a human? That's just perfect! The last part of the chapter almost made my cry. I share Harry's dream for humanity. Thank you for this chapter.
Tall Tails - Feline Jaye chapter 45 . 9/9/2010
yes! Harry having that patronus is so right. Great chapter.
RenGreen chapter 45 . 9/8/2010
To pave the way for the Bayesian Conspiracy, Harry could conduct a social experiment and introduce the wizarding world to d20 “Dungeons and Dragons.” Unlike JKR’s world, the magic in D&D follows a logical framework with defined variables in the form of dice.

Those who comment “Hey, why isn’t our magic like that?” would be ear-marked as possible recruits for the Bayesian Conspiracy. Plus, I think Filius Flitwick would make an awesome Dungeon Master, although I don’t know if he’s a good storyteller or not.

Outside of Quidditch, gobstones, and exploding snap, there doesn’t appear to be much recreational activity at Hogwarts.
Denubis chapter 45 . 9/7/2010
This chapter is a fantastic paean against death, and very moving as well. Thank you.
Rick Peterson chapter 45 . 9/7/2010
"...they'll weep to hear that such a thing as Death had ever once existed!" So not only will no one die due to old age or any disease or illness, but there will be no accidental death or murder or suicide? Strictly speaking, this also means that nothing else ever dies either. I know Harry is a "lifeist"; but this seems a bit much to believe, even if only for maximum impact against the Dementor.
random-adam chapter 45 . 9/7/2010
This chapter was posted on the day my cousin died of melanoma. I didn't cry at her funeral on Sunday. On first reading, I'm now sobbing - not as much at the loss of my cousin, but at my utter inability to share your awe-inspiring optimism.

I'll try, though.
109 chapter 45 . 9/7/2010
You know, I couldn't sleep last night, and it was all the fault of this thing. I guess it was floating around and floating around, and I never actually thought of a world where people might not die. I'd always wished it were so, but I never thought it might actually happen. There were times when I convinced myself that if I studied brain cells super diligently, I might be able to generate new brain cells some day, and stop people from dying. It would comfort me in the meanwhile, but I'd put the whole thing out of my mind eventually.

For the first time, there is the hope of actually celebrating my super-great-grandchild's birthday elsewhere in the galaxy, and returning here millions and billions of years hence to watch the death of Old Earth. I think, it would be triumphant and sad and remarkable, and I'd think back on 500 million? 5 billion? years of life, and everyone I'd come to love since then, and all the people who would never have had the chance to meet each other in the first hundred years, and all the things we could never have experienced. It sounds like heaven on Earth; it sounds like what I prayed for back when I was 7 years old. I didn't understand what rationality should be then, and was just scrabbling for anything to believe other than death, sort of like MoR-Dumbledore.

But you're absolutely right that it takes courage to face it, and I am ashamed to realize that I haven't had the courage. I've always dealt with my fright by casting my mind around for other things to think about, like all the other people who rely on happy memories. Once, I thought, if I didn't stop thinking about it when the horror strikes, if I keep on thinking about it, maybe I'll come to some kind of breakthrough. I was still in middle school at this time, and it only got scarier, and then I turned and fled and didn't look back, and been running ever since.

I won't pretend to understand everything you've tried to say, just I hope I might make some contribution to the eradication of death. Just by bringing out my wildest hopes, and I suspect, the wildest hopes of others, I honestly believe you've had a huge impact already on however things turn out. I hope I am around to see a world without death, and then, I will say thank you to you in person. I hope this isn't a false hope. That would be too cruel. I know MoR-Harry would say not to accept such a possibility at all...
Remoara chapter 45 . 9/7/2010
I have learned, and am learning so much from Less Wrong and this story.

But for this one chapter, *I* could have taught Harry how to cast a patronus right in the first place. ]

I've thought about it before, and already knew that's exactly how I'd do it if I was a wizard.

And to know that somebody else, let along such a spectacular writer, also sees that, is just wonderful.

In other words, this just keeps getting more and more awesome! D

I can't wait to get the power of Less Wrong combined with he power of Siegfried Englemann's theory of Direct Instruction and Michel Thomas. I think the results will be spectacular.
J Cubed chapter 45 . 9/7/2010
Crowning moment of awesome!
Morbious20 chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
Awesome chapter
BeepSmile chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
This chapter was beautiful, I mean really.

All of the reasons you have for making this story aside. I just want to say thank you for creating something so very good (not just as in artistic skill for your description, but in the good/evil sense.

Indulge in knowing that you have expressed something wonderful the best way I have seen in my life.
uo-chou chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
A very powerful chapter. Incredible.
Animekitty47 chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
A very moving chapter. I got a little teary for a few moments there. There are no words for the awesomeness of that scene. :)
JoshuaZ chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
I generally don't self-identify as a transhumanist because most transhumanist claims simply seem too trivial to bother with (i.e. of course death is bad. Of course we should get rid of it as possible). But this chapter gives what may be the most deeply emotional reason to identify with transhumanism.

John Donne is wrong when he says that the dead shall rise, but the sentiment is the same, "And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!" Science, not vain hope, shall stop death.

Thank you for writing an absolutely amazing chapter.
Zebra Scale chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
That which undying sleeping may lie.

Until through many strange eons even death may die.
Lord Jace chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
I'm righting this now, with a few tears still remaining in my eyes, evoked and conjured by the, I don't quite know how to describe it but I'll have to settle for amazing, emotional scene that saw tears in my eyes.

I don't cry a lot, and this is only the second time doing so during reading a fanfiction(and check my favs, I have read a lot of fanfiction) but this indescribable scene in which harry finally casts the patronus charm did so.

I don't normally leave a review, but I felt compelled to do so here.
nirbheek chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
I'm writing this review (my first ever) because chapter 45 made me cry. I've had tears well up in my eyes due to various media in the past, but this one made me shed actual tears, and I did not even try to hide them. I was proud of them.

Space may be the final frontier, but Death is the first one we must cross.
eSemmel chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
Thank you.
TF chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
That was beautiful.
Arkh Cthuul chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
Great Chapter, though from recent discussions harrys Interpretation of a Dementor was rather foreseeable.

Still, very good.
Loonynamelass chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
Harry's request met with a certain amount of opposition of the you're completely insane variety, though it was only Auror Butnaru who actually said that out loud.

:)

And when I read the last part, I shouted “YAY!” To clarify, I NEVER say things aloud when reading; I’ve only cried for one novel (and it was written) and one movie (I am exposed to quite a lot of both categories), I chuckle occasionally. But the end of this chapter really really really needed a YAY!
Brent Dax chapter 45 . 9/6/2010
This chapter is probably the most moving thing I've read in a long time.

I have to say, your Harry has been making me think a lot lately. My parents are keenly interested in life extension, and have been encouraging me to plan to take steps in that direction when I'm a little older, but I've largely ignored them. Perhaps I should not be treating death as an inevitability...

As far as your writing goes, I mostly love it—you can make dialogue interesting, you're good at leaving out the boring stuff (or making it interesting, as in the Diagon Alley scene—many writers essentially waste five thousand words boring their audience with that), and you're excellent at creating suspense. Your spelling and grammar are impeccable. I do have one quibble with your posting today, though: I would not have posted chapter 46 today. I think that leaving off at 45 would have made its ending resonate more. As it is, the emotional high point it contains is slightly smothered by the comedy, discussions with teachers, and serious consideration in chapter 46.

(But then, I have idiosyncratic opinions about fanfiction publishing schedules—most relevantly, I think that the timing of chapter releases can enhance the reading experience. Your mileage may vary.)

Finally, a question, though I don't know if you'll want to answer it: do you agree with Harry that some scientific knowledge is too dangerous to be publicly disclosed? My own values, largely instilled by the open-source software development community, find the idea rather distasteful...
Majin Hentai X chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
For that moment Harry became one with the Dai-Gurren dan and all 11 Doctors.

You made me cry and I thank you.
Judah chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
Now this one was a totally awesome chapter. Great job.
Bojangles the 3rd chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
whoops new accounts can't send messages. NEVERTHELESS, FANART art/Harry-s-Human-Patronus-178241922

Harry's happy thought gave me tingles
Roman Davis chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
I smiled. I teared up. I still haven't quite caught my breath yet.

That was amazing.
Sarah chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
You make life seem so charming. 3 I value you that. I love Harry's perspective of it. These last few chapters have been really good. Thank you. 3
Julian Morrison chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
That was very good. And very Diane Duane, too. But I find interesting that your hero has _not_ given up the ultimate prize that Duane's heroes have - to drive death out of _this_ universe, rather than waiting for a reboot.
BogdanButnaru chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
That was AWESOME!
Fairanon chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
Love how Quirrel interprets the pronoun reference literally. Destroy a dementor, destroy the sun: two things that probably won't work.
Gamebird chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
WOW. I sense that you, as an author, put a lot of personal passion into this chapter.

(Helps of course that I've read some of your entries on your website, specifically about death.)
Violet Shadows chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
Fucking. Epic.
Sangemaru chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
Way beyond the realm of awesome
ilikebluepineapples chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
You know, sometimes I think your prose is downright melodramatic, but sometimes it WORKS. And this chapter is one of those times. Beautiful 3

And it makes me feel kind of bouncy and happy because I always thought that my Patronus would be a person too. Specifically myself.
Y.Rako chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
As of now, this is, without a doubt in my mind, the greatest crowning moment of pure awesome in this Fan-fiction.

This scene, where Harry confronted the dementor for the second time, from his mental preparation and to finally destroying it, was pure EPICNESS!
Pandora of Ithilien chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
wow... i didn't review before, i wanted to get through this entire update first, but this... a human-shaped dementor? my god, that is something i don't think anyone could have seen coming.
physics chick chapter 45 . 9/5/2010
Wow...just wow...I almost cried. I love when Harry talks about the universe and the future of humanity.