Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Stormzy chapter 60 . 5/14/2022
Damn Sirius was right there and he didn't save him
MulticoloredFlame chapter 60 . 3/14/2022
Ahhh I'm so tired. Okay this wasn't the best arc I've ever read, and I mainly had issues with the reasoning behind it (and why Harry was so willingly ready to through away his future for a criminal who he wasn't even sure would be able to be good) but it could've been worse.
VeryPeeved chapter 60 . 7/13/2019
the Stanford Prison Experiment is a very successful experiment showing the depths people will sink to prove their own pet theories. that is all it is. it certainly isn't scientific, not in the slightest. the fact that people still believe it actually proved anything else is more of a condemnation of humanity than anything that came out of that "experiment".
Majerus chapter 60 . 7/11/2019
Gah! More!
AlenDarkStar chapter 60 . 9/14/2018
Harry has a point, Quirrell too... is complicated.
Beyond Hope chapter 60 . 9/21/2017
Dumbles, Harry planned a three way wedding between himself, his time turner and professor Quirrell almost broke time a couple of months before you came up with your own "let's fuck with the past" idea
Avatar Whitelighter chapter 60 . 8/16/2017
Now the real plot BEGINS. What a interesting fun ride to get here.
ack1308 chapter 60 . 4/7/2017
Guest chapter 60 . 10/5/2016
The Anguished One chapter 60 . 8/6/2016
Very fun argument between Harry and Quirrell. I wonder how this journey will change the dynamic between them. No more nice, calm lunches together in all likelihood.
Guest chapter 60 . 2/9/2016
London Knight again
Chapter 61 : Brits and especially British children DO NOT use the term WASHROOM!
We say "toilet" or "bathroom" or even "the bog" or "on the bog" . Never in 35 years have I heard the term washroom used in UK by anyone outside American TV or Films ...
Montara chapter 60 . 1/24/2016
Glad Harry stood his ground in from of Riddle and didn't let himself be manipulate further.
Pom Rania chapter 60 . 12/24/2015
Ah, this is a very good reminder: I'd wanted to volunteer with prison ministries, and I hadn't yet responded to the person coordinating it.
Regardless of one's views on religion, in general or specific, any good done in its name remains a good that was done.
WatchingTheWatchman chapter 60 . 12/8/2015
Quirrell's views are so cynical, but it's hard not to agree with a lot of them. But Harry is right, there are good people out there. It's rather arrogant to do what Quirrell is doing, and condemn the entire human race as stupid, ignorant cowards
ShadowLDrago chapter 60 . 10/26/2015
Hm, what is going on I wonder.
Zyxis chapter 60 . 8/17/2015
OH COME ON! I've tolerated the whole cutting-off-the-final-vital-sentence-at-its-most-important-part thing for a lot of chapters, but I really was curious about that one. Also. I realized it wasn't one other woman Harry was trying to save, but everyone.
PA chapter 60 . 5/22/2015
Cliiiiiiffhanger ...!
Nigiri Ashika chapter 60 . 3/10/2015
I cannot stress how much I adore this story. So rare is it to find something that moves me as strongly as your words, I have barely been able to set down the device upon which I am reading this story since I began. Rarer still, I understand many of your references, both cultural and intellectual, and feel constantly as though I am learning as well. Will you consider embarking upon an affair with me? It would never be said that I lack an appreciation for your mind.
spoonring chapter 60 . 10/8/2014
Quirrel bewildered by harrys affection for him?
A kidnapping plot, HAHA no dumbledore, this isn't your story!
Also, Best azkaban escape in the history of Harry Potter fanfiction.
Also also, I must tell you that I'm dearly awed by the space/Galaxy spell, sheer genius.
thepkrmgc chapter 60 . 8/2/2014
methinks that harry realises that there is a part of voldy inside his head...
silverrain-shiningsun chapter 60 . 5/22/2014
What was that place? That wasn't a prison, that was HELL!"

"Hell?" said the calm voice of the Defense Professor. "You mean the Christian punishment fantasy? I suppose there is a similarity."

Grizzmon chapter 60 . 1/15/2014
Harry, why does the darkness love you?
Guest chapter 60 . 11/25/2013
L.E chapter 60 . 6/4/2013
Finally some answers! Great chapter!
I'MNOTCRAZY1 chapter 60 . 4/17/2013
This is the second paradox with the time turner. Why was the first "NO" written? Why did Harry first write "DO NOT MESS WITH TIME"?
Cricket-moon chapter 60 . 4/14/2013
Chapter 60:
"Hell?" said the calm voice of the Defense Professor. "You mean the Christian punishment fantasy? I suppose there is a similarity." do know that not ONLY Christians believe in hell, right?...right?
sky36488 chapter 60 . 3/12/2013
Аmazing сhapter!
Enei Emmu chapter 60 . 2/4/2013
I stand corrected. Thus far it has ended remarkably well. But if Quirrell is Voldemort, He had Bellatrix's flesh, Harry's blood, and the location of the grave. They could have Apparated there with ease, and resurrected Voldemort's true form. Why must the bad guys always make their plots harder than need be?
Or am I just missing some even deeper gambit on Quirrell's part?
Random8042 chapter 60 . 1/3/2013
I hate to be boring if this has been said before, but, "you will think less fondly of commonplace idiots after the first time their folly coats you something dear. Such as a hundred galleons from your own pocket, rather than the agonizing deaths of a hundred strangers."
WildCard-Yes Man chapter 60 . 12/24/2012
So when a note is left to stop a paradox, is the origanal writer of the note a version of he time traveler that DID go back and caused a paradox?
Wendell chapter 60 . 10/19/2012
How can true emotional suffering exist, without any happy memories? Betrayal of lover or a friend would not hurt if you did not remember feelings of love and satisfaction. Losing a child would not hurt near as much if you did not remember their sweet face. It is precisely good memories that should tear one's heart apart. Otherwise, there is just numbness.
voodooqueen126 chapter 60 . 8/2/2012
You know Hermione was willing for Delores Umbridge to get raped by centaurs right?
Guest chapter 60 . 7/2/2012
Isn't it Enervate/Ennervate? :)
AR chapter 60 . 9/22/2011

Zimbardo and those who replicated his experiment tried hard to explain the nature of ordinary humans who would do those deeply sadistic things...

Yet even awareness did not stop a guard from acting as she did in the current Iraq/ Afghanistan occupation.

People are at the end of the day capable of unimaginable things..

Does the existence of Hermione's make up for the Quirrell's in the world?

I would be more concerned on what accounts for the average people?...the ones who are not extremists...yet capable of careless evil just the same..
Fenrir666 chapter 60 . 8/26/2011
I love the Harry-Quirrell interactions.
Death by manga chapter 60 . 6/8/2011
Have either of them considered touching up on Dynasty China (you know, BEFORE the Imperialists came in with their Open-door policy)?

Using a Non-Religious version of the Mandate of Heaven and a set up involving a Middle Man system, one could create a way for people to elect any leader they desired at any moment, regardless of terms. (They'd still have to have just cause for removing their ruler)

All businesses could be controlled, but not run, by Government officials, who then supplied their reviews to their boss, who did so again and again, creating a tree like pattern of Bosses/Employees. Products and Profits would all be collected and stored, and payment would be administered systematically. Products would as well be bought from the government, who would then place THAT profit like any other business.

With a system of rival politicians keeping tabs on each others, corruption would decline, and efficiency would rise.
lostallusions chapter 60 . 5/12/2011
Is there any chance of any Sirius Black (especially after Harry has surmised he may well be innocent, so presumably has some interest in an alternative account of events leading to his parents’ deaths) or does he just languish in the hell of Askaban to emphasise its horrors?
Just Awesome Like That chapter 60 . 4/12/2011


freaking cliffie T.T
ARMH chapter 60 . 2/27/2011
Great chapter. I'm actually really happy to see Harry go against Quirrell like that, even though some of what Quirrell said made sense.
Aegeus chapter 60 . 1/27/2011
The quote caught my eye:

only now he realized that the experiment hadn't examined the right question, the one most important question, they hadn't looked at the key people, not the prison guards but everyone else

Interestingly, Wikipedia reports that the Stanford Prison Experiment was shut down early, after just 6 days, because the the experimenter's girlfriend objected to the conditions in the prison. On the other hand, she was the only one to question it out of 50 outside observers, so it still kind of proves your point.
name chapter 60 . 1/18/2011
Amoz: - s/6510225/1/Harry_Potter_y_los_Metodos_de_la_Racionalidad

dreamsofthings chapter 60 . 12/15/2010
Cliffhangers are bad enough, but ending in the middle of a sentence is just plain mean.
Pamelina chapter 60 . 12/8/2010
Quirrellmort:i"Let us speak no more of it, then. Debts will be settled between us in time."/i

Ooo... *shiver*

This villain is so competent, he's much scarier than cannon Voldemort. He's tried and failed to kill Harry at least twice now (Draco dropping him, and the wand to the Dementor), in circumstances where his success would not be attributed to him, and would have the secondary benefit of being blamed on his enemy, Dumbledore's, carelessness, probably getting him fired. And both times he arranges to take credit for "saving" Harry when he sees his plot's going to fail. Hermione's courageous Dementor facing is what makes Quirrellmort point out Harry's wand. Hermione really has already saved Harry, without knowing it. Awesome characters! Awesome plot!
ZoobsMaroobs chapter 60 . 12/7/2010
In response to the line "One entity who wore the shape of a man in his late thirties and already balding, and another mind that wore the form of an eleven-year-old boy with a scar upon his forehead."

Harry's not an AI in one of Ben Goertzel's sim worlds is he? And that's why magic exists? The author wouldn't do anything that predictable, would he?
jafl chapter 60 . 11/30/2010
How much of Harry's suffering is autobiographical?
Apurv2009 chapter 60 . 11/26/2010
Its too good . I like the way Harry counters Quirrel. Lets see if he really is the Dark Lord. But good work.
Eclipse1234 chapter 60 . 11/25/2010
If by opposite reaction you mean Newton's Laws, then Azkaban is screwed. If they find a jinx that removes the effects of "every action has an equal and opposite reaction" and apply it to Azkaban, I would love to see the choas that entails. Then they'd be truly "off their rocker"
Adrence chapter 60 . 11/25/2010
Kinda sucks that you left such a cliff hanger. I like this story and I can't wait to read more. It's interesting and thought provoking. I don't really review stories so i'm a bit stuck on what I should say, besides that this story is AWESOME.
KugaWolf01 chapter 60 . 11/25/2010
I already left fangirl-y comments strewn across your DA profile, but I figure more praise won't hurt. You're teaching humankind to be rational. I am not a rationalist, I am one of those, from this story, who are perhaps beginning to learn what rationalism is. I didn't even know of "rationalism" (put in quotes to delineate it as a term in and of itself) as an alternative to the generally unstructured nature of my own thoughts. How fantastic!

On top of that, this is a fantastic story with compelling and complex characters. I care more for your iterations of these characters than I do for the originals!
Ham Nox chapter 60 . 11/25/2010
That conversation is... perfect.

It reveals next to nothing for certain, and yet i feel that we are closer to Quirrel than ever before :D

Two things that really jump out at me in this chapter are the moments in which Quirrel is stumped. The first time, after Harry admits that he cares deeply about his teacher (without any mind-bending, bribery, or threats from Quirrelmort's side), and the second time after he says Quirrel was wrong for not trusting Harry with the knowledge of how he might destroy Voldemort. Sure, it would destroy both of them but he knows that Harry has enough Gryffindor tendencies to consider sacrificing himself an option.
Sam chapter 60 . 11/25/2010
The best fanfiction I have ever read, bar none.
GaleWrites chapter 60 . 11/25/2010
... I just sat down and read this entire story in one go... it's taken me nine hours, but it was definitely worth it. I have to confess, I love what you've done with Draco, McGonagall, and especially Quirrel. I'll be looking forward to seeing what happens next
Stygian Styx chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
Interesting and entertaining, as always. Well done.
brilliantnut chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
I started reading this fic just yesterday, after your most recent chapter went up, so this review is for the entire story first, and I'm going to go back and find assorted chapters and review them too :)

I think this is an awesome story - but towards the end, it does start becoming almost like a Super!Harry fic, which isn't what this starts out as.

Still, it is an awesome read, and will wait eagerly for further chapters
funvince chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
While this story tends to be rather uneven in terms of characterization and overly convoluted in terms of plot, this is still one of the most interesting and page-turning Harry Potter sagas I've read in awhile.

I like the respectful friendship you have between Harry and Hermione. I like what Harry is trying to accomplish with Draco. And you have succeeded in making Quirrell an interesting character. It also makes me wonder if this version of Quirrell is not possessed by Voldemort but is simply who he would have been if he had never been taken over by the Dark Lord. I know how much you like to upend assumptions. You're quite good at surprise twists.

My one complaint is how Harry seems to oscillate between being a Magnificent Bastard who can pull of Xanatos Gambits and manipulate everyone around him and being a blockhead who has the emotional range of a teaspoon. Anyway, I definitely plan to keep on reading.
Dwst chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
I like the story, I like the conceits, I like the writing. I have developed a set of axes for my own self-examination of my liking or disliking something that I am reading. One of those aspects of my enjoying what I am reading is how much the author presents his ideas in a preaching manner. I appreciate this story as a vehicle for philosophic discourse, yet still feel that some chapters fall in the unpleasant range of the preachy axis. This chapter strikes me as one of those.

Yes, it IS an essay in philosophy, and it will have to have some explanatory sections. I believe this chapter could present the concepts the characters are espousing in a more believable manner; for example, emotions could have been more directly expressed and displayed, not just described. And, I wonder if too many questions are raised in one chapter, and left unanswered, to allow the reader any hint of denouement. Would a soupcon of pity be so out of place for the reader? He has just finished an absolutely harrowing adventure through Hell, after all, and might benefit from a minimal analgesic from the author.
anon chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
HoosYourDaddy: If you could give arguments for Dumbledore in chapter 29 I think Less Wrong would quite appreciate it.

Your "Surely an intellect as remarkable as yours can see that blindly privileging science over love, compassion, friendship, kindness, etc., is just as foolish as the reverse?" seems to be the exact same thing that Dumbledore actually said in that chapter. Are you asking that Dumbledore repeat himself?
Elisyniac chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
I just read this story in two days, nonstop, and I am more or less speechless. I went into this story having no idea what it was about; I just saw a link somewhere and clicked on it. This story is better than any fanfiction I have ever read, and the fact that you are updating so frequently and that you're so devoted to this story blows my mind. Thank you.
mitremlap chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
great chapter, thank you
Tall Tails - Feline Jaye chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
No - such a cliffhanger.

Again, a lovely chapter. I'd mention all my favourite parts but I'd end up writing the chapter.
felix chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
This is the only fanfic I have ever been a big enough fan of to actually mention in conversation in decent company. That in itself is a major success.

Love the social psychology tie-ins. I liked the story arcs that were lighter, personally, but my favorite so far has got to have been the Chaos army. I would have loved that when I was ten.
Lemur chapter 60 . 11/24/2010

I'm not sure that I understand the point of your objections regarding Harry's character and the "polemic" which valorizes it.

At the risk of "spoiling" something for those who may not have picked up on this point, Harry is a divided soul. He does not have that burning need to be ackowledged as "more intelligent", or "better" than his parents, or Hermoine. He loves them.

At the same time, he is a boy possessed. Correct? The things to which you seem to object are the very things that worry Harry himself, and for good reason. What Harry has to fix is the ... well, the riddle at his core.
kutta chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
Magnificent chapter.
James Firecat chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
What? That's the end of that chapter and its the last chapter you've published?

Please tell me you're going to write seven years worth of this wonderous crack you magnificent bastard, write more, WRITE MORE!

W-R-I-T-E M-O-R-E!

White Hat chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
Well, I find the whole of the concept rather interesting on its own, and I have found things rather hilarious up to this point. But there is a point I'd like to make, however. Harry is advancing his thesis about his Patronus and all, and how it succeeds because it subsists of rejecting death. But that makes very little sense, because death is obviously NOT going to automatically cause everyone to mourn, or grieve, or experience the worst thing they've ever experienced. I'm all for the rejection of death (though I'm not a secular humanist, don't even get me started in how very much I disagree with a lot of what you said.). It seems that Harry proceeds from his presupposition, "Death is bad," straight to his conclusion, "Dementors are bad, Dementors are death incarnate," even though... why? I mean, sure it looks a little like maybe a conceptualization of death, and sure, Harry uses his anti-death religious beliefs as a core component, but there isn't any reason that Harry should assume that the reason why it works is that belief. It could just as easily be his rejection of his own worst fear, it could be that Harry wielded hope against creatures of despair (which actually makes sense, all things considered), or possibly something else I haven't even thought of.

But he doesn't. He just believes the answer because the answer makes sense to him. Which is bad form, for any belief.
Three days late chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
Where is the new chapter? Huh? Where? Huh? I've been waiting for ages! Feed me! I am entitled to a new chapter roughly when you say you'll make a new chapter! When I'm at a computer I check every hour. When is the new chapter coming? When?
fanfan chapter 60 . 11/24/2010
The invention of a fictional world which is at the same time (i) sufficiently different to be interesting (ii) sufficiently coherent for a suspension of disbelief and (iii) sufficiently familiar not to induce a sensation of arbitrariness is a very difficult task indeed, and all praise should go to JKR for achieving it.

That being said, I think that your Potter and your lessons are much more interesting that the canonical ones. Actually, not counting what falls under Proust's notion of pastiche, MoR might well be the first fanfiction really worth reading in the history of the genre.

That is no small feat either.
phoenix Flight chapter 60 . 11/23/2010
Quirrell appears to find it convenient to assume the total depravity of all human beings. I wonder if he truly believes it or is only trying to deceive Harry with what he is not convinced of himself.
vertejaune chapter 60 . 11/23/2010
This was a completely amazing story that has entirely consumed the past two days of my life. I can't wait to read about how you resolve all the other logical inconsistancies of the potterverse.
pastrylikewolf chapter 60 . 11/23/2010
I enjoy this fic and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.
Adam Shea chapter 60 . 11/23/2010
Is it just me or is the end of Ch. 60 seem to be shaping up like a pre-boss-battle cutscene?
Lord of Murder chapter 60 . 11/23/2010
very nice fic. i really enjoyed it. keep it up.
bethy2-2 chapter 60 . 11/23/2010
Yet another awesome chapter :D Can't wait for the next
Ezra chapter 60 . 11/23/2010
Reviewing per request, even though I don't have much to say beyond "this is a pretty phenomenally good story." I especially like those parts where Harry applies real-world scientific techniques.
AnotherReader chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
Those saying there is a grat deal of Eli Y. lecturing involved aren't wrong.

Those saying the original characters have been changed beyound recognition, and sometimes to the point of abuse aren't wrong either.

B U T .

This work is awesomely written, deep, moving, and entertaining in just the right mix.

Making use of the established framework of the HP universe isn't theft here, it is merely climbing on the shoulders of a very suitable giant to reach even further heights.

Don't know whether the author has thanked JKR explicitly somewhere but the ironic references to her can be interpreted that way just fine.

Congratulations to EY and may he find time and energy for more of this.

Already looking for an on-demand book printing service for some presents... As long as they are not sold this should be OK, right?
rr chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
Another excellent chapter, and I'm eagerly looking forward to the conclusion of this arc.
Tucker chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
This is an amazing fic. I wish I hadn't found it yet, the waiting is going to be agonizing.
blubb chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
aw, cmon, blunt cliffhanger? D:
Nancy Lebovitz chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
Thanks for the polemic about prisons. I've thought for a long time that the only individual criminals who do as much wrecking of quality of life as prisons are some of the more extreme child abusers.

This being said, democracy (especially in America) has built quite a lot of prisons, but autocracy doesn't exactly improve the odds.

Harry's young. He hasn't thought about the possible need for succession if he gets to be in charge.

I'm enjoying the story as much as the angst level permits, but I hope we get to something besides Harry and Quirrell. It all just seems so lonely that I find it depressing.
AOEUIDH chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
Just read chapters 59 & 60. A good easing of the energy leading up to the rocket broomstick escape, without dropping the important issues that arose during the action that drove a lot of the tension.

The details of the time paradox prevention and the interactions of Dumbledore's and HarryQuirrel's time manipulations was unclear.

And I like the mild cliffhanger at the end of ch 60. Delightfully old fashioned, and very appropriate (in a Dikensian sort of way) for a serially released novel with many readers.
dinosaurusgede chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
Beautiful chapter. Never knew Dumbledore had experimented with time before. So funny that portkey could go international, I think this is the first time anyone ever mentioned it. My guess is Harry & friends were portkeyed to America or Indonesia,
Ayriannah chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
...and this is why I avoid unfinished fics, usually...I hate reading sixty chapters then realizing i need to wait for the next :(

on the fic itself, however...

The first five chapters had me incapable of putting down the computer, I was laghing so much. the next fifteen got me into the story, and I stopped cackling every three minutes. The next 38 went by in less than 12 hours, because the writing quality and plotline were so well done that I abandoned my other recreations in fvor of reading this. the last two? made me sad, because I realized that for the next, I'd need to wait a week, then a month... ah well. Wonderous writing, dear author, and if I lived anywhere near NY, I'd go tell your sister you say hi...(write soon, and return from Haitus quickly after)
jcr chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
As I feel I have little to add in a way of constructive criticisme, I have not reviewed your story until now.

Still I have nothing much to add here, but I wanted to thank you for the effort you are putting into this very entertaining take on the story of Harry James Potter. I have been enjoying this read very much indeed. It is well written, challenging at some times, a rollercoaster-read at other times. I'll be back for more!
lukstafi chapter 60 . 11/22/2010
I like the recent chapters a lot. Just a week ago I've been chatting how the Aristotelian to Newtonian (to Einsteinian) physics can be plotted as an obvious progress in hindsight and here you go.. But I like the emotional play around values even more.
mynameisthedoctor chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Personally I always thought your version of Harry thought of stupidity itself as his natural enemy and that on a subconscious level it was his mission to enlighten people without alienating people to "Raise the overall standard of living" if I remember the wording from his description to Hermione of how he wants to take over the world. I think if I knew the things he knew about Azkaban I would orchestrate some kind of educational school field trip to the wizarding prison with as many Hogwarts students as I can as an investment that they will remember what they seen when they are adults either as ministry politicians or the people who vote for them.
TempestDash chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
The one thing I'd really like to see is the rationalization for the paradox protection that seems to exist in the world established here. While I understand that there doesn't appear to be any alternative to have an internally consistent universe, I wonder how the safeguard works. If it was built into the time turner magic, that implies someone had a reason to incorporate such a protection, so wouldn't that also mean it is in fact possible to cause a pardox? Conversely, if its a feature of the universe, doesn't that mean the universe itself is conscious? I'm piqued.

Anyway, I just read this story from start to now over the last month and I have to say this is far and away one of the most facinating alt universe fics I've ever read. While I agree with some criticism I read prior to starting about the first 5-10 chapters being somewhat awkward (confirmation bias, I know...), with the Ghostbusters part almost being enough to get me to stop in its own, this story quickly rose to the top of my fanfiction hierarchy.

What you've got here is an excellently thought out story, filled with surprising twists and a definite lack of idiot ball holding, which is a pleasant change from many of the fan fics as I've read over the years. I've also enjoyed the lessons in rationality presented in the story, which have helped me recognize the inner rationalist within myself.

All in all, great job!
AspergianStoryteller chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
I think that if people really knew just how horrible Azkaban is, even a taste of it, they would at least htink twice about condemming criminals to reside there. Blimey, how the hell do you keep up with story? Just reading it is mental and emotional challenge.
ejhawman chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
A couple of action chapters, not much to say about them, and now Harry gets to catch his breath and think and talk with Q.

Harry still has enough empathy, enough love of humanity, that he considers the conditions in Azkaban without reference to the character of the inmates. Much of the Wizarding public accepts Azkaban as a necessary evil, or thinks the criminals are getting what they deserve. Perhaps in canon they do not truly understand the Dementors, or have never encountered them.

Or they are just brutish, and reflexively approve of torture as a punishment, as might be expected of a world designed for appeal to childrens' sensibilities. Which is clearly the case in this version of the Potterverse.

The evil of the conditions is certainly a salient issue. The worst of criminals, murderers and kidnappers and rapists and Dark wizards, need only be Obliviated like Lockhart and they are harmless. Azkaban exists because the Wizarding public wants blood and pain.

The worst problem is cases mentioned or indicated in canon of relatively small crimes or misdemeanors warranting Azkaban time. This shows the Wizarding world's lack of a sense of proportion: the punishment, far from fitting the crime, is enough to turn a minor criminal into a major one. Again, just the Unfortunate Consequences of Rowling exaggerating for effect; in a realistic world, perhaps, the Dementors would have long since been exterminated and Azkaban would be a warehouse for Obliviated felons. There would be a separate prison for minor crimes not worthy of Obliviation.

Q points out to Harry, as if it were necessary, how Evil Is Relative, making Harry an incipient Dark Lord relative to a Wizarding world too tolerant of brutality (and too generally stupid) for his tastes. And so another Dark Lord Potter embraces his destiny...

Why is he not like other children his age? Where to start? He's gotten the right influences, for one thing.

Cliffhanger much? No, barely counts as such in my book. Just a cutoff remark. I'll wait. Meanwhile, some fun games thinking of possible responses -
AckSed chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
It is a rare pleasure to see two chessmasters staring each other down. I can't wait to see what happens next.
ilikebluepineapples chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
A note: you were getting too melodramatic in that first half there, with the precipice and the and cold things smashing down Harry's heart and all that.

Don't make Voldy fluffy and conquered by Harry's love, please. And don't make Hermione a perfect paragon of virtue. I'm guessing that Quirrel will do something to try and make Hermione show her "true" colors to Harry soon, and I expect that you will use this as an opportunity to give Hermione her Test, just like finding out about genetics was Draco's. Make her struggle and change, not just sail through it, please.

I will definitely miss this fic over the next month.
NougatEvolution chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Ooh, intense conversation swathed in appropriately eerie environmental stimuli!

Really appreciate how much said in this fic applies to the real world. If I'm gonna be wasting my time on fanfiction dot net...
bluewillow chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Having Quirrell refer to Voldemort as You-Know-Who is particularly perverse, especially since Harry doesn't know. Or, perhaps, is avoiding that piece of mental calculus...

Lovely chapter.
Peregrinate chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Oh, please? I don't want to finish my homework just yet.
UnclGhost chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Thank you for writing this. I came across a mention of it on TVTropes a few months ago and was instantly intrigued just by the title alone. I remember reading the books as a kid and wondering about things like "what would happen if you tore a hole in the side of the Weasley family tent; how would it appear from the inside?" or "if you hatched a chicken egg under a toad in the Muggle world, would it create a Basilisk?" Even when there aren't any answers in canon and any possible answers would likely be unsatisfying, this fic proves that it can still be interesting to think about how you would go about finding out the rules of magic.
E.A.V chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
What ho!

Fantastic new chapter! I love the sense I get as a reader of gradually building tension and compounding questions of what will happen next!

Thank you, again, for writing!
nullc chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
"Transfiguration Aurors Rocket fumes"

I boggle at all the people who paid enough attention to raise this point, but failed to notice that the Harry considered this and attempted to address it:

"He was holding in his mind the form of a Muggle device rather larger than a car battery, and slowly applying that Form to the substance of an ice cube (which Harry had frozen using Frigideiro on water from a bottle in his pouch). You weren't supposed to Transfigure things to be burned, but between the original substance being water, and the Bubble-Head Charm to protect their air supply, Harry hoped that this wouldn't make him or anyone else sick."

I thought it was rather clever. If it worked it certainly wouldn't be the biggest loophole in the magical rules of this universe... and we also know that one Auror was injured by the fire from the rocket. I think if pressed, after the initial shock Harry might argue that being burned during a daring escape is a cost you accept when you choose to help operate a torture camp.
CrystalC chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
"What a wonderful, fantastic chapter! There are so many things I love about it, for instance -"

Also, I very much enjoy how you reinforce the way paradoxes are circumvented with Dumbledore's "NO" note, and the information that he can deduct from it.

Also Also, the way that the character's own perceptions of themselves are used to describe them, example: "One entity who wore the shape of a man" and "... mind that wore the form of an eleven-year-old boy"
obsidian-fox chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Delightful chapters. I especially enjoyed the point on Democracy. I look forward to more!
SecretlySeverus chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
wow... and the plot thickens! Poor Harry... I'm having enough time trying to wrap MY head around it, I can't imagine how he's even coping!

Enjoy your hiatus!
braindoll chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Now that we've had the big Reveal on the "TSPE" name, I have to say, it was a letdown. Yes, it's easy enough to use tspe as a metaphor for real life, with all of us as the prison guards; I suspect that most of your readers, including me, have voted for more than one person with direct culpability in atrocities. (For instance, I can't think of any US president I know much about who doesn't have such.) But that is a weak hook to hang this whole monster sequence on - it doesn't relate to much of what happens, and it is anyway too obvious.
Schamie chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
I've never left a review, so I thought I should do so now. I love this fic. I stopped reading fanfic years ago, but when I heard about this one, I got hooked on it, and now I can't stop reading every update.

I don't know a whole lot about science or theories of rationality, so a lot of that is really interesting to me. I also like how you address a lot of issues I had with the books; it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who read them and went 'wait a minute...'

Please keep writing, and we'll keep reading! But don't push yourself too hard. Getting your book published is just as important as fanfic. Good luck!
Din chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Last Alchemist: What are you talking about? Of course Voldemort could easily win. He has other Horcruxes and isn't dependant on Harry, and indeed, in canon, one of his soul pieces was already destroyed since the second book. Apparently, there were no adverse effects - He didn't even notice it when they were eliminated one by one!

A perfectly servicable winning strategy for canon Voldemort thus would be just to sacrifice his accidental Horcrux in Harry and kill him already (and make sure that he is indeed dead, observing the Evil Overlord rules).

So clearly, his motivation here is something else besides "winning".

And the fact that Dumbledore couldn't come up with a way to safely get rid of the Horcrux in Harry's scar is an artificial constraint imposed on the story by JKR to justify her plot, since her magic system is completely arbitrary.
Heidinanookie chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
haha. Damn.
Non-Existent ONion chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Ooh! A pissing contest between smart people. Those are always fun.
Indigo Ziona chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Hmm, interesting...

A quick word about Avada Kedavra - the intent to kill is important - surely you can fake casting it, wand movement and all, simply by lacking the intent? Quirrell didn't want to kill the guard.

I'm more and more intrigued by Quirrell as time goes on. For a while I thought he was simply as he would have been without being possessed by Voldemort, but I've wondered instead whether he simply *is* Voldemort, and your Voldemort is considerably more cunning and ambiguous than JKR's Big Bad.


And yet...

I wonder if Quirrell's not really evil as such, but working for his own idea of the greater good. A bit Gregory House-ish, in a sense - he does what he thinks is right, and is convinced that he is proceeding in the correct manner, even though he believes differently to others.

In any case, I look forward to reading more.
NoNeedForIdentityHere chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
In general: This fic is awesome.

Really funny and well-plotted plus interesting use of characters.

Just don't forget to keep the funny going even when the plot thickens.

This particular chapter was very plotty. I like that Harry is finally doubting

Quirrel, and that he doesn't let that make him irrational.

Their relationship is very interesting, I hope you have

something good planned for its overall arc.

Thanks for what is here now and please keep going.
nice chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
you have a talent for cliff-hangers
Blazen chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
I have a disturbing feeling that at some point Hermione will be sacrificed for sake of Harry's path. Because she is (or would be anyway) more important for Harry than even his parents are.
topynate chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Richard: Nice introduction of Goffman! But what social order and values do Quirrell and Harry accept and share, in order that the ritual of apology can enable Harry to show that he accepts them? I agree with Quirrell that an admission of guilt would simply be a ploy when both parties acted as they truly wished to act, to the best of their abilities. (/sociology)

Quirrell is a wonderful character, one of the best literary psychopaths I've seen. His dialogue in this chapter is icily, brilliantly logical (and Harry doesn't do too bad either). One of the benefits of rejecting the social order is the clarity it lends to one's thoughts on it. "Console yourself with this", indeed!

When you said that every fic needs one 'obviously wrong' ship, I couldn't help but think Draco and Hermione. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this is the ur-pairing of Harry Potter fan fiction. Still, I hope some sparks fly, eventually; Hermione is fascinated by plotting and ambiguously Bad People, and if Draco isn't exactly head over heels, at least he doesn't hate her guts, and she comes from an acceptable house after all. Harry should of course end up with Luna Lovegood.
Mac Ceallach chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Leaving it there was unkind. Thank you for writing, and please update soon!
Richard chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Erving Goffman could help them with the apology thing: apologising is splitting yourself in two parts. One part is blameworthy and to be rejected socially, the other part shares in blaming part 1: it is this part, that agrees with the complaint against part 1, that can be reintegrated with society. So it's submission, sure, bit not abasement, necessarily.

Another great chapter, and I like how Harry's concerns remain resolutely his own, despite loud shouting from us peanut gallerians.
Froggie chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
This story is getting scary!
WaxWings chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Well that was fun. I like that Harry really is not the first to try new things. Apparently, Dumbledore knows some little tricks with the time turner as well.
w chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
I love the cliffhanger.

Very nice confrontation. Go dark side! And finally Harry started thinking about Q.

There is something unnatural though by waking up from fainting after extremely stressful even and launching into a moral-political discussion. It's quite a distraction from the well-built background. Maybe move it to when they are back at MP? Probably too much hassle.

My candidate for the next line is "Happy happy boom boom swamp".
phoebe turner chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
great chapter!
Work Designer chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Awesome update. Loved the man-to-man questioning session.

Very strong words from some very strong people. People I'd be scared of meeting in real life, btw.

I really wonder what this story will turn into after Quirrel leaves, which he will do after May. Being a rational person, he knows people will deduce he is Voldemort, if he stays on for a second year.
Benquo chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
"Yet I will say this much-"

1) "-Have you ever seen me and your father at the same place at the same time?"

2) "-No, perhaps I'd better show you." lifts up patch of fake skin on his forehead to reveal a lightning-bolt shaped scar

3) "-Before we left her I noticed that Bellatrix seems to be pregnant. And it's yours."

4) "-If I have guessed correctly, you and only you permitted a newly conscious sorting hat to die."

5) "-This fact has been officially suppressed for reasons you will surely guess, but along with Voldemort's body they found the bodies of four of his allies, one from each house. One wonders whether, in that great release of energy, their departing souls somehow became trapped... somewhere... perhaps, inside someone."

6) "-Dumbledore has been known to tamper with the minds of his allies."
sensoray chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
oooo i think you an asome and dedicated person for keeping up such a good story by updating all the time...and 2 chapters...yum! thanks so much, cant wait for the next one!
Arkh Cthuul chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Such an evil, evil Cliffhanger...

And once again an amazing chapter. Keep it up!
Debate4life chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Wow, another awesome chapter. I simply cannot predict your plot turns, and it is delicious. I started reading Less Wrong after seeing it mentioned on your author page, and I have seen the impact on my thinking. Thank you. Keep writing.

Fair winds and following seas,

godescalc chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
aie cliffhanger

I note Quirrelmort's inability to conceive of people genuinely being kind and concerned for each other reflects what canon-Dumbledore said about how Harry had the Power of Love and how Voldemort simply couldn't understand this power. It's striking, though, to see this dramatised instead of just offered up as a somewhat cliched Dumbledorism - Quirrell's inability for warmth or gratitude or genuine appreciation when talking to Harry-PEV is scary and horrible.

Quirrell's argument also raises the serious question of why, if kindness and compassion are shams, do people pretend to have them? It would be absurd for large quantities of humanity to feel the need to emulate non-existent quantities. I'd hoped Harry would dissect his argument on this grounds, but pointing to his own observations of reality (Hermione's kindness) to refute the theory also works. Plus he's stressed, tired, half-loopy from exposure to Azkhaban, &c.
Luiz4200 chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Albus messing with time-travel? His mistakes really have the gravest consequences.
NicNacs chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Gahhh! You can't leave it there!
gworley3 chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
After a marathon week of reading I'm finally caught up to the current state of the story. I'm really happy about this story, Eli. I think if my mind hadn't already been awoken to rationality (by some of your earliest writing, back before you were even trying to teach rationality), this would have forced it to do so. Regardless of what actual details people learn or remember from reading this, I think you have created a fantastic tool for unlocking people's minds.

That said, I see the biggest challenge with this story being that it's fan fiction. I have no issue with fan fiction, but I think many people who would benefit from reading this won't because they'll just dismiss it out of hand because of the genre. At the same time, I'm not sure you could have otherwise gotten as large an audience as you have. Maybe, though, in writing your nonfiction, you can translate this skill for fiction into writing interludes a la GEB to keep things interesting, relatable, and to show what it looks like from the inside to become a stronger rationalist.
BLitZme.2 chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
You sir are EVIL that is the most frustrating cliff hanger yet!

Drat you for your excellent writing, cunning plot, compelling dialog and well done placement of a noodle indecent. this is so good drat you.

Also when is he relay going to ask the question we all see as obvious thou his is obviously even more obvious?
Vampyromaniac chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
One of our talented fan artists should totally draw up a timeline of this whole Time-turning escapade (like how there are concept maps for Inception), because I can't keep it straight in my head with the loops at Mary's Place but with Azkaban's future unable to interact with its past!

I will be sad to see you go on hiatus. The two week wait just for this weekend's chapters had me checking at least daily, going 'Eliezer what are you doing to me?'
Mindless Mimicry chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
-"because I'm besotted with you I slipped you a love potion which accidentally turned you intothe alter ego of voldemort. You are the voldemort imor at the end. An integral part, for sure"

Update please
Dureth chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
EXCELLENT and the cliffhanger at the end... always a cliffhanger, with you! Answering my questions like that was so satisfying.
Sarshi chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
What? You, you, you, you... JOYCE!

What's up with stopping in the middle of the sentence there? Sheesh!

Anyway, Prof. Q's answers to Harry are awesome, I love their exchange in its entirety - it could probably only happen between the two of them, since they're so similar...


Whenever I try to be too honest about who I am and what I feel about things, people seem to think I'm Evil. Hate that. Really do. not evil.

anyway, thank you for the wonderful chapter, now I'm off to read why you're going to be on hiatus and weep.
Tiky3000 chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Oh that cliffhanger is just evil. What did we ever do to you?
Less Wrong chapter 60 . 11/21/2010

dragonblack chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Tom Reagan chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Another awesome chapter - the whole back and forth between Q and Harry had me on the edge of my seat, and I liked the icy imagery, nice touch.

But that cliffhanger... *sharpens blades*
firedraygon chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
Hmmm, democracy...very interesting arguments for having a Dark Lord around. And Dumbledore trying to play with time is amusing. Looking forward to that encounter!

yamiishot chapter 60 . 11/21/2010
No! Tell me what yu are going to say don't break off there! Argh!
badkidoh chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Another great chapter.
smittyha chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Blah blah...sadist...blah could you let it hang like that...blah blah...for up .to a blah blah...fanfic dementor...blah. Oh, and compelling chapter.
Knight of Ni chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Until this cliffhanger is resolved, I'm just amusing myself with the endless possibilities.

"Yet I will say this much - you look like the kind of boy who'd enjoy wearing women's underwear. Just saying."


" - you look very much like a woman I once banged in Vegas."

"... do you mean ...?"



"- I've always wanted to be a ballerina. You've inspired me to fulfill my dream. I leave for Paris tomorrow.

I should stop. But seriously, cool story bro. Love it.
AlwaysInADream chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
You know, I was wondering why you felt a need to tell us we'd get chapter 61 "when it's done". arghhh cliffhanger

I'm glad they're finally out of Azkaban. Maybe it's just me, but I thought that went on WAY too long.
Last Alchemist chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
I would think that the primary reason why Harry Potter is different from other boys is that he himself is one of Voldemort's horcruxes. According to the JKR canon, one of Voldemort's soul-bits is within him, just as is the case with Nagini, the snake. The differences are that Harry has his own strong will and can resist the Moldy-Wart part of him, and Voldemort does not even suspect that a part of his soul (or life essence) is in Harry.

In the canon, Harry's only hope of deliverance was for Voldemort to kill his own horcrux in Harry, and for somehow Harry to be able to return to life afterward. (Hence all the hand-waving about the Deathly Hallows.) But perhaps an unsuspected corollary to the rules regarding the killing curse, is that if a person has a part of someone else's soul also lodged in him as a horcrux, then the killing curse only has to destroy one of the souls, not both, and the host soul is the one most likely to survive, since it is whole and complete, thus stronger. In such cases the killing curse may actually be regarded as therapeutic.

The way JKR has this set up in the canon, I do not think it is possible for Voldemort to win. Not that I would want him to. But even if Voldemort knew the full nature of his relationship to Harry, what could he do about it? He could not kill Harry without killing the part of himself in Harry. And it is likely no one else could kill Harry for him without also killing the horcrux.

Voldemort's only real winning strategy would be to get Harry to team up with him. Perhaps this is why Quirrell in this MOR fanfic version is trying to corrupt Harry and turn him to the dark side. Perhaps this is also part of the nature of Quirrel's relation to Voldemort. But could they really survive as partners for long, without falling out? There can only be one "king of the mountain." Maybe Quirrell's "zombie state" has something to do with the issue of who has the upper hand.

Harry could not defeat Voldemort, either, if Voldemort refuses to kill his horcrux in Harry. How could Harry kill the horcrux in himself? And as long as any of Voldemort's horcruxes still exists, Voldemort cannot die. At least, not completely. Though a mangled, mutilated one-seventh of a soul might be something Harry could live with, since his own soul is whole. That is basically what Harry has been doing all his life after being attacked by Voldemort as an infant.

At least then when Harry does something naughty, rather than say "The Devil made me do it," he can say, "Voldemort made me do it."

I wonder if an exorcism would work.
Utisz chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
"-I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner."

"What?" Harry asked.

"That is what I truly wish to be." The professor said simply.

In all seriousness, I'm loving this story. Sad about the hiatus, can't wait to see the twists, etc., etc.

I'm entertained about your stated goal. Given that you've written more than the first several Harry Potter books combined (even if they are the shorter ones), I think I can be satisfied even if you'll be writing less story time.

Thanks for the warning prior to the hiatus. You have a "redound" in there. Write more, plox.

LauralHill chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Minor Quibble: It's Bartemius/Barty Crouch, although I guess it's hard to hear and all. I doubt Bella would call him "Bartemy" though.
Inkyfingertips chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
You are cruel. I almost navigated off this page without leaving a review out of spite. A cliff hanger? again? GAH!
red75 chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Great job. My congratulation upon 9200 reviews.
Plumbum chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
I would be really interested what percent of your readers are male vs female. I bet your story has an unusually high number of male readers among Harry Potter fanfics.

I occasionally return to read, but I cannot bear to follow the story. It is way too depressing. It also reinforces my belief that there are some fundamental differences between how guys and girls think.

Not understanding apology and respect (this chapterreviews)... Harry is barely more human than Voldemort.
AwsmAdm chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
This is a great series. I've been reading for ages but this is the first time i've reviewed for some reason. Anyway, it's too bad about the upcoming hiatus but I'm enjoying every word of it while it's still here.
TSFreedom chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Another amasing chapter keep'em coming .
Bo chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Elej, he thought it was Sirius Black.

Great chapter, I'm glad to finally see some conflict between Harry and Quirrel. But you can't, CAN'T leave this cliffhanger hanging for a month.
Loonynamelass chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
A deliberate cliffhanger. Geez.

It would be really cool to make this into a T. V. show, I think.

And darn it, I was expecting his epic question to be "ARE YOU LORD VOLDEMORT?" Because his dark cold side was finally coming out against Quirrel, and I wanted the dark cold side to WIN.

Still, the cliffhanger has potential on its other end. :)
wisecurledqueen chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Fantastic cliffhanger. Really. Now, I do like what was in the chapter. The way Harry has such hope, and how Quirrel doesn't, speaks to me about a lot of things, and not just their personalities. Thanks!

fontgoddess chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Well, thanks for doing Stanford Prison instead of Milgram, or both. There's only so much crushing horror and despair anyone can take.

So this is amazing, deep, and an incisive critique of both Rowling's nightmare of a society and our real-life society (although since our prison system can't decide whether it's punishment or rehabilitation, hopefully our system falls short of unending torture for the incarcerated). Looking at how a society tolerates and even enforces sadism is important stuff, especially since we in the non-fiction world are guilty of this as well. The fact that people laugh at prison rape jokes or jokes about tasering continues to horrify me.

That being said, please, please, pretty please give us something light (it can be short and even, possibly preferably, omake) before you go off on your hiatus. But only if you have fun writing it, because I'd hate for you to feel like a slave to your audience.

In story, I'd really love for Harry to have some conversations with people who are warm and caring and not manipulative bastards. And aren't there any voices of dissent in the wizarding world who didn't resort to becoming dark lords that you can make up? I'm sure you can put some glimmering bits of hope into the wizarding world of your AU that aren't unquestioning and backwards or manipulative and authoritarian. Honestly, why hasn't Harry ever thought of skipping the whole Light Lord/Dark Lord dichotomy and considered encouraging people to be their own Light Lords? Hermione could point out that it doesn't necessarily take fancy tricks and coercion to do this. The nuances of that part of the point may have been skipped over when Hermione flipped out over Harry's last bit of meddling in the school social ecosystem.

But, um, yeah … amazing work. Ravenous for more.
kira66 chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
No! You can't stop there! I need more! MORE! This story is addicting and I can't stop reading there! !
AlbertoMalich chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
I enjoyed this chapter immensely, as I have all the others, but I am confused by Harry's final question. What part of his character or behavior cannot be explained by his genius in conjunction with his lifelong training in the Methods of Rationality? Is he questioning why he has a mysterious dark side, or is he asking why others don't see the world in the same way that he and professor Quirrell do?
Remoara chapter 60 . 11/20/2010

So maybe Voldemort's deal is pretty much exactly what he expresses as Quirrel?

...That is both scary and sad, both in itself, and in how utterly REAL it is.
Violet Shadows chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
That is a truly horrible cliffhanger.
Paganimagus chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Of ALL the horrible cliff-hangers you've ever done, THAT was the worst.
BluePard chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Ending the chapter mid-sentence is not nice. :(
Gamebird chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Crap! You and your cliffhangers!

(I love them though.)

I never understood the concept of apology either, except as abasement and surrender, and I do think there's a place for that in society and our lives.

I've also never been able to wrap my mind around the concept of "respect" except as an expression of fear and caution. Again, there's a place for that in our society, but I don't see why respect or apology is glorified and treated as a good and worthy thing.
uncreative chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Partway through this chapter, and Harry's misunderstanding of Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment is really jarring to me, of course, psychology was my field. First off, they didn't all turn sadistic. They all adopted their roles. But there were three different patterns into which the guards fell. Some turned sadistic, some followed the rules and had a kind of "just doing my job" mentality, and some were sympathetic to the prisoners and tried to do them small kindnesses. The prisoners also fell into one of three different roles, but it's been over a decade since I've gone over the material, and I can't recall the details on that.

However, more importantly, one of the hugely important things the experiment demonstrated was exactly the effect on everyone else. It showed how the parents of the "prisoners" adopted their roles and did not object or try to help their kids when they had a visiting day. They brought in an actual priest who had experience in real prisons, and he offered counsel, and he knew it was just an experiment, but he also filled his role and did not speak up.

Zimbardo made a mistake in the design of his experiment. It was understandable, because he was the first person to do so in a large way that made the field learn why it was a mistake. He was running the experiment, but he had the role of prison warden within the experiment. Which is why he didn't think about ending the experiment when it clearly went too far, because what the experiment showed was that roles have power. That most humans will fill the role they are given, and while they may play that role in one of a few different ways, breaking out of an assigned role is remarkably difficult.

The experiment was terminated early because a research assistant who had no role other than helping to run the experiment pointed out to Zimbardo that these were college students participating in a psychology experiment and he had one of them locked up in solitary confinement overnight. That shook him out of his role, he ended the experiment, and worked hard to help the participants not have it be a negative effect on their lives. He has done regular follow-ups with the participants, and been very vocal in encouraging others to avoid situations that encourage humans to act in unethical ways. And now the field of psychology does not allow the person running an experiment to generally have a role within the experiment.

But the experiment very much looked at how many people got sucked into their roles. Even how the prisoners signed their letters home with their "prison" ID numbers until prompted to use their names. On a side note, the experiment was supposed to run for two weeks, if I recall correctly, but as I said, was ended early. The effect does not take long to become powerful.

Anyhow, it's not entirely fair for me to speak up only when something bothers me. On the whole, I really am enjoying this story and think it is very good. It's just that there is more to say when I see something I wish were different than when all I have to say is, yeah, enjoyed that. Chapter 19 was still my favorite though; I thought that was excellently done and after I read that, I recommended this fic to many of my friends.
threecankeepasecret chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Prowler101 chapter 60 . 11/20/2010
Yay, An update!