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Old 03-09-2010, 06:25 PM   #1
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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Less Wrong - T

Title: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Author: Less Wrong
Rating: T
Genre: Drama/Humor
DLP Category: Humor or Parody Terribad
Chapters: 122
Words: 661,645
Updated: March 14, 2015
Published: Feb 28, 2010
Status: Complete

Summary: What if Petunia had married higher on the food chain and snagged herself a scientist? Rationalist!Harry enters the wizarding world armed with the lore passed down from Richard Feynman, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and a cursed scar...

Every once in a wile a true gem appears. This story is one them
and I have really enjoyed this one so far. Just one warning do not drink anything wile reading chapter five.


Checked by Minion, March 14, 2014
Thank Merlin's Balls, that's done now.
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Last edited by Dark Minion; 03-14-2015 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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I have to say I was expecting this; Harry's father, Professor Scientist McAtheist Darwin, is a completely stereotypical figure. Dismissive without evidence and arrogant.

And, to back him up, we have Wesley von Potter-Verres-Evans, the captain of knowledge who obviously loves everything (being a ten-year-old, which is usually reason enough to enjoy things like not reading boring books all day), and can understand why the world works the way it does better than anyone ever.

Professor Scientist McAtheist Darwin is far too accepting of magic in the second chapter. He obviously doesn't believe it in the first chapter, yet his character radically changes from angry smartass into cool-as-a-cucumber sideprop right after being levitated. In fact, his only part after that was to laugh histerically at Harry for something that surely would've lost its humour over four years.

Another thing that pisses me off; While it may be possible that McGonagall would say "That is the most Ravenclaw thing I have ever heard.", not only does it sound completely stupid (that'd be like me saying "Why, that was quite Zimbabwaian of you!"), McGonagall has been teaching at Hogwarts for many years. You'd think, at one point or another, she would either hear something more bookwormish, or at least learn to refrain from making such possibly-insulting comments out loud.

A small nitpick in the description of how McGonagall described Voldemort attack Godric's Hollow; she said that he killed James, and then Lily, and then came for Harry. Of course, it could be figured out as the most likely situation, but none but Harry and Voldemort know who was killed first that night. It's annoying to read that everyone knew every detail about that night except why.

Harry just pisses me off more by showing off his big juicy brain that stores all knowledge about everything in chapter four, so I'll skim over that nerd-rage piece.

Goblins are actually reasonably liking Harry, unless all of them are as soft as Griphook. Then they'd be back to being teddy bears with fangs.

Chapter five inexplicably made me crack up laughing. The humour did require some suspension of belief, but I could believe that an 11-year-old Draco Malfoy would do what he did in that situation, given the circumstances.

I'm going to keep watching this story, because right now my rating stands between 3 and 4, depending on the chapter I read at any given time.

Last edited by Juggler; 03-10-2010 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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A bit hit and miss, but when I laughed, I laughed hard. Particularly at the Madame Malkin scene. Worth following I think, although there's danger of Harry becoming so rational and dictionary-esque it's annoying.

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Old 03-09-2010, 07:14 PM   #4
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...you know, that was surprisingly good. Harry's OC to the n-th degree, but I'm finding that I'm not really caring all too much, because the story's pretty fucking funny. Not too shabby at all. However, it's not without its flaws. Harry's pretty precocious, but it's a little absurd at points how 'smart' Harry is.

Still, I'll follow this - it's pretty interesting, at least. Not really enough to rate, but I'd give it a 4/5 right now.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:27 PM   #5
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The Madame Malkin part was quite good.

However, I fear though that I will grow to hate this story. Harry is too smart and I feel like the story will end up having Harry declare the Wizardry world is stupid and he is awesome and smart and LOGIC is KINGGG.

The random adding of math terms and other things is going to ruin this.

Rating is withheld because it could get a lot worse very fast.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:37 PM   #6
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I'll admit that it was mostly pretty mediocre. But chapter 5, for some unexplainable reason, did in fact make me crack up. Still, it doesn't really make up for the story as a whole. 3/5

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Old 03-09-2010, 09:10 PM   #7
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What made me run from this fic was the first paragraph that has Harry with three last names.

"You dare tempt me lackey of Chaos? Save your breath. You will need it to scream when the Emperor judges you in the afterlife."

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Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
A boy finds that life will always be a disappointment. Contains Magic.
Harry Potter - Rated: T - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 198 - Words: 1,084,170 - Review: 1,000,000+ - Updated: 8-21-07 - Published: 6-29-07 - Harry P. & Ginevra W. - Complete

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Old 03-09-2010, 09:23 PM   #8
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The three last names thing, I think, can be rationalized by the fact that his father is a presumptuous snob.

This is an interesting enough read, but I see a lot of potential for fail. And I had to suspend my disbelief quite a bit for the scene in Madame Malkin's shop.

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Old 03-09-2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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I wont rate till there's MOAR, but in a just-for-the-lolz sense this is Epic Win. When I thought the Harry-McGonagall interaction couldn't be topped, then we got the best Madam Malkin's scene I've ever read period.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dethklok View Post
What made me run from this fic was the first paragraph that has Harry with three last names.

That's a dumb reason to not read this fic. It is actually pretty funny. It just remains to be seen whether the author can continue to pull this off; I certainly hope he doesn't crash and burn.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:33 AM   #11
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It's quite funny, but not hilarious. Unlike most, I didn't really like Madam Malkin's scene.

There isn't enough to rate it for now (only ~13k words in 5 very short chapters), but if the quality stays the same, it'll be 4/5 from me.

What else... Well, it could be one of very, very few fics with acceptable Harry/Hermione.

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Old 03-10-2010, 01:16 PM   #12
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Next to Harry, a pale young boy with a pointed face and awesomecool blonde-white hair seemed to be going through the final stages of a similar process.
pale young boy with a pointed face and awesomecool blonde-white hair

Other than that, I found that scene mildly amusing, but overall the story just doesn't appeal to me.

One reason being Harry's triple surname (which seems pretty pointless to me), another being that though it makes sense that Petunia's surname is said to be Evans-Verres (as she may not have wanted to lose the Evans part of her name), it has her husband's surname as Verres-Evans.

I wouldn't really expect him to take on her name too, but even if he did, surely it wouldn't have been reversed and would instead be Evans-Verres too?

The other reasons for it not appealing to me are already listed in Insane Juggler's post (though the rating and cracking up did not apply to me).

TL;DR: Didn't like, but won't rate.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:14 PM   #13
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I got the sense that "awesomecool" was just sarcasm, but that may have been wishful thinking.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:13 PM   #14
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Am I the only one that really found this appallingly bad? The writing was good in terms of mechanics, but it was absolutely not funny at any point, and plain pretentious when it tried to come off as such.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #15
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Well this is probably going to get really bad really fast. Don't misunderstand me if your looking for a crack-fic written by a person who is both capable of using spellchecker and owns a thesaurus(and uses it liberally) then this may be your thing. But don't go looking for a story that lives up to it's premise, has a decent amount of comedy and anything even remotely resembling characterization.

Anyways I'm this at a 2.5/5 and rounding down. I might change it latter if the story improves- which I doubt.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:35 AM   #16
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Excellent read. For the life of me I cannot understand the incessant nitpicking of reviewers over the most inconsequential of points.
Originally Posted by Dethklok View Post
What made me run from this fic was the first paragraph that has Harry with three last names.


Those things are what makes a story unique, and in this case, funny.

I thought that Harry's interaction with McGonagall was total win. It is very unusual to see her characterized at all in fics and though she is a little OC, I think that the dry humor was completely plausible.

Harry is obviously precocious and unrealistically egg-headed, but that is what the author was shooting for. It doesn't make any sense to say he's too smart=fail. Just say that you don't like OC or AU Harry. But, I'm betting that if Cassanova!Harry showed up at Hogwarts, screwed Greengrass on the head table and started sacrificing puppies in the chamber of secrets, similar criticisms would disappear.

Four stars
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Sooner90 View Post
But, I'm betting that if Cassanova!Harry showed up at Hogwarts, screwed Greengrass on the head table and started sacrificing puppies in the chamber of secrets, similar criticisms would disappear.
Only if the story wasn't mediocre, like this one. I didn't find it funny, though I can see where other people might. It's not bad, but it's not very good either. I give it a tentative 3/5, because it doesn't suck.

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Old 03-11-2010, 12:23 PM   #18
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:33 PM   #19
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I admit, the robe fitting scene made me laugh. Harry's characterisation is obviously not realistic, but it's a guilty pleasure nonetheless. A fun read, the story's flaws are easy to overlook if you don't take it too seriously. 4/5.

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Old 03-11-2010, 04:29 PM   #20
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I didn't really like this either. The robe shop scene was mildly funny, but I just couldn't get into it.
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